Interview with Dominic Connor

Dominic Connor is a partner in P&D. He teaches C++ in the CQF program and has been recruiting for quant positions. Based on London, UK, Dominic is well known both via his work as a headhunter and a prolific poster on the online quant communities. We'd like to thank Dominic for taking the time to sit down for an interview with QuantNet. Thanks, Dominic!

Can you give us a brief bio?

Paul Wilmott & I started P&D recruitment about three years ago. Before that I'd been a CIO for a brokerage firm in fixed income, having worked at a variety of IBs. I'm married with two kids, live in Epping Forest on the edge of London.

What is your educational background?

I'm a former student of Paul Wilmott on the CQF, and before that did Maths/Comp Sci at university, and worked on a project to apply fuzzy logic to stock picking.

What do you consider as your accomplishments up to this point?

As a teenager I worked on an industrial process to plate gold onto Teflon. Was tricky, and mildly dangerous. (hint: mixing gold potassium cyanate, nitric acid and electricity should not be tried at home). Whilst working as a consultant to the British Treasury, the accountant in charge of the British national debt calculated that on an hourly basis I was the most expensive person in the pay of the British government. This was an attempt to get the bank that employed me to cut their rates. It failed.

Any failures you'd like to tell us about?

No...
But if you insist, early in my career I tried to apply artificial intelligence techniques to stock picking, was awful, we genuinely believed that technical analysis had some merit. My excuse was that I was young.

What other projects and/or ventures are you involved in?

I teach on the CQF, and have a venture looking at extremely low latency trading systems.

What would you want to do for a living if you weren't a quant recruiter?

I'd go back to bossing people around in some IB, or if all else fails take the job in algo trading I was accidentally offered by a bank which confused quant headhunting with being a quant. I like teaching, so would do more of that.

What advice can you give people just getting into quantitative finance field? What are the most common mistakes you see newbie making?

The most common structural error is to not making an effort to understand as much about the job as you can. A growing failure mode is students who have strong foreign accents not socially mixing with their peers outside their ethnic group. This hurts their networking a little, but in a surprising % of cases I encounter MFEs who have anything up to 4 years education in the US or Britain who I cannot understand when they speak. In some cases, my ears tell me that they're not speaking English at all. But their written and reading skills are excellent.

Another mistake is thinking that the MFE will get you a career. It will get you interviews, not even a job. You are all running up a down escalator in competition with others. You have to learn more than you are taught. Being just another MFE might get you a job, it won't make you rich.

What technical skill set, personal qualities that you look for in a prospective job seeker?

Obviously this is a math based career, and I like to see some breadth beyond the standard core that everyone is expected to have. Banks are less interested in hiring people who only know the narrow band of maths you see in quant text books. I like to see 'creativity', that's hard to define, but one approximation is the habit of trying to use ideas out of their original context. This is especially applicable to a game like ours where most people are from other backgrounds, you should be thinking of how to make this stuff work in finance. Typically you will fail, but the effort itself has value.

I like to see articulate people for several reasons. First up of course they do better at interviews, but a surprising % of the people I speak to leave me with the feeling that they don't really understand the thing they've been doing for the last few years. I could of course be mistaken, but that error hurts them more than me. But as I say elsewhere, you need to be able to explain if you want to prosper in this line of work.

How has your business changed over the years? What challenges will you face in the future?

The diversity in jobs has increased enormously. When Derman started in this business, quants were few, and most could switch track radically without effort. Now every aspect of investment banking requires at least some quant skills. Recently we talked to a large IB about quant compliance, an idea I am still getting my head around. Certainly, customer facing business development staff often now need quant skills, which hurts some older players, because they need to explain to clients and their advisors the nature of sophisticated, and thus higher margin products.

What skills (technical, social) you believe are essential to being a successful MFE?

I'm going to focus on the non-obvious aspects, rather than the obvious stochastics, PDEs, numerical methods et al.

A good technical skill, to be useful should be a lightning rod for interview questions, which means you should choose your "banner" skills as those where you can beat others.

