My Life as a Parasite


Quant Headhunter
As an homage to Emanuel Derman, I chose the title of "My life as a parasite" for an article I did for efinancial careers.
Finance jobs, banking jobs, recruitment in investment banking & in the financial markets

It is interesting to see how the response is quite different between candidates and my competitors, who really don't like me one little bit.
I appreciate that a number of quantnetters have never met me, but if you ask Dan Stefanica, he will confirm that I'm not pretty in real life.
From the responses on that site, my looks, and poor taste in clothes is a major reason that other HHs think themselves superior to me, since "of course" the appearance of your HH is the most important thing.

Some of you won't have been to big conferences or Finance Focus talks, or the quant events we promote with Bloomberg. Thus you won't have seen the way most HHs act when the room is full of people talking about finance. They stand in the corner (wearing nice suits), talking to other HHs. They are sometimes the only people wearing suits, since most of us dress business causal these days. I've never worked out what they gain from trekking to a meeting which they don't take part in.

Apparently I've broken some HH code of honour by asking questions at conferences.

I'm also "self important" ?
Moi ?
You may be able to expand this to book length. I'll be first in line to buy it, so refreshing is genuine candour and so sick am I of sanctimonious hogwash. But if headhunters are the pimps, who are the whores? (Come on, just one more trick....)

With regard to headhunters being parasites, I agree. But then again, this charge applies to most of us these days, and particularly to the global financial overclass, which so many quants aspire to join with all their might and main.


Baruch MFE Director
I appreciate that a number of quantnetters have never met me, but if you ask Dan Stefanica, he will confirm that I'm not pretty in real life.

Hopefully, that will change soon and you will meet more ``quantnetters" :)

As for the second part, while it is not my place to estimate handsomeness, you might underestimate yourself ;)
"Pimp" is such a strong word :)
DC, you should take umbrage at such a word!

As we've learnt from the Eliot Spitzer case, a top-flight call girl can make $5,000-$10,000 a day. That's probably more than most quants make. And the "agencies" operate over more than one continent. The clients are multimillionaires and billionaires (they'd have to be...). So the comparison isn't disparaging towards quants and those who seek to place them. In fact, the relationship between a pimp and his girl is probably more enduring and sincere than between a HH and a quant.

As we've also learnt, these call girls are more than just dumb hookers. They have to have at least a patina of culture and they need some spreadsheet skills (for time accounting, scheduling, and tax purposes). Maybe one day, they'll need some VBA skills as well. I see a slow convergence between call girl skills and quant skills. And therefore, possibly a slow convergence between pimps and quant headhunters.