Best Way Into a Hedge Fund

MMBinNC's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | banana points 2,153

I was wondering what the most common career path into a large hedge fund would be.

1) Equity Research--->Hedge Fund
2) M&A--->Hedge fund
3) S&T--->Hedge Fund

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Comments (99)

Jun 20, 2009

There is no set path, but if I had to rank them, I would say:
1) M&A
2) Equity Research
3) S&T

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Jun 20, 2009

If you wanted to be a trader at a hedge fund, obviously #3 would be at the top. I would think each of the options would have different roles at the HF.

Jul 16, 2009
Millhouse:

If you wanted to be a trader at a hedge fund, obviously #3 would be at the top. I would think each of the options would have different roles at the HF.

I have seen many places where many of the traders also identified and modeled the investment.

Either way, I'd agree on focusing on that which you'd like to do. Most HFs are quirky in their role definitions and hiring practices, especially for investment roles.

Jul 16, 2009

It depends, but equity research is by far the easiest way. I am in PE now, but its tough to go from banking straight into a hedge fund.

Jul 17, 2009

I'm not really sure what I want to do for a career. In general, would doing an M&A internship (vs a S&T internship) be the best way to keep my options open for HF/PE/VC/M&A/S&T?

Jul 17, 2009
magnificentloser:

I'm not really sure what I want to do for a career. In general, would doing an M&A internship (vs a S&T internship) be the best way to keep my options open for HF/PE/VC/M&A/S&T?

M&A is better experience for all those positions except S&T. If you want to be in S&T, get S&T experience. If you're not sure, M&A is a safer bet. Also, do a search.

Jul 18, 2009
banker88:
magnificentloser:

I'm not really sure what I want to do for a career. In general, would doing an M&A internship (vs a S&T internship) be the best way to keep my options open for HF/PE/VC/M&A/S&T?

M&A is better experience for all those positions except S&T. If you want to be in S&T, get S&T experience. If you're not sure, M&A is a safer bet. Also, do a search.

How disadvantaged would I be if I did a S&T internship but wanted HF/PE/VC/S&T? I'm fairly sure I don't want a career in M&A, but I'm under the impression that it's much easier to get into the aforementioned divisions (except for S&T) with M&A experience?

    • 1
Jul 18, 2009

For the more quantitative funds, I think S&T experience is more useful. M&A is more useful to traditional long/short equity funds (largest category).

Jul 20, 2009

Best way into a hedge fund? Work for another hedge fund.

    • 1
Jul 20, 2009

Good idea. The question is how would you break into " another hedge fund"?

Jul 21, 2009

There is no BEST WAY to do anything in finance. Once you get a job and start getting to know professionals in the industry (especially in hedge funds), you will realize that you can get in from many different finance fields. You can't plan everything in life.

Jul 23, 2009

There's no common path, but keep these issues in mind.

MMBinNC:

1) Equity Research--->Hedge Fund

You're going to be pegged to a certain industry. If you end up joining a hedge fund, you will probably end up joining an industry specific fund (i.e. energy / financials / consumer / healthcare focused fund) or a fund that organizes their analysts by industry and needs to fill/shore up the sector you cover. Unless your industry is hot, your opportunities will be sporadic. Most of your opportunities to jump will come from the people/funds you work with (assuming you're good).

Example: I know a sell-side analyst that covered financials who made the transition to hfs a few years ago due to his (bearish) insights on the industry and (most importantly) unique trade/investment ideas to profit.

MMBinNC:

2) M&A--->Hedge fund

A few hedge funds I know (especially the largers ones that retain headhunters to hire junior staff) like M&A analysts. It's the preferred "cookie cutter" profile since (more often than not) the people in charge of the resume pile came from banking and the skillsets learned in M&A can be applied to several different strategies. Also, candidates coming from M&A tend to have stronger profiles. Just keep in mind that many of these places can be churn and burn places...which is probably why they want M&A people in the first place.

MMBinNC:

3) S&T--->Hedge Fund

I'm not as familiar with this route but getting hired from S&T is driven by your (or your desks) P&L. I tend to see team extracts to hf versus individuals making the jump (but that's probably just me).

Mar 19, 2012

.

Feb 7, 2010

Interested in this. Currently work in a niche sort of advisory role and I'm interested in S&T for many reasons - but amongst these would be the presumable attractiveness to the HF industry.

