L/S Case Study

Hi all - I've been in conversations with a L/S SM fund in London and made it to the case study stage. I've spent the last 5+ years in PE with limited HF recruiting experience so wanted to see if anyone had any advice with regards to the delivery of the case study (i.e., write-up vs. slides, "typical" length, should the document stand on its own or do you introduce concepts that you then expand upon during the in-person presentation, etc.). 

I appreciate the case study will be evaluated almost exclusively on substance over form but figured I would ask for any advice about best practices here.

Thanks in advance!


Hey there! It sounds like you're gearing up for an exciting opportunity. When it comes to case studies, especially for a L/S SM fund, it's crucial to demonstrate your analytical skills and ability to make sound investment decisions.

For the delivery, it often depends on the fund's preference, but both write-ups and slides can work. If you're going with slides, make sure they're clear, concise, and visually appealing. If you're doing a write-up, clarity and thoroughness are key.

The length can vary, but aim for comprehensiveness over length. It's better to have a shorter, well-articulated analysis than a long, rambling one.

As for whether the document should stand on its own, it's generally a good idea to make it as self-explanatory as possible. However, you can certainly introduce concepts that you plan to expand upon during the presentation. Just make sure it's clear that's what you're doing, so the reader isn't left confused.

Remember, the goal is to showcase your investment thinking, so make sure your analysis is thorough and your recommendations are well justified. Good luck!


  1. Private Credit Case Study
  2. Case study interview for MBB consulting - 24 of my best tips on how to get in
  3. PE Case Study 48h
I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

Definitely have a one-pager where all the main points of your case stand out: thesis, catalysts, financials, risks, background.

Then you should ponder whether the HF you are recruiting for is process-heavy (value with a long term and deeply fundamental view) or not. I have limited experience with cases, but no purpose in writing 40 pages. Ofc be ready to go deep in the analysis of industry, etc, which won't be a problem given your background, but don't get lost in your write up. Probably 10-15 pages are more than enough. It will be up to you to discuss it covering every angle once you'll have the interview.

HF tends to be more focused on substance than form, show you get it and you know what matters. Being concise is a requisite.


without revealing your interview spot, did HH directly reach out or was it more a direct approach from your side? 

answering your question: i would just stick to the key points/stick to the bigger picture (thesis, catalyst, rationale #1-#3, risks, valuation etc). in terms of formating (doc vs ppt), this is highly fund-dependent but in case I would keep it concise (as the previous poster has mentioned). 

Most Helpful

It should be written like a memorandum in word unless instructed to do differently. Basically you'll be asked what your thoughts are on XYZ company/security with very little direction on anything else. 

For at home case studies, you should have a good two to three page written memo that outlines and describes your thesis with a full three statement model built (especially if interviewing at a multi-manager hedge fund). Make sure to spend a lot of time trying to figure out a differentiated view. You will likely get dinged if you just present the consensus view and nothing else that is interesting. Anyone can read sellside reports and outline the consensus view.

You should focus less on specific assumptions and more on why you think a company is going to miss or beat earnings over the next year or two. Determine a good thesis that translates into upside or downside to street estimates. Anything around why you think expectations are too conservative or too aggressive is good to note. You should go through filings, investor presentations, transcripts, sellside research (if you have access), and look at what the company puts out there in terms of guidance (as these guidance numbers are usually what most people on the sellside use to model out earnings). Would first focus on building the model using the guidance numbers given by management. Then change the assumptions based on your thesis and compare where and why you are different with the sellside consensus.

Basically you need to do the following (summarized below but have more detail in the link below):

  1. Read 10K/filings and any recent sellside research
  2. Understand the industry and any key metrics
  3. Build a 3 statement quarterly model with projections and a few years of historical data
  4. Build out the valuation metrics
  5. Come up with a differentiated view, a good thesis and a supporting backup data/arguments
  6. Determine whether to go long or short at the current price

For more info, I wrote a complete case study guide that walks you through everything step by step:


Reprehenderit ea suscipit architecto fugit. Inventore in omnis qui dolorem. Quam enim ullam non repellendus omnis atque nesciunt. Eum ut et sit commodi. Sit et cupiditate nisi iure fugiat reprehenderit dolorem iusto.

Minima quaerat architecto illum ad. Et ad consectetur ipsam atque rerum. Et accusantium ad error culpa nulla nobis recusandae.

Career Advancement Opportunities

November 2023 Hedge Fund

  • Point72 98.9%
  • D.E. Shaw 97.9%
  • Magnetar Capital 96.8%
  • Citadel Investment Group 95.8%
  • AQR Capital Management 94.7%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

November 2023 Hedge Fund

  • Magnetar Capital 98.9%
  • D.E. Shaw 97.8%
  • Blackstone Group 96.8%
  • Two Sigma Investments 95.7%
  • Citadel Investment Group 94.6%

Professional Growth Opportunities

November 2023 Hedge Fund

  • AQR Capital Management 99.0%
  • Point72 97.9%
  • D.E. Shaw 96.9%
  • Citadel Investment Group 95.8%
  • Magnetar Capital 94.8%

Total Avg Compensation

November 2023 Hedge Fund

  • Portfolio Manager (9) $1,648
  • Vice President (23) $474
  • Director/MD (12) $423
  • NA (6) $322
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (24) $287
  • Manager (4) $282
  • Engineer/Quant (69) $272
  • 2nd Year Associate (30) $251
  • 1st Year Associate (73) $190
  • Analysts (222) $178
  • Intern/Summer Associate (22) $131
  • Junior Trader (5) $102
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (246) $85
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”