Private Equity and Hedge Fund Industries Hiring Trends Spring 2008 

The list of challenges in the financial services industry is ever changing and there are many dynamic interdependencies between them that are impacting today’s financial services job market. Today’s headlines via traditional media and the always evolving blogsphere are full of negative news about massive layoffs which are impacting Wall Street and top investment banks. But, don’t believe all that you read, as there are still private equity and hedge fund jobs available if you know where to look for them.

In some cases smaller firms in the private equity and hedge fund job sectors are hiring for the first time in a number of years. Yes, 2008 will most likely go down as a soft year for job seekers who are looking for a job with one of the major investment banks. But the feedback we are getting from executive recruiters in the financial services industry and qualified candidates are finding numerous opportunities in the Private Equity and Hedge Fund job marketplace with these aforementioned smaller firms. 

In the Private Equity sector, the firms hiring is in many cases are the smaller to medium size hedge fund firms because they do not require large amounts of additional external funding for their investments.  These firms typically use less borrowed money and as a result of their more modest funding need are not affected as dramatically by the credit markets as their larger counterparts.

With the credit and capital markets in turmoil these smaller funds are finding more investment opportunities and more properly valued opportunities.  Often the value of these opportunities (deals) are falling below the radar screens of the larger shops, which in the last few years pushed up values and made many deals unaffordable to the smaller funds.

There are some larger Private Equity firms actively hiring outside of their typical recent graduate hiring cycle but from conversations with industry recruiters and large fund partners these shops are presently the exception. As we have seen recently in press releases, some larger funds are having difficulty borrowing and this is causing deals to collapse, which in turn impacts the hiring practices for hedge fund jobs.

Hedge Fund Hiring Activity

Hedge Funds have continued to hire and many individuals say it is because these firms enjoy volatility and the related performance upside which can be achieved in a volatile market.  Hedge funds are typically more nimble than private equity funds. They have the ability to review and move in and out of numerous sectors in a much quicker time frame than Private Equity shops. 

The larger hedge funds continue to add experienced talent by adding new investment strategies and more sector/strategy focused individuals to their teams.  The continued institutionalization of hedge funds has kept the market for infrastructure roles very steady. 

Roles in areas such as accounting, compliance and operations have been strong for the last few years and look to remain strong for the rest of this decade – the demand should continue if your skill set fits these positions.

Even smaller hedge funds which can be limited in staff size due to pure economics are finding a need to hire experienced individuals.  These firms are seeking individuals for back office roles to build out infrastructure to help them compete for the institutional and high net worth assets in today’s market. 

As a plus to you as a hedge fund jobs candidate, many times smaller firms must offer equity to hire experienced individuals, which can increase your total compensation package significantly.  Finally, we are still seeing many new funds launched which puts pressure on the entire candidate pool especially when the launches are in excess of $ 1 Billion.

Hedge Fund Growth Patterns

Overall the hiring in the Private Equity and Hedge Fund markets has held steady to date, although the hiring process seems to be slowing down, which may be due to market factors.  If the slow down continues you can expect it to hit the domestic long/short strategy in the investment role space more so than other strategies. 

Infrastructure roles and related job opportunities as pointed out previously will most likely remain steady.  When the credit markets return to a healthier dynamics you can expect the hiring in Private Equity and Hedge Fund to grow at an accelerated pace. Please sign up for our monthly Newsletter “The Career Advantage(tm)” to receive in-depth information about the Hedge Fund and Private Equity Job Markets.


© 2008 NyamiNyami Holdings, LLC