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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 13-04-2016, 03:37 PM
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I am in agreement with you here actually.

My post was not meant to denigrate TS's PhD. I was just explaining to him that he's got the whole quant recruitment expectation and process wrong.

I'm sure the banks will look kindly to his qualification on IT architecture or systems implementation type of roles and this could be his way of joining a bank. But that doesn't change the fact that joining as a quant upon leaving school is pretty much a no-go for him. Too competitive and he's missing too many critical ingredients.
Arh ... then yup, I agree with you. For a quant position, it's very unlikely. I've been around industry for a while and I know that there's a clear distinction between PhD in math and PhD in computer science. Again, it's very technical.

Imagine when the interviewer panel himself is a quant who probably went through the different levels of work to know the difference when someone should do the programming and when someone should do the modelling.

I'll bring it back to the poster. Given your knowledge, which research topic are you more comfortable handling:

1. Devising a new algorithm to search a 1,000,000 row dataset at O(nlogn) time?
2. Calculate the distribution at time T of a point, which starts at 0, whose dynamics starts out as GBM mean m0 and sd sd0 but sd changes to sd(t), a function of t, whenever the point is at a > 0 or b < 0. Sd switches back to sd0 when point is at a > x > b?

These are really the questions you'll have to be equiped to answer when they see you with PhD.

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 13-04-2016, 03:52 PM
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Its not about being judgmental or what - fact is fact. That's how the game is played and if you didn't research and play it properly, you lose the game.

Nobody is interested in your explanation/excuses of why you don't have anything related to banking to present. Academia and joint publications on unrelated disciplines doesn't work in your favor either.

There is no shortage of good people all over the world wanting to be quants. If you don't have the necessary achievements, experience or network, then your CV won't even make it past first round - that is exactly what happened to you in DBS, a casual dismisal asking you to go their website to signup for generic grad program. And if DBS isn't interested, you can bet the other foreign banks will be even harder.

Sorry to break the bad news to you, but you should have prepared much earlier. It is what it is. There is no secret application process for either DBS or any other local or foreign bank that anyone can share with you. You can either apply through normal process (i.e. normal jobs) or cold emailing to all the bank HRs hoping that something will stick, but IMHO it won't work anyway.
I understand what you say, but nothing happened to me at DBS becuase I did not apply. I shot an email to the HR and they advised me to apply for that associate program, which seems basically for undergraduates.

Anyway, leave that aside please, if you will. Tell me whether the DBS associate program is the right path to become a quant or not, if you are familiar with the typical pathway. I do not want to sit at a counter handling 100$ bill for customers, after going through that program.

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Old 13-04-2016, 03:57 PM
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I'll be keeping a look out on this thread. This is the path I wanted to take so update me on your progress. Here's what I know.

Usually PhD in quant subject, namely math, physics, computer science, enter banks at Associate level, usually with a title of quantitative analyst or quantitative researcher. They want your familiarity with graduate level math - stochastic calculus, measure theory - to price their derivatives. So I'll say it's possible. Also, with PhD, I think good chance you can check out the MNCs - Goldman, Stanley and JPM.

Update me on how things work out.
Thanks a lot, sure I will keep posting. I am quite familiar with the topics like stochastic finance, some options pricing, Black Scholes etc. but not sure if DBS has positiosn like that.

Now, DBS is kinda reduced expectation honestly speaking, but good enough and I will be happy to work at their headquarter right here. While I am aware of behemoths like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche bank etc. I also believe the competition is infinitely more fierce, with superstar graduates from Cambridge or Stanford lining up for them. So...you get it.

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 13-04-2016, 04:13 PM
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Arh ... then yup, I agree with you. For a quant position, it's very unlikely. I've been around industry for a while and I know that there's a clear distinction between PhD in math and PhD in computer science. Again, it's very technical.

Imagine when the interviewer panel himself is a quant who probably went through the different levels of work to know the difference when someone should do the programming and when someone should do the modelling.

