Context Jensen Partners: Alternatives Hiring Hits Record in Third Quarter

Nov 7 2016 | 10:50pm ET

Hiring trends within the alternative investment industry remained robust in the third quarter despite redemption pressures and market headwinds, according to the latest research from executive search specialist Context Jensen Partners.

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

“Hiring hit an all-time high in the third quarter, with marketing moves up across the board,” said Sasha Jensen, the company’s founder & CEO. “This demand reflects the continued need for experienced marketing professionals to establish fund flows and raise new capital. 

“As we head into the end of the year, we are seeing especially strong demand for marketing professionals at firms that specialize in private equity, private debt, real estate and real assets,” Jensen continued. 

Key highlights from the report:

  • There were 231 total marketing moves in Q3 2016, up from 188 moves in Q3 2015, making it the most active quarter ever tracked by Context Jensen.
  • There have been 631 marketing moves year-to-date, compared to 457 moves over the same time period in 2015 - an increase of nearly 40%.
  • The U.S. market for asset raising talent continues to dwarf the UK market, with 489 moves year-to-date, more than double the UK’s 193 moves.
  • UK-specific moves declined for the third consecutive quarter and are down more than 50% from a Q1 2016 peak, suggested continued fallout from Brexit.
  • The U.S. market remains a healthy fundraising environment, with 155 moves in the quarter, up nearly 50% versus Q3 2015.
  • Hedge fund hiring rose in Q3 2016, with 94 moves compared to 76 in Q2 and 101 moves in Q2 2015. Among hedge funds, equity strategies were the most active with 46 moves, rebounding from a slightly sluggish Q2 2016 when there were 37 moves, while hiring for credit strategies dropped almost in half from the previous quarter, a possible sign that the market is becoming saturated after more than a year of strong activity.
  • Event-driven strategies were the surprise winner in Q3 2016 with an all-time high of 17 marketing hires, more than the previous two quarters combined.
  • Private equity continues to attract talent and gather assets with 44 hires in Q3 2016, a 63% increase from 27 in Q3 2015. Year-to-date, there have been 157 private equity hires, more than double the number of marketing hires over the same period in 2015, and already up 25 percent over full-year 2015 numbers.
  • Within private equity, there is especially strong interest in private credit and infrastructure-focused investments. 
  • In a potential sign of things to come, several large private equity firms have recently closed large fundraising rounds featuring unusually long-term investment horizons.
  • Third-party marketers, which include placement agents, enjoyed an uptick in Q3 2016 with 41 marketing moves, up from 33 moves in Q2 2016 but down slightly from 48 moves in Q3 2015.

Context Jensen Partners is an executive search firm exclusively dedicated to sourcing strategic capital raisers across the entire alternative asset management industry. The company formed a strategic alliance 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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