Is it possible to switch from a Macro HF to L/S HF

I wanted to know if it was common for undergraduates who started off at a Macro hedge fund to hop ship over to a l/s fundamental role after a couple of years. would also like to know if the reverse is also true: is it feasible to go from l/s to macro. 

Any insight or advantages/drawbacks are welcomed. Just wanting to learn how HF's think about talent.

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Comments (10)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 4, 2021 - 10:14am

Just gonna chime in and say it's definitely possible. My boss started in macro out of undergrad to FoF to L/S.

Edit: To make it clear this is obviously not the ideal or normal path, a lot of happenstance is required to move around this much in the HF space. Just saying it can happen.

  • Intern in HF - Macro
Feb 4, 2021 - 4:20pm

How would one make the shift and how would you sell the story?

Feb 4, 2021 - 8:15pm

Don't be misled. "Possible" does not mean easy. It will be very difficult. If your end goal is to do l/s equity, there are many paths outside of HFs that would make for an easier transition than from macro.

I have been doing equities for many years and have met zero people that came from macro. I'm sure there are some out there, but just be aware the chances of that happening are very very slim.

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  • Intern in HF - Macro
Feb 4, 2021 - 8:40pm

Thanks for the response. Can you provide some insight as to why that transition is so difficult and hard to come by...are the skillsets so wildly differentiated that they can't be transferable or is it something else besides that?

Feb 4, 2021 - 8:43pm

the skillsets are super different. In macro most processes are driven by quant analysis/fixed income style analysis, which is a different type of model to build vs operating models used in fundamental equities. I worked at a macro fund and I never built an operating model, never invested in a single name. Could tell you a lot about my feelings about where different commodities are trading and trends in G10 fixed income, but my job had nothing to do with stock picking.

  • Intern in HF - Macro
Feb 4, 2021 - 8:57pm

Thank you, that makes a lot of sense.

Would it be better to work at a well-known macro HF out of undergrad versus an unknown but growing L/S equity fund if the end goal is L/S.

On average do macro funds perform better than l/s funds?

Feb 4, 2021 - 9:40pm

All else equal I believe top brand name is most important for your first experience.

That said I would generally expect different types of people to succeed in macro vs L/S... macro more quanty, L/S more bankery. Up to you whether you find developing quant models or pouring through 10Qs more interesting. For the type of decision you describe I would take the brand name, unless you hate math/quant projects.

Performance in hedge funds is extremely variable... there isn't even 1 type of macro fund so I could hardly tell you what performs the best. 

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