Point72's newest recruit shows how hard it is to get a junior hedge fund job now
Outside of its highly-contested graduate programme, what does it take to get a junior job at Steve Cohen's hedge fund-cum-family office Point72 Asset Management? Point72 is a proponent of the so-called 'quantimental' approach to investing - using quantitative techniques to allow discretionary portfolio managers to make better decisions - and its latest recruit is reflective of this.
Kim Chatall, a former associate at Morgan Stanley, has just joined Point72 as an analyst in its long/short global equities team in London. Chatall's background makes him an interesting choice for Point72, not least because he's been working in IBD for the past three years.
Chatall joined Morgan Stanley's London operation in July 2013 and was most recently an associate within its financial institutions group investment banking division. But in a relatively short career, he has also built up the sort of skills and experience that are more suited to hedge funds. For a start, he spent six months at Handelsbanken Capital Markets in Sweden working as a quant within its risk management and model development group. As well as this, during his time studying for an MSc in Mathematics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, he spent nine months working in structured finance at Carnegie Investment Bank.
The implication is that if you are one of the 0.3-0.4% of juniors who successfully navigate the recruitment process at Point72, you need not only a bulge bracket bank on your CV, but must combine this with quantitative and technical skills.
Will Tovey, head of Point72's London office told us previously: “There may be a lot of talent in the banks, but it’s not necessarily the skills we’re looking for. We want people who can perform in-depth, fundamental analysis of stocks and companies. Demand for that young analytical talent is very high currently.”
Meanwhile, Matthew Granade, chief market intelligence officer at the firm, said that there's a 'minimum bid' of skills that anyone needs now.
“Firstly, you’ll be great at the analytical process, be able to structure problems well and be able to apply the traditional creative investment process to data,” he said. “But you’ll also need statistical know-how and to understand quantitative techniques, as well as a technical ability to manipulate data using some sort of programming language – either Python or R.”
Point72 has been expanding its relaunched London office over the past 12 months, but performance has dipped at the firm over the same period. In 2016, it returned 1%, according to figures seen by Bloomberg, which is the second worst year for Steve Cohen ever.
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