Meet the Meraki Team: Vice President of Business Development Mary McAvey

Meet the Meraki Team: Vice President of Business Development Mary McAvey

Welcome to this episode of “Meet the Meraki Team.”

Meraki Global Advisors, a leading global multi-asset outsourced trading firm, was founded with a rebellious determination to deliver truly conflict-free services to asset managers. At Meraki Global Advisors, our team is our greatest asset, and today, we have a special guest to share her wealth of experience and expertise. Joining us is Mary McAvey, Vice President of Business Development of Meraki Global Advisors.

Mary McAvey joined Meraki after spending three years at With Intelligence as a Commercial Sales Manager. At With Intelligence, Mary helped manage the flagship brand HFM and after the acquisition of Hedge Fund Alert was also responsible for heading up commercial sales for HFA. Mary began her career in the financial services industry at Enfusion, where she was a Pre-Sales and Marketing Analyst. She earned her BA in Political Science and Government from University at Albany, SUNY.

In this episode, Mary will take us through her journey and how each experience shaped her approach to helping her clients solve for paint points.

Let’s dive right in!

“I want to understand why we’re having this conversation around outsourced trading. What are your current pain points? What is a goal that you want to achieve? How can we help you?”

Q1: Share with us about your background and how you found yourself in the outsourced trading world?

I started my career as a pre-sales and marketing analyst at Enfusion, which is a well-known order and execution management firm within the industry. Within the first two months at Enfusion, I discovered that my skill set really transferred over to a sales and relationship management role. Enfusion was having me attend conferences and help with client roundtables, which is where I really thrived.

While at Enfusion, I was also attending With Intelligence conferences which is where I got connected with their sales leadership team and eventually was asked to join With Intelligence by helping expand the U.S. commercial sales team under their hedge fund brand HFM. At HFM I was really able to grow my industry knowledge and industry network on a global scale.

Working with funds and service providers all over the globe, it really helped me figure out what side of the industry I could really excel in. While at HFM, I was introduced to Benjamin Arnold, the Founder and Managing Partner of Meraki. We actually stayed in touch for a few years, and he eventually approached me to help start the Meraki sales team in New York City.

Ben is extremely smart and passionate about outsourced trading, and as I met the team while going through the interview process, I knew Meraki was the firm I wanted to back and help grow.

Q2: What excited you most about joining Meraki?

What excited me most about joining Meraki was not only the people at the firm but also the way that they value their clients. They view their clients as partners and as someone who has been in the financial services world and specifically on the sales side, relationships are a huge part of this industry, and why I have been successful.

When I was flown out to Park City during my interview process, I was able to meet the team and hear about the traders’ experiences, for example David coming from these larger managers to joining a smaller firm and it feeling more like a family. I also believe that the Meraki outsourced trading model is extremely unique and customizable, and that is something that the industry is looking for.

When outsourced trading started, it was a lot of equity trading for emerging managers and launches. But over my two years at Meraki, we’ve seen assets across the board, and large institutional asset managers to family offices, as well as those launches coming to us to discuss outsourced trading.

Q3: Describe Meraki’s unique outsourced trading model.

There are three different types of outsourced trading models. One being the traditional agency model, the other one being introducing the broker-dealer model, and the third being a pure buy-side outsourced trading model.

Meraki Global Advisors will fall under the pure buy-side outsourced trading model. We are a registered broker-dealer, but we also have a specific license from FINRA that allows us to piggyback off of our client’s capabilities, therefore allowing us to trade every single asset class in every region of the world.

Meraki is the only outsourced trading firm in the space that has a 3:1 client-to-trader ratio. A lot of our peers in the space, will have one trader covering anywhere from 20 to 30 clients. But when you sign on to be a client of Meraki, you truly do receive a global, seasoned, multi-asset trading desk for a lower cost.

Q4: Why outsourcing from an operational perspective?

There’s no training gap, there’s no downtime, there’s continuity. You never have to worry about a trader being on vacation, and there’s transparency within our outsourced trading firm.

Q5: Why do Meraki’s clients decide to pursue outsourced trading?

There’s a few different reasons why firms turn to outsourced trading. One of them being maybe they’re an emerging manager or a launch, and they’re looking to cut costs.

Another reason may be that they have traders based in the U.S., but they want to start trading in other regions and other markets. Meraki is a 24/6 coveraged outsourced trading firm. Not only do we have traders based in the U.S., but we also have traders based in Hong Kong, and they cover and split European hours.

