R. KELLY DOHERTY Managing director Bankers Trust New York Corp.
All in all, R. Kelly Doherty's career has been spectacular, especially considering he got an undergraduate degree in English - not business - and he began his career just 10 years ago, in the Bankers Trust human resources department, no less.
For the past three years he has been running the operation that trades currencies and securities for Bankers Trust's own account, amassing substantial profits in the process.
"We look at trading as a good, solid business. We have better months and worse months, but we think [trading] is a very positive earner for Bankers Trust and the banking industry," says Mr. Doherty, 33.
Indeed, foreign exchange trading was a relatively small business at Bankers Trust in 1983 when Mr. Doherty joined up after an eight-month stint in human resources. By last year, however. Bankers Trust currency trading revenue was running at an annual rate of more than $400 million, nearly triple what it had been a few years earlier.
Throw in securities trading, analysts says, and Bankers Trust likely takes in $1 billion in year in trading revenues. Mr. Doherty is probably responsible for close to half of that.
Mr. Doherty attributes his rise to mentors such as Jay Pomrenze, who was head of foreign exchange trading when Mr. Doherty started in the business. He also credits the group of people he now works with daily. The former college athlete says his competitive nature helped as well, adding, "You give me a game and I'll try and win it somehow."
Mr. Doherty graduated from Princeton University and joined Bankers Trust as a recruiter after a post-college trip around the world. In foreign exchange, he eventually became a spot trader for the U.S. dollar and German mark.
Then, in 1986, he was named manager of the New York foreign exchange desk. At the end of that year, he moved to London to run Bankers Trust's foreign exchange trading there. In 1988, he was called back to head the trading operations in both foreign exchange and securities for Bankers Trust's own account, and was soon asked to head those activities in Europe and Asia, as well - his current job.
"I'm really enjoying what I'm doing now," says Mr. Doherty. "I'm confident the industry is going to focus on my area."