Mar 19, 2012

Are you serious? Harder to start a hedge fund vs. getting a job at one? I guess that depends on what your definition of a hedge fund is as far as AUM and your investers. Anybody can manage a little of their family member's money and call that a hedge fund.

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger

Mar 19, 2012

- Is it easier to start a hedge fund or get a job at a hedge fund?

Depends on how much money you save up.

- What are some ways to get into a hedge fund?

Either start one yourself for about $100K in start-up costs or prove yourself through the entire market boom/bust cycle as a money manager or trader.

- I have a computer science background with some personal trading experience. My performance has been about 43% but it's only been a year. I currently work for a financial software company as a technical writer. I am looking to get a Master's in Finance and pass the ACI exam. What else can I do to improve my chances of becoming a trader or equity analyst at a hedge fund?

43% on its own might be really nice for you, but the two biggest factors for an investor are s and n. Come back to us after you've had a full five year cycle and we'll tell you how you stack up. This might be a good start, but if your return next year is -30% when the market goes down 10%, it's not helpful.

I would first focus on getting a full-time job in finance. Ideally working for a bank's analytics/pricing/risk management group. Your CS background would make you a good candidate.

- Would working at a fund of hedge funds help?

If you want to run a fund of hedge funds.

Feb 8, 2010

how about moving consulting to hedge fund? i know it's probably not easy, but what's your advice on something in that situation?

Mar 19, 2012

*I really want to become a junior analyst at a hedge fund.

*What do you guys think is the best path to take to break into a Hedge Fund?

Mar 19, 2012

I think you've got the right idea. Look to IBanking, try to get into a decent group where you'll learn a lot, and start networking with HF's now. Who cares if you don't have a lot of experience. If you do you're research, provide value to the fund through a well-researched pitch or 2, and stay in contact, you'll have a much easier transition toward the end of your analyst stint (or maybe they'll take you on earlier)

Mar 19, 2012

Try talking with AM/HF now and see if you can land a position. I don't see why you would have to start with an IB gig if you can go to AM/HF right away

Mar 19, 2012

Certified Hedge Fund Professional program? Curiouser and curiouser, to quote Alice...

Mar 19, 2012

Just posted a response to a similar/related question in the "What kind of IBD do you hedge fund guys like to hire from?" thread, check it out. It obviously depends on what sort of fund you are looking to work in, but typically I would suggest something not too specific in IBD that is going to provide you with solid fundamental/valuation skills e.g. industrials/TMT/consumer and retail coverage team, or if you want to go down a specific product group then generalist M&A will be your best bet by far.

Mar 2, 2010

Is it easier to get into a hedge-fund from S&T within a BB or working for a prop trading firm right out of college?

Mar 19, 2012

I would think an IBD VP would know the answer to this.

Step 1: Join IBD or ER program.
Step 2: Headhunters reach out to you in the first year.
Step 3: Headhunters call you with hedge fund and private equity interviews.
Step 4: Do well in interviews, get hedge fund offer.

Mar 3, 2010

Everyone is asking for a way to get into a hedge fund, why not start your own? I would think a brilliant trader could easily start a hedge fund if he or she makes the right connections with the right poeple who would be open to investing in the new fund..

I think that's the route I'll attempt..

Mar 10, 2010

If you have connections, which include having good relationship with banks and knowing some richmen etc., then it's fine. Otherwise...

Mar 19, 2012

Traditional route to HF investing role is ER or IBD. Very few people are hired straight from undergrad. If you want to work at a HF, I would suggest pursuing one of those paths. If a HF doesn't work out, you still come out of a great program w/ 2-3 high quality work experience. I always encourage young kids to go into IBD just because it creates the most optionality and a lot of people's career interests change once they actually start working.

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Mar 3, 2010

The front door. Hyuk hyuk hyuk.

Mar 19, 2012

The kind of funds you say you're interested in don't require immense "quant" skills.

Work hard, learn a lot in your equity reseach job, and network a lot.

Mar 19, 2012
Kenny_Powers_CFA:

The kind of funds you say you're interested in don't require immense "quant" skills.

Work hard, learn a lot in your equity reseach job, and network a lot.

