Sales and Trading

Sales and Trading

Selby Jennings: A Specialist Sales and Trading Recruitment Talent Partner

Selby Jennings is a leading quant recruitment talent partner for financial sciences & services. Our global Sales and Trading team provides permanent, contract, and multi-hire recruitment solutions from our offices across three continents.

For nearly 20 years, clients and candidates have had peace of mind that their specialist Sales and Trading hiring process are in safe hands. With employment of securities, commodities, and financial service sales agents set to increase in the next ten years, competition and talent investment is expected to challenge businesses.

From streamlining processes and upskilling workforces, to staying cutting edge by employing flexible work models, our quant recruiters advise enterprise leaders on when to strike and how. We also provide expert insight to Sales and Trading professionals on benchmarking salaries and benefits packages and assist them through their career moves.

Whether you’re interested in securing the very best Sales and Trading talent or you’re a Sales and Trading professional looking for a new role within this industry, the Selby Jennings’ Sales and Trading team connect exceptional talent to industry-leading clients.

​If you're a Sales and Trading professional, please register your resume.

Register your CV
or
Search for a job

If you're looking for Sales & Trading talent, please register your vacancy today.

Register your vacancy
or
Request a call back

Benefits of working with Selby Jennings’ global Sales & Trading team

We are a specialist quant recruiter talent partner. Among the many benefits of working with Selby Jennings’ global Sales and Trading team are:

Experience

Experience

We have nearly 20 years of experience as a leading Sales & Trading recruiter.

Network

​Network

A vast, global network of the best, in-demand professionals, working with the world’s largest financial institutions to innovative fintech start-ups and beyond.​

Knowledge

​Knowledge

Our award-winning talent specialists offer bespoke, tailored guidance on the latest hiring trends and industry news to help you achieve your goals.

At Selby Jennings, we are committed to nurturing long-standing partnerships, anchored in trust, integrity, and reciprocal growth. Our quant headhunters offer tailored solutions designed to accommodate your unique needs, providing flexible hiring methodologies that complement your business goals. Whether your focus is on immediate fulfillment of critical Sales & Trading positions or devising strategic talent acquisition plans, our expertise and resources stand poised to deliver. Begin your journey by submitting your vacancy to us today.

Start the process of addressing your talent needs in Sales & Trading by completing our form today. Our professional team anticipates the opportunity to discuss how we can support your organization in meeting its Sales & Trading recruitment requirements effectively and proficiently.

Sales and Trading Jobs

In the ever-fluctuating world of finance, Sales and Trading professionals are pivotal. As markets become increasingly dynamic, individuals with these skills are in high demand. Aligning with Selby Jennings, an expert in Sales and Trading, could boost your career trajectory. Check our current Sales and Trading roles or submit your CV/resume, and we'll get in touch when an appropriate opportunity surfaces.

Futures Execution Trader

We are seeking an experienced trader to join a UK-based quant hedge fund that is setting up a new office in Shanghai. The firm is preparing for PFM and WFOE, and the candidate will support the preparation and focus on onshore future trading. Responsibilities Execute onshore future trading Assist GM with the development of trading strategies and ensure trades are executed efficiently and accurately Monitor market conditions to identify opportunities and risks Analyze trade execution data to identify areas of improvement Develop and maintain relationships with brokers, exchanges, and other market participants Skills Experience executing trades across a variety of markets Ability to analyze trade execution data and identify areas of improvement Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Negotiable
Shanghai
Apply

VP QIS EQ Vol Structurer

VP QIS EQ Vol Structurer Introduction: We are currently working with a leading financial firm in Paris who is looking to hire a VP QIS EQ Vol Structurer. This is a permanent position that offers an excellent opportunity for an experienced candidate to work in an innovative and dynamic environment. As a VP QIS EQ Vol Structurer, you will be responsible for developing and structuring Equity Volatility Quantitative Investment Strategies for the firm's clients. Responsibilities: - Develop and structure quantitative investment strategies for the firm's inclients - Work closely with other members of the team to develop innovative solutions for clients - Analyze market trends and provide insights on investment opportunities - Collaborate with other departments to ensure the success of the firm's overall investment strategy Skills: - Strong understanding of equity derivatives and volatility products - Experience in structuring financial products - Excellent analytical skills and attention to detail - Strong communication and interpersonal skills - Ability to work effectively in a team environment Qualifications: - Bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a related field - Master's degree in finance, economics, or a related field preferred Additional Information: - Equity - Volatility - Structuring - QIS - Quantitative investment strategies - Derivatives How to Apply: If you are interested in this position, please apply directly through our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

