It’s been a while now and Goldman Sachs still doesn’t seem to have anyone to lead its proposed ‘quantum computing research’ team.
The firm doesn’t date stamp its jobs, but we first noticed it was advertising for a ‘Leader of a new quantum computing research team in R&D Engineering,’ in early September. One month on, there don’t seem to have been any takers: the job is still open.
Goldman didn’t respond to a query on the role. It might be simply that the firm is taking its time and interviewing every quantum computing expert on the market. Or it might just be that quantum people are hard to come by.
Goldman’s requirements are fairly precise: it wants someone who can identify applications for quantum computing across Goldman, who can talk to clients about quantum computing, who can liaise with Goldman staff and academics, and who can lead the new quantum computing research team. The ideal would seem to be a quantum computing PhD with client facing skills, which might be hard to come by.
In the meantime, Goldman has at least one quantum computing research already. Rajiv Krishnakumar joined the firm in March 2018 and began work in the Franchise Analytics Strategy and Technology (FAST) team, which is tasked with applying machine learning across the firm. Krishnakumar moved into the quantum computing research team as an associate last month. It probably helps that he has a PhD in applied physics from Stanford and that he spent six months as a postdoctoral research fellow in machine learning at Caltech.
Goldman Sachs seems to be unusual among banks in having a dedicated quantum computing research team. Others are certainly interested though – Roland Fejfar, head of technology business development at Morgan Stanley for EMEA and APAC, says on LinkedIn that one of his tasks is to look at ‘disruptive technology’ like quantum systems. And JPMorgan hired a quantum research scientist on a salary of $150k in New York in March 2019, according to the H1B Visa database.
Google claimed last month that it had built a quantum computer that could perform a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds instead of the 10,000 years it would take the fastest traditional computer. When and if quantum computers become usable, experts have warned that all existing systems of encryption will become instantly meaningless.
Google is also looking for quantum recruiting talent. It’s currently advertising nine roles, seven of which are related to quantum artificial intelligence (AI). All are in California. Goldman, by comparison, wants its quantum researchers in New York City – which may be a harder sell.
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