Phi Partners is a Capital Markets Technology consultancy, working in a specific context, providing specialist services with a niche focus. We are proud to work with more than 60 financial institutions, including some of the biggest and best known banking brands in the world.
Our people are project managers, business analysts, technical architects, developers, testers and support analysts – from recent technology or business graduates, to seasoned professionals with 25 years’ experience.
We specialise in sell-side and buy-side trading technology. We work primarily with investment banks, but increasingly also with asset management firms and hedge funds. Our clients are IT managers or managers in Trading and Risk business departments who need our help defining, implementing or supporting their technology. Our expert consultants understand the financial products and the business processes that support them.
We specialise in specific vendor trading applications with a speciality in Valuation and Risk.
Summit, Sophis, and Murex are the best-known Vendor technologies in this context – we know them inside out: how to configure them, customise them, integrate them, use them, support them. In fact, we know them so well that we have partnerships with the vendors and often provide our experts to the vendors themselves, for specific projects.
Across and beyond these trading applications, we have particular expertise in quantative development – producing complex valuation and risk measures with bespoke pricing models, integrated with the client’s other technology.
We provide individual experts to work under a client’s direction, or whole self-managing teams under the direction of one of our own senior experts. Our people provide services to support or change the client’s technology, or advise on technology choices.
We support our clients with change projects relating to their evolving business requirements – for example introduction of new financial products or responding to new regulations. We regularly undertake change projects relating to a client’s changing technology landscape: anything from a multi-year projects for a greenfield trading system implementation, or development of a cross-asset bespoke valuation service, to building an individual interface or configuring a back office workflow. Migrations of data or business functionality between systems, and system upgrades are both core parts of our business.
We also have a small product devlopment team: we offer a market-leading on-line data archiving solution for Summit, with plans for other specialised products in the pipeline.
Phi was founded in 2004 and has since become a 200 people strong organization. We are growing, but we strive to retain our “small company” feel: we treat everyone as an individual and even the most junior employee at Phi knows the CEO!
Our headquarters is in London, and we serve our clients globally - from our offices in the UK, France, Germany and Romania, as well as from client premises across Europe and beyond.
Our Bucharest office (11, Dinu Vintila, Euro Tower, 13th Floor, 2nd District, 021101) was established in 2009 and is home to more than half our workforce running more than half of our business. Here you can find an energetic and dynamic delivery team offering speialist consultancy services across all roles and seniorities. We support clients all over Europe from our Bucharest offices, and there are also plenty of opportunities for our Bucharest team members to work overseas. The Phi Partners Operations functions are also based in Bucharest.
Interview with Mihaela Antochi
Mihaela Antochi joined Phi in 2015 as a Junior Consultant, with the role of Summit Developer. We interviewed her within a few months of her start date:
How did you find out about the opportunity at Phi?
I applied to a post on a recruitment job board for another role and subsequently had an interview with the agency. The role I had originally applied for was focused on one single technology area whereas the Phi role had a much deeper technical basis and seemed more interesting. My University experience had been quite diverse and I had noticed that many roles were quite specific in terms of technology areas. Given that Phi’s areas of experience needed to be much broader I felt that I would have the opportunity to learn more diverse areas of technology.
What drew you to the position at Phi and what did you find interesting about it?
You don't settle on a particular area of technology but get to work with many areas. It allows me to be more flexible in my experience and gives me more variety and more interest.
How does this compare with the other role that you were considering at the same time?
The other role was offering one single area of technology and I was really keen on having exposure to a variety of technologies to keep things interesting.
Tell me about your first month at Phi?
The first month involved a lot of intensive training, not just technology related but what I found particularly interesting is learning about the banking and finance world. Until the training I didn't have much knowledge about banking and finance and how money moves around the world. It has expanded my knowledge of the economic markets and how it fits into the overall global economic picture.
How are you finding the team here at Phi?
I have been welcomed into Phi very warmly. If I have an issue or problem I can't solve myself, the team are very open to offer advice and solutions and have been very helpful and supportive to my needs. It has genuinely helped with my initial development.
What kind of opportunities do you think are available here what is your vision for the next one or two years?
I am quite ambitious and although it is very early in my career here I would like to be able to solve problems within my own projects on my own and without assistance from other people. I feel I am getting all the training and mentoring I need in order to be successful. I have had friends who have left university and joined companies and they are left alone to do the work without proper training. There appears to be a culture of help and assistance from all my colleagues which is a better way of learning at a new company than just been given a large book and being asked to learn from that.
