Martin Nichols

Martin Nichols – Banker, UBS

When were you at Polam?

2001 – 2003 for 6th Form

What did you study at Polam?

Maths, Physics, IT and French

What are you doing today?

I work at UBS Investment Bank in London. When a new trade is done, that trade needs to be risk managed. Risk management refers to ensuring any market movements are appropriately hedged by holding offsetting positions. A client may come to the bank’s sales team and request a product that would give them exposure to the FTSE over the next 3 years. The sales and trading desk would then structure a product providing the required FTSE exposure and sell it to the client. The trading desk must now hedge their exposure to the FTSE index, otherwise should the index rise significantly, they would lose money. My role is ensuring that all trades, client facing and hedging, are reflected within the internal risk management system so that daily exposure/risk and profit and loss can be managed effectively. The nature of the trading desk which I support makes this role particularly challenging given that some of the structured products being sold are particularly complex and require thought as to how to reflect these real world trades in a system.

How did Polam help you to get there?

My role is quite mathematical and I had a great Maths teacher at Polam. Without this I would not have achieved the grades required to take a Maths-related university degree and use this to move into the finance industry.

What’s your best memory of Polam?

Too many, but the majority should probably not be mentioned here. Will go with the Girls v Boys Hockey match: the girls who played regularly through the whole season, the boys, full of confidence but no ability. Afternoon free periods were spent pumping the Rocky theme tune out of Plantation in preparation. We took an early lead through a Gary Cullinan strike, but eventually hung on to a 1-1 draw despite the dubious refereeing.

Who was you favourite teacher?

Maths teacher, Mrs Chipchase. Mr Kipling was a bit of a legend, too (good cakes!).