How Performance Coaching Leads to High Performance in Financial Markets.


Britain used to be considered a minor player on the international cycling scene. this all changed in the early 2000s when British cycling adopted a professional coaching culture. Within a few years Britain was winning world championships, dominating the Olympic cycling medals, and producing a string of Tour De France winners.

In 1976, Kermit Washington feared his career with the LA Lakers was on a downward path. At that point he decided to seek private performance coaching. This move was unheard of for a pro NBA player. Over the subsequant months Washington saw continued improvements in every aspect of his game. By the end of the decade he had become an All-Star.

Delivering Excellence in Performance?

The above stories demostrate the power of coaching to transform performance. In sport, executive leadership, and elite military combat, coaching aims to help support the development and maintenance of performance excellence. 

Coaching works with clients outside of the field of battle, to help them to be more effective and more productive when engaged in the field of battle.

Anyone who has ever sat in the hot seat at a bank, a hedge fund or used their own money to trade is aware that Trading is a performance activity.

On the sell-side, skill is required is to optimise and monetise client flow. On the buy-side, or in private trading, the skill is far more individual, with sustained success coming to those able to master their game.

Developing Performance Excellence in Financial Markets

At Alpha R Cubed, we have been delivering specialist coaching services to individuals, teams and business in Financial Markets over the past 10 years.

We have our own Kermit Washington and British cycling team stories: Traders who raised their levels of performance adding millions of dollars to their bottom line. Portfolio managers wo have been able to attain outstanding performance at a sustainable level. Managers who develop new capabilities needed for the complex world they work in. Teams able to work more constructively and collaboratively to produce significant improvements in bottom line and client relationships.

The financial markets have been through a major change over the past decade. New rules, regulations, technology, competitors have transformed the environment. Yet at the human level, little has changed. Room for improvement is significant: Where we have worked with leaders, teams and businesses as part of a performance strategy, we have seen significant performance improvements, yet this remains at the margins.

Trading and financial markets, despite the money at stake, are decades behind sport. Ironically, the challenge is not that hard. It only requires a few micro improvements to add up to major macro improvements, this is what happened to British Cycling.

When the playing field is relatively level, it is micro edges that make the difference. This is how the British came to dominate the world of cycling in such a short space of time. This Harvard Business Review article explains how 1% performance improvements led to Olympic success. The story could be the same for the financial market business which takes the equivalent steps.


Steven Goldstein is a leading Performance and Executive Coach who helps people, teams, leaders and businesses in the financial markets to cultivate better, stronger and more effective performance.

Steven has worked as a coach since 2009 with many significant trading and investment businesses. Prior to that Steven worked for more than 20 years on the Rates and FX desks at some of the world’s leading investment banks.

See Steven's Full Profile.

At Alpha R Cubed we work with people and businesses in the financial markets to help them explore how they could help improve and develop behaviour to catalyse stronger and more effective performance.


We run coaching and development programmes for individual and teams engaged in Financial Market activities. In addition we help Financial Market businesses develop 'Organisational Effectivessness.


If you are curious about how we could help you or your business, please email us at info@alpharcubed.com. or call +44 (0)7753 446097.

(c) Copyright AlphaRCubed Ltd, April 2019. Copyright in this blog and any accompanying document created by us is owned by us. Exeption are stock images which have been acquired on license.