Young aspiring traders might want to couple their Finance 101 textbook with one on coding if they want to make it on the Street.
The evolution of trading has made skills in STEM, an acronym standing for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, just as important as an understanding of economics, according to Paul Russo, global co-COO of the equities franchise in the securities division at Goldman Sachs, the financial services powerhouse.
Russo said during the most recent episode of “Exchanges at Goldman Sachs” that people coming into the firm these days are a little more tech savvy.
“That doesn’t mean having a good economic framework isn’t valuable,” Russo said. “That doesn’t mean econ majors aren’t valued, but I think everybody coming in now just is a little more technology enabled and a little more thoughtful.”
That has a lot to do with the fact that trading today relies heavily on technology. In some cases, according to Russo, a trader has 20 to 30 algorithms to deal with.
“It’s not just holding two phones and yelling “buy” or “sell,” he said.
But the buck stops at the trader. And it’s “judgment” that’s the value-add.
“When I think of how a trader now applies the judgment value proposition he’s always giving to his client base, he’s got a whole suite of tools he’s leveraging, not just a phone, okay?,” Russo said.”What I would say is judgment is always valued by our clients.”
Goldman is hiring to become the Google of Wall Street. A recent report by CB Insights, which dissects the investment bank’s strategy, said 46% of Goldman’s recent job listings were in technology.