HF Analyst - looking for 3 years and can’t find a new job


Hi all, long time lurker first time poster. I’m a credit analyst at a large-ish ($6bn) HF in NYC. Been there for 5 years after 2 years BB IB. Covering stressed and distressed stuff mainly. Opportunity set has been thin, AuM has been declining, pay stagnant and zero growth opportunities. Same old story.

I’ve been seriously looking hard for 3 years now to find another job, and have literally received 0 offers. Have had maybe 2 dozen first rounds, a dozen second/third rounds, 2 case studies and 0 offers. At first, I didn’t have tight enough trade ideas, but I’ve fixed that, having spent hours finessing 3 or 4 current trade ideas that are fully written up and good to go for any interviews. I feel like I can tell they’re good from the feedback I get in the interviews (often the PMs say they’d want to put them on). Having been through so many processes, I generally have good answers to all the obvious stuff, though of course get thrown new stuff every time.

However, I can never quite seem to seal the deal. The feedback varies from you’re too rel Val to you’re not rel val enough to we really want someone with private debt experience to we think you’d get bored here to the most frequent response of all, ghosting from the firm (and sometimes the headhunter too). Quite honestly, I get the sense that there’s something intangible I’m getting wrong - or that the demand is so slack that employers can be super picky and arbitrary (maybe I’m too old, >30).

I don’t expect anyone to divine what I could be doing wrong from the above - but I would be interested in hearing other people’s experiences in looking for mid to senior credit analyst roles. Are other people out there struggling to get offers? If you recently found a new job, how long had you been looking? Any tips on how to improve your game? Any thoughts or experiences would be much appreciated!

Comments (5)

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  • Associate 2 in HF - Other
Jul 2, 2020 - 2:11am

stressed/distressed must be pretty exciting now right? you’re at a $6bn HF which is pretty big in credit if that’s all hedge fund money. seems like you’re in a decently repped shop. maybe there just aren’t that many upper-mid roles but it seems like there are and you’ve been in those processes and haven’t converted. I’m honestly not sure what’s wrong but have you tried moving into private debt or more performing credit? I’m sure you’d be a shoe in and it looks like with the private debt experience you could be a candidate to do other stuff as well that they mentioned in the feedback.

  • Research Associate in HF - Event
Jul 2, 2020 - 2:26am

When you say "stressed distressed" but then "you're too relval", what exactly is your experience and are you lining up your specific flavor of credit with the firm?

if you've never worked out a company through a Chapter 11 process in your 5 yrs, you'd be hard pressed to get a job at Monarch. At the same time, you may be a a good fit for Anchorage's industry groups.

It sounds like its a mix of exact fit not being there, messing up the pre-case study step (12 2nd rounds to 2 case studies opportunities looks like the weakest link in the chain) and potentially too old / you're too expensive.

Have you indicated any sort of comp expectations to any of these 24 firms you've met with? What is your "stagnation level" right now vs. what are you hoping to get at your next role that is urging you to leave? If you being badly comp'ed at a $6bn stressed/distressed HF (AFTER the AUM declines leaves only a handful of names...) I'd be surprised, but you could also be having grass is greener / hoping for big pay days elsewhere that is clouding your thought process.

Jul 2, 2020 - 10:25am

So my firm has some other strategies so not totally focused on distressed credit. In the credit box, we do both distressed plus some cap arb type stuff. In retrospect, I think this has hurt me as I’ve done both but people tend to want a specialist in one style or the other.

I agree that the second/third round to case study is where I’m falling down. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I don’t think it’s my trade ideas or experience exactly, but you’re right that age / comp level / particular fit may be the issue. Though, realistically, there’s likely to be some consistent issue given I’ve not progressed over so many processes - I just can’t tell what it is.

But I’d love to hear other credit analysts’ experiences. Would be helpful for me to get a better sense of how easy/hard other people have found it.

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