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a well paid job in IB requires high-level of maths and programming skills?

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    is that true?
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    no.
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    and communication..

    programming skills aren't necessarily high level. proficiency in spreadsheet apps is very important, though.
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    It's more about people skills. No one really cares about academia past undergraduate and MBA.

    MBA isn't really required in the UK also. It's more of a US thing....
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    quant or structurer
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    it will certainly help you get through the door, but a high level of =VLOOKUP() skills will help you more in most jobs
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    (Original post by math1234)
    The non-maths people for example the people from economics or finance (even though they study subjects like black-schole, econometrics, etc) work on order processing thus they are paid less as compare to quant. Sorry in advance if the finance or economics students don't like my this statement, I remember that recently one of the very senior quant (a phd in pure maths) came to my University and the students from financial maths asked him about the quant opportunities, his answer was very harsh "don't apply otherwise you will be wasting your time". The reason is very simple, the fin maths only teaches very limited maths whereas pure maths gives a very broad view & strong skills in order to understand the structure of world or anything. It doesn't mean that a msc fin maths guy can't be quant, of course he can be but only on one condition if he has studied something like pure maths, theoretical physics, engineering such as signal processing, or CS such as machine learning.
    This is something I have always suspected. On forums that economics students use, you get a lot of one-upmanship from the wannabe IB crowd, about how quantitative their econ course is, the claim is usually that if they do an economics course with more maths content they will be snapped up as quants in IB. But after bragging to their fellow economics students about their mathematical ability after doing a rigorous course they will get a shock when they are up against pure maths grads (or even engineering grads) going for these quant jobs, and find that differential equations don't represent the summit of mans mathematical achievements.
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    (Original post by math1234)
    @ Original post: The person who got the highest bonus ($30m) in the history of city was phd in mechanical engineering. Now you can understand that how much quant earns as compare to non-quant.
    Roger Jenkins studied Economics at a podunk uni. And he made a whole lot more than $30m.

    You're not really on the ball...
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    You missed the point. Jenkins worked at Barclays when he made that so it doesn't compare to Buffett and directly compares to your, fairly spurious, example. It was at least £40m and possibly as high as £75m (this was at the time when GBPUSD was trading above 2 so it ****s on your example). For someone "quantitative" your also playing pretty fast and loose with the idea of "many" quants getting bonuses...there are probably far more people making more money across AM/PE/whatever, although i'd imagine you probably know about as much about those areas as you know about constructing a sentence. So it probably only stands up within IBs where your upside is somewhat limited. As the recent crisis showed it doesn't matter if you do okay in an IB if someone is one of your colleagues is doing something really stupid. Also congrats on mangling the english language (I usually don't bother to comment but your work is truly exceptional).

    On the general topic of the thread I add my own, very uninformed, opinion that the majority of stuff involving complicated maths (or anything complicated generally) is, probably, zero-sum. Having "talent" is probably more profitable in the long run than having done a degree in a certain subject, although that may not be the case in the short run. Or to put it a more intuitive way, I'd prefer to invest money with someone who had "investing talent" rather than someone who knew "random formula" as there are probably thousands of other people who know "random formula" against few who have "investing talent". Sucks if you don't have "investing talent" though.
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    (Original post by math1234)
    I just gave an example, I didn't mean that no one else except quants can earn more for instance Warren Buffett studied at business schools but still he's a billionaire giant. But can you explain that how Roger got this £75m bonus? He worked as a middle man therefore got the highest bonus, being a middle man is a job not a specific designation that exists in any bank that a graduate or someone can apply for, banks hire the services of a middle man for a very specific goal and for a very short term whereas quants are hired for specific goals too but for not for very short term (though it depends that for how long a quant can survive). You should atleast read the full article on him on wikipedia before making any comment. I am not against economics or finance they are indeed very intense and interesting subjects but maths is something that can be used almost every where in the world, it doesn't only help to understand the structure of a given problem, it also gives the abstract solutions that helps in making new discoveries.
    Yes, I can go into quite a lot of detail about Roger has done. It's got very little to do with being a quant. In one fairly awesome year for him, he made more for Barclays than the whole of Barcap. He's been around for a while and his division is fairly meaty in size.

