Credit Funds: Differing Skillsets

I'm currently at a buyside shop (bank) focused on broadly syndicated loans and looking to make a move to either a bigger shop with more career upside (a scalable CLO platform) or a more opportunistic credit platform (MM/BDC, junior debt, stressed/distressed) .

I have had reasonable success getting interviews and varying success moving through the process (finals rounds/offers or dinged in the 1st round) with no real correlation to the type of strategy of the fund.

Some firms are happy with my base knowledge and willing to train up, whereas other shops have dinged me after the first round due to lack of i.) credit agreement negotiation; ii.) direct management exposure at the middle market level; or iii.) apparently less detailed modelling/diligence experience.

I was wondering if anyone with direct experience could comment on the differences in experience and skillset. I like to think the shop I am at right now has a pretty robust diligence and modelling process (base case / downside cases / recovery analysis / company valuations, etc) but it obviously doesnt fit the bill for some shops.

Also, any thoughts on filling that skillgap?

Thank you

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Comments (6)

Mar 3, 2019 - 9:25am

I think credit agreement negotiation would be the #1 ding, however, I am curious as to the types of loans you are buying? If they are investment grade, its likely that they would rather see leveraged loans/2nd Lien/mezzanine investments, as you are digging deeper/modeling is more robust and you are truly rolling up your sleeves.

Jul 14, 2020 - 9:11pm

I don't really agree with that.

I'm at a midsized shop and we def push back/negotiate regularly. We dont write huge tickets but a lot of the time we are needed. This is dealing with the big guys as well (JPM, BARC, CS, BAML, GS, MS).

That being said, the process goes from Credit Analyst highlighting things they dont like in the doc-> credit committe-> PM-> Head of trading

Don't know of shops where Jr analysts are negotiating with the street. seems weird to get dinged for that, but maybe I just have a dif setup

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