Let go / fired with runway at a SM HF- any advice?

Getting let go inside my first two years at a relatively prominent SM.  Did PE for a few years prior. I can get references from my existing firm.

How does recruiting work for other HFs after someone has gotten cut? 

Not really sure whether it makes sense to stay in the HF track or cut losses and go back to private markets given speed I got bounced as well, despite liking the job.



For reference - investments I was able to put risk on for were all profitable / in-line with the rest of the book.  I got hired in to do something that was more 2022 oriented (think SPACs, IPOs, growth, etc.) however the firm hasn't played in that strategy really since I joined so I picked up names here and there that slipped through the existing sector coverage, though didn't have the same level of conviction in my recommendations as the sector focused analysts. 

 

He should also assess whether it was a group/market issue too. Last year saw shitty market conditions for many strategies so having poor performance given the market cycle isn’t career ending, especially if he’s only an analyst. If he truly didn’t “get it” and personally was doing poorly relative to his peers then he should consider finding a career that’s a potential better fit.

 

Were you let go due to performance issues? Just make sure you have a good story, and I'm sure SMs would entertain interviews, particularly emerging managers. Good luck!

I'd say partially performance, partially market.  I am at a multi-strat firm and ended up partially straddling way too many things which significantly impacted efficacy when the original strategy I was hired into was winding down in 2023 and did not provide enough value to keep me around. 

 

If it's performance issue, yeah go back to private markets. 

 

Seems a bit harsh. I mean sub 2 years he shouldnt really have much performance to attribute, the first year or so in public markets is essentially just learning your PMs process and getting through a few earnings seasons. Does he really have enough of a track record to say he should remove himself from public markets forever? Even if he did have attribution everybody has a bad year, could have just been timing.

 

Whilst I agree that 2 years couldn't be indicative of investment capability. One can get caught on a secular bull run and have a winning streak with high-beta bets and that person is not necessarily a great investor. 

But here's the thing, you work under a PM. If your desk have a bad year, fine, but relatively speaking, you still have to perform better than peers, or at least on par. Yes you can blame market & PM for your desk performance but sorry you can't blame markets and PM for underperformance against peers.

Is OP gonna be great investor if he/she have more time? Yeah, maybe, maybe not. But this industry doesn't really have patience. And that's how people got washed out, and that's the game. 

Can OP try again at a new firm?, yeah, will it work next time, who knows? But personally never seen anyone who got fired for underperformance recovered from it. Most rockstars I encounter don't get fired, like ever, the worst that happened to them is, maybe, PIP. 

 

I wouldn’t necessarily interpret it as you not being cut out for the job. Do you know how many people switch firms over the course of their public markets career? A lot. 
 

My 2 cents is to be intellectually honest and reflect on why it happened. Sometimes honestly it’s just wrong place wrong time. Maybe the team wasn’t the right fit for your style. Maybe you made some mistakes but every seat has different leash for mistakes. The important thing is growing and learning. 
 

if you don’t like the job, that’s a different story but it sounds like you actually like it

 
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We hired a guy with a great CV (Columbia MBA, Colgate UG) at the SM I worked for. The guy came from a PE-type role and was used to spending a lot of time on each company. He never got comfortable with the faster paced nature of the work and the basic level of modeling you do in public markets vs. what you do in PE. He was coached out of the firm after 2 years and was allowed to stay on the books for c8 months until he found a new role (quite generous if you ask me). I just looked the guy up on Bloomberg and he has spent the last 7-8 years bouncing around various multi-manager seats, never lasting more than 12-18 months. In fairness, he keeps getting hired so he must sell a good story. He probably should have stayed in private markets and grinded it out but I guess the ego gets in the way sometimes.  

 

^ this, exactly this. Seen something like this couple of times as well.

 
Ovechkin08

We hired a guy with a great CV (Columbia MBA, Colgate UG) at the SM I worked for. The guy came from a PE-type role and was used to spending a lot of time on each company. He never got comfortable with the faster paced nature of the work and the basic level of modeling you do in public markets vs. what you do in PE. He was coached out of the firm after 2 years and was allowed to stay on the books for c8 months until he found a new role (quite generous if you ask me). I just looked the guy up on Bloomberg and he has spent the last 7-8 years bouncing around various multi-manager seats, never lasting more than 12-18 months. In fairness, he keeps getting hired so he must sell a good story. He probably should have stayed in private markets and grinded it out but I guess the ego gets in the way sometimes.  

Thanks, yeah this is exactly my worry. I actually really like the job but I really don't want to be ego chasing something I might be pretty bad at.  Feedback from my firm's investment partners was a bit confusing when I asked for feedback on this point so figured I'd ask.  

 

Lots of mercenaries in this business in fact that guy probably just jumps signing bonus to signing bonus possibly, know a few people who do just that. Have all the skills to start coverage, build everything but just cannot fully capture alpha to make the "upside potential" part of the HF equation to make sense. Lots of large organizations who just need people to fill a gap asap but know the person probably wont be around longterm.

OP, guess the only real question we could ask is why you did not have the same conviction as other analysts. If this growth area whatever it was did not exist would you have been even hired to begin with? I mean the quant person above is sort of right, the second guessing in this thread is not exactly that of people who survive in SMs or very competitive MMs over time. 

 

Hey - first sorry about being let go. I am sure you are smart and you will find another great opportunity. 

 

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