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By Riley Kaminer

Member Spotlight | Schonfeld

Read Time 3 Minutes

Business: Preeminent global investment manager that delivers superior risk-adjusted returns over the long term.

Founded: 1988

HQ: New York

Employees: 900+



New York-based global investment manager Schonfeld is doubling down on South Florida, with a particular focus on our region’s strong supply of talent and rapidly-growing tech ecosystem.

The company landed in Miami last year and now has around 60 South Florida-based employees.

Marc Helfman, Schonfeld’s Head of Cybersecurity, is one of the many employees that moved to South Florida to spearhead the investment manager’s growing presence in the area.

“When we decided to open an office in Wynwood, we knew that it was going to be a long-term play,” Helfman told South Florida Tech Hub

The company is committed to building its talent pipeline over time. Talent is at the core of everything Schonfeld does. It’s even in their tagline, “talent is our strategy.” 

To this end, Schonfeld has built relationships with local universities and colleges to provide opportunities to their students. Helfman noted that 40% of his 11-person team started with Schonfeld as interns. 

“We’ve found some really good talent by nurturing them through the internship and then hiring them six to 12 months later,” he said. “We help them grow their careers and make sure that they have a clear idea of their career path. Now we’re starting to do that in Miami.” 

Helfman added that Schonfeld also actively works to recruit and relocate talent to Miami. While the prospect of living in South Florida is tempting to many, Helfman acknowledged it can sometimes be an uphill battle due to our region’s high cost of living.

On a personal level, Helfman was enticed by South Florida’s weather and the opportunity to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle than fast-paced New York. 

“I wanted to be part of the tech movement that is happening down here,” he said. While Miami’s growing crypto scene tends to get a lot of media attention, Helfman noted that many major players in the hedge fund world are also establishing their presence in South Florida. “I felt like for my career, it would be really exciting to be part of that. I looked at this as a challenge that I hadn’t had before.”

Schonfeld is increasingly active in our local tech scene. For instance, they were the presenting sponsor of the 2022 edition of SoFlo DevCon. And Helfman sits on Miami-Dade College’s cybersecurity advisory board.

Helfman is passionate about the rapidly-changing world of cybersecurity. A tech industry veteran with 17 years of cybersecurity experience under his belt, he is a major advocate for companies to prioritize their cybersecurity initiatives. 

“Now cybersecurity is mainstream,” he said. “Even within the last five years there has been tremendous change, with major hacks being covered in the news.” 

Helfman underscored the importance of having cybersecurity conscious executives like he has at Schonfeld. “It’s critical that cybersecurity professionals are represented and supported by senior management.”

Want to learn more about Schonfeld? Check out our interview with Chief Technology Officer David Neigler from earlier this year.

By Riley Kaminer

800+ developers gather in Davie for SoFlo DevCon 2022

Read Time 4 Minutes

On April 16th, South Florida Tech Hub hosted the 17th annual edition of one of the largest conferences for software developers, designers, engineers and tech professionals across the region. SoFlo Dev Con 2022 saw upwards of 1,000 attendees and more than 100 speakers descend upon Nova Southeastern University’s Carl DeSantis building in Davie.

Topics and workshops included Machine Learning, AI, VR/AR/MR, IoT, .NET, DevOps, MVC Framework, JavaScript, JQuery, SQL Server, Business Intelligence, Software Testing, Xamarin/Mobile Development, Azure/Cloud, Business/Career Development, and more. There were 17 tracks including web3, blockchain, AI, cloud, web development, leadership, and investment.

Thanks to Tech Hub’s community partners and sponsors, the event was completely free to attend.

The presenting sponsor for the event was Schonfeld, a preeminent global investment management firm. Recent Miami transplant Yael Mayfield, Head of Front Office at Schonfeld and co-head of the Miami office, gave SoFlo DevCon’s keynote presentation (video), discussing how to build a high frequency trading system. Mayfield provided a high-level overview of what HFTs are and how to go about building an HFT system. She explained the various trade offs of different operating system architectures for HFTs.

Schonfeld also offered a session moderated by tech recruiter Jordan DiCambio discussing fintech trends, including cloud computing, low latency trading systems, and real-time data. On the panel was an all-star lineup from Schonfeld: Rusty Conover (Head of Cloud Data Platform), Wes Maness (Architect on our Quantitative Trading Platform), and Drashti Trivedi (Senior Software Engineer on our reference data team).

“The event was great,” Radhika Arora, Schonfeld’s Head of Enterprise Technology Talent Acquisition, told South Florida Tech Hub. “There was such a variety of attendees, including vendors, agencies, lateral candidates, campus candidates and more.”

Arora explained that Schonfeld got involved in the event for two main reasons. First, to help develop a strong development community in South Florida. Second, to help attract and engage some of the best talent in South Florida – with the view for the firm’s Miami office to be a true HQ2. Schonfeld is looking for employees across a wide range of verticals: from cybersecurity to software engineering to QA. Learn more and apply by visiting their careers website.

