Wall Street Quants Not Interested In Startups

from the pay-cut dept

With Wall Street firms crashing left and right, some tech startup investors thought there would be plenty of smart and available talent in NYC looking for work, who might be persuaded to join startups. Turns out that it hasn't worked that way. Laid off Wall St. quants seem to want to stay on Wall Street, and don't seem particularly interested in joining startups at a greatly reduced salary and a small chance for eventual stock option wealth. This actually might be for the best. It helps to really believe in what a startup is doing before committing to it -- and a lot (certainly not all) of the Wall St. folks are simply focused on making lots of money as quickly as possible. That doesn't always mix well in a tech startup.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Tristin (profile), May 5th, 2009 @ 8:20pm

    It's for the best

    Startups don't want the kind of energy that Wall Street folk would bring anyway. I mean, aren't they the people that drove our economy to the brink in the first place? Their "me first" attitude, their willingness to sacrifice principles for money, and their tendency to preserve the status quo rather than innovate and improve...any decent startup should be avoiding that type of person.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Yogindernath, May 5th, 2009 @ 8:58pm

    Wall Street

    I agree with Tristin. Startups don't require that much enthusiasm or that much energy as compared to Wall Street.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Chris, May 6th, 2009 @ 12:06am

    I sincerely hope that was sarcasm

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Joe, May 6th, 2009 @ 3:53am

    A little hard to feel sympathetic for POV of the article

    The idea that quants should be crawling to work at much lower wages for a start-up smacks a bit of entitlement on the part of potential employees. The fact is, the only way to have a "normal" middle-class life in New York (e.g. have a family and actually own your place) is to make the sort of salary only these finance jobs offer.

    These guys are smart people. The fact is, once thrown out of work, if they can't get another quant job, they have 3 options, not just one:

    1. Work for your startup

    2. Form their own start-up

    3. Move, and work for a start-up in a location where their start-up pay can pay for a reasonable lifestyle.

    Perhaps now you might see why quants aren't lining up the way you think they should.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2009 @ 5:18am


    What the hell does a guy who is used to seven figure bonuses (based on deal generation - not revenue generation) want with a silicon valley start up?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Tgeigs, May 6th, 2009 @ 7:15am

    "That doesn't always mix well in a tech startup"

    Neither does their rock of coke a day habit. Let em starve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Evostick, May 6th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    What does a quant know about tech startups, apart from being able to program C++?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    SwissCow, Oct 4th, 2009 @ 2:14am

    C++ ? You mean Excel...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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