Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan want to keep their technology staff happy. Goldman has hiked pay for its technology juniors and JPMorgan is letting some of its junior staff take a technology masters course while they work. However, both banks might want to think about keeping their salespeople and traders contented too.
Goldman and JPM are losing juniors from their securities businesses to the shinier lights of technology careers.
JPMorgan, for example, saw the exit of Ulrik Stig Hansen, an associate on its emerging markets desk. Stig Hansen left after three years in September 2018 in order to take a Masters in computer science at London’s Imperial College.
Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, has recently lost David Fong, an Imperial College electronic engineering graduate who thought he wanted to work in the securities industry, but seems to have had a change of heart. After only seven months working full time at Goldman, Fong quit this month to become a research engineer at a small company that uses artificial intelligence to generate music (where he interned before GS).
Two people aren’t exactly a trend, but Stig Hansen and Fong reflect the fact that it’s not just programmers at banks who are susceptible to the call of technology careers – juniors on the trading floor are too. Stig Hansen’s move also underscores the extent to which MBAs and even Masters in Finance courses are falling out of fashion. Hansen gained a Masters of Finance and Management from UCL before joining JPMorgan – but he clearly thought this wasn’t enough: you need a Masters in computer science to really get ahead.
Neither Hansen nor Fong responded to requests to comment for this article. Fong isn’t the only ex-finance professional to join AI Music: Inderjit Birdee, who previously worked in credit at HSBC, is the head of strategy. On his LinkedIn profile, Fong says he’s focusing on using signal processing and machine learning algorithms to create “shapeshifting” music with the intention of turning music from a, “static, one-directional interaction to one of dynamic co-creation”. You can’t do that in banking.