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Wall Street Needs Fresh Ideas To Compete With Tech Firms For Talent

In a few short months, the next crop of college grads will enter the workforce and this year more than ever, many a bright young thing who would potentially be attracted to a job in the financial industry will be lured out West to a “name-brand organization” like Google or Facebook, that their parents’ friends will be easily impressed by and perhaps even believe is worth a trillion dollars. While Wall Street firms, even the mid-sized ones, can generally pay more up front, talent is being wooed by options, “the luster of working for the cutting-edge social-networking or Web-search firms,” better hours and other perks, forcing hedge funds et al to step up their games.

Take Chicago-based Chopper Trading. According to Chief Executive Raj Fernando, the firm has “virtually no turnover” because employees are “well taken care of” and given many a reason “not to go anywhere else.” Those reasons include the tickets to sporting events, “organized paintball trips,” a pup-friendly office and the ability to play shuffleboard, Ping-Pong, pool, and video games in the 3,000-square-foot game and exercise room.

And while the shops with the most serious competition from Silicon Valley are mostly high-frequency trading and electronic market-making firms in need of computer programmers and software engineers (“geeks” to the layman, as the Journal puts it), thanks to Facebook’s trillion dollar valuation 13-figure valuation and Groupon’s promise of competitive discounts on grooming services, the issue could spill over to start affecting those in more traditional banking and trading gigs. So Goldman and Tudor and SAC etc are prepared, it’s probably wise to start coming up with some deal-sweeteners now.

Remember, big money supposedly isn’t enough for this new breed, who is apparently mostly drawn in by the lure of activities that make coming in feel less like a place of business and more like a dorm room/camp/carnival. Everyone’s got the standard Ping-Pong, pool, Wii stuff, so think along those lines but bigger, better, more outside the box. Like:

– a bouncy castle in the parking lot every Wednesday afternoon
– in-house magicians (David Blaine comes to mind)
– midget masseurs
– a trading-floor adjacent room devoted entirely to Dungeons & Dragons
– topless palm readers

And so on and so forth.


Wall Street Battles Silicon Valley For Tech Geeks
[WSJ]

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79 Responses to “Wall Street Needs Fresh Ideas To Compete With Tech Firms For Talent”

  1. Charles "The Body" Gasparino says:

    Raj Fernando is a friend of mine.

  2. Charles "The Body" Gasparino says:

    Raj Fernando is a friend of mine.

  3. 80s_guy says:

    Hookers and blow.

  4. Anyone here work at Chopper? Can you pass along my resume?

  5. Anyone here work at Chopper? Can you pass along my resume?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t we see this movie before?

    -Guy who remembers the late ’90s.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes we have…the free sodas and fruit at goldman have been replaced with vending machines charging $2 per can and there are guys roaming park ave with sandwich boards.

      • Donk says:

        The free sodas went the way of the Dodo when someone realized that the cleaning people were basically emptying the machines every night.

        –Guy who was there and watched them doing it

        • Anonymous says:

          Anyone else remember a WSJ story from ca. Q4’99 about how taking a nap on the office sofa during business hours was the new “in” thing to do at the “cool” firms?

      • Donk says:

        The free sodas went the way of the Dodo when someone realized that the cleaning people were basically emptying the machines every night.

        –Guy who was there and watched them doing it

      • Donk says:

        The free sodas went the way of the Dodo when someone realized that the cleaning people were basically emptying the machines every night.

        –Guy who was there and watched them doing it

      • StuckInOhio says:

        Apparently there used to be a game room in the Broadway building (foosball and other nonsense) and the HR/HCM folks established the “Office of Cool” to try to compete with pets.com and the like.

        The only thing free that I saw was coffee, and it’s already been established that it’s absolutely disgusting.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t we see this movie before?

    -Guy who remembers the late ’90s.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How about paying bonuses?

  9. Anonymous says:

    How about paying bonuses?

  10. House says:

    I’m hearing stories of attrition at AAPL

  11. Guest says:

    One of those ball-rooms like at IKEA and a basket of kittens on my desk. Fresh kittens every week.

  12. Guest says:

    One of those ball-rooms like at IKEA and a basket of kittens on my desk. Fresh kittens every week.

  13. Guest says:

    One of those ball-rooms like at IKEA and a basket of kittens on my desk. Fresh kittens every week.

  14. Guest says:

    If we remove all of the cubicles we’ll have much more room for activities!!

    – Night Hawk

  15. I still can’t believe someone named their shop “Chopper Trading”. Was “Huge Rips, Ltd.” taken?

  16. I still can’t believe someone named their shop “Chopper Trading”. Was “Huge Rips, Ltd.” taken?

  17. Helicopter says:

    Bess: Lynn Tilton CEO of MD Helicopters™ to be Honored as Living Legend of Aviation
    http://www.businesswire.com/ne
    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lynn Tilton, founder and CEO of private equity firm Patriarch Partners, LLC (“Patriarch”) and industrialist will be honored as “Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year”

  18. Helicopter says:

    Bess: Lynn Tilton CEO of MD Helicopters™ to be Honored as Living Legend of Aviation
    http://www.businesswire.com/ne
    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lynn Tilton, founder and CEO of private equity firm Patriarch Partners, LLC (“Patriarch”) and industrialist will be honored as “Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year”

  19. Johnnyrocks36 says:

    I want my Squishee! I came straight off the boat from India and I want APU’s Squishee’s!

  20. Pup-Friendly says:

    Well get those puppies out. Let us see ’em

  21. Mr. Kruger says:

    Legos and Play-Doh. I can’t get these kids to go home for god’s sake!

  22. Guest says:

    Shitty hours. Uninteresting work. Assclown bosses. And now, no bonuses. Tell me, why should I prefer some publicly-traded shit bank to a place where I can have good time, get paid, add skills, and not deal with infantile MD’s?

    Nerdy ComSci grads only went to this industry to earn 2x more than they would at Microsoft, and even then, it was a tough choice.

  23. Guest says:

    Shitty hours. Uninteresting work. Assclown bosses. And now, no bonuses. Tell me, why should I prefer some publicly-traded shit bank to a place where I can have good time, get paid, add skills, and not deal with infantile MD’s?

    Nerdy ComSci grads only went to this industry to earn 2x more than they would at Microsoft, and even then, it was a tough choice.

  24. Guest says:

    Everyone wants to be Google.

  25. Guest says:

    Everyone wants to be Google.

  26. Bonus Malfunction says:

    Easy.

    All Wall St has to do is just provide some tiffins, few bolly movies and a chuddy cleaning service.

    Oh, and dont forget to tick the metro-sexual box on the H1B

    Job done.

  27. Guest says:

    bid on blonde on right side of the couch. big, maybe firm

  28. Guest says:

    bid on blonde on right side of the couch. big, maybe firm

  29. Guest says:

    bid on blonde on right side of the couch. big, maybe firm

  30. Anonymous says:

    I always knew that if they got rid of boom-boom rooms, adequate incentives for new recruits would go wanting.

  31. guest says:

    RE photo–everyone standing around watching a guy play pool in back ground, and people sitting on ’70’s style l-shaped couch with dogs in foreground. So working for a tech company is like being a perennial sophomore living in a college dorm. Yipee.

  32. Jackburton says:

    Im so glad these s-heads are recruiting engineers to manipulate Wall Street. Building algo’s to rape mom and pop investors of their hard earned money is so ethical. These d bags that dont know a thing about finance, couldnt trade a stock on their own, hold a normal conversation or get laid without mentioning their w2’s will bring the entire system down