I'm a hedge fund recruiter. AMA!

Ekoa's picture
Rank: Senior Orangutan | 384

Howdy all, I work at the largest private search firm in the world that only does financial services. I focus on the fundamental, bottom up investing space of the hedge fund community, however we cover the full gamut of products on the buy and sell side. It's been quite a year for the hedge fund space and I felt it'd be interesting to field some questions and hopefully be helpful to those scratching their heads.

My own focus is pretty broad but in short, my clients are predominantly single managers, long track records, single or low double digit billion $ under management, have lean investments teams and try to avoid trading too often. I do some work with mid market PE funds, special sits funds, structured products (both primary and secondary) and purely distressed. I sit in NY where we're headquartered but out company has ~15 offices globally.

Thanks for reading and curious to hear your thoughts / questions.

Comments (140)

Dec 14, 2018

Hey, thanks for doing this! How do you guys view candidates who studied at a target university vs at a non-target university? Also, which banks/groups do you guys recruit from? Thanks!

Most Helpful
Dec 14, 2018

Hey great question. I'm a younger guy (under 30) and so I actually do a lot of our junior banker recruiting (analyst to VP) personally. It's all about understanding what banks train folks to do and how well. If we're actively recruiting for a short term search, let's say in a junior distressed analyst seat at a credit fund, we'd want to look at banks with notably strong debt centric groups: JP credit IB (it's like lev fin with industry coverage), GLC, GS lev fin, MS lev fin, Evercore and Houlihan restructuring, possibly UBS lev fin, and I wouldn't preclude the financial sponsors and M&A groups but you really wan to focus on folks coming with the right skill set.

I try to avoid making judgement calls on schools unless I find there's some eonnctivity of the hiring managers to specific schools. The whole "target school" thing really carrier the most weight at funds that like to recruit en masse and on cycle. TPG / KKR / Blackstone / H&F, etc. Slightly less true for hedge funds as they tend to hire from banking so they focus moreso on work ethic and bank group than school -- it's not a hard and fast rule and mostly depends on the perspective of the hiring manager but the onus is on guys like myself to push them beyond what's on the piece of paper. Personality goes a long way!

    • 13
Dec 14, 2018

+1. Thank you very much for the insightful answer!

Dec 14, 2018

Thanks for this. I am actually surprised that JP credit IB is considered - would you have a preference with JP IB credit than JP LevFin? Also, how do you view other credit groups in other banks like GS / MS? Wondering if there's a view on your end from the HF lens that JP Credit are more so what you are looking for vs. other BB credit groups and if this is given through your experiences in the past.

"Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection demoralizes you"

Dec 16, 2018

what is GLC?

Dec 14, 2018

Can you comment on current market conditions for hiring? Given these funds are lean and the tough market conditions is it fair to say that the hiring market for candidates is very difficult?

Dec 14, 2018

I can try - the unfortunate (for many) truth is that the flight of the plurality of massive allocations is to the multi managers aka the platforms shops. Those firms rune the majority of their public market businesses net neutral and by virtue of that, they run their talent net neutral. It means they'll always inherently have a voracious hunger for junior and mid level talent.

Single managers are case by case but you hit the nail on the head - funds are lean. It behooves the fund managers with 2/20 models and considering most single manager funds run more directional, they're hurting far more than the lower net shops. I think we're on the cusp of massive consolidations in Feb/March in single manager deep value land and we're doing to see an interesting trend of atypical talent heading to platforms and potentially even leaving public markets to seek haven in PE until the markets return to a bull run. IMO that's a pretty poor cop out since you'd prove your mettle by weathering public markets rather than tucking tail and running for a steady gig at Bain.

Hope that helps

    • 4
Dec 14, 2018

Why don't you make the jump from recruiter to recruit? Wouldn't you like to work for a hedge fund?

Dec 14, 2018

You can make a lot of money as a recruiter and as you get better the flow comes to you.

