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How to get ahead aged 27 in finance: machine learning

Making an impact in the finance world isn’t easy. It requires effort, innovation and, most of all, time. Some people however, just can’t wait. For the 27-year-olds that want to shoot to the top of their bank or hedge fund, they could learn a lot from the people their age using machine learning.

The Forbes 30 under 30 list was released this week, and many of the names in traditional finance share common ground in their use of tech.

At Millennium, for example, data scientist Kendall Jager is on the list. Forbes she was “a critical member of the team that built the firm’s in-house machine learning and data science platform for the compliance department.”

Eric Lei features too. Lei works as a portfolio manager at quant hedge fund WorldQuant, which itself spun off Millennium. Forbes state “Lei trades securities using artificial intelligence, machine learning and statistics to leverage market inefficiencies.” 

Lei has a PhD in machine learning and embarked on a spree of internships at companies like Microsoft and Google. His final internship was at hedge fund Two Sigma, before WorldQuant brought him in as a VP.

Jager has a bachelor’s degree in applied maths and economics and entered Millennium immediately after graduating having interned during her studies. 

The presence of machine learning experts on Forbes' list comes as one machine learning engineer let go from Meta complained of being pursued by headhunters representing Citadel. It also comes as electronic trading firms and funds congregate at this year's Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPs) conference, where Hudson River Trading (HRT) is presenting on the use of machine learning algorithms to parse, "massive, heterogeneous, unevenly spaced, noisy, and bursty tick-by-tick datasets."

This year's Forbes list also includes various crypto names. Given that last year featured the now infamous Caroline Ellison and showed Sam Bankman Fried as one of its ‘star alumni’, crypto nominations this year have a lot to prove.

A notable crypto inclusion is Kanav Kariya, who heads the crypto division of HFT firm Jump Trading. Kariya has spoken out on Twitter about FTX and Bankman Fried, labelling him a “false messiah” and calling for natural “camaraderie.”

With youthful finance professionals looking tarnished by the FTX debacle, Forbes' latest choices need to prove that having a two in front of your age is a good thing. Forbes has a penchant for peculiar picks on its list, so it’s a little early to start calling them revolutionaries.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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