How to get from S&T to HF?

I will be full-time in S&T at a bulge bracket upon graduation in an equity sales role. I know this is not a quantitative position, so how should I go about trying to transition to the buyside?

Would getting a MBA at a top school in order to pivot be the common path for S&T people to get to a HF? Are there any other ways - lateraling to equity research first at the bank?

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Comments (19)

Nov 13, 2018

The obvious choice is to move to banking if you to be on the research side at a HF. Do a year or two in S&T and then transition over if you can

Most Helpful
Nov 13, 2018

yes, equity research is the way to go...my good friend who has worked in equity research for 3-4 years just moved over to a hedge fund.

just google it...you're welcome

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Nov 15, 2018

I started out in equity sales, then moved to equity research after a year and am now at a hedge fund. Try to get to know the research team well and spend considerable time analyzing their models and getting up to speed with their process. Then try to make a move to a team that needs a junior, there is a lot of turnover. Also, really develop the client relationships on the HF side since they are useful later on, at least for me.

Nov 19, 2018

at what point during your start in equity sales did you attempt to move to research?

Nov 15, 2018

About 1 year in. Started targeting it and getting closer with certain ER teams after 6 months

Nov 16, 2018

It is absolutely possible to make the jump. I started off in middle office (recs and settlements), moved my way into front office, then had a client like me enough to bring me on as a trader/junior. This wasn't in equity research rather pure S&T. I would advise specializing early--don't be an equity block guy or something that is common. Find a niche product and or sector, become the expert at it, then know the the players in that area and become the best. Then people will go to you and you can leverage your knowledge and connections into something real. It is hard, but possible.

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Dec 20, 2018
HCoptions:

It is absolutely possible to make the jump. I started off in middle office (recs and settlements), moved my way into front office, then had a client like me enough to bring me on as a trader/junior. This wasn't in equity research rather pure S&T. I would advise specializing early--don't be an equity block guy or something that is common. Find a niche product and or sector, become the expert at it, then know the the players in that area and become the best. Then people will go to you and you can leverage your knowledge and connections into something real. It is hard, but possible.

Sb for being a legit wolf.

This move up and progression isn't of a dog, but a wolf.

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Nov 16, 2018

Thank you!

Nov 20, 2018

Depends, what do you want to do at an HF? If you want to be on the investing side, research is a great option. If you want to be an execution trader, than trading is obviously the route to go. I do know people that were very successful on their pads that moved into investing roles as well.

I would however, before committing to anything, make sure you've got a strong understanding of the universe of HFs, their strategies and asset classes, and what skills are required to get hired. For example, if you're interested in activist investing, you'll find that a lot of the brand name places (e.g. Pershing Square) love their 2 year IBD, 2 year MF PE hires. If a switch to IBD is something you would be interested in, I would look to move to a pseudo-banking desk like structuring first, rather than trying to make the move from an equity sales role. The success stories I know of usually also have strong alumni networks at their banks, with senior people both on their desk and in regular banking that are supportive of the move.

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Nov 19, 2018

I will try to lateral to research at my bank since the investing side is what I want - is it good to avoid the popular sectors like software and internet and go for something relatively more complicated like semis?

Is it essentially impossible to move from equity sales to a hedge fund based on the strong relationships you can make with the buyside in that role?

Dec 18, 2018

Software and internet are, on the whole, more complicated than semis. Pricing models and the underlying "supply chain" gets vastly more convoluted for internet/software than for semis, which are at core a hardware product with traceable products and channel checks to determine pricing. You don't need to know the fundamental engineering to be a semi investor, just like you don't need to know how to write code to be a software investor; but the ancillary business stuff is more straightforward with semis.

Dec 20, 2018

Rather than try to play a numbers game by going for the less populated field, you should go into an area that you will actually like reading about. I understand the inclination toward "I just want to be at a HF so badly I'll make myself enjoy whatever area gives me the best odds." But reliably beating the market is about being the one guy (or one of a handful) who see something in a stock that thousands of others don't see. It's hard enough without also tying one hand behind your back by going into an area that you're not going to enjoy obsessing over.

Dec 21, 2018

I'm curious why you mentioned structuring as an option for those who want to move into IB after a year or two in S&T. Have you seen some make the move along with transferable skill sets?

Nov 20, 2018

I personally have never worked in structuring, but know 3-4 people who have made the switch from structuring to a coverage group in IBD. This occurred at 3 BBs which my school was a target for, and usually we had both a. senior person in structuring and b. alumni in the coverage group. I have yet to hear of this transition from a BB which we are not a target for.

Dec 5, 2018

Interesting advice - thanks to everyone!

Dec 18, 2018

Sounds like the type of HF you are interested in is something like an equity L/S. If that's the case I think you've gotten good advice.

Alternatively, if you're interested in more macro-equity or equity-vol type funds, then the better path would be to transition to trading. You get good at it, you go to client events, you network. Will be quite easy for a client who knows you and admires your talents to hire you.

Dec 19, 2018

Do something others are not doing and dominate the **** out of it!

Array

Dec 20, 2018
PtoCFisUnderrated:

I will be full-time in S&T at a bulge bracket upon graduation in an equity sales role. I know this is not a quantitative position, so how should I go about trying to transition to the buyside?

Would getting a MBA at a top school in order to pivot be the common path for S&T people to get to a HF? Are there any other ways - lateraling to equity research first at the bank?

Network.

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Dec 20, 2018
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