Employee Interview – Grant Belford

Background

Grant is a Canadian capital markets veteran with over 20 years of multi-asset class derivatives experience. Grant has been based in Japan since ‘99. His career exists mainly out of Tokyo sell-side market risk roles on the trading floor across rates, fx and credit flow and exotic derivatives. Grant also has 2 yrs experience in crypto: market-making, hedge fund prop trading, market risk & algo R&D. In his free time, Grant enjoys snowboarding with his family in Niigata, Japan.

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?

I enjoy teaching and had the opportunity as Visiting Lecturer in 2011/12 to teach MBA Finance students at the International University of Japan (国際大学) located in Niigata. I strove to make the financial derivatives pricing and risk management courses I taught as practical as possible, working with the students in-class to build pricing models from scratch in excel and C++. 

I enjoyed giving a crypto options pricing & greeks seminar recently to the Kairon Labs trading team and also enjoyed Andreas’ Uniswap/Python trading seminar.

What is your role at Kairon Labs?

As I am based in Japan I cover market making and portfolio hedging for our clients during APAC hours. So watching the screens for price action, watching the orderbook and adjusting our market maker algo parameters are required. On the hedging side monitoring hedge portfolio pnl, hedge portfolio effectiveness and researching and implementing new hedging methodologies. Updating clients on market-making and hedging, regular market making/hedging client reporting updates and posting weekly LinkedIn team comments on DeFI/markets keep it exciting and busy.

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Kairon, whose job would you want?

Andreas, one of my fellow quant traders is pushing the boundaries with regards to CEX/DEX (Ce/Decentralized Exchange) arbitrage and he is awesome at teaching me!

What advice would you give to our recent new hires?

Been in the markets since ‘93 so enjoyed participating – mostly as an APAC market risk manager – in traditional derivatives space – and witnessing the build out from vanilla flow derivatives products to much more exotic structures. I was lucky to get in on the ground floor in terms of having some time to build an understanding of say EM (Emerging Market) Asia market liquidity stats for linear flow rates trading so when the more EM Asia exotic structures appeared we had a good handle on realistic hedging solutions and required model and liquidity reserves. I think our new hires are in a similar position in terms of crypto market maturity – so focus all you can on getting the basics of market liquidity, flow derivatives model risk, counterparty credit risk down pat so that you have a solid confident knowledge base to rely on when more complicated crypto products start appearing on the scene en masse. And they will.

How do you explain to your friends and family members who are not involved in our industry what you do?

First I make sure to stay away from using industry jargon like “arbitrage” – potentially the most misunderstood term in financial markets history. I tell them for example that clients have entrusted us to make an *attractive* market in their tokens to help build up genuine investor trading interest and that is what we strive to achieve.

What has been your favorite project at Kairon Labs so far?

Enjoyed brainstorming with the team on suitable proxy hedges for client altcoin portfolios where explicit hedging solutions are n/a and running correlation analyses to estimate hedge effectiveness. A recent ML (machine-learning) trading strategy intro call with a client has the potential to be extremely interesting as well project-wise and am seeking to leverage off earlier ML/Python research experience. 

Are you sure you are not related to Jordan Belfort (Wolf of Wallstreet)?

Our family names are off by 1 letter!

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