University Endowment Analysts

Was looking into a career with University Endowment Analysts, and cannot find information regarding pay rates, and their exact job description. While I understand there is alot of noise and variance, as top endowment managers make multiple millions, what would an entry level analyst or associate be expected to make? 40k? 50k? 70k?

Any information would be nice.

Comments (38)

Jan 20, 2009

I asked a friend of mine who has worked as an associate at an endowment fund and here is what he/she said (would like to keep it anonymous):

Hey, we didn't have an analyst spot, I was associate so expected to have a few yrs of work experience and some industry knowledge

For part one (job description), here is a piece of what the job descriptions had...

The investment associate will be assigned to work with senior investment staff and will have primary responsibility for portfolio analytics used to monitor existing investments and evaluate future opportunities. This would include analysis of individual managers' holdings, performance attribution, assessment of manager performance versus peers and analysis of key market data. Associates would work closely with senior staff, participate in due diligence meetings and take on important research and analytical tasks.

This would be a two-year appointment that would provide broad exposure to the Asset Management business and an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the work of the Office of Investments prior to starting a business school or other graduate program.

For part two (salary), I can tell you it was "competitive" for DC/Philadelphia/Boston. Think what a NYC analyst would make a few years back and take a slice of that, and that's the salary... by slice I mean about half.

Hope that helps.
-Patrick

Jan 20, 2009

From looking at some of the managers of bigger endowments (no homo), consulting seems to be a pretty popular background. For instance, Harvard seems to have pretty close ties to Bain/BCG, especially for people in their PE pockets.

As far as what they do, it's probably closer to what you would see in a BB's PWM PE arm. Comp is probably similar to PWM as well.

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Jan 20, 2009

Be careful - risk of becoming a master of nothing

Jan 20, 2009

The prestige for this type of position is low, but there is decent potential within the university endowment field itself. I recall the endowment manager at Harvard made something like $5 million despite a net negative return a few years back. The pay, however, is still not very comparable to PE or hedge funds. Furthermore, I wouldn't expect that you will be able to flex your quant muscles very much at a stodgy place like an endowment fund.

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Jan 20, 2009

If it's your only option, you have to take it. It might actually place well back into the BSchool of that college, but I'd do research on where funds like this end up placing analysts.

Jan 20, 2009

Thanks for the responses guys.

Any ideas where I could possibly lateral to in a year or two in this role? From what you guys are saying, it looks like I probably don't want to stay for more than 2 years.

Jan 20, 2009

I know someone who worked in my college's endowment, obtained their CFA, then moved on to work for a top non-profit's endowment--but was deciding between the non-profit and a pension fund.

Jan 20, 2009

exit opps include FoF which is cushy

Best Response
Jan 20, 2009

I personally think university endowments are great gigs, especially at the top few places. The IB -> HF/PE craze is strong on this forum and among kids still in school more generally, but most kids don't really know that much about world yet to be honest. An endowment job will probably have a little bit less prestige to the other kids in school than a name like MS or JPM, but any experienced professionals in finance will definitely respect it. I know one kid with a 3.9+ at HYP who turned down MS/GS M&A to work at his university's endowment full-time.

What you're able to do coming out of the job is totally dependent on what you make of your time there. Focus on developing strong relationships with the funds you invest in and the senior people at your endowment. Really dig into the investments you're working on, and try understand it as well as the PE analysts. I've seen people go to top business schools (Stanford, Wharton, Fuqua), some to hedge funds or MM PE or VC, others to consulting/businesss/tech, and most to other FoF or family funds/endowments.

It's true that you won't develop the modeling skills that you would in an IB analyst job, so transitioning to PE is tough, but I've seen some people transition into MM PE funds. PE MF's are very much just focused on recruiting from a some banks and to a lesser extend MBB. You can try to sell yourself HF's, and the recommendations of your endowments senior investors will probably go a long way on that front. Like I said, it's about what you learn, who you connect with, and how you can pitch yourself.

