Millennium, investing big, doubles down on Miami tech scene
Global investing giant Millennium Management, LLC is seeking to bolster its growing technology office in Miami with a new initiative to hire and train local early-career software engineers.
The move is a sign that despite fears of a looming recession and the ongoing fallout from a major banking failure, the technology and finance sectors continue expanding in South Florida, seeing the region as a key source of talent.
“It’s a big part of our Miami growth strategy,” Olga Naumovich, the company’s head of technology in Miami, told the Herald, referring to the new program.
Millennium, a New York-based alternative investment management firm that runs several hedge funds and has more than $58 billion in assets, signed a lease for office space in Brickell in October 2021. Last year, it hired Naumovich for a newly created position. The firm has about 200 employees in its South Florida office.
The new initiative called LEaD (Learning Engineering and Data), which Millennium announced on Monday, will increase that headcount. The firm declined to estimate the number of participants in the new program, saying that depends on the firm’s needs and was likely to fluctuate.
The program is focused on bringing in software engineers. That is partly because the over 300 investment teams the firm has constantly have to look at massive troves of data. Those teams include programmers who are able to analyze the data and build tools on top of that data to better understand it. That in turn helps the firm minimize risk in its investment decisions.
The firm already employs globally over 1,000 individuals with technology expertise but plans to add more. The lines between tech and finance are increasingly blurring with tech companies developing products to take on banks and investment firms and the finance sector fighting back, often by beefing up in-house technology expertise.
Millennium is seeking candidates for the new initiative who are highly interested in the intersection of finance and technology.
Participants will spend 12 to 18 months with other employees at the firm, including leadership and mentors, and rotate between at least four business departments such as Equities Technology and Infrastructure Technology to get a broader experience.
Those accepted will immediately be considered staff employees, Naumovich said. After completing the program, they will be placed in one of the departments.
There is no cut-off date to apply. Admission is rolling. The firm is currently accepting applications.
Individuals are required to have two to five years of experience working as software engineers and a four-year university degree.
Miami has ‘big inflow of talent’
The new program comes as overall macroeconomic conditions across the country worry economists and consumers. The Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates to combat inflation. Retail sales nationwide last month dropped. The tech sector nationwide has not yet rebounded from the drubbing it took last year.
Still, Naumovich sees Miami as “a highly energized city with a big inflow of talent.”
Her firm continues to bet big on it, she said. “I don’t see or feel anything that would indicate that we have any changes to that strategy.”
Millennium was founded in 1989 and employs more than 4,800 individuals worldwide. In addition to Miami, its other tech hubs are in New York, London, Singapore, Bengaluru, Dublin, and Tel Aviv.
It is one of several big finance or tech firms expanding in Miami that are refashioning the city and even spurring new elite financial gatherings.
Since the pandemic started in March 2020, Point72 Asset Management, the hedge fund started by Steven A. Cohen, has opened an office in Miami, while Apollo Global Management has expanded here.
In perhaps the most significant U.S. corporate relocation announced last year, billionaire founder and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin said he’s moving the home of the hedge-fund and securities trading firm to Miami’s Brickell neighborhood after 32 years in Chicago. And his company has acquired land on Brickell Bay Drive for $363 million to eventually build an office tower.
Meanwhile, Blackstone opened a technology office in 2020. In an interview with the Herald in March, the firm’s chief technology officer John Stecher said they have over 200 employees in Miami and that he expects that to continue to increase.
“We’ve grown out of the [two] floors that we have,” he said, and the firm expanded to a third floor earlier this year.
Blackstone has used coding academies and local colleges, including Miami Dade College, to find talent.
Millennium’s new program seeks to attract young professionals — ones moving to Miami and those already here — and expose them to a wider spectrum of skills.
Young engineers early in their career “tend to start on a particular path without being given an opportunity to explore what else is out there,” said Naumovich. “Sometimes you might like what you don’t know.”
It is also a way to respond to how fast technology is advancing, she said.
“I think we need to teach ourselves and teach other people to be able to pivot to accept new technologies much faster than we are accustomed to.”
This tale was at first released April 17, 2023, 7:00 AM.