Chiara Legnazzi, Sr. Quant Engineer, swissQuant Group


Alumni Service

30 January 2023

In order to help current students and recent graduates to find their way in the working world, many of our alumni shared their career story. Here the story of Chiara Legnazzi, Sr. Quant Engineer for swissQuant Group in Zurich (CH). USI Degrees: PhD in Economics, 2018 & Master in Finance, 2012.

How did you start your career?

In 2018, I moved to Basel and started working at Bank J. Safra Sarasin as a Risk and Performance Analyst. After working there for almost 2 years, I decided to go for a job change for several reasons (Company philosophy, location, job quality, ...).

Why did you choose a career in swissQuant Group?

I heard of swissQuant Group for the first time still during my academic studies and I remember I thought that it could have been exactly the type of company where I would have loved to work in. swissQuant Group is a small company born as a spin-off of ETH Zurich and offering consulting and software development services.
swissQuant provides highly tailored and specialized services, translating the most cutting-edge technologies and academic know-how into solutions tailored for customers' needs.

What is your current role/duties?

Since 2020 I work in the consulting department of swissQuant. Here I am involved in different types of projects, including model validation, model implementation, model development and general technical advice to our clients. On average projects last a couple of months, hence I am constantly exposed to new topics and challenges. It is a continuing learning process not only from the purely technical perspective, but also in terms of development of soft skills, such as client relationship management, project planning and negotiation abilities.

In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in swissQuant Group?

Curious, flexible and communicative.
Being curious, interested, willing to learn and to understand give the grit and determination to successfully perform this type of job.
swissQuant offers highly-tailored services, hence flexibility - as far as possible - to achieve this goal is of primary importance.
Being able to communicate in a clear and precise way complicated concepts to a non-technical audience, leading presentations, explaining and - if needed - keeping your point of view even when it is in disagreement with the clients' one.

What positive aspects and qualities meant most to you during the study programme you attended?

The Faculties of both the MSc. Finance and the PhD Economics have always been supportive and attentive to students' needs. As concerns the Master studies I found very helpful the learning approach more oriented to the practice (still obviously including the theory) and the great integration in the Ticino canton.

What competences and/or skills acquired in your USI Study Program have been useful/are useful to your professional career?

During my whole academic studies at USI - but especially during the PhD - I learnt how to think, how to face problems (even ones for which a solution is not available yet) without being scared. Also, any research process is studded with failures, the PhD taught me how to deal with them, accept them and continue on my way.

What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?

Be aware of your value.