Lateral to Prestigious AMs possible?

Hi all,

Quick intro - currently in a ~$10b AUM equities fund with 7 investment professionals. Not a well known shop with somewhat okay pay. I have less than 2 YOE and have sector specialty rather than being a generalist. Something I enjoy in this team is that my ideas get executed and am given a lot of responsibilities and ownership of what I do while also working as the sole coder in the team providing macro analytics for the head PM. 

I'm not hellbent on making the move immediately but I was wondering what are some of the ways to lateral to a more prestigious shops for future reference. 

And I would also appreciate some guidance for some of the items below:

  • How many YOE would be ideal for a lateral move?
  • If there is an option - would it be better to be a generalist than a specialist in a few sectors? (for the sake of making a lateral move)
  • What are some of the better ways to network with investment professionals?
  • I'm guessing recruitment environment differs between earlier stage career to mid-late stage career: how should I approach the lateral move in both cases?

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


Hey there!

First off, it's great to hear that you're enjoying your current role and the responsibilities that come with it. Now, let's dive into your questions:

  1. Ideal Years of Experience for a Lateral Move: There's no hard and fast rule here, but generally, 2-3 years of experience is a good starting point. It's enough time to have gained solid experience and skills, but not so long that you're seen as too entrenched in your current role or firm.

  2. Generalist vs Specialist: This can depend on the specific firm you're targeting. Some might value deep expertise in a specific sector, while others might prefer a more well-rounded skill set. It might be worth researching the firms you're interested in to see if they lean one way or the other.

  3. Networking with Investment Professionals: Start attending industry conferences, both for equities and for whatever sector your fund focuses on. LinkedIn Premium can also be a great tool for finding and connecting with professionals in your industry. A short note to reconnect with someone from years ago is usually received well.

  4. Approaching a Lateral Move: In the early stage of your career, it's all about showcasing your potential and the skills you've already developed. As you move into the mid-late stage, it becomes more about your track record and the specific results you've achieved. In both cases, it's important to have a clear narrative about why you're making the move and what you can bring to the new firm.

Remember, every move is a chance to learn and grow. Whether you stay put or decide to make a lateral move, the most important thing is to keep challenging yourself and pushing your boundaries. Good luck!

Sources: PE Lateral Recruiting Advice/Stories/Help?, Lateral or B-School?, Q&A: Business Analysis at F500 Firm, Am I screwing myself or perfecting my craft?

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Curious - what do you mean by subpar economics?

A few things are making me uneasy in my current team:

1. The firm as a whole is doing terribly. We're big on fixed income side but they've had a massive cut to AUM by both the rates impact on MTM and outflow. We've already gone through a few rounds of bloodbath.

2. There's been push from a number of larger clients to increase # of holdings in our portfolios since the earlier part of the year. I'm not enjoying suggesting names just for the sake of diversification.

3. Not sure if it's only because of the firm doing poorly, but our soft dollar budget is too tight. We're limited to generic research tools (BBG - shared terminal, FactSet basic) and can't get API accesses, expert call network platforms and etc. 

But as mentioned earlier, I'm merely looking to know how to position myself for a lateral (ideally to a better, more renowned shops) if/when I do think I need to move.


Curious what are API accesses you are referring to? Do you mean live-feeds of alt data through API? I just haven't heard the term before and am only a few months into the industry

Second, how bad are the economics? If you are at a 1.5/15 - 2/20 type of fund, economics should be great right? Know this was posted in the AM forum so forgive me if this is more of a 75bps mgmt fee + no promote situation

Third, do you have 2 YOE of buyside experience with some prior sellside exp, or just 2 YOE as a whole?

Don't have any great advice but following thread as I am in a somewhat similar boat


I have not seen it done at my shop (T1 boutique AM) in the 6+yrs I've been here. Not to say it isn't possible, but the only laterals we've had have been from other T1 shops. We have also hired from top SS ER and banking programs. Still majority of hires come from elite undergrads

I think as there are fewer seats to go around, there will be more and more focus on pedigree (elite UG, GPA, CFA, top shop) for hiring purposes


That's a bummer... thank you for your insight! Gathering from your response, I'm guessing the best bet is to lateral to a similar size/strategy firm. In any case, I'm not sure how much overlap or difference there is between the prestigious shops versus lower tier shops with regards to approaching a lateral move but if you don't mind, could you share what you know about how people make such move in your space? Like the rule of thumb on number of YOE needed to be even considered, ideal networking platforms or methods, and etc. Maybe I can take away from that and adjust it to my situation.

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