Step inside Goldman Sachs’ surprising new Hong Kong hiring drive

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Goldman Sachs is scaling up its trading technology team in Hong Kong. Jobs in the unit, called Goldman Sachs Electronic Trading (GSET), account for more than half (56%) of the bank’s current Hong Kong-based tech vacancies.

The local hiring drive, which is focused on equities trading, is part of a global initiative for GS to become the “top provider in electronic trading by building superior technology”, according to Goldman’s careers site. CEO David Solomon said last year that the firm is building out its electronic trading business as it pursues $1.5bn in extra fixed income trading revenues and $0.5bn in extra equities trading revenues.

If you join GSET at Goldman in Hong Kong, you will be participating in the full product lifecycle, including “requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, support, and monitoring trading performance”.

Developer jobs at GSET typically require experience building C++ and/or Java systems. Regardless of the programming language, however, you’ll need a background in high performance (low-latency, high-throughput) real-time computing. Success at GSET is “counted in single digit microseconds”, according to Goldman’s website.

Goldman may have plenty of equities trading technology vacancies in Hong Kong right now, but its hiring won’t necessarily be straightforward – other global banks want the same sort of candidates. JP Morgan, UBS and Bank of America, for example, are all currently hiring developers to work on equities systems. The Asian equities market became more “electronified” in 2018, according to a report released in January by Greenwich Associates.

There are “a lot of technology roles” in both equity derivatives and cash equities in Hong Kong, says Vince Natteri, a former programmer who’s now a director of search firm Pinpoint Asia. “Banks usually look for low-latency C++ development skills, and a good grasp of Linux / Unix operating systems,” says Natteri.

Perhaps aware of the competition for talent, Goldman appears open to hiring technologists from outside of financial services for some roles, although for other positions at GSET finance experience is still preferred or mandatory.  A Java quant developer job, for example, demands “familiarity with global equities markets”.

Image credit: CHUNYIP WONG, Getty

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