Leaving a single manager to start a book at a platform

bulge4lyf's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 689

Has anyone made the switch from being an analyst at a single manager to being a PM on any of the platforms?

As background, I've been at a single manager for 6 years and have covered my sector for a total of 8 years. I'm making ok but not great money for someone my level (500-750K) but have always had ambitions of becoming a PM (generally not possible at single managers)

I've now been offered the chance to run a small book at one of the platforms, with the usual parameters (market neutral etc etc) and trying to decide whether it's worth leaving a relatively secure and stable seat to pursue the platform opportunity.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Comments (106)

Apr 6, 2019

Don't think there is much that anyone on this site will tell you that you don't already know tbh. Giving up security/stability for potential upside, so it depends how comfortable you are with that risk. Is performance good at your current fund? Any real issues beyond your inability to manage money there?

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Apr 6, 2019

Not me personally but have seen this transition (sm analyst to mm pm) happen many times with success. As you probably know, the main issue is whether your process can survive what are usually much tighter risk parameters. If a good chunk of your success at the single manager has been due to the ability to hold/add to high conviction losers and take the pain for an extended time before they rally back tremendously, then you'll probably get blown out quickly at a multi manager. You just have to be very honest with yourself on that.

If you've already been operating under similar risk parameters at your sm fund with success, then by all means go for the mm. Depending on where you're going to and coming from, it could also be an upgrade in terms of support infrastructure especially if you go to somewhere like citadel. Your bear case is that you get blown out quickly and go back to being an analyst at another sm (or even being an analyst at another mm). This happens all the time and people are generally understanding of taking the swing at a PM seat. Also anecdotally your 500-750k isn't really all that special in terms of analyst comp, so not like you're sitting on a golden stable opportunity that you have to worry about never being able to find again.

Another area to think about is how involved you have been as an analyst in structuring trades at your sm fund. The best mm PMs I've seen are excellent at using options, and if you've been one of those down in the weeds research analysts without much exposure to using options, this is a potential area of growth for you.

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Apr 6, 2019

The functional outputs of the different risk framekwork that @Acidophilus notes are probably some of:
1. Are you confident that you can consistently and profitably short? This Q matters the more net long you tended to run at the single manager.
2. Sizing and breadth framework: What is the largest and smallest number of names you've had risk on? What have been your largest and smallest position sizes? Compare these to your expectation / baseline at the destination multi-manager?
3. Velocity, duration and profit taking: What has your turnover and idea generation pace looked like? How big are your winners and losers? This is a function of #2 I guess, but again, quite different at a pod
4. How comfortable are you hiring, building and trusting a team? Never met a multi-manager PM that didn't have at least one analyst supporting them

One area of disagreement: It's a small sample size, but I have not met any multi-manager L/S equity guys that use options

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Apr 7, 2019

I'm not sure how widespread it is but take a look at plotkin's fund holdings on whalewisdom for an example. Lists quite some options.

Apr 7, 2019
tangent style:

Never met a multi-manager PM that didn't have at least one analyst supporting them

Plenty of those, actually. This said, I'd agree that it's not a smart decision to stay alone as a savings strategy. You get two shots at hiring people - early on when you just joined or when you already built some credibility. So if you have stuff to build, it's better to hire people early. IMHO that's based on personal experience of doing the opposite.

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Apr 6, 2019

I think @Acidophilus made some really good points.

The other point I guess is to understand why you are not making more. Does the manager simply not pay that well? Are peers paid better because of performance or politics? Is the comp formula weird? Has performance been crap? Does your seat offer exceptional downside protection in the sense that you have a lot of leeway for errors?

Also, given the volatility/short duration of MM careers, I'd make sure to sense check your monthly cash burn vs. (liquid) net worth. You might get stopped out at a bad time, be stuck in a non-compete (not sure if these apply if they boot you), and then trying to get back in a shit market.

DYEL

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May 5, 2019

Yes, once OP decides he's willing to take the offer at the platform the next step should be to try to negotiate better comp at his current shop, as working at a platform can have a lot of downsides (fd I've never worked at a platform but friends have).

