I've been offered the opportunity to join a startup hedge fund (<$300M AUM) as an early employee quant analyst (4th hire). The partners and manager have a very impressive reputation, academic pedigree, and track record. I am optimistic that the fund will be successful and will scale up to $1–2B after a few years.
On the other hand, I do not have any quant experience. I'm a fresh engineering PhD (top 5 school) who's research topic happen to coincide a little with the fund's area of interest. I've worked with the manager (alumni) on several research projects throughout my PhD. I'm currently in the process of interviewing for roles as a quantitative researcher. I think I should be able to secure an offer from a mid-sized fund, or with some luck a large.
I was wondering if those with more experience can comment on:
- Should I take this opportunity or try to secure an offer from a more well-established fund if my goal is to become a portfolio manager in the future?
- If the startup doesn't work out, how will the experience be viewed by other HFs?
- What kind of compensation package should I expect in terms of base, bonus, equity/carry? (east coast)