Hedge funds are still hiring IT professionals

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It hasn't been a great few months for most hedge funds, but while front office hiring has largely ground to a halt, there remains an appetite to recruit technologists.

We've mentioned previously that the increased institutionalization in the hedge fund industry, combined with a desire to utilize technology to gain a competitive edge, is spurring more firms to encourage IT professionals to move across from investment banking.

Recent research by Citi Prime Finance has pegged IT spend by hedge funds at $2 billion this year.

"The fact is that a number of the large banks still arguably have a need to hire technologists to take some projects forward, but are hampered by the relatively bureaucratic corporate structure, which currently means freezing headcount," says Mark Warburton, managing director of IT in finance headhunters Pioneer Search. "Smaller, more nimble hedge funds, which would normally have an IT team of 15 to 20 people, are finding it much easier to get signed off for new technology roles."

Hedge funds are making investments into risk, collateral and data management systems, as well as recruiting developers to work on algorithmic trading systems. There's also still plenty of front office support and infrastructure roles on offer, suggests Nick Finlay, head of investment management at Hays Finance Technology.

"There's always a long queue of technologists from investment banking looking to move into a role in a hedge fund, but this has been exacerbated by the recent troubles," he says. "Obviously, the recent volatility has impacted hedge funds, but there's still some hesitation to either cut staff or stop hiring if it means putting IT projects in jeopardy."

Aside from the fact that they're actually still hiring, the packages on offer within hedge funds is another lure. Java developers earn an average of $155k, according to recent research from Hays, and even graduate recruits can expect $52k. Bonuses typically come in at 30 to 60 percent of base.

This article first appeared on our UK site.

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