08.16.2017

BlackRock Want: ‘Man + Machine’ Analyst

BlackRock is looking to fill a position with a unique title, Barron’s reported.

The investment giant made a splash earlier this year when it announced that it would revamp its active unit by relying more on machines rather than humans to pick stocks. With the rise of low-cost exchange-traded funds, a move to make active funds more affordable by using data and computer systems seems perfectly rational, but what’s the collateral damage? Fewer jobs to go around, and oddly enough, puzzling job titles.

Last week, Barron’s noted the world’s largest asset management firm posted a “Man + Machine Investment Analyst” position on Indeed.com. What does that mean, you ask? Here’s the job description:

BlackRock Active Equities (“AE”) has created a new global research team focused on generating investment insight using advanced computational techniques on alternative, primary and big data. We require an experienced investment analyst with a multi-disciplinary skillset to solve fundamental investment questions using a data science approach.

An article in the May 2016 issue of the Harvard Business Review pointed out that creative job titles can be good for employees and costs the employers nothing. A 2014 study found that “self-reflective” job titles actually benefited employees emotionally. Of course, an infectious disease specialist would prefer “germ slayer,” and a receptionist, “directors of first impressions.” So, Barron’s asked, why not go with “Coding Samurai” or “Robo Whisperer” or “Quant Artist”?

Barron’s concluded by asking, What would your next employer think if they saw “Man + Machine Investment Analyst” on your resume?

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