Wrote a lot of stuff and a lot of questions but this is one of the hardest decisions i've ever had to make. If anyone can answer any of these questions of give any insight I would appreciate it very much. Objective: To pick the job that is going to put me in the best position in two years if I decide to look for a new job.
I am trying to decide between two positions. One of the positions is a Research Associate at a Fund of Hedge Funds. The other position an Actuarial Assistant in the Asset Modeling Group (Part of the Asset Liability Management Department) at a big life insurance company. I posted some highlights of the job descriptions below.
What I am really concerned about is which is going to provide me with a better potential future. Which position is going to leave me in a better place after two years? In two years, I would like to either work at a Hedge Fund or pursue a MBA or MFE to become a quant. I love investments and I do not have much investing experience, so another one of my goals is to learn about investing so I can become a successful investor on my own and possible start my own HF or company.
So yeah it may seem that I am very unsure of where exactly I want to go two years from now but I want the best options, the best experience to set me off in the right direction if I decide to pursue a more prestigious investing career.
My concerns about going with the ALM position is that I won't gain as many networking contacts as I would at the FoF. Also, my concern is that I would miss out on learning about Hedge Funds and investing strategies at the FoF. Also, will the fact that the ALM job is at an insurance company negatively affect my resume?
At the FoF's am I actually going to gain the knowledge required to invest?
How much would meeting HF managers actually help my future career path?
Actuarial Assistant **********
The Asset Modeling Group's main focus is the accurate projection of cash flows and income statements for the company's general account assets under various interest rate scenarios for the purposes of statutory and GAAP based financial reporting. The department is currently in the middle of a re-engineering process, so the student would have the opportunity to be a part of a team that is building a quicker, more efficient, and more accurate asset modeling production process.
• Review assigned asset sector(s), such as Public Corporate Bonds, over many interest rate scenarios and be able to explain any projection results by using analytical tools.
• Review the modeled data at various rollup levels to ensure its completeness and accuracy.
• Reconcile analytics from the modeling process, such as duration, weighted average life, book yield, etc. with other sources.
• Use SQL queries to trace issues and do ad hoc analysis of the asset modeling data that resides on our servers.
• Become quickly acclimated with asset classes, product features, financial terminologies, and production processes.
• Learn and use Kamakura Risk Manager modeling software for test runs and various projects.
• Partner closely with IT to help on different business aspects of the re-engineering project.
• Complete ad hoc assignments.
• Pre-ASA or equivalent experience
• Excellent organizational, mathematical, and analytical abilities
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• Must work well with teams and be a quick learner
• Knowledge of financial products and features such as fixed income securities, structured products, and derivatives is a plus
• VBA, SQL, Matlab and other programming knowledge is a plus
Research Associate ********
Candidate will function as part of the Research team which is responsible for hedge fund manager identification, due diligence, monitoring, and portfolio construction for approximately $9.4bln in assets. Hedge fund strategies supported by the team include long/short equity, event- driven, convertible arbitrage, specialist credit, relative value, FX, global macro and alternate strategies.
The position will have a quantitative as well qualitative focus and will primarily involve the following –
• Preparation of written research reports and quantitative analytics on individual hedge fund managers
• Analysis and screening of the hedge fund manager universe
• Market research on various hedge fund strategies
• Maintenance of manager data in various databases
Required Skill Set
• Strong writing skills
• Strong Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills
• General knowledge of finance and capital markets
• Good knowledge of Bloomberg and Microsoft Access is preferred