What motivates you to come in every day?
I have really enjoyed learning about banking and finance and I feel there's a lot of very experienced people at Phi Partners who will give me the ability to learn and to expand my knowledge and continue to grow as an individual and to be part of an organisation that is growing.
So what would you say to potential candidates that may be deciding on their future when leaving university?
The more I hear about financial markets the more interested I am in learning what Phi is doing. I think there are some great opportunities to go and work from a customer site overseas. I feel I could see a little more of the world and understand how business is conducted in other countries. I am really interested in travelling with work and this organisation could be a vehicle to allow me to do this.
Mihaela’s Career at Phi
Mihaela has now been with Phi for over three years, after joining Phi as a junior Summit (C++) Developer. After her training programme, she completed a small internal development (.NET) for Phi, and started her first client-facing role within three months: working as a Summit developer providing data model and GUI enhancements to a Canadian bank, from Bucharest.
Mihaela’s second assignment was working as part of a large Phi team of more than 50 consultants, in the role of a front office Summit developer supporting a major UK bank’s initiative to build a central, cross-asset valuation and risk platform. She had direct communication with the client’s trading and quant team and acted as leader for the release process, responsible for assessing the PV and risk impact of each release.
Mihaela was promoted from Junior Consultant to Consultant after two years with Phi. She expressed a desire to work overseas, and had a short assignment in Rome, working for an Italian bank to develop a Summit trade interface. This was followed by an assignment in Frankfurt working for a major German bank where she created a new Summit application in C++ and C# to be used by the back-office department to automatically create bond definitions.
Mihaela is currently working in a small team of Phi Consultants in the stunning city of Porto, in Portugal. She is delivering a Summit version upgrade together with various enhancements for a major French bank. As part of this assignment, Mihaela has spent time with the client in Paris, and is also benefitting from specialist Financial training organised by the client in a local university.
“Exciting, challenging and extraordinary”
An update from Mihaela, February 2019:
When I started at Phi, I did not know what to expect. Not only because I just had finished University and I had no previous reference in terms of working in a corporate environment, but also because I did not know what Summit is. I found my colleagues excellent professionals and I took that as a target for my own development.
After going through an intensive training about Summit (both technical and functional), provided by Phi, I had a good idea about what I was about to be doing.
My journey at Phi started in Bucharest where I learnt a lot from my colleagues until I felt ready to work on client-side. Having no previous financial experience actually made things interesting for me as I was learning something new which was not part of my technical background.
Working for 5 different clients in only 3 years made things sometimes demanding, but also rewarding from my point of view because there is always something new to learn.
My overall experience while working abroad has been exciting, challenging and extraordinary. I have been living in 3 different countries within one year which not only helped me to develop professionally, but personally too.
Phi offers a stimulating environment, where your technical and analytical skills will be challenged and enhanced on a variety of projects.
You will be amongst great colleagues, who share our commitment to creating value for clients and delivering excellent work.
A good social atmosphere means you look forward to Monday morning! And your individual and team contribution to Phi will be recognised.
We provide a structured and extensive training program for new hires, covering not just the technologies and functionalities of the systems we specialise in, but also to provide grounding in the relevant capital markets concepts. Training will continue over your junior years, but we would also expect you to get exposure to real client projects after just a few months with us giving you the chance for an early contribution to our business.
As you develop your skills and experience, your ongoing training will become tailored to your individual talents and interests. Unlike other specialist software consultancies, we have our own licensed instance of the vendor software and substantial internal resources for training and development.
Although regular or long term travel is by no means mandatory or expected, our consultants have the opportunity to travel within Europe and further afield, both on short term and more permanent placements, if they are interested to do so. Working overseas brings an extraordinary wealth of experience both professionally and socially and we support all our staff in any ambitions to spend time abroad.
Multiple possible career paths
We don’t assume that – as a graduate – you know exactly how you want your career to progress. If you do – fantastic – we will support you to meet your goals. But the reality is that many people haven’t found their calling. Having exposure to all aspects of our business will help you explore your talents and discover what you love. By the very nature of the work we do, and the size of the company, most of our graduates will become multi-skilled, giving versatility and scope to progress in a range of directions.
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