    Fortunately for me, I don't have to rely on wikipedia to get info on him. Instead, I've had chats with someone who worked in his group.

    There are still enormous amounts of money to be made by people who once upon a time studied economics. Or mathematics.

    It's the people who go so far beyond their degrees, that the degrees become worthless and trivial bits of paper, that really make a killing.

    And my economics degree is worthless in what I do.
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    (Original post by math1234)
    My main point is that how many people like Roger gets big bonuses, the answer is "very few". And how many quants get big bonuses, the answer is "many". And btw the economists come with the things to whom they call LAWS are not actual laws, you can't apply these so-called laws on humans because human nature alternates between two opposite points and that can't be defined with the help of few probabilistic co-relations.
    What do you call big?

    I have a feeling we operate on different scales... probably because you're a bit green to the game.
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    (Original post by President_Ben)

    And my economics degree is worthless in what I do.
    What do you do, if you don't mind me asking, even if you don't wanna name the firm?
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    (Original post by math1234)
    Yes, it is true but only if you want to work as a quant or an atq. And it is also true that only quants are getting higher salaries as they work on floor as trader.
    But it is not an ordinary maths that is used in high school or even in undergrad. Since, 70's the finance has gone more mathematical, and those who says that IB use only elementary maths is true to some extent because such people have made this assumption on the basis of such analysis which doesn't include quants or atq. And it's completely false that traders use only excel etc one needs highly quantitative skills in order to make changes in the mathematical model on which the client's portfolio is based on.
    Normally, a quant is an expert in pure mathematics mainly in applied probability, topology, measure theory & stochastic analysis. But he also knows the programming to some good extent in any OOP (preferred languages are C++, C#, Java etc) so that whatever equation he has made can be tested instantly and for that his algorithmic skills should be good. And normally quant is good at stock, fx options, bonds, rates, options, and pricing. But at this date, as per my knowledge only very few banks such as BOA, GS etc are using mathematical models though others are working towards it therefore it will not be wrong to say that maths is the future of investment banking.
    On the other side, atq is an expert in discrete mathematics, he understands the complexity of any system in extreme depth therefore he's too good in making & using algorithms. And normally atq works on high frequency trading, structuring etc.
    Both quant & atq are very well mathematically matured, they just don't know that how to solve the mathematical problems in-fact they also know that what is the theory behind that problem (or subject in which they are expert). Though the maths which is applicable in finance or economics is very limited at this date as compare to the whole pue maths or discrete maths
    The non-maths people for example the people from economics or finance (even though they study subjects like black-schole, econometrics, etc) work on order processing thus they are paid less as compare to quant. Sorry in advance if the finance or economics students don't like my this statement, I remember that recently one of the very senior quant (a phd in pure maths) came to my University and the students from financial maths asked him about the quant opportunities, his answer was very harsh "don't apply otherwise you will be wasting your time". The reason is very simple, the fin maths only teaches very limited maths whereas pure maths gives a very broad view & strong skills in order to understand the structure of world or anything. It doesn't mean that a msc fin maths guy can't be quant, of course he can be but only on one condition if he has studied something like pure maths, theoretical physics, engineering such as signal processing, or CS such as machine learning.
    This is a mixture of truth, and commonly held myths. You are right that only quants are the only people in banks who use non-trivial maths, and that the maths they use is relatively advanced (you cant really become a quant with just an undergrad degree, usually a PhD is required for the better jobs). However to correct some of the myths:

    1) most quants dont get paid a huge amount by front office IB standards. The quants that get huge bonuses are generally traders rather than desk quants, however only a very small fraction of quants in a bank are involved in trading. Most quants are either just support for a trading desk, or are in middle-office positions (such as model validation, or quant dev).

    Anyone in a bank getting a bonus of more than (say) £2 million is an outlier and using them as an example of anything is silly. The vast majority of quants arent even getting 1/4 of that (neither is 99% of the rest of front office below MD level). Yeah, a superstar quant trader can get an astronomical bonus (moreso in hedge funds) but thats because he's a trader, not because he's a quant. These people are very rare.

