Murex Leadership Spotlight: Solon Mikhailides

Murex Leadership Spotlight: 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 advice would you give to someone at the beginning of their Murex career?

Don’t stay too focused. Some people like to be specialised, think of a developer working on a datamart, but I think that could limit you. Stay open to learning about new technology that’s coming in, for example, C2, or cloud technologies. Though some people do make a whole career of specialising, a lot of hiring managers, including myself, are looking for well-rounded developers.

Also, try to keep an open mind. Some more junior candidates think they’re entitled to do more complicated stuff straight away without learning the basics. I tend to look for candidates with flexible mindsets, who are willing to pick up stuff that’s not always going to be the most interesting, because you’re not always going to be able to do the exciting stuff straight away.

How should Murex professionals go about upskilling in their careers?

Murex itself is quite hard to learn outside of the job, but there are areas where you can upskill. For example, If you want to look at the C2 side of things, then Java courses are very useful. To learn more about the infrastructure side, then consider Unix. An understanding of the concepts around cloud certification is also very relevant at the moment, as well as DevOps products, as most of the banks are moving towards this – so things like Jenkins and Nexus.

As a hiring manager, how important is candidate tenure to you?

Personally, I 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, 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. So I won’t discount candidates that have been moving around in their careers.

What’s the biggest piece of interview advice you’d give to a candidate looking for their next Murex opportunity?

Be concise and answer the question you’ve been asked. And, try to demonstrate that you have a wider knowledge outside of Murex, because it always connects with other systems. So, in your next role, make sure you fully understand where Murex sits in the stack of where you’re working and how it relates to other systems. So, if it’s a back office system but you’re feeding finance information, question why you’re feeding in that information. Or if you’ve got regulatory reporting, a high-level understanding of how everything flows and works together is quite handy.

What soft skills do some Murex professionals overlook?

Generally speaking, a lot of people are reluctant to talk to the business because they come from an IT background. At my current company, we’re undergoing a re-structure, which means members of my team have to act like BAs too, and demonstrate that they can not only talk to the business, but relate to it, and gather the necessary requirements.

Looking for more insights?

Elsbeth Pope

Trading Systems Specialist

Helping You Build Exceptional Murex Teams