Technology jobs may involve legacy technology and require tolerance of working with demanding traders, but they can also be well paid.
The best-paid technology jobs in hedge funds are for programmers who are competent in C++, the complex coding language used for the construction of high-speed trading systems. One recruiter says hedge funds’ demand for strong C++ coders is “unending.” Peter Wagner, managing director of New York Search firm Affinity North and a former VP in credit derivatives IT at Morgan Stanley, said:
“We see a massive demand for C++ from our hedge funds clients. Currently, the biggest language premium has to be for great C++ developers. Maybe I should have stuck w/ C++, which I learned 30 years ago!”
The appetite for C++ engineers is visible in major funds’ job adverts. Citadel, for example, is in pursuit of C++ coders in Chicago, New York, London, Zurich, Sydney, and Hong Kong. Millennium has vacancies in London, New York, Hong Kong, Chicago and Miami.
Olly Thompson, a London based trading technology headhunter, says C++ coding in a hedge fund is the highest paying technology job available in the financial services industry. For C++ engineers in London, earning £500k ($687k) in the form of a £200k basic plus a £250k-£300k bonus is “100% achievable,” he says.
Another London headhunter, speaking off the record, says demand for C++ coders is consistently high in hedge funds.