Earlier this month, Bloomberg published a fascinating article on three extremely low-profile hedge fund partners who, unbeknownst to the world, had given away $13 billion to charitable causes from the fortune they’ve so quietly amassed. They run a small quant fund you’ve likely never heard – and they’re hiring.
TGS Management, which operates in small, non-descript office buildings in Princeton, New Jersey and Irvine, California, launched more than 25 years ago as one of the first quantitative investing firms. The partners – Andrew Shechtel, C. Frederick Taylor and now-retired David Gelbaum – were so successful in the early stages of building the company that they required minimal outside investment, hence the lack of name recognition, of which they have no want.
The highly cloaked firm and its philanthropic owners have left virtually no public footprints, up until the Bloomberg expose. In fact, the only thing you can drag up on the hedge fund is its recruiting presence.
TGS Management’s website is but three slides: a homepage with a two-sentence explanation of the business, a copy of its terms and conditions, and a careers portal. The firm has two openings that appear to never close, and neither one requires a background in finance. They’re looking for quantitative researchers and senior software engineers.
Judging by reviews on Glassdoor, they’re rather picky. One software engineer who actually got the job said that TGS had “the hardest interview process I encountered personally (even after writing 4 books in my field). A few engineers here are downright geniuses.” Another employee said that hiring new people is “rare.”
Others who were turned away were baffled by not making the cut. “I did not understand why they did not follow up,” said one. “I doubt this place really intends to hire, or maybe they are looking for someone who can walk on water,” said another.
Indeed, they may be. TGS acknowledges on their website that they’re looking for “brilliant” people – not an adjective that’s tossed around in many job postings.
“We’re far more interested in aptitude and potential than expertise in any particular technology, tool set, or professional domain,” the company notes in each job posting.
A third candidate who was turned away originally thought TGS was “sketchy,” as he was corresponding with a Gmail account and, as of August 2012, the company didn’t have an operational website. “But the people I spoke with were clearly well-qualified so it was just a function of the firm being very secretive,” he posted on Glassdoor.
The company’s director of talent acquisition didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the firm’s hiring practices.
While the many who are turned away by TGS leave frustrated, those who earn job offers act like they have found the Promised Land. The three current employees who commented on TGS offered the most glowing reviews you’ll ever read.
If you ever get an in-person interview, bring a map. Like its founders, TGS is low-profile. The building is located on a dead-end street in Irvine next to a carwash and a creek bed.