Wall Street has waged a losing battle with Silicon Valley over top tech talent for years — but bankers are punching back


wall street stealing tech talent 2x1

The trend of Wall Street talent fleeing to Silicon Valley to chase riches, influence, and a better lifestyle appears to be slowing, if not reversing.
Banks and money managers, who eagerly court comparisons to giants like Amazon and Google, are spending tens of billions of dollars on aggressive technology projects they’re betting are the future of the industry.
Companies like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan say they’re luring more tech talent, and having an easier time doing it.
No single dynamic is driving the trend, but rather a combination of cultural changes, compensation, and ambitious projects and challenges available to tackle on Wall Street.
Wall Street’s tarnished reputation following the crisis has also improved, while tech giants have taken a public whipping in recent months.

Alex Sion is the classic boomerang hire — from Wall Street, to tech startups, and back to high finance.

He worked at Citigroup from 2006 to 2009 developing an early roboadviser concept, then left for a decade before rejoining last summer to run an internal start-up incubator for Citi’s Global Consumer Bank.

Much has changed in the intervening years, a large chunk of which Sion spent in the start-up world building and running a mobile-banking platform called Moven.

During his last run at Citi, technologies like the Apple iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter were in nascent stages. Instagram didn’t exist. To most, artificial intelligence was a Hollywood trope, not a flashy corporate buzzword that threatens to upend the labor market.

Wall Street was crawling its way back from the abyss of the financial crisis and licking its wounds by the time Sion left in 2009. Waves of other talented employees jumped ship amid the carnage as well to companies like Google, Apple, or the multitude of start-ups attracting piles of venture capital.

But the trend of Wall Street talent fleeing to Silicon Valley to chase riches, influence, and a better lifestyle appears to be slowing, if not reversing, according data and interviews with bank executives and headhunters. The finance and technology industries have converged, and tech’s competitive advantages have thinned.

“In the past 10 years, there was an incredible shift in terms of what technology means to the (finance) business,” Sion, who heads up a “Shark Tank”- like program at Citi called D10X, told Business Insider. “Back then, tech was a source of cost effectiveness. Today, it’s very well understood that technology is the business.”

Copycat, Silicon Valley-inspired workplaces and billion-dollar budgets for high-impact projects

Today, banks and money managers eagerly court comparisons to giants like Amazon and Google, and they’re spending tens of billions of dollars on aggressive technology projects they’re betting are the future of the industry.

As a result, Sion said many of his colleagues in start-up world are taking the same route as him — boomeranging back to Wall Street, which they now view as the best place to scale their visions and create impact, after years accruing valuable knowledge in the trenches of the tech world.

“We have seen many instances of Citi employees who leave for tech firms …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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