A Look at 2023 Year to Date
In this month’s newsletter, we have looked at the year so far from a hiring standpoint, and any key trends that have emerged throughout the year.
Despite challenging market conditions, the appetite for top investment talent across the hedge fund space has remained high.
Despite challenging markets in fixed income, portfolio managers deploying macro strategies remain highly sought after within the majority of platforms, with EM strategies still being particularly popular.
As well as Macro, there is a lot of demand within Volatility strategies. IR Vol and FX Vol remain popular, with a greater clamour for Equity Index Vol than single name vol / Dispersion.
There has been a definite uptick in appetite for credit strategies. In Europe, the focus remains within Credit Macro, Credit Index / RV related strategies (mainly due to the more illiquid nature of European single name credit vs the U.S). In the U.S, single name credit remains sought after, particularly High Yield and Investment grade focussed PM’s.
Also in the U.S, mortgage / MBS focussed strategies has been particularly busy from a hiring standpoint, especially those PM’s trading the highly liquid end of the market (TBA’s, mortgage derivatives etc.).
The appetite within the Systematic Equities space remains within highly scalable strategies ($1bn - $2bn GMV), whereas firms are happy to look at comparatively smaller Systematic Macro PM’s (the threshold generally being PM’s managing $200m+).
In comparison to other markets, the L/S Equity space has been comparatively quiet, with most firms looking to consolidate their current teams as opposed to adding additional traders.
Other spaces which have slowed down include both Commodities & Index Rebalancing, with the demand for Event-Driven managers remaining relatively low.
There have been a few emerging trends within the Non-Investment space during this year:
Sign-on/Guaranteed Bonuses: In the hedge fund industry, there has been a notable rise in the utilization of sign-on or guaranteed bonuses during the job offer stage. This trend reflects the intensifying competition among firms to attract and secure top talent.
Portfolio Financing: There has been a noticeable surge in demand for professionals with expertise in Portfolio Financing. In today’s competitive landscape, the expertise of Portfolio Financing professionals is vital for Hedge Funds to optimize their cash utilization, improve returns, and gain a competitive advantage in the market. We have seen this demand most prevalent within the multi-strats with Repo and Credit Financing professionals slightly more in demand than Equity Financing.
Remote Working: We have seen a notable shift in remote work options, with fewer firms providing such flexibility. As the post-pandemic period progresses, many companies are transitioning back to office work. It is worth noting that those firms that continue to offer remote working arrangements maintain a distinct advantage in attracting and retaining top talent. While a growing majority of firms now expect a minimum of four days per week in the office, those embracing remote work can leverage it as a key differentiator to attract and retain skilled individuals.
Compliance: OCR has seen a higher demand for Compliance talent. However, there continues to be a supply issue for professionals with experience within alternative asset management backgrounds, which is a trend that has been ever-present in the space for the last few years.
Diversity and Inclusion: Hedge funds are recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in driving innovation and better decision-making. We have seen a greater emphasis on hiring and retaining diverse talent, including women, underrepresented minorities, and individuals from different backgrounds.
Matt Proffitt | Managing Director
Matthew is the Founder and Managing Director of OCR Alpha, and oversees all teams internally. He founded OCR in 2015, and has overseen the firms growth since then. Matt is a graduate in Media and Business from the University of Leeds.
Will Fieldhouse | Director - Non-Investment Recruitment
Will heads up OCR’s Non-Investment team, who’s coverage includes Middle Office, Marketing, Risk and Compliance. He joined OCR after graduating from the University of Nottingham.