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Two Sigma is still the fun hedge fund, despite its founders' squabbles

Two Sigma has long been known as one of the chillest places to be in quant finance, but the past year has shed some doubt on this reputation. And yet, although a rift has appeared between the two founders, who seem to run the modelling and engineering separately, the fund’s chief innovation officer suggests things are a lot more cordial further down.

Matt Greenwood, speaking on the Engineering Leadership Podcast, says staff on a certain seniority level at Two Sigma are, to an extent, “fungible and interchangeable.” He has “many people who write models that also write code,” and vice versa. He describes the structure of the firm as a “lattice that allows people to climb up in any direction they want.”

This extends to its approach to promotions. He says Two Sigma’s levels focus on your “ability to do certain things rather than your ability to have delivered on certain projects.”

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Emphasis is placed upon preventing boredom in Two Sigma employees. Greenwood was told when he was hired, “if you get bored because you think the work you do isn’t exciting, come talk to me, and we’ll sort something out.” 

Greenwood says “programs are incredibly fun to debug, humans are even more fun to debug.” He has a mantra that you can only solve problems that you can see, so the fund tries to debug this boredom through creating as many situations as possible for staff to solve problems. An example of this is its ‘hacker labs’, in which Greenwood says “we build robots.”

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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