From: Jeff Danoff
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 10:23 AM
To: Chris Hehmeyer
Subject: Help Wanted: Equity Traders With Technology Skills --

 
-- =DJ Help Wanted: Equity Traders With Technology Skills --
 
   By Anjali Cordeiro
   Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
 
  NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Brian Barry plans to go back to school this spring. The
32-year-old trader at Piper Jaffray & Co. (PJC) is shopping around for evening
classes in the computer programming languages C++ and JAVA.
  Barry already has a degree in finance and about 10 years of trading
experience. But the use of computer-trading programs is increasing, and he
believes that Wall Street firms are constantly on the look out for
technology-savvy traders.
  In particular, algorithms, or software programs that execute stock trades
electronically, are playing an increasingly important role. One survey suggests
about one-quarter of equities trades last year were from algorithmic programs.
Trading desks, even buy side firms, want new recruits to quickly master these
and other trading technologies.
  "By having a finance degree, rather than a degree in computer science or
mathematics, you are almost behind the curve," said Barry, who is a senior
trader in program and algorithmic trading.
  Understanding programming languages will help him to provide buy-side clients
with reports on the execution of their stock trades and to play a role in the
development of new trading strategies, he said. "It's helpful if the trader can
access the database and write custom client reports without having to wait for
help from the IT department."
  Wall Street firms are hawking a slew of new trading software to fund managers
and their trading desks. And traders from these brokerage firms, or the sell
side, are spending a lot more of their time interacting with and advising their
clients from money management firms, or the buy side.
  "The sell-side desk is being transformed into a high-end, complex helpdesk for
the buy side," said Adam Sussman, a senior consultant at the Tabb Group, a
Westborough, Mass., research firm. If the buy side is having a breakdown with
technology, the sell-side trader is expected to at least come up with an
intelligent answer, he said.
  According to Boston-based Aite Group, about 25% of total equities trading
volume was driven by algorithmic trading at the end of 2004. The increased
adoption of these automatic software programs is one factor that is driving the
need for more technology know how on trading desks.
  "The skills that traders need have evolved and are increasingly weighted
toward technology - It helps to have the ability to understand and build
technology," said Tony Huck, managing director of brokerage firm Investment
Technology Group Inc. (ITG). His trading desk is made up of people from a host
of different backgrounds ranging from mathematics to computer sciences. "But we
are certainly hiring more people in [technology-related] areas than ten years
ago."
  Trading desks are looking for a variety of skills, ranging from experience in
managing networks to knowledge in building trading platforms, said Sang Lee,
managing partner at the Aite Group, "They are trying to put together a group
that can cover all the bases."
  Buy side desks are also demanding more technical skills from the traders they
hire. Ted Oberhaus, director of equity trading at Lord Abbett & Co. (LAB.XX),
which manages over $100 billion in assets, says that one of the first questions
he asks potential hires is usually related to their familiarity with trading
technologies. At present, only one of his thirteen traders, an internal recruit
from the company's information technology department, has a degree in computer
science. But he added, "It wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to believe
that in the future trading could be dependent on a computer science degree."
  Still, although degrees in software or programming can be helpful in building
and understanding trading technologies, they often come with their limitations.
  Investment firms and brokerages have accelerated their hunt for people with