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Careers in hedge funds: Job market alive and kicking

Investment bankers out of a job might do well to consider a career in alternative investments in 2009.

Despite media coverage highlighting investor redemptions and poor performance, data collected by Job Search Digest imply that there are plenty of opportunities to join hedge funds and private equity firms. "There is still a strong flow of private equity and hedge fund hiring. Those doing OK are looking to hire but the number of people applying has diminished," says David Kochanek, president of Job Search Digest, which polled hundreds of hedge fund managers and employees in the US and UK over summer 2008. The reduction in applications could be because people believe there are fewer opportunities and so have ceased looking or because potential candidates are looking outside of alternatives, believing there are safer career options elsewhere, Kochanek says.

The strongholds for careers in hedge funds remain London and New York, with about 80% of the job market, according to Job Search Digest. Connecticut and Chicago bring up the rear. This year’s hedge fund compensation report, however, showed a fall in the average salary at London-based hedge funds. Kochanek says that in Asia there has been less hiring than expected. "The demand for talent in Asia was also affected by the market shift," he says.

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