Currently making the most waves in terms of recruitment in the hedge fund industry is Old Greenwich, CT–headquartered global quantitative investment management firm WorldQuant, founded by Millennium alumnus and former game developer Igor Tulchinsky. In the first half of 2017 the firm made the top 10 for net recruitment amongst hedge fund management companies, and WorldQuant is seen as showing the way in term of how to increase staffing effectively in the hedge fund sector.
In a hedge fund world where being “global” usually means having an active office in all three key business regions (Americas, Europe, Asia) –– it’s typically no longer enough to simply have a quiet non-headquarter satellite presence simply for marketing purposes — this 10-year old firm, a newbie relative to its active hiring peers, already has 25 offices across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East (Israel) according to its website, making it the largest in terms of office footprint. Scroll through the pictures of Bangkok, Budapest, Bucharest, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul, Sofia, Mumbai and Hanoi on WorldQuant’s contact page, and you’d think you were on an exotic travel site planning a dream vacation.
WorldQuant, which has an estimated $5 billion in assets under management (mostly from Millennium Management), has over 600 full-time staff according to its website, making it one of the larger hedge funds by staff size as well. Based on recent hiring on the firm, these offices are trading, technology, investment research and software research hubs with management/operations and recruiting teams.
WorldQuant also has over 400 part-time consultants around the world contributing to alpha generation research, according to a recent press release from the firm. And some of them are completely virtual to boot. Meanwhile, most hedge funds keep a small set of full-time inner-circle employees who contribute to their firms’ investment performance.
And while most hedge funds are still recruiting their next generation of senior talent from no more than a dozen colleges and universities, WorldQuant is drawing from both the best-known universities and places least known to US-centric recruiters. WorldQuant internal recruiters are often seeking talent with or without finance backgrounds, in the hopes of finding the best thinkers by drawing on the deepest and most diverse raw talent on earth and then having internal teams monitor performance in real time.
Career progression at WorldQuant is fast and not seniority-based — faster even than in other hedge funds, which as an industry is among the fastest to promote. The rate of WorldQuant promotions from summer internship to researcher consultant to researcher to the coveted senior researcher positions can occur in fewer than two to three years or as soon as one has proven one’s closely monitored value to the alpha generation system.
Meanwhile, WorldQuant has developed and branded a very active summer training/internship program and a global algorithmic coding competition (WorldQuant Challenge) to help source its dispersed talent pool; summer interns who take the challenge and achieve gold status are offered jobs as research consultants and are on their way to being potential full-time researchers and senior researchers.
And to spread the love, WorldQuant on Valentine’s Day extended its arms to the subset of global talent that already has senior investment experience and an investment track record. On February 14, WorldQuant announced the launch of its global portfolio manager platform that provides managers with full access to the firm’s leading technology and capabilities (WorldQuant Accelerator).
*This article is an extract from The HFObserver article looking at recruitment in the first half of 2017. The article identifies the hottest hedge fund sectors for hiring and which firms have been the most active recruiters. Click here to read the full article.
HFObserver compiles its’ Industry Moves Database daily from publicly available sources and information sent in (click here to access full listing of monthly job moves — subscription required). This survey includes only non-administrative hedge fund roles and does not distinguish between voluntary and involuntary departures.
Algo Selection at Quantopian (Oct 2017)