Offshore liffe

Dec 14, 2018

Operative word being *can ;)

I think the unfortunate truth is that most external recruiters are terrible and short lived in the industry. It takes a lot of time not making any money and building your content before you start monetizing. Just my $.02

Dec 14, 2018

Most major funds try to avoid having internal recruiters as they're a cost center until the placement puts up consistent #'s. I've only ever worked at my current firm and I love us our MO being relationship driven and non-flow oriented. It fosters more organic relationships with clients and allows you to pick who you want to work with. We're also extremely expensive vs. the typical private firm so the grass isn't really greener at a small hedge fund vs. building my own book of business here. It's pretty case by case since comp is variable on my performance here. If yo go internal at a fund fleeting needs or seldom any needs, you're putting yourself in a position to fail IMO. That make sense?

    • 1
Dec 15, 2018

Good recruiters pull a lot of money.

Dec 14, 2018

Do you look only at people from IB/PE/MC or would you ever give an undergrad the time of day? (Assuming good qualifications/experience)

Dec 14, 2018

I'm always happy to give thoughtful advice to good humans regardless of place in industry. We don't do any campus as it's not a lucrative business as an external search firm with the exception of entry level PhD for the quant funds of the world - we do so for Two Sigma type places. Drop me a direct message if you'd like to connect personally.

Dec 14, 2018

How does your process work from call to payment for placement? How many recruiters get staffed when a HF needs a few juniors?

Dec 14, 2018

Depends on the business model of the recruiting firm. We have been around for ~30 years and so our clients are clients by virtue of really long standing relationships. At the newer client level, we develop clients through networking with candidates and basically knowing everyone strong within a certain talent market segment. When we get a call from a single manager fund, they tend to want to keep their name off the street. We approach our own points of contacts confidentially for referrals, check our organizational maps of salient funds / sell side shops to pull from and target individuals, are referred through folks we approach, etc.. What we never do is list a job online. It's how you get the burger flippers of Wall Street banging down your door. Keep in mind, our business model is NOT your typical mega recruiting shop - Dynamics for example is entirely a flow model and that's just not something that works for us.

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Deleted

Dec 14, 2018

First of all, thanks for doing this. A common topic of discussion on the forum is the exit opps for people with a background in S&T. You mentioned that you look at strong groups that is dependent on the product and the bank, however, the groups you mentioned were part of IB. To what extent do you also look at people in S&T, and is a S&T background far less common than coming from IB?

Also, if you do work with people in S&T, is there a specific product or desk in that stands out in recruiting/is more in demand?

Dec 14, 2018

Hi there - great question. S&T is slept on and that can be to your benefit or detriment depending on what you're recruiting for. If you're gunning for the same investing seats as the tippy top pedigree bankers, you're going to have a bad time. Being in S&T doesn't afford you as much modeling or plain old 23 hour work day experiences that most fund managers had to go through themselves. If you're ultimately focused on being an investor rather than a trader, my advise would be to first look to firms who have a very blurred line between trading and investing. e.g., structured products investors are almost always their own traders. Same is true for folks in IG credit since most of the alpha captured is in trading unless you're just short selling IG bonds and letting them dip for months before picking them back up - such is not the market right now though. If you want to walk through your specific desk and career path on a firm by target firm basis, drop me a line and we can connect when it's quieter. I hope that helps !

    • 2
Dec 14, 2018

Much appreciated, thanks for the input!

Jan 14, 2019

what are names of some notable funds in the structured product or IG credit space? also what opportunities in the HF space would a FICC background provide as opposed to equities? thanks

Dec 14, 2018

Do you happen to know anything about GoldenTree Asset Management, given you talked about structured products and distressed stuff...?

Dec 15, 2018

We've declined business with them. Quite an onerous culture despite being a career builder. Happy to discuss directly.

Dec 15, 2018

can you please pm me? I don't have any available because this is a new account.

Dec 14, 2018

Hi thank you so much for doing this, very insightful for those of us on the other side. How do you view those who entered buy-side analyst programs directly out of school, funds that typically recruit Post-IB for associate spots, but have analyst programs for undergrads who choose to forego the traditional IB path? Also for the funds that do special situations/distressed, how do you view candidates that are doing direct lending/mezz/equity co-invests? Any insight is again appreciated!

