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biggsy21
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Posts: 2
Joined: December 25th, 2010, 8:16 am

QD entry position at asset manager

December 26th, 2010, 11:07 am

Hi,I am currently finishing a PhD in CS at a top 3 university in the UK. I only started to look into potentially getting a Quant / Quant Developer some weeks ago. Before that, I was already in the application process with an asset management company in the City for their IT graduate program. In the first round interviews, I realized quite quickly that this seems not very challenging. I was interviewed by several IT people and told them quite clearly that I am interested in doing algorithmic work as opposed to what looked to me like IT support. In the second round interview, I got then interviewed by their head of Risk and the head of IT. I felt from the beginning that they were interested in me and they told me that they sat together after the first interview and realized that the IT program isn't the right thing for me and that they think I could be more suitable for a QD opening in their company. They told me several times that they were quite impressed by my CV and my accomplishments (during my PhD I had quite some success in an engineering perspective, some patents and commercialisations). They told me that the position would be in IT but very close to the Quants developing the models. Some days ago they send me an offer as a 'Quant Developer'. Salary £35k, small signing bonus. There wasn't much more information and they told me, they'll send a contract soon. I did a lot of reading through this forum in the last couple of days and have some questions you may help me to answer:1. During my 4 interviews with different people, I wasn't asked any technical questions at all. There were no programming and no maths questions, everything was competency-based. How should I interpret this?2. I have no background in finance and I would probably have to do some reading before being able to pass many QD interviews. Therefore this may be an opportunity to start working in the field and pick up some knowledge. I have the feeling that maybe they had not even invited me if I would have applied for a QD position right away. What are your thoughts?3. Is the salary a bad sign with respect to the tasks involved or is it appropriate for an entry QD position? Should I try to negotiate? Thank you!
Last edited by biggsy21 on December 25th, 2010, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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endian675
Posts: 143
Joined: March 11th, 2008, 7:09 pm

QD entry position at asset manager

December 30th, 2010, 7:50 am

1. I usually take this as a bad sign, I have generally had my best experiences when I've been thoroughly grilled either technically or mathematically. 2. Is there anybody there to pick up this knowledge from, though? If nobody asked you at the interview, then there's a very good chance that nobody in the firm knows the stuff that you want to learn.3. The salary is very low in my opinion, but finance is the very definition of a "closed shop", so if in these straitened times you have to take a low-ish offer in order to get your foot in the door, it's probably worth doing. As for negotiating now, you're in a pretty weak position I presume - no other offers or alternative employment? If that's the case, I would be unlikely to negotiate, just accept it or not as you see fit.
 
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ArthurDent
Posts: 1166
Joined: July 2nd, 2005, 4:38 pm

QD entry position at asset manager

December 30th, 2010, 12:11 pm

1 is a very bad sign.3 is a very very bad sign, the total comp is off by a factor of 5 for a post-PhD hire in a good firm.
 
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biggsy21
Topic Author
Posts: 2
Joined: December 25th, 2010, 8:16 am

QD entry position at asset manager

December 30th, 2010, 3:42 pm

Thanks for your reply!QuoteOriginally posted by: endian6751. I usually take this as a bad sign, I have generally had my best experiences when I've been thoroughly grilled either technically or mathematically. What could be the reason that they didn't ask either programming or maths questions? They obviously want me to work on something. The application process itself was quite complex (4 rounds with online tests, telephone interview, assessment center and personal interviews). Apart from the online logic / maths test, all interviews were competency based. Since they do some kind of 1-year training, could this mean that they focus on personality more than in-depth knowledge since this could be picked up during the training? Maybe that's wishful thinking... Quote2. Is there anybody there to pick up this knowledge from, though? If nobody asked you at the interview, then there's a very good chance that nobody in the firm knows the stuff that you want to learn.I think this is the most important question for me. I know that there are some Quants that develop models. I'm not sure, however, how close I would be to them...Quote3. The salary is very low in my opinion, but finance is the very definition of a "closed shop", so if in these straitened times you have to take a low-ish offer in order to get your foot in the door, it's probably worth doing. As for negotiating now, you're in a pretty weak position I presume - no other offers or alternative employment? If that's the case, I would be unlikely to negotiate, just accept it or not as you see fit. I'm not desperate to get this position. I still have some months before I finish my PhD and can easily stay at university. I also have some offers for non-financial jobs. I thought this could be a good opportunity to start in finance. Now, I'm not so sure any more.
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