Are Single Managers Just Not Hiring?

I'm currently a second year associate at a PE mega-fund and I now want to transition to the public markets side but honestly I am surprised by the lack of opportunities out there in the single manager & activism market. I've spoken to about 5-6 headhunters and I've only been put into one interview process as 95% of the time I keep getting pitched multi-managers. Looking at former PE associates that did two and out programs it seems they've exited to great single managers/tiger cubs (Viking, Coatue, Thirdpoint, D1, Lone Pine). Maybe I was just naïve but I thought the market would more active than it is as I'm not even hearing about opportunities at these shops. I wanted to see if others are having a similar experience and the SM activity is just much lower now days or if there's maybe something wrong with my profile/something I'm missing?

Thank you!

Most Helpful

At least three of the five funds you mentioned are actively recruiting and I've had plenty of people reaching out.

Two things - I think a small amount (i.e., 2/3) of the headhunters are the ones with the vast majority of mandates, and at this stage, there are so many candidates relative to a small number of seats that firms can be quite picky about things like school and bank/banking group even conditional on being at a large-cap PE firm. Word of mouth definitely matters - maybe not in terms of having hiring opportunities right away but SM HF is a small world and people can refer you to the ones that are hiring. 

Would say you should still have a good shot at getting your foot in the door if you're proactive with pitches (ie, demonstrating real passion for investing / critical thinking instead of being a typical box-checking MF PE associate) and structure networking more about long-term relationships than short-term job opportunities.


You also have to understand the dynamics of HF hiring are a lot different than IB or PE. Particularly at SMs, you aren't hiring x new analysts each year like PE funds do w/ associates. HF adds are a function of either someone leaving or the fund is scaling and adding new seats. The first one ebbs and flows but isn't necessarily additive to the number of seats available (that person presumably left to take a seat elsewhere). On the second one, a lot of the AUM is flowing into the MM platforms so prob not a ton of SM shops looking to meaningfully add to headcount. MM have the benefit of the above flows and the inevitable pod blow ups that open the door for new PMs to come in and hire out teams underneath them. 


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