Which offer to take?

Hi all,

After a long struggle to jump to the buy-side the fruits of my labor have finally been realized.

The first offer is a large established active-passive fund (think AQR, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Northern Trust, etc). I'll be on the Research team as a Trading Research Analyst, the project they have in mind for me is one involving NLP and news data. Compensation is solid, so are benefits. I on-sited there and really like the people.

The second offer is a small, mostly fundamental fixed-income shop in NYC, as a junior quantitative analyst on the Quant Risk team of (currently) 4-6 people. Extremely profitable relative to its size, but not sure how responsible the Quant Risk team in particular is for this. Responsibilities will be research related to portfolio risk as well as the other parts of the workflow such as database, development, deployment, investment reports for clients. Compensation and benefits are similar. On-sited and kind of like the people.

Pros of first offer:
- Big company, established name
- Get to work more on research instead of other things
- (Presumably) more stable and less prone to the risk of quantitative teams shutting down
- Really collegial, nice people who I like

Cons of first offer:
- Minor thing for sure, but more of an asset management firm than a hedge fund
- Not in a major city such as NYC, have to relocate (on the other hand, this could be a pro as I've been in NYC my whole life and it'd be nice to switch it up)
- Not "technically" a quant role though it involves trading research as mentioned above


Pros of second offer:
- In NYC
- Exposure to lots of different things
- Huge AUM relative to size
- Technically a quant role, and at a hedge fund
- Not as big and established but I'd imagine pretty good reputation on the Street (according to a quick glance at its recent news on google)

Cons of second offer:
- A bit more grunt work
- Risk as opposed to trading research
- Carries a higher risk of quant team being cut/restructured if business is bad or during a recession, etc.

I'd imagine it comes down to location and role title vs. actual responsibilities and big brand (although I'd imagine a case for brand can be made for either).

Which offer would you guys be more keen on?
 
Last edited:

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
is your intuition giving you a signal at all? Does either feel right? Hippie question for sure, but that can be a useful indicator.

All else equal, it's better to be closer to the money.

Being the quant guy in a fundamental shop is a good entry point if you can't be the quant guy in a quant shop.

It's a good trade to be quant in a fundamental shop if you're the one eyed king in the land of the blind, bad if you're the rented nerd.

Often better exits come with named firms. It can be tough to find a gig after working at a defunct hedge fund named for some street on Nantucket.
 
It's a good trade to be quant in a fundamental shop if you're the one eyed king in the land of the blind.
This was the main thought. It doesn't seem that the quant is the trader's bitch, based on what I saw. But, it also didn't mean that you're the king either. Usually this type of scenario is fulfilled by a fundamental firm hiring an experienced tech data scientist/quant at a quant shop, no?

Anyhow, I have enough information to make a decision now. Thanks everyone.
 
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