Morning Coffee: How to work for a hot new hedge fund without leaving your banking job. Be a pest, get a mentor
Since investment banks were forced to close their prop trading desks, the hallowed route out to the buy-side has been much tougher. Meanwhile, simply quitting to start your own hedge fund is, currently, risky to say the least.
Pierre-Yves Morlat and Laurent Laizet have a better solution. They have both been working at Credit Suisse as senior traders for the past seven years. As of this month, they’ve officially launched an internal quantitative hedge fund, called Qube, and are in the process of raising $800m from external investors.
Qube was registered with regulators in November 2015 (as Credit Suisse Quantitative and Systematic Asset Management Limited), but began trading earlier this month. Morlat joined Credit Suisse in 2009 as head of proprietary arbitrage trading for Europe and Asia.
Qube is London-based, but Credit Suisse is also launching another fund in New York, QT, early next year which will be led by senior trader Nick Branca.
Credit Suisse is using a select band of external investors, rather than its own funds, and has moved the team of traders across to its asset management arm, rather than its investment bank. It seems a novel way of keeping senior prop trading talent from fleeing to the buy-side.
Separately, in or out of investment banking, you’ll need a mentor and if you have ambitions to quit the sector for a start-up you’ll require a particular type of guidance. But how do you approach such an inspiring mentor. A carefully crafted email? A chance encounter? The right introduction?
How about dogged persistence. Pete Kadens quit his investment banking job to start his own firm after hearing a speech by serial entrepreneur Glen Tullman. “I thought, ‘he’s going to be my investor, my mentor, my friend',” Kadens told the WSJ. In the end Kadens phoned Tullman’s assistant so many times that she begged him to return his calls.
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