I currently have two offers and I would like some advice on which one I should pick as I've heard logical arguments for both sides. Goal is to eventually work in abut willing to stay in AM if pay is good enough for a very comfortable lifestyle.
Background: Completed internships at a quant hedge fund ($500m AUM), fundamental L/S equity fund ($5Bn AUM), and long-only asset manager ($500Bn total AUM but my team had $7Bn). Graduated with 3.8 GPA in undergrad and 3.5 GPA in MSc Finance from one of the best business schools in Europe but I have zero work experience.
Option 1. Hedge fund: One of the best performing fundamental value funds in HK (~15% CAGR over the past 12 years) with USD$3Bn in AUM. Investment team is pretty small (<15 with 1 fund manager and 2 PMs) and have been promised that I will be mentored by the fund manager himself, which I think is a huge plus. Will be given analyst responsibilities (leading meetings with management, country visits, channel checks etc) almost immediately upon joining. Famous in HK but not so much outside the country.
Downside is that my starting salary will be USD40k with guaranteed bonus of 8k but could go up to 40k (essentially 100%) based on my recommendations. Base will rise every 6 months but not linearly and I feel this is way below the market. Have been promised share options after 3 years but unsure of the specifics. PMs are making high 7 to low 8 figures but they've been there for almost a decade while fund manager is probably a billionaire or pretty damn close. Entire fund seems pretty dependent on the fund manager and I don't think they'll survive if he retires (although he says he'll work for another 10 years minimum).
Option 2. Asset manager: Structured training program with an indisputable brand name from top 5 active manager (/Capital/Wellington) in . Pros are that it definitely gives me better exit opps than the HF role and much higher base of 75-85k plus 15-25k bonus. Salary progression is also more predictable, making it easier to budget for the future. I'll probably get a lot more exposure due to the firm's size, allowing me to attend conferences, sell-side events and my CFA will be sponsored.
Main downside is that I won't be able to choose my team and most of these managers have many underperforming funds. Thus I'm afraid I may get posted to one of them and waste my formative years in mediocracy. Development will definitely be slower with the lower level of responsibility. Might not get much face time with senior analysts or PMs which is a bummer as I feel it's one of the most efficient ways of learning investing.
Sorry for the long post, but any help is much appreciated!