Merrill Lynch: Java Technical Lead

Merrill Lynch is looking for a Java Technical Lead to work at their Toronto Technology Centre of Excellence (250 Yonge, the Eaton Centre):

The Good
Merrill Lynch is a well-known financial company, and in the long run, financial companies often do well (although I’m not sure this the the right time to join one, what with subprime, but that’s another story).  The job seems to relate to securities trading and messaging, which could be interesting technically.

Although ‘centre of excellence’ is a little over-the-top, it does sound as if this’ll be a location of some importance for ML, so working there is perhaps a good thing.

Merrill also claims to be a bit of a meritocracy, although I’d have to talk to someone who works there to get a sense for how real that is (or isn’t):

Merrill Lynch places a high value on talent and on maintaining a culture defined by meritocracy. For these reasons, it is deeply committed to professional development, opportunity and accountability at all levels of the organization.

Having worked at 250 Yonge for four years, I can say that it’s a nice location, if not perfect.  It’s pretty central, there’s lots to eat in the area, getting a little shopping done is dead easy.  Transit access is good, although the TTC is always crowded and somewhat unreliable.  Surface routes are pretty congested, but it can be done.

The Bad
Nothing leaps off the page as being horrible.  Typically, financial institutions in Toronto don’t pay all that well, and the work can be dull, and process-bound.  I can’t argue whether or not that’s true for Merrill Lynch.  It sounds like a background in order management systems and the FIX protocol wouldn’t hurt, which I imagine some of you don’t have.

More of a sense of the project, the existing team, and the processes at work in ML would help a lot.  Some sense of compensation would also help.

Conclusions
It’s a little spartan, as postings go, but there’s no huge red flags either.      I’d certainly want to probe on compensation, process and culture, but if you’ve got the background in OMS and FIX they’re looking for, this seems worth a look.

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6 Responses to Merrill Lynch: Java Technical Lead

  1. joe says:

    What do you think about the Technology Analyst Program at Merrill Lynch. I have a friend who got hired into that program, and will be working in the new “Toronto Technology Center of Excellence”

  2. Geoffrey Wiseman says:

    I hadn’t heard of it before you raised it. Sounds like a sort of apprenticeship into a Technology Analyst position, but I couldn’t find a lot of information on it. What does your friend think of it so far?

  3. joe says:

    well he will be starting in July so he doesn’t know yet. What do you think is a competitive salary for a software development position in the financial sector in Toronto for a new grad?

  4. Geoffrey Wiseman says:

    It’s been a long time since I was a new grad, and even then, I took a job I was interested in with an Internet startup that didn’t really pay that well, at that point.

    Let’s just say, I wouldn’t want to try and ‘get by’ in Toronto for less than $35k, so I’d personally hope he’s getting at least that much. That’s not much to go on, though, so I’d suggest trying to track down a salary survey of some kind. For instance, he could fill out the questionnaire on payscale.com to get some sense of what to expect.

  5. Geoffrey Wiseman says:

    This RedCanary salary survey implies that $43k might not be a bad expectation against which to calibrate expectations: http://www.redcanary.ca/files/redcanary/RC_survey_2008.pdf

  6. joe says:

    thnx for the info. But a position there doesn’t look to promising in light of the recent news…

    “Merrill Lynch & Co., the world’s largest brokerage, on Thursday said it would cut 4,000 jobs after more than $6.5 billion of fresh write-downs”

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