One caveat is that it's hard to say if 500-700k is fair without knowing OP's exposure, performance, and comp trajectory (historical and prospective).

Apr 7, 2019
bulge4lyf:

I'm making ok but not great money for someone my level (500-750K) but have always had ambitions of becoming a PM (generally not possible at single managers)

Your expected value as a PM is lower than your current take. There is, obviously, a tail case when you are going to be wildly successful and take home mid 7 figures, but a more probable case is that you end up booted out after a couple years. Depends on the shop, your Sharpe ratio and the opportunities, of course.

bulge4lyf:

I've now been offered the chance to run a small book at one of the platforms, with the usual parameters (market neutral etc etc) and trying to decide whether it's worth leaving a relatively secure and stable seat to pursue the platform opportunity.

Pros: You are long convexity w.r.t to your PnL and mostly make your own decisions.
Cons: It's a hard gig and failure rate is very high.

My approach would be very dependent on the current setup beyond money. First, evaluate your current setup - do you like your PM? do you like your fund? do you like your coworkers? How important is "social infrastructure" for you? Then evaluate how much you'd need to build at a multimanager? Do you have the skills to do it on your own? Do you know people if you need to hire them? Do you think you have the full skillset to be a stand-alone PM (trust me, it sucks to discover that you don't when you are already sitting in that chair)?

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Apr 7, 2019

do you have some kind of multi year track record at current shop? if so, can always come back to single manager as a senior analyst if you have shown you can generate consistent profitable ideas

Apr 8, 2019

I was approached once by one of the prominent MMs and basically said that I came from a background that would never work in the multi-manager model. I don't want to speak for certain firms, but you basically get your capital cut if you are down 5-8% and some places will blow you out when you are down 10%. Almost of all of the MM platforms also have internal risk management desk which actively take positions to hedge across many factors on the aggregate book. If you're down a lot and close to unwinding, they will start trading against you.

Its a proven model that works for LPs and makes the owners of the GPs rich. The turnover is brutally high for a reason though.

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Apr 8, 2019
Gray Fox:

I don't want to speak for certain firms, but you basically get your capital cut if you are down 5-8% and some places will blow you out when you are down 10%.

Yes, most places would have X+Y model, usually you'd have your capital cut in half when you hit X (or at least get a "check engine light") and walked to the door when you hit X+Y. It could be a hard dollar stop or could be some risk-based stop, too. You also gonna get questions if there are no opportunities and you are not putting any risk on. In general, you don't want to go to a bucket shop if your Sharpe is under 1.5ish (definitely not if it's under 1), you tend to go through long periods of no returns and if your strategy tends to wait for the right opportunities.

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Apr 8, 2019

Seems like members in this thread have an idea of what is considered "average" vs. "special" pay at the senior analyst level (i.e. someone said 500-750k for someone with 4 yrs of experience isn't "special").

Can you guys share anecdotally any data points, despite the obvious answer of "it varies". I've seen headhunter pay reports that suggest 600-700k is the median pay for mid/senior analyst with 5-10 years experience, with the 25-75th percentile range being $425k-1mm.

This was a report done with over 500 respondents...just trying to gauge how much people are BS'ing numbers / grass is greener as 500-750k is right around or above median range especially for someone with only 4yrs of public market experience vs. the above range for ppl with 5-10 yrs. The study notes 340-400-625k for 25th/median/75th percentile pay for candidates with 3-5yrs experience which makes the OP seem very comfortably at or above market even if he is say 30-32 y.o given his 4 yrs of non HF experience in the sector.

I also have another headhunters report that is significantly lower ranges but the population N seemed a bit low/not comparable to the HFs we are talking about.

Just curious to share data points is all. Don't mean any harm, ignorance or malice.

To add my own data point, my sister's boyfriend works at a L/S equity single manager, age 30 with 6 yrs experience and got ~$800k total comp (fund was up about 10% for the year)

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Apr 9, 2019

It depends where you are but I think I'm average to slightly below average. I'd expect to be making $600K - $800K with my experience. It really depends on the place though.

