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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hiring the Next Generation of Quants


Here is a good article from FinanceTech regarding the acceleration of 'quant' hiring by Wall Street firms. Check out the following:

""As quantitative trading strategies continue to dominate the financial
markets, in addition to hiring for trading positions, Wall Street firms find
themselves in need of new skill sets. As a result, investment banks and hedge
funds are experimenting with different tactics to secure the next generation of
talent. Though all Wall Street firms recruit on the leading university campuses,
the high demand for quantitative skill sets is pushing more and more firms to
search for students in creative ways.

...While firms have leaned heavily on wooing talent from academic
institutions over the past 10 years, many are shifting their strategies. "As a
general rule, [Wall Street firms] go to academia, almost always an Ivy League
school with a Ph.D. in finance" to find talent, says one industry veteran who
has served as a senior technology executive at several leading hedge funds. But
finance majors don't always provide the answers. For example, firms may want to
hire a petroleum engineer - a true engineer - for energy trading, notes the
source, who requested anonymity.

Christiane Mandell, global head of foreign exchange for Bank of America,
says financial institutions are seeking graduates from the nation's 10 or 12
financial engineering programs, rather than tapping MBA/finance majors. She
relates that over the last few years, BofA has been hiring more people with math
and physics backgrounds than it had in the past... ""

For those who don't know, a quant is an investment professional that uses complicated mathematics to model financial markets.

I remember a talk I had with one of my finance professors last year. We were discussing UCONN's MSc program in Applied Financial Mathematics. He was convinced that an MSc in Finance was for "research only." I don't think he could have been more wrong. The trend towards quants is not only here to stay, but I think it will be growing exponentially.

My advice to anyone thinking of getting into the investment field, do your undergrad in a 'hard science,' and get a quantitative MSc. Forget an MBA, an MSc in Finance will take half the time and it's worth twice as much.

Here is a great list of finance MSc programs.

Posted by Trade Monkey :: 2:26 PM :: 0 comments Perma-Link

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