Mar 25, 2024

MF CLO / HY Liquid Credit Hours at MD/Sr Analyst Levels

Anyone have insight to MF liquid credit (CLO/HY/LL) hours for MD / Sr Analyst type roles? Not sure if/how a MF team would differ from a traditional HY manger, hence the question. Do certain firms have better/worse cultures? 

 

Based on the insights from the WSO Dataset, the hours in MF liquid credit roles, including CLO, HY, and LL, can vary significantly depending on the firm and the specific team's culture. At the MD/Senior Analyst levels, the expectation for hours might be less rigid than at the junior levels, but the commitment to the job remains high due to the responsibility and the stakes involved. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Hours Can Vary: While traditional HY managers might have somewhat predictable hours, MF (Mega Fund) teams dealing with liquid credit could experience fluctuating hours due to market conditions, deal flow, and the critical nature of the transactions they handle.

  2. Firm Culture Plays a Role: The culture of the firm significantly influences working hours. Some firms are known for their demanding schedules, while others may offer a better work-life balance. It's essential to research and network to understand the culture of specific MFs.

  3. Responsibility Level: At the MD and Senior Analyst levels, the expectation is that you're not only executing tasks but also involved in decision-making, strategy, and client interactions. This can lead to longer hours during critical periods but might also allow for more flexibility during quieter times.

  4. Firm-Specific Differences: There can be notable differences between firms in how they structure their teams and manage workloads. Some firms might have a more distributed approach, spreading the workload more evenly and potentially leading to more manageable hours.

  5. Market Conditions Influence Workload: Given the nature of liquid credit markets, periods of high volatility or significant deal flow can lead to spikes in workload, requiring longer hours to monitor markets, manage positions, and execute strategies.

In summary, while there's no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding the culture of the specific MF and the nature of its liquid credit operations can provide better insight into the expected hours and work-life balance at the MD/Senior Analyst levels. Networking with current or former employees and staying informed about the industry can offer valuable perspectives.

Sources: Liquid credit at MF thoughts, MF Liquid Credit SA / Analyst Programs, MF Liquid Credit Analyst Exit Opps, LO Credit (HY/LL) Sr Analyst Comp Packages, https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forum/private-equity/liquid-credit-leveraged-loans-high-yield-groups?customgpt=1

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Bot answer is actually generally correct. It said there's no one-size-fits-all answer but I'm going to attempt to give one. I was at a MF, now at a smaller manager. So to generalize from what I've seen / heard from colleagues...

There's not much difference between MF and "traditional" HY managers or independent managers. At the senior analyst level, it's usually going to be somewhere between 40-60 subject to firm culture, industry coverage, and market conditions. In a given week, there's a certain amount of work that needs to get done regardless (regular thinking about relative value, reading research, calls, etc.). That'll probably take 20-30 hours in your average week. Then on top of that, you need to deal with 1) new deals and 2) things happening in your sector. So if rates are low and the new deal machine is humming, or if your sector is facing trouble (such as healthcare or telecom recently), you probably have significantly more work to do and it'll scale up to the top of that range.

This is a bit of a rudimentary framework but it's probably accurate from my experience.

Base hours 30

+ up to 10 for firm culture

+ up to 10 for industry coverage

+ up to 10 for new deal flow

- up to 20 if you have junior analysts working for you (really depends on quality of juniors)

+ 10 if it's earnings season (could be more depending on schedule)

+ 10 if you're a PM

Note that when I say "firm culture" I have not noticed a strong correlation between size of fund and hours worked. Some are just more intense for lack of a better word. They expect you to do more expert calls, model new deals even if you know you're unlikely to buy, etc. From the analyst perspective, there's really not much difference between running $1B and $10B in liquid credit, you just put the same deal in more or larger portfolios. The investable universe doesn't change.

 

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