I share the above opinion that PMs want to pay talented analysts just enough to stay but not enough that they have the personal balance sheet to go out on their own...

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

Apr 9, 2019

It varies significantly. For single manager L/S equity there is pretty heavy overlap with the PE recruiting pool.

-There is a relatively uniform range for the "2+2+2" candidates. That is, if you do years banking, 2 years PE, and then 2 years HF there is a pretty parallel path in the PE universe that is competing for the same talent pool.

I'm not as sure on the market level rates right now, but back in the 2013-2015 range, the top banking jobs paid 2nd year analysts around 160k, 1st year PE comp was in the 275 range, 2nd year PE comp was in the 325-350 range. 2nd year PE associates were pseudo-forced to go to bschool, my understanding is that it has changed now. Post MBA associates were in the 500-600 range with a small piece of that being carry. At this point these people are 28-30. The top post MBA hedge fund roles compete against these seats, that is the general range. Obviously if you wind up at Viking/Lone Pine/etc you can make more than that out of business school.

After the first post mba promotion my friends at mega-fund PE places are making around 500 cash plus 500 carry that they don't really touch until they are 3-5 years down the line. I think this is close to a similar age range and cumulative experience level as an OP.

HF comp has been in secular (hopefully not structural) decline the last 5 years. Look at the widespread underperformance and fee compression.

I'm personally of the opinion that PMs want to pay talented analysts just enough to stay but not enough that they have the personal balance sheet to go out on their own...

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Apr 9, 2019

Are the numbers your quoting true for most single manager L/S funds? What about at MMs? Or is 500-600 mostly at the high end funds that are 5B+? If so, I don't understand why analysts are in such a rush to tool up on quant skills or the envy of quant researchers at comparably prestigious shops like 2sig,deshaw. I think if anything it sounds like there's a much more structured path for fundamental analysts and there are few points along that where you are taking significant risk. It also sounds like those comp numbers would actually dominate quant researchers.

Apr 10, 2019
coffeebreak:

Are the numbers your quoting true for most single manager L/S funds? What about at MMs? Or is 500-600 mostly at the high end funds that are 5B+? If so, I don't understand why analysts are in such a rush to tool up on quant skills or the envy of quant researchers at comparably prestigious shops like 2sig,deshaw. I think if anything it sounds like there's a much more structured path for fundamental analysts and there are few points along that where you are taking significant risk. It also sounds like those comp numbers would actually dominate quant researchers.

It's very hard to make upper 6 figures as a quant analyst (though head hunters and recruiters would like you to believe otherwise). The general tradeoff between systematic and fundamental (or anything discretionary for that matter) is as follows (d for discretionary, s for systematic):
[d] discretionary alpha tends to stick around for longer periods
[s] systematic alpha is much easier to learn and "export"
[s] it's much easier to find systematic jobs especially as a PM
[d] you can do systematic stuff in a discretionary seat but not the other way

I might have missed something...

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Apr 11, 2019

Tbh, 500-750k is not a bad comp for a stable gig. The largest MMs generally pay PMs a ~200k base + 15-20% of net pnl, and allocate a minimum $100 mio GMV, usually $500+ mio for equity books.

You can do the math on the expected pay, just keep in mind path dependency. You can also directly negotiate risk limits as part of your contract with a MM, however the path becomes difficult if you start off with a drawdown. MMs judge your performance vs peers, as they bucket each PM on the floor into asset class/style buckets. You will be shown the door in year 1 if you breach a soft threshold and are in the bottom quintile performance of your bucket.

Having said that, I'd go for the 20% net pnl.. 8 figure payout in a good year.

Apr 12, 2019
AretePursuit:

Having said that, I'd go for the 20% net pnl.. 8 figure payout in a good year.

