How to Get a Data Job at a “Nice” Hedge Fund With a $1.8 Million Salary
Among the major multi-strategy hedge funds, Balyasny Asset Management is one of the softest of the bunch. This too pays exceptionally well. And it’s actively there, building a bottom-up data science team.
In recent weeks, Balyasny has made several hires for its data science team in London, many of them from rival funds. They include Cassy Singh (of Man Group), Ellis-Fauve Barden-King (of Citadel) and Scott Donnelly (of T Rowe Price). London data science headhunters say there are many more new recruits to the upcoming fund.
The European build marks the latest stage in Balyasny’s data science evolution under the leadership of chief data officer Carson Boneck, who joined S&P Global Market Intelligence in 2016 and was promoted to chief data officer a while ago. three years.
“I love signing A players and releasing them,” enthused Boneck on the Alternative Data Podcast Last week. When he arrived in Balyasny, Boneck said the fund had a team of “maybe 10 people” working on market data feeds. He didn’t say how many data scientists Balyasny has now, but it’s definitely over 100.
Last year’s recruits in London included Alan Huyn as Head of Macro Data Science (also from T Rowe Price), Canh Duong from Revolution, and Simon Day of Citadel. In the USA, Boneck has hired Harvard researcher Joon Yang and Christopher Olson of AQR Capital Management.
Boneck agrees with the characterization that Balyasny is a relatively “nice” place to work. Although it now employs 1,000 people and has 120 investment teams, BAM is smaller than rivals like Citadel and Millennium and focused on collaboration, he says. “I always describe our culture as a bit of the American Midwest,” he says on the podcast. “Hardworking, diligent… devoid of much Chicago politics.
Boneck says dAta scientists who join Balyasny’s growing team will work on products that can be used across the fund rather than in competing teams. These include Antenna, a data ingestion tool that allows data providers to publish datasets and have them tested almost immediately by a Balyasny risk model. There is also a completely new data system for stock trading.
If you want to get a job at Balyasny, you’ll have to prove you work hard (“We’re breaking our guts here,” says Boneck, adding that the founders lead by example and work 24/7, 365 days a year), collaborative and able to translate data into something actionable. Boneck says he’s looking for Pythonistas who can bridge the “subtlety and pain” that comes from working with data and generating business ideas.
If you succeed, you could be very well paid. Average salary at Balyasny in London was $1.8 million in 2020. This average includes portfolio managers who are almost certainly paid significantly more than just data scientists, but recruiters say Balyasny is generous and pays his data people the same as Citadel. Total pay for senior Balyasny data scientists is typically between £150,000 and £300,000 ($203,000 and $406,000).
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