    2) most modern quant work involves programming rather than mathematical research (there are exceptions though). The days of quants spending their days doing hard maths and designing models are largely gone; you might get a few doing this in exotics/research, but the discipline is moving more and more towards programming. See above comment about most quants being either desk support or quant dev. Because of this,its less common than you think to find someone with a pure math PhD working as a quant, most quants are physicists/engineers since mathematicians are often not strong programmers. It happens of course, but its not the most typical background.
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    No, because that would imply that anyone who gets paid well must possess those skills. There are lots of sales, M&A and trading people who don't have high-end math/programming skills who do very well.

    (Original post by math1234)
    Having a masters degree in Financial mathematics but no PhD tends to lead into jobs in banking in risk or trading support but not straight quant jobs. Banking is becoming progressively more mathematical so the knowledge is useful in many areas in banks. Some people then manage
    to move into quant later on. OK there are quite a few ex-pure mathematicians working in the city so it can certainly be done but there is some prejudice in favour of applied maths and physics people.
    While it may be different in the UK, the US has quite a lot of "Financial Engineering" schools, which entail 1 or 2 years of rigorous quantitative finance courses. Those people do get picked for quant jobs, so I wholeheartedly disagree.

    A PhD has many more requirements than just training your quant skills. You have to teach, do research, tutor etc. All of those things significantly reduce your effective time spent on skills useful to a quant, so I'd say someone who has done a 2-year course in Financial Engineering should have no disadvantage compared to someone who holds a PhD (aside from research of course). Not so sure on 1-year courses.

    There's lots of data available on US MFE schools. Top schools tend to have very high starting salaries (90-100k USD base salary,).
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    (Original post by math1234)
    There are following types of quants in market:
    (a) Front office/desk quant
    (b) Model validating quant
    (c) Research quant
    (d) Quant developer
    (e) Statistical arbitrage quant
    (f) Capital quant
    A desk quant implements pricing models directly used by traders. And the main advantage is close to the money and opportunities to move into trading.
    You are talking about the model validation quant who independently implements pricing models in order to check that front office models are correct
    No, Im talking about desk quants, who just do what you say (implement pricing models for traders) - ie they are mainly support staff. Desk quants, quant dev, and model val probably make up around 80-90% of the quants in investment banks; quant research teams are small, and statistical arbitrage is usually more of a hedge fund thing (and has a different recruitment profile).

    And, how much does a quant earn? A quant with no experience will generally get between 35 and 50k pounds. And the highest is 60 plus a signing on bonus. But Pay generally goes up fairly rapidly. Bonuses are generally a large component of total salary.
    These numbers are too low for typical new PhD quant hires (you are either copy-pasting from wikipedia or Mark Joshi's guide, both of which are quite a few years old - salaries are higher now, with bonuses lower), but again they are not big numbers compared to the rest of front office and are comparable to what undergraduate hires get after 2-3 years. Even after 5-10 years of quant work, you arent likely to be breaking a £500k bonus unless you move into trading and do exceptionally well, so throwing numbers like £75m around is ridiculous. Moving into trading as a quant is quite rare by the way, it does happen but its very difficult.

    Quant work is very very well paid by the standards of anything outside banking, but your claims on the last page that quants are among the highest paid people in front office are wrong.
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    If you are serious about a high-end job like the ones you are referring to the least you could do is check out the banks websites. Many have requirements listed in full.
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    (Original post by math1234)
    @ Original post: The person who got the highest bonus ($30m) in the history of city was phd in mechanical engineering. Now you can understand that how much quant earns as compare to non-quant.
    I think you'll find you're talking out of your arse.

    Billions are regularly paid to (elite) HF managers. Many tens of mil are regularly paid to either senior or high value bankers. Even during recent sh*tstorms.

    Very interested as to where that fact came from!

    But people, no matter where you study, or where you work, it is very unlikely that you'll ever earn anything that stratospheric. Certainly many will - but there are a whole lot of 'very motivated', 'very clever' people out there. This industry is getting exponentially more competitive, efficient, regulated, berated (and offshored...)

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