Any info on Viking?

From the very limited information I've been able to gather, Viking isn't a traditional SM, but it's also not a pod shop, but it has features of both. A bunch of PMs & analysts running their own books separated by sector yet with looser risk limits than a MM, and no quarterly/short term/market neutral investment style. Can anyone comment on how Viking operates differently from Tiger Global/Lone Pine? We've all heard the tale of a young TMT PM @ Viking who supposedly made like $30mm and is now starting his own shop (btw anyone have any info on this? sounds like a crazy story). $30mm is definitely not the norm for a PM at Viking, but how much do the other PMs pull in during an average or good year? I don't know if this is right, but the nature of Viking (not really SM but not really MM either) tells us 2 things:

  1. It's probably harder to KEEP your seat at Viking than other Tiger Cubs. Viking probably has high turnover (maybe not Coatue high but you get the point)

  2. Eat what you kill model + big AUM + not many PMs/analysts/IPs in general = you can probably make more at Viking than at any other Tiger cub, if you are a PM/partner and have an incredible year (emphasis on having a good year). Here, everything is in your control and you are calling the shots, but there's no short term quarterly investment style and it's not market neutral, and it is quite literally eat what you kill, unlike the Tiger Globals/Lone pines of the world (to my knowledge...) where the entire fund needs to perform well for you to get that same level of comp

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Comments (49)

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Apr 14, 2021 - 2:30pm

I dont work at Viking and have not worked at funds like it, but turnover at Viking is clearly high. Using only Linkedin, it states the median tenure at Viking is 3.5 years, Coatue is 2.7 years, for comparison the highest turnover MMHF, Citadel, has a median tenure of 2.9 years. Comparing this to Maverick or TGM which have numbers of 9 years and 5.7 years respectively, it is fair to conclude that turnover is closer to that of a MMHF at Viking and Coatue has higher turnover than almost any funds. Obviously this back of the hand calc. includes back office, but still provides some insight.

I would agree with many of the points you outlined as well. Comp is likely higher than almost any fund in the industry if you prove yourself. Vikings AUM/IP from 13Fs is one of the highest I have ever seen at a L/S fund that charges 2 and 20 with a number of 860MM/Investment Professional.

Not sure how that reconciles with stated avg investment profession tenure at the MM. I think at citadel it's a little over 2 years, and at Millennium it's like 18-20 months. Viking does not turnover more than multi-mgrs.

Apr 5, 2021 - 12:55am

The Ex-Viking baller had a creme de la creme resume: Harvard -> BX analyst program -> Viking. PM at Viking by age 27 or 28 or something ridiculous like that (he made Forbes 30 under 30 I think). Word on the street is that he's starting his shop, perhaps he'll be the next big thing who knows. Just by looking at linkedin, there are plenty of Viking analysts that don't have the creme de la creme resume, some do some dont, but I wouldn't say it's a requirement. Once you're at a place like BX, APO, KKR, you're a legit contender for just about every tiger cub/elite non-tiger cub, and it doesn't matter how you got to that top MF. Sure, going to wharton or harvard and then GS TMT would help in getting you to that MF, but again not a requirement. I can't really think of any other Tiger Cub or top L/S shop where a 29 year old could make that kind of money. Maybe some rising star at Tiger Global last year or the dude at Pershing Square who put on the COVID CDS hedge could make 30 sticks, but those are true anomalies. At Viking, if YOU can single handedly crush it year after year, you will be rewarded handsomely for it. At other SMs, you could have contributed to ideas that made money, but if the fund did poorly you won't be rewarded as nicely. And at Viking, it seems that if you can crush it, you'll get rewarded nicely and will get promoted quickly. Sundheim, Jacobs, and now Jin were all named CIO in their 30s. They probably put up crazy numbers year after year from their mid 20s to mid 30s and were then made CIO. That's not easy, but if you're a monster you'll move up the ranks. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the platform that Halvorsen has built, and it's one that is ideal for young guys ready to crush it. People try to avoid the MM pods because of how stressful the risk limits are, and some people avoid SMs because they may not get the level of autonomy that they're looking for; Viking is the best of both worlds IMO.