Negotiable
Paris
Apply

Head of Funds and QIS Trading

Head of Funds and QIS Trading We are looking to hire a Head of Funds and QIS Trading for our client, a financial institution in Amsterdam. Our client is looking for a talented and experienced individual to lead their Funds and QIS Trading team. Responsibilities * Lead and manage the Funds and QIS Trading team * Develop and implement quantitative investment strategies (QIS) * Develop and implement equity and fund derivative trading strategies * Manage the risk and P&L of the Funds and QIS Trading team Skills * Strong knowledge of quantitative investment strategies (QIS) * Strong knowledge of equity and fund derivative trading * Excellent line management skills How to Apply If you are interested in this role, please apply via our website.

Negotiable
Amsterdam
Apply

VP Equity Derivative Sales

Title: VP Equity Derivative Sales Introduction: Selby Jennings is currently seeking a VP Equity Derivative Sales to join a reputable finance firm in Paris. Our client is looking for someone who can provide equity derivative solutions to institutional clients including asset managers, pension funds, and insurance firms. They have a strong presence in the Swiss, Nordic or DACH markets and are looking for someone to join their team and help grow their business. Responsibilities: - Develop and maintain relationships with institutional clients, asset managers, pension funds, and insurance firms - Identify opportunities to cross-sell equity derivative solutions - Work with the trading desk to ensure smooth execution of trades - Provide regular market updates to clients - Work with the structuring team to develop bespoke solutions for clients - Attend industry events to stay up to date with market trends Skills: - Strong sales skills - Excellent communication skills - Good knowledge of equity derivatives - Ability to work in a fast-paced environment - Strong attention to detail - Network of clients in regions previously listed

Negotiable
Paris
Apply

Director of QIS Trading

QIS Trader Selby Jennings is currently seeking a QIS Trader to join our client in London. The successful candidate will be responsible for trading across various asset classes in quantitative investment strategies. Responsibilities: * Develop and implement quantitative investment strategies into trading strategies * Trade across different asset classes including equities, credit, rates and commodities * Analyse market data and monitor trading performance * Manage risk and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements Skills: * Strong analytical and quantitative skills * Excellent knowledge of financial markets and trading strategies * Experience with quantitative analysis and modelling * Strong programming skills in Python and/or R * Excellent communication and interpersonal skills Additional Information: This role is ideal for an experienced trader with a background in quantitative finance. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with a highly skilled team of professionals and will receive a competitive salary package.

Negotiable
England
Apply

China Credit Sales Trader

Responsibilities: Work closely with a senior trader to grow our trading capacity and market presence in the LGFV sector. Performing thorough credit analysis and generating innovative and actionable trade ideas; Building strong trust and rapport with key clients across different segments and prime brokers to ensure optimal execution outcomes; Collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to maintain and enhance cross border trading platforms (Bond Connect); Executing trades efficiently and effectively under challenging market conditions and time constraints; Developing execution protocols to reduce trading errors and risks Requirements: A Bachelor Degree from a reputable global university in Finance, Economics, Engineering, or Computer Science or related fields; Extensive experiences in credit businesses, preferably with knowledge in China credit and LGFV; Experience in trading/risk system and technology infrastructure, or relevant experience; A self-motivated, creative, and risk-taking mindset; and A good command of written and spoken Chinese and English; fluency in Putonghua is essential.

Negotiable
Hong Kong
Apply

Institutional Equity Sales

Role: Develop and maintain relationships with Chinese institutional investors. Pitch Korean research and IPOs, and Southeast Asia product to institutional clients. Work closely with the research team to provide clients with timely and accurate information. Develop and maintain an strong client base. Provide clients with market updates and investment ideas. Work closely with other members of the international sales team to achieve team goals. Requirements: Bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or related field. Minimum of 5 years of experience in cash equity sales. Established existing client base. Strong communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to work independently and as part of a team. Fluent in Mandarin and English.