Here are some quick back of the envelope thoughts:

a. As a first-time PM, his expected allocation is something like 200-300 (he could get less or he could get more, obviously, but he did say "small book").

b. Let's assume for a moment that he's gonna be running 200 with a 5/5/15. That is, soft/hard draw-down limits and split - even though it's open for negotiation, most big names give you something of that sort. You can get better splits with a tighter risk limit (HFT guys get 40 handle payouts). First draw-down might be truly soft or it might entail a capital/risk cut and most of places will have other measures in place like total beta etc.

c. Let's further assume that his Sharpe is about 1, which is an aggressive assumption for a long-short PM. In order to avoid the soft draw-down, he should be targeting 5% annualized volatility and similar returns (at most 7%). So his total PnL pre-costs is going to 10 bucks; assume 1 million of costs above the line.

d. Let's assume (a reasonable assumption given my anecdotal experience) that the failure rate for new PMs is about 80%.

If he's getting 15%, he's taking home a million and a half minus the reserve in the first couple years until they start giving him more capital. In a 2-SD scenario he's taking home 3 bucks, while to take home 8 figures (say 10 bucks) under the same risk assumptions, he needs to grow to at least something like 750. Multiply that by the failure rate and it makes more sense to stick around his current place.

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Apr 12, 2019

Damn. Seems difficult to attain 5% vol as a fundamental L/S PM...seems like you would have to take a lot of positions?

Apr 12, 2019

In all seriousness how do you calculate vol nowadays? We've gone years without a 3% drawdown in indexes and then do 10-16% drawdowns in a week (obviously on indexes). It seems like a lot of products do this over the past 5 years.

Maybe you can do that on a larger book with hedges. This might be the reason why vol itself is varies so much. If guys are too tightly modeling it then when something happens there forced to trade a lot.

Array
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Apr 12, 2019

Good points. Per OP, a "small" book is likely to be closer to ~200 mio. My assumptions were $500 GMV and 5/10/20. In a good +2 sigma year (running a 5/5% ret/vol strategy), you're taking home 10 bucks before overhead.

OP seems to be fundamental investor. I don't have direct experience in that style, but 5/5 thresholds seem very low for those strategies, assuming a 30-100 position book? I run on average ~1,000 positions, and most places were around 5/10 for my style.

I also wouldn't solely focus on the first moment (expectation) of earnings, but also variance and skew. It depends on OP's risk preferences. One can argue there's not much downside to being let go from a MM, and that there's value in the embedded call option.

Apr 13, 2019

I think your payout in expectation may be too conservative.

a/ 200-300 sounds about right though if still alive and kicking this ramps up fast

b/ HFT: getting a 40 handle payout seems high, though a lot of these strats have poor capacity and tend to evaporate rapidly. Not relevant but thought I'd mention this.

c/ I think 1 is too low. If a PM has a Sharpe of 1 I don't see how they have any business at a MM.

d/ I have no idea about this. But if this is close to the true survival rates then that's absolutely crazy. Is this for discretionary only?

May 18, 2019

What time frame are we talking for ~80% failure rate?

Apr 12, 2019

Why the fuck am I still on sell side

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Apr 12, 2019

You've made it to VP now your time has passed. Let us young bucks get a shot at HF glory.

money

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Apr 12, 2019

Why do you say that? VPs at elite boutiques clear 600-700k+ and from what I've seen at my elite boutique, MDs on average who are successful make more than the AVERAGE hedge fund non-PM senior analysts

Apr 12, 2019

He's talking about sellside research

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

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Apr 13, 2019

I love how people casually estimate MM PM comp based on "good, 2 st dev year" to get to a 10% return. Dude, a +2 st dev year by definition happens 1 in 50yrs. It is not a good year, is is an extraordinary year. And the 5% vol is on the highside of what a citadel or mlp expect. In other words, a 5% return at a MM is very good. 10% is a legendary year. Remember, you have to run close to market neutral at these shops. If you think it's easy to achieve more than 3-4% consistently of pure alpha, you dont know what you are getting into and are going to get run over.

