“International Investment Firm”: Development Manager / Architect

Pencom is helping a ‘Major International Investment Firm’ look for someone that they can call a ‘senior software development manager / architect‘:

  • Build, maintain, retain and grow a strong development team
  • Set technical architecture direction and vision for the development team
  • Partner with IT Mgmt and Business to deliver eCommerce projects on-scope, on-time and on-budget and contributes to evolve an effective strategy
  • Lead development of technology solutions to automate and support critical business processes and strategic plans

The title’s quite a mouthful, but the posting is reasonable, although I’ve seen this one before in other forms. In addition to the technical skills, they’re clearly looking for someone with a background in fixed-income securities (aka bonds) and messaging:

  • Experience with electronic trading aspects of the Global Fixed Income business, such as current and emerging new markets, connectivity, auto-quoting, distribution, etc.
  • Experience with full trade lifecycle events, and it’s technical and operational support

The Good
The salary is listed as ‘open’, which might be good. Investment banking is supposed to be an industry where there’s money to be made, although I’m not sure if that’s true for the development manager / architect types.

Certainly, there’s something appealing about the firm logic of financial markets and software development. They seem well-suited for each other, and because investment banks are a rarer bird than retail banking, the work might be more exciting.

The Bad
They don’t seem especially familiar with the adage, “on time, on budget, on quality: pick two.” That may simply be using industry boiler-plate for “looking for someone who won’t screw up our plans”, or they may be have-their-cake-and-eat-it types who refuse to acknowledge that software development is difficult to predict.

Those I’ve met who do work for retail banking are either very bored or very well paid, sometimes both. If investment banking isn’t more exciting, then you could be in for a dull ride.

Ultimately, the biggest problem here is the usual: lack of information. Who’s the investment firm, and are they on the verge of topping over in the sub-prime mess? What exactly is the work? Where is (or will be) the office? What are the details fo the technology? What’s the compensation, other than ‘open’? Are you building a team and a product from scratch, or working with an existing team and product? And so on.

Your mileage may vary with respect to the aforementioned ‘open’ salary. Does that mean it’s well-paid, or simply that they’re not sure how much they’re willing to pay you until they meet you?

In Summary
If you’re looking to make a move and a development manager / architect role in investment banking sounds like fun to you, this might be an interesting opportunity, but the only way to find out is to respond.


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