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Alternative Market Briefing

Hedge funds vie for top tech talent

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Hedge funds have had a hard time attracting and keeping top technology talent. Often, would-be quants prefer to go to Silicon Valley where the work is considered more meaningful. But, delegates at the recent Opalesque UK Roundtable suggest that if firms can offer interesting questions to work on, data geeks will line up.

"Having seen the attraction of 'big tech', and what they seek to provide to potential employees compared to the finance sector, I think it is the quality of the intellectual problems you can offer that helps you get the best people to come and do this type of work," said Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group. Man Group has over 100 people on staff that are working with machine learning and data management in some form. Those efforts will eventually make their way into client portfolios through the use of machine learning in investment programs.

"One of the places where it gets really interesting is that in the field of data science we now have developed techniques for handling patchy data. This, of course, has a lot of complexity, but we think it is potentially interesting as a source of returns," Ellis says. He cites data around tides as one example. Sensors have been applied to buoys in order to help measure tides and the flows of waterways. However, those devices often break as they are prone to being submerged in water. This creates gaps in the data they provide back to users. "With the help of machine learning, scien......................

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