The joys of working in equity derivatives technology

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Technologists with experience of equity derivatives are being offered 10k golden hellos, as well as verbal guarantees that their 2009 bonus will be matched if they switch investment banks, such is the demand for their services.

As we've alluded to before, equity derivatives techies are not exactly in plentiful supply, and a number of investment banks are keen build their IT teams in the race for the best trading platform.

Double digit pay rises are increasingly common, but more deal clinchers are being put on the table.

"The marriage of technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of equity derivatives is rare. As a result, banks are offering 10k sign-on bonuses for the right candidate" says one headhunter who recently placed a VP level technologist at a bulge bracket investment bank.

The time of year, of course, also makes it difficult for techies to leave their incumbent role without forfeiting this 2009's potentially large bonus. Guarantees are now frowned upon as a result of recommendations in both the FSA's remuneration report and the Walker review.

"On paper, banks are unable to offer guarantees," concedes another IT in finance headhunter. "However, they're verbally offering to match the bonus that the candidate would have received at their current employer - a kind of gentleman's agreement."

Banks believed to currently be recruiting for equity derivative technologists include Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and UBS.

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