Hedge Fund Industry in Chicago - growing or shrinking?


I'm a late 20s analyst in systematic strategies (risk premia, alternative beta) at a fund in NYC. I'm considering moving to Chicago due to the increased affordability and viability of raising a family in the city proper. However, I'm concerned about the breadth of opportunities in Chicago and whether the city's hedge fund industry is growing or shrinking.

Outside of Magnetar, Balyasny, and Citadel (whose NYC headcount keeps growing more than Chicago's), I don't know of any other non-prop shop firms in the city with quant funds. I understand that nowhere will have the number of opportunities as NYC but I don't want to potentially be stuck in a job because of a dearth of options.

For those with relevant insight, what do you think of the current and future breadth of Chicago's hedge fund industry - particularly the quant side?

Which quant funds in Chicago may I have missed and what are their strategies?

Thanks in advance.


Comments (28)

Aug 20, 2020 - 11:25am

MLP is also in Chicago, but if you're doing exchange traded stuff, then why can't you go to a prop firm?


Another option is California's asset managers, but I hesitate on having kids anywhere near SF. 

Aug 21, 2020 - 9:15am

SF is great as long as you don't mind even higher prices than NYC, constant cold weather, more homeless people, literal shit everywhere, hipsters, smoke from wildfires, techies busy blowing smoke up their own asses, taxes out the wazoo, poor dating prospects for men, crappy public transportation...


I miss anything?

  • Analyst 2 in CorpDev
Aug 21, 2020 - 10:55pm

Because it's a liberal dumpster fire where you'll be taxed into oblivion, force fed intersectional drivel, and you and your kids will probably get accosted by some homeless smackhead after you accidentally step in his shit and needle pile? 


That's not even touching the real estate bubble and corrupt government misappropriation of said taxes.  If it wasn't so appalling it would be funny how much money they waste on self-inflicted problems and cause them grow at a rate that would make even the hottest SV startups blush.

Aug 22, 2020 - 11:06pm

Magnetar is in Evanston IIRC.

The secret to Chicago if you have kids is to live in the suburbs.  Or send your kids to Lincoln Park High School.  LPHS is the CPS exception that proves the rule, and really ought to be part of the north shore.

Train ride in from Winnetka is ~40 minutes IIRC. You save 7 minutes if you catch the express.

Aug 23, 2020 - 12:20pm

Chicago is considerably more affordable than New York. Wouldn't mind working in Greenwich but living there is another story as it's not a very diverse area (as are most places in southern CT). The main sell of Chicago is that I could get a diverse urban lifestyle at a fraction of the cost, albeit with some concessions relative to New York

Aug 21, 2020 - 6:02pm

Sorry I'm not answering your question, but "increased viability of raising a family in the city proper"... are you serious?

I get that affluent areas are generally shielded from this, but the city's murder rate is out of control. What are you comparing against when you make that claim? Caracas? Baghdad?

Most Helpful
Aug 21, 2020 - 9:06pm

Chicago is great and I love living here relative to NYC (I liked NYC too). Don't listen to all the nonsense about the crime. It's quite concentrated. You're very unlikely to be a victim of a serious crime if you are not affiliated to a gang. Chicago is a solid place to raise a family in a big city at a lower cost. Depending on where in Chicago you live, many of the public schools are of high quality. There are also some magnet school options that kids can test into for middle school and high school I believe.  Also, if you decide to live outside the city there are plenty of very affordable suburbs that are convenient for commuting into the city. 

LSV Asset Management and Ativo Capital Management are two quant firms in Chicago. LSV is a quant value shop that mostly hires PhDs in finance/econ. Less so from other STEM fields. The founders are from Booth. Most of their assets are in long only though. There's a bunch of other systematic long only shops as well. There's a group within UBS Asset Management and some others I forget. For purely market neutral stat arb, that will be more limited to the funds you already mentioned plus a few of the prop shops run such strategies too. 

Oct 6, 2020 - 2:45pm

Alyeska Investment Group is in Chicago. Looks like they take a concerted effort to make the firm opaque to outsiders, and it might be near impossible to break in. They manage ~$6 billion. I welcome anyone to comment on this firm if they have any info to add.

Oct 8, 2020 - 2:43am
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