2018 Q1 Summary

The current market is relatively uneventful.  There’s no hard trend currently apparent.  Beginning of year hiring is underway, but the strength of demand varies from bank to bank.  Credit Suisse has been shedding NYC jobs liberally as positions are relocated to lower cost regions, and BofA has tightened budgets.  Overall, layoffs generally are down, but Deutsche Bank continues to do its part.  Morgan Stanley has followed strong performance with robust hiring, and Goldman has made is clear that hiring in their Strats group is a top priority.

Buy Side firms continue to hire top notch technical talent at premium prices.  The competition is clearly from large, public technology firms that can peel off a few more shares and make a young programmer very comfortable in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

One interesting development is that we currently have more Lead/Management roles than we’ve had in the past.  These roles continue to have a focus on hands-on skills.

The New Salary History Law

I commented in my last report that the new salary law, “is going to make my job harder.”  The reality?  Not at all.  It’s refreshing to talk compensation w/o relying on a person’s history, and firms have a clear idea of what they want to pay a given individual.  So far, so good.

Demand for infrastructure developers

We continue to see very strong demand for infrastructure developers.  Our top hedge fund clients are paying a significant premium (call me) for the best developers.  Financial knowledge?  Useful, but firms are generally not willing to pay a lot for knowledge they expect someone can learn on the job.  As for technical skill, the fact of the matter is that nobody believes that you can turn a good developer into a great developer, so the search for amazing developers continues apace.

Slow Contract Market

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the contract market is currently tepid.  A number of contractors we work with have reported that they’re not seeing a lot of opportunities.

Buzzwords: Blockchain, ML, NLP

Blockchain technology seems to be permeating everything these days, even recruitment.  The NY Times published a great article in January describing the technology and its potential to have a broad and fundamental impact.  I particularly like the description, “network of distributed trust” as a succinct and accurate description of the technology. Worth a read.

Machine Learning is everywhere these days, and we’re beginning to see opportunities in this and other AI disciplines.  We’re currently working on a position in Morgan Stanley’s Machine Learning group which applies AI and NLP technologies to revenue generating business cases.

More on Resumes

Daffy Resume.gif


This is always a sore point for me, as I see so many bad resumes (this section was originally titled, “Your resume sucks”).  A resume will never be proof that you are the right person for the job, but it can be proof positive all too easily that you aren’t the right person.  Make sure to keep the reader’s perspective in mind and be sure that someone else has read it for content and grammar.


Please follow AffinityFin to be apprised of new opportunities.  Of course, the best way to learn about available opportunities is to email or call me directly.


We have a referral program. If you refer someone who we place, we will gladly reward you for the referral.

Current Priorities

Buy Side

  • Senior Java Developer – real-time PnL
  • Junior Python Developer – research platform - new hedge fund within leading asset management firm
  • C# and/or Java Developer – Contract/FTE – Risk attribution
  • Junior-Mid C++ Developer – various functions
  • Junior-Mid Java Developer – various functions
  • Python Developer/Data Architect – Greenwich, CT
  • C# UI Developer – Greenwich, CT
  • C++/Python developer – algo trading infrastructure
  • Python/Java/C++ Developer – Research
  • Java Developer – Post Trade
  • Python Developer – Data platform
  • Java Developer – Core infrastructure services/libraries
  • Quant Dev C++ - junior/mid/senior
  • Java Developer – credit trading startup
  • Portfolio Researcher - credit trading startup
  • Javascript Developer – algo trading
  • Python Systems Developer – Cloud based grid compute
  • Python/Java Data Engineer – algo hedge fund
  • Python Quant/Dev – algo hedge fund
  • Real-time Java Developer – algo hedge fund

