My Internship Experience: Nomura

Hi IITK Junta! I am Sujay Vishwakarma, a Dual-Degree Undergraduate student in Mathematics and Scientific Computing. I interned at the Global Markets – Algo & Quant Division at Nomura Structured Products Pvt Ltd at Powai Office.  

Nomura is an Asia-headquartered financial services group with an integrated global network spanning over 30 countries. The major clients include individuals, institutions, corporates and governments which are served through major four business divisions: Retail, Asset Management, Wholesale (Global Markets and Investment Banking) and Merchant Banking.

Global Internship Leadership Program :

As part of Summer Internship Program, Nomura hires pre-final year undergraduate under the Global Markets division, Powai office for a period of 10 weeks or 2 months. A brief description of the roles of different divisions:

Global Markets Algo.:

The Algorithmic Trading Strategies team is involved in providing algorithmic solutions to various businesses within Global Markets such as the Rates, Commodities, FX and Index. Its activities cover FX / Rates / Equities Trading strategies, Yield Curve analytics, Order Execution Algorithms for Equities and Rates futures, Portfolio optimization strategies, with specific application to risk management.

The Summer Internship Program duration over two months provides opportunities to work in areas related to inflation modeling, analysis of trade and quote data sets and estimation of time series model.

Global Markets Structuring:

The team plays an integral role in structuring, pricing and risk management for the global trading book. Interns will get an opportunity to work with trading desks facing dynamic markets and aggressive deadlines, understand and implement state-of-the-art pricing models in variable scenarios, suggest and actualize innovative product designs.

Global Markets Equity Research:

Interns will have an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive research on the company, the sector, identify key drivers and develop an investment thesis. They will create a framework for valuing the company using various sector-specific methods, write an initiation report on the company and appear on a mock morning meeting to pitch to the sales/trader/clients.

Global Markets ABS Research:

The internship will include analyzing ABS collateral and deal structures and, where necessary, model cash-flows, price ABS bonds for both client/desk trades and maintain various databases, pricing tools and deal models tracking deal performance, issuance, and market/macro trends and analyze loan-level and deal-level data and performance.

Global Markets FID Quant:

Interns work as the fully integrated member of the global quant team, part of the front office. Interns also get an opportunity to understand and implement state-of-the-art pricing models in C++ code, work with traders and structure traders to enable new trades to be executed and interact with risk managers and other corporate functions to explain new quant models.

Selection Procedure:

The selection is based on the profile in which you are interested to work:

Global Markets (Structuring) Profile:

Round 1:

Resume Shortlist: No CPI criteria mentioned explicitly, but the selection is mostly based on experience with finance-related projects/internships in some finance firm done in the past and/or some relevant POR. Most candidates who had some projects or relevant economics skills and some others who gave answers to questions asked in the PPT (Pre-Placement Talk) were shortlisted for (Round 2). Around a total of 50-75 candidates were shortlisted.

Round 2:

Group Discussion: This round had shortlisted candidates, split up in groups of 10 – 15 and GD topics (like the general impact of fintech industry on the Indian economy ) and special financial events like Demonetization – Pros and Cons and bit special topics like cryptocurrency as an alternative currency were discussed. In the total of 10-15 candidates were selected for (Round 3).

Round 3:

Tech interview: This round was a personal interview to check finance awareness and general aptitude. Guesstimates, puzzles, and analysis of some financial events are generally asked to test the candidate.

Round 4:

HR interview: Just the last scrutiny to access your communication skills and teamwork compatibility.

Global Markets (Algo & FID Quant) Profile:

Round 1:

Resume Shortlist: No CPI criteria mentioned explicitly, but the selection is mostly based on relevant projects/internships in the field Machine Learning, Statistics, and Algorithms.  Around a total of 25-30 candidates were shortlisted for (Round 2)

Round 2:

Tech interview: This round was a group interview, where candidates were called in pairs and the same problem was given to assess them.

Tested Skills: Basic Probability Knowledge, Distributions, Expectations and basic Machine Learning Knowledge(was Preferred)  

Round 3:

HR interview: Just the last scrutiny to access your communication skills and teamwork compatibility

Work Life and Culture:

As part of my internship at Nomura, I got the wonderful opportunity to understand better the corporate life and the experience of working in an Investment Bank. I was part of the Algo Division at Global Markets which was a team of 15 members with a hierarchy of levels: Analyst, Associate, Vice President(VP) and Executive Director(ED) of the division. A big positive which I felt at Nomura was the approachability that we had up the hierarchy.

My project was supervised by the ED of division himself, who helped me develop relevant insights into the high-frequency trading system and algorithms with the immense knowledge he shared with me by mentoring me into working in current and future prospective projects. You can also approach other divisional heads if you wish to understand their work better, if you wish to have a career in finance or in general you are interested in knowing the work of an Investment Bank.

Mandatory sessions and training were provided by reputed platforms like Bloomberg.

My project was in the field of Application of a form of Reinforcement Learning methodology called Q-Learning and signal to process in the field of Mean-Reverting Market Strategies. The project involved reading about the latest state of the artwork in this field, analyzing it and developing models using it in Python/C++. The project is being used in currency and FX products.

Some of my fellow intern mates did their work in the fields of Text Mining, creating indexes/ ETFs, equity-linked strategies, and portfolio risk management.

The firm offers some of the corporate facilities that we were entitled to as interns. There was a pick-up and drop facility to the office from your personal residence, subsidized cheap yet pretty awesome food service, gym facility if you get too lousy. To maintain the culture of high efficiency at the workplace, like Japanese culture, occasional naps during work time is also allowed ( if your manager agrees) and you can also participate in occasional team football games.

 

Sujay Vishwakarma enjoying MI vs RR match, IPL 2018                                                        

Life in the running but the lively city of Mumbai is also an added benefit you get.

As for the cons, the long working hours and a hectic job of working on something so dynamic might not be the preferred job profile for everyone.

Life in an IB /AM firm as a Career Option:

If you like finance in general or have a general aptitude for trading, an internship in a big corporate institution like Nomura could be very helpful. Also with the recent changes after the 2008 Lehman crisis, a lot of firms have started investing and a lot of research is being done in the field of Data Science and its application into building Customized Electronic Trading Platforms, which opens doors for people interested in Machine Learning and making a career in the field.

Written by Sujay Vishwakarma and edited by Akhilesh Tayade