Australian AM - Small/Unknown Shop
I recently had my final interview with the MD for an Investment Analyst role at small/unknown long-only AM firm which I thought went well (to be honest...seems like most AM shops here in Australia [and particularly Melbourne] are small boutiques anyway). It's a small shop with probably 3-4 investment guys, been around for 20+ years and mainly does SMAs (discretionary portfolios) for HNW clients. If I had to guess, AUM is under AUD$500m, probably somewhere in the $200m+ range.
My background is final year B.Commerce from target, with decent grades (below average extracurriculars) and no prior internships, so considering my CV the fact that this firm is willing to look at me is something that I'm extremely lucky to have. This would be my first full-time job out of university.
I recently came across BlackHat's post from 2014 titled ": The Business Of Our Business". I'm mindful of the fact that this is probably more US centric, but below is his response to being asked on his thoughts of working at a small/unknown fund for someone starting out:
Small/unknown funds I know very little about. I would imagine these places have single strategy, small AUMs and not a lot of exposure to management. Probably a ton of responsibility though, but very hard for recruiting purposes to move on when nobody knows your firm and you're investing in obscure small caps or something.
After speaking to the MD today, I found out that the fund mainly focuses on their small/micro caps strategy as their edge (something I'm interested in too) and was told that it was actually the top performing fund in the country over the past year for that strategy (and has also performed well against benchmark for the past ~5 years so a bit of track record there). PM has priorsellside experience (top-rated analyst) and has been in the industry for a long time, so I'm sure there's lots to learn from him. However, the response received from BH makes me question the decision of starting out in a no-name fund (would probably still take the offer if given though!). Would like to eventually work at a HF/top AM, so logic tells me the obvious route would be: no-name AM (this role) -> better AM -> better AM-> etc. and then eventually HF/top AM.
Obviously, there's not straightforward answer to this, but would appreciate any thoughts on a graduate starting out at a no-name fund. Would also love to hear from those who may know what kind of comp to expect going in, cheers!