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Morning Coffee: Inside the coolest hedge fund in town. The motivational duffel bag

Joystick of a vintage arcade videogame - Coin-Op

Hedge fund have a tendency to create a culture that centres around the vision of the founder. Think the set up with ‘head coach’ Steve Cohen at Point72, or Ray Dalio’s ‘principles‘ that guide the philosophy at Bridgewater Associates.

Two Sigma, the $45bn hedge fund that relies on technology to gain an advantage, is different. Very different. We’ve written before about its in-house recording studio, gaming rooms and hacker labs, but Business Insider has just got an exclusive look inside. The reality is a nerd’s paradise, where technology is not only taught and central to its investment process – it’s all encompassing. Two Sigma has old computer equipment adorning the office as artwork, it has an air hockey table set up for an annual artificial intelligence tournament where AI takes on human employees, the person who runs its hacker space makes jewellry out of LEDs. Oh, and it has a robot.

Two Sigma has been hiring, adding to the 1,100 or so people it employs globally. But, as we’ve said previously, there’s very little room for portfolio managers or traditional finance expertise. Instead, if its London office is anything to go by, 60% of its employees work in programming or modelling roles. Time to learn to code.

Separately, if you thought duffel bags with investment banking branding petered out with Lehman Brothers’ collapse, Jefferies has brought them back – complete with motivational statements for its employees. Jefferies chairman and chief executive Richard Handler gave Jefferies employees a bag on their return from the summer break, together with a pep talk.

Spotted by Times journalist Harry Wilson, the letter posed on Jefferies’ website had five goals:

“3. Integrity, integrity, integrity. We can never have enough of this in our bags,” he wrote.   

Embrace the brand: “4. The feeling of personal ownership of our firm, our brand, our results and our culture. We are a firm of passionate and committed individuals who don’t just work at Jefferies, we are Jefferies. We embody it, enhance it, nurture it, protect it from and are proud of it. Jefferies is our home away from home and we respect how important it is to each of us and all the other people who depend on us.”   

Meanwhile: 

Don’t be fooled – Steve Cohen’s giant new hedge fund is very much on plan (Bloomberg)

Your bank is watching you (Bloomberg)

Doctors in the U.S. are increasingly going into private equity firms and hedge funds (Bloomberg)

City envoy says that the EU doesn’t have a clear plan on Brexit either (Financial Times)

Asset manager GAM has reversed its decision not to move offices after Brexit and has could sign a London lease on a bigger office (Bloomberg)

The richest people in…accounting (Economia)

Workaholic? Don’t worry! As long as you love your job (WSJ)

Are you poorer than you were five years ago? (BBC)

Your colleagues are posher than you? Don’t try Latin jokes (Financial News)

Contact: pclarke@efinancialcareers.com

Image: Getty Images

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