Context Jensen Partners: Hedge Fund Hiring Remains Robust

Aug 9 2016 | 8:32pm ET

Hedge fund hiring has remained strong this year despite a challenging market environment, according to a new report from industry executive search company Context Jensen Partners.

The findings were disclosed in the firm’s second-quarter newsletter, which data and insights on the current fundraising environment for alternative asset managers, including hedge funds, private equity, real estate managers and third-party marketing firms.

“We’re seeing investors flock to strategies and asset classes that offer longer lock-up periods and less correlation in an attempt to diversify away from volatile equity markets, and distribution hiring has followed investor demand,” said Sasha Jensen, founder & CEO of Context Jensen Partners. 

Jensen believes fundraising to continue at existing volumes, with a focus on hiring marketing professionals with experience in private equity, real estate, infrastructure and credit, the report said. 

Highlights:

  • 180 total marketing moves in Q2 2016, up from 156 moves in Q2 2015
  • Through 1H/16, there have been 400 marketing moves, an increase of nearly 50% over the 269 moves in the comparable period last year.
  • Pre-Brexit hiring in the UK increased by nearly 200%, with 56 distribution hires in Q2 2016 compared to 19 hires in Q2 2015. This follows an all-time high of 92 UK moves in Q1 2016.
  • Fallout from Brexit is yet to be determined. Stalled recruitment cycles during July and August may result in lower alternatives hiring numbers in H2 2016 into early 2017. 
  • Hedge fund hiring was down slightly with 76 moves in Q2 2016, compared to 87 moves in Q2 2015 and 97 moves in Q1 2016 
  • credit-focused firms were the most active with 52 moves in Q2 2016, compared to 34 credit moves in Q2 2015 and 42 moves in Q1 2016
  • Equity strategies, the most active type of strategy over the preceding four quarters, experienced the largest shift, dropping to 37 moves in Q2 2016, compared to 40 moves in Q2 2015 and an all-time high of 61 moves in Q1 2016
  • Event-driven, CTA and fund of funds all remained relatively stable or dropped slightly with less than 10 marketing moves tracked for each in the latest quarter 
  • Private equity marketing moves increased 30 percent to 48 compared to the prior year period (37 moves)
  • Third-party marketers, which include placement agents and private funds groups, also enjoyed an uptick in Q2 2016 with 33 marketing moves, up from 25 moves in Q2 2015 

“Hiring activity remained strong through the first half of 2016, reflecting continued interest in alternative investments,” Jensen continued. “In Europe, despite a recent surge, we are seeing alternative firms take a wait-and-see approach to fundraising hires following Brexit.”

Context Jensen Partners is an executive search firm exclusively dedicated to sourcing strategic capital raisers across the entire alternative asset management industry. The company has tracked over 2,000 capital raising hires across all alternative strategies since 2013. The company joined forces with Context Capital Partners, an alternatives specialist company with subsidiaries active in hedge funds, liquid alternatives mutual funds, private equity and industry events, in 2015. 


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