Dec 15, 2018

The latter is an interesting background in general so always good to know a lot of folks who jumped right into disregt investing across the cap structure. Having a confusing and transactional role early into your career is humbling and I think is a good blend of experiences without having gone to banking still. Going into a rotational out of college is great if it's a mega fund as you'll always get looks but frankly you lose out on having a well developed network as you would on the sell side. If your goal is to be a fundamental investor, on average banking best equips you.

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

any thoughts on old school manual trading of futures contracts? (outright, spreads)
semi-quant based, but not fully algo vs full algo? Where the goal is just to trade more?

what do the funds look for / need to bring on a guy from a S&T role?

just google it...you're welcome

Dec 15, 2018

Voice trading is diminishing but is quite valuable still on the sell side - especially in more Esoterics products like illiquid ABS. I think folks in the structured products worlds are going to be the last to bend knee to quant phasing out old school traders and we'll see an sdcemtmof junior kids coming out of school in 2020 or so with functional coding skills and moxie to be a technical sell side trader apt for the buy side ASAP.

Jan 14, 2019

what if you dont know how to code? This might seem like a silly question, but is it important to learn this skill for the future? people have said that it is "over-hyped" and only a skill to learn if you want to, rather than out of necessity. Would you agree or disagree and why?

Dec 14, 2018

Any thoughts on recruiting for fundamental HFs out of Sell Side Equity Research? The number of candidates going from ER -> HF will be smaller due to headcount but any thoughts on the percentage of ER candidates going to bigger shops? Thanks a lot for doing this.

Dec 15, 2018

I get asked this all the time. If you're ER then you have to aggressively polish your modeling skills to match with bankers but otherwise you're well positioned.
Trouble is getting the initial look but you also need to understand what recruiting shops actually have connectivity and the ability to push for you.

    • 1
Dec 14, 2018

Thanks for doing this. How do ER Associates stack up to bankers in terms of competitiveness?

Dec 15, 2018

Normally they're not as desired as junior bankers but for sector specific funds you'll see more folks get the look out of ER- especially if it's more of a mid level seat where you need to come with a universe of names.

Dec 15, 2018

What is responsible for the less desirability?

Dec 18, 2018

How about buyside ER associates at good AM shops?

Dec 14, 2018

What's the best way to get on your radar? Or is it more of a don't call us, we'll call you thing?

Dec 15, 2018

Drop me a DM. Otherwise ask your friends who they talk to that's knowledgeable and has good worth etiquette.

Dec 14, 2018

Can I ask a nasty question (ducks)? What value do you think headhunters are adding when dealing with senior people (i.e. PM level)?

Dec 14, 2018

Hi. Are there such things as tree funds, bush funds or any other types of foliage related funds that you are aware of? Do you have a degree in horticulture?

Thank you.

    • 1
Funniest
Dec 15, 2018

I think you may have come across some trees yourself here!

    • 5
Dec 15, 2018

Should the descriptor be a type of tree/foliage/etc or do you prefer superlative adjectives in front? (OakTree vs GoldenTree) What about Cacti? How do you feel about colored funds? (primarily blue ones)

Dec 15, 2018

Do you do any recruiting for macro funds? What are they looking for in junior traders/analysts? I've found that there are some fundamental macro shops that are looking for analysts to purely do research, and others where (like in IG credit) the trading and investing roles are blended...

Dec 15, 2018

The most successful macro funds have a very high technical bar for talent so to avoid a disconnect between the quants that can track all this data of markets and the traders actually creating and deploying alpha capture strategies. The most meaningful macro funds will look to index rebal, options, high frequency execution and other technology enabled traders more than the typical fundamental analyst. That said, there are more thematic mafrocfunds that trade slowly and take more of a short term investment horizon than actively trade around their names / indexes so those are better homes for folks in publishing research I find .

    • 1
Dec 15, 2018

What can a candidate do to make themself known to the relevant headhunter such as you? For example, if I were a strong candidate for a L/S hedge fund, but you're unaware of my existence, what are some steps I can make to increase my probability of being spotted (any specific things you look for on LinkedIn, etc.)?

