Is the competition for hedge fund seats not that intense in London?

On Linkedin I have been looking at analysts working at top hedge funds in London. Their backgrounds do not look that impressive. A few were hired out of undergraduate and a few worked for a year or two in random finance jobs (not ER or IB) before making the jump. Those that worked in ER did not work for top banks or sell side research companies. 

I have read on this forum that it is very difficult to break into a tiger cub or a top hedge fund but is this difficulty only applicable to recruitment in the US? 

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Comments (5)

Sep 8, 2021 - 3:31pm

This isn't just the UK.....what you are seeing is reality versus the formulaic approach suggested by many interns and 1st year analysts on WSO. The more you work in finance, the more you will run into people with all sorts of backgrounds.

Just as an example, the smartest hedge fund analyst I ever met came from basically Kansas State University.

Sep 8, 2021 - 6:00pm

I have to +1 this post because seriously it always baffles me this 'perfection' I see and hear on this site. Everyone went to the best schools, everyone is top-bucket, everyone got recruited at a top fund etc when in reality it's very much the opposite. A shit-ton of non-formulaic candidates make it big in 'high-finance' but you'd never believe it if you lived on this site

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  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 8, 2021 - 8:57pm

Might get monkeyshit for this but I think OP has a bad take on things. I think there are a few reasons (some structural) why this appears to be the case.

London has less big funds in general (discount the platforms please which has haphazard hiring and is not your classic PE -> HF path even in the US. When's the last time you saw a guy do Apollo to Baly?). So unless you really love public markets, there's quite a large amount of inertia for a PE associate to go start looking or even prepare for them when great seats don't open up much. Next point is that heck - alot of these funds do have people with pedigree. Look at Elliott or whatever. On your point about people from undergrad and non Tier 1 sellside ER positions. I haven't worked with anyone directly from undergrad and I don't think this is the norm. But either way I don't see why that's a bad thing from a 'prestige' point of view. If someone who did BX undergrad fits your pedigree criteria then why wouldn't an undergrad from a large multibillion HF do the same? (Again, excluding platforms). And if you're actually on the buyside, you will realise very quickly that GS/MS/JPM don't necessarily have the best research analysts. You prioritise whoever you think is the best analyst on the name or subsector and you'd be surprised how often this doesn't come from GS for example. Best SS analysts that want to become investors can come from anywhere. 

Long story short - I have no idea why you think the quality of HF analysts in London are lower as judging on pedigree is a weak benchmark. But even then there are many with top prior experience in the top shops. 

Sep 10, 2021 - 9:36am

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