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Will Goldman Sachs Continue to Lose Talent to HFTs?

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Right now, many of the largest and most well-known high frequency trading firms are adding traders, quantitative analysts, software developers, and engineers to their staff at the expense of Wall Street mainstays.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Goldman Sachs (GS) lost an essential employee when one of its equities strategists went to Sun Holdings. Was this a one-time deal? Or can we expect more high-frequency trading firms to hire top talent away from the world's leading banks?

Right now, many of the largest and most well-known HFT firms are adding traders, quantitative analysts, software developers, and engineers to their staff. Tower Research Capital said that it is always looking for experienced quantitative traders. The company is also searching for a compliance manager to work with its in-house Compliance and Legal departments in downtown Manhattan.

That, however, may be just the beginning of Tower Research's hiring initiative. The firm wants to add two developers (one in quantitative, another in infrastructure) to its London office, which is also on the lookout for two analysts.

On the operations side of the firm, Tower Research is hiring associates in both marketing relations and business development. Looking ahead, the company is also hiring a tenth associate to work in its Recruiting and Human Resources team.

College interns should keep an eye on Tower Research's high-frequency trading and development internships for summer 2013.

From September to November, Tower Research plans to visit a number of schools throughout the United States, including Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, and Harvard University. The company will also attend career fairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (September 21), Stanford University (two fairs; one on October 2, another on October 3), and Princeton University (October 12).

The hiring doesn't end there. Allston Trading, a high-frequency market maker, has a wide range of positions it is looking to fill, including:
  • Accounting Associate
  • Algorithmic Trader
  • Developer
  • Director of Architecture
  • Junior Quantitative Strategists
  • Payroll/HR Coordinator
  • Quantitative Analyst - Options
  • Quantitative Researcher
  • Senior Quantitative Analyst
  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Trade Developer
  • VP Engineering
  • Technical Architect
Jump Trading, a proprietary trading firm that focuses on futures, equities, forex, and fixed income, is hiring analysts, quantitative researchers, developers, engineers, and system administrators in Chicago. The company also wants to add a trade desk analyst, a compliance analyst, and a couple of software engineers to its office in Singapore. In London, Jump Trading is looking for one quantitative researcher, one clearing analyst, and two software engineers.

Citadel LLC, one of the larger firms engaging in high-frequency trading, does not currently have any job openings listed on its website. However, the company plans to visit more than 15 schools in September -- including Georgia Tech, University of Michigan, Harvard, and NYU -- and several more in October.

Job seekers can also turn to DRW Trading Group, Rotella Capital Management, Renaissance Technologies, and Infinium Capital Management for employment opportunities. All four of those firms are hiring, though DRW Trading Group easily leads the pack with the most job openings and one of the largest on-campus recruiting schedules. The company is looking to hire one algorithmic trading researcher, one recruiter, two traders, one fixed income ETF specialist, one desk operations specialist, several engineers, and three trading analysts (one in New York, one in Chicago, and one in London).

With so many opportunities cropping up outside of banks, it could be a rough road ahead for Goldman Sachs, Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and other traditional financial institutions. The talent they once held may soon be headed in another direction.

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