Negotiable
香港
Apply

Associate - UK Corporate Sales

Associate - UK Corporate Sales We are looking for an experienced sales professional to join our Banking client's team as an Associate - UK Corporate Sales in London. The successful candidate will be responsible for selling FX solutions to large corporates in the UK. Responsibilities - Sell FX solutions to large corporates in the UK - Develop and maintain relationships with clients - Work closely with the trading and research teams to ensure that clients are receiving the best possible service - Keep up to date with the markets and provide clients with market commentary - Meet and exceed sales targets Skills - Strong sales skills - Excellent communication and interpersonal skills - Good understanding of the FX markets - Ability to work well under pressure - Strong attention to detail Requirements - 2 - 6 years of sales experience - Bank background is preferred - Good understanding of macroeconomics - Knowledge of rates and FX If you are intrested in this opportunity, please apply via the link below!

Negotiable
England
Apply

Head Quantitative Researcher - High-Frequency Trading

About Us: A cutting-edge Hedge Fund specializing in low latency and high-frequency trading strategies is seeking a new Head of Quantitative Researcher. This fund is at the forefront of technological innovation and quantitative research in the financial markets. They are seeking a talented and experienced Head Quantitative Researcher to lead their team in developing high-performance strategies for low latency and high-frequency trading. Job Description: As the Head Quantitative Researcher specializing in Low Latency and High-Frequency Trading at [Your Company Name], you will play a crucial role in leading and managing a team of quantitative researchers. You will be responsible for driving the development of sophisticated trading models and strategies focused on low latency and high-frequency execution. Key Responsibilities: Lead a team of quantitative researchers in the development and optimization of trading algorithms for low latency and high-frequency trading. Drive the design, implementation, and testing of proprietary trading strategies to maximize trading efficiency and profitability. Collaborate closely with technology teams to optimize trading systems for low latency execution. Conduct research on market microstructure, order flow, and data analysis to identify new trading opportunities. Stay updated with the latest advancements in technology, trading platforms, and quantitative techniques related to low latency and high-frequency trading. Qualifications: Advanced degree (Masters or Ph.D.) in a quantitative field (e.g., mathematics, computer science, finance, physics). Extensive experience (at least 5+ years) in low latency and high-frequency trading within a financial institution or proprietary trading firm. Proven track record of developing successful high-frequency trading strategies and managing a team of quantitative researchers. Expertise in programming languages such as C++, Python, or Java for high-frequency trading systems. Deep understanding of market microstructure, order execution, and algorithmic trading techniques. Strong analytical skills and proficiency in statistical analysis and data modeling. Benefits: Competitive compensation package including performance-based bonuses. Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance. Retirement savings plan. Opportunities for career growth and professional development. A dynamic and collaborative work environment at the forefront of financial technology.

US$450000 - US$1500000 per year + Performance Based Bonus included
New York
Apply

Sales Trader

Sales Trader Introduction A broker is looking for a Sales Trader to join their team. The successful candidate will be responsible for generating revenue through the sale of derivative products, with a focus on swaps, to hedge funds and asset managers. With contacts already at hedge funds and asset managers. Responsibilities * Develop and maintain relationships with clients to generate revenue through the sale of derivative products, with a focus on swaps * Work closely with the trading team to identify market opportunities and ensure that the client's needs are met * Keep up-to-date with market developments and provide clients with market insight * Ensure that all trades are executed correctly and in a timely manner * Work closely with the operations team to ensure that all trades are settled correctly Skills * Strong sales skills, with a proven track record of generating revenue * Have contacts with asset managers or hedge funds * Excellent communication skills, with the ability to build strong relationships with clients * Strong analytical skills, with the ability to identify market opportunities * Good knowledge of interest rates and rates products * Good knowledge of derivatives products, with a focus on swaps

Negotiable
London
Apply

FX/Derivatives Sales

My client is an Asian brokerage firm, looking to add a FX/Derivatives sales role, covering US and Asia corporate clients. Responsibilities: Develop and maintain relationships with foreign corporate clients across various industries and regions Provide FX and derivatives solutions to meet the client's hedging, trading, and investment needs Execute FX and derivatives transactions on behalf of the clients, ensuring compliance with internal and external policies and regulations Collaborate with other sales teams, trading desks, research analysts, and product specialists to deliver comprehensive and customized FX and derivatives services Identify new business opportunities and generate revenue growth by cross-selling FX and derivatives products and services. Requirements: Bachelor's degree or higher in finance, economics, business, or related fields Extensive relevant experiences in FX and derivatives sales, trading, or structuring Strong knowledge of FX and derivatives markets, products, and pricing Excellent communication, presentation, and negotiation skills Ability to work under pressure, multitask, and meet deadlines Fluent in English and Mandarin (essential) and Cantonese (advantageous)

