UBS Christopher Purves

  • A top UBS trader has a new role at the bank helping build the fixed income “business of the future.”
  • Christopher Purves, previously the co-head of the Swiss bank’s fixed-income trading business, is now leading the firm’s new FRC Strategic Development Lab, according to his LinkedIn profile.
  • The new lab is aiming to transform fixed-income using data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 

One of UBS’ top traders has a new role at the bank leading a team tasked with building the fixed income “business of the future.”

Up until last month, Christopher Purves was co-head of trading for the Swiss bank’s FRC (fixed income, rates, and currencies) unit, a business known elsewhere on Wall Street as the fixed-income, currencies, and commodities business, or FICC. 

This month, Purves started a new role at the bank as the head of its FRC Strategic Development Lab, according to his LinkedIn profile. The lab, based in London, is a new initiative looking to transform FICC using data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 

Here’s an explanation of the new lab, according to Purves’ LinkedIn bio:

“The SDL is focused on designing and building the FICC business of the future and has responsibility for (among other things) Electronic Trading, Data Science & Machine Learning, Strategic Investments and Innovation & Technology within our FRC(FICC) business.”

UBS has recently been recruiting data scientists and artificial-intelligence experts to join the lab, according to online job postings

According to one job ad, the business has three primary focus areas: “Business Operating Model, Cost, and Capital and Funding and operates at the cutting edge of finance.”

A spokeswoman for UBS declined to comment further on the new business. 

Wall Street banks have recently been luring away top tech talent to build out their 21st-century ambitions.

Last Summer, Business Insider got a firsthand look at UBS’ efforts to bring automation and artificial intelligence to the trading floor, observing a  demo of a “robot” the bank developed — a software program that runs on a virtual desktop and automates a task involved with foreign exchange trade booking and allocation.

Goldman Sachs in particularly been investing heavily in tech in recent years, with Goldman Sachs CFO Marty Chavez once saying that “Goldman is for risk what Google is for search.” The bank recently hired Reinaldo Aguiar, a former senior software engineer at Google who focused on the tech giant’s search ranking. He will play a key role in building out the bank’s Marquee platform. Last month, Goldman Sachs hired a top AI expert from Amazon

Citigroup has been staffing up for the robot revolution, hiring an array positions for their Smart Automation Center.

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