Forum OpenACS Q&A: job: Hedge Fund operations automation

A contact has a potential consulting job opportunity at a New York City hedge fund. They want one person to help them automate their operations, reduce errors, improve visibility into their daily operations, free up business experts from manual grunt work better performed by a computer, and in general make their lives easier.

I don't really know what exact arrangements they'd want to make for hiring, but my guess is a several month consulting gig, with the possibility for additional follow on work based on how much they like working with you, how much room for additional improvement you uncover, etc.

More detail is below. If you or anyone else you know would be a good fit for this, please contact me! Send a resume (or a link to an online resume) to me, I'll forward it to the appropriate people, then they'll get in touch with you. Thanks!

Also, some of you may have seen or responded to this before in other forums (the ex-aD email list, etc.) If so, don't worry, no one forgot about you, it's just that some of the people doing the actual interviewing and such were out of town, and now that they're back things should be moving along shortly.

The players involved here are:

  • A small R&D/Modeling group, based in Boston, responsible for both development and production deployment of financial models. They're programmers, using Unix, Oracle, R/S-Plus, OpenACS, Tcl, C, etc.

  • A larger Operations group, based at company headquartes in Manhattan, responsible for all front and back office operations, trading, etc. Sharp group of people, but they're all business, finance, or trading types, NOT engineers or programmers.

You would be working directly with the Operations folks in New York. The Operations group is asking the R&D group to help evaluate and pick you for the job, and also to help define the initial projects and make sure things get off to a smooth start.

The right person for this job should:

  • Probably be local to New York City - strongly preferred, at least.

  • Be able to figure out and articulate the big picture, as well as implement the individual pieces to make it happen.

  • Be entirely self-starting, talk to operations staff to figure out business processes, build systems to improve and automate those processes, sell the business users on your new tools and smoothly integrate them into daily Operations without breaking anything.

  • Have a strong database background (much like any good OpenACS developer...).

  • Be familiar with various tools in Windows as well as Unix world. Rapidly find, evaluate, and learn new tools.

  • Start from a clean conceptual slate and build systems using or integrating with the most effective tool-sets for target audiences. (E.g., end-user tools will certainly include, but should not necessarily be limited too, MS Excel.)

  • Be effective at teaching business folks how to use the new stuff you build, not just building it.

Initially, you would probably be working on:

  • Refactor many Excel spreadsheets critical to daily operations, to improve maintainability, link in external data sources, eliminate redundancy and copy-and-paste operations, reduce errors, etc.

    Note: The only tool most of the Operations folks are currently familiar with is Excel, so while there are other data sources and tools in the picture - e.g., automatic data feeds from brokers going into an Axys database, broker web pages daily scraped manually for data, data fed from the R&D group's web site - the operations "glue" language is currently Excel, exclusively or nearly so. Part of your job is to determine if, when, and how this should be changed.

  • Enhance existing Axys database used for incoming back-office trade data. Add additional data sources currently handled manually, improve reports as needed, etc.

  • Revamp and automate data collection and workflow for reconciliation of incoming error-filled broker data. Sit down with business experts to learn how current manual process flags and fixes questionable data. Write program to automatically flag such questionable data. Write program to automatically scrape daily account data from broker web sites, and compare/reconcile against other data feeds. Etc.

  • Anything else you identify as a good candiate for automation and improvement.

Down the road, further work might include (this is speculative on my part):

  • Act as technical liason person between Operations and R&D/Modeling groups. Figure out what improvements Operations needs from R&D. Improve systems to feed back data from Operations into R&D systems. Etc.

  • Act as internal technical Guru and education resource on any and all topics. E.g., answer Excel questions, how to get data out of Bloomberg, possibly introduce R statistical programming environment to anyone wanting an analysis tool more powerful than Excel, etc.

  • More advanced automation of operations Workflow. Possibly build Intranet using OpenACS, etc.

  • Automated trade execution via external systems.

  • Data collection for use by traders and/or analysts from R&D group sources, from external data feeds, or etc.
Posted by Ryan Fitzgerald on
RYAN J. FITZGERALD    1716 Second Avenue, Apt 2F, New York, New York 10128  (212) 876-1628    email:


 Series 7, 24 and 63
 Diverse professional development, including strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting, financial analysis, and business profitability reporting
 Committed team player, with proven ability to meet and exceed set goals and deadlines
 Exceptional focus and follow through abilities, with record of efficiency and productivity
 Detail-oriented multi-tasker, with exemplary organization and project management skills
 Adept at training and managing employees across numerous divisions in several key areas


MONY Securities Corporation, New York, NY                                            06/2003 - Present
Director of Operations
 Provide leadership in the analysis of work flows and the development of projects designed to improve processes for trading, cashiering, new accounts, transfer of assets, compliance and the service desk
 Participate in monthly senior management business reviews identifying business opportunities
 Converted approximately $170MM in money market funds to MONY’s Enterprise Proprietary  Sweep Fund
 Provide coaching and professional development to staff of four direct reports
 Direct IT resources for improvement and troubleshooting of proprietary brokerage systems
 Listen and resolve Financial Advisor’s complaints
 Collaborate with Home Office Leadership in the areas of training, process improvement, and compliance to capitalize on quality opportunities

Manager, Fee Based Accounts                                                    06/2003 - Present
 Created a strategic partnership with an outside Registered Investment Advisor to assist in providing financial professionals with state of the art technology that will allow them to build their fee based business.
 Effectively planned, developed, organized and implemented new fee based brokerage accounts consisting of advisory products and fee in lieu of commissions offerings
 Directed start-up operations with overall responsibility for the management of day-to-day activities of  all new fee based product
 Managed all aspects of the recruitment process.  Facilitated training and orientation process for new personnel
 Special projects and requests from various Portfolio Managers, Outside Auditors, Legal & Marketing

Trusted Securities Advisors Corp, Minneapolis, MN                                        11/2001 - 05/2003
 Relocated back office operations from Minneapolis MN to NY, consisting of 5 departments and a staff of 12 employees
 Restructured Trusted Advisors as a Broker Dealer aligning business processing between two broker dealers that led to decreased expenses and increased efficiencies
 Subsequently closed Trusted Securities Advisors Corp. as a broker dealer and folded them into MONY Securities Corporation
 Implemented Monarch reporting , a report delivery system aimed at increasing communication with agents and decreasing operating expenses

Operations Specialist                                                            04/2000 - 10/2001
 Interchanged within all operations departments to understand business flows, processing standards and requirements
 Worked with all departments in reorganizing, restructuring and streamlining of daily procedures that led to increased productivity
 Acted as a liaison between money managers, operations and trading to ensure transactions are booked and settled in a timely fashion
 Worked extensively with clearing agent on the development and functionality of an internet based platform, designed for financial planners and registered representatives

UBS Warburg, Stamford, CT                                                        06/1997 - 03/2000
Operations Settlement
 Interfaced with bank and in-house trading departments ensuring proper trade booking and settlement
 Automated the fail control processes for all equity and fixed income trades, reporting to traders trade support and management the risks of all open transactions, using the Monarch reporting tool
 Assisted in the design and implementation of a global fail control computer system.
 Monitored the activity of 50 accounts in the areas of trade settlement, NASD regulations, and customer inquiries
 Produced and monitored the daily firm balance to departments and management globally

Ryan J. Fitzgerald
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Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration


Proficient in Microsoft Office, ADP, DTC, FBSI and Monarch

Pertinent Seminars:
Frontline Leadership
Harvard University, Boston MA

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Dude, even if you were a good fit for the job (which from your resume you aren't), that job posting above is nearly two years old...