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Apr 5, 2021 - 1:43am

Not very knowledgeable on how compensation is structured at viking but I think it would be difficult to implement an eat what you kill model there. So, for example, let's assume you're a pm and you crush it in a given year with 30 percent return in your own book but the fund as a whole stays flat. So there's no performance fees to go around. How do you get paid in that scenario?viking isn't a MM. So they can't expense your compensation to LPs and get you paid based on the returns you put up. So, I'm guessing you don't really get paid a lot in that scenario and also why I believe you can't structure compensation under an eat what you kill model there.

Apr 5, 2021 - 9:38am

But don't PMs at Viking run their own books? If the average PM there runs a $1.5bn book, and puts up 30%, that's $450mm PnL. Maybe the PMs there get like 5-7% of their PnL, which is reasonable and implies a range of $23mm to $32mm. It would make sense if Viking operated/paid it's PMs like this, and it is the only explanation for how a 29 year old PM can make $30mm there and have monster years before that too. Maybe a new PM there runs like $500mm, but that will definitely scale quickly as you perform. To me, Viking seems to be the closest to a meritocracy: there's no politics like in PE, and what really matters is if you can perform, and it helps if you've been there for a while :) 

Apr 5, 2021 - 10:03am

I get what you're saying but I don't think investors would want to pay any performance fee at all for the performance of a single pm if all the other pms were underperforming so that the fund as a whole would be flat or in negative territory. In that case, there's not really any performance fee to go around, ,even for the best pms and that's really what I was referring to before. Remember that the pms might have their own books but they're not running their own funds which means fees are paid on aggregate fund performance and not individual pm performance 

  • Analyst 1 in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 5, 2021 - 10:12am

The average PM at Viking does not put up anywhere near 30% per year, one note I did not add in my other post is I know they fluctuate around 150-250% GMV. If each PM put up 30% on their GMV returns would be near ~70-80% so no chance of this. They have averaged returns of about 15% net, so I would assume PMs are making 7-10% per year on gross.

To counteract the comp point, each PM is allocated closer to 5B as compared to 1.5B. There are 10-12 PMs at the fund, and they manage 25B levered to about 50B so ~5B is what I would expect for most PMs.

Agree with the other point, there is not a pass through on the fees (this is outlined in their investor pres you can find on google), so PM payout must be structured in some way to be based on overall fund performance as well as individual book perf.

Apr 5, 2021 - 10:25am

Gotcha. So let's change the "scenario". Viking usually has positive years, I think we can all agree on that. If the fund does like 15%+, but as a PM you have a monster year, you'll get rewarded with an 8 figure payout. I could see that happening

Most Helpful
Apr 5, 2021 - 11:16am

I think you should take a look at vikings companies House filing in london. Hani sabbagh

is pm there who runs the financials team. The companies house filings have information on his compensation. I think you could find 10 years worth of compensation information  there. He didn't make 8 figures in a single year. I think people in these forums massively exaggerate hedge fund compensation. Yes, you do have outliers like grant wonders who might bring in 30 million a year. But they're just that. Outliers. Most pms at viking don't make anything close to those amounts.

Apr 5, 2021 - 3:59pm

Seems like someone who is capable of getting an offer at Viking is capable of continuing their career at a megafund (or decide to go UMM/MM). Would comp at Viking really outpace the carried interest that VPs/Principals would start earning in PE? 

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Apr 5, 2021 - 4:06pm

That is facts on steroids-- anyone know the answer? The Heidrick PE comp report says that a principal at a MF could have like $20mm in carry. Obviously the odds of that paying out are not 100%, but if your fund puts in the work and has solid exits, it could very easily happen (over the course of the next 5-10 years, not next year haha). Then once you hit the partner level, that $20mm in carry goes up even more. I'm sure you COULD make that kind of money at a HF, but it sounds like it's a lot harder to do so at an HF than in MF PE. I would imagine that the thoughts going through an Apollo associate looking to go to Viking or Tiger Global right now are something along the lines of "if I stay at Apollo, I would be a slave for another X years, but there could potentially be a $20mm present waiting in a spreadsheet for me in a few years. If I go to an HF, I would have to take on A LOT more risk to get $20mm, but if I'm successful I could potentially do it faster or just as fast, PLUS I would have a better lifestyle". It sounds like a very hard decision, and one that is (on the MF side) largely motivated by comp/future earnings. But does anyone have an actual answer to the question??

