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Late Lunchtime Links: Insights into how you might get hired by Winton Capital, which appears an amazing place to work

David Harding, likes real world statisticians

David Harding, likes real world statisticians

Forget Man Group, which has just acquired fund of funds group FRM, and look at Winton Capital, which is frequently and favourably compared to Man on the grounds that it charges 50% lower fees and has outperformed to almost exactly the same extent that Man has recently underperformed. 

Even better, Winton Capital is hiring. It wants to expand its research team to make more sense of increasingly large and complex datasets. To this end, it’s recruited David Carrier, a former headhunter with Kinsey Allen, to oversee its strategic expansion, and is currently advertising for 13 “highly experienced and established minds,” plus several graduate positions. (Man Group’s also advertising, but it only wants 5 people in the UK – plus graduate technologists.)

How might you get a job at Winton? The fund’s ethereal recruitment video says it wants people who can formulate a hypothesis based on, “large sets of historic data.”

This doesn’t mean Winton wants economists and financial services Mscs. Far from it. Winton founder and head of research, David Harding says he hires hardly anyone with a PhD in economics and that most of the people who work there have a background in the, “hard sciences.” Winton’s research group explicitly looks for people with a scientific background who want careers as researchers rather than traders, and who have a background working with, “real world data.”

Reuters reports that Winton already employs more than 90 researchers, “including extragalactic astrophysicists, computer scientists and climatologists.” One of its most prized hires is reportedly a physics graduate and meteorologist who had researched the “El Nino” phenomenon and now works correlating weather data to crop yields in order to predict how prices might fluctuate with the weather.

Winton’s recruitment video, seemingly filmed in the lush environs of Oxford makes it look a distinctly appealing place to work. The dress code is casual (the meteorologist met by Reuters was wearing jeans and a T-shirt), the atmosphere is relaxed.

“The feeding and watering is taken care of, all the hassle is taking out of life, all you do is work on interesting research with great colleagues,” says Harding. Interestingly, the bonus pool is centralised rather than based on individual performance. In Harding’s case, this doesn’t appear to have been an issue: he’s reportedly worth over £800m.

Meanwhile:

Approximately 92% of investment banking jobs didn’t see an increase in their base salaries for the year to March 31, says Astbury Marsden. (Bloomberg)

On every measure – investment banking, equities, FICC, costs, pre-tax profits and profitability – European banks have fared worse over the past year than their US counterparts. (Financial News)

Irvin Goldman, who was in charge of risk at JPMorgan’s CIO and is brother in law of Barry Zubrow, JPMorgan’s former head of risk management and current head of corporate regulatory affairs, was fired from Cantor in 2007 after loss-making trades. (Bloomberg)

Nick Reid is stepping down as co-head of investment banking at UBS and will be spending more time with clients. This is entirely unrelated to the imminent arrival of Andrea Orcel. (Reuters)

Lloyds has been seeking to reequip its managers with the skills of alpha males and females. (Telegraph)

Nassim Taleb: “Banks don’t understand risk. They are building bridges saying they can hold 500 trucks and they break after the third truck.” (YouTube)

A ranking of the world’s biggest banks by return on equity correlates closely with the proportion of revenue they make from retail banking, rather than from racier investment banking. (Economist)

Jamie Dimon had become, “gratuitously full of himself, unnecessarily angry”. (Financial Times) 

Facebook is going to get good value for its fees. (Financial Times)

Death by desk job. (Mashable)

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