Ultimately, a lot of people wish they could get an endowment gig when they're ~10 years into their career. The hours and environment are very relaxed and the pay is a bit less than at a bank or in HF/PE, but it is still very good and very interesting work. If you transition to some private FoF or family fund (i.e. not a university) you'll find that pay will be higher, and can reach the levels of a lot of your peers in HF/PE. When these university managers grow their money at 12-15% year over year, people stop and notice.

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Jan 20, 2009

Being a student at the said universities do help. I know PRINCO recruits at Princeton, same deal with Brown's Investment Office.

Yale's seems to be open for everyone: http://www.yale.edu/investments/recruiting_2010.html
Harvard's too, though when I checked I only found this one: https://home.eease.com/recruit2/?id=567114&t=1

Jan 20, 2009

Yale mostly hires Yale kids.

I know non-Penn kids working @ Upenn's endowment office.

"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

Jan 20, 2009

i know someone from my school (non-target in boston) who just got hired for an internship with Harvard's endowment. Not really sure about the process/how it works or anything, but they do take on interns, and not always from their respective schools

Jan 20, 2009

Usually some IBD experience helps. Hiring from industry and (as you can imagine) hours are a lot better. They recruit/hire based on need and the process is extra-tedious as there's a ton of red tape to get a job at an university. You'll be looking at a lot of HF or PE and monitoring existing investments. PM if interested.

Jan 20, 2009

any specific info on harvard management co aside from the website?
pay/culture/interview info?
thanks

Jan 20, 2009

is it a big endowment? ( deg ?? deg)

Jan 20, 2009

Yes, it is

Jan 20, 2009

Yes, it is

Jan 20, 2009

Did you consider Asset Management specifically money managers? I used to work at the endowment and after some time in IB I made a switch to AM. It was the best decision. One day I might go back to endowment management as a CIO but for now I have plenty to learn in AM. I would recommend that route.

CFA is a great way to get the credibility for becoming a PM down the road.

Jan 20, 2009

Great to hear. What you just laid out is my desired route...
How was the initial transition from the endowment to IB and was it pre or post MBA?
I agree, completing the CFA curriculum is crucial and I intend to do so regardless.

Jan 20, 2009

FOF and endowments are very merit orientated. Experience and education trump skills. As far as skills go, you need to give more details as to what you want to do at a FOF or endowment.

"He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man." -- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Jan 20, 2009

Investment analyst. The job description is interviewing hedge fund and private equity managers

Jan 20, 2009

Investment analyst. The job description is interviewing hedge fund and private equity managers

Jan 20, 2009

Completely depends on the fund manager / university. I knew someone who worked at a top endowment (one with one of the highest per-year returns in the past 20 years) who had an amazing time and eventually got plucked by a top HF. I also know someone who worked at another top endowment who didn't really like it (bad pay, boring job) and eventually had to go back to business school to switch careers.

Jan 20, 2009

This also brings up the University of South Carolina thing for awhile back. They decided to use some amount of their endowment for a Private Equity fund. Anyone hear anything else about it?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jan 20, 2009

I'm pretty sure it's going to be an incredible learning experience because the people and the fund are amazing, but i guess i'm not familiar with how likely it is to succeed in a general hedge fund position right out of college. I don't just want to do a mediocre job and be forced to change career later on, you know.

Jan 20, 2009

Somebody in pubfin could give you more specific info, but from what I have heard from people in the field:

1) Pay is much lower than regular PE. But so are hours. A lot of universities will have you putting in 50 hour weeks (even at the post IBD entry level), but you might take a small paycut from a 2nd year analyst. Of course, this depends on the university, as do the hours. I can't speak to Harvard specifically.

2) Some endowments work as FoF, just selecting PMs with other investment firms. A few make direct investments, acting as a private investment firm in their own right. I think I remember hearing Harvard is about a 50-50 split between internal and external management.

3) These are definitely competitive positions. It is a high paying job in academics that does not require a PhD. Top guys are compensated higher than some banking MDs. Here is an article about high end comp, explaining why people want to pursue it:
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2004/01/23...
It provides great exits, and of course is about the best thing you could do for grad programs. El-Erian of PIMCO used to work for Harvard.

Jan 20, 2009

why

Jan 20, 2009
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Jan 20, 2009
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