The problem is that I don't have an ER job yet. I wasn't kidding when I said I messed around my first 2.5 years (no ECs, non-spectacular GPA with a few Ws or P/F classes) and I've set myself back even further without quant skills in a more quantitative area of finance. That's why I really need help right now. I've pulled my GPA to around 3.7, but my lack of ECs/network, etc. have proven to be fairly detrimental thus far. That's why I need to figure out what the game plan is for my senior year so that I can do something with my life.

Also, to the other guy, I can't afford to stay another year. My parents aren't very happy at their investment in my college education thus far and it will be really hard to convince them that spending another years worth of tuition, living, etc. will be worth it, especially since my school is nowhere near NYC/Chicago/San Fran/LA or other major banking hub

Mar 19, 2012

If you are intent on adding quant classes you could always graduate late, no one will kick you down for that if you explain why you graduated late. Besides it is quite common to graduate in 5 years now.

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Mar 19, 2012

I'd post this on the job search board or the ER board.
I'll also reiterate that unless you mean you haven't taken basic finance or stats courses, you probably don't need "quant" coursework for the kind of jobs you've said you're looking for.

Mar 19, 2012
Kenny_Powers_CFA:

I'd post this on the job search board or the ER board.
I'll also reiterate that unless you mean you haven't taken basic finance or stats courses, you probably don't need "quant" coursework for the kind of jobs you've said you're looking for.

Thanks, I'll post this on those two boards after I reach a physical computer and not my phone. But I am fairly interested in the CFA program. Does anyone know if this is of any use in Hedge Funds, particularly the ones I'm looking at? Also, just for my own intellectual curiosity, does anyone know what are some good books related to equity research/ the hedge fund styles I'm interested in? I currently own a strategy book by Michael Porter and Investment Banking, but I have trouble creating stock valuation models/crafting an investment thesis, so something that will help with that would be great.

Mar 19, 2012

If you're interested in value investing/deep value/long short, you'd be better off taking psychology courses than math courses dude. Yes, there are always going to be PM type positions that require more math, but if you are interested in a standard investment research position at a value fund, basic math is all you need. I would focus a lot more on networking now, and just try to get some type of ER/IB position out of UG.

Mar 19, 2012

You are pretty late in the game if you will be graduating in 2012. Yes, CFA will help get ER/AM jobs that could lead to the type of fund you want to work at. However, based on your questions, it does not appear that you really have enough finance background to have a good reason to be so specific as to what you want to do in the long term. Additionally, depending on what kind of non-target you go to, breaking in at this point could be quite difficult. Sounds like you might need to use business school as a way into the "high-finance" world, and then do a few years of ER/IB/AM before having a chance at a hedge fund. Do you have an internship lined up for this summer? If not, then hit the pavement networking, etc. Without an internship this summer you are pretty screwed.

As others have said, the type of fund you describe is really not very quant oriented, so don't worry about your math skills. However, getting a job at that type of fund is very difficult even for those at targets. I would come up with a good plan B, and get an internship ASAP.

Good luck!

Mar 19, 2012

Hmm I'm curious as to why you don't think I have the finance background necessary since I am majoring in finance (unless you're talking internships). As for the type of non-target I go to, it's basically just a major conference (ie PAC-10, big 12, etc) state school that isn't of the same caliber as Ross, Berkeley, UCLA, etc.

This summer is still a work in progress, but there's a good chance that I'll be working in corporate finance at a f500 company, and previously, I have done due diligence at a company. I realize my questions are noob-like, but that's mostly because 1. I messed around till mid this year 2. I was more interested in industry finance and only recently got into ER/HF industry. I know I've set myself a bit back from my past choices, but I'm ready to rectify them now

Mar 19, 2012

My apologies, I thought I saw you mention your lack of background somewhere, but I must have been mistaken. In any case, I think your focus should be on finding something relevant for this summer (read - better than corp finance). I know it's late in the game but cold-call boutique ER shops and see what you can get. Your non-target sounds not too horrible, so you must have a network out there.

Mar 19, 2012

(deleted)

Mar 19, 2012

Potential- thanks for the insight, it sounds like you've had a pretty interesting career so far.

Mar 3, 2010

IT DEPENDS ON THE TYPE OF FUND. Why has nobody mentioned this yet?

ER is better for fundamental value and L/S equity funds. M&A/restructuring is good for risk arb and distressed funds, among others. S&T is applicable to funds that trade the product in which you have experience.

