Why BMLL is the best workplace for technologists

First published in The Financial Technologist, 29 November 2021

The concept of “the workplace” may have changed over the pandemic, but one key thing remains the same. Even as many of us had to shift where we worked physically, the choice of who to work with is as important as ever. At BMLL we have continued to actively develop our culture to create the best workplace for technologists.

We solve complex problems, for a dynamic high-profile sector. Working in the capital markets space with some of the most demanding clients in the world, we provide the data and analytics that allow them to maintain a competitive edge.

BMLL Technologies is the leading, independent provider of harmonised, Level 3 historical data and analytics. We offer banks, brokers, asset managers, hedge funds and global exchange groups immediate and flexible access to the most granular Level 3, T+1 order book data and advanced analytics, enabling them to accelerate research, optimise trading strategies and generate alpha at unparalleled speed and scale.

Creating genuinely new solutions to data problems is hard. At BMLL, technologists are not simply building websites or services to a specification, but play a major part in figuring out the solution. This means understanding the data, what it means and how our customers might want to access and use it. It’s an iterative process. The technology we use is world class and the award-winning way we engineer the data is second to none. We take big data and turn it into relevant data.

We create meaningful analytics for a given asset class. This requires substantial domain knowledge. Understanding where, how and when securities trade, what exceptions and edge cases can occur, what the different trade classifications and flags mean across venues and how to make sense requires a team of industry practitioners who also happen to be data scientists.

It’s not down to just one smart engineer to find the answer. The problems we solve are team scale - there are significant complexities and multiple viewpoints needed to flush out issues and validate a solution. Therefore we have an open culture that supports this process. Our technology team feels fully involved in bringing the product forward in an environment where they can truly make a difference.

Our technologists have direct exposure to clients. Further, our experienced senior team has pedigree from HFTs, banks, trading firms, exchanges, academia and consulting (including a very experienced CTO). They sit side by side with the technology team. Our flat structure ensures that ideas and opinions are actively sought, and that they don't get stuck in bureaucratic treacle or committees. Strong viewpoints are both welcomed and debated. Technology team communications are strong, with stand-up meetings every day, weekly detailed team meetings, weekly 'scrum of scrums' tech team planning, and bi-weekly sprint planning. There are also bi-weekly company-wide update meetings.

We value all of our employees and we demonstrate this by giving share options to every single one of them . Our technologists are a critical part of the journey. They have ownership of both their own contribution and their personal role in the BMLL growth path to continued success.

We also are committed to diversity and development in the wider community, partnering with organisations like Code First Girls to offer an introduction to Python course taught by BMLL developers targeted at women 18-23 with little to no coding experience.

“Our employees are the present and future of the success of BMLL, so we owe it to them to ensure that they are working in a company with a culture that they are happy and proud to be part of, ” says Angie Sadler, Head of People, BMLL.

A key part of our success is our flexible working culture, further developed in response to COVID, and we support a combination of remote and office working. We really focus on wellbeing and a healthy work/life balance. Team building activities encourage collaboration and take place on a regular basis - from weekly team lunches to virtual beer tasting, real life Go-Karting, and climbing the O2.

We are growing quickly, so if you would like to find out more about what makes BMLL such a great place for technologists, we would love to hear from you.