Page 1 of 1

Help me decide: entry level BB IB v/s HF tech

Posted: January 14th, 2011, 3:34 pm
by 882ad
Hi,I am considering 2 very different options for entry fresh out of college tech roles and was hoping you could give me a heads up on which is "better". One is a major BB IB starting off in a quant/strats data "support" position (lots of scripting, Q, kdb, C etc). I think if I cut my teeth with this option I would be able to work my way up close to an actual development role close to the business (don't want to be a pure modeller, I like developing) as I have an Engineering degree from a top school with a fair bit of maths (pdes, random processes etc). Having spoken to a few managers and analysts there, they have been very professional and honest and it seems mobility is pretty good.The other completely different option is development in a (major) quant HF working much closer with the researchers This seems far more challenging and interesting and the teams are much smaller so Id expect a lot more exposure. There are several pros and cons either way in terms of training and professional development and possibly networking. To be honest this motivates me a lot more and I do pretty much have my mind set on it but I really need an external view on things from experienced people particularly for long term implications.Can somebody also advise on HF (lower base) bonuses vs IB (higher base) IT for entry level roles? I realise the latter is left over scraps whereas the former can be pretty good but it'd be helpful to get your view on things. Any heads up much appreciated, thanks very much.

Help me decide: entry level BB IB v/s HF tech

Posted: January 14th, 2011, 7:24 pm
by Gmike2000
In the bank you will face a lot of red tape regarding new releases. They will be very careful with any code additions to the existing library, which is understandable. This can be frustrating and also slow down development.In smaller shops, the attitude is much more hands on. If there is a bug, you fix it, and roll it out into production the same day. Still not fixed? No problem, do another release the next day. You have an idea for a model, or a better way of coding something? Chances are if it works and if it is better, they will roll it out. Not sure the bank will be as flexible.I would choose the HF over the bank. You will see a lot more of what happens around you and gain exposure to other parts of the business much more easily. In the bank, especially if it is a big established one, they may pay a bit more but you will be facing more red tape.

Help me decide: entry level BB IB v/s HF tech

Posted: January 15th, 2011, 8:55 am
by frattyquant
For someone just getting out of college, I really don't think it matters too much. Both sound like great opportunities. Just go to the job you find more interesting, and where you like the people you are going to be working with. People getting out of college really do not appreciate how important this is. You are going to be spending at least 8 hours a day with these people for at least a year!

Help me decide: entry level BB IB v/s HF tech

Posted: January 15th, 2011, 4:35 pm
by 882ad
QuoteOriginally posted by: frattyquantFor someone just getting out of college, I really don't think it matters too much. Both sound like great opportunities. Just go to the job you find more interesting, and where you like the people you are going to be working with. People getting out of college really do not appreciate how important this is. You are going to be spending at least 8 hours a day with these people for at least a year!Thanks for both your replies.Do you not think that it will take a lot more to work up the ranks in a large IB into the kind of role I'm targetting? I get the impression that IB tech entry (non PhD) is pretty much at the bottom and the role seems pigeonholed. On the other hand the HF tech role seems a lot more intellectually challenging and interesting - to give you an idea, the interview process covered some university level maths. As you can see my heart is pretty much set on the HF, I just want a rationalization about things I might be missing out on both sides of the coin from experienced people.

Help me decide: entry level BB IB v/s HF tech

Posted: January 15th, 2011, 5:03 pm
by frattyquant
The way you have described the role at the BB, its sounds like a pure IT role(scripting kdb) which is to say that you have very low chances of moving directly from there to quant dev. For a quant dev role, you will almost certainly need a masters degree/phd as well. I'm not sure if HF means hedge fund or high frequency shop here, so I can't really say much about the other job. In any case, if its really very quantitative, I'm not sure how much you'd be able to contribute with a bachelors level education, so it might be difficult to move from tech to research even if you are working closely with the researchers. So it sort of seems like you have to weigh the brand name of the bank against the exposure that you will get in this other job, and plan on going back for a masters degree in 2-3 years.

Help me decide: entry level BB IB v/s HF tech

Posted: January 15th, 2011, 5:11 pm
by Costeanu
882ad,To me it looks clear the HF job is better. The bank job that you describe is not of a quant; you would never work on a model, only on moving data from one database to another one, invoking some quant-developed analytics, creating some reports, migrating some trades from one pricer to another one. A lot of routine stuff and once in a while something challenging and fun. From here, if you are bright, you may move a few years down the road into a quant position, but many people don't; I often see people who still work in such a position after 5 or 10 years. Of course, you can become a manager, and your pay will go up. But don't expect to have a lot of fun. In the hedge fund, it looks to me like you'll have some fun. 15 years from now, in a bank you might be a manager over 200 people, and pocket more than 1 mil a year. But the job will consist in politics; you may find it to be fun or not, it depends on your personality. If you start in a hf, on the other hand, with a bit of luck, and with some hard work, if you learned the ropes, you'll make 1 mil a year or more with only 5 people reporting to you, for example. Less politics, more fun. And of course, less job security. Go for the HF. And enjoy it. Best,V.

Help me decide: entry level BB IB v/s HF tech

Posted: January 15th, 2011, 6:02 pm
by 882ad
Thank you for your detailed response and frattyquant for your insight also, this is exactly along the lines I was thinking. By less job security I assume you mean the HF? I know both can kick you out if you underperform which I am naturally a bit apprehensive about, so I really don't want to bite on more than I can chew and end up with a failure on my CV a few months down the line. Although I suppose the interview procedure would have weeded me out by now if they had any concerns.QuoteOriginally posted by: Costeanu882ad,To me it looks clear the HF job is better. The bank job that you describe is not of a quant; you would never work on a model, only on moving data from one database to another one, invoking some quant-developed analytics, creating some reports, migrating some trades from one pricer to another one. A lot of routine stuff and once in a while something challenging and fun. From here, if you are bright, you may move a few years down the road into a quant position, but many people don't; I often see people who still work in such a position after 5 or 10 years. Of course, you can become a manager, and your pay will go up. But don't expect to have a lot of fun. In the hedge fund, it looks to me like you'll have some fun. 15 years from now, in a bank you might be a manager over 200 people, and pocket more than 1 mil a year. But the job will consist in politics; you may find it to be fun or not, it depends on your personality. If you start in a hf, on the other hand, with a bit of luck, and with some hard work, if you learned the ropes, you'll make 1 mil a year or more with only 5 people reporting to you, for example. Less politics, more fun. And of course, less job security. Go for the HF. And enjoy it. Best,V.