Are Physicists Poised to Take Over Goldman Sachs and Other Wall Street Banks?

Are Physicists Poised to Take Over Goldman Sachs and Other Wall Street Banks?

Wall Street is not shy about its desire to hire talented quantitative analysts. But as it turns out, quants are not the only unusual profession to infiltrate the financial sector.

“There are now over 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street and thousands of other math quants to back them up,” said Derek Frey, founder and Chief Market Strategist at Carnac Investment Advisors, LLC (a forex CTA). “Let alone the computer engineers both hardware and software that are now required. These are all jobs in finance that simply did not exist a decade a go.”

Frey, who is also the Senior Market Strategist at, is scheduled to speak at the upcoming Forex & Options Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. He told StreetID that the aforementioned jobs were created by the many transitions that have been occurring on Wall Street. “While much of the transition has passed, it still has a way to go,” he said. “That transition is, of course, creating many opportunities where there weren’t before.”

In fact, Frey has some opportunities right now at Carnac Investment Advisors, LLC. “We outsource most of the back office/accounting functions, so at this time we are mostly looking for quants,” said Frey. “An astrophysicist would be nice if I could find one that spoke the language of trading, as well as the stars.”

Though Frey hated to admit it, he said that he has “very little need for those who have come through the traditional financial channels.”

“For our firm we are in need of scientists and engineers much more so than business or finance people, and I think that is becoming more and more common up and down the Street.” This is especially true for newer financial firms.

Frey said that quants continue to be in high demand across Wall Street. “You need quants that also have trading experience, not trading knowledge, mind you, but real-life experience with their own money,” he said. “Those are few and far between and in very high demand. In fact, I am looking for a few of them right now.”

To raise your chances of securing a job in the financial sector, Frey that it is important to have the right experience. “The job market is very competitive, so if you are not coming from a top school you need to have ‘consummate experience,’ which in trading just means trading live,” said Frey. “If you have a verifiable track record as a trader, that will get you in many more doors than your degree will. I can say this as someone who never did finish school and still managed to work in this business for over 20 years so far.”

Frey also suggests that financial professionals should brace themselves for additional mergers, as well as the possible breakup of larger firms. “You are not likely to end up working at the same firm you started at even if your desk never moves!” said Frey.

Further, Frey recommends that job seekers “show employers that you can bring critical thinking to the table and not be just another ‘yes’ man.”

“Show them how you can contribute to the firms’ goals — in turn that will allow you to achieve yours,” Frey added.

Above all else, Frey said that job seekers must be persistent. “I got my first job in Alaska by sitting outside the building of the guy I wanted to work for — for three full days and nights — until he hired me,” Frey recalled. “Just don’t give up and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”

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