Hedge Fund Hiring in Quarter One

Many have the preconceived notion that jobs in the hedge fund industry entail hundred hour work weeks that wear down employees in a matter of months, not years. While it is true that a small percentage of firms may have this view, it is equally true that there are multiple roles in a hedge fund operation, which offer the opposite experience.

Hedge Funds Are Like Snowflakes

Each hedge fund is unique, established in its own way. As a result, one should use caution when making generalizations. For example, the responsibilities associated with job titles can vary considerably from one firm to another. This is typically a function of the firm’s size, with smaller firms folding in higher levels of responsibility in single job title than one would see in the identical job title in a larger firm. This is why there can be widely disparate salaries when comparing job titles in small vs. large-sized firms. For this reason, smaller firms pay typically pay higher salaries and bonuses for a particular job title in the firm when compared to a larger firm. For specific examples and further clarification, read the 2017 Hedge Fund Compensation Report, which covers the topic in greater depth.

First Quarter Trends

According to the HFObserver, which tracked more than 1100 hedge fund job moves in 2017’s first quarter, Ken Griffin’s Chicago-based Citadel led the pack by hiring more than fifty staffers, while Bridgewater Associates and Balyasny Asset Management, each added between 30 and 50 new hires.

The bulk of Citadel’s hires were front-office investment roles comprised of analysts, portfolio managers and traders, with most being senior hires. Citadel’s hires ran the gamut, from conventional financial and research analysts, to analysts with strong quantitative, market data, and machine learning backgrounds and software developers.

In contrast, HFObserver reports that Millennium Management hires were weighted in favor of the usual finance and research analysts with sector-specific experience.

The Surprising Trend

The surprising trend is that there is no trend. As was said earlier, hedge funds are not snowflakes. Each hedge fund makes its personnel decisions based upon unique needs, strategies and cultures. Hedge fund managers, administrators and analysts do not share a common background. Hedge funds are acquiring staff with the skills, background, and education that best suits its unique needs.

What This Means for Jobs

Anyone looking for one of those hundred hours per week jobs can surely find one. However, there is hope for those who seek a position in a hedge fund that offers more opportunity for work/life balance.

For example, a position in administration has little to do with trading. Such positions focus on client relations, accounting, reporting and myriad other functions that keep the firm humming. Make no mistake, these positions are not easy jobs, but they are often less stressful than the work of a hedge fund manager or analyst.

The takeaway is that the hedge fund industry is wide open to a vast variety of skill sets and backgrounds. Never sell yourself short—no pun intended.

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