Mar 19, 2012

If I were a hiring decision maker I'd want you to get (and keep) a job ~2 years and gain some real finance experience before I considered you. I'm sure you are well-rounded but given the churn I have to imagine you haven't been at any job long enough to really master a skill-set that would be appealing to a buyside employer.

CFA exams and extension classes are great, but you've had 3 jobs and an internship in 4 years, only one of which was part of something that is typically a feeder into hedge funds (Taking RE as its own thing). Have you been considering/applying to banking/ER jobs?

Mar 19, 2012

Yes, I am definitely open to ER and S&T positions but I am finding the same problem when interviewing for those positions. Unfortunately it's a catch 22, I am looking at a variety of positions to gain solid financial experience but hiring managers also want that financial experience. All four positions are on my resume because I thought the PWM internship provided the best experience and I have extremely strong referrals/connections. Should I take the internship off my resume so I only show 3 positions, because every hiring manager has the same response as you did. I looked at it an internship is not expected to last more than 6 months. If I added another year of experience I would have a total of 6 positions, due to 2 more internships.

I'm started opening up to more back office type roles just to get my foot in the door. From there I don't think I would have a problem at all, just a slower start. I just want to feel like I'm moving toward my goal. My other option is to stay at my current position for another year or 1.5 years, get management experience then go into an MBA program, but I feel that a lot of time is wasted with this option.

Mar 19, 2012

I am in the same situation, but graduated last year and am a Credit Risk Analyst (same situation referring to no applicable experience). I took CFA level II in June 2011 and am finding it impossible to get an interview. Right now, I am trying to get into ER on the sell-side and make my way into the buy-side thereafter. I am finding it easier to obtain interviews (consideration for employment and informational) with Analysts on the sell-side. It is even easier when you have a background in the sector you are interviewing for. Maybe try considering the sell-side first; it is also a place where you work with buy-side clients which provides a good networking opportunity with PMs. Hope this helps.

Mar 19, 2012

Can anyone recommend any sell-side firms in New York? S&T?

Mar 19, 2012

From my searches (all done via Indeed.com), there are several ER departments recruiting right now, including:

  • UBS
  • Credit Suisse
  • Raymond James
  • RBC
  • Macquerie
  • FBR
  • Brown Brothers Harriman

Most are looking for people with 1-2 years experience, but if you have some relevant sector experience in an internship, or perhaps professional expertise in some fashion, you could try and angle for the research associate positions they are currently recruiting for now.

Mar 19, 2012

Thank you everyone for your responses. I changed my resume around to only list my three most recent jobs, and then I created a separate section for the 4 internships I had during college. Hopefully this will look better to recruiters.

BT - I appreciate the quick search. I actually saw 1 or 2 investment banking/research analyst positions focusing on RE, which might be my best chance because I have over 2 years in RE, researching and developing spreadsheets for valuation purposes. Other than that, there was probably a total of 6-8 positions I could apply for.

My goal is New York but it will be the hard because my alumni network, which is amazing in socal, is nothing out there. Since I don't have factset or bloomberg terminals for my personal use, I created spreadsheets. Do you think showing sample spreadsheets would be beneficial in an interview or bring a recent research report?

Mar 19, 2012

You would not be an asset in helping funds to raise assets - sorry to be so blunt, but other than helping to bind together the pitch books you wouldnt be involved.

Mar 19, 2012

I'd strike FBR from that list. I know a couple guys there, and the firm's having trouble getting off the mat.

Mar 8, 2010

There are other types of research as well. If you want to go to a macro fund, FX or EM research would make sense while M&A would be almost completely pointless.

Mar 19, 2012

breaking into hf/pe is difficult without ibd at a BB or elite boutique and top group as well that why ibd is the typical path. Though some places like citadel recruit from ug. I would go for a master's then ibd. Learn everything u can and in 2 years move to hf. If not just network and get contacts. It may be possible to get out of undergrad but hard even for ivy kids.

"Solace in Revenge"

Mar 19, 2012

You could also just do an MSF/MFE -> IBD -> PE/HF and save yourself a lot of pointless work.

Mar 19, 2012

thanks for the quick tips... is it hard to break into any HF without BB experience? or just the top ones? also, did you guys have a chance to read my concern with leveraging myself so much by going to bschool? I think I can get into a top 15 bschool due to my strong upward trend, designations and extracurriculars, but once i'm there, are all the BB firms going to shut me out due to my low UG overall GPA? or will I actually have a good shot? it would be wise to network my way into transaction advisory before I start bschool right? or at least get some pre-bschool internship at a boutique IB firm?