Negotiable
Hong Kong
Apply

China Fixed Income Sales

Responsibilities: Establish and maintain relationships with onshore Chinese clients to drive revenue growth. Provide clients with market insights and investment ideas related to fixed income and credit products. Collaborate with internal teams to develop and execute sales strategies. Stay up-to-date with market trends and regulatory changes to ensure compliance. Conduct market research to identify new business opportunities and potential clients. Prepare and deliver presentations to clients and prospects. Work closely with product teams to develop new products and improve existing ones. Requirements: Bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a related field. Extensive experience in fixed income sales. Strong knowledge of fixed income and credit products. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Fluency in Mandarin and English, Cantonese is a plus.

Negotiable
Hong Kong
Apply

Sales and Trading News & Insights

The Future of FX Trading Jobs: Changes, Benefits, and Opportunities Image
sales-and-trading

The Future of FX Trading Jobs: Changes, Benefits, and Opportunities

Foreign exchange (FX) trading has always been a critical component of the global financial market, with currencies being exchanged daily for various purposes such as international trade, investments, and travel. As the global economy evolves, so does the landscape of FX trading jobs. In this blog, we will explore the future of FX trading jobs, how they are changing, and the benefits of these changes. 1. The Rise of Technology and AutomationThe future of FX jobs will be significantly influenced by the rise of technology and automation, leading to a transformation in the skills required and the nature of the roles within the industry. As algorithmic trading and artificial intelligence (AI) become more prevalent, traditional tasks performed by human traders may be automated, resulting in a decrease in demand for some conventional FX roles. However, this shift will also give rise to new opportunities in areas such as data analytics, AI development, and machine learning, where professionals can focus on creating, implementing, and maintaining these advanced technologies.In response to these changes, FX professionals will need to evolve their skill sets to stay relevant in the job market. This includes acquiring a strong understanding of technology, data analysis, and programming languages, as well as staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends and innovations. As a result, the future of FX jobs will place a greater emphasis on adaptability, continuous learning, and the ability to work alongside automated systems.2. Global Market DynamicsThe future of FX jobs will be greatly impacted by global market dynamics, as international economic events and trends have a direct influence on the foreign exchange market. The ongoing developments in the global economy will require FX professionals to possess specialized knowledge and expertise in specific regions and currencies, creating opportunities for those with a deep understanding of global market forces.For example, the ongoing US-China trade tensions and the resulting fluctuations in currency values have increased the need for FX professionals who can navigate these complex situations and develop effective trading strategies. Similarly, the global shift towards adopting digital currencies, such as cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), opens up new avenues for FX professionals who can understand and capitalize on these innovative financial instruments.Additionally, FX professionals will need to stay informed about geopolitical events, such as Brexit, which have far-reaching implications on currency markets.3. Regulatory EnvironmentThe regulatory environments governing the FX industry play a crucial role in shaping the future of FX jobs. As regulatory requirements evolve to address market abuses, mitigate risks, and enhance transparency, the FX trading landscape undergoes continuous change.For example, the introduction of the MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II) regulations in the European Union significantly impacted the FX market. These regulations aimed to improve transparency and investor protection, leading to increased demand for compliance professionals and risk management specialists within the FX trading space. FX firms now need to ensure they adhere to these new requirements, such as trade reporting, best execution, and data management.As regulatory environments continue to evolve, FX professionals must stay informed about the latest developments and adapt accordingly. This includes acquiring knowledge of regulatory frameworks, understanding the impact of these regulations on their roles, and ensuring compliance with the best practices in the industry. By being proactive and adaptive, FX professionals can maintain their relevance in the job market and contribute to a more transparent and resilient FX market.​Benefits of Changes in the FX Trading Job LandscapeAdaptability: The evolving landscape encourages professionals to be adaptable and agile, fostering continuous learning and career growth.Broader skill set: The need for diverse skills, such as technology and data analysis, allows FX professionals to expand their expertise and become more versatile in their careers.Competitive advantage: Professionals who embrace these changes gain a competitive edge in the job market, opening doors to new opportunities.Industry innovation: Technological advancements and new market insights contribute to the overall growth and efficiency of the FX trading industry.To also check out our discipline page, view here.The future of FX trading jobs will be shaped by factors such as technology, global market dynamics, and regulations. To stay ahead in this evolving landscape, professionals must adapt to these changes, develop new skills, and remain informed about industry developments. At Selby Jennings, we are committed to helping both clients and candidates navigate these changes and seize opportunities in the FX trading job market.If you are an employer looking to hire top talent in the FX trading space, our team of experienced consultants can provide tailored solutions and support to ensure that you find the right candidates for your organization. Don't hesitate to request a callback to discuss your specific needs and learn how we can help you stay ahead in the dynamic FX trading landscape.For professionals seeking new opportunities in FX trading, we encourage you to browse our available jobs and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and opportunities in the market. Our expert consultants are committed to helping you find the perfect role that aligns with your skills and career goals in this ever-changing environment.