Reviewing my posts on Quantnet, I don't push Excel VBA hard enough as a technical skill. It probably won't get you a job, but will improve your visible productivity early in your job.

In this climate, there is a stronger trend towards "needs" based hiring over "want". That means sprinkling in a few relatively low level buzzwords can make you seem like the person they have to hire to get certain work done.

Some social skills that will help you progress:
Ability to disagree with your boss in a way that does not offend him, his intelligence, or in some cases, his mother.
You're smart, else you wouldn't be doing this, and with that comes opinions which is good, but there are a pair of failure mode where quants argue needlessly and badly, and/or simply take any view of your boss with sullen silence.

Ability to explain yourself.
We like to see people who've had experience explaining things because a quant is a local expert in some area, and that means you need to communicate what you think. A good exercise is to "cross domains". For instance force yourself to explain any finance concept in terms of card games and best on horses, and when that simply won't stretch, seek out gambling games like roulette. It's news to some people that bookies hedge, which really ought to be obvious.

It's not enough to know the algebra of Kelly criteria, you should feel it, but that's no excuse for not knowing the maths.

Given current market headlines, is demand for quants increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same? Are certain quantitative skill sets becoming more valuable?

A year from now I expect more quants to be employed than today, but supply is increasing, so at some point there will be a serious gap in supply and demand. This is being delayed partly by the increase in variety of jobs

Where are the areas (product, geographic) that you are seeing most recruiting happening and who are still hiring? What will be the hottest trend?

Algorithmic trading has so far managed to avoid any major blow ups, and the technology is at a stage where the barriers to entry are relatively low. This means the large banks are not cutting this much, and some are expanding. However the quite appalling state of some major IBs infrastructure means the prop shops can compete on more equal terms. This is all good news for employment relative to the current market.

For a recent MFE graduate looking to join a trading desk, which type of desk is better, flow desk or prop desk and why? Hedge fund or IB?

You'll learn more on a prop desk, but some firms have flow trading as part of a structured process by which you get a picture of the whole business which makes you more effective. So flow is good as *part* of your training, but not so good if it's *all* you do, and prop is a steeper learning curve but you don't go so deep.

A lot depends on the IB you are comparing to a HF. I'd take DE Shaw over many IBs, but brands have more value when you are at the start of your career.

You are a big C++ advocate, how would one benchmark his level of C++ worthiness that deem acceptable to you? Is there a set of exam, test, etc?

No.
The Brainbench tests are the least useless, but their main utility is being a cheap quick way of filtering out the truly hopeless. I regard myself as understanding some maths or programming only when I can correct the errors of others, and I think that you should not put any language on your CV unless you've fixed some bugs of your peers. This is a dirty secret of quant finance, about 60% of the work is programming and circa 50% of that is debugging. I guess a Baruch grad has 30 years of work ahead of him, so that's 10 years of fixing code. If that thought makes you physically ill, quit now.

How would one gauge his own level of success in this industry? For example, after 5 years, must one be at a certain income level with a certain title?

I'm famous for saying that you spend more time with the people you work with than who you sleep with. When people tell me about how content or unhappy they are, respect of their peers is a big factor. This is a very important and delicate issue; people who will happily tell me what they earn or important personal data, will skirt this issue.
Income correlates with respect, but again it's the rate of change and how your set of possibilities evolves that affect your morale.
I know this from my own experience, I quit my last real job because I simply could not see anything that I could do that I felt was worthwhile.

As a headhunter, it's not my job to tell people what to want, it is to find out what they want and then help them get it. Money is a factor in choosing one job over another, but for most people it is not the reason that makes them get in contact with me. Money is an objective measure of the "respect" your firm/boss has for you. One reason for the quite dreadful IT in several large firms is that IT people get random small numbers, uncorrelated with their contribution. When quant developers get dropped into IT, their morale drops faster than their pay.
One reason I'll never have to get a real job again is that nearly all banks are structurally incapable of developing people's careers. Occasionally a bank will do this mildly well, but then lose interest.