Dec 15, 2018

I'd flesh out your coverage of sectors and geographies under your current role. Make sure your title isn't something vague. Title and role are not the same thing. Analyst is a level and investment analyst is a role so I'd be specific. Beyond that, network yourself among folks doing similar jobs at competitors and try to get close to a few key recruiters rather than paper thenstret with your resume. It's easier to become spam than not unfortunately.

Dec 15, 2018

Be honest, how many times have you been straight up wrong about someone?

They contacted you, you gave a little small talk, said you'd help, let them out to dry then see on LinkedIn months to years later, maybe even weeks they got a role you couldn't imagine?

Dec 15, 2018

I don't intentionally ghost people - Wen have a big enough company to pass them along to someone that's more equipped to help them immediately. We take a longer term approach to working with candidates so it's often the case that I'll know someone for a year before I place them- unless of course that person is actively looking. To be honest, most candidates do the ghosting but those are not people worth aligning yourself with on average anyway. I'm long "good humans" even if it means avoiding killing myself to work with someone that treats me rudely and is a strong candidatenon paper. It's not worth the stress imo.

    • 3
Dec 15, 2018
Ekoa:

I don't intentionally ghost people - Wen have a big enough company to pass them along to someone that's more equipped to help them immediately. We take a longer term approach to working with candidates so it's often the case that I'll know someone for a year before I place them- unless of course that person is actively looking. To be honest, most candidates do the ghosting but those are not people worth aligning yourself with on average anyway. I'm long "good humans" even if it means avoiding killing myself to work with someone that treats me rudely and is a strong candidatenon paper. It's not worth the stress imo.

Fair enough.

    • 1
Dec 15, 2018

Would you automatically reject people that are out of employment for a couple of months? And what would you advice to these people? Also, what do you perceive to be the right skill set? Many thanks!

Dec 16, 2018

Not at all unless I find out through the grapevine that someone was fired on terrible terms. Skill set for what exactly? Generally speaking you need to be humble, polished and actually strong in all of your hard modeling skills / analysis of markets.

Dec 16, 2018

Thanks for that. Just skill set in terms of key skills you look for on a CV, i.e. software knowledge, languages or coding experience etc.?

Dec 15, 2018

.

Dec 16, 2018

I've placed plenty from rotationals at PGIM, Ares, Blackstone, GSSS, etc. - all in their first job out of college. Folks are usually composrable candidates to classic bankers but with less of an understanding of how the recruiting game is played... maybe excluding Blackstone kids as they're it up ad nauseoum.

Dec 15, 2018

Thoughts on 2+2 candidates?

Additionally, are all of the brand name pe shops pretty similar in your perspective (i.e., is there a difference between a candidate from Blackstone/Carlyle and Lindsay Goldberg/Madison Dearborn for HF recruiting)?

Dec 16, 2018

Weird I thought I typed an answer here but nothing... it all cancels out at the top eschalon of firms to be honest- both top firms looking and top firms providing candidates. If I'm recruiting for formerly Criterion however then silver lake and TCV type funds take the cake more often.

Dec 15, 2018

I know you received a comment for undergrad recruiting but how about at the MBA level (top 15)?

Dec 16, 2018

I do some MBA here and there but only if I think they're exceptional. Most places prefer folks still in markets full time. That said a lot of friends refer me MBA books and people so I'm always looking and talking to folks. HBS and Stamford are top for me and Wharton is close.

Dec 15, 2018

Hey Ekoa - thanks for doing this.

What your advice on an undergrad breaking to structured finance and levfin?
My friend and I are both having an extremely tough time breaking into the industry for full-time. We're at a non-target Canadian school, we run our school's finance association, obtained a pension fund as a sponsor for the club and have relevant experience. (Me: SA at top Canadian mutual fund, secondary PE structured products. Him: SA at infrastructure PE and S&T at a BB).

Thanks!

Dec 18, 2018

Howdy - maybe get in the door with some of the smaller players to start (speaking for the US at least) TD, RBC, Nomura, Miz, Sumitomo, Wells, BMO, Macquarie, etc.? The truth is that it's harder to start at top shop with no full time experience than it is to lateral into a similar seat at a much better firm once you have touch points in industry and deals under your belt. Feel free to PM me if I didn't answer this the way you were hoping. Cheers

    • 2
Dec 15, 2018

Have you seen an uptick in applicants/downtick in hiring over the last 2 months?