Mar 19, 2012

When you network learn how to write consicely. Professionals don't have a lot of time... get to the point. Given your style I think its a sound advice.

    • 1
Mar 19, 2012

your shortest path would be to start your own

Mar 19, 2012

MSF -> IBD -> HF

Edit: What UFOinsider said

Mar 19, 2012

Thanks for the advice guys. Bollinger - I know how to write concisely and will do so if my question requires a simple and swift response. Due to the nature of my question, a more detailed and elaborate description of my situation should illicit a well thought out, quality response. Context is very important; I don't necessarily believe it's efficient to be concise all the time.

If I do go MBA/MSF, What can I do NOW to get into a boutique IB so that when I am in a Master's program, I head into BB recruiting with some practical experience? Is transaction advisory viable/respected? Is there a faster route?

I think if I bust my ass like I have been, I can get in interview situations with Deloitte or EY TAS within the next 2yrs... but will I have wasted my time? Will they still care about my low GPA or will they more heavily weigh my work-related accomplishments?

And again, is BB experience required only at the top HFs? Or would the middle-market $200-600M AUM fund also 'REQUIRE' BB or elite boutique IBD experience to actually consider me?

Mar 19, 2012

I see a lot of similarities in my own story to yours, and am currently in a lull, so here's my advice (coming from the other side, seven years later).

I think you're kind of approaching this the wrong way, but I can't blame you since I thought the same way. Every ambitious kid at a big4 is trying to get in to the transactions group, but you're not even at a big4 in audit yet. Not to say that you couldn't do this, but I think it would take a lot longer than you think. I think the MBA is a quicker route to your goals, and you probably could craft a good story to get in to a good program. That said, you need to get a few years of solid work experience to get in, and some regional CPA firm is probably not it.

Personally, I think you need to more deeply examine why you want to work at a HF, is it because you love the market/stocks and want to manage money? (this is a good answer). Or is it because smart people do it, sounds cool, and/or makes a lot of money? If that's the case, you can do a lot of interesting things in business that make a lot of money without necessarily getting into a HF, so I would keep the path to those kinds of opportunities open as well and again shoot for the MBA, and then maybe do IB which will keep a lot of doors open. Or through the process of the MBA, you may know you want to be in the markets and decide that sell-side research is a better entry path for you, or you might get lucky and get to the buy-side out of an MBA program. The point is, a good MBA program will give you optionality and a decent entry point which is more valuable than you think because your interests and opportunities in the future are more unpredictable than you're probably thinking.

However, if you really do eat/breath stocks, then I think you take immediate action instead of planning several years out. You keep the MBA option out there, but in the meantime you do the CFA program, network with people in the business, manage your PA, read as many investment books, market commentaries, stock pitches, blogs, etc. as you can. Then craft a good pitch to pound the pavement with, i.e. network, network, network to get in front of any asset mgr, wealth mgr, mutual fund, or hedge fund you can with your pitches. All of this will show your passion for the business, which is key, and hopefully your pitch and interview will display your intelligence/acumen. It's a trial/error process, but you will improve and ultimately someone will take a flier on you. Once you're in the investment business, it's a clearer path and up to you to decide how to move around in the industry (even going back for MBA) and to find a spot that helps you achieve your goals.

Mar 19, 2012
IBPEHFVC:

Personally, I think you need to more deeply examine why you want to work at a HF, is it because you love the market/stocks and want to manage money? (this is a good answer). Or is it because smart people do it, sounds cool, and/or makes a lot of money? If that's the case, you can do a lot of interesting things in business that make a lot of money without necessarily getting into a HF, so I would keep the path to those kinds of opportunities open as well and again shoot for the MBA, and then maybe do IB which will keep a lot of doors open. Or through the process of the MBA, you may know you want to be in the markets and decide that sell-side research is a better entry path for you, or you might get lucky and get to the buy-side out of an MBA program. The point is, a good MBA program will give you optionality and a decent entry point which is more valuable than you think because your interests and opportunities in the future are more unpredictable than you're probably thinking.

I'm curious why IB is the most common path to HF. Is it just the connections you make? I understand equity research type positions or S&T being good foundations for hedge funds. Are there specific jobs in Investment Banking that are better than others? It just seems strange to me that M&A or the IPO process would teach that much that would be helpful transitioning to a HF.