I'll bring it back to the poster. Given your knowledge, which research topic are you more comfortable handling:

1. Devising a new algorithm to search a 1,000,000 row dataset at O(nlogn) time?
2. Calculate the distribution at time T of a point, which starts at 0, whose dynamics starts out as GBM mean m0 and sd sd0 but sd changes to sd(t), a function of t, whenever the point is at a > 0 or b < 0. Sd switches back to sd0 when point is at a > x > b?

These are really the questions you'll have to be equiped to answer when they see you with PhD.
Thanks a lot for posting this. This is precisely the kind of discussion/advice/criticism I was hoping for.

As for the problems you posted, I have some relatively sketchy idea about how to go on with 1. But if you are asking what I would like to devote my time on, and more confident solving (given some time), I will prefer the problem on geometric Brownian motion. And related problems in stochastic calculus, Black Scholes model etc.

Thanks for raising the issue in such a clear cut and precise manner. So given that 2 is my strength, does that make me more of a quant or more a developer? My Ph.D. is from the computer engineering department though, so there is some contradiction.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 13-04-2016, 04:52 PM
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Thanks a lot for posting this. This is precisely the kind of discussion/advice/criticism I was hoping for.

As for the problems you posted, I have some relatively sketchy idea about how to go on with 1. But if you are asking what I would like to devote my time on, and more confident solving (given some time), I will prefer the problem on geometric Brownian motion. And related problems in stochastic calculus, Black Scholes model etc.

Thanks for raising the issue in such a clear cut and precise manner. So given that 2 is my strength, does that make me more of a quant or more a developer? My Ph.D. is from the computer engineering department though, so there is some contradiction.
MAP is an accelerated program for developing leadership competencies through job rotations and coaching. It is not suitable for you considering your interest.

Don't think you are getting it yet. It's not about you and what you think about yourself.

There's no shortage of people who have interest or academics in Brownian motion or stochastic or Black Scholes (Black Scholes in 2016!?!?). These guys are applying to be quants by the hundreds all over the world.

You are missing the crucial additional things that are needed to give your CV a fighting chance. I rest my case. You will see how competitive and the hard realities of applying to quant positions in banks once you actually start sending CVs. IT and systems related jobs are your best bet.

All the best.
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Old 13-04-2016, 04:58 PM
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MAP is an accelerated program for developing leadership competencies through job rotations and coaching. It is not suitable for you considering your interest.

Don't think you are getting it yet. It's not about you and what you think about yourself.

There's no shortage of people who have interest or academics in Brownian motion or stochastic or Black Scholes (Black Scholes in 2016!?!?). These guys are applying to be quants by the hundreds all over the world.

You are missing the crucial additional things that are needed to give your CV a fighting chance. I rest my case. You will see how competitive and the hard realities of applying to quant positions in banks once you actually start sending CVs. IT and systems related jobs are your best bet.

All the best.
You have your points that I can't disagree with. But I'll be following the result of the OP's search as I mentioned because it's the track I wanted to take.

Yup, he missed out on the internships. But let's see whether there's other components he can rely on - his network, specialized skill set or publications.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 13-04-2016, 05:29 PM
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My 2c on this.

By and large, I agree with what the 2 posters above are saying. Personally my recommendation is for TS to try his luck at boutique algo trading asset management firms instead of wasting time with the banks.

If you look at the current trends in the banking industry, by and large investment banking and trading related activities are scaling down world wide as margins are shrinking. This means lots of retrenchments and hiring freeze even for niche positions like quants. Supply way exceeds demand now, so it is very unfavorable for TS - making the situation worse.

Wealth management is the growth driver for the foreseeable future and most of the hiring is taking place in this area. Unfortunately this is not a business that hires a lot of quants so definitely the total number of quant jobs in the market is shrinking.