What I'm getting at is, any merit to the seemingly daily Bloomberg articles about the industry collapsing?

Dec 16, 2018

Massive uptick generally speaking. Lots of closures and fewer places to go. Small launches aren't raising capital and the hugeness multi managers are taking inflows which means it's more of the same mainstream recruiting calls. We're on the cusp of a really dislocated recruiting market I feel.

    • 1
Dec 17, 2018

And so would you say that this will make it more difficult for a 2 + 2 (2 years IB, 2 years PE) to break into the HF industry since there is more talent in the market that already has market experience?

Dec 16, 2018

Do you care about the CFA?
Do you care about having a MBA?
What about people who went straight to a HF right out of undergrad?

Dec 16, 2018

Answered the last bit a few times in this thread so in short depends on the program but on average banking is a stronger start than any buy side rortation. Cfa is a good add on for traders to show they have more fundamental analysis skills than their jobs let on. MBA is a depreciating asset in 2018

Dec 22, 2018

If someone joins a good HF out of undergrad then you don't perceive that as a better starting point than IB? What do you mean by "buy side rotation" ?

Dec 16, 2018

How hard is it for junior/senior analysts to find a new gig if their PM's pod at a multi-manager or single manager fund blow up (L/S equity, fundamental focused)? Do they become "damaged goods" or are other PMs willing to overlook this?

Also, are you seeing junior/senior L/S equity analysts leave the industry altogether? Like going back to banking, trying to get into PE, going to work in industry, etc

    • 4
Dec 18, 2018

I made note of that last point in another comment a few days ago I think. It's basically the worst time to be in your late 20's and looking for another buy side seat as a result of a fund blowing up. More dislocated analysts than ever and fewer funds to go to than ever.

As for the first point, it's not impossible and is really dependent on your pedigree, coverage, and style. Moving forward we're going to see funds tighten risk and draw down exposures to a low net if not totally net neutral. If you're coming from a Lone Pine style fund it's going to be very difficult to port that strategy to a new name fund as chances are they're running a higher gross of names and lower net than you're used to. The benefit of coming out of a multi manager is that people understand why it doesn't work out on average. Can go into more detail if you have specific questions to your own background. Feel free to DM me. Hope that helps!

    • 2
Dec 19, 2018

As someone that matches that description, what are some things you would recommend to find a new seat?

Dec 16, 2018

For the multistrats / platform funds....when it comes to active day trading of global macro/interest rates trading (not HFT...not algo...but model driven trades that last 1-2 hours on avg)....what minimum stats (performance/risk/capacity) are they looking for?

just google it...you're welcome

Dec 18, 2018

Honestly that's not my area of expertise so I don't want to fabricate an answer. I can put you in touch with someone who does this day and night to the extent you'd want a touch point in my industry (works 10 feet away from me) but I am sadly not your guy. Cheers

Dec 18, 2018

yes, i'd appreciate that. if you don't want to put contact info on this public board, please PM me contact details.

thanks

just google it...you're welcome

Dec 18, 2018

It's awesome that you are answering questions. Thank you.

How would a day-trader like myself approach a job hunt? I graduated from a good business school, but instead of getting a job, I decided to trade for myself. I have done well, but given this market condition, I would like to quit a winner and start my "Street" career.

Dec 18, 2018

His- that's a tough background to leverage. I'd suggest trying to get to a prop trading shop so to have a levered track record and show that you're able to work in an institutional setting. Low delta on a hedge fund seat unless it's a small start up.

Dec 18, 2018

Do you see people coming from commodities as useful hires or do you prefer people who work with different asset classes/products?

Dec 18, 2018

What is the best way to get into merger arbitrage? I am very interested in that strategy. Are there any search firms that work extensively on that subset?

Dec 18, 2018

Hey! I shot you a DM but I am guessing you have gotten a bunch in the past few days so they're easy to miss. You mentioned you work with Two Sigma type funds sometimes, and I've been looking into getting my foot in the door with those types of quant funds. I have a couple years of strategy consulting experience and a hard STEM background - do they typically work with recruiters, does it depend on the role, fund, etc.? Would appreciate any tips.