As an analyst at single manager HF,
1) your fund probably runs fairly net long most of the time. At a MM, the construct is entirely different. You have to be honest with your self whether you can make money consistenly under effectively zero net exposure. Too many people in the industry think theyre geniuses because theyve made money while net long during a 10yr bull market. How did your positions do in 4Q18? 1Q16? Be honest with yourself about your process or you will struggle. You need to be smart thinking about factors, beta, and sensitivities of your book at every moment. Complaining "the market is too short term focused" or "i am a long term investor" wont cut it at a MM - you dont get paid millions of $ for lame excuses pulled from of Barrons.
2) a ton of new PMs struggle because their coverage universe is too thin. If youre building a book with minimum 50 names, you need to know 150 names really well. Many analysts making the transition have a narrower universe and struggle building a book because their sandbox is too limited.
3) this whole "easy to be an analyst again after blowing up as a MM PM" not always true. Have a quick look on linkedin and you will find scores of guys who had to leave the industry and reinvent themselves.

All in, if you pull it off, it is an exhilarating role with great rewards and also higher stress. But there are definitely risks involved.

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Apr 13, 2019
MMPM:

I love how people casually estimate MM PM comp based on "good, 2 st dev year" to get to a 10% return. Dude, a +2 st dev year by definition happens 1 in 50yrs. It is not a good year, is is an extraordinary year. And the 5% vol is on the highside of what a citadel or mlp expect. In other words, a 5% return at a MM is very good. 10% is a legendary year. Remember, you have to run close to market neutral at these shops. If you think it's easy to achieve more than 3-4% consistently of pure alpha, you dont know what you are getting into and are going to get run over.

As an analyst at single manager HF,
1) your fund probably runs fairly net long most of the time. At a MM, the construct is entirely different. You have to be honest with your self whether you can make money consistenly under effectively zero net exposure. Too many people in the industry think theyre geniuses because theyve made money while net long during a 10yr bull market. How did your positions do in 4Q18? 1Q16? Be honest with yourself about your process or you will struggle. You need to be smart thinking about factors, beta, and sensitivities of your book at every moment. Complaining "the market is too short term focused" or "i am a long term investor" wont cut it at a MM - you dont get paid millions of $ for lame excuses pulled from of Barrons.
2) a ton of new PMs struggle because their coverage universe is too thin. If youre building a book with minimum 50 names, you need to know 150 names really well. Many analysts making the transition have a narrower universe and struggle building a book because their sandbox is too limited.
3) this whole "easy to be an analyst again after blowing up as a MM PM" not always true. Have a quick look on linkedin and you will find scores of guys who had to leave the industry and reinvent themselves.

All in, if you pull it off, it is an exhilarating role with great rewards and also higher stress. But there are definitely risks involved.

OP shouldn't take advice from someone who thinks a "+2 sigma year happens every 50 years". Lol.

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Apr 14, 2019

I think he is referencing the rule of thumb that a +2sd event has a 2.5% chance of happening in a given year, so a 1 in 50 year event.

Aside from that, I agree with his numbers in that 5% return on gross is very solid for l/s equity. This would translate to 20% returns on the fund level. I also agree that it's very hard to make those pure market neutral returns. My long held view is that you need some informational advantage (big data nowadays) to consistently do that. I just don't think analytical edges cut it within this pure market neutral model, and of course there is no time horizon edge. By "this model" I mean one in which you are asked to discern increasingly fine differences in companies (i.e. neutralizing for industry, beta, factor, and what's already priced in). I welcome viewpoints to the contrary.

I would be curious to hear about PMs that successfully incorporate factor timing in their process. My limited experience has been that it's more from a monitoring standpoint (some places require beta, factor, industry neutral).

Apr 14, 2019

Keen to hear your thoughts on what makes a PM successful or fail at a MM. What are the most important things to bear in mind for a transition?

Also, you mention having a sufficiently large coverage universe. Would you say 150 is enough? How many analysts would be needed to sustain this, as I'm assuming it'd be difficult handling this many solo.

Thoughts on using options on a MM platform?