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Apr 15, 2021 - 5:40pm

fidgetspinner1200

The Ex-Viking baller had a creme de la creme resume: Harvard -> BX analyst program -> Viking. PM at Viking by age 27 or 28 or something ridiculous like that (he made Forbes 30 under 30 I think). Word on the street is that he's starting his shop, perhaps he'll be the next big thing who knows. Just by looking at linkedin, there are plenty of Viking analysts that don't have the creme de la creme resume, some do some dont, but I wouldn't say it's a requirement. Once you're at a place like BX, APO, KKR, you're a legit contender for just about every tiger cub/elite non-tiger cub, and it doesn't matter how you got to that top MF. Sure, going to wharton or harvard and then GS TMT would help in getting you to that MF, but again not a requirement. I can't really think of any other Tiger Cub or top L/S shop where a 29 year old could make that kind of money. Maybe some rising star at Tiger Global last year or the dude at Pershing Square who put on the COVID CDS hedge could make 30 sticks, but those are true anomalies. At Viking, if YOU can single handedly crush it year after year, you will be rewarded handsomely for it. At other SMs, you could have contributed to ideas that made money, but if the fund did poorly you won't be rewarded as nicely. And at Viking, it seems that if you can crush it, you'll get rewarded nicely and will get promoted quickly. Sundheim, Jacobs, and now Jin were all named CIO in their 30s. They probably put up crazy numbers year after year from their mid 20s to mid 30s and were then made CIO. That's not easy, but if you're a monster you'll move up the ranks. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the platform that Halvorsen has built, and it's one that is ideal for young guys ready to crush it. People try to avoid the MM pods because of how stressful the risk limits are, and some people avoid SMs because they may not get the level of autonomy that they're looking for; Viking is the best of both worlds IMO.

Resume means absolutely jack shit when you get past making $300-500k a year.

Didn't each Tiger Global and Pershing Square mint multiple non-founder billionaires? How do your reconcile that with statement that they don't have upside like Viking?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 6, 2021 - 1:16am

Can u explain how? In MF PE, you could potentially net like $100-200mm+ depending on how different funds perform and how much carry you get, and it's a lot more stable than HFs. Maybe a very successful partner at one of the funds u mentioned could make $100mm over their time working there.

Apr 15, 2021 - 6:20pm

I know Viking well. Some of the smartest analysts and PMs out there - same is true for Lone Pine. They don't suffer fools - so you need to know your companies well. Great ratio of AUM to headcount means you al get paid a tonne if the performance is good. Andreas the original founder is a legend.

Apr 15, 2021 - 6:35pm

Yeah they always seem to put up really nice numbers. How much is a ton - any specific numbers other than this wonders guy? Also dude you're in highschool lmfao....Btw can't go wrong with Chicago vs Duke, but I'd pick Duke bc Chicago is depressing af. How do you know anything about Viking?

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Apr 16, 2021 - 11:54am

Cringe at "I know Viking well." from a high schooler. 

If you're going to pretend you know what you're talking about, don't post questions on the same account asking which college you should go to. 

EDIT: Also, the more I look through this guy's account, he's just a compulsive liar. Also claimed on another post that he "attended LSE years ago" despite currently being a HS senior.

Apr 16, 2021 - 12:12pm

Fair play - I posted for my son regarding Duke versus Chicago. The responses to posts on Viking & LSE were from me. Apologies for the confusion - wasn't trying to be disingenuous.

Apr 16, 2021 - 7:36pm

Does anyone know the level of diligence going into investment decisions at Viking versus Tiger versus Lone Pine etc? Read somewhere that Tiger has a very diversified portfolio and they sometimes invest in private tech cos with just a few days of diligence

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