Dec 19, 2018

Does the fund you work do international arbitrage/MM? I'd love to work with you guys :)

Array

Dec 19, 2018

Left you a PM

Dec 20, 2018

To what extent are you seeing people from quantitative asset managers reach out to you or vice versa? Not necessarily funds like 2sigma but systematic shops like Panagora, AQR, Acadian, etc. that run both hedged and long only strategies? I know that a lot of funds are trying to bring on quant/data science types to build out quantamental or integrate systematic ideas to some degree. I'm curious to hear to what extent you are seeing quants move to the other side? I've had a few conversations with fundamental PMs, both at multimanagers as well as single managers regarding these types of opportunities but it seems like there is frequently misunderstanding or misaligned expectations.

    • 1
Dec 20, 2018

We're retained by all of the mentioned. Our particular firm is rooted in quant and so we've always had long standing relationships with the large AM's and fast moving macro funds. It's a tough search for someone exclusively trying to make it in quant / HFT trading at those funds as, to your point, there is typically some sort of box left unchecked -- be it technical skills, sharpe, geographic focus, work life balance etc. I don't have any specific advice beyond asking salient questions to your recruiters before engaging

    • 2
Dec 20, 2018

I'm not at one of the shops above but one that is pretty similar. Happy where I am but am very curious to see if the quantamental stuff is just hype or if it's truly a big alpha opportunity. If it is, I'd like to jump in since I'm pretty early in my career but I also don't want to join ex-banker bros who see quants as tech support. A stereotype but it's sometimes difficult to tell how sold a PM is on implementing systematic ideas when they don't come from that background.

Dec 21, 2018

Hey thank you OP for your post. Had a few quick questions for you.

Brief Background:
-non target liberal arts/econ undergrad, captain of varsity team
-4 years debt capital markets/senior fixed income analyst at bulge bracket
-1/2 years associate at ER boutique, TMT/Equities

Looking to get an MBA or a full-time non-mba masters degree from a Harvard, Stanford, Wharton/U-Penn in the upcoming year.

How difficult would it be to make a jump to a L/S Equity fund, ideally getting an internship during the graduate program and then securing a full time role after graduation? If its not an MBA but a related master's degree from one of these schools, does it make that much of a difference in terms of credibility/what the funds look for in a candidate?

Thank you for your time

Dec 24, 2018

That's a tough background man. MBA helps that sort of transition in general but I feel that the MBA is a depreciating asset in a buyers (fund managers) recruiting market.

    • 1
    • 1
Dec 26, 2018

tough background as in, tough to make the transition you think?

I get what you mean about the MBA - if I had attended a target undergrad I would probably not even consider going back to school. I think having that brand name helps though...wouldn't you agree?

Dec 26, 2018
JFKCFJ10:

Hey thank you OP for your post. Had a few quick questions for you.

Brief Background:
-non target liberal arts/econ undergrad, captain of varsity team
-4 years debt capital markets/senior fixed income analyst at bulge bracket
-1/2 years associate at ER boutique, TMT/Equities

Looking to get an MBA or a full-time non-mba masters degree from a Harvard, Stanford, Wharton/U-Penn in the upcoming year.

How difficult would it be to make a jump to a L/S Equity fund, ideally getting an internship during the graduate program and then securing a full time role after graduation? If its not an MBA but a related master's degree from one of these schools, does it make that much of a difference in terms of credibility/what the funds look for in a candidate?

Thank you for your time

a good friend of mine was in a similar situation...i suggest going after a BB equity research role (i see openings fairly often from guys who leave those seats to goto buyside funds). So, you want to fill one of those openings...and then after 2-3 years you will be eligible for buyside recruiting yourself.

just google it...you're welcome

Dec 26, 2018

Thank you for your response, faceslappingcompilation I appreciate it.

Do you think still going to grad school at a H/S/W would help secure a summer internship at a BB equity research shop, then turn that into an offer, work 2-3 years, then start looking to move to a L/S Fund?