When you join as a client for Meraki, you don’t only get access to one trader, you get access to a global trading desk. Instead of hiring a trader or opening up a desk in other regions, they’re able to outsource it and know that their dedicated traders have local expertise in the markets they are trading in.

Q6: What pain points are Meraki’s clients trying to address?

A pain point that comes to mind, especially if a firm is already using an outsourced trader, is scalability. I think a lot of our competitors are really good at executing on equities, and they may not be able to execute on other asset classes, whereas within the Meraki model, we have the capability of trading every asset class.

For example, fixed income is a hot topic, especially where the industry is at right now. We’re definitely seeing a lot of firms looking towards opening up a fixed-income fund or adding fixed income to their portfolio. At Meraki we have the capability to piggyback off of our clients. So we are able to scale with them and trade it.

Q7: How has the outsourced landscape changed?

I joined the firm in May of 2022, and my understanding of outsourced trading was that a lot of emerging managers and hedge fund launches were looking to OT to save money. But what has proven to me over the past two years that I’ve been at the firm, is that really anyone is looking to outsource trade.

I would say when the outsourced trading world first started, it was definitely for the smaller managers but as we look at the past five years, we can see that there’s a need for firms of all sizes to outsource their trading. Whether they need to trade in new markets, or add on certain asset classes or cut costs.

What we’re looking to see in the next year is not only these emerging managers but also larger institutional asset managers. These larger funds may have a trading desk of 60 people, but they may struggle with a certain region or a certain market or certain strategy. They will look to outsource to a firm like Meraki with senior multi-asset traders.

Our medium client size at Meraki is about $1.5 billion, which is definitely, I believe, over a billion dollars larger than a lot of our peers in this space.

Q8: What do you think makes Meraki stand out amongst the others in the space?

I would say it’s a different sale. We’re not selling a product, but we’re selling a partnership and a service, we’re selective about our clients. We understand that we might not be for everyone. We don’t want to be the largest outsourced trading business in the world, we want to be the best. I think that there’s a big testament to the work that we’ve done over the past couple of years, especially Benjamin Arnold, the Founder and Managing Partner of Meraki.

Ben is very hands-on with the everyday functionality of the firm, and this past year, Global Custodians released their outsourced trading survey, and Meraki scored overall a 9.54 out of 10 across a few different categories, and that was Coverage, Execution, Business Model, Operations, Post-Trade, Client Services, and Onboarding.

There was an overwhelming amount of responses from our clients, which was amazing. They even made a note that we received one of the highest amounts of client responses across our peers, which was really exciting. Then a few months after the outsourced trading handbook was released, we actually received the Industry Leader award in Outsourced Trading for Coverage and Execution. I think that it is a big testament to Benjamin Arnold for sticking true with the pure buy-side outsourced trading model.

One thing that separates Meraki and excites our clients and prospects is that we have a 3:1 client-to-trader ratio, which allows our traders to only work with three firms. Whereas some others in the space, you may have one trader covering between 20 to 30 clients. When you work with Meraki, you really are getting a hands-on trader covering you at a global scale.

Q9: What has helped you succeed in your role as VP of Business Development at Meraki Global Advisors?

Listening is just as important as talking while speaking with a potential client. I want to understand why we’re having this conversation around outsourced trading. What are your current pain points? What is a goal that you want to achieve? How can we help you? And I want to hear the history of your firm and what has gotten you to reach out to an outsourced trading firm.

Listening, I would say, is probably the best advice I can give to a salesperson and that’s kind of helped me succeed in the role because I want to understand why we’re having this conversation.

I will also say sitting down with the traders any chance I get is definitely something that helps me succeed in this role. Even if it’s just analyzing a report that they’ve created for a client. Or picking their brain on something that is going on in the market. This helps me while speaking with a potential client, so I can better understand what other resources are needed out of the outsourced trader.

About Meraki Global Advisors

Meraki Global Advisors was founded with a rebellious determination to deliver truly conflict-free services to asset managers. Headquartered in Park City, Utah with offices in New York and Hong Kong, Meraki provides outsourced global multi-asset trading, leverage management, and capital introduction services to the asset management industry. Meraki Global Advisors LLC is a FINRA member and SEC Registered. Meraki Global Advisors (HK) Ltd is licensed and regulated by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong.

For more information, visit the Meraki Global Advisors website and LinkedIn page
Mary McAvey
VP of Business Development
(646) 666-7041