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At This Fintech Company, Engineers Don’t Need to Know Finance to Thrive

By | Gina Hamadey |

When Bryan O’Connor joined fintech company MarketAxess in 2018, he feared he was in over his head since he only had a cursory understanding of finance.

“Early on, I felt really inexperienced: I didn’t think I was smart enough to pick up all the knowledge that was required,” says O’Connor, who is a senior software engineer at the firm, which is digitally transforming the way the $120-plus trillion credit market trades bonds, enabling the shift from analog, phone-based trading to a fully electronic marketplace.

Indeed, fintech can seem like an intimidating field to break into, but people without experience in finance shouldn’t count themselves out. At MarketAxess, leadership is very open to hiring people from non-traditional backgrounds because of their diverse skill sets, says Christine Nolan, Head of Trading Technology and a hiring manager.

“We are at the intersection of technology and finance, but we don’t expect new hires to have a deep knowledge of finance,” she says. “We are looking for people who can get to the root of the problem and think outside the box. That’s what allows us to make trading more efficient.”

Here’s a closer look at how MarketAxess hires employees with varied backgrounds and then sets them up for success.

Recognizing the importance of diverse skill sets

O’Connor started his career developing flight control software for helicopters at an aerospace company. When he was ready for a change, he looked at opportunities in different industries, which led him to MarketAxess.

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