How high must your IQ be if you want to work in banking? If you’re an M&A junior assembling pitch books, an IQ above 110 should stand you in very good stead. If you’re a quant working on complex trading algorithms or answering impossible hedge fund interview questions, it’s going need to be several notches higher.
What do the brightest minds do when they’re not working in finance? Nowadays, they’re probably at the NIPS machine learning conference in Barcelona. Previously, however, they would likely have been found playing blackjack or poker at the tables in Las Vegas. As Scott Paterson details in his book Quants, top quantitative fund managers love poker so much that they run their own Wall Street Poker tournaments.
In an interview with the BBC, the top female poker player, Cat Hulbert, says she saw plenty of her contemporaries quit for finance. “The smartest people I have known in my life were blackjack players,” says Hulbert. “IQs over 150. Some of them quit the game after a while because they were able to make a lot more money on Wall Street.” Who were they? Hulbert doesn’t say, but serious poker players include the likes of Steve Cohen, who quit a summer job to focus on the cards.
There are indications that finance careers are more likely to attract sociable jocks than gifted loners with the highest IQs. Nonetheless, finance careers might’ve been the saving of some of those in the latter group. Several of them went to waste, says Hulbert: “They died from drugs or depression or not taking care of themselves.”
Hulbert didn’t go into finance herself, but she has plenty of advice for women who want to get ahead in a man’s world: if they’re not going to distract men with beauty or lull them into a false sense of security with childishness, Hulbert advises women to be arrogant and frosty. “That drives him crazy, his competitive desire to crush her is so high,” she suggests.
Separately, when you go for a marketing job at a global investment management company, you’re not just up against a herd of marketers equipped with CFA Charters: you’re also up against people who’ve worked to generate views on viral websites. Or at least this is what’s suggested by Blackrock’s unexpected decision to hire its new global chief marketing officer from Buzzfeed. A listicle on the 10 main reasons to put your money with Blackrock will be coming soon.
Gary Cohn would leave Goldman Sachs if Trump actually offered him a job. (NY Times)
A third of the Trump rally was down to Goldman Sachs. (Business Insider)
Credit Suisse’s Asian business was supposed to generate CHF2bn in revenues by 2018. That’s been slashed to CHF16.bn. (WSJ)
What makes Credit Suisse think it’s got enough capital? (Breakingviews)
Citi says its markets revenues are up 20% on last year. (Reuters)
Banks fined for Euribor manipulation. Judge says traders used “vulgar language” that should’ve made them blush and needed translating with a dictionary. (Bloomberg)
Don’t even think of using What’sApp on the trading floor. (Business Insider)
The immediate future of algorithms starts with asset allocation. (Quora)
How to be like Tom Ford: Take three power baths daily. (GQ)
Watch out for the £5 notes worth £20k. (BBC)