Many employers under-weight the importance of job titles as part of recognizing people's evolution

Do you have any advice for someone who may be starting their career in a second-tier financial center like Chicago?

Leave.
More seriously, you need to put a bit more effort into networking, and where you have the choice try to go for more branded employers. In this market, that is not always easy, so try to pick jobs where you are learning. Chicago may be further from Wall Street, but that matters a lot less if the job is closer to the money. Sometimes there is a rational trade off to make.

What are your opinions on prop shops? I've heard people say taking a job at one of these places is a black mark on your resume as far as IBs are concerned.

Yes, some managers do see prop shops as beneath them, but many like the idea that you are close to the money, this should be something you push when you go for other jobs.
I see quite a few quant jobs right in the "high frequency" trading space, and a lot of the math involved (signal processing, etc.) are quite different than the stuff taught in typical MFE programs. Is self-study for this subjects a realistic option for these openings, or should we just leave these openings to Electrical Engineers who have been doing this for a living?

That's a pretty accurate summation, though we do have a few algo traders who are self taught in the relevant techniques. Although the strongest demand is for those with PhD level SP, good undergrad experience combined with the right maths can get you there. Typically an EE can't do more than about 25% of his degree in things relevant to SP, so self study is not impossible, but getting a job is then dependent upon your ability to project that to a prospective employer.

There is also demand for the very top end of econometrics whizzes, though the feedback I get is that employers find many mainline economists don't quite have the depth they require.

What can be done to attract more women into quantitative finance field?

Show them the money.
They also need to get the message about the work. It's inevitable that many people both males and females have an incomplete model of the opportunities and career paths. As I say above there's more types of jobs than anyone might suspect, so this is an entirely fixable situation. We advise women on this, but course if they don't look too hard at this line of work, they never find us in the first place.

The deep problem though is arts graduates in the media pumping a message that anyone who does science is an ugly geek with no friends. But we can't fix this.

What do you think are the difficulties for women to thrive in this male-dominated career and what would be your suggestions?

Although you may work for a bank with 100,000 people, investment banking leans towards lots of smallish groups, so you may end up in an all male team. Some women seem put off by this, and I have seen a couple turn down roles on that basis.
I see less networking by women, which on the whole holds them back.

There is of course sexism, and I'm not going to pretend it doesn't do damage. But I've worked in several industries and interacted with most professions, and I'm pretty confident it is less bad in investment banking than most other places, especially media, government and retail banking. I have met precisely one senior woman senior retail banker, yet like in nursing there's plenty at the lower levels.
But the money in quant work is better, so my cynical position is that if you're going to be discriminated against anyway, you might as well get well paid for it. IBs make more millionaires from ethnic minorities than any other line of work, so I don't see any major barrier to extending that to women.
We're looking at doing an "Investment Banking for Girls" event with one of the major banks, for women doing the right subjects. Aside from the requirement to think of a better name, it will use all our resources to get enough in one place simply because the vast majority of proto-quants are men.

What have been your experiences placing female candidates? Do they face more obstacles or being short-changed as a female?

It's easier for us to get an interview for a woman, and on average they are more likely to get a given job. Being a headhunter, it follows that I have better data on the transitions between jobs than how women progress within those jobs. Hiring managers from a wide range of business have privately told us they'd actively like to see more women. That to me is a clear signal that if I find more good female quants, my business will grow faster.
Joining the dots of the snapshots I have of female quant careers, I see no evidence that FQs move up the food chain more slowly or earn less. Although my data is sparse enough that there may well be a bias, it tells me that it is not very large, because I'd spot that.

There is a shadow of a signal that FQs get lower bonuses, certainly they convey that idea to me, and this implies some degree of lower appreciation of their work.

Kids are an issue of course, and if someone leaves this line of work, I can't figure them into my model. I have to choose my words carefully here, but it can be made to work, if you want it to. Mrs. DCFC is a partner in a very large international law firm, earning money comparable to an IB quant, and so we have a nanny, and various other fixes available to those who earn relatively well. The wide variety of jobs means that a working mother has a respectable set of options. I accept there is an impact (DCFC 2.0 and 2.1 cost more than a new house in lost earnings), but when I see mothers in lower paid jobs outside banking they don't have so many choices and those options are often much less attractive. An FQ might go and work for a consultancy and gain better hours at the price of "only" earning 4 times what the average person does.

