Fund Accountant @ HF

Hi All.

A recruiter reached out to me about this role, I really want to take the interview but I feel under qualified for it. I work as a PM assistant in the AM arm of a bank and my main responsibilities revolve around portfolio construction (running correlation matrices/pairing managers) and utilizing our internal systems to calculate expected standard deviation/returns/sharpe ratios and backtesting said portfolios for prospects across various risk events. Also have had light exposure to managing treasury ladders. Approaching my two year mark here out of college

do I even have a shot at this role considering I don’t have experience with find accounting or US GAAP in general? Personally would love to have exposure working in a HF, but I feel I’m too under qualified for this.

 

Based on the most helpful WSO content, transitioning from a PM assistant role in asset management to a Fund Accountant position at a hedge fund (HF) is indeed a significant shift, primarily due to the different skill sets and knowledge bases required. However, your current experience with portfolio construction, risk assessment, and performance metrics like Sharpe ratios is valuable. These skills demonstrate a strong analytical foundation and a grasp of financial metrics, which are crucial in any finance-related role.

Here are a few steps to consider if you're serious about this opportunity:

  1. Understand the Role: Fund Accountants typically need a strong understanding of accounting principles and financial reporting. They are responsible for the accurate reporting of a fund's financial information, compliance with regulations, and often, investor communications. Familiarity with US GAAP is crucial, so your lack of experience here is a gap you'll need to address.

  2. Bridge the Knowledge Gap: Consider taking a short course or certification in financial accounting or specifically in US GAAP. This will not only boost your resume but also give you the confidence to handle fund accounting tasks.

  3. Leverage Your Current Skills: Highlight how your skills in analyzing and managing portfolios can be a valuable asset in understanding the financial instruments within a hedge fund. Your experience with backtesting and risk assessment can be particularly appealing as these skills are transferable to understanding and managing financial reports and audits.

  4. Network and Seek Advice: Reach out to people currently working in fund accounting roles within hedge funds. Learn about their daily tasks, the challenges they face, and the skills they find most important. This can provide you with insider knowledge and potentially advocates within the industry.

  5. Express Your Passion and Willingness to Learn: In your application and interviews, emphasize your keen interest in hedge funds and your eagerness to learn and adapt. Your enthusiasm for the sector and commitment to expanding your skills can be compelling to potential employers.

While you may feel underqualified, remember that many professionals successfully transition into new roles by leveraging their existing skills, filling knowledge gaps, and clearly communicating their passion for the role. Good luck!

Sources: Ho-Hum to Hedge Fund, Going from a non-target with low GPA to landing a hedge fund Internship, Offer on Table and Unsure if Consistent with Long Term Goals, Q&A: 3rd+ Year Associate - L/S Hedge Fund, How to pass resume screen get interviews from a hedge fund?

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
 
Most Helpful

Don’t do this! It would be a step back. Fund accountant at a hedge fund is a back office function and not on the investment team. While you’re current role is a bit fund of fundsy by the sounds of it (fewer options than security selection) it is a front office role.

This is the whole better to be a trader at Raymond James than a receptionist at Goldman Sachs (extreme example but yeah). Again if you want to get an investment role at a hedge fund you should probably try to switch to equity/credit research, investment banking, sales and trading or you may be able to go direct if you have exceptional quant skills.

 

Makes sense, I was mostly interested because it’s a 6-7 team with $3B AUM so I feel like I could learn a lot. I think I’ll stay at my current role and try to polish my skill set a bit more since I’m junior 

 

I actually only spoke to the headhunter — it’s a growth role and the fund accountant is to report to director of operations and is going to be building our new processes, certainly sounded like a MO role.

i just don’t have any transferable experience so im hesitant to take an interview, alot of my duties were portfolio management assistant esque, never have done any accounting or serious reconciliation work.

 

-creating weekly and monthly reconciliations 

-Review and provide guidance for reporting special transactions

- Use your highly technical knowledge to lobby for and upgrade the monthly pricing process

- Drive various data analytics projects, automation, and reporting standardization initiatives

 

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