10 hedge funds that run graduate training programs, and who they hire

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So you want to leave university/college and work for a hedge fund? Not long ago, this wasn't possible: hedge funds only hired people who'd been through banks' sales and trading graduate programmes. Now though, they're increasingly training up university leavers themselves.

If you're looking for a graduate position in a hedge fund, here are 10 funds where you might find one. Be warned: competition for places is likely to be intense.

1. CQS

What is it? "A global multi strategy asset management firm. Our investment process is based on fundamental bottom-up research."

What's the graduate programme like? It lasts 12 months and covers: portfolio management and trading, risk, operations, product control, technology, client service, and legal and compliance.

Apply: Here 

Who does it hire? Past recruits have included Laurence Meats, an Oxford University graduate in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, or Ksenia Ponomareva, a Cambridge University graduate with a PhD in mathematics.

2. Bluebay Asset Management 

What is it? Historically a hedge fund, but it's become more of a traditional fund manager. Specializes in fixed income, with "a focus on absolute return and capital preservation." Uses bottom up, fundamental analysis.

What's the graduate programme like? There's not a structured graduate programme as such, but BlueBay does accept people for internships, which can then turn into full time roles.

Apply: Here

Who does it hire? Past interns-to-full time hires have included Edmund Weeks, an economics graduate from Durham University, or Adam Jacobson, an economics graduate from Nottingham University.

3. DE Shaw & Co

What is it? A massive quantitative hedge fund founded by David Shaw, now partly owned by Google's Eric Schmidt.

What's the graduate programme like? DE Shaw recruits throughout the year for full time graduate positions and intern roles across quantitative research and technology, trading and investment analysis, and business operations.

Apply: Here. 

Who does it hire? Past graduates and interns have included Tom Lovering, a Cambridge University graduate with a first class degree in mathematics, or Shashi Borade (now a VP), who has a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.

4. Bridgewater Associates 

What is it? A large global macro fund, known for its 'interesting' company culture. 

What's the graduate programme like? Bridgewater has trainee positions for investment associates, management associates and technology associates. 

Apply: Here

Who does it hire? Popular with Harvard graduates. Incoming hires include Brendan McManus, graduating in science, economics and computer science from Wharton.

5. Two Sigma

What is it? A systematic fund that, "combine massive amounts of data, world-class computing power and financial expertise to develop sophisticated trading models."

What's the graduate programme like? There are 10 week summer internships in NYC, along with graduate programmes which hire people at "all degree levels, with varied backgrounds."

Apply: Here 

Who does it hire? People who, "love hard problems," and are, "disciplined and data driven." 70% of student hires aren't from finance - but are likely from a mathematical discipline. Past interns include Kevin Wu, a computer scientist from Stanford University.

6. AQR 

What is it? Another systematic fund that crunches data to find market anomalies that can be exploited to make money.

What's the graduate programme like? AQR hires graduates and interns across research, business development and client solutions, portfolio management, trading, and technology.

Apply: Here 

Who does it hire? Statisticians are popular. For example, Daniel Lee joined as a quantitative research analyst after taking a Masters in computational finance at the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business.

7. Citadel Investment Group

What is it? One of the world's largest hedge funds, pursuing fundamental investment strategies underpinned by quantitative research. 

What's the graduate programme like? Citadel offers full time positions and internships, across trading, quantitative research, operations and software engineering.

Apply: Here 

Who does it hire? Quant hires realistically need a PhD in quantitative engineering - recent hires include Junchao Xia a graduate student with a PhD in mechanical engineering from Princeton University, or Yiming Jiang, who has a Masters in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

8. Winton Capital Management 

What is it? A quantitative hedge fund which, uses "statistical and mathematical modelling, data visualisation, pattern recognition and machine learning techniques," to, "tease out subtle predictive signals that form the basis of our investment systems."

What's the graduate programme like? Winton hires graduates across research, technology, and business (business development, client servicing, investment operations, legal, risk, and compliance).

Apply: Here 

Who does it hire? Winton has traditionally preferred to hire PhD level astrophysicists and scientists into its research roles. If you're applying for a business role, you may still need a mathematical background. 

9. Tudor Investment Corporation 

What is it? A large hedge fund focused on macro trends in rates and currencies.

What's the graduate programme like? Tudor's graduate hires come in through Launchpad Trading, a company it set up in 2015 to "find the next generation of macro managers."  Launchpad recruits, "early career global macro traders who specialize in trading global futures (FX, fixed income, equity index and commodity markets) and cash markets (FX and fixed income)." Successful traders are given a job at Tudor.

Apply: Here

Who does it hire? Launchpad isn't just for graduates. It's more focused on hiring traders with some past experience, but might be open to university leavers if you have a good monthly track record. Current Launchpad portfolio managers include Ying-Yi Shen, a Harvard MBA with a B.S. in Mathematics, B.A. in Physics, and a Minor in Economics from Duke University, who spent two years as an associate at Pimco.

10. Brevan Howard

What is it? Another large global macro hedge fund.

What's the graduate programme like? It's a bit of a mystery. In June 2015 Bloomberg reported that Brevan had set up a new graduate training program to hire, '’employees in computer-based strategies and trading assistants.’ However, Brevan Howard's very (very) simple website makes no mention of this whatsoever.

Apply: We don't know where, but you could try emailing the enquiries address provided here. 

Who does it hire? Like most of the hedge funds on this list, Brevan Howard particularly likes people with first class degrees in mathematical subjects. Recent graduate hires (proving that they are still happening) include Hannah Luxton, a maths graduate from the University of Bath with a first class pass.

Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

Photo credit: Living Edge™ as far as the eye can see - approx. 2km of these babies! by Twining Valley Nurseries is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


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