The History Man: an introduction – The Property Chronicle
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The History Man: an introduction My career so far, from trading derivatives to academia

The Professor

Businessmen walking across a bridge

After graduating from the London School of Economics in 1994 with a degree in Government and History, I spent three years with Credit Suisse Financial Products in London and Tokyo before studying Shipping, Trade and Finance for a year at business school. I first traded credit at Chase Manhattan (before the merger with JP Morgan) and then at JP Morgan (after the merger with Chase Manhattan) with a brief interlude trading energy derivatives with Enron. The Enron experience was fascinating. The company was innovative in the products traded (e.g. bandwidth and weather derivatives), but the approach to risk management was alien to someone from an investment banking background (this was borne out by the company’s eventual demise – some time after I left!). After scratching the itch to trade commodities one could see and touch (which I ascribe to growing up on a farm in the north east of Scotland), I returned to credit trading at JP Morgan just in time for the merger with the company I had left the year before – Chase Manhattan.

The Professor

About Duncan Needham

Duncan Needham

Dr Duncan Needham is Dean and Senior Tutor of Darwin College and Director of the Centre for Financial History at the University of Cambridge where he teaches economic and political history. His research focuses primarily on modern British history, particularly late twentieth century monetary and financial policy. Duncan can be contacted at

Articles by Duncan Needham

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