Read More
A new dawn for commodity trading and talent? Image
commodities

A new dawn for commodity trading and talent?

​Global net-zero targets have altered the commodities landscape, which now sees the industry playing a defining role to supply essential materials, from copper to rare earth, that work towards a carbon neutral future. What’s more, commodities remain the best-performing asset class of 2022 and enjoyed healthy activity in Q1, rising to nearly 30% as calculated by the S&P GSCI Index.The outlook ahead for commodities suggests strong growth, but to be able to capitalize on opportunities, commodities firms need the right people in place. Here we take an introspective look at the latest talent trends that you should be aware of to get ahead in this fast-moving industry. The year of counter offers In today’s competitive landscape, with the brightest minds in commodities in ever-increasing demand, firms are opening their wallets to not only secure professionals but also as a retention tool. Since the beginning of this year, organizations found themselves in a candidate-driven market, which has simultaneously resulted in compensation swelling to facilitate this demand. While it’s not all about capital, it’s important to note that professionals are bargaining hard for the top offer. We’ve observed many professionals increase their salaries by seeking greener pastures, and even passive talent are making moves to follow the money. Commodities firms are rapidly trying to fill seats post-pandemic and are therefore heavily compensating mission-critical professionals to facilitate their expanding growth plans. Counter offers also pose a threat to any firm looking to develop a dynamic pipeline of talent. Selby Jennings has seen business leader offer top-tier employees large salaries to alleviate the chance of a counter offer, or any retention issues in the future. According to the latest research, most professionals leave their current employer within 12 months of accepting a counter offer, meaning it is important for the industry to retain staff before it comes to a counter offer, and for professionals to realise what the cost of accepting a counter really is on their career. ​Flexibility for the futureHowever, while lucrative compensation packages are a big attraction, they are not all encompassing. Heavily driving career decisions is flexible, hybrid and remote working, with many commodities specialists actively looking for prospective roles that offer fully remote capabilities. The ability to tap into a wider and higher-paying job market that isn’t constrained to one particular location is a compelling factor right now, and even if a role is commutable, professionals are still interested in some degree of flexibility that the hybrid model affords. It’s clear that the flexible working paradigm is of critical importance to today’s workforce, yet some individuals are opting for the office to enrich collaboration, communication, and some feel an office environment services them better in building their personal profile. ​Places of note Although rising inflationary pressures and supply chain challenges have impacted commodities verticals, the landscape is buoyant. Since the 1990s, Houston has established itself as the major energy trading arm in the US. New York closely follows behind as the second energy trading hub, with energy asset operators evolving in the area and enlarging their portfolios. The renewable energy space has surged in importance, with California dubbed to be the key district that is garnering attention from investors and highly skilled talent alike. Houston and New York have also amplified their renewable energy presence, with a large commercial building in Manhattan – One Manhattan West – transitioning to 100% renewable fuels. Despite the scarcity of talent in renewable energy, the year ahead for this industry promises exponential growth and acceleration, and the specialist team at Selby Jennings are excited to see the future developments in this space. ​Interested in learning more about the current trends in commodities? Whether you’re a professional seeking opportunities or a business in need of the right talent, have a confidential discussion with our commodities talent team today.

