Financial Startup Is Hiring Like Crazy

AIQ, Inc. is beefing up its staff in New York.

Located in the heart of Times Square at 43rd and Broadway, AIQ is split into two divisions: Meridian-IQ and AdviceIQ.

The former provides an online directory of financial advisors for mutual funds, ETF wholesalers and others within the industry. AdviceIQ, which aims to help advisors and individual investors, is described as a combination of LinkedIn and true independent journalism.

Both of these divisions have continued to grow since AIQ was started in 2010. Now the firm is looking for fresh talent to take AIQ to the next level.

“We’ve got a number of open spots right now that we’re searching for,” Nick Stuller, co-founder, President and CEO of AIQ, Inc., told StreetID. “Over the next six months we’re going to be bringing on a number of people…really at all levels — senior, mid- and junior.”

Stuller said that the firm is looking to add people in account management, media, sales and programming.

“Really across the spectrum we’re going to be hiring,” he said.

Not Central to One Location

While face time is important, Stuller said that you don’t have to be local to get a job with AIQ.

“We prefer most of the hires to be here in New York,” he said. “But we do have a number of people who work remotely because they are the ideal candidate for a particular position. Our preference is to be here in New York, but if there’s a person or two that’s perfect for a particular spot — if they’re in a different state, that’s fine.”

When asked to contrast between working at the office in New York versus working remotely, Stuller said that his company treats “everyone the same.”

“Of course, there is the human reality that when you don’t see someone every day, there’s that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ natural, human reaction,” Stuller warned. “But we’re aware of it. We try to get everybody under the tent, as they say.

“One example, everybody in the firm who is a full-time employee has stock options in the firm. Four times a year, we have offsite meetings here in New York, where everyone is brought in and we spend a fair amount of time together over a couple of days. We try to work hard at making sure folks who are remote feel connected to the rest of the team.”

In fact, some of the employees who work remotely are “very senior people.”

“Our head of sales is in a different state,” said Stuller. “Our head of product development is in a different state. And we happen to have known them for the better part of a decade, so that has made it much easier to manage that.”

Working remotely can also provide the company with an advantage.

“In certain circumstances, it definitely helps,” said Stuller. “But it depends on the circumstance. For example, if there’s an event in the same city as our head of product management, but it’s a sales event, he would not be the best person to go. So we fly the [appropriate] person out anyway.

“But there have been circumstances over the past three years where having somebody in that territory has been very beneficial and they’ve gone out and seen a client or spoken at a trade show, etc.”

Culture And Benefits

“We take a lot of pages out of the book Built to Last by Jim Collins,” said Stuller. “There’s a lot of companies that we really admire, so we try to take some cultural pages out of those books, such as Bloomberg.

“We serve our client base and the folks who pay our bills are Wall Street firms. We very much have a strong Wall Street culture. At the same time we’re a media company, so we’re also very laid-back in many respects. We try to have a minimum of meetings and procedures and really try to focus just on building great products for our clients.”

AIQ offers one very rare perk: unlimited vacation and personal time. Not everyone uses it though.

“If anything, the policy has hampered people from taking time off,” Stuller added. “I’m the CEO and co-founder, and my other co-founder, we personally don’t take a lot of time off.”

Other employees see that and feel they shouldn’t take time off either.

“I think what’s going to have to happen is, we’re going to have to force people to take time off — at least five days in a row, once a year at least,” said Stuller. “‘Cause I know the team doesn’t.”

The Desired Candidate

First and foremost, Stuller said that AIQ looks for a “really solid person — a great human being — who you get a good feel about.”
“That’s most important,” he said.

Second, it’s important that they have the appropriate level of experience and competency to get the job done.

Stuller also looks for someone who is hard-working — a person who “understands what it means to apply significant effort toward building something new.”

“For each functional job, it drills down to the specifics of the job, of course,” he added.

When asked if the hiring mission would continue in 2014, Stuller replied, “Without question.”

Still Growing

From day one, AIQ was designed to be a “sizeable firm,” Stuller said.

“On the Meridian-IQ side, [we] can support a firm with probably 100 to 200 employees,” Stuller affirmed. “On the AdviceIQ side, 1,000-plus.

“The market is large. Every global retail financial advisor is a potential client of AdviceIQ, and that number is six million financial people around the world. Right now we’re just U.S. domestic, but we will go into international markets. In the U.S. it’s two million people. If we only get a 10 percent share, [we'll become] a very sizeable company — a couple thousand employees. We’re going to be growing for quite a while.”

As AIQ expands internationally, the firm plans to open offices in English-speaking countries, such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

“From there we’re going to let a variety of factors drive which markets to go after,” Stuller concluded.

Get Hired Now

These days, job seekers have a million options, but we know where they should turn: StreetID. We built StreetID (a financial career matchmaking website) from the ground up to accommodate Wall Street’s growing community of financial professionals. In good times and in bad, current job seekers and those looking to move on in the future can turn to StreetID and sign up for a free account and make a direct connection with relevant candidates and employers.

This entry was posted in Financial Job Market, StreetID News. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.