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Spate of unusual hires on the buy-side

All of a sudden, hedge funds and asset management firms have a few new job titles that need filling. And they’re not your normal trader or research analyst positions.

With the industry becoming more visible to the public eye (thanks, Steven Cohen), hedge funds have started hiring internal public relations executives and corporate communications officers, according to CNBC. Traditionally, hedge funds have contracted the work out to third party firms, or more often than not they just don’t answer the phone.

The reasons for the change in strategy vary and are numerous: hedge funds can now publicly market themselves (though few do); brand awareness for hiring purposes; the growing need for transparency; and greater media scrutiny. Either way, corporate and media communications has suddenly become a real job in the hedge fund industry.

Meanwhile, buy-side firms are looking to decrease their dependence on sell-side research analysts through technology investments, according to Financial News. Many, including asset managers BlackRock and Schroders, are assembling teams of IT specialists who can design algorithms that skim data from publicly available portals – like social media sites, company announcements, regulatory filings and conference call transcripts – to help them make more informed investment decisions.

Essentially, firms are hiring people to build systems that are capable of replacing the need to hire other people: sell-side analysts. The circle of life, I guess.

Private Banking Not What it Once Was (eFinancialCareers)

Private banking has become a very, very difficult environment to operate in. Tightened regulation and increased transparency has changed the business, but the business has not changed with the times, says one veteran private banker.

When in Doubt, Memo (WSJ)

Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat sent a memo to all staffers two weeks ago scolding them for unnamed unethical behavior. Then last week’s Mexico debacle happened, so he sent another angrier memo reminding them of the contents of the first memo.

More Mortgage Cuts (WSJ)

Wells Fargo said it will cut another 700 mortgage jobs. No surprise.

Opening a 529 is Just the Start (Bankers Anonymous)

Here’s some good, really honest advice for working professionals who are looking to save for their children’s college education. It’s written by an ex-Goldman banker.

The Egol Has Landed (Bloomberg)

Jonathan Egol, the Goldman Sachs managing director who saw over Fabrice Tourre before his ousting, has left the bank. Tourre was made famous for running the ill-fated mortgage-linked deal known as Abacus, which cost the firm north of $500 million in fines. Investigators looked at Egol but only charged Tourre.

Equities Researchers on the Move? (eFinancialCareers)

Sources tell us that Citi’s equities researchers didn’t fare too well this bonus season and may be looking for an exit. However, others tell us it’s a trend not specific to Citi.

‘Hardly Credible’ (Reuters)

Swiss bankers are demanding that Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan apologize for last week’s apology, when he took responsibility for the firm’s money laundering habit while simultaneously saying he had no knowledge of the practice. They say he and other execs did.

Buzz Around the Office

Polly Want a Conviction (Times of India)

A talking parrot helped crack a murder case in India, so there’s that.

Quote of the Day: “All I ever wanted was an honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work.” – Steve Martin

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