I recently obtained an interview with a hedge fund called Element Capital Management in NYC for a summer internship position. From what I understand its a macro fund, mostly quantitative, and around 4 billion AUM. Would appreciate it if anyone has any more information on this fund, i.e. culture, people, experience, reputation, etc?

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Idk much about the fund, but it had respectable returns these past few years, outperforming most macro hedge funds, and is doing good this year too. I think the top guy makes most of the investment decisions, but I may be wrong about that. Overall it should be a good place to work.

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It's a good 'un...


@"Martinghoul" Could you elaborate a little more if you have some time?


Sure, although I don't really know what to tell you. They have a very solid reputation in our space. Supposed to be a good place to work, with high-quality people and performance, which reflects this quality. I don't have anything more specific than that, unfort.


OP, are you undergrad or grad student? I assume you got the interview through a contact?

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Undergrad and no it was through career services not through a contact.


I've spoken to the head guy once very briefly. He seems like a nice guy (lots of people are not). Their returns from the top of my head have been good and assets have grown a lot in the last few years. Multi-billion fund, if I am not mistaken (I don't think its over $5bn though).

Might help if you say what the position is for...

Good Luck

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.


From a friend that worked there - Fund has good returns. Smart people. Unpleasant culture. A sweatshop with almost no growth opportunity for individuals unless hired as a senior product specialist (trader) - even then, success is not so clear. Highly experienced and intelligent people still relegated to doing grunt work that a first or second year person should be working on with no long or short term upside regardless of fund or personal performance. May be good for a junior person to learn a lot, but they should take that experience and get a better role elsewhere after two years that pays more for doing less work.


Anybody else have experience about Element, or have interviewed there?

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I work at Element and I think Econometric's description is inaccurate. I started as a junior tech analyst at Element 7 years ago with no sell side experience and am now a senior member of the portfolio team. I have another colleague in a similar boat who also worked his way up. There are plenty of avenues of growth at the firm and there are people who have gone through the program and are currently progressing up the chain. Granted, it is a competitive place and not everyone will make it to the highest level, but there is still a well-defined career path/growth opportunity for those that do well regardless of prior experience. It's just not an automatic process and requires you to prove yourself.

Personally I think if you want the skills you need on the buy side it's better to go direct. With Volker etc., the sell side doesn't take any risk anymore, so as it's harder to gain relevant experience on the sell side than it was before. Plus on the sell side while you may rotate initially you specialize early and gain a reasonably narrow skillset which can be dangerous if your product area of focus has a cold streak. Also, you don't get to make an informed decision about which asset class you want to focus on. In contrast the breadth of exposure you get at Element is very valuable and I think quite rare for the buyside or the sell side. For example, in my time here I have experienced analyzing and trading a wide variety of products in rates, FX, equities, oil, and credit which is unlikely to happen at most places. I have also been trained on a variety of valuable investment techniques including fundamental research, market structure research and complex derivatives structuring.

People do work hard, but that's necessary to be successful in this industry and the people here are very motivated and seem to enjoy what they do. If you are looking for something cushier, a hedge fund is probably not the right path for you. Among people on the portfolio team over the years we've had very few choose to leave to join other firms, which is a good sign


As I said, a good place to get experience as you wrote. I don't think it is a great place to get paid though. The fund can absolutely crush and even a senior member of the portfolio team can earn less than 7 figures. There are much easier ways to earn 7 figures in the hedge fund industry than absolutely busting your ass for talpins, having the fund kick ass, and then come up short.


double post


Know of one (ridiculously smart) junior guy there. Works closely with Talpins. Probably the most interesting macro vol shop around imo.


They're killin' it again this year, now with close to $9bn AUM...


I heard the structure is quite weird, ie. The entire firm only has one PM with all others being strategists/execution.


I heard the structure is quite weird, ie. The entire firm only has one PM with all others being strategists/execution.

This is incorrect...


It is sort of correct. That is how it was for most of Element's existence. Now they have a few little PMs, but the lion's share, by far, of the risk and PnL are from the single PM. The little PMs have rarely done well. The guys who do execution also do strategy - pretty intense. A couple of them left in the middle of yet another good year over the summer due to low payouts for their hard work and real effort of making the big gun super rich.


Ha, you appear to be quite plugged in... I don't share your assessment in its entirety, but you're right in some aspects.


Any insights on interviewing there? I have an interview coming for summer intern position and wondering what I should expect


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