Sell Side

  • NLP Engineer – Team lead
  • Commercial SPG Desk Quant – focus on generating trade ideas
  • Commercial Credit Desk Quant – focus on generating trade ideas
  • Treasury Desk Strat
  • Fixed Income Strats Developer –Java/Scala/Python/KDB/JavaScript – reports to the Desk
  • Fixed Income Strats – Data Lead (ED) – oversee the data requirements of fixed income strats team globally
  • Fixed Income Strats Hands-on Dev Manager (ED) – Lead a large group of developers supporting the trading desk
  • JavaScript/AngularJS – full-time and contract
  • Java/Scala Developer – Risk - Credit Trading IT/IRD IT
  • Java Developer - Market Data - Credit Trading IT
  • Java/Scala Developer – Valuation and Risk Infrastructure
  • Java Developer – Secured Lending
  • Java/Javascript Developer – Credit Risk C# Developer – Loans and Distressed Debt - Credit Trading IT
  • KDB Quant/Dev – Fixed Income Strats
  • DB2 Database Architect – CVA IT
  • C++ Project Lead – CVA IT
  • C++ Developer – IRD IT

Other Side

  • Javascript/React Developer – Web dev Tools - Major Credit Card Company
  • Javascript Developer – Trading Systems – Leading financial data platform


We always have a wide array of contract opportunities at good rates:

  • Java
  • Scala
  • C#
  • Javascript – Angular, React
  • C++
  • KDB
  • Database – DB2


Peter's Q4 2016 Market Report

2016 Q4 Summary

Happy New Year to everyone!

This year marks a divergence from the cycle we’ve seen in recent years, namely hiring petering out in the fourth quarter with blanket hiring freezes going into effect.  In fact, we have continued to see offers go out late into December.  This activity doesn’t mean that the market is robust – the European banks continue to shrink their footprint in the US and remain on the sidelines.  However, I think it signals a return to normalcy where firms are hiring according to need, and the yearly cycles that were exacerbated by a poor business climate are no longer dominant.  We expect Q1 hiring to be brisk.

What (still) Sells

Hands-on skills and Subject Matter Expertise continue to be critical in this hiring environment.  That hasn’t changed since the Credit Crisis.  There’s an almost insatiable market for the best developers, even at the top end of the market.  A very well compensated technologist with whom we work told me recently that he was surprised at how good the market was for someone at his level.  It’s worth noting that our Buy side clients are clamoring for developers, not quants.

A very thoughtful MD recently gave me the following feedback on someone he had worked with, “Kind of a jack of all trades, master of none, which in 2016 is hard.” 


Base salaries are rising, albeit slowly.  While incentive compensation remains a big part of how the industry pays people, a variety of forces (tech industry including startups, European banks, loss of faith in bonuses) continue to push base salaries up.  We have seen more than one firm adjust base bands this year.  Note that the market remains tepid, and people moving laterally are more likely to see a 10% increase than 20%, which used to be the norm.  Wondering where you stand on comp?  Call me.

“side code projects”

I saw this on LinkedIn the other day and thought it was great “No, I have no side code projects to show you.”  Anyone who’s been on a tech interview in the past few years can relate to this article.

Direction for Hedge Funds

Who am I to say where hedge funds are going?  I wouldn’t bet against Manoj Narang, however.  What he says in this interview sure makes a lot of sense.  I don’t think you have to wonder who the smartest guy in the room is when he’s present.  Also, here’s a follow-up article on Quantopian, a fascinating crowd-sourced fund that may disrupt the industry, through its ability to attract “Young talent.”

Lighter Note

I’m a huge fan of The Moth.  This story is perfect for this crowd “Data Mining for Dates.”

Current Priorities

Buy Side

  • Senior data warehouse developer
  • Elite C++/Python developers to work at one of the industry’s most prestigious funds
  • Low-latency C++ developer for expanding prop shop
  • Java or C# developer to work on Risk and Performance Attribution system
  • C# contractor
  • Hands-on dev manager for Trade Flow group
  • Junior Python, AWS, JavaScript developer – 2+ years’ experience

Sell Side

  • Equities division seeks C++ developer for algo trading
  • Desk Strat – Credit Algo/eTrading
  • C++/Java/Scala developer for fixed income model integration
  • Market Risk SME Project Manager
  • Java algo trading developer – Equities
  • Java algo trading developer – Fixed Income Credit
  • JavaScript contractor for Credit Strats group
  • KDB developer for equity market data