Boutique firms pay and prestige is not as good as bulge brackets, but the demand and supply imbalance is not that bad and maybe TS can gain some useful experience and go for the banks in the future when the macro conditions are better.
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Old 13-04-2016, 05:51 PM
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My 2c on this.

By and large, I agree with what the 2 posters above are saying. Personally my recommendation is for TS to try his luck at boutique algo trading asset management firms instead of wasting time with the banks.

If you look at the current trends in the banking industry, by and large investment banking and trading related activities are scaling down world wide as margins are shrinking. This means lots of retrenchments and hiring freeze even for niche positions like quants. Supply way exceeds demand now, so it is very unfavorable for TS - making the situation worse.

Wealth management is the growth driver for the foreseeable future and most of the hiring is taking place in this area. Unfortunately this is not a business that hires a lot of quants so definitely the total number of quant jobs in the market is shrinking.

Boutique firms pay and prestige is not as good as bulge brackets, but the demand and supply imbalance is not that bad and maybe TS can gain some useful experience and go for the banks in the future when the macro conditions are better.
Good insight. I'll go a step further and say that the quant work the TS is looking for is NOT the quant work in wealth management. If I am not wrong, wealth management is all about sales and asset allocation. There is NO quant work.

Basically, wealth management is to allocate capital to various funds, can be discretionary macro, long short equities OR quant funds. The TS is looking for work in one of these quant funds. So don't both with wealth management.

Also, he mentioned about derivative pricing which is not a fund strategy. Derivative pricing is done by the banks. But I get what you mean by giving him alternative options.

I agree with you that the industry is shrinking, more so in Singapore. I used to search quantiative analyst and quantiative developer jobs in Singapore and they're becoming less and less.
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Old 13-04-2016, 06:21 PM
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Good insight. I'll go a step further and say that the quant work the TS is looking for is NOT the quant work in wealth management. If I am not wrong, wealth management is all about sales and asset allocation. There is NO quant work.

Basically, wealth management is to allocate capital to various funds, can be discretionary macro, long short equities OR quant funds. The TS is looking for work in one of these quant funds. So don't both with wealth management.

Also, he mentioned about derivative pricing which is not a fund strategy. Derivative pricing is done by the banks. But I get what you mean by giving him alternative options.

I agree with you that the industry is shrinking, more so in Singapore. I used to search quantiative analyst and quantiative developer jobs in Singapore and they're becoming less and less.
Wow, nice to meet an ex-quant here.

But come to think of it, are you aware of any bank in Sg that is actually expanding its quant team?

I know for sure DBS is not hiring now, OCBC and UOB I am not sure if they even have quants. Haven't really heard any openings among the usual foreign IB...
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:58 PM
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i am not a quant and not working in financial industry, but i've been looking into a mine into a quant kind of role since 2012, and eventually give up in 2014. this is what i feel about the quant market in singapore. btw my background is EE and i did both gpu and fpga stuff for large scale high performance computing and low latency, near realtime application, plus i self studied stochastic calculus, derivative pricing and those quant stuff. so i am fairly familier with the industry.

during my 2 years trying to break into quant finance, i notice a big difference of quant position in singapore and those in london or nyc. most sg quant role ask for execl, sometimes vba as well, while most quant position in london and nyc ask c++, with a few java. i think this clearly shows that the real quant role as TS meant is not in existence in local banks. there're a couple quant role locally i remember asking more advanced technical skills, almost all from algo trading firm like virtu, or kcg.

i know a ntu physics phd whose thesis was on derivatives and liquidity modeling. she told me she did a master in financial engineering and could not find a job, so she continued with a phd, and still cannot find a quant job. eventually she joined an internet tech firm, and find some of the skills r still relevant and useful.

i myself tried to switch from ee to quant for 2 years, and eventually gave up, and switch to data science, which has a lot of demand right now.

i would suggest the TS while continue to.look for quant job, give data science a try. seriously it is much easier in terms of the math or statistics involved. i think quant finance is shrinking worldwide, may well give data analytics a shot
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