Murex Leadership Insights: Solon Mikhailides

Murex Leadership Insights: Solon Mikhailides

I recently had the opportunity to interview Solon Mikhailides, a highly skilled Murex leader, with 18+ years of experience in the banking industry. In his career, Solon has orchestrated major system implementations, such as new ECN interfaces and regulatory reporting module integrations. From a management perspective, Solon has a knack for leading multi-skilled, international teams to success.

What attracted you to Murex, and what’s kept you in the industry?

I naturally progressed to Murex, because I was originally working on another system, Infinity, which was replaced by Murex at the time. But, the main reason I’ve stayed, is because it’s such a leader in the market. In all the organisations where I’ve worked, Murex has always been central. So, you end up engaging with different parts of a business, as well as multiple other systems, which gives you big exposure to a lot of different areas of a bank.

What exciting projects are your team currently working on?

We’re working on quite a few things at the moment. The whole new C2 interface, such as the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment pipeline stuff, is pretty exciting because it’ll allow us to develop and get products to market faster.

On the project side of things, we’ve got MAS, which is markets, architecture, strategy, where we’re in the process of simplifying all our systems onto Murex. At the moment we’re only using Murex for FX, commodities, and Murex Limit Checker. Over the next five years, the plan is to move all the products onto Murex, and eventually over to cloud, although we’ve experienced a few latency issues, so we’ll move over once it matures a bit. I’m looking forward to moving all products onto one, and seeing the impact this has on the way we work.

What main challenges are you facing?

In terms of hiring, we’re reducing costs by undergoing an internal restructure (becoming more product-aligned, rather than system-aligned) and moving more of our work offshore. We’re currently in the process of building a new technology centre in Hyderabad, which will bring with it its own set of challenges. When it comes to managing remote teams, in my experience interactive management is key. This includes face time wherever possible and daily 121s for goal setting, to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

You’ve clearly got a lot of projects going on. What advice would you give to other hiring managers with a heavy workload?

If you’re able to expand your teams, I’d always recommend hiring a mixture of junior, and more senior team members who can act as mentors. The junior team members are more likely to stay in the long term, with the seniors being primarily contracted. That being said, I’m having to change this approach now that we’re building an offshore development centre.

For when you have a small team, and you have a lot of work on, without the luxury of increasing your headcount, a more agile approach is needed. A good manager should be able to prioritise the work and shield their team from the noise, acting as a layer of protection.

Do you have any other hiring advice?

When it comes to tenure, I personally prefer candidates to have worked at companies for longer sprints, because the people who jump around a lot will inevitably jump off your project quite quickly too. Their tenure is often a good indicator that they’re committed to what they do. 

Having said that, I wouldn’t discount candidates who have been moving around in their careers. If you have someone who’s moved around quite a lot, Murex being a small world, allows you to always find out about them from someone else. Someone always knows someone. And if they’re a good candidate, then they’ll come in with a broader experience that could be useful to your team.

A huge thank you to Solon for taking the time to interview with us. If your teams have exciting projects coming up, or you’re facing any interesting challenges, reach out to me, Elsbeth Pope, for a spotlight. By getting involved, you’ll help drive conversations in the space, and make Murex a little more social again.

… But if you’d rather have a natter about all things hiring, that’s fine too.  

Elsbeth Pope

Trading Systems Specialist

Helping You Build Exceptional Murex Teams