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almostcutmyhair
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Quants will never be CEO

September 3rd, 2013, 12:37 pm

You can be a CRO (Chief Risk Officer) and sit in the board, and make relatively big decisions.QuoteOriginally posted by: frenchXI have heard some research recently in management saying that "quants role" (in a general term example big data statistical analyst for a online marketing firm, model val for a risk management group in a investment bank or numerical analyst in a mechanical engineering firm) almost never reach the C level. According to the people who claim that the problems are :-problem to make decision when there is little (or even no) data-problem to communicate complicated expertise in simple way-problem to use interpersonnal skills such as networking, conflict management, negociation, etc...-problem with a very low emotionnal intelligence which means that there is an empathy gap between the employees and the employers-problem to project itself in a vision for the future and to build a "leading story" around this vision to motivate employeesI don't quote the original post because it's mainly undocumented (it was in a response post on a Davenport article about his new book Keeping up with the Quants in HBR).What do you think about that ? PS: I 'm mainly skeptical in these "generalized research". I think that the archetype of quants as a math autist is just a false caricature.
 
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frenchX
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Quants will never be CEO

September 3rd, 2013, 12:54 pm

@ Almostcutmyhair : "You can be a CRO (Chief Risk Officer) and sit in the board, and make relatively big decisions."Sure CRO is pretty big already but you don't have the power to rebuilt the business model, to reshape the organization or to design a strategic initiative impacting the whole business. CRO is already a quite functional leadership role and not a "whole enterprise one" such as the CEO (I mean I suspect the impact on the CRO on marketing issue to be almost 0 for example). The study doesn't say that "quants won't go to the board", the study says "quants won't be CEOs in their firm" which is not the same thing.Among the CEOs of the big JPM, GS, Morgan Stanley and others (take the top 30 worldwide investment banks) is there any quant profile?
Last edited by frenchX on September 2nd, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Gamal
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Quants will never be CEO

September 3rd, 2013, 1:23 pm

The same with CROs. Quants are still considered as implants from academia.
 
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dweeb
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Quants will never be CEO

September 3rd, 2013, 2:36 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: frenchX@ Almostcutmyhair : "You can be a CRO (Chief Risk Officer) and sit in the board, and make relatively big decisions."Sure CRO is pretty big already but you don't have the power to rebuilt the business model, to reshape the organization or to design a strategic initiative impacting the whole business. CRO is already a quite functional leadership role and not a "whole enterprise one" such as the CEO (I mean I suspect the impact on the CRO on marketing issue to be almost 0 for example).Depends on the organizational structure - CROs would have input on most of those issues.QuoteOriginally posted by: frenchXAmong the CEOs of the big JPM, GS, Morgan Stanley and others (take the top 30 worldwide investment banks) is there any quant profile?The quant fund CEOs have quant backgrounds.
 
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almostcutmyhair
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Quants will never be CEO

September 3rd, 2013, 3:26 pm

Just throwing out there: D.E. Shaw, James Simons, Vikram Pandit... even Gary Loveman?As an aside, most (not all) quants are too young to be a CEO yet.QuoteOriginally posted by: frenchXAmong the CEOs of the big JPM, GS, Morgan Stanley and others (take the top 30 worldwide investment banks) is there any quant profile?The quant fund CEOs have quant backgrounds.
 
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frenchX
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 5:58 am

You are right though half of the people you quote are in the hedge fund industry right ?I'd like to find (and I would have loved that the Mr Davenport would have done this ...) some statistical fact about this. Example: sample SP 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones firms.Proportion of CEO who have done "scientific or quantitative background at a high level" (for example computer science, physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, econometrics, finance, etc...). High level is defined as >=Master degree. Soft sciences such as humanities (as example) and some soft economy and finance are not hard science.Among those "qualified" CEO those who have built their own firm are out of the game (example facebook, google, amazon, ...).According to you what would be the base rate ? 20%, 10%, 5%, 1%?
 
