Graduate Programme in Asset Management: Portfolio Management vs Research (London). Best for HF recruiting?

Hello everybody, I am currently finishing my master at a semi-target uni in London. I am very happy to have just signed to join Allianz GI Investment Management graduate programme starting in October. My ambition is to learn as much as possible and work really hard at Allianz GI but I would want to eventually leave for a Hedge Fund as my ambition is to become a HF PM. The grad programme involves two possible tracks:
1) Portfolio Management
2) Research

I am very unsure of what I should do. Since I know that I eventually want to become a PM (albeit at a hedge fund), I thought I should go for option 1 Portfolio Management. However, some classmates of mine told me that research is better for lateralling towards a hedge fund when you are junior as you get more analytical and research skills and better modelling experience. Is that the case? Is the buyside research track preferred to the PM track by HF recruiters?

If that is the case then I would probably go for research but at the same time I fear this might hinder my chances of becoming a PMwithin AM was I unseccessful in trying to lateraltowards hedge funds within the first 5 years. How difficult is it to move to the PM track for somebody who had started in the research path? Could I still become a PM within Allianz GI?

I will give you the description of the two roles they give on their site (take them with a big grain of salt, I doubt that the jobs will be as similar as they potray them):
-Portfolio Management: "Ever-changing markets require flexibility. In Portfolio Management you will learn through experience, initially as an assistant to a Portfolio Manager. You will generate your own ideas, challenge other peoples' views, and debate the rights and wrongs of a recommendation. As you grow in stature, you will be given more exposure to the markets, to clients and to the day-to-day management of their assets."
-Research: "Initially you will be mentored by a senior Analyst - observing, learning and attending meetings, to build experience across a range of industry sectors, to see how different factors affect different stocks. A mix of on-the-job experience, formal training and studying will develop your professional confidence.
Over time, you will be given a free rein to make your own recommendations from AllianzGI's primary research. After approximately two years, you will be expected to take on a new level of responsibility, and make an increasing impact on investment decisions and new business presentations."

Thank you very much in advance to you all!

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Mar 12, 2019
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