Help me think through an opportunity


I have an opportunity to join a fund in London that is an activist (not so hostile) investor in UK and European small to mid-cap companies, and in most cases takes them private. The role is an analyst and I have around 5 years of experience in the HF industry and a total of 10 years of work experience. Here are further details:

  • It's not actually a fund just yet - it's been around only a few years and whenever they see an opportunity, they invest a bit of the partners' capital and get the rest of the capital (the bigger chunk) from a megafund
  • They invest in one company a year because between not having a committed fund and not finding that many activist opportunities, it can be tricky to do more
  • The two partners come from a sell-side background (M&A and wealth mgmt, 20+ years of experience each), and have told me that they have sufficient relationships to call capital on a deal by deal basis for opportunities that emerge
  • They are a team of 4 (2 partners, 1 analyst, 1 COO)
  • They are situated in shared offices in Mayfair

Can you help me think through the pros and cons of this opportunity? The comp will naturally not be a big pro here, so I'd like to hear your perspective on what kind of "optionality" this job can provide down the line? Is it to narrow a scope to spend the next 3-5 years of my career there, or is it the right thing to do to go ahead and specialize from now in an area like that? I do like activist investing I must say and am not a big fan of passive HF investing.

Any thoughts appreciated please.


Comments (6)

Jan 1, 2019

I've worked for an activist fund focussed on European small caps; I'd be happy to share my view/experience. Feel free to PM me!

Feb 24, 2019

I am really interested in a career in an activist fund. Could you describe shortly what your typical week is with the activist fund? What should a specific skillset someone had to be successful?
Feel free to PM me!

Jan 1, 2019

whats the return?

    • 1
Jan 1, 2019

not sure why the MS especially because this is the most relevant question for you to ask.

I know - and i guess other people out of london, too - who you are talking about and why my question is relevant... anyways good luck

Mar 4, 2019

My question would be: why are they not a fund? Is there something about their process that cannot scale, or is it a strategy where they are unable to manage portfolio risk?

One investment a year doesn't really give you great diversification or downside protection. I've come across a few shops that have a similar approach (raise capital on a deal-by-deal basis), and one reason to do this is to avoid high water marks because they do very risky deals.

Mar 5, 2019