Distressed / Special Sits HF view on background?Subscribe
Hi all, seeking advice from hiring managers / PMs who are currently in distressed / special situations funds. Recruiters too.
My background - Based in Asia (think HK / Singapore), college in Asia, started in PWM as a multi-asset class investment analyst, transitioned to IBD after 2 years with an international bank (think HSBC, Barcap, DB etc.) and moved to another international bank (lower tier) during Associate years. Bank was shaky and left, currently VP at a BB / tier 1 bank - primarily working on M&A and leveraged finance.
Recently got an offer from a distressed / workout group at a bank at Director level. Work falls into 3 buckets roughly equally - 1. Managing (e.g. valuing, writing papers, exits - sales, debt / equity swaps etc.) bank's distressed portfolio (this group manages the worst credits), 2. Managing external portfolios for a fee (understand it's unorthodox but some HFs / AMs put money / assets here), 3. Investing and managing portfolio of private and public distressed equities and credits (again slightly unorthodox?). This is a small group with 5 - 6 people of which two are at junior levels - Analyst / Assoc.
This is not a distressed / workout group that sits in principal investments (although the MD and another Director are from such backgrounds) or global markets (there is a separate desk in the bank's S&T group that sources and manages external distressed credits). This is viewed internally as a middle office position under Risk but has relatively higher internal visibility due to management of complex credits and fee generation capabilities - potential conflicts aside.
My question is how would a distressed / special situations fund view my profile if I were to take this role and look out in a number of years? Could I be considered as a senior level investment professional? Or would a middle office position amongst other considerations throw a hiring manager off? Or would I be better off exiting to buyside straight from IBD?
Key upsides - learning about this asset class, immediate exposure to key HFs / AMs in this field, more responsibility (and higher comp...). Downsides - only seeing a part of this asset class i.e. management and exits so no sourcing / investments (although there is some component of investment - this is only 30+ pct of the job) moving away from front office, having to market (slightly?) non-traditional responsibilites v. other workout groups, trading down in terms of firm reputation).
Keen to hear your thoughts. Thank you.