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Former employees of the tech giant are big names in banks.

Microsoft layoffs will be welcome in finance

According to a popular thread on forum website Blind, today is the day that Amazon's previously announced layoffs finally make their departure from the company. Coincidentally, Sky News have reported that Microsoft also intends to make cuts, with around 11,000 employees hitting the street as it trims 5% of staff.

That's a lot of talent looking for work, with not a lot of places that can match the cushy salaries and benefits of a tech giant. However, good Microsoft engineers will always have a place in the finance world.

Goldman Sachs seems partial to hiring ex-Microsoft staff at senior levels. For example, Amy Harms, a former Microsoft engineering lead in Ireland, joined as a managing director in London last September. Dimitris Soulios, the firm's global head of machine learning, spent nine years at Microsoft before being recruited as a Goldman MD in 2021. Lee Brenner, Goldman's head of public policy for crypto, previously spent over three years at Microsoft and Facebook respectively.

Hedge funds and high frequency trading firms are equally interested in Microsoft talent. As we reported last year, Li Deng, the former chief scientist of AI at Microsoft is now at Vatic Investments, where he's been building a team. “In finance, the data is huge. In many cases, it’s much bigger than the data you’re dealing with in tech," Deng told us. "Therefore, we need people who are very good at dealing with large datasets and who understand the essence of advanced learning models like deep neural networks.”   

Deng left Microsoft for Citadel, where he worked for nearly four years. Citadel Securities MD & COO for Technology Jeff Maurone is a Microsoft alumnus while presitigious yet controversial hedge fund Bridgewater Associates has a number of ex-Microsoft employees like technical lead Leonid Meyerguz or product manager Michael Vakoc, who joined from the tech firm last October.

For engineers looking for a career with upward trajectory and growth in compensation, finance might be the optimal move. Levels.FYI reports that while an entry level engineering salary at Microsoft is over $20k more than junior pay at JPMorgan, total compensation for an executive director at the bank exceeds that of a Microsoft principal engineer by almost $40k.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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