6 months notice period

A quick question here. A friend of mine has signed with a fairly large global hedge fund and the notice period in the contract is 6 months. She has asked but company mentioned this is just standard contract. 

Previsouly she thought that this is negotiable (have successfully negociated down a notice preiod before). But during latest job change, boss insisted on she servicing her notice and working until the very last day, which makes her wonder about the much longer notice preiod in the contact of the new job.

Is a 6 months notice period normal for a hedge fund?Is this fair? Does one has room to negociate at the end of your employement? If say someone were to move country (e.g. old job in New York, new job in London/Hong Kong), are the person still bounded by this (assume it would be difficult to enforce)?

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Comments (11)

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
May 3, 2021 - 7:18am

Notice period or non compete?

If you are talking about notice period (I.e. amount of time you give employer when you announce you are leaving) that is not normal. I am only familiar with the US market though, but I have not seen a HF contract with anywhere near that long of a notice period. 

Noncompete would make a lot more sense (maybe that is what you are referring to?). In that case 6m is pretty standard. As far as enforceability, I would speak to an attorney. 

May 3, 2021 - 8:26am

Yes. Notice period. So it works both ways, both the company and the employee would need to give 6 months notice when firing/resigning. There is no mentioning of non-compete in the contract and this is not in the States.

Also in the contract it mentioned that gardening leave shall run parallel with, or otherwise falls within, the applicable termination notice period, and shall not follow or be imposed in addtion to notice period.

May 3, 2021 - 10:48am

Notice periods are generally 1-3 months. Your friend's case sounds like a clear case of the fund pretending not to have a non-compete clause, when effectively they have it but just call it "notice period".

It sounds like your friend has already signed, so all leverage to negotiate is lost. He/she can of course ask when he/she resigns, but will have zero leverage. Predictably, her fund will ask him/her where he is headed. If it's not a competitor, good chance the fund lets him go early. But if it is a competitor, the fund might very well hold him to the letter of the contract.

May 3, 2021 - 11:13am

If non-compete period is subsumed under notice period, the employee gets paid during non-compete right? What if non-compete restriction applies on top of/ is separate from notice period? Are employees usually compensated during phase of non-compete restrictions?

  • PM in HF - Other
May 3, 2021 - 11:52am

Are they receiving comp upfront, or moving expenses etc...

As mentioned sounds like a clawback/non-compete all in one clause. As to your question on "pay during non-compete" that is the definition of garden leave basically which you said runs parallel with the notice period in this case. 

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May 3, 2021 - 12:42pm

It's just a way to make it more difficult for an employee to leave. Let's say the fund pays bonuses in Feb/March, then if you want to leave you are not going to resign until that bonus is in your account. So the earliest you can start at a new fund/job is September which means you are walking away from almost a full year of comp to change seats. You start to see more and more of this: bonuses getting paid later and longer notice periods. All designed to make you think twice about walking away after a shitty bonus.

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  • PM in HF - Other
May 3, 2021 - 2:24pm

Really getting into the grey area. That said majority of people should look at their compensation over 2 years, some form of signing, some form of guarantee, and possible performance kickers down the line. That is usually how we look at people's comp your last 2 years trailing and your next 2 years.  

May 3, 2021 - 2:32pm

6 month garden leave is normal....where they pay you your base salary to sit at home and tend to your garden while inbetween firms.

just google it...you're welcome
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