Headhunter with top funds out of nowhere


Recently had an introductory chat with a headhunter, and they immediately proposed a couple of very interesting opportunities at top MM L/S shops (e.g. Citadel, Millennium, etc).

The thing is - although I am very interested in public equities (e.g. I invest personally and did internships in investing before), I am currently ending my 1st year at MBB (on the PE DD team). I have never heard of anyone doing the move to these shops from my background and find it very weird that this HH is so excited about pushing these opportunities for me. Any insights? Are these shops desperate for analysts because of the current climate? Should I just say I am interested in interviewing with all the firms, or chose only one to be able to focus and not seem scattered to the HH?

This is UK by the way.


Comments (17)

Jul 10, 2020 - 2:08pm

Investment style will be pretty similar between the various MM funds so I wouldn't say something like, "I would interview with Citadel but not Millenium." If you told them you want to work at a MM fund and also have an interest in PE, then that would raise some red flags from their perspective

Jul 10, 2020 - 2:11pm

I would also make sure you are very familiar with how MM funds invest and what it means on a day-to-day basis (recent thread on value investing is a good resource + would spend more time looking through WSO on the topic)... probably very different from the investing you do in your PA and what you look at during the work day doing DD work for PE shops. Doesn't mean it is a bad career path by any means (probably more upside $ potential at a MM than virtually anywhere else, although this comes with more career risk than other paths)

Jul 10, 2020 - 2:22pm

I would just be cautious with certain HH (I’m more familiar with those in the US than UK). Some HH will throw out names of large funds and talk about positions to get you excited and then either try to get info, shop your resume around, or try to pitch you smaller opportunities. HH try this even with relatively senior candidates, it is pretty surprising (trying to get comp info, trying to get your resume, etc).

Now if you are in consulting that likely isn’t the case, but just be a bit cautious with recruiters, they benefit from getting you in a seat, any seat, do they aren’t always aligned with your best interest.

That being said, yes many MM shops have openings all year round and are constantly hiring (and firing...)

Jul 13, 2020 - 2:52pm

Former HH chiming in -- Millenium, DE Shaw, and likely Citadel, allow any notable HH to pitch their positions. I would decline interest unless you're focused on HFs, it's better to not look scattered and you really have to have something standout to land interviews at places such as Citadel (i.e. 4.0, in-depth academic research, computer science, probability/game theory etc). Just my two cents. I'm pretty new to this platform but am happy to help you navigate whatever path you're considering, I placed 12 pre/post MBA candidates at top mm pe / hf / corp fin roles this past year.

Jul 10, 2020 - 8:12pm

I think others would be better equipped to answer whether or not expressing interesting in both MMs and the other value-oriented L/S funds would be a red flag for the recruiter. If they brought both options up then I wouldn't worry too much about it, but hopefully others who are better informed than I am will comment. I do think it is worth considering which investment style you would be more interested in pursuing. The day-to-day of working at a concentrated value fund, whether L/S or not, will be quite different vs. working at a MM.

Most Helpful
Jul 10, 2020 - 9:15pm

How exactly is someone with only consulting and no professional investing experience expected to have a well-defined investment style? You guys seem to think one decides at 20 you're a long term value investor and you spend the next 40 years of your career sticking with that style. It doesnt friggin work that way. You think you know something at 22. Then you join whatever random place. You learn a ton of things you didnt know you didnt know. You gain exposure to stuff you didnt know existed. Your boss asks you to explore a new sector or asset class. You are influenced by your boss' style, but you also like some things you hear from the guy on the other team or some books you read. And little by little you develop your field of expertise and your "style". You're all delusional if you think you can so narrowly define what the rest of your career is going to be like so early on.

The HH knows this. You're a smart kid but know little about investing. Some places are willing to take juniors like you and train and mold them. Thats why no one cares MM vs SM or whatever you think you want.

Jul 10, 2020 - 7:10pm

Echoing what others said, not that unusual for them. Every major HH has a pretty open mandate to send people to the MMs. Even if they aren't the most legit HH, at worst they blast your resume out without telling you to funds which doesn't present a ton of risk coming from MBB. (Becomes a problem when people are trying to be discreet)

No reason to turn down opportunities with the HH. It's not quite like on-track recruiting in PE where if you show indecision they may not put you in front of the MFs. As long as you can talk coherently about why you would be open to long-bias or market neutral MMs, then you should get your resume passed along. And recruiting into HFs is a numbers game, should definitely not try to get tunnel vision on focusing on one opportunity. The talent pool is just too competitive to approach it that way.

Jul 13, 2020 - 2:25pm

bump, would really appreciate some input on the above as I have to decide soon. I have some long pitches ready and can coherently go though fit questions, but am not at a point where I can talk about relative value and trends in industries that I like etc and with my injury I think it will be difficult to prepare that in time. Aware it is a numbers game but not sure I should not wait until I have more ideal conditions, so as not to risk burning bridges, vs just go for it with what I can prepare. thanks!

Jul 13, 2020 - 2:57pm

If you can, you should ask the HH where people are at in the process already to gauge if you would be an add-on type of candidate or someone who would be getting early to the process. that's really the only thing that matters. The HFs I worked with such as Millenium had year-round recruiting and would hire on a need-basis / if you have an exceptional background.

Jul 13, 2020 - 3:37pm

I placed multiple candidates coming from a MMB into solid PE shops so it's not impossible.

Going to a HF is a very specific route and limits you if you end up wanting to do PE since you're only focused on public markets if that makes sense. I would make sure you speak with someone who works at HF to make sure you want to go down that path, its very hard to switch back if you do it.

In regards to the interviews --- by all means if you're not prepared and you are actually interested in this firm I would try and get more time. A simple: "my schedule is fully booked this week as I'm staffed on a deal" is usually fine. I wouldn't delay an interview if it's really not necessary to, especially since the process will be drawn out due to covid anyway. If the injury is not affecting your speech or ability to do work then you should take it. It will be good practice and if you don't do well you can learn from the experience (there will be more HF positions I can promise you that).

  • Investment Analyst in HF - Event
Jul 14, 2020 - 10:43am

> Going to a HF is a very specific route and limits you if you end up wanting to do PE since you're only focused on public markets if that makes sense

What about distressed HFs to distressed PE? Would it be a very hard case to switch too? Joined a fund out of school, may be interested in more take privates / turnarounds / transaction oriented PE roles rather than just build up a thesis and sit on the sidelines

Jul 16, 2020 - 1:54am

Nothing is impossible but most private equity funds would like you to have distinct skills relating to valuation. If the fundamentals align perhaps. Distressed/turnaround shops deal with very specific types of analysis such as chapter 11 bankruptcy, debt restructuring, and more. The majority of candidates I placed into distressed shops were coming from a lev fin background. If you’re just out of school - looks towards jefferies and banking teams that you could lateral into; this would be my best advice and I’ve seen them take laterals. There are some keen differences between the two that will help justify why you would want to make a switch. There’s some great literature written on Turnarounds/ the distressed space from industry veterans that also might be interesting to look at. Also you might want to clarify if you’re looking specifically at distressed assets (real asset space) vs distressed or turnaround situations, these are very different

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