Mathematician and London Business School graduate, Jody Dunn works at online trading firm IG Group, where she has worked since 2002 — starting out as a Sales Trader, managing client relationships, before working her way through a roster of increasingly senior roles including Head of Futures and FX, and Head of Trading. Today she sits on the global leadership team as Head of Risk, overseeing an international team managing exposures in primarily market risk, credit risk and capital adequacy.
1. What are you looking at right now?
My daughter’s annoyed face because I’ve just told her she can’t have hot chocolate for breakfast.
2. Based on what you actually do, honestly, what should your job title be?
3. What’s your superpower: the one skill that makes you so successful at your job?
I am a do-er and ridiculously conscientious. If I say I am going to do something then I make sure I do it or drive the team to do it (Mrs Bossy). I hate letting anyone down, it makes me feel too guilty.
4. What’s your Achilles heel?
I have OCD tendencies. At work, I can’t let my inbox be more than a page long. Out of work, I can’t let the car radio be on an odd number volume. Which is inconvenient because 13 is the perfect volume.
5. What’s on your to-do list right now that you’re putting off?
6. Introvert or extravert?
Introvert. Being on my own is a rare and lovely thing. I was painfully shy as a child and still now have to bully myself into speaking up in meetings.
7. Which one person has had the most profound impact on your career?
A few months after I’d had my first baby and I was at home feeling completely out of touch with the world, my boss rang to tell me he was being promoted and asked me to interview for the Head of Trading role he was vacating. This was a massive step up and involved being in charge of all of the trading desks globally at IG. His belief that I was the right person for the job at a time when I was feeling low and unconfident was amazing — and set the tone for how I decided to manage work and home life going forwards. I interviewed for the job and got it.
8. What book, film or piece of music sums up your outlook on life?
At the moment it’s If I Have To Tell You One More Time by Amy McCready. With three young, feisty daughters, I am constantly at a loss as how to keep control of my home life in the same way I can at work. I am definitely not in charge at home. Unfortunately, you can’t fire your kids.
9. Who would be at your fantasy dinner party?
Viv Groskop, author of How To Own The Room. I love her advice on speaking in public even if I still struggle to put it into practice. It is based on her view that all you need to be is a ‘credible, honest version of yourself’ without pretending you are an extrovert, which really resonates with me. Also, Phoebe Waller-Bridge — Fleabag is one of my favourite ever shows and she has a wicked sense of humour. Bob Mortimer, because I’ve loved him since watching Shooting Stars in my youth.
10. Early bird or night owl?
Neither! I love to sleep. Although usually I start work early so I am almost ready for bed with the kids and am proud if I make it to 10pm.
11. What has been your best ever day at work?
Working on the trading desk during the ‘Flash Crash’ — a sudden, unexpected large move in financial markets which happened on the election night in May 2010. The night consisted of some crazy market shifts and incredible teamwork. I remember the COO pouring us all big glasses of wine at 1 o’clock in the morning while we booked out the final client trades.
12. When have you been at your least confident?
Whenever I am presenting to a large group of people. It makes me want to cry with nerves.
13. What was your ‘Plan B’ career?
I didn’t have a Plan A career! IG was the only company to offer me a job when I graduated and I never left. I have been lucky enough to have the chance to do many different things at one company. But as a Plan B I’d choose anything to do with numbers and spreadsheets, I am a complete geek.