2018 Q2 Summary
There hasn’t been much change in the hiring climate since Q1. However, now that we are past the midway point of the year, the usual cyclical trends are emerging: There is talk of hiring freezes, and it’s harder to move more than halfway through the year given prorated bonuses are the norm and firms are reluctant to pay significant $ up front to buy people out. The more active companies this year are:
- Goldman Sachs - slowing
- Morgan Stanley – still hiring aggressively, especially contractors, though WM is paused
- JP Morgan – still hiring aggressively
- Bank of America – hitting the brakes
JP Morgan’s record Q2 earnings bode well for MS and GS next week, so I expect hiring to continue at these firms at least through Q3.
As firms evolve location strategies, hiring in NYC is limited to critical people. There are 10,000 fewer Wall Street jobs in NYC today than there were in 2007. Offshoring is an old story, but there is a pronounced migration of mid and back-office functions to near-shore locations. Also, firms are diversifying their location strategy to find technology talent in large metro areas that are not the usual non-NYC targets such as Research Triangle Park in NC.
- Goldman’s 4th largest office is now Salt Lake City
- 212 job openings in Texas (Irving) / 127 in Florida / 94 in Ontario
- 33 and 32 in NJ and NY respectfully
- Credit Suisse has moved a huge number of jobs to NC, and they are increasing their footprint in Tampa, FL
Industry experience is ever less important, as companies fight for technology talent at lower cost - bond math and Credit Risk can be learned on the job.
Base Salaries are Rising
Not dramatically, but creeping up as financial firms, technology firms, and startups vie for top people. Some of the highest salaries I’ve seen are at startups of all places.
Firms are actively prioritizing diversity hires in technology where diversity translates primarily to “women”. Female candidates currently have a significant advantage in booking interviews.
Contracting and the New Tax Law
The new tax law if very favorable to pass-through entities. 20% of pass-through income is deducted from taxable income resulting in a significant tax benefit. So, the benefits of corp-to-corp contracting now skew even further to C2C from W2. Corporations that require W2 contracting arrangements will find it is even more expensive now than previously, as contractors require the same rate for W2 employment as C2C.
Python has won?
Two years ago, we referenced an article about Julia as a potential contender among new languages. That game may be over. An MD in the Strats group of a major investment bank recently concluded, “The entire world is coalescing around python because of its AI/ML support especially via TensorFlow.” We continue to see more and more demand for Python.
Blockchain ad Nauseam
Blockchain and crypto is everywhere these days. There doesn’t seem to be a niche that doesn’t have a new blockchain application. I got a chuckle when a client said to me recently that he’s interested in Fintech, but emphasized, “anything that isn’t Blockchain.” And now there’s even a blockchain cruise…
So You Want to be a Quant?
From the principal at a hedge fund client of ours: The hardest position to fill is infrastructure. Quants are a dime a dozen. Quants are overpriced.
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