HF Recruiting - Am I being played?

Ahoy all - I have been talking to a few MMs for a while now and every I ask about any job openings they say "nothing open at this time". However I recently heard from people that those same MMs have been hiring Analysts (junior people) like crazy. Headhunters are either ignoring my mails or doing the same with me. Am I being played? How can I turn it around in my favor, if at all? 

Background -- Work at a small 100mn family office in midwest. 2+ years now with a 2 summers in IB. Graduated from a target school, cum laude. 

Would appreciate your thoughts!

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Comments (31)

  • PM in HF - Other
Nov 24, 2021 - 3:03pm

They are looking to hire big time currently but still very picky so essentially you background has not hit anyone who fits yet. But you probably are an attractive candidate still. You could try to network with someone at one of the MM you been targeting and see where could improve your candidacy. 

  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 24, 2021 - 3:58pm

Thanks! I have been in touch with BD team at some of the MMs. Would speaking to Analysts / PMs be of any help there? From what I gather, BD people are usually the gatekeepers...is that true?

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 24, 2021 - 4:52pm

Do you need to have stock pitches ready when reaching out to BD or is that more for interviews?

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  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 24, 2021 - 3:57pm

Thanks for the insight. I have been speaking with BD guys at 2 of the MMs and 1 was through a headhunter. Do you think I should be reaching out to Analysts / PMs?

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Nov 24, 2021 - 6:56pm

Yes, you should be networking with analysts and PMs if you can. Do you have an alumni network or similar? Your background seems solid, so you should have decent opportunities (interviews, etc). Make sure you are reaching across many firms because lots are hiring. I know I'm more senior, but I get calls every week or so, and have had to compete with many other funds for junior talent. 

Nov 24, 2021 - 8:48pm

Your background probably just doesn't work, and networking with PMs won't change that.

MMs are always hiring, but most of the time, they're looking for industry specialists that know their sector and can join a team plug-n-play. Say, a sell side equity research associate covering insurance can easily join a financials pod at Citadel. When not looking for that profile, the PM might be looking for someone more junior that they can train, someone without the sector expertise but with proven modeling skills. In this case, an IB analyst tends to be the preferred path.

You don't give a lot of detail on what your current role is, but someone at a family office at first sight doesn't fit the former nor the latter profiles I mention, so you're at a disadvantage. As easy as that.

  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 24, 2021 - 9:17pm

Appreciate your insight. The family office I work focuses on long only US equities across all sectors. I guess that still doesnt fit either of the profiles you mentioned.

Why are bankers preferred?

Nov 24, 2021 - 9:20pm

Bankers go through very comprehensive modeling training, and are perceived to have a strong work ethic and able to work under pressure, given the crazy hours in banking.

Look, your background ins't terrible, but add to it the fact you're Midwest-based, which would require you to move for most of the roles based on the East coast.. and your resume is clearly a much harder sell than an ER or IB analyst based in NYC.

  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 26, 2021 - 3:28pm

It's a good gig for the lifestyle but there is little room for growth imo. There is no clear strategy (except for whatever the head person likes (its his money and he is the PM)) and I feel like I could learn more elsewhere. 

  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 26, 2021 - 6:29pm

Been talking to people at LO funds and they advised me against it. Said I was better off joining a LO fund later in my career. 

Nov 27, 2021 - 10:49am

Having done both I'd actually give you the opposite advice. First of all it's a lot easier to go from a LO seat to a MM seat than the other way around. Second, it's a better environment to learn how to invest. I've found a lot of people in the MM world without any other "real" investment experience (PE/LO/SM HF) are oftentimes at a disadvantage. Lastly, in the probable case that you join a MM and find yourself unemployed in a year or two, it will be much easier to land another job in LO.

Also, I don't want to give you the wrong impression here, quality LO jobs are some of the hardest jobs in finance to land. Most would not leave a quality LO seat for a MM FWIW. 

  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 27, 2021 - 11:34am

I absolutely agree with you on the quality of LO seat and that is my longer term goal. Maybe I should be more aggressive on the LO side as well. Anyways I will try in the new year. 

And if you don't mind me asking, what type of fund are you at now and could you maybe, in broad strokes, describe your experience there?

Most Helpful
Nov 28, 2021 - 12:20pm

Just my personal opinion, but I think when you join a MM without any other investing experience, you get introduced to certain things too early. I think the best progression is to learn "real investing" first (i.e. ability to develop a real differentiated investment thesis), followed by joining a MM where you can learn more about managing risk, shorter investment horizons, etc. 

Have found that when people join a MM straight out of school or ib or whatever, they lose out on some of the fundamental building blocks and become speculators (which most of us are speculators anyways, but helps to layer that skillset on top of an investing skillset). The MM model is about getting up to speed and churning out ideas soon after starting, and many junior guys get caught up in the "long because credit card data shows a beat and short interest is high" types of theses without getting a chance to really think critically about the businesses they cover. They are often the weak hands in trades, get caught up in macro, make trades based on positioning/squeezes, etc. Not saying this can't work, but during periods of market turbulence, it's helpful to have that strong fundamental background to lean on. 

Anecdotally too, I've found many of the best PM's at MM's to have come from a LO/Tiger Cub/PE background or trained under another PM with that background. Of course, this is just my experience. I'm sure there are a lot of examples of PM's crushing without having any of the background listed above. This business is often one of outliers anyways...

Nov 28, 2021 - 9:34am

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