The CEO of Renaissance Technologies Explains His Unusual Hiring Strategy
A hedge fund boss said he mainly hires people with no background in finance.
Peter Brown also said he once offered a worker a pay rise in the early morning hours.
Brown discussed his unusual hiring and retention strategies on a Goldman Sachs podcast.
The CEO of New York-based investment management firm Renaissance Technologies has said that when it came to hiring, he almost exclusively employed people with no background in finance.
Peter Brown was speaking on an episode of the podcast “Exchanges at Goldman Sachs.”
He said he found it easier to teach “mathematicians about the markets than it is to teach mathematics and programming to people who know about the markets.”
The company tended to avoid hiring people who had been at other finance firms, Brown added.
When it came to applicants, Brown said he looked for math and programming ability, as well as a strong work ethic and desire to work in a collegial environment.
The finance industry is still a huge draw for young graduates. This is particularly true for Gen Zers, who are more inclined to work in the finance industry than in previous years, research published by the CFA Institute in June found.
During the podcast discussion, Brown also said he gave an employee a pay rise so he could call him in the early morning hours.
Brown said he was working late at night with a colleague, whom he named only by his first name, and needed an answer from another employee.
He said: “It was around 1 o’clock in the morning and I picked up the phone to call him. And Jim says to me, ‘Wait. You can’t call this guy in the middle of the night. He doesn’t make enough money.’ So, I said, ‘Fine. How about this? I’ll call him. I’ll tell him we’re going to give him a raise. And then ask him our question.'”
“And so, that’s what we did,” he said.
Brown added that he often contacted employees late at night and sometimes slept in the office.
“I’m just one of those types who can’t sleep. Not by choice,” he said. “I often am on the computer by around 2 a.m. And it’s true, I tend to send a lot of emails out in the middle of the night.”
The most recent Forbes data about Brown was compiled in 2019 and found that he had a net worth of $100 million.
Renaissance Technologies is one of the world’s most successful hedge funds. Its founder, Jim Simons, has a net worth of $30.7 billion, Forbes data showed. Simons still plays a role at Renaissance although he retired in 2010, the outlet reported.
Representatives for Brown did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, made outside normal working hours.
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