Most Helpful
Apr 14, 2019

150 names is not a hard rule. But >100 probably would be. Within any coverage universe, many (most?) names are not longs or shorts at any given time, just "passes" because they're fairly valued by the market and/or you have no variant view. So you certainly need more than 50 names under coverage if you're aiming to populate your book with 50ish names. 100+ is a good start.. I probably follow 150-ish to a certain degree. Some I'm always very close to, and others it's more superficial/non-current familiarity and I revisit or dig deeper when there's big price moves or they become topical for some reason.

On the things to bear in mind, we could probably write a book on the subject, but top 3 are probably 1) risk management, 2) time management and 3) psychology.

1) Risk management is often an abused idea, but I'll put it in very simple terms particularly as it relates to MM: at most of these funds, key priority is don't lose money. I'm amazed every time how many rookie MM PMs just don't get this. If you're running several hundred million AUM, you don't need to swing for the fences to get paid millions every year. Aiming for low/mid single digit returns is enough, and still so many guys get this wrong and they shoot for the stars in how they build their book. Then when they blow up, they complain that MMs are too short-term focused or they don't tolerate volatility. You were given these risk limits in your contract!! It's pretty simple, the more your book reflects exclusively a macro or factor view such as "economy is improving, rates/commodity prices are going higher, China trade situation is getting resolved (or not)" in which you have -face it- zero edge, the more likely you'll eventually blow out. The tighter you run your book to capture relative value within peer companies and idiosyncratic fundamentals, the safer you will be and the better you'll fit with the MM model. I'm talking long KO short PEP, long F short GM, etc. No one finds this sexy, but it's grinding out a few bps here and there in each of these pairs that works at a MM. If your book looks all like long AMZN short TSLA, you might be right on the fundamentals, but you'll last 2 weeks at a MM. Too many guys still don't get this when they join a MM.

2) Time management: if as an analyst it already feels like drinking from the waterhose every day, as a PM it gets worse. Besides staying on top of news, sell side research, earnings reports, etc, you have to manage the book. Staring at the tape and doing no work all morning is a classic pitfall for the newbie PM. Also, you can't go on vacation as just forget about your portfolio. Because your time is limited, you'll find yourself putting on positions having much less work on then than you were used to. Initially you feel guilty. Over time you learn how to triage things better, but you will still have a bunch of 1% positions where you've meaning to do the work for 3 weeks and still haven't gotten to it. Of course with larger positions you try to be more diligent.

3) Psychology. Being the decision maker sounds -and partly is- cool, but it also brings a lot of misery and exhaustion. When you're an analyst you've already grown accustomed to seeing your favorite long sink for days on no news, and you're never fully sure whether to pound the table or surrender. That anguish/fear/uncertainty is multiplied times 10 at the PM level. Because MMs trade a lot more frequently, you'll commit 2-3 dumb (in retrospect, as always) mistakes every week. It's tough to accept this - even after years of experience, they still make you feel like an idiot, and question whether your entire track record was just luck or whether you're actually capable. This is an incredibly humbling job, and there's no day it doesn't test your self esteem. One thing I'll say, if totally subjective/anecdotal: if you're the type of guy that's always 100% sure about his call, that pitches it louder than anyone at the idea dinners, that never doubts his thesis and always looks down on those taking the other side, you won't last long either. Probably applies to most things in life, come to think of it :)

Hope that's helpful.

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Apr 14, 2019
MMPM:

I love how people casually estimate MM PM comp based on "good, 2 st dev year" to get to a 10% return. Dude, a +2 st dev year by definition happens 1 in 50yrs. It is not a good year, is is an extraordinary year. And the 5% vol is on the highside of what a citadel or mlp expect. In other words, a 5% return at a MM is very good. 10% is a legendary year. Remember, you have to run close to market neutral at these shops. If you think it's easy to achieve more than 3-4% consistently of pure alpha, you dont know what you are getting into and are going to get run over.

I was giving 5% a mostly-optimistic scenario as an illustration of "if everything goes right, this is the EV" under assumption of 1 sharpe strategy. I don't interact with L/S PMs much but 3%-5% return on GMV is what I hear for pure stat arb PMs and these guys are usually running 1.5-2.0 Sharpes . I can't imagine L/S being higher in terms of return on GMV, as the turnover is most probably lower.

