The Hedge Fund Job Outlook from Aaron Hurwitz

The financial job market has shifted significantly over the past few months. When we are asked by candidates how to gain a competitive edge in this fast-moving environment, we often suggest brushing up on your financial modeling and valuation skills through training at The Investment Banking Institute (IBI).

Over the past seven years, IBI has trained thousands of professionals who are currently working or have worked with some of the most prestigious hedge fund firms on Wall Street. We recently caught up with Aaron Hurwitz, IBI Director, for his perspective on today’s financial job market.

How has the crisis among bulge bracket firms affected people in hedge fund jobs?

It has affected people in the sense that some prime brokers who were serving the hedge fund industry went bust. And the hedge funds that were using these brokers have had a hard time lately. Rather than hiring people in hedge fund jobs, they are focusing on unwinding their positions and restructuring right now.

On the other hand, firms that invest in distressed assets, for example, are expanding and hiring. There’s much more of that going on – distressed assets, distressed debt – so restructuring firms and boutiques are going to be very busy.

In addition to distressed assets and debt, are there any other pockets of opportunity?

Even in oil and gas there’s still a lot going on. There has always been activity happening in new spaces, in healthcare, new life science ventures, new pharmaceutical and biotech companies coming up that get bought out by larger companies. Healthcare is one industry that almost never seems to see a down trend. Some of the best-performing stocks right now are in that sector.

Is this more than a natural business cycle?

This economic crisis is a natural cycle that happens every few years. There are always layoffs, there is always restructuring. This is a little worse than normal, of course, but things will come back even stronger.

In 2007, for example, there were more private equity deals done, on a dollar basis, more money invested in private equity transactions than in many of the years leading up to that. It’s natural to have some pull-back after that.

This is worse than normal but it’s not the end of the world. There will be a different landscape when things come back but the work is going to be there, the industry is going to be there. Some of the main players may change; there may be some surprises, but we’re going to be stronger than ever, and the industry will probably be even bigger than ever.

On behalf of our members, has negotiated a special discount for IBI training. JobSearchDigest members receive $100 off the price of training simply by mentioning Job Search Digest when they call to register. Investment Banking Institute can be reached at 212-380-7027 or visit:

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{ 1 comment }

Walter Zweifler ASA December 8, 2008 at 9:02 am

Valuation expertise is the key to contrarian investing in the current environment. We want to talk to others who want answers under FAS 157 and the similar year-end reporting requirements – especially those receivers who want to know the value of credit default swaps and options.

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