Working at a Distressed / Credit HF - What next?


Hi there,

for those of you working at distressed & credit funds or have worked there, could you shed some light on what people do after (if) they leave their jobs? I know that most people just stay in the industry or even at their current firm, but I was wondering what other opportunities arise for someone with credit / distressed experience. Are there some roles at corporates or other investment type roles not at hedge funds?

I am asking as at one point it might be nice to have a more "regular" job with more job security and less stress once one has a family / or other commitments.

Many thanks guys!


Comments (10)

Jul 7, 2016 - 7:25pm

a friend of mine went from a distressed HF to a portfolio company who was going through a BK process. worked 40 hours a week or so and made 200+. not a bad life.

Jul 12, 2016 - 7:18am

These kinds of threads are always silly. After a few years in any profession you will start to specialize and build a focused skillset. There's also a huge (and inescapable) amount of selection bias -- people who choose to work in a certain field do so because they find it interesting, so it's unlikely many of them will make 90/180 degree career changes.

I'm just not sure what kind of answer OP is looking for...."yes, my friend switched from working at a distressed debt fund and got a job as a brain surgeon after he quit."

Jul 17, 2016 - 6:16am

Well, I was only looking for some guidance of someone who has already been there who would tell either 1) your skillset is pretty specialised and there is not much outside of (distressed) debt investing you can do after so be 100% sure this is what you want to do all your life 2) your are not fully pigeonholed and can still go to normal investing roles / or even find positions in corporates etc. / it has been done before.

For the more experienced (like you obviously) these kind of questions probably always look a bit stupid, but being an analyst in M&A thinking about what next I try to somehow find the way forward. PE is interesting, DD is interesting, somehow I have to make up my mind and come to an informed decision and here the WSO forum and its experienced users who have been there already are a valuable source of information.

Always good to know though that brain surgeon is a viable exit and got your point about 90/180 degree career changes.


Aug 5, 2016 - 2:31pm

I have many times wondered the same thing. Of the friends I've had in distressed debt, one has gone on to get his MBA (wants to switch to operations) while others have continued in the industry.

In distressed debt you get a very valuable skill set building models, analyzing legal documents, and thinking with a contrarian mindset.

I think switches to most bulge-bracket PE or long-short firms will be difficult, but you still have many opportunities to switch depending upon your tenure and age.

One big outlet is Private Debt (whole industry is expanding rapidly), where your distressed skill set will be highly valued but you will work on private deals instead of public debt. Additionally, many middle-market PE shops will still hire you since they will need analytical firepower and can't always compete for the top-talent coming out of IB.

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