This said, there are usually some interesting capacity constrained opportunities, at least in my space (and I am sure in other fields too). IMHO, it helps a lot at the early stages to show better return on capital and ROC, builds some credibility for the future.

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Apr 24, 2019

I would think L/S should have higher return/higher variance on a less levered capital base (vs. statarb). These guys are punters, not Viking/Glenview. Although it does make sense that higher turnover should imply higher % returns.

Apr 14, 2019

Can someone give more color on the career path of a PM that gets blown out of a MM?

If you get blown out of say P72, then how easy is it to get a shot at MLP / citadel / etc as a PM? How hard is it go to back to a "Senior Analyst" type role at a single manager? How hard to switch industries if necessary?

Anything concrete would be helpful, thanks.

PS. One of the better threads I've read here in a while, so thanks to all who contributed

Apr 14, 2019

Generally hard to go back to a single manager. My experience is that most single managers ( my place included) look down on the MMs. Hence I think it's a one way street.

Fwiw, I've decided not to pursue it.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

Apr 16, 2019

Yea I get that - but at the same time I wonder about long term career trajectory. Do you plan on staying in a "Senior Analyst" type role your whole career? From my vantage point seems much easier to get a PM gig at a MM than to start a new fund from scratch and fundraise by yourself. Wondering how you're thinking about long term career path..

Apr 22, 2019

Like with all things, it depends.

If you did P/E and / or have prior single-manager experience you can still get single manager roles. The limiting factors:

1) A lot of people in the industry are assholes who have undue regard for their own professional path (I'm a decade in and joke PMs still ask me how I learned to model if I didn't do banking). Single manager ppl will tend not to value MM experience.

2) If you're a PM you're probably relatively senior in your career, and there are very few single-manager roles at the mid-senior/ senior level (most prefer to train analysts in house).

As far as getting another PM role, it depends on how strong your resume was and how you did at your prior role (i.e. why you blew up). Its not at all uncommon for people to have PMed at 2 or 3 of these places over the course of a career.

As with anything in investing, there are far more candidates than roles though so even an experienced PM may have a tough time rebounding.

Apr 22, 2019

What are reasons for blowing up that wouldn't disqualify you from getting another PM seat? (sorry for double negative)

If I had to guess, I would say that cases where you generated a lot of PnL and then had a bad beat could be defensible. Although getting to a point where you can lose 5% and still be +ve overall would probably take >1 year assuming standard MM returns...

For example, let's say you started with $100 and made 4% in 2017 and 2018, now you have $108.16. If you draw down 5% on 1/1/2019 (imaginary situation), you end up with $102.75. Still positive overall, but only 1.37% average return over your tenure.

Seems like getting another seat purely on the basis of overall track record would be tough.

Apr 14, 2019

Is it a career ended if you blow out as a multi-manager PM unconditionally? What if you're not in equities? Or if you're relatively young?

Jun 1, 2019

No, its not.

It depends on a variety of factors. As I've implied above the biggest one is the totality of your carrer.

If you were a solid analyst for 5+ years then blew out your first year trying to PM, you can probably convince ppl that you just weren't well suited/ don't want to PM anymore and still get an analyst seat. If you're a tenured PM you can get another spot if your overall track record is good.

If you have a strong personal network you can get a seat even if you're a mediocre idiot.

Bunch of factors.

Apr 15, 2019

This is one of the better threads I've read in WSO, especially for experienced professionals. @MMPM was wondering if you can (maybe in a separate thread) talk about your background and your experience at a MM. I, along with my peers, get calls from MMs all the time because of the rotating door nature of those places. The tight risk parameters of those places are just too scary for me and where I am in my career (have a family to feed), and in my view, somewhat career suicide if you get blown out in short order.

