Big Hedge Fund or Small Prop?

Hello folks!

I just received two offers, and I really need to understand which one to choose. Hope some more senior people can help me figure it out.

They’re both for junior Quantitative Research roles in equities. The small prop (is in Switzerland) is also a market maker in emerging markets, small team of 15 people and they all look very bright and smart. I spoke with the partner as well, who is always in the office along with the team. It looks like they want to grow and there is a potential for bonus as big as multiples of the (already high) base salary.

The big hedge fund is one of the bests in town (London). I have the feeling that its name in my cv will give me a real push for the future. Base salary is comparable, although I have the feeling that the bonus is generally lower and less volatile. They would give me a contract for one year, even tho I need to understand if I can consider it as a protection for me not being fired during the first year. They have a sign on bonus plus a first year bonus of at least 50%

I have the feeling that I could learn way more in the prop, given that the small size would mean that I will have to deal with more “parts” of the pipeline. On the other side, the big name of the hedge fund in the cv feels like an insurance career wise. They both do interesting stuff, but probably the prop is more open to different ideas while the desk at the HF is focused on a specific strategy only.

I would truly like to know your thoughts on this matter, which aspects you would consider and what information you would ask to both parties!

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