tradeMONSTER’s Jim Swartwout Told His Son to Become a Technologist or Skip Wall Street

There are good jobs on Wall Street — and there will be many more in the future. But the majority of them will be for technologists, not for traditional traders.

That’s according to Jim Swartwout, President of tradeMONSTER.

“I told my son not to get into this industry unless he’s going to become a technologist,” Swartwout told StreetID. “When I started in the industry, the New York Stock Exchange probably had 500 to 600 people working on the floor. What are they down to now, 100, maybe? It’s all automated.”

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Former Credit Suisse And Morgan Stanley VP Dissects The Connection Between Wall Street And NYC Real Estate

A lot of people think that success on Wall Street is connected to the New York City real estate market. The assumption is that if apartments and office buildings are selling well, Wall Street must be booming.

According to Todd Lippiatt, a Managing Principal at Aristone Realty Capital and former Wall Street exec, that is not necessarily the case.

“A lot gets made about New York real estate and Wall Street compensation, but there’s points of clarity that need to be made about that,” Lippiatt, a former VP at both Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, told StreetID. “In terms of who’s buying these $20, $30, $40 million apartments, they’re not anybody that works on Wall Street. Or if so, it’s a very rare occasion. Most of the people who work on Wall Street live in Westchester or Connecticut. They don’t live in the city, they don’t buy in the city at these prices — it’s other people.”

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How To Build And Sell A $45 Million Financial Services Firm

Startups within the financial services sector have been on the rise for more than two years. New firms are cropping up all over the place, and some of them are hiring like crazy.

Many of these companies seemed to have come out of nowhere. Some will surely prosper and become the next crop of massive financial services firms. Others might have the potential to thrive but may ultimately miss out on their opportunity to prosper.

Tom Nix, founder of Navicert Financial, knows a thing or two about launching a successful company. His alternative financial services firm was sold to Kinecta Federal Credit Union for $45 million in 2007. He recently shared some tips with StreetID so that others in the financial sector may succeed as well.

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Only 1% Of Hedge Funds Plan To Advertise

There has been a lot of hype for the JOBS Act and the changes it could bring to the hedge fund community.

Many had high hopes for the act, which would allow hedge funds to advertise. But when the rules were put into place in September 2013, investors could barely tell the difference.

At the time, Ron Geffner (whose New York-based law firm, Sadis & Goldberg, represents more than 600 hedge fund managers worldwide) told StreetID that it was too soon to determine the usefulness of the legislation.

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Hedgez Marks The Beginning Of A New Era For Hedge Funds

The world of hedge funds may be about to change, and it’s all thanks to one startup.

Hedgez, a new matchmaking site for hedge funds and investors, wants to bring the two groups together in a unique and intuitive way.

“We decided to build a platform site that would give them the ability to touch and reach prospective investors who were highly screened, highly targeted and highly motivated at a cost which they could never do on their own,” Jeffrey Schwartz, the founder and CEO of Hedgez, told StreetID. “That was the genesis of Hedgez.”

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The Best Is Not Over For Wall Street, Says Former Merrill Lynch Chairman Win Smith

Winthrop H. Smith Jr., the former Chairman of Merrill Lynch International and the son of one of Merrill Lynch’s founders, has seen the market go through many cycles.

When he entered Wall Street in 1974, the industry was still suffering from a recession that had begun in 1969.

“It was over a decade before Wall Street started to show any sort of profitability,” Smith told StreetID. “I went through the crash of 1987. I’ve been through several like that and there were many before I entered Wall Street.”

Those experiences taught him that Wall Street is one of the most resilient industries on the planet.

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How College Grads Can Overcome Stereotypes And Get Hired On Wall Street

All too often, new college graduates are perceived as being lazy, disrespectful and entitled.

Career expert David McKnight concurred that there is definitely the perception that some millennials are unprepared when they enter the workforce — from a presentation perspective, at least.