If you were asked to design a curriculum for MS program in Financial Engineering which core courses would you pick?

The core of most MFEs is the same, and I have no issue with that. The structural change I'd look at is more deep-specialist options. As the market tightens, it will be less useful to know the same general stuff as everyone else. That is a long term trend as well, as the size of this profession grows then you cannot hope to cover everything in adequate detail.
Thus I'd identify some niche like energy derivatives, risk management or government debt and build excellence all the way from trading through to cutting edge modeling and hedging. I'd split roughly 2/3 core competencies in time series, pricing, numerical methods, etc, and 1/3 making people stand out as first rate in that area. Done properly you can attract the top names to guest lecture and work with students, and of course banks wanting that particular skill will come shopping.

If you were asked to run an MFE program, what would you do to place your students for internships and jobs?

As a headhunter, I see the alumni as the most powerful resource for getting my students into firms. I would make sure that we kept contact with them, with things like continuing education, lunches, meetings in bars. Create a yearbook with a summary of the program and the CV of everyone who's looking for a job. Include a list of the subjects covered by students and the depth they did them to. Mail it to all alumni. None of this costs much.

I'd also have a short series of lectures specifically aimed at the skills relevant for getting a job. That's conditional probability, brain teasers, how to explain what you're good at, and CV design.
Also I'd encourage the alumni to work on the recruitment system. Headhunters are the first gatekeepers in the process, and try their best to find out what clients want. If they think Baruch students sell well, you will find yourself being put forward to more roles. It's also important to know that in this line of work you are interviewing people much earlier than elsewhere. This can actually be just a few weeks, and very probably you will interview a newbie within your first year. Thus there are Baruch alumni getting resumes from headhunters all the time. They just need to ask "why am I not getting many Baruch people ?". The HH will get the message, and if enough do that it will swing the consensus your way. I'm not saying Baruch alumni should give preferential treatment to own school in hiring decisions which is wrong on so many levels, just poke the information providers to see the picture better.
(Just don't tell the other HHs I told you to do this).

What do you know now that you wish you'd known 10 years ago?

That I could do this for a living, is certainly the first item. I'm lucky that I enjoy my job, enough that my 7 year old son has difficulty understanding that it is work.

Tell us something about yourself that we don't already know.

I've started writing a novel about Rogue Trading, based upon the realities we've seen, with various tales I get to hear as a headhunter.

The working title is "Fat Tails", maybe "Trade/Off" what do you think ?

What does the future hold for Dominic Connor?

I ought to do a careers talk at Baruch, and physically meet the people who read my posts on Quantnet.

See also
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
If you dumped me and a bunch of other English speakers in China, I've no doubt that most of the time we'd talk to each other. Indeed, once in a bar in Sydney, I bumped into several people I knew, before I realised it was the "British" bar, that even in an English speaking country.

Chinese is more different from English than is French or Italian, so it's harder to master.
But as your headhunter, my advice is that this means you have to work harder at it, and that means "social English", not just understanding lectures and reading books.

I also believe Chinese people like groups more than several other nationalities, and the trick is to have the support of a group, but be able to work alone.
 
We live in a society that glamorizes fashion, reality shows, singing career. Teenagers may see it uncool as being good in math. They rather model after Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Hanna Montana or whatever idol they have.

Sounds about right. After finishing high school with math-physics concentration, I went into acting. Had no idea what to do with math skills. It didn't look like a career path with many opportunities. No one ever said to me 'Hey, you are smart. Why don't you try engineering?'. But they said 'Hey, you are tall, blond, good looking. Why don't you try acting?'. I wasted couple of years but at least learn some important communication skills.

'Show them the money' starts making sense when you understand it as presenting different female role models.
 
