Peter's Q1 2019 Market Report

2019 Q1 Summary


Last quarter I said that I wouldn’t try to predict the market in Q1. Well, now we know – things are very slow. There’s a lot of economic uncertainty, and the hangover from a very poor Q4 has lasted right through the entirety of Q1. Q1 results will help to dictate whether firms can start hiring again, but there are larger concerns as well. Decreased trading volumes in both fixed income and equity markets have firms assessing whether they are right-sized. Their conclusions will have a significant impact on hiring for the rest of the year.

Layoffs have not been particularly large, but they’ve been broad and steady. Bloomberg: “In 2018, the 12 largest global investment banks cut front-office headcount for at least the fifth straight year.” It would be interesting to see these numbers separately for US and foreign banks, as foreign banks have cut significantly more jobs. 2019 looks sure to continue the streak.


The contract market at the investment banks has been hit particularly hard. We’ve seen hard freezes on contract hiring, rate cuts, and layoffs. The freeze on contract hiring at some banks has hit 5 months.

The Buy Side is always harder to parse, but here’s a good overview of what’s happening there showing an overall headcount that is slightly up (1%), quarter over quarter. Hedge fund assets continue to grow, which is a good sign.

Technology in NYC - continued

The New York Times published a great article last month, “It Started With a Jolt: How New York Became a Tech Town.” Who remembers that Fortran was written on East 56th Street and C, C++, and Unix were developed in NJ? Venture capital dollars in 2018 by state: CA $11.6b, MA $2.6b, NY $2.4b.

Old sh!t

According to a recent article in The Financial Revolutionist, “estimates are that banks spend 80-plus percent of their IT budgets on maintenance.” This figure is dismaying to everyone – management, developers, users, and even me (popular request from candidates – greenfield development). A lot of FinTech investment is going towards addressing this problem.

Does this make Goldman Cooler?

See David Solomon, Goldman’s new CEO. GS has changed their dress code, and Solomon has a non-corporate view of internships as well.

Premium Processing Returns

Changes in H1-B processing over the past year have wreaked havoc on many a visa transfer, and the ability to change firms has been hampered for H-1B holders. The return of premium processing is a welcome development.

Failure Resume

Bad resumes are a pet peeve of mine. Here’s an entirely different take – write a Failure Resume.


The one theme we are seeing with respect to open positions is that firms are looking for senior, hands-on developers. Companies continue to hire and pay those rare individuals who can code circles around their peers.

We expect to see an influx of new openings over the next couple of months, and this list will change rapidly in 2019. Please stay in touch.

Current Priorities


  • Go/AWS/Javascript Developer – Software engineer to build new state of the art clearing system

  • C++ Developer Bitcoin mining

Buy Side

  • UI Developer (web, full stack) – Healthcare hedge fund / VC

  • UI Developer – C#, Excel Add-in – Data Science Data delivery

  • Java Developer – Fixed Income eTrading – West Coast

  • Java Developer – Leading hedge fund – Compliance Technology

  • Junior/Mid Python Developer – research platform – new algo fund @leading asset mgr

  • Python Data Engineer – Hedge fund – NYC or Dallas

  • SRE – Leading hedge fund

  • QA Engineer – Leading hedge fund

Sell Side

  • Senior Python Developer (ED) – Fixed Income Strats – Language agnostic

  • Java or C++ - Senior Equity ETrading Platform Developer

  • KDB/Java/JavaScript Developer – Fixed Income Credit Strats

  • KDB Developer – Credit Strats

  • Python Developer - Equity eTrading Tooling and Instrumentation

  • NLP Expert – SPG IT – Contract