“I think that there’s definitely a difference between the current generation versus the generation of maybe 10 years ago,” McKnight, author of The Zen of Executive Presence: Build Your Business Success Through Strategic Image Management, told StreetID. “I think in terms of some of the things they can do to really make sure that they are putting their best foot forward and presenting the right image, it’s really all about being aware.”

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Being Ethical Inhibits Success, Say 53% of Financial Industry Execs

Executives within the financial services industry are struggling to cope with the notion that they should behave in an ethical matter.

In a new report entitled A Crisis of Culture, The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed executives from asset managers, commercial banks, fund managers, private banks, investment banks, wealth managers and others within the industry.

The results were surprising, to say the least.

  • 53% of financial services executives say adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm.
  • 53% also say strict codes of conduct would harm their firm’s competitiveness.
  • 43% have had to introduce incentives to encourage ethical conduct.
  • 96% nonetheless prefer to work for a firm with a good reputation on ethical conduct.

“The very fact that 53 percent of them think that being inflexible on ethical standards would hamper their career progression, that shows that ethical conduct is just not an actual fit with financial services as of yet,” Sara Mosavi, Research Editor at The Economist, told StreetID.

“Work needs to be done to make sure that incentives are correctly aligned, encourage ethical behavior and that career progression is matched with that, rather than risk-taking or taking part in activities that might not be ethical or good for the firm.”

With regard to the “codes of conduct” stat, Mosavi believes that financial services execs want to be good, ethical employees.

“But there are certain tensions in the industry — for example, a lot of them are stock exchange listed, so they are driven by short-term profits — and the basic tensions mean that ethics is not easily espoused within the financial services industry,” she said.

While the survey results did not necessarily reveal which firms or which sectors are the least ethical, Mosavi did find some interesting results.

  • 65% from insurance and reinsurance firms DON’T think you need to be flexible on ethical standards for career progression — that’s compared to 71% of investment bankers who do.
  • Similarly, 63% from insurance and reinsurance don’t think that ethical standards have an impact on competitiveness, compared to 32% of investment banking.
  • Those from insurance and reinsurance are also the most confident that if they report unethical behavior they will have their firm’s full support.

“The survey found that about 2/5ths [of the companies surveyed] had introduced career and financial incentives,” said Mosavi. “I think there’s two ways of looking at that. It’s a positive thing because that means that maybe they are trying to make an effort to align incentives with good and ethical behavior.

“On the other hand, should incentives be there in the first place? Should this be just a basic expectation of somebody who works in the industry? Shouldn’t this be a basic expectation for which there is no reward?

“I think the industry is moving in the right direction, but I think it will be a few years [until] that becomes the norm, rather than something they’re aspiring to.”

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.

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Biggest Hedge Fund Trends in 2013

What were the biggest trends that hedge funds encountered this year?

According to Donald A. Steinbrugge, a Managing Partner at hedge fund consulting and marketing firm Agecroft Partners, one prevailing trend is that large managers still have an advantage over their smaller competitors.

“One trend that has been fairly consistent since 2008 is that money continues to flow to the largest managers,” Steinbrugge told StreetID. “A huge driver of that is that pension funds are continuing to increase their allocation to hedge funds. The reason they’re doing that is because most pension funds today view hedge funds as an alternative to fixed income.”

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What’s It Like To Work For Goldman Sachs?

Founded in 1869, Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest and largest banks in existence.

The company employs more than 32,000 individuals worldwide and is revered among those who wish to work in the financial sector. Surely it has had a lot of success stories, which makes it a very attractive employer. But what is it really like to work for Goldman Sachs?

“I think Goldman Sachs has fostered a culture amongst its employees at all levels to be philanthropic and supportive of the communities in which we live,” Ron Levin, a Managing Director in the Private Wealth Management group at Goldman Sachs, told StreetID. “We do that at a corporate level in a material way, and we foster that culture and it comes from the top all the way down to encourage people to get involved in the community.

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