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Cuchulainn
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 9:36 am

QuoteSoft sciences such as humanities (as example) and some soft economy and finance are not hard science.Having a degree in history could be useful in some cases. In the old days no job in UK unless you studied Greek and Latin.Having a liberal arts degree helps in finding the nuance (left vs right brain). Hard science in academia works in the opposite direction to industry IMO "I have a method/solution, give me a problem" versus "I have a problem what is the best/most practical solution, now?" Each approach has its strengths but context is crucial.These guys have no degreesBill GatesRichard BransonPaul AllenMichael DellSteve Jobs..Is this saying something?
Last edited by Cuchulainn on September 3rd, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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frenchX
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 10:43 am

While I agree with you that "without a degree you can succeed", I think that it's mainly in the computer science sector in which low initial investment is needed. For example I expect very few start ups in high capex sector such as space, aeronautics, oil and gas and so on.But this not the question I'm interested in, the topic is : "What is the probability that a CEO in a big named firm (excluding the fact that he created the firm) had done some high level scientific studies?"I'll try to look at SP100 tonight to check the CEOs of the list
 
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Cuchulainn
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 10:55 am

"What is the probability that a CEO in a big named firm (excluding the fact that he created the firm) had done some high level scientific studies?"Small IMO. Science is neither necessary nor sufficient to become a CEO. CEO sell visions. No science needed. // Many of the generals in WWI knew nothing about warfare. But that was a mess.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on September 3rd, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.
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Gamal
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 11:16 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnCEO sell visions. No science needed.To be more precise - CEOs of big firms sell visions of themselves. Self-promotion is the most important skill needed to go up. At the level of MD and up practically the only skill. For that purpose no science is of course needed.
 
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daveangel
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 11:17 am

MMM - Chief Design Officer and Exec VP R&DABT - CEO is an EngineerAMZN - Bezos went to PrincetonAEP - CEO is Biology graduateAIG - BenMosche is a maths guyAMGN - Biology (unsurprising)AAPL - EngineerBMY - EngineeringCVX - agricultural economics (does that count)C - economicscop - looks like an engineerDOW - engineerEBAY - economicsgot bored
knowledge comes, wisdom lingers
 
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frenchX
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 12:34 pm

AMAZON the guy created the firmAIG benmosche has a Bachelor degree in math ...AAPL bachelor degree in engineering before his MBAIMHO bachelor degree is not a sign of quantitative nor scientific expertiseBut I agree that there are real scientist in the panel of big firm CEO (I suspect them in pharma it could be very common). @Cuch: CEOs sells indeed vision but in some technical sector selling a vision without enough scientific or engineering backgroung is just selling a not credible illusion. Imagine a CEO whose vision would be "We will cure the cancer in 5 years" would you believe him ?
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Cuchulainn
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 12:42 pm

QuoteImagine a CEO whose vision would be "We will cure the cancer in 5 years" would you believe him ? Maybe, maybe not. What team has he?
Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.
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frenchX
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 12:52 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteImagine a CEO whose vision would be "We will cure the cancer in 5 years" would you believe him ? Maybe, maybe not. What team has he?Your question is probably the most important one. In his book Kahneman said that he made very unpopular study. He studied the correlation between the firms financial performance and their CEO skill level (level of degree, rating in school, speed of promotion, expert opinion on him, etc..) and he found no statistically significant correlation. I believe that a good team without a good CEO can reach reasonable results while a bad team with a good CEO would not reach that level (a good CEO has no other option to train, fire or recruit more in this case).
 
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dweeb
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Quants will never be CEO

September 4th, 2013, 1:23 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteThese guys have no degreesBill GatesRichard BransonPaul AllenMichael DellSteve Jobs..Is this saying something?Business is as much experience and vision as education. The list of guys with no degrees must have experienced some failures as well as success.There are also some critiques of formal business education: Anita Roddick (the Body Shop) - can entrepreneurship actually be taught, Henry Mintzberg (McGill) - can't create a leader in a classroom.
Last edited by dweeb on September 3rd, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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