Opportunities to work for a hedge funds in Moscow are few. Gregory Camou, head of the Moscow office of international search firm Pedersen & Partners, describes the market as “tiny.”
However, Bloomberg analysis shows that of the world’s top performing mid-sized hedge funds, the top 2 are in Russia. Therefore, getting a Mowcow hedge fund job isn’t completely impossible, but if you want to achieve one, it will help if you familiarize yourself with these points first.
1. Russia’s biggest fund is VR Global Offshore. It’s managed by Richard Deitz for VR Capital Group Russia and has $892.3m of assets under management. In the first 10 months of 2010 it achieved a 49% return – its strategy is event driven/distressed.
2. Russia’s second biggest fund is Prosperity Quest Sub. Managed by Alexander Branis and Ivan Mazalov for Prosperity Capital Management, it has $348.7m in assets – and achieved a 48.4% return in the first ten months of 2010. Mattias Westman, who set it up in 2000, trained with the Swedish Special Forces during the cold war for a Soviet invasion. Bloomberg quotes him as saying: “We worked with a school of interpreters, which was essentially a school of interrogators. We were taught to extract information from Russians, and we continue to do so to this day.” (same link) The $1.2bn Russian Prosperity Fund is No 2 in Bloomberg markets ranking of 100 best performing hedge funds for 2011.
If you want to try and work for one of these funds, Nick Rees, Country Director for Russiafor global recruitment firm SThree suggests something else you need to know:
4. “It’s who you know that can make that critical difference between successful applications or not. Don’t be frightened to name-drop – it’s so common in Russiathat if you don’t, it will be considered that you don’t have a strong network,” says Mr Rees.
Before you apply, you may also want to think hard about two more things:
5. Russia’s hedge fund market has great potential, but also a lack of transparency
6. It’s widely seen as having lower standards of corporate governance than hedge fund markets in the EU.