Not all is bleak for those seeking hedge fund jobs, even as the industry tries to recover from one of its weakest years in memory. It’s just that you need to know what jobs to look for. If you expect to be hired by a hedge fund in 2012, it would be important to focus your attention in the key areas in which they need the most help.
According to Bob Olman at Alpha Search Advisory Partners, that isn’t on the portfolio side, but rather on the operations and marketing side. For many hedge funds, the priority this year is to reduce operational costs and increase client retention. For that, they are looking to fill a lot more key positions than they have in any prior year.
Among some of the key areas Olman has identified:
Operational Risk: Hedge funds experienced a lot of bleeding last year on the portfolio side which they expect to remedy this year. But, it is on the operational side that they saw the bigger threat to profits.
Investor relations: With the threat of fund outflows still hovering above them, hedge funds will be taking a more proactive stance on improving relations with their clients, providing enhanced services and communication for investors. For this, they will be looking for people with technical expertise to serve on the marketing side.
Product specialist: Along the same lines as investor relations, product specialists will provide more technical support for clients while managing product development. Olman expects the number of these positions to more than double this year to 500.
The emphasis on these types of positions is expected to draw a lot of interest from people who have been downsized in the banking industry and who number in the thousands, so you can expect the competition for these jobs to be pretty fierce.
And, having gone through the turmoil of a banking industry in retreat, many of these jobseekers would be willing to sacrifice a bigger paycheck for more stability which can make them very attractive to overhead-conscious hedge funds.