Spotlight on Public Finance

We believe providing the best service to our clients starts with hiring the best bankers and associates. We invite you to learn more about our leaders within Fixed Income Capital Markets.

Image of Cindy NeitzkeCindy Neitzke
Director, Taxable Bond Trader – Repo Trading
Tenure at Baird: 34 years

  • How did you start your career in fixed income?

    When I first started at Baird, I was on the support desk assisting traders along with trading Commercial Paper and Repurchase Agreements (Repos), which later expanded to trading Treasury/Agency securities and CDs. Over the years, as the Fixed Income department continued to grow, financing the inventory was top priority. I was able to expand the Repo business, making connections to identify counterparties that could help finance our inventory. Today, we have contracts with about 15 different counterparties financing roughly 85% of the department’s inventory.

  • What is a typical day like?

    As a leader on Fixed Income’s Repo desk, I work closely with our institutional traders to finance as much collateral as possible. That can involve reaching out to multiple counterparties, booking collateral in the repo system, processing margin calls and working with the settlement team to ensure all collateral and cash have settled for each security on time. This is all done while making sure I’m in compliance with daily Repo and exposure limits set by the Risk and Finance departments.

  • What characteristics are necessary to succeed in this industry?

    You need to be personable but assertive and motivated too. Being a hard worker and gaining as much experience as possible will make you more valuable to the company. In the financial industry, perseverance is important – when you set a goal for yourself, don’t give up until you’ve reached it. I've learned the more effort you're willing to put in, the more likely you are to succeed.

  • What advice would you have for the next generation of leaders in fixed income?

    Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Challenge and push yourself to improve at every stage of your career. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals for yourself in your career – just be sure to take ownership of them. Hard work and integrity lead to success.

  • How do you manage your work/life balance?

    Spending time with family and friends is very important to me. At times, life can be a balancing act. This means a mixture of time management, commitment and prioritization, including being realistic and honest about what you can and can’t do. Learn to delegate work and be able to detach from your job during personal time off. I really value working for a firm that allows flexibility and is so supportive to their employees facing work/life challenges.

  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

    In this industry, you’re going to encounter a lot of strong personalities. I was taught early on to never give up – if you let other people’s actions discourage you, you’ll never grow as a person. Take on challenges: The more you challenge yourself, the more you will learn and the more confident you’ll become.

Learn more why the best bankers and associates in public finance choose to build their careers at Baird.