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Akuna Capital

  • 100 - 500 employees

Daniel Nunns

Coming from an electrical engineering background, I think that shows that anyone with a passion for markets, paired with mathematical and technology skills can become a quantitative developer.

Tell us about the role of a Quant Developer at Akuna

I work with our data and systems to automate trading, visualise data, optimise decisions and find edge in the market. I primarily use Python to accomplish all these things. My job allows me to explore the fields I’m most interested in and learn a whole bunch of new skills along the way. I work with traders, quantitative researchers and other developers to bring together market knowledge, research and tooling to better our operation. We leverage each other’s strengths and expertise to work efficiently all whilst developing our own personal knowledgebase.

Tell us more about you

I completed high school at Noosa District SHS in the hills of the Sunshine Coast, QLD. I then spent four years studying engineering at The University of Queensland, three of these years residing at St. Leo’s College. I secured a New Colombo Plan scholarship and studied abroad in Dalian, came back and landed a cadet role with Defence Science and Technology, travelled Europe when I graduated and quickly realised I want to have an international career someday soon. Having heard from friends who work in the market making industry, I was intrigued by the intersection of finance and technology to provide a service to markets which affect everyone’s lives (investments, superannuation, etc). I was excited by Akuna’s global growth and impressed with all those I spoke to throughout my interviewing and onboarding process, it seemed like the perfect environment to work, learn and accelerate my career.

Tell us about Akuna:

Akuna, being an options market maker, stands ready to buy and sell financial instruments to help investors manage their risk in various market conditions. Akuna is the most rapidly growing firm in this business, providing great opportunity to be integrated with many high performing teams to broaden one’s skillset and keep the work and problems fresh.  Akuna only hires the best, and every day I’m surrounded by some of the brightest minds from STEM and finance backgrounds. Teams are strong and everyone is so welcoming and easy to talk to, either about the current work and market concepts or their weekend adventures. We have an internal knowledge sharing platform, AkunaU, which has talks about markets, trading, development, systems and a whole range of other interesting topics, including talks about astrophysics! There’s also formal training provided for any key components of your role. Outside of work, there are social clubs and events organised throughout the year to get to know your colleagues in more relaxed settings. I’m also pretty stoked about the free, unlimited Kombucha in our fridges.

What type of people would succeed in the Akuna Quant team?

Coming from an electrical engineering background, I think that shows that anyone with a passion for markets, paired with mathematical and technology skills can become a quantitative developer. Knowledge of trading and markets is something that can be taught, and Akuna doesn’t require any previous experience in the field. The role requires a lot of perseverance when dealing with the enormous datasets and tough questions you deal with day-to-day. Answering such questions requires methodical approaches and a drive to solve problems in a competitive environment/market. Being proficient in a programming language, performing statistical reasoning/analysis with large data and having the ability to design and implement complex systems are all skills needed to exceed in quantitative development.

Advice for students:

Have interest in what Akuna does and the problems it solves. You don’t need to be an expert by any means, but this is what you’ll be working on every day. Know yourself in the interviews! Know your edge and know what you want to learn out of working at Akuna.

More generally though,

  • Take opportunities, good things rarely come to those who sit and wait.
  • Apply to everything you’re interested in! Scholarships, jobs, exchange study. These give you more opportunities, widen your horizons and give you new perspectives on your own life and where you want to be.
  • Try your best and be content. All you can ask of yourself is your best. Sometimes things will work out, other times they won’t, but you’ll never be questioning “what if” if you had just tried a little harder.