Read More
Selby Jennings Partners with The Trading Show Chicago Image
sales-and-trading

Selby Jennings Partners with The Trading Show Chicago

Selby Jennings is partnering with The Trading Show Chicago for its 2021 exhibition. Held annually in Chicago, IL, this event brings together leaders from areas spanning across trading firms, algo trading, HPC, data, AI, and digital assets, where the industry’s leading firms showcase innovation and conduct business with premier institutional trading firms.The event, taking place October 5th-6th, marks the first in-person gathering for the organization since the beginning of the pandemic. Ben Hodzic, Selby Jennings Executive Director, believes that this presents a unique opportunity to attendees. "This year has brought challenges to recruiting that many of our clients have never experienced before. Our birds-eye view of the hiring landscape and need for exceptional talent has been an incredible resource to our clients as they navigate hiring in a candidate-driven market," said Hodzic. " We are very excited to take part in the Trading Show Chicago and meet with some of the industry's brightest minds to discuss unique approaches to recruiting that are required in a market like the one we are in today if you are going to secure the best and brightest talent out there."Jeff Koehler, Selby Jennings Director, will be leading a round table discussion at the event. Titled "Recruiting Strategies – How to Secure the Best Talent in a Competitive Market," the round table will be held on October 6th at 2:00 pm. Find the full agenda here.Want to book time with our team at the conference? Let us know your availability by filling out the form below.

Read More
Selby Jennings Partnership with The Trading Show Americas 2020 Image
sales-and-trading

Selby Jennings Partnership with The Trading Show Americas 2020

Selby Jennings has partnered with The Trading Show Americas 2020, which took place virtually, September 15th – 17th. This virtual conference brought together senior-level quants, traders and technologists to discuss and address the most critical developments impacting quant desks, crypto funds, and high-performance trading operations in 2020 and beyond.The virtual format of this year’s event, combining The Trading Show Chicago and The Trading Show New York, was a unique and exciting opportunity to bring together industry-leading professionals and an expansive group of attendees from across North America.Highlighting the value we brought to the virtual event, Selby Jennings Executive Director, Ben Hodzic, commented, “Our bird’s-eye view of the recruiting landscape brought a unique look in to the challenges and success stories of recruiting through a pandemic. The need for talented Traders, Quants, Technologists, and Risk Managers, who are equally as productive from home as they are in the office, is apparent now more than ever and we’re excited to bring this perspective to the conference this year.”During the conference, Selby Jennings Director, Jeff Koehler, joined an esteemed panel of specialists to discuss “HR Solutions – Competing with Big Tech for Quality Talent”. Jeff joined Hannah Van Campen, Manager of HR And Culture at Tower Research Capital, and Caroline Randazzo, Director of Recruitment & HR at 3Red Partners to discuss strategies for retention planning, modernization, and employee engagement. "Whether at the entry or experienced-level, big tech has been a major competitor for talent to the trading industry in recent years," shared Jeff Koehler. "It creates a challenge for both internal and agency recruiters, so I am keen to share our experience when it comes to attracting talent, managing expectations, and locking down offers when a job seeker is balancing both options. The trading industry can have an edge in many of these instances, and it all boils down to finding the angle as it applies to one’s motivations and career goals."To check out what types of Quantitative Research & Trading vacancies we have available here at Selby Jennings, click here.For more information on the conference, or how Selby Jennings can help with your recruitment needs, contact us today.

Read More
Hardware Acceleration in Trading: Introduction and Hiring Outlook Image
sales-and-trading

