Quant Recruiter: “Fierce Battle for Top Talent across Wall Street”

A recently published report by recruitment firm Selby Jennings describes a market where top quant talent are being inundated with offers


The financial recruitment firm, Selby Jennings has recently published its Global Quant Market Report, based on findings from the recruiters’ annual survey of the sector. Wilmott caught up with Ben Hodzic, Selby Jennings’ Executive Director – Global to get an overview of the main conclusions of the report.

“Over the past twelve months our Quant team has been working to help solve the number one business challenge our clients have been facing; finding and attracting the best Quant talent that will help propel their business forward throughout and beyond the pandemic.”, Says Hodzic.

Based on key findings from the Global Quant Market Report Hodzic describes ‘A fierce battle for the top talent across Wall Street,’ which has led to rising compensation packages to further incentivize talent to make a move and beat out the competition, a continued push and focus on building out digital asset trading desks, and the lucrative business that is high frequency trading being more prevalent now than ever in an market that has seen some of the highest trading volumes and liquidity in years.

The battle for talent has been so fierce that Hodzic’s team have regularly seen the top 5% Quant talent receive three or more offers every time they go to the job market. “Quant funds, investment banks, and asset managers have been battling each other to secure this talent through exploring work flexibility options, compensation, and leaning on their management team to explain the unique aspects of their firm and how they differentiate themselves from the competition.”

“We’ve seen a strong uptick in both salaries as well as total compensation packages offered across this board this year due to the hiring demand and lack of qualified, experienced talent willing to make a move during the pandemic. Clients are willing to pay more, offer more guaranteed bonuses, and even incorporate sign on bonuses to further incentivize candidates to make a move. This is reflected in the compensation survey at the bottom of our report.”

Digital assets have played a large role in many of our clients hiring plans this year says Hodzic. “With more institutional interest in the new asset class, we have partnered with trading firms, hedge funds, banks, and even vendors to build out their technology and analytics functions within the crypto markets. We’ve placed numerous Quant Traders who come with track records of success in this market as well as Quant Analysts focused on pricing models, technology, and API integration to a number of clients who are just now starting to explore the world of Digital Asset trading.”

High Frequency trading and market making has had and continues to have some of its best performance on record. “Over the past year we have seen trading volumes pick up across the sellside and buyside, and more funds incorporating quantitative strategies into their portfolios. This increase in liquidity and volume has been a gold mine for market makers and high frequency traders whose business is built around making markets for clients.”

Hodzic concludes, “We believe that the hiring challenges and lucrative business behind the Quant market will continue over the foreseeable future, and are excited to see how the rest of 2021 and 2022 shape out.”


Access the full Quants Global Market Report 2021 here