Tell us something about yourself that we don't already know.
I've started writing a novel about Rogue Trading, based upon the realities we've seen, with various tales I get to hear as a headhunter.

The working title is "Fat Tails", maybe "Trade/Off" what do you think ?

How much progress have you made with that book. It sounds like an interesting book.
Fat Tails immediately reminds me of Taleb. Rouge Traders is title of a movie. Trade/Off sounds like Face Off.
Are all the events/people in the book took place in London?
 
I totally agree with Dominic on this one, and one can find evidence of this here on quantnet. If we look at some of the featured photos here we find in some of them the chinese looking people out-number the non-chinese ones. Take for instance this photo. The ratio is 8:3 - three times as much assuming the one who snapped the photo is also chinese.

I don't quite follow your logic. A photo in which the Chinese outnumber the non-Chinese just shows that there was a greater proportion of Chinese at the event (and this is assuming all the East Asians are Chinese). MFE programs often have many East Asian students, so this is hardly surprising. I do agree that Chinese and Indian students tend to hang out with each other (just that those photos aren't very good proof).
 
Dominic:

I have a question to you. I have a background in Fuzzy based soft computing methodologies. I did my Ph.D from an US university in application of Fuzzy Logic, Fuzzy Clustering, Neural Net and Genetic Algorithm applications in Computer Aided Design (CAD) problem solutions. But last 11+ years I am mostly doing C/C++ and Java/J2EE application development. I have published a few peer reviewed papers in Fuzzy area and even today exploring the applications of these algorithms. I would like break in the Quant Financial area. What are prospects?

Thanks
Sumit
 
We were earlier discussing how Indian and Chinese students dominate FE classes. I'd like to present the Indian angle.

Someone mentioned earlier how Chinese students are forced to study math. Well the same holds true for India as well. In fact you would be surprised to know that an average Indian engineering undergrad student hardly chooses anything in his entire course of study. We have a centralized sort of education system here where the syllabus for every degree is pre-decided, be it engineering or anything else. For e.g. I will complete approximately 45 courses for my computer engineering degree( over 8 sems) but out of these only 2 were actually chosen by me. Yes only 2. The entire course of study is more or less pre-decided. The only real choice a student makes is of the degree he or she wants to pursue in the first place.

The curriculum of every engineering course here includes all the high level math that generally forms the prerequisite of FE courses. The result is that the thousands of engineers that India mass produces already are ready with the requisite math for FE(at least on paper). And, believe me, there is a huge hype here amongst Indian engineers about how awesome FE is and how rich it makes you(especially the rich part). Hence a tremendous interest by Indian students. I expect the no. of indian students this year doing FE to be really high, more due to the fact that so many fledgling 2nd tier courses have started and admits are coming from them thick and fast. Those who don't even have much idea about FE are interested. I have spoken to some people and they want to do FE because they don't like the coding sort of IT jobs and want to shift into something nice and lucrative where there will be less coding involved!!!

So there you go, don't expect any lack of enthusiasm from us in India. I wonder if this will create an oversupply in the job market in the coming years.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
"but it's not easy for (first-generation) immigrants to assimilate because of alien cultural mores."

And this is my problem, how ?
I'm sure there is some more politically correct way of responding, but my responsibility as a headhunter is to advise, not sort out your cultural issues manually.

If it's hard, then you need to work at hard at it.
If you were to see something of the form "stochastic calculus is difficult, if you haven't studied it", then you'd expect a response of "go to the lectures, read the books, and work the example questions".
Same with working with a new culture.
You need to talk to people outside your culture as your first choice, watch English-language movies with subtitles if necessary, and practice picking up in bars.

If I were running the Baruch MFE (or indeed any other), I would make anyone who doesn't have good English work as a charity collector.
Back when I was less fat and old I used to do some martial arts (badly).
Standard in this discipline is to stand on the corner of the mat and have a stream of people run at you to be taken out.
This helps you get your technique reliable and instinctive.

Charity collection gives you quick and reliable feedback based skills development.
You can try different techniques with very low cost, and of course do something useful.

