Moving from CEE HF to London


Hi guys.

First, a little bit about my background: I'm a year two analyst at a long/short equity hedge fund (~$200-300m AUM) based in CEE (think Czech Rep./Poland/Hungary). We invest globally, though mostly in the US and regional (CEE) stocks. I got my position straight from the University, a top one regionally, although I know that it doesn't really help when compared to LSE and similar schools. Prior to that I have completed a couple of internships at several respectable local PE shops and and internship at an MBB firm (local office).

I am very well paid (it's just 5 of us here total in the investment team), get tons of responsibility and great learning experience at my current firm. However, as the local HF industry is quite limited in opportunities, I have been thinking about moving to London to further develop my career.

Here's where I could use some help: do you think I can have a shot at recruiting in London? For all of my HF career I have been almost exclusively covering stocks in Western Europe/US. Also, with a bit of help from my PM here and there, now I've got the investment process on my ideas practically run by myself (idea generation, research, execution and position maintenance). From the standpoint of being able to "do the job" I think I should be fine, however I am aware that coming from CEE/not having Oxford/Cambridge/LSE diploma/not having bulge bracket name on my resume can be a pretty big chip on my shoulder, which in turn would make it hard/impossible for me to get in front of the headhunters/prospective employers in the first place.

Could anyone give me a clue whether this idea is doomed or, if not, how should I try to approach it to have at least minimal chances of succeeding?


Comments (3)

Nov 21, 2018 - 1:47pm

My wife is from the Czech Republic and we lived in London so here is my 2 pence. It's brutally difficult to break into a London HF without the traditional IB background. Even for guys who live in the UK and work in non-traditional roles it's tough. Given the pressure HF's are under with weak performance, declining fees, and redemptions, people just don't want to take a chance on someone who might turn out to be a dud. It's a lot easier to play it safe and take the guy with 2 years' LevFin or M&A at JP Morgan than take a chance on Jaromir Jagr from Praha Capital haha.

If you want to break into London you have 2 choices: get a job in IB in a CEE focused team and do 2 years there to gain some credibility, or, find a HF that focuses on the CEE region where your language skills will be important.

Also consider Brexit and the implications this may have on workers from the EU and specifically the CEE region. Just as an FYI, HF money in London is not all it's cracked up to be and you might end up facing a decline in living standards (purchasing power) coming to London if you're well paid in your current position.

Nov 22, 2018 - 9:08am


Just as an FYI, HF money in London is not all it's cracked up to be and you might end up facing a decline in living standards (purchasing power) coming to London if you're well paid in your current position.

When you say HF money is no all it’s cracked up to be in London, do you mean that the hedge fund scene in London is relatively week compared to the US? Or just that people in general think HF’s pay ridiculously high but obviously that’s not always reality?

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