Do you need to be in office to work a HF job?

New York is a shit hole these days. Loved it out of undergrad, terrible now.

I've never worked at a HF but as far as I understand the job there's no need for in-person things. Is there any legitimate reason I need to live in NYC?

I'm thinking about approaching HF jobs at the end of my second year in PE and basically telling everyone I am going to live in Wyoming or [literally any other place] and they can take it or leave it. I just don't understand if there's any need for in-person.

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Comments (12)

Sep 13, 2021 - 8:03pm

Few issues:

  • A lot of HF's investment philosophy is very intangible, has to be learned in-person
  • If there are 3-4 ppl who are at your rank at the fund and they show up in office every day, unless you are Grant Wonders and crush it (then good for you), guess who will be first considered for promotion and bigger bonus? (Hint: not you)

Instagram: @dickthesellsider | Substack: dicktoad.substack.com

  • 1
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Sep 13, 2021 - 8:07pm

Great points. Thinking out loud in response. 1) I wonder about a situation of commuting to work 1-2 days per week. I know some people who do that for PE already. 2) Truthfully I would hope to be a fine but not spectacular investor. Go to work, get returns my LPs are ok with, nothing special. Not worried about fast promos.

With the above maybe I can reframe the question to: with your current understanding of HF seats, do you think there are seats where I could be successful enough to have a stable career all else equal (with a remote / semi-remote situation)?

Sep 14, 2021 - 5:28pm

People below have responded: if you crush it, you can work from Mars. 

Instagram: @dickthesellsider | Substack: dicktoad.substack.com

Sep 13, 2021 - 9:06pm

There is no hiring manager at a hf that is going to hire you if you demand to work remotely right off the bat. It's different for tech, but if positions have hundreds of applicants, people get dinged for a lot less. It would be different if you were a portfolio manager already bringing in millions for the firm.

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Sep 19, 2021 - 12:48pm

Hey thanks for the response. Can you clarify why not being a process business makes it less conducive to remote?

  • PM in HF - Other
Sep 22, 2021 - 9:17pm

I take back what I said. Forget we live in 2021 sometimes. We hired someone remotely last year and was a painful transition they ultimately went back to PE. Everyone is currently offered the ability to be remote or in office. That said if fully remote next time we would require that person to be on groupcam the whole day. But these options are cuz of the "sense of times" not ideal.

Process, tons of threads on here about how banking/PE is process based. Higher ups choose a deal work is divyed out and move along. PE associates are grunts assigned work.

HF, as others mentioned ideas just are generated much more organically. We could build the same models, look at same signals everyday then suddenly decided to XYZ tomorrow we deploy capital. Being remote its really tough for your PM to explain why yday none of this mattered, tomorrow it all matters. Fire drills, are real…this aint some process a client explained this is something that broke our models or changed stuff.

Anyone senoir in risk taking role will provide market banter various times a day that may never lead to actual work/investment decisions. But its a part of the idea generating process.

Lastly, majority of ppl in finance struggle managing people. Its a lot easier to just gain trust day1 in the day trenches side by side. Versus "maybe my tone in this email is harsh…maybe my analyst is a moron and doesn't understand xyz.." Nope maybe I just suck at training people cause I was trained my crappy managers too. 
Remote work is a real challenge for our industry. That said lots of the MMs are using unique tools like groupchat cam all day to get around it.

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Sep 14, 2021 - 5:03pm

disagree with zero chance. I know firms that have hired people remotely over the past year with either explicit or tacit understanding that some of them will remain fully/almost fully remote (as in, live in a different state across the country)

Also, a lot of firms will do a 2 - 3 days in office type set up but you'd probably still need to be in or near NY to make that feasible.

so a remote seat is not impossible, but also not the default set-up. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Sep 19, 2021 - 2:56pm

I am also trying to find a HF gig with prefebly a remote work arrangement.  My understanding so far is that find its rare to find something right off the bat so your goal should be to get into a HF with good culture and then slowly transition to a fully remote role by the end of the first year as you ramp up and prove yourself.

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Sep 20, 2021 - 1:06pm

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