Miami-based Streann Media, a video and audio platform to distribute, engage, and monetize content, was the t-shirt and streaming partner. Co-founder Gio Punzo presented on the topic, “The Future of Streaming is Interactive, NFT, Crypto,” highlighting the top trends for content creators and providers. 

During the talk, Punzo showcased the company’s newest innovation, Live2.Social, which is a multi-camera streaming app. “It’s time to say bye to Zoom and welcome Live2.Social created by Streann,” Punzo told South Florida Tech Hub.

Punzo relished the opportunity to share Streann’s story with the South Florida tech industry at SoFlo DevCon. He explained that, having raised funds from top VC firms and angel syndicates, he is passionate about giving back to SMBs. “Everyone, every SMB, needs to create more content – and our technologies can help. Let us show you how. Let us help the community grow with new innovative tech made in South Florida.”

Overall, Punzo called the event “spectacular,” highlighting the many tracks and high-quality speakers. “There was great energy. South Florida is booming and you can feel it. At the conference, I met people that moved to Miami from New York, and they said they moved because SoFlo is where it’s at!”

To finish off a full slate of tech talks, decentralized blockchain Algorand who also gave a talk during one of the tracks, sponsored a fun happy hour with food and drink in NSU’s Flight Deck with indoor gaming area and outdoor bar and seating – an excellent networking opportunity for all participants. 

To view more photos from the event, click here.

TOGETHER, we are #BuildingSoFlo!

By Riley Kaminer

Schonfeld will be presenting sponsor of upcoming SoFlo DevCon

Read Time 3 Minutes

New York-based global hedge fund Schonfeld Strategic Advisors has announced that it will be the presenting sponsor of the 2022 edition of SoFlo DevCon.

Taking place at Nova Southeastern University in Davie on April 16th, this year marks the 17th annual edition of DevCon (formerly known as Code Camp). The event is part of the broader “South Florida Tech Month” in April which includes a host of innovation-focused conferences and events stretching from Miami to Palm Beach.

“We are very excited to be the presenting sponsor of SoFlo DevCon,” Schonfeld’s Chief Technology Officer, David Neigler, told South Florida Tech Hub.

After having undertaken an exhaustive search of 36 cities around the country, Schonfeld picked Miami as its second headquarters. “Miami is an emerging tech hub,” said Neigler. In Miami, the firm sees the opportunity to find top talent in tech and beyond.

Neigler explained that sponsoring SoFlo DevCon will be an opportunity for Schonfeld to connect with Miami’s community of developers and innovators. He noted that some Schonfeld executives will be giving keynotes and participating in panel discussions during the event.

While Schonfeld’s expanded presence is still relatively new to South Florida, Neigler signaled that they have already found some strong talent in our market. “It seems like a lot of folks are moving to the area as well,” he added. “It’s something we’ve noticed and are starting to capitalize on.”

“We look forward to being more present and more known in the community,” Neigler continued.

So far, over 1,600 attendees have registered their interest in SoFlo DevCon, and there are more than 70 confirmed speakers. The conference is free for attendees, thanks to sponsors including Schonfeld.

Topics and workshops will include Machine Learning, AI, VR/AR/MR, IoT, .NET Core, Visual Studio 2019, DevOps, MVC Framework, JavaScript, JQuery, SQL Server 2019, Business Intelligence, Software Testing, Xamarin/Mobile Development, Azure/Cloud, Business/Career Development, and more.

Schonfeld is also sponsoring the upcoming eMerge and React Miami conferences. The hedge fund, which has over 700 full-time employees around the world and upwards of $11.5 billion in assets under management, proudly sports the tagline, “talent is our strategy.”

Neigler’s advice to people hoping to break into the tech side of finance is to “be in an environment where you can constantly apply your learnings, and be in a place where folks know more than you.”

He highlighted that putting in the time to hone his craft, particularly towards the beginning of his career, has paid large dividends across his career. Neigler believes that working long hours can be fulfilling if you are doing the right kind of work: “If you can line up your interests with your opportunities, things are really much easier.”

For Neigler, who cut his teeth in the dot com boom, now is a particularly exciting time to work in tech: “Tools like AI, machine learning, and Python, make it much easier to leverage technology and build things more quickly than in the past.”


WHAT: SoFlo DevCon 2022

WHEN: Saturday, April 16th, 2022

WHERE: In Davie, FL at Nova Southeastern University’s Carl Desantis Building

WHO: Over 1,600 registered attendees and 70+ speakers

WHY: Meet other developers and learn about the most exciting topics in development

Member Spotlight | Schonfeld
800+ developers gather in Davie for SoFlo DevCon 2022
Schonfeld will be presenting sponsor of upcoming SoFlo DevCon