CQF delegate, Karolina, joined Pexapark in 2020 with a background in Finance and Data Science gained at Warsaw School of Economics and HEC Montréal. She brought three years of risk management experience with Axpo across trading and origination. At Pexapark, Karolina works as a Quant Advisor, providing quantitative insight into project structuring and portfolio risk. She is also expanding the scope of Pexapark’s analytics library to cover new advisory use cases. We caught up with Karolina to find out more about a typical working day.
I work for Pexapark as a Quant Advisor, where I am responsible for risk quantification and valuation of renewable asset market strategies, both involving exchange traded products and long-term Power Purchase Agreements (more commonly known as PPAs). In Pexapark, we use an in-house built stochastic simulation engine, calibrated consistently with data observed in the European power markets. My role focuses on carrying out simulations and ensuring that the results are properly interpreted inside and outside the company, as well as actively seeking solutions for non-standard quantification problems that arise in the fast-paced and constantly growing space of renewable energy investments. Below, is my typical working day as a Quant Advisor.
I work in a hybrid model, which means that I am encouraged to work both from home and the office – it is up to me to decide what the optimal solution is for me. I appreciate the quietness of my apartment as it allows me to focus more effectively, which is why I choose to work from home most days (3 to 4 days a week). Usually, I tend to start work around 8-8:30am and I begin by replying to any remaining messages that I may not have managed to answer the previous day.
I am involved in many different projects across the company, which means I get requests for various types of analysis. I start my day by prioritizing tasks – I tend to focus first on any type of assignment, which has been requested directly by the client.
A recent example of such an analysis involved running a Monte Carlo simulation of the main risks affecting an offshore wind investment in Germany and reviewing how different types of contract structures (hedging instrument) can help to offset the risks and at what cost. I use our simulation engine to obtain thousands of scenarios of realizations of the risks and use self-designed code to calculate pay-offs for any given complex structure or strategy.
Once the analysis part is done, my task is also to help interpret the results and create a clear and easy to understand message for my clients. I usually work with our Advisory team who are market experts and keep close contact with the client to manage the delivery of the results.
I have lunch around 13.30-14pm, which is a bit later than the usual Swiss lunchtime. When I am in the office, lunchtime is always a nice opportunity to talk to my colleagues and spend some time with them. When I’m at home, I usually spend this time enjoying my lunchbreak and try not to look too much at my phone or laptop. I usually take between 30-45 minutes for my lunch break.
I have a few calls with my colleagues, with whom I work on the different assignments. It’s always good to quickly debrief on the progress of any analysis work or any challenges in the way of completion (for example, a common challenge might be missing data that needs to be requested). If the quantification part of the project is already done, we work together on the presentation of the results.
If I have completed all my prioritized tasks, I use this time to work on the development projects that aim to expand our software. There are still a lot of interesting things to do when it comes to helping our customers better understand and optimize their investment portfolios containing renewable assets. For example, I might focus on prototyping a code that could help analyze a complex hedging strategy faster. These projects often involve many stakeholders and require detailed interaction and alignment with our Quant Engineering team.
By this time, I am usually done for the day and typically head to a sports venue or to socialize with friends.
Find out more about Quant Finance Careers
If you are interested in becoming a quant advisor, explore the CQF Careers Guide to Quantitative Finance. Learn more about the skills needed and average salary you can earn in North America, Asia, and Europe for key career paths in quantitative finance.