How Vanguard's Tracy Rucker-Wilson is still working

Part of an FIA series on people in the derivatives industry adapting to coronavirus challenges

16 June 2020


Tracy Rucker-Wilson, Global Portfolio Risk Manager, Vanguard

Tracy Rucker-Wilson
Vanguard's Tracy Rucker-Wilson at her home workstation

What’s one significant way coronavirus has affected your work? 

I’ve been alternating between working from home and going into the office on a two week rotation since March.  In some ways I have become more productive, in other ways it has been more of an adjustment than expected.  Trading from home requires limiting market data to only 3 screens, but I’ve incorporated a laptop and iPad pro into my setup for email and other non-essential functions. The lines between work and home are more blurred than ever, but it has been fun to let my husband and kids see what exactly I do every day since we are all working together under the same roof and negotiating for the same bandwidth. On a bright note, I don’t print as much as I used to and no longer need to bring work home with me.  But I miss the informal networking with colleagues and find that it’s important to carve out time to meet with people one-on-one and make sure things are going well. 

What’s a typical day like for you right now as we “shelter in place”?  

The main difference now is that I no longer take my kids to school in the morning. This has allowed me to log on a little earlier and get a jump start on the day by reviewing what happened in the overnight markets.  Other than that, I’ve tried to maintain as much day-to-day consistency as possible. Our team of derivatives traders has always used an “always on” Microsoft Teams meeting  to maintain a strong virtual connection – this has not changed. It allows our crew in the US and UK to be visible and only an unmute button away from reaching out to a colleague.  What has changed is that we are now inviting colleagues into our home office everyday (mine is currently my dining room!) where seeing a little behind-the-scenes of our home life is inevitable. 

What’s something that has given you hope for the future after this pandemic?

I’ve been incredibly impressed by how resilient, flexible, and creative people are when the stakes are high.  Our team very quickly figured out how to work together remotely despite previously never having traded outside of the office.  We continued to operate flawlessly during one of the most volatile markets in history, and now have transitioned into a “new normal” in which we continue to deliver on a very ambitious annual plan. I think we have become stronger together as a team and believe this will continue whenever we are all back to working again in our respective offices. 

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