{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Anyone here know of someone who made the move from consulting to a hedge fund? Most search firms I’ve spoken with have indicated it is an atypical exit for consultants. Any advice to maximize chances?", "post_id": "5a1b252cf6f51c0013bddaff", "reply_count": 16, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Anyone here know of someone who made the move from consulting to a hedge fund? Most search firms I’ve spoken with have indicated it is an atypical exit for consultants. Any advice to maximize chances?

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Yeah, I’d be looking for a value investing (L/S Equity, distressed debt, etc.) Research position. Essentially performing the same DD that would be expected for PE.

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Buy side is tough, back Office is doable (BD, Strategy, CS etc)

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Candidly, I don’t, although I do know many consultants (as you do, I’m sure) who went to private equity. I would say that the skills required in the hedge fund world revolve around skills that would not be often trained or tested in consulting (corporate finance vs. applied modeling, macroeconomics vs. applied microeconomics, financial portfolio management vs. BU management). And the tools are certainly different. I would venture to say that consulting to an investing role in PE might be a good intermediate step as it would give a strong baseline in corporate finance and macro-based thesis creation.

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*buy side meaning investment / front office

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B school would make the transaction a lot easier.

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No, MBAs are not prevalent in hedge fund world; PhD’s in computer science, mathematics, and physics are far more prevalent. On the topic of using an MBA to move into the buyside in general: this will be very difficult if you did not do a pre-MBA stint beforehand. Competition for post-MBA roles is extraordinarily fierce and it will be the very rare (and fortunate) individual who can land a post-MBA role without pre-MBA experience. Moreover, those that do tend to be on the ops side - which is not what OP is looking for, and can be achieved pre-MBA in any case.

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Thanks for the insight A1. I️ would prefer to avoid the PE exit (though I️t may be possible) since I️ think I’d hate the work surrounding managing the deal process. What I’ve found is that I’ve really enjoyed work in consulting that was focused on getting to the “answer”, rather than mobilizing others to move forward on implementing the solution. IMO HFs are much more involved in the fundamental analysis - since the market is more liquid and they can execute a trade almost immediately - than are PE funds, which are taking a controlling interest and likely are looking to incentive / force some type of behavior change in Management. FWIW, I️ do have some limited experience in corporate finance (banking internship, finance major) and feel comfortable with the typical valuation methodologies used on the buy side. I’m just trying to strategize on ways to convince funds I’m worth taking a risk on from a non-traditional background, rather than taking the “sure thing” banking analyst.

*transfer

I've seen a handful of exits into HFs, not too many, likely due to some combination of little interest in the field from consultants, and mismatched skills. A couple of things to try for - 1) public market investment arms of pension funds, insurers, etc - they tend to be much more loose on hiring reqs. 2) research arms of HFs - many of the big HFs have a setup groups recently that primarily do DD, market research, sizing, portfolio company strategy, and these groups tend to hire consultants. With 2, you're not on the direct investing team, but I've seen that transition be done. Good luck to ya!

OP, it sounds like you have a great story that you can convey to headhunters. You may just need to be patient (my advice unfortunately stops there, because I went down the more “traditional” PE path - I happen to like the art of management and I think that the markets HFs play in tend to be more efficient today :) ). Good luck!

Are you already in touch with SearchOne? Of all the recruiters that reach out to consultants they represent the most HFs

I’ve seen a fair number of HF exits from our Risk practice over time. Transition roles I’ve heard of varied from business development to market risk management to client-facing advisory positions (helping clients construct portfolios from amongst several of a major firms’ funds). Some wound up in investment roles (eg portfolio management), though less common for that to be the first stop. In most of the other roles there was a case to be made that the position required deep knowledge of finance, risk and associated analytics, but that soft skills were more important than a track record of good investment performance.

I’ve had offers from Bain Cap, KKR, couple smaller Focused PEs and Canadian pension fund manager. Still at Bain.. Big ones salary is the same as Bain. Don’t offer carry. Smaller ones offer carry and salary same as Bain, but more risk as they’re smaller Canadian pension fund had best package in general, but seemed really boring life as they are super conservative, etc..

(When I say same as Bain, within +/-15%. Meant - not 10x more / lifechanging))

I think you’d be a shoo-in after getting an MBA from a school with a good pipeline

Are MBAs that prevalent in the HF industry? My understanding is they would be for PE, but don’t hold any water in the public markets.

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