Quantitative Hedge Fund PM Career Path?

boatboy's picture
Rank: Chimp | 8

Hello everybody. I am currently a senior in high school, and will be attending a strong semi-target starting this fall. I plan to major in both finance and mathematics. Recently, I have been researching quant funds. I would like to one day work in a quant hedge fund, and hopefully one day become a portfolio manager. What confuses me about quant funds are the position titles. While "quantitative analyst" seems to be the entry-level job, several quant funds have normal "investment analysts" as well. At quant funds, are "quantitative analysts" considered front-office, and would the position allow me to one day become a PM? I'm sure that there is a very simple answer to this, but I'm confused and want to avoid trapping myself in a career without room for advancement (not to mention losing out on the compensation that PMs tend to earn). I know that attaining a job in a quant fund is difficult (many require PhDs), but I am willing to put in the work. With all of this in mind, what is the career path to becoming a quant fund PM. I of course realize that there are many paths, but a general idea would help me immensely. Thank you for the help in advance!

Comments (4)

Apr 10, 2020

Interested as well.

Apr 10, 2020

Titles don't really mean anything- job descriptions and day-to-day responsibilities matter more. A 'quantitative analyst' working on signal research is much better than a 'quantitative analyst' working on putting out color commentary pieces for clients. To be a successful quant PM, you need to be able to convince someone to give you money to run. So you'd better be able to come up with ideas for signals that make money, build them yourself, model t-costs, and run optimizations. Will a particular entry level position do that? If its at a quant fund thats segmented (ex: alpha research is distinct from implementation), then you may have to pick up some things on your own time. Also you're more likely to learn to come up with good signals at a fund that actually makes money and runs at a good Sharpe.

I wouldn't suggest trying to become a quant PM unless you natively enjoy and/or are good at quant subjects. If not you'll do 2 years of entry level and then opt to go to business school...

Apr 10, 2020