Penn, Cornell, NYU Top Feeder Schools To U.S. Hedge Funds

Jul 26 2011 | 8:50am ET

By Claude Schwab, HFObserver -- Graduates of The Wharton School are the most likely to end up in top-paid investing jobs in the hedge fund / alternative investment industry, according to a jobs survey by HFObserver.

An investing job in the hedge fund industry can create generational wealth in just a few years of strong performance, but how can you break into the club?

To find out, HFObserver decided to look at the academic degrees held by more than 450 experienced professionals hired by hedge fund/alternative investment firms between January and July of 2011. Schools are ranked based on how many senior-level 2011 hires were alumni of each institution.

Hedge Fund Top 5: Undergraduate Programs
(* denotes a tie)

  1. University of Pennsylvania
    (including The Wharton School)
  2. Cornell University*
  3. New York University
    (including The Leonard N. Stern School of Bus.)*
  4. Duke University
  5. Stanford University

(Runners Up: Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University, Syracuse University)

In our survey of undergraduate degrees, University of Pennsylvania and its Wharton business program–already recognized as the most influential undergraduate business program in the country and ranked #1 by US News and World Report in 2011–ranked as the top feeder school for hedge funds with its alums accounting for the largest number of hedge fund hires in the first part of 2011. Cornell and NYU tied for second place, beating out names like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, which in our survey tied for sixth place with Syracuse.

The conventional wisdom in the hedge fund industry is that you won’t get hired unless you are from one of the top schools. HFObserver found that the conventional wisdom is not true. Of more than 400 experienced hedge fund/alternative investment firm hires tracked by HFObserver in the first half of 2011, only 20% held undergraduate degree from one of our top-5 ranked feeder schools.

But a school could determine what kind of hedge fund job you end up in, HFObserver data shows. A closer look at 2011 senior hires found that 75% of those with Penn/Wharton, Yale, and Harvard undergraduate degrees are working as investment professionals (analyst and portfolio manager), the highest-paid jobs in the industry. About 60% of experienced hires with Princeton, Stanford and Duke degrees are actively investing, as are about half those with degrees from NYU. From there, the numbers drop off steeply in investing roles for graduates of Cornell (25%) and Syracuse (20%), as well as for Brown (33%) and Fordham (5%), which tied for tenth place in our survey.

HFObserver found that Syracuse and Fordham still rank highly in overall hires because graduates of the two New York state schools are feeding the ever-growing need by hedge funds for operations, infrastructure, and compliance professionals. And their proximity to the hedge fund capital helps as well.

Claude Schwab is Founder and  Chief Executive Officer of HFObserver. With over ten years of experience in the hedge fund services sector, Claude has deep knowledge of the industry. Prior to founding HFObserver, Claude founded Schwab Enterprise, LLC, a hedge fund service provider focused on search, capital introduction, and media publications. The firm was subsequently acquired by Heidrick & Struggles (NASDQ: HSII) in 2008. At Heidrick, Claude was a Partner who ran the firm’s North America Hedge Fund Practice.


In Depth

High Time For A Cannabis Hedge Fund?

Sep 30 2014 | 7:07am ET

Launching a hedge fund is always a gamble, but Leslie Bocskor's decision to launch...

Lifestyle

Griffin Donates $1M To Rauner's Illinois Gov. Campaign

Sep 22 2014 | 9:29am ET

Hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin definitely has a dog in this fight. The Citadel...

Guest Contributor

Appraisal Ratio Key To Evaluating Hedge Funds And Other New Investments

Sep 29 2014 | 3:07pm ET

As a former finance professor Peter Hecht experiences heartburn every time he hears...

 

Videos

Editor's Note

    Must Attend Hedge Fund Charity Events For October

    Sep 30 2014 | 9:29am ET

    The crisp Autumnal days of October are upon us, and so are a few of the hedge fund industry’s favorite charitable events. If you have never been to Rocktoberfest, well, you are missing out. And for a quieter evening of sipping and socializing, stop by HFC’s Wine Soiree. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

High frequency market making

High frequency trading is not evil, it is not a conspiracy and it really is not new; it is the natural evolution of the professional trading community making markets, providing liquidity and hopefully...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.