Hardware Acceleration in Trading: Introduction and Hiring Outlook

​Hardware Acceleration in TradingFor some years, HFT (high-frequency trading) firms have invested in faster software and lower latency networks, but more recently their focus has turned to increasing network bandwidth and hardware processing speeds. Looking to increase revenue, traditional software is being replaced by hardware implementations of financial algorithms bringing the algorithms much closer to the source of the exchange data. As a result, financial markets are becoming increasingly competitive and latency-sensitive. Hardware Acceleration explainedHFT has equated to around 60% of equity trading volume in the US and UK markets, over the last five years.1 HFT trading has transformed the stock markets – and has been extremely controversial in the process. Using complex algorithms, this system of trading scans multiple markets for the smallest of opportunities and executes millions of orders at lightning speed. Traders might only make a small profit on each transaction, but by working fast and at high volume the returns can be considerable. Speed is of the essence for HFT firms: customers want trades executed in less than 100 nanoseconds and the US equity options market sees 25 million quotes and trades occur every second.2 This is why FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) technology – a reprogrammable device that allows algorithms to be compiled into hardware running at near processor speeds – has piqued the interest of the trading markets. These silicon chips combine the best parts of custom designed ASICs and processor-based systems and accelerate functions otherwise performed by software. FPGA: impact on the Industry As financial markets are pushed towards hyper-liquidity, trading strategies are being forced to evolve. Decision-making relies less on human intervention and more on algorithms fed by high-speed, automated digital data feeds. Using FPGA-based systems, trading firms are able to select the data they want to watch. These systems also help ensure trading strategies achieve the right balance of speed, low latency, precision execution, and cross-asset trading. Benefits of FPGAsFPGAs bring with them a number of benefits: They accelerate some processes by an order of a magnitude (or more)The latency of this hardware means an end to the ‘jitter’ experienced with software and brings an edge to companies that utilize the technologyThey can be reprogrammed spontaneously (either completely or partly), avoiding the need to bring down an entire system simply to change a programFPGA processing is more deterministic, thus reducing functional risk and simplifying testing Risks to the IndustryEven though the benefits of FPGAs to traders are clear, uptake has been relatively slow. Firms looking to invest need to consider key factors – from regulatory changes to the rising costs of these solutions. Usage is often limited to recognized network applications, pack inspection and digital feed handling. Once HFT firms have invested in an FPGA-based solution, the race is on to develop smarter, more efficient, and more profitable algorithms. But FPGA development is much more difficult than software and lead times to deployment can be lengthy. With ongoing support in short supply, firms risk losing that competitive edge. Programmable hardware requires a totally new approach and much more planning than software. CPU-familiar software engineers lack the required skills, so the challenge for recruiters is to find individuals with the right combination of financial and engineering skills. Because such talent is in short supply, candidates with the right skills can command high salaries and may not want to stick around once a project has gone live.The Client Perspective - The Hiring PictureOver recent years, not surprisingly the bulk of the hiring for hardware talent within the trading industry has been in Chicago. A couple of firms have been very aggressive with hiring and scaling (with teams of over 10+ engineers) whilst others have focused on building small, dedicated teams. Whilst a handful of firms are very much on the right track and led by engineers who truly understand the industry, there are still trading firms who are heading down the hardware route with little strategy behind it.Without a doubt, it is a candidate driven market and there are challenges faced by many firms in a bid to source and attract talent:Lack of industry knowledge. The majority of hardware engineers in the industry are on their first or second role within a trading firm. It is difficult to tear them away – they are compensated very well, their work is still greenfield and exciting - plus they typically have hefty non-competes (unless they are in California, of course)This means that firms often look for candidates outside the industry. This has its own challenges. The majority of this candidate pool is based in Silicon Valley – where their skills can be applicable to multiple different industries in the start up world – flying cars, autonomous driving etc. For many of these candidates, relocating to Chicago to work in a trading firm is simply not on their radar or something that they are interested in. Narrow Focus. Many hardware engineers in technology companies – and especially those employed by larger companies – have responsibilities narrowly focusing on hardware development where knowledge in one or more additional fields including software engineering, algorithms, network engineering, or finance is desirable for careers in trading.The interview process. Many trading firms are still refining their interview process for hardware engineers. We have seen some cases of over 100 candidates being interviewed for 1 hire. Recommendations to Source TalentTap into candidate pools in locations such as Seattle, Idaho, Toronto, Phoenix.Take time to ‘sell’ and explain the firm/industry early on in the interview process. Many candidates have little knowledge or awareness of what a trading firm does and need to be educated on all the benefits early on.Be flexible and understand that many of the candidates will come from consulting/contract backgrounds – something that is typically frowned upon by trading firms.Recognize that you need to be flexible and competitive when it comes to compensation. The Candidate Perspective – The Future is Bright!Whilst the above paints a somewhat difficult picture from the client perspective, in fact, the outlook is bright and it is a great time to be a hardware engineer! Whilst 10 years ago, traders were seen as the key to success within an HFT firm, hardware engineers are now demanding all the kudos. Compensation packages are great (upwards of $500,000 total compensation for a seasoned hardware engineer within the trading industry), projects are still in early stages and you are highly sought after by your competitors!------------About UsSelby Jennings is a leading specialist recruitment agency for banking and financial services. For more than 15 years, we have given clients and candidates peace of mind that the recruitment process is in expert hands. Our continual investment in best-in-class technologies and consultant training enables us to recruit with speed, precision and accuracy. Today, Selby Jennings provides contingency and retained search recruitment across 11 offices in 6 countries. Contact us to find out how Selby Jennings can help you.

Read More

Looking for something specific?

View more blogs