So you want to leave university/college and work for a hedge fund? Once, 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 or intern 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. 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. Hires in the UK.
What's the graduate program 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.
Who does it hire? Past interns have included Michael Richardson, an economics graduate from the university of Bristol or Ryan McGarry, an economics graduate from the university of Nottingham.
2. DE Shaw & Co
What is it? A massive quantitative hedge fund founded by David Shaw, now 20% owned by Google's Eric Schmidt.
What's the graduate program like? DE Shaw runs a 10-12 week internship program for undergraduate and graduate students in their penultimate year of study. Applicants need to have an, ‘innate intellectual curiosity and a willingness to jump in and get your brain in gear.’ Internships are located in London, New York, Hong Kong and India. While DE Shaw is known for its recruitment of quantitative PhDs and coding talent, it also hires ‘generalist interns’ who’ve graduated in areas like social studies.
Who does it hire? DE Shaw’s quantitative interns include Nilai Sarda, who has a computer science masters degree from MIT. Its generalist interns include Kojoh Attah, who’s studying political science and African American studies at Stanford University.
3. Bridgewater Associates
What is it? A large global macro fund, known for its 'interesting' company culture.
What's the graduate program like? Bridgewater has intern positions for investment associates, management associates and technology associates. Jobs in investment at Bridgewater are also pretty technical. The internships are typically 10 weeks long and are all in the U.S. Bridgewater says it doesn’t expect interns to work crazy hours (as can happen in banks) and that its average is around 50 to 55 hours a week.
Who does it hire? Bridgewater is popular with Ivy League students in the U.S. 2019 interns are studying at MIT, Berkeley and Princeton, among others.
4. Two Sigma
What is it? Two Sigma is a systematic hedge fund using quantitative trading methods that, "combine massive amounts of data, world-class computing power and financial expertise to develop sophisticated trading models."
What's the graduate programme like? Two Sigma offers internships across business development, strategy, human resources, and its legal teams. You can see the kinds of projects you’ll be working on here. Most of the internships are in New York City.
Who does it hire? Two Sigma’s interns are typically studying computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, physics, and statistics. The fund says it likes to hire people who are, ‘creative and [have] intellectually curious minds…driven by the desire to solve challenging problems that will disrupt the industry standards.’ It will help to know C, C++, Java, and Python.
5. AQR Capital Management
What is it? Another systematic fund that crunches data to find market anomalies that can be exploited to make money.
What's the graduate program like? AQR runs a 10 week internship for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in London and New York. Interns are given a project to work on during the summer and are taught at the fund’s Qanta Academy. While many of the internships are highly quantitative, AQR also runs a business development internship which is open to economics students.
Apply: Here. Applications open August 1st. Before you apply, you might want to visit AQR’s learning center.
Who does it hire? Statisticians are popular. However, business development professionals at AQR are more likely to be economics graduates.
6. 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 program like? Citadel offers full time positions and internships, across trading, quantitative research, operations, trading and software engineering. Openings are available in London, Chicago, New York, Dublin and Hong Kong – among elsewhere.
Who does it hire? All interns at Citadel will need to be familiar with programming languages and interns in areas like infrastructure will also need familiarity with networking technologies like Cisco. Quant hires need a PhD in quantitative engineering and even traders need coding and statistical competencies.
7. 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 program like? Winton offers a six month UK-based technology placement to students currently enrolled in a course in computer science or a related field, or due to graduate in the coming summer.
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 get away with a course in economics.
8. Balyasny Asset Management
What is it? Balyasny is a multi-strategy hedge fund that begun life in Chicago in 2001. It now has 10 offices, mostly in the U.S., but also in London, Hong, Kong and Singapore.
What's the graduate program like? Balyasny offers graduate programs and internships across investment and trading, technology and engineering, quant, risk and big data and business and operations. Balyasny’s internships are eight to 12 weeks long and the fund asks applicants to apply to specific divisions rather than generalist positions.
Who does it hire? Balyasny says positions on its internships are ‘highly competitive.’ For quantitative positions it requires that applicants have a degree in a quantitative-related field (Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Computer Science, or Financial Engineering). Jiawei Tang, an analyst intern in Chicago is studying computational finance, data and analytics at DePaul University.
10. Point72 Asset Management
What is it? Point72 is a hedge fund that invests in discretionary long/short, macro and systematic strategies. Founded by veteran hedge fund trader Steve Cohen, it’s known for paying very well. It’s also known for its excellent graduate training programs, in particular the Point72 Academy, a nearly year-long paid training program which prepares new recruits for jobs investment professionals.
What's the graduate program like? Point72 runs internships and full time graduate programs at the Point72 Academy. The Academy hires students in the U.S., Asia-Pacific, or Europe. The summer investment Academy program lasts for 10 weeks and covers everything from company analysis to stock pitching. Point72 also runs a year long data Academy program for students (and people with 1-3 years’ work experience) who want to be data scientists.
Who does it hire: Point72’s data academy looks for students with coding experience and degrees in mathematical subjects. The investment Academy is more flexible in its requirements and has been known to hire social science graduates.
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