Mar 19, 2012

IBPEHFVC - Thanks for a quality response. I believe I want to work at a HF... I love following the markets, I love managing money, and even more, I love managing risk. I found the CFA curriculum much more interesting than the CPA stuff. I know I need to network more to find out what it's like to actually work at a HF to see if I like the environment, but my gut tells me I'll love it.

I'm not particularly interested in IBD although M&A and IPO related transactions do interest me, and I think it sounds prestigious (even though it may not be). I am open to it and intrigued by it to a certain extent, but my heart is with equities/fixed income.

One more question on the following statement:

IBPEHFVC:

I think the MBA is a quicker route to your goals, and you probably could craft a good story to get in to a good program. That said, you need to get a few years of solid work experience to get in, and some regional CPA firm is probably not it.

I am with you on this... but what IS solid work experience? Should I do 1yr at this firm, 1yr in big4 audit, and 1yr big4 transactions? or 1yr at this firm and network like a mofo to get into a boutique IBD or small shop HF? Keep in mind this would all have to occur within the next 3 years before I go for the MBA. I honestly don't think boutique IBs or small shop HFs will currently even consider me with a 3.1 from a state school and no professional services exp, even with the strong up-trend in grades and some CFA exams passed.. but maybe I'm overestimating them. I know accounting firms are dumb enough to give me a shot once I'm in the audit practice and have proven myself internally.. so I was thinking this would be the easier route, although I haven't yet tried to network with boutique IBs. What's more respected to a HF or even a BB firm? big4 transactions exp or boutique IB exp? Also, I am not sure if you read it, but my firm also has a pretty decent transactions dept.. i don't know how what kind/size deals they (or the big4 firms, for that matter) do, though.

Also, you say your coming from a similar background as me. If you don't mind me asking, what have you been able to accomplish thus far?

Mar 19, 2012

your proposed plan makes sense but it's tough. To get into any reputable hf, you need to be from the top groups, period. Being in a MM will not get you interviews at all through just headhunters

your best choice is to go to grad school and do another year of recruiting and HOPE you end up with something in ER, AM, or IBD. Those 3 routes will lead you to HF.

Alternatively, you can network now to get into any of the positions mentioned above, but it's unlikely due to the current market now. So many bankers and desk guys are being laid off.

Mar 19, 2012

You really have no business or investment experience at this point. So, if you're hellbent on the investment business, then no use in wasting time w/ an MBA unless you haven't gotten anywhere 4 years hence. I think I outlined a strategy that I would take for that route...which is to learn and get into that business as fast and early as you can. Also, you don't need to be at a "reputable hedge fund", whatever that means, to have a fulfilling and rewarding career as an investor. For investing, it will always be better to have investment (or at least front-office finance) experience than accounting or other experience, so I wouldn't focus on working your way into some big4 transactions group. However, working your way up in accounting, and in transactions, or maybe going into industry, whatever the best opportunities as they present themselves are, wouldn't be bad for an MBA. It still won't be easy to get directly into the investment business from there, especially as you could have other good opportunities like IB or whatever to choose from which might change your perspective.

My background isn't exactly the same as yours, I had a mid-3 gpa from a lower/semi-target type school, but I started in big4 and was late to the game in determining what I wanted to do once I started full-time because I spent time in college focused on music and girls. After I started in big4, I immediately was looking for any finance/investment job I could find, with my target being IB, and lucked out w/ a small buy-side start-up. Spent a few years there, left for an MBA, and have since then worked or interned at a large long-only, a boutique long-only, and a medium-sized equity L/S hedge fund. Along the way and while I still had the time/energy I made sure to knock out the CPA and CFA. I will say that I have gotten pretty lucky at many points along the way, however, I have also put in considerable effort in managing my career, whether it's networking, exams, continuously interviewing, etc. I think you can make your own luck to some degree, which is why I suggest being proactive as soon as you know exactly what you want to do. I've seen plenty of success stories just at the few places I've worked, e.g. a PM managing tens of billions who started out in accounts payable, and a sr analyst who started in mailroom. You can make it happen.

Best Response
Mar 19, 2012

I have been successful in the hedge fund world and i didnt ever work in banking. Im just saying because I see alot of people here who have no experience in the business telling you to go work in banking...if you want to work at a hedge fund go get a job at a hedge fund dont go work in a different industry that is stupidity.