Your interview at Goldmans or UBS is not the time to try this sort of experiment on how to talk to people outside your culture.


We are not talking about advice given to 60 year old refugees who are barely literate in their own culture, so I flatly reject the notion that someone who is smart enough to be a successful quant can't improve their ability to communicate with workmates.

If you cannot work out that building the ability to work well with people, or even to get beyond the level where people can't even guess what you are saying, then maybe some less demanding career like teaching Intelligent Design is for you.
 
"but it's not easy for (first-generation) immigrants to assimilate because of alien cultural mores."

And this is my problem, how ?
I'm sure there is some more politically correct way of responding, but my responsibility as a headhunter is to advise, not sort out your cultural issues manually.

But no-one is suggesting it's your problem nor asking for a polite response. It's a neutral observation by a neutral, dispassionate, and indifferent observer.

Same with working with a new culture.
You need to talk to people outside your culture as your first choice, watch English-language movies with subtitles if necessary, and practice picking up in bars.

You're confusing language with culture. The former is merely a subset of the latter. It's the non-language components of the latter that are a major stumbling block for outsiders. You must surely have seen this in your job as a headhunter: people who have command of the language but don't understand the subtle non-verbal cues of English (or American) culture. Or who miss English humor (the last holds for Americans as well, incidentally). I see this all the time. In passing, the English scene is probably more of a hurdle for outsiders than the American one, simple because England is a more formally stratified society, with all sorts of hidden codes operating.

And this lack of cultural fit is why outsiders tend to get hired for back-office jobs. Again, no startling revelation on my part. Just the way it is. There may be exceptions -- someone like Vijay Pandit, maybe, at Citibank -- but they merely prove the general rule.
 
And, believe me, there is a huge hype here amongst Indian engineers about how awesome FE is and how rich it makes you(especially the rich part). Hence a tremendous interest by Indian students. I expect the no. of indian students this year doing FE to be really high, more due to the fact that so many fledgling 2nd tier courses have started and admits are coming from them thick and fast. Those who don't even have much idea about FE are interested. I have spoken to some people and they want to do FE because they don't like the coding sort of IT jobs and want to shift into something nice and lucrative where there will be less coding involved!!!

So there you go, don't expect any lack of enthusiasm from us in India. I wonder if this will create an oversupply in the job market in the coming years.

There's already an oversupply, which will soon become an embarrassing glut. The Indians should be told there's no pot of gold at the end of this particular rainbow. Ten year ago, even five years ago, yes. Not today. They shouldn't get conned by the pie-in-the-sky promises of these worthless new programs that are multiplying like flies.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Charity collection gives you quick and reliable feedback based skills development.
You can try different techniques with very low cost, and of course do something useful.

Your interview at Goldmans or UBS is not the time to try this sort of experiment on how to talk to people outside your culture.

The best advice I got when I came to this country in order to learn the language was: "Get an American girlfriend". So, the best advice I have to all the foreigners that want to learn the language is "Get an American Girlfriend/Boyfriend". It will force you to learn the language.
 
There's already an oversupply, which will soon become an embarrassing glut. The Indians should be told there's no pot of gold at the end of this particular rainbow. Ten year ago, even five years ago, yes. Not today. They shouldn't get conned by the pie-in-the-sky promises of these worthless new programs that are multiplying like flies.

There is indeed an oversupply of the talent you refer to - typically those with excellent math+programming skills. But bear in mind there is still an acute shortage of people who can apply these skills to generate profit, which is essentially the whole point of financial engineering.
 

dstefan

Baruch MFE Director
"If I were running the Baruch MFE (or indeed any other), I would make anyone who doesn't have good English work as a charity collector."

We ended with a solution that prevents having people hone their English skills that way :)

Before being admitted in the program, every future student has an in-person or phone interview with me, and good communication skills are rather accurately assessed that way. The interviews really break very strong candidacies on the basis of lack of good command of English.
 
