Witad Awards 2022: Trade execution professional of the year—Jennifer James, BGC

In November 2022, Jennifer James will run her 13th New York City marathon. Her goal is to run in all six of the major global marathons—Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York. She will check Chicago off her list in October, with Tokyo and Berlin the remaining two to conquer. James started running marathons for enjoyment and a challenge. But her motivation became more personal in 2013, when her six-year-old daughter, Scarlett, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, and ever since she has used running as a vehicle to raise money for pediatric cancer research. 

Thankfully, in December 2019, Scarlett was declared cancer-free. A year later, James returned to work with a new focus: technology and electronic execution of credit.  

James has worked in the credit market for over 20 years. She’s worked on a team that launched one of the first central limit order books in emerging markets bonds, and ran BGC’s credit derivatives business in emerging markets in both investment-grade and high-yield. Today, she’s managing director of BGC’s Fenics Sales unit.

In her role as managing director, James develops and implements technology protocols and curates bespoke Fenics market data solutions. “Being in credit means that I have the relationships that I had years ago when I was closing trades through voice—now, we’re just closing trades electronically,” James says. Collaboration and communication with client input have allowed James to meet the market’s needs with new solutions. 

James’ determination and devotion can also be seen in the work she has done for the Scarlett Fund. In 2014, while at a chemotherapy appointment, James became aware of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center fundraiser, Kids Walk. The James family formed Team Roar, aptly named after the popular Katy Perry song Roar

But it didn’t stop there. The Scarlett Fund was soon formed to raise money for pediatric cancer research and for research into less toxic and lengthy treatments for children. Every dollar raised goes to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

“It’s very meaningful work and very different than the work I did before,” James says. “But I still pour my heart and my soul into it like I do for my job.”

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