Steve Cohen poached a top quant from Goldman Sachs before bonus time

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Cubist systematic strategies hiring

Cubist Systematic Strategies, the computer-driven trading business of Steve Cohen's Point72 family office is hiring slowwwwly. In the past year, headcount has risen by around 12% to over 125 people, including - most recently - a former top strategist from Goldman Sachs.

Yonatan Kaspi joined Cubist's New York office this month according to his LinkedIn profile. The timing is curious given he could have hung on for another 45 days (or so) and picked up his 2017 GS bonus, but seemingly this wasn't a priority (and maybe Cubist bought him out).

Kaspi was a vice president (VP) in Goldman's strats team. While juniors in the investment bank division can expect to work at Goldman for around five years before making VP, Kaspi was promoted after just fourteen months, following his graduation with a PhD in information theory from the University of California, San Diego. As a specialist in 'feedback information theory,' Kaspi would have been valuable to Goldman as it seeks to boost its algorithmic trading business. 

Unfortunately for Goldman, Kaspi is unlikely to be the last of its quants that Cohen has his eye on. Previous Cubist hires include Steve Jeneste, a former managing director in Goldman's quantitative investment strategies group, who joined last year, and Kevin Lu, a former Goldman quant strategist who joined from AQR Capital Management in June.

While hiring quants for Cubist, Point72 has also been busy proclaiming its interest in non-finance, non-quant students. "There might be a rogue nerd studying computer science, or music, history or geography students who have a passion for investing,” Jaimi Goodfriend, head of Point72’s training Academy, told us last month.Similarly, Jonathan Jones, head of investment talent development at Point72, recently took to Quora to explain that it's perfectly possible to move into finance if you've studied medicine or classics.

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