The best advice I got when I came to this country in order to learn the language was: "Get an American girlfriend". So, the best advice I have to all the foreigners that want to learn the language is "Get an American Girlfriend/Boyfriend". It will force you to learn the language.
When I came to the US, my ESL teacher told me to read newspapers, watch TV everyday (with caption) and I took it to heart. I like reading since early age so doing it in English is not that hard. I started reading NYDailynews, NY Posts and watching all the local evening news. After a while, I can understand 90% of the vocabularies in the newspapers and TV. Granted, those newspapers aren't exactly the gold standard of literacy but it helps when I start moving to better papers like NYT and WSJ.
Also, reading and posting on forums like Quantnet help with my writing. Practice makes perfect and I think I make fewer grammar mistakes :smt024
My other observation is that the new Asian students coming into the Baruch program have much better English than when I arrived here. I think as India and China open to global markets, its students are better prepared than past generations.
This whole discussion about learning English and assimilating into American culture bring back plenty of my old memory and I can't help but relive those sweet times.
 
This whole discussion about learning English....

You're now at a stage where you can start to learn real English, and not merely the stripped-down and dumbed-down American version. English writers such as, inter alia, Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), Macaulay (The History of England) and Boswell (Life of Johnson) are renowned stylists and you can probably pick up inexpensive copies of their books at the Strand Book Store. Among periodicals, one might recommend the London Review of Books or the New York Review of Books. At this stage you're moving beyond language as merely a utilitarian device for commerce and day-to-day interaction to language as embedded in a particular history and culture, with a resonance and nuance uniquely its own.
 

Sanket Patel

i do stuff
Read the Economist - a very well written periodical.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
Fat Tails immediately reminds me of Taleb
Guilty as charged.

Rouge Traders is title of a movie.

Trade/Off sounds like Face Off.
Which is why it is so attractive to me.

Are all the events/people in the book took place in London?
No.
The very rough outline is to mirror things that have really happened, and then fill in the gaps with ideas that I hear as gossip in my job as a headhunter. Not all of the gossip is true, but it's the sort of thing that happens, so conveys the underline situation.

As for the non-native English speaker's Bigbadwolf is right, the stuff I suggest is a starting point, to enable people to both give and receive appropriate non-verbal signals, and the control of voice necessary to get the message across.
When outside our home culture how many people around here have the ability to spot when someone we are talking to is getting bored or even embarassed ?


 
When outside our home culture how many people around here have the ability to spot when someone we are talking to is getting bored or even embarassed?

An American will yawn in your face (if indeed he doesn't amble off); an Englishman will politely say, "How very interesting" (which will be completely lost on an American, who'll take it at face value). In England, a polite silence, a pursing of the lips, or a refusal to make eye contact will suffice to indicate to the speaker that he's boring his listener; in the USA, a polite silence will simply be ignored as the American goes in a rambling monologue. And mind, these are two countries that share the same language (or as some commentators say, are divided by the same language).
 
An American will yawn in your face (if indeed he doesn't amble off); an Englishman will politely say, "How very interesting" (which will be completely lost on an American, who'll take it at face value). In England, a polite silence, a pursing of the lips, or a refusal to make eye contact will suffice to indicate to the speaker that he's boring his listener; in the USA, a polite silence will simply be ignored as the American goes in a rambling monologue. And mind, these are two countries that share the same language (or as some commentators say, are divided by the same language).

I actually did not know that. Thank you very much.
 
I have to say, thank you for this interview, Sir Connor (or should I call you Dominic?)


I do agree with that show women the money thing. My optimization professor, the absolutely amazing Aurelie Thiele, in one of her blog posts ( Thoughts on business, engineering and higher education ) said she went into engineering for the money. But then again, she is a European girl.

Also, a girl from my high school (Jewish...I think that may account for something! We're like the brilliant foreigners without the cultural barriers!) went to Columbia for undergraduate fin engr. I thought I'd catch up with her in college. Instead, I got the "too busy for you" to the not worth the time of day treatment when I tried to get in touch. Waah.


Oh, and another thing...


How many more ratings agencies jokes do you have up your sleeve, Sir Connor? You never fail to make my day with one of those.
 
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