    • 3
Mar 19, 2012
Bondarb:

I have been successful in the hedge fund world and i didnt ever work in banking. Im just saying because I see alot of people here who have no experience in the business telling you to go work in banking...if you want to work at a hedge fund go get a job at a hedge fund dont go work in a different industry that is stupidity.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Mar 19, 2012
Bondarb:

I have been successful in the hedge fund world and i didnt ever work in banking. Im just saying because I see alot of people here who have no experience in the business telling you to go work in banking...if you want to work at a hedge fund go get a job at a hedge fund dont go work in a different industry that is stupidity.

+1.

If you want to work for a hedge fund, work your way into a hedge fund.

Unless you have an immediate into a banking position like ER of course.

If the CFA appeals to you, go for it. I see multitudes of PMs & Research Analysts in HFs with CFAs. Leverage the fact that you are studying for it now as a possible 'in' to a fund. If you contact enough HFs (there are thousands in NYC alone), you're bound to nibble on something.

Mar 19, 2012

The most important thing is to meet people, network (which you seem to understand), and get rid of the notion that your background is "horrible." For one: it's not that horrible (my background is worse), and two: thinking that could put you in a negative mindset and may discourage you.

And yes, try to get an internship even if it's just short term and/or informal. You will learn something, and it will allow you to network. I'm doing this right now. Last week I knew zero people working at a hedge fund, now through an unpaid internship doing very basic admin/compliance work I know a handful of analysts and 3 different fund managers. I'm obviously not going to get hired as an analyst at the end of the summer, but it moves me closer to my goal and will open up more opportunities. Good luck.

"Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes."

Mar 19, 2012

op, in your shoes id say fk the traditional path, you will waste so many years just catching up with ppl who started out in ibd that its not worth it.

Just network hard, you can get into some hf that way, won't be the biggest or most reputable shop but its a start.

if you want to work at a hf, go work at a hf, dont spend the next 6 years prepping for it.

The whole ibd--> hf thing makes sense if you can start out in ibd straight from school because it costs only 2 years and gets u into a good fund, but spending 6 years (lets say you work for 2, do 2 years b school 2 years banking) is just madness

Mar 19, 2012
leveredarb:

get into some hf that way, won't be the biggest or most reputable shop but its a start.

Will this really work? My entire focus has been on building a career on the sell side, for whatever reason, so this is news to me. Does the same networking approach work for buyside as for sell side?

Mar 19, 2012
UFOinsider:
leveredarb:

get into some hf that way, won't be the biggest or most reputable shop but its a start.

Will this really work? My entire focus has been on building a career on the sell side, for whatever reason, so this is news to me. Does the same networking approach work for buyside as for sell side?

Yup you can network but make sure you have the passion. As everyone else said you will most likely be looking to network with small funds.

Mar 19, 2012
leveredarb:

The whole ibd--> hf thing makes sense if you can start out in ibd straight from school because it costs only 2 years and gets u into a good fund, but spending 6 years (lets say you work for 2, do 2 years b school 2 years banking) is just madness

I agree 110% with this. I also dont think accounting is the best root however, understanding accounting treatments is beneficial in understanding the investing language. I think that if you want to make it into a hedge fund, try and start in the investment industry whether it is a equities research hub or analyst role. I think you need to be provided the platform where you can learn from someone senior and be afforded the opportunities to go to many events to network. I also believe talking to as many people as possible that you meet that are in finance and networking with them for the long term goal of becoming a PM. This is because you will not only build life long friendships but you never know what positions people will be in 10-20 years time. I think networking is by far the easiest way in. I think CFA + MBA is important also and those are my short term goals over the next 6 years before I tackle the next step. Btw I work at an equities research firm doing basic analysis on stocks but its a start and im exposed to people who have been in the industry for years. To have the opinion that you need an MBB, Big 4 corporate finance, or BB on your resume is a complete fallacy. Networking is the easiest and best way to get in. How to network? throw yourself out there and speak to people and learn from others even if you think they dont have a clue because you will learn even more than you think.

Mar 19, 2012

i personally know a couple of guys that networked their way into hf straight out of university (mainly small, not known shops). This is europe tough, so that may be different.

M&I has a story of some guy going from unknown banking boutique to some small distressed hf through networking, that might offer better overview of us.

