Sháka Rasheed — formerly Bridgewater Associates’ head of sales and marketing — has moved to a senior role at Microsoft, his LinkedIn profile shows.
The technology giant has hired Rasheed as a managing director in charge of its U.S. capital markets division. He will remain based in New York City, which is home to the financial industry he serves and a growing Microsoft team of nearly 1,000 employees, according to the tech company’s website.
Rasheed’s move represents a high-profile departure from finance to technology. Before leading sales for Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund firm, Rasheed held senior positions at Lazard Asset Management, Citadel, and J.P. Morgan, his profile shows.
The new role makes Rasheed “responsible for all sales and customer engagement functions, while servicing our U.S. investment banks, broker-dealers, investment and wealth managers, exchanges, FinTechs, payment companies, other capital markets customers and partners,” per LinkedIn.
Financial firms are major buyers of cloud computing services, an area where Microsoft appears to be waging battle with Amazon.
“Many large multinationals have long-standing relationships with Microsoft or Oracle, but not with Amazon,” Wall Street Journal reporters wrote in an in-depth article Saturday. “The tech giant is under attack as Microsoft and other rivals try to capture a bigger slice of the $266 billion cloud-computing market.”
For asset management firms, investing in their own technology capabilities has helped their bottom lines, according to a June survey by tech and outsourcing firm FIS.
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Fund managers in the top quintile of respondents for implementing technological advances such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence reported triple the average annual revenue growth over 12 months versus other fund managers.
Microsoft’s marketing materials make clear that it’s striving to win over banking and financial firms to its cloud service, called Azure. “Cloud-based solutions can help the industry minimize risk, ensure optimal service at scale and think differently about security, privacy, and regulatory compliance,” Microsoft’s Digital Banking Playbook argued.
UBS and TD are already Microsoft cloud clients, with the Swiss bank achieving 100 percent faster calculation times and 40 percent savings on infrastructure, the tech provider’s website claims.
Requests for comment sent to Microsoft and Rasheed did not receive responses by press time.