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Apr 19, 2019

Yes, clear a lot of people here actually work in the business

If you're on Twitter, I'm the same name, feel free to shoot me a DM/follow

Apr 26, 2019

Which multi-manager platform funds allow you to run directional strategies? (just long or short S&P futures, or Bond futures or whatever...on a semi-high frequency basis...with hold time of minutes to hours)

just google it...you're welcome

Apr 27, 2019

Only places like First New York, which are considered more like trading shops. Not hugely familiar with their model, but you're going to get much less capital from them.. like 1/10th of what a citadel would give you. But then Citadel would never allow that strategy.

Apr 27, 2019

not familiar with First New York (beyond what google and their website says). What other firms are in their category, and what do i need to do to get past the gatekeeper to speak with a trading oriented hiring manager?

just google it...you're welcome

Apr 29, 2019

Great thread, prob the best one in the industry I've seen so far on WSO.

Just to add in my 2c the only area I have experience, I was at a tiger cub and most of my friends are at tiger cubs. None of us would ever consider a multimanager PM or analyst at any level.

The mindset is completely different and it takes longer to retrain than to just hire any top tier ibanking analyst or even PE associate.

Since moving to my new role I've met a lot of multi-managers and so far in 2019 the ones that get fired usually do something else not related to finance. The minority of which end up going to other multi-managers.

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Apr 30, 2019

What type of shop are you at now?

May 6, 2019

It's strange, you're not the only guy I've heard talk about the "taint" of working at a multi-manager platform. I don't really get the severity of it all. There are good analysts and PMs at the platforms, and there are undoubtedly bad analysts and PMs. Being more focused on hedging strategies and operating in a tighter risk framework shouldn't preclude an investor from ever being able to operate in an environment with a longer time horizon. Unless their experience is in only trying to guess quarters, I still feel like someone that has developed an investor's mindset, can break down a company's fundamentals and has a firm grasp of risk/reward at a platform would outperform a brand new IB analyst.

Jun 1, 2019

People are assholes with undue regard for their own experiences/ career paths. A lot of "prestige" single manager funds are stocked with ex GS TMT/ Carlyle types that want to hire people that were "top school" "top bucket" etc rather than conducting real diligence on how talented people are.

FWIW, almost all of these guys are also shit investors. Evidence: performance of basically every prestige single manager.

Having done both, the single manager experience is great for an analyst to learn the fundamentals. However, most people at single managers are not investors - they are just analysts. After 10 years their skill set will be no better than what you can teach a fresh from banking to do in 2 years. Business analysis is not rocket science.

MM is a tough (terrible?) life, but a decent number of people at a MM are actual risk takers. Some are good risk takers, some are bad - but they think like investors, not just analysts.

To give another angle on it, I'm in touch with a lot of allocators (mostly fund of funds). 10 years ago they bought the prestige angle of "I wrote 5 100 page reports a year to put 3 things in the book for famous manager X" and that skill set qualifies me to start my own fund. Nowadays, if you weren't a portfolio manager / don't have a track record its almost impossible. This, of course, means most decent L/S launches will be the few that managed to be successful at those oh so unpreftigious MMs, since a single manager usually only has one (maybe a few) decision makers.

May 7, 2019

For those who got blown up and had to reinvent themselves, what field(s) are they pivoting to?

May 20, 2019

Curious about this as well

May 9, 2019

I work at a good single manager fund. how long do I need to do this before I can become a PM at a MM fund? Also, what are my options long-term if I really want to be a PM?

May 9, 2019

"work" is very vague. do you own the PnL? can you replicate the PnL? You get paid a fixed % of PnL at a MM...if you can't make any...you'll get nothing

how long have you been in the business...what do you know, and what can you do?

just google it...you're welcome

May 9, 2019

sorry meant to reply to you in this thread, but the comment went below for some reason.

May 9, 2019

I've been doing this for two years; it's a large fund so I don't own my PnL yet. Not long and I know it's early to be thinking about it. I'm not saying I'm ready yet - just that I know what my goals are. I've done well though - I made the firm $30-40 million on ideas I worked on last year.

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May 9, 2019

better to talk in % return terms...and what was the peak intraday drawdown from idea initiation?

just google it...you're welcome

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May 9, 2019
Comment

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

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Jun 1, 2019