Mar 19, 2012

It's all about networking. I graduated with a degree in international affairs but decided 6 months before graduation, I wanted to work in finance. I had taken a few economics/ finance classes but had real no finance experience. I just applied to everything and lo and behold -- I heard of an opening at a hedge fund from a lawyer contact, sent my resume in, did two rounds of interviews and got the job! Its a small fund but it has been around for a while and I am very, very lucky.

If you are ambitious (which you seem to be) and a decent person, you'll find the job eventually. Good luck!

Mar 19, 2012

TL;DR any post greater than 2 sentences.

    • 1
Mar 8, 2010

anyone have advice for consulting to hedge fund?

Mar 19, 2012

pls stahp

Mar 19, 2012

Usually after a couple of years in IB
Infographic: http://i.imgur.com/1ZVrtpX.jpg

Mar 19, 2012

Couple of years in IB, can me in M&A role. S&T if you want to be a buy side trader.

Mar 19, 2012

Fine arts is the quickest path the HF I believe.

Mar 9, 2010

Obviously can't answer this in a public forum. Let's just say it's one whose name gets tossed around here quite a bit. Also, I'd strongly prefer people not to start guessing.

MMBinNC, if you're still trying to figure this out, you can PM me.

Are you a CEO, CFO or other executive facing these or similar charges?
Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?

Mar 19, 2012

or gender studies

Mar 10, 2010
gorilla4sandracing:

Obviously can't answer this in a public forum. Let's just say it's one whose name gets tossed around here quite a bit. Also, I'd strongly prefer people not to start guessing.

MMBinNC, if you're still trying to figure this out, you can PM me.

Uh, I'd personally say RenTech is the #1 hedge fund and I can also say that there has never been a single GS alum to work at RenTech.

90% sure you are referring either to SAC or Soros.

Mar 10, 2010
ideating:
gorilla4sandracing:

Obviously can't answer this in a public forum. Let's just say it's one whose name gets tossed around here quite a bit. Also, I'd strongly prefer people not to start guessing.

MMBinNC, if you're still trying to figure this out, you can PM me.

Uh, I'd personally say RenTech is the #1 hedge fund and I can also say that there has never been a single GS alum to work at RenTech.

90% sure you are referring either to SAC or Soros.

Word. Or perhaps Citadel or D.E. Shaw? (they get mentioned on this board a lot, but do they hire a lot of bankers?). A Tiger fund?

Apr 5, 2010
gorilla4sandracing:

Obviously can't answer this in a public forum. Let's just say it's one whose name gets tossed around here quite a bit. Also, I'd strongly prefer people not to start guessing.

MMBinNC, if you're still trying to figure this out, you can PM me.

Really, the best hedge fund? Uh, Moore, Tudor, Paulson, Brevan Howard, Viking, Canyon, BlueCrest, Ren-Tech...

Does it make sense why this is an exercise in futility? Best what fund. I assume since you're speaking so broadly it's a discretionary macro fund that you're referring to. I also assume since your speaking so broadly, you don't actually work there, or have only been there for 2-3 months.

Mar 10, 2010

A few specific questions regarding HF recruiting:
- How important is having the right connections when it comes to HF recruiting? Is knowing someone in the shop the only sure way of getting your resume looked at?
- Do HFs consider your undergrad school/stats/activities during recruiting, or is it completely based on your work experience?

Mar 19, 2012

So is my criminology undergraduate major worthless? :(

Mar 10, 2010

a) People without connections get in for sure. I did a lot of random tasks during my stint, one which was to help a senior guy make a database of prospects, so I've seen a ton of resumes and got an inside glimpse at the selection process.

b) Undergrad school and GPA matters significantly. For research, the typical candidate who made the final round would be summa cum laude from Harvard or Wharton with a Rhodes Scholarship and a Master's/Ph D from a top school. I remember one guy had an undergrad from a top tier, a JD from Harvard, and a Master's from Princeton. It was pretty absurd. I didn't really see any with under 3.8s. No one really listed ECs but a lot of people had "poker" as an interest.

Background varied a lot more with traders and was more reliant upon connections, but mostly top school, athletes, a few ex-military.

Are you a CEO, CFO or other executive facing these or similar charges?
Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?

Mar 10, 2010

the easiest way is of course to start your own.

Mar 19, 2012
Mar 27, 2010
Mar 19, 2012
Mar 19, 2012