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SAC is Hiring, But Do You Want the Job?

Embroiled in myriad of scandals, SAC Capital Advisors has (finally) decided to beef up its compliance department. The question remains whether you want to work there.

The Connecticut-based firm, which has seen several former lieutenants placed in cuffs for insider trading, and which recently agreed to a massive settlement for its own regulatory lapses, will increase its compliance staff by 25% this year, to around 45 employees. The hedge fund giant boasted only 10 compliance officers five years ago, according to the New York Times.

Whether the hires are planned simply to appease regulators matters not. They’re openings at a firm that essentially prints money. Candidates will likely fight for the opportunity to earn an interview.

Still, there are obvious drawbacks. Let’s start with the environment. One former employee recently compared working at the firm to “The Hunger Games,” where traders are pitted against each other, leaving only the strongest to survive. Founder Steven A. Cohen is known to personally apply much of the pressure.

Then there’s the job itself. The regulatory culture at the firm appears in disrepair, at least judging by recent headlines. Plus, SAC is as aggressive as they come, taking monster positions on a daily basis. The scandal-plagued firm invested $5 million or more in a single stock in a single quarter more than 5,300 times over the last six years. No other firm is close.

On the other hand, there’s the issue of money. SAC makes a lot of it, and recently made the decision to increase bonuses to retain employees amid scandals and customer fund withdrawals. The decision to apply for the job is yours.

Reading Comprehension (WSJ)

Most candidates spend several minutes reviewing a job description, but few read the complete posting, often skimming through the requirements section, according to a new eye-tracking study. The result: recruiters receive hundreds of resumes from unqualified job seekers.

Sentenced (Reuters)

Todd Newman, the former portfolio manager at Diamondback Capital Management convicted last year of insider trading, was sentenced to 54 months in prison on Thursday.

Wining and Dining (WSJ)

The Libor rate-fixing scandal was fueled, in part, by rampant favor-trading. In exchange for helping them manipulate the global interest rate, brokers would reportedly provide traders with dinners, fancy trips and lap dances.

Break ‘Em Up (The Telegraph)

Knight Vinke Asset Management, a UBS shareholder and renowned activist investor, is calling on the Swiss bank to spin off its investment banking division, a unit that “nearly destroyed” UBS during the financial crisis. Knight Vinke Chief Executive Eric Knight did his pleading publicly, taking out a full-page ad in Financial Times on the same day of the bank’s annual meeting.

Women to Drive the Economy (Fortune)

The key to America's economic prosperity? Women, says billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has encouraged males to “get onboard” with diversity in a new op-ed. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, was just ranked as one of the least diverse companies in the S&P 100 Index.  Oh, and the 82-year-old just joined Twitter. He already has 79,000 more followers than me.

Lazard Gets Slaughtered (Bloomberg)

Larry Slaughter, co-head of North American investment banking at J.P. Morgan, is leaving the bank to join merger advisory firm Lazard as vice-chairman of its investment banking business.

Fail (Financial News)

Proxy advisory firm Glass, Lewis & Co. is encouraging Morgan Stanley shareholders to vote against the bank’s executive compensation plan, giving the bank’s pay-for-performance grade an "F."

Buzz Around the Office

Shift it Backwards (Mashable)

Sit back and enjoy the best auto service commercial of all-time.

List of the Day: Working Remotely

If you work remotely, you need to go the extra mile to create strong relationships with colleagues. Here’s how.

  1. Follow them on social networks.
  2. Keep people updated on you to emphasize your value.
  3. Capitalize on in-person events.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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