Capitus Associates

Executive Search Consultants

Quantitative Research and Investing: Drive to Acquire and Retain Talent

Keith Macomber


Over the past five years we have seen an increasing demand for professionals with strong quantitative research, computational analysis, programming and machine learning skills and experience. This is being driven by several separate but related themes: the massive shift by institutional investors to passive strategies; the significant increase in the use of indexing and ETFs; investor interest and growth of multi-asset class portfolios and solutions; the growth of “quant hedge funds”; renewed institutional interest in active quantitative/systematic strategies; and the industry-wide scramble to effectively integrate artificial intelligence – machine learning and natural language processing - techniques into investment portfolios. 

  

These shifts in investor appetite and the need to reap the rewards of rapid technological change has significantly increased the demand for entry-level and seasoned quant professionals. We expect this demand to continue.


  

Quant hedge fund assets have more than doubled over the past eight years to $967 billion by June 2018.   -Hedge Fund Research


  

 Our Recent Market Observations

  • The hiring market for quantitative expertise is very active on both the buy and sell sides. 


  • Competition is particularly fierce for senior quantitative research analysts with three to seven years of experience. 


  • Sought after expertise/experience falls broadly into three buckets:
    • multi-factor model research skills, with underlying needs for quantitative finance/behavioral finance expertise – graduate degrees/PhD in finance, econometrics, etc.


  • computational and programming skills and experience working with very large data sets – degrees in computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering, etc.


  • real-world experience with machine learning and natural language processing and manipulating big data – degrees in computer sciences, mathematics, etc., with focus on artificial intelligence.


  • Professionals active in developing new risk models and alternative data sets are highly sought after. 


  • Quantitative professionals with excellent communications skills and the ability to assist in client-facing activities are in high demand.


  • The compensation trend continues to uptick for experienced quant professionals; particularly those with machine learning and natural language processing skills.



Quant investing adds value as an orthogonal investment  style.

-Integrity Research Associates