Niklas Torriani is the head of business development at Io Macro Fund. He’s been with the business since March 2020, focusing on the investor relations and marketing aspects of the fund.
Prior to working at Io Macro, Nik worked as an investment analyst at Aurum Research, a hedge fund research office based in London, mostly covering macro strategies.
Nik was born in Geneva but raised in Monaco having grown up with a Swedish mother, a Canadian father and two siblings. Outside of work, Nik is an avid sports fan, especially of football, golf and motor racing.
Hi Nik, what are you and Io Macro working on today?
I made the move to Io Macro in March, and I am currently focused on ramping up our investor relations and marketing efforts. The strategy is discretionary global macro with an emphasis on identifying inflection points in markets. The strategy is very trading orientated, and trades all major liquid instruments, with a focus on single stock equities and equity options.
How did you get to where you are now?
Once I figured out (very quickly) that I wouldn’t become a professional football player, it was evident to me that I would end up in finance. My father is in the industry and used to teach me about butterflies when I was about 12 years old, this meant I always had a fascination for markets. In order to make this career path viable, I looked for ways to intern at financial firms quite early on. I was very lucky to be exposed to a variety of strategies and fascinating people at firms such as Clive Capital, Churchill Capital and Monaco Asset Management. Once I had completed my finance degree in Canada, I was lucky enough to intern at Aurum, before joining on a permanent basis as an investment analyst. This is where I really started to learn about the hedge fund industry, and the entire team, including CIO Adam Sweidan, took me under their collective wing. After close to three very happy years at Aurum, once again, I was fortunate enough to join my current boss, IO Macro CIO, Ben Giesmann, one of the portfolio managers I admire most due to his drive to succeed, relentless work ethic and talent. I guess to sum up my career path, it was made up of very fortunate moments where I was able to work for great people, and doing my best to maximize those opportunities.
What attracted you to this business?
There are many aspects of the financial industry that were attractive to me. I would say one of the main ones, however, is that I have always been a very competitive person and this is inherently a competitive industry. The markets, and many of the jobs surrounding markets, provide a continuous “scoreboard” to gauge one’s performance against. Whilst that can be challenging at times, it’s also one of the principal motivational drivers for me.
Another aspect of the business that I truly appreciate is the human aspect. I’ve often had this discussion with colleagues and friends, where my view is that in spite of the industry benefitting massively from advances in technology, it remains a people business. It’s become even more evident in recent times when we’ve lacked that social aspect of our jobs, and it’s something that I personally miss dearly. Thankfully, given the social nature of our industry, I have met some of my closest friends throughout my (short) career and I continue to meet new people that give me a fresh perspective on things.
What has been the most pivotal moment of your career so far?
It is difficult to pinpoint one pivotal moment, however my recent move to Io Macro and working under Ben would probably take the cake.
What aspect of our industry excites you the most?
Without a doubt, it is the unexpected nature of it. Whether it be the unpredictable nature of markets, challenges that present themselves in my day to day life at work or even something as simple as meeting a new person you’d never expect to meet, these are the sort of things that excite me most.
What would you change?
In an ideal world, perhaps some of the misconceptions people have on the hedge fund industry.
What do you invest in personally?
For return, my only investment in financial markets is my investment in the fund. Going forward, I’d want to keep adding to my Io Macro position as well as diversify my investments away from markets, perhaps in real estate or other opportunistic situations.
Something I have always invested in heavily are my relationships with people, whether that be in the industry or outside of it. I like to pick up the phone and speak to friends, peers, investors etc… This helps on both the personal and business sides of my life.
For pleasure, I invest in time with my family, which is easier now that I live in the same city as them. The odd investment in a golf club may or may not (it does, all too often) happen too.
Where do you celebrate?
It would have to be a dinner at Satay Brothers restaurant in Montreal followed by a drink or two at Flyjin in the old port. I love how the food at Satay Brothers is so delicious, yet so simple and affordable in a very welcoming setting. I will caveat this by saying that my favourite place in the world is the small fishing town Träslövsläge, in Sweden, where my family vacations every summer.
What is at the top of your bucket list right now?
I don’t think this will happen anytime soon given the COVID situation, but I would love to attend the big sporting events all around the world that I haven’t had the chance to see yet (big football derbies, the Masters, NBA playoff game). I’d also love to play a round at Augusta and drive a Formula 1 car.
What does success mean to you?
Waking up every day and doing something you love with your life.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
You are going to get both unlucky and lucky in life. To fulfil your potential, make sure to take risks and maximize your luck when it comes and to not get beat down by any unlucky spells when they inevitably come too.
Niklas has been an AYU member since 2019. AYU is the digital private members club for alternative investment professionals. Join AYU today and connect with Niklas by applying for membership here.
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