Questions to ask HF before accepting offer

Hi currently working in IBD, and just had my final round with a small equities L/S HF for a research analyst role. It went very well and was told I will hear back soon.

Of course, I may not get the offer, but if I do I was wondering what questions I should be asking in case i do?

  • would it be ok to ask how my bonus will be structured i.e. whether I will get linkage to the PnL or is this a dumb question to ask for an entry research analyst?

  • Should I ask about perks such as gym membership (my bank gives us $200 per month gym membership so would be great if I could continue this)?

  • should i ask about my own PA trading?

  • should i ask about private medical insurance?

  • should i ask about dinners/night taxis?

Thanks

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Comments (7)

Apr 1, 2021 - 2:28pm

I always find it's important to ask questions before accepting an offer, that determine if you should or shouldn't accept the offer.

How your bonus would be structured and how you should view expectations around a number would absolutely fit into this 'must know bucket.' I would try to get as much color on this as possible as that is a big part of why you would take the offer. You could ask how much you should expect if the fund is up x% OR if your ideas really hit home, etc...but this should 100% be flushed out. You want to make sure you understand the incentive structure.  You don't want to take an offer, have the fund up a large amt and not get paid out at all and regret joining. It happens all the time. Just be very polite when you ask for color on this.  

Other perks and PA trading may not fit into this 'must know bucket,' really depends on how you view them. I don't think it would be an issue if you ask, just not sure it matters.  

Apr 1, 2021 - 2:54pm

LOL people that have a shot at having equity in the fund don't really ask about are you going to cover my $500 gym membership.

For Christ's sake, make sure you get the right bonus structure which would cover 1,000 gym memberships. Forest for the trees.

Most Helpful
  • Research Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 1, 2021 - 3:40pm

Asking your future employer about a gym membership is like getting a meeting with Jeff Bezos and asking for a discount on your Amazon Prime. 

You should focus your questions on (1) firm stability and performance, (2) compensation, (3) progression and your ability to stay / get promoted and (4) any questions to clarify the role and training you'll receive.

The biggest risks to a HF job is that the fund blows up, you're canned, or the PM is greedy and doesn't pay/promote you. If you leave you want to know that you'll be employable. Not that they don't pay your $80 a month NYSC. 

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 1, 2021 - 6:21pm

I generally agree with the other posters here and what is valuable to ask about, conditioned on speaking with a CIO/PM type person. I will offer that if you're speaking with someone from HR, asking about low-level benefits is fine, as that's what they are there to answer. In fact, I would be surprised if you didn't receive a list of benefits as part of an offer package.

I doubt that your fund will cover gym membership. Things like lunch/dinner being covered and car service home (when not working remotely) are more likely, although I don't know if smaller funds offer them. Those are roughly equivalent to $25k pretax, which is not immaterial for a first-year HF role. But again, I can't emphasize enough that HR is who you should ask about that, not an investor at the firm.

EDIT: I also want to echo the sentiment that focusing too much on the benefits is short-sighted and a bad use of time. MMPM nails it; you want to make sure you are at a fund where you can learn a lot, compound your knowledge, and hopefully have a shot at real upside.

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