Dec 21, 2018

Hey OP - I wanted to get your thoughts/advice on how I could pivot into the HF space. My brief background:
* Econ/Finance undergrad
* Completed 3 levels of CFA
* Breaking Into Wall Street completion
* Been working at an endowment for 2.5 since graduating. Cover equities, credit, and hedge fund strategies

Do you think I need to pivot into a more technical role before I can jump into a hedge fund? Could be equity or credit oriented roles. I feel like I have a compelling background and more than capable of doing the job, but I don't have the IB training. Would love to get your advice on this!!

Thanks.

    • 1
Dec 24, 2018

Interesting - drop me a DM? That's a unique situation and I'm curious the background of your endowment. Can discuss live - honestly no generic advice for you outside of developing single name case studies and don't waste time on an MBA.

Jul 3, 2019

I am in a very similar situation. Non-target undergrad in finance. I have been working at small, long only buy-side firm (less than $1 billion) in the midwest for 2 years as an intern then an investment analyst (generalist) doing fundamental research on global public equities. I just took level 3 of the CFA. Would love to have a talk with you about the recruiting scene, exit ops, comp expectations, etc. PM me if you get a chance.

Dec 21, 2018

Thanks much for the AMA and the helpful info you've given so far. Question - Do you look at people from non-traditional backgrounds to go into HFs? For example, working at a large private credit fund looking to transition to a special sits/distressed/deep value fund? Thanks mate!

Dec 24, 2018

Sure - I do a lot of work in moving people from private credit to distressed or cross cap structure shops.
It's a harder path as those seats are dwindling in numbers but for sure. Drop me a DM if you'd like me to discuss live. Cheers.

    • 1
Jan 29, 2019

Ekoa,

This is exactly the move I'm trying to make, would love to speak live when you have a moment!

Dec 21, 2018

Hi - appreciate the Q&A and have enjoyed following along. I'll ask the same question I've asked on the forum before, but suspect you may have better insight than the average monkey.

How difficult do you think it is for a good long-only analyst to transition into a fundamental role at one of the bigger platform shops? Experienced hire, post-MBA with 5-7 years of coverage experience at the analyst level. Usually the first couple rounds of interviews with these firms are smooth sailing, but my experience has been that the PMs ultimately have trouble visualizing a long-only analyst being effective on the short-side, and they want someone who is more "plug and play". Idea turnover might also be a perceived weakness? Any advice for places with a reputation for looking across to wider range of backgrounds?

Thanks!

    • 1
Dec 24, 2018

Not the answer you're likely wanting to hear but just keep taking conversations and develop competitive short case studies on your own. It's about knowing the right funds at the right time. It's a hard market to recruit in for even traditional transitions never mind the more opportunitic ones like yourself. Drop me a DM if you want to chat through it fund by fund. Cheers.

    • 1
Dec 22, 2018

What is the market for Structured Products like ?

Dec 22, 2018

Senior credit analyst (10 years plus) across the spectrum of structured particularly down in credit

Dec 24, 2018

Hurting - interesting activity in CLO though!

Dec 22, 2018

How do corporate folk place at HF and PE, those with both Corp fin + business (marketing, sales, product, etc) experience? Does an MBA make a big difference for them?

Dec 24, 2018

Get the MBA. Leaving Corp finance seats for the hedge fund world is extremely difficult especially now that it's a thinner market for seats than ever.

Dec 22, 2018

Hey Ekoa,

Thank you so much for creating this thread.

As an undergrad who accepted a job in a BB in NYC from a non-target, but is now curious about things outside the PE / VC spaces, are there any quintessential books you'd point to for really understanding the space & roles?

Thanks!

Dec 24, 2018

The Quants - when genius failed is a favorite but not an investing bible by any stretch. Congrats on the new gig - networking will take you farther than the books imo. Learn from people that will brag about the sharp kid they're mentoring.

Dec 22, 2018

Thanks for all the details on this topic.
Do you have any recommendations on recruiters for someone coming from a flow trading role in physical commodities trading shop (Vitol, Trafigura, Glencore type companies) to move to similar roles in some NYC hedge funds with a macro or commodities focus?

When old Mr. Partridge kept saying, “Well, you know this is a bull market!” he really meant to say that the big money wasn’t in the individual fluctuations but in the main movements, not in reading the tape but in sizing up the entire market and its trend
Dec 24, 2018

Happy to connect you with my colleague who specializes in commods on the buy side in specifically trading seats if it's helpful. Drop me a dm?

Dec 27, 2018

That would be great. I will DM you right now. Thanks.

When old Mr. Partridge kept saying, “Well, you know this is a bull market!” he really meant to say that the big money wasn’t in the individual fluctuations but in the main movements, not in reading the tape but in sizing up the entire market and its trend
Dec 22, 2018

deleted

Jan 8, 2019

Damn - I guess OP still not back from vacay :(

Dec 24, 2018

Would you mind sending me a quick PM? I'm out at the moment but would love to hear your perspective on a thing or two.

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

Dec 26, 2018

Hi there, thanks for posting this! I recently applied to a hedge fund and they asked me to list my SAT scores (as I am sure many do). The problem is I can't for the life of me remember what they are, and I cannot find access to them via College Board or my school. I can make a guess that for sure won't be on-point with my real scores and I can't submit the application until I fill out this field. I am worried that if my guesses are inaccurate, they will request proof of scores and it will make me look bad. Will they verify them? What is the best thing I can do? Thanks again!

Dec 28, 2018

Hi @Ekoa

Thanks for the AMA, you are awesome!
I came from PE + VC background and looking to break into HF L/S to cover TMT.
I PMed you for advice.

Hope you had a good Xmas!!

Dec 29, 2018

Bit of a different question.

So, I've talked to a lot of recruiters over the years. Most have been pretty useless/ repetitive. Some I like to check up on once in a while (or if they have an opportunity listed).

Do recruiters get annoyed when they sense you're using other recruiters? Is there buzz if your resume is showing up in different places from different people?

I get the feeling most recruiters are treating our relationship as completely transactional anyways, but every once in a while I shoot someone an email, don't get a response, and wonder if they decided they hate me for some reason.

Jan 7, 2019

Greatly appreciate the insight of this QA and your willingness to take the time to answer our questions. I'm out of PMs, so if you could PM to connect I'd greatly appreciate it.

ps - Not looking to use your connection for a job right now, just a connection for the future. Thanks!

Jan 18, 2019

Hi @Ekoa I am about to graduate with an MEng in BioProcess Engineering, and I have one year of experience in engineering consulting for the Pharmaceutical / Biotech Industry. I have thought myself python to a reasonable level, and over the past year, I have used both it and VBA to generate complex models.

I am hoping to change career and try to break into the finance industry. To aid this, I have undertaken a short diploma in trading to give myself a basic understanding of how the markets function.

With this background is there any way I could pivot myself into a trading/equity research role? I am hoping to avoid enrolling in a second master program!

Any guidance would be much appreciated!

Jan 28, 2019

Thank you so much for taking the time to make this post!

I'm passionate about investing, and really working at a HF or PE fund is a secondary goal for me, with my primary goal being to develop my abilities as an investor and read as much as possible about markets, primarily for enjoyment but this of course also builds a body of knowledge.

That said, I would be grateful to hear your insight regarding a good path for me into equity-focused or distressed HF roles.

My brief background:

  • T20 LAC undergrad (non-target)
  • internship at PE firm (~$1bn fund size, $2-3bn AUM)
  • summer analyst in IBD at MM IB
  • have accepted full-time offer at aforementioned MM IB

I am currently thinking my next move will be to lateral to a BB or EB. I feel better about going into the lateral recruitment process knowing now what the job of a banking analyst actually entails.

Thank you so much for any insight you can provide and for taking the time in general.

Feb 25, 2019

What does average comp (salary + bonus) look like for someone in your industry?

Mar 1, 2019

Hey! How feasible is it to move from AM to HF provided you work at an established large fund with more than 300bln in AUM? Also, which track is it best to take in AM given one's ambition to eventually join a HF, should one go for the PM track or the buy-side equity research track?

Mar 2, 2019
Comment
Jul 13, 2019
Jul 19, 2019
Jul 23, 2019
Jul 30, 2019
Aug 1, 2019