Hedge Funds Grabbing Talent from High Tech Companies

November 30, 2015 Debbie Jacobs Economic Barometer

As technology plays an increasingly important role in investing, hedge funds are becoming more aggressive in grabbing the best and the brightest away from their traditional home, Silicon Valley.

Highly skilled computer scientists are called quantitative financiers when they are working in the financial management industry. Over the years they have developed innovative and increasingly complicated ways of analyzing and trading. But lately, because of the incredible strides computing power as made in recent years, the direction into the analysis of “unstructured data” has been vigorously pursued. Social media, internet searches, satellite images, earnings calls and even weather patterns can be analyzed and compared to market trends, looking for signals which can help investors predict the future.

But this can only succeed if innovative and incredibly powerful quasi-artificial intelligence algorithms are deployed. Thus enter computer scientists who can do the necessary coding which mathematicians and physicists are not trained to do.

“Traders used to be first-class citizens of the financial world, but that’s not true anymore. Technologists are the priority now,” says Jared Butler, a headhunter at Selby Jennings. “It’s easier to hire a computer scientist and teach them the financial world than the other way around.”

Jared Butler, Selby Jennings, Silicon Valley,

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