There’s been a good deal of hand-wringing over the rather shallow talent pool from which hedge funds have to draw these days. There’s plenty of blame to go around for the problem. The siren song of Silicon Valley is drawing the real brains these days, and banks can’t be relied upon anymore to take promising but unpolished traders and turn them into something a real company would actually want to hire. Add in the perception that working for a hedge fund is better and more lucrative than working for a bank—and it is—and you’ve got dumpsters full of seriously-lacking applications filling up the parking lot.
Given the situation, firms have turned to some unusual tacks. Ken Griffin has a “chief people officer” now, trained—where else with such a title?—in Silicon Valley. Steve Cohen, of course, is hard at work on a hermetically sealed pre-K-to-MBA program for only the most promising two year olds ripped from their weeping mothers’ arms and entrusted to specially-trained pedagogues who will raise a small army of Überinvestors. And he may well need them, since kids these days are still old enough to remember certain reputational issues. Because kids like Yeshiva University undergraduate Jon Turek think certain failures to supervise are an unwashable stain, and that there might be more to life than merely making Steve Cohen richer. (But haven’t you heard about Stamford Harbor Capital, Jon? Don't be selfish.)
"I think it dents an industry I'm kind of passionate about," he said of the SAC indictment in a telephone interview. "And then also there's another side. … I kind of like the idea of managing outside proprietary capital. I feel like wealth creation for people other than Steve Cohen is valuable to society."