IBD boutique vs. £3bn quant HF

In terms of career progression, would you rather start a FT position with a no-name IBD boutique (deal fees: about £3m a year) or a startup quant hedge fund (£3bn AUM, good track record)?

IBD boutique:
- Compensation slightly higher than the quant position
- Possible to lateral to a MM bank, then BB/EB, but that would take years (3-4 at least) or may not happen at all due to fierce competition
- The exit opps after banking, especially in London, aren't that great: PE is basically banking 2.0, the fundamental HF industry is very small and corporate options offer a very low comp

Startup quant HF:
- Very low compensation for a finance position (think in the range £25-30K + bonus)
- Opportunity to get exposure to a wide range of different trading strategies and assets (crypto, futures, equity)
- Opportunity to take on more responsibilities than at large HFs which are very compartmentalized
- Career progression not well defined, although I believe it could be possible to either stay and gain seniority, lateral to a bigger fund (Millenium, Citadel, etc.) or get an MBA in the US and pursue opportunities there

The IBD boutique option seems to be the "safe" path, although I feel like it would require insane levels of grinding to get a spot at a BB, and even then an IBD position wouldn't be the end in itself; at best I'd end up a junior PE associate in my late 20s.

The quant HF option appears to have higher upside potential but more uncertainty, although it would in any case give me a good shot at getting into a T10 MBA if necessary.

What are your thoughts?

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  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Nov 24, 2021 - 1:33pm

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