Remote Work Policies at HFs

​​​​​​Hi everyone,

Currently, an Analyst a ~$5-6Bn fund that may start recruiting for other opportunities and was wondering if people would be willing to share what their firm's WFH / remote work policy is now post-COVID? Given that the Boomers have finally realized that you don't need to be in shitty Midtown Manhattan to work and do well as long as you have a good internet connection, and mgmt, conf, and sell-side meetings will likely now have some permanent virtual element to them, I was wondering if any notable funds have provided more flexible location policies for investment professionals? I'd specifically be curious about how it is at MM or larger SM funds and whether it's PM dependent.

For me personally, the ability to work in the city of my choosing and not be subjugated to NYC/CT would be a huge draw when evaluating other fund opportunities so I wonder if it becomes more commonplace as a way to attract talent. I actually don't work in NYC/CT at the moment but moving back to NY/CT would be a deal-breaker for me. Curious to see what working arrangements come out of this since I think it should be a no complete brainer and industry standard to at least let more senior analysts work from wherever they'd like as long as they get their shit done and continue to contribute P&L. Thoughts?

Comments (11)

  • Research Associate in HF - Event
Sep 6, 2020 - 11:10pm

Feel the same way. Once I see funds allowing senior analysts to work from wherever they want, I will be jumping from my fund no matter how much I currently like it here (willing to take a risk with a new boss/CIO in same strategy I do now).

  • Associate 3 in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 7, 2020 - 4:05am

I see the teleworking capabilities enabling funds to shift outside the tristate area, seems FL and TX are popular destinations. However, I believe those funds will want their staff centered there. Goes halfway to getting out of the tristate area but I believe you'll still be tied to a specific locale not of your choosing.

I don't see remote working becoming a blanket policy in HFs to the extent you see in some tech companies. If the fund needs what you have to offer so badly, they will approve it, but you wouldn't have needed covid to get it. Curious to hear more views especially from the PMs making these calls.

Most Helpful
Sep 7, 2020 - 12:20pm

I've had a couple chats with some LO's recently, all in different parts of the country, and the expectation has explicitly been relocation and an eventual return to the office, which has been disappointing. There is quite literally no reason to return to an office environment for a public markets analyst IMO. I am supposed to go back this week, yet we still cannot have face to face meetings internally. So on our meeting days the expectation is that we will all be in our offices on webcam... this is just absolutely absurd to me and makes 0 sense. Even just from a business perspective outside this industry, if a job can be done remotely and very little face to face (if any) interaction takes place, why wouldn't you offload the office assets? Essentially, WFH allows companies to shift the office assets, utility costs, and equipment costs from the business to the employee. Why would you not leverage this? Improve your return on capital overnight. The only reason that you would not embrace this idea would be a lack of trust in your employees, which is a YOU problem as an organization, and speaks to issues with both your talent acquisition and management competencies. 

I agree that I would give strong preference to a more regular WFH setup, especially because most of the opportunities I come across are in cities that I have absolutely no interest in moving to. I'd even be willing to travel to a central office from time to time for more important meetings at my own expense in exchange to live somewhere I actually enjoy living with a reasonable cost of living and eliminated daily commute. Quality of life has been much higher with WFH even with most things around me shut down.

  • Associate 3 in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 7, 2020 - 12:50pm

IMO long onlys in general are some of the most staid and slow moving institutions in the ecosystem. Just look at their obsession with CFA, tenure/low turnover of investment staff. Unlikely a market-leading move on WFH was ever going to come from them. I've been more disappointed that the supposedly more nimble and flexible HFs (even those run by younger folks) are being inflexible about this.

Sep 7, 2020 - 8:32pm

My boss said that as long as We are generating P&L, he doesn't care where we work on a normal day(no managwmt team meetings, etc.) 

We were originally a strict go-into-the-office Culture before COVID, So this is a welcome change. 

Sep 8, 2020 - 4:39am

The CIO/lead PM still needs an excuse to hop on the next business class flight to London to get away from the wife and kids for a week.....and having that swanky office in Mayfair is a status symbol for a lot of these guys.Given the big egos and obsession with prestige in this industry I don't anticipate offices going anywhere.   

  • 1
  • Research Associate in HF - Event
Sep 8, 2020 - 11:53pm

Only counter point I'd add is if you don't perform and lose money then it makes it SO much easier to fire you. PM can use reason of you purportedly slacking off while WFH as excuse to fire you and doesn't have to fire you in person (reminds me of that Clooney movie). Double edged sword from that perspective so it may actually works better in a LO environment vs. HF environment (as stupid as that sounds).

  • Senior VP in HF - Other
Sep 9, 2020 - 6:26pm

We are wfh and to an extent I think its more efficient. We might go back soon but that is likely more so tied to the fact the the PM probably hates working at home and wants to be in the office but not alone. I do think there could be a better mix of some days wfh other in the office. But I do think across all industries its hard to maintain culture and sharing of ideas in a pure remote capacity. Its nice to bounce ideas of people in a casual setting and grad coffee/lunch/drinks etc. 

  • Research Associate in HF - Other
Jan 13, 2022 - 9:34am

Bumping this thread up. My previous fund returned to office 3-4 days a week in mid-2021. I am actively recruiting for analyst roles and based on the headhunters I have spoken with, fully remote HF opportunities are still extremely rare. I learned of one pod at Millennium that has gone 100% remote. I assume if these roles exist, they are more likely to be at MM funds? 

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Jan 13, 2022 - 1:16pm

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