Wall Street / NYSE
Wall Street could face a challenging period ahead due to interest rate hikes and consumer behaviour. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In the dynamic world of Wall Street, the quest for top tech talent has never been more intense. As financial institutions increasingly rely on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and data science, the demand for skilled professionals in these areas is surging.

Leading this charge are elite headhunters who specialize in bridging the gap between cutting-edge tech expertise and the financial sector's growing needs. According to Business Insider, these recruiters, from firms such as Korn Ferry, Riviera Partners, and Heidrick and Struggles, are not only sourcing exceptional talent but also reshaping the hiring landscape on Wall Street.

Their efforts underscore a critical transformation in the industry, where the integration of technology and finance is driving unprecedented changes and opportunities.

1. Deepali Vyas, Korn Ferry

Deepali Vyas is a senior partner and global head of fintech and applied intelligence at Korn Ferry. Specialising in artificial intelligence and data science, Vyas works with major financial organisations and sovereign wealth funds, including Blackstone, JPMorgan, and BNY Mellon.

In 2021, Vyas launched Fearless+, a firm aimed at helping teenagers prepare for life after graduation by creating resumes and connecting them with educational and professional opportunities. She manages this firm when she isn't working with chief data officers and operating executives in AI.

"Employers now have an advantage of picking off really top talent that they might not have had access to previously," Vyas said. "Financial services have always had a hard time attracting tech talent from the Valley, if you will, and so now that has become much easier."

2. Andy Legg, Riviera Partners

Andy Legg is the Director of Riviera Partners' technology and AI arm. He has spent a decade recruiting top tech talent for Wall Street enterprises. Since hiring his first machine learning engineer for a hedge fund in 2013, Legg has been dedicated to transferring brain share between Big Tech and Wall Street.

"The rise of machine learning, data science, data engineering into finance, which really from that period on over the last 10 years, there's been a greater and greater demand for that technical skill set," Legg said. "There is this belief that those types of engineers have existed outside of finance and therefore, that's the skill set that many, many funds or clients of ours are chasing."

3. Dennis Baden, Heidrick and Struggles

Dennis Baden works with technology and digital officers, specialising in CIOs and CTOs. His clients include large global banks, regional banks, insurance carriers, asset managers, and hedge funds.

Baden notes the challenge of finding individuals who are deeply credible in technology, understand the business, and can succinctly define a vision and strategy to rally people. He has spent the last 14 years placing C-suite executives in information, technology, and digital transformation sectors. With technology transforming many companies, Baden claims business has been back on track since the end of the previous year.

Wall Street companies are increasingly employing individuals for combined leadership positions in operations and technology.

4. Giancarlo Hirsch, Glocomms

Giancarlo Hirsch is a managing director at Glocomms, specialising in cybersecurity. He works with clients in the buy-side, sell-side, fintech, finance, and insurance sectors.

Hirsch notes that finance firms are hiring and "coming back online," but they have become more controlling and focused on headcount expenditure.

5. Ben Hodzic, Selby Jennings

Ben Hodzic is the managing director and head of Selby Jennings North America. Specialising in software engineering, he supports finance firms in recruiting tech talent across levels, particularly focusing on hedge funds and investment banks.

Hodzic has seen a spike in demand for general software engineers due to investment firms pushing engineer skills to the front office and deploying portfolio manager networks to build software for immediate use by researchers, portfolio managers, or traders. Investment firms seek tech talent that can work on projects with short turnaround times, understands the investing sector, and can clearly link their work to a positive impact.

6. Alan Blum, Options Group

Alan Blum is the managing director at Options Group, renowned in trading systems technology. He has worked at the firm for 15 years. Before Options Group, Blum held positions in structured finance, derivative trading, and fixed-income analytics at the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette.

7. Michael Stover, The Omerta Group

Michael Stover joined The Omerta Group in 2018, specialising in hunting trading and tech talent. Previously, he held executive positions in talent acquisition at Citadel, UBS, Credit Suisse, and Wachovia.

Stover explains that among quantitative hedge funds, "there is this race to unlock high impact, new, sophisticated alternative datasets that will help them better predict how securities and markets overall will move."

As Wall Street continues to evolve, the synergy between technology and finance becomes increasingly vital. Leaders like Deepali Vyas, Andy Legg, Dennis Baden, Giancarlo Hirsch, Ben Hodzic, Alan Blum, and Michael Stover are at the forefront of this transformation.

Their expertise in recruiting top tech talent is not only reshaping the financial landscape but also ensuring that the industry keeps pace with rapid technological advancements. By bridging the gap between Big Tech and finance, these recruiters are fostering a new era of innovation and efficiency on Wall Street.

As they continue to connect highly skilled professionals with pivotal roles, the future of finance looks increasingly tech-driven, promising unprecedented growth and opportunities.