Context Jensen: Pace Of Alternative Industry Hiring Remains At Record

Jul 25 2017 | 7:43pm ET

The hiring of fundraising and distribution professionals by alternative asset management firms continued at a record pace in the first half of 2017, according to new research from industry executive search specialist and corporate advisor Context Jensen.

A total of 502 fundraising and marketing professional hires were made during the first six months of the year, Context Jensen said, an increase of more than 25% compared to the first half of 2016. 

The company recorded 251 marketing moves in the second quarter, matching the previous record set in Q1/2016. Driving the majority of this hiring activity are hedge funds, which accounted for about 29.1% of all marketing moves in the quarter, and private equity firms, which accounted for 