Imran’s career began in 2001 when he joined CSFB as a graduate. He was a trainee on the Exotic Equity Derivatives desk and fortunate enough to have some extremely smart and experienced mentors who saw his potential and taught him a great deal. After the first couple of training years, Imran joined the Vanilla Index Options Flow desk as a market-maker. Over the next 4 years he became one of the top performing junior traders.
Throughout this period, many graduates and interns spent time on the desk and Imran discovered that he really enjoyed teaching them and that they, in turn, appreciated having someone take the time and effort to give them a full understanding of the job.
2007 brought a move to Merrill Lynch to run the FTSE Index Flow book. After successfully trading through the financial crisis of 2008, Imran became Head of the European Index Options desk, aged just 29. Whilst running this desk, he made a point of teaching and mentoring the junior members of the team. He was also an active member of MLU( Merrill Lynch University ) where clients would send junior employees to learn from experienced traders in a classroom format.
Towards the end of 2011, he left ML to take a career break and travel around South America and South-east Asia with his wife. He had some of the greatest experiences of his life but the one that hugely impacted him was volunteering at a school for underprivileged children in Cambodia.
“It was fulfilling on an emotional level, but on a simpler level it was just incredibly fun to come up with ways of teaching kids that spoke hardly any English. It reinforced my enthusiasm for helping others learn, and I knew that when I was finally ready to hang up my trading boots, some kind of teaching was what I was meant to do”
After his travels, he re-entered the trading world at Citibank. Here, he was quickly given the role of Head of European Index Options again. Having inherited a fairly junior team, Imran had to efficiently train his young traders to the level required at a top tier US investment bank. He ran the desk until late 2017 but the idea of teaching was still prevailing. He started giving weekly options classes after-market hours to a group of analysts and associates working on various parts of the trading floor. The response was amazing. Everyone was motivated and enthusiastic and they found they were able to apply a lot of what they were learning to their daily working life with greater understanding and clarity.
“I loved the engagement I had with them, and how they often came back to me with questions and eagerness to learn more”
Just a couple of months into starting these classes, Imran left Citibank for an opportunity to work at Bluecrest Capital, after which he was finally able to pursue his passion for teaching by establishing Options Insight.
“You learn very quickly as a trader that it’s important to find your ‘edge’. Looking at my 17-year career, I’ve discovered that being a manager who is willing to invest time and energy into teaching junior people means you can find some truly talented individuals who just need the right guidance to bring out the best in them. Thinking about all the junior traders I’ve taught throughout the years and seeing the successful professionals they’ve become at institutions like Goldmans, CS, SocGen and Citibank, I’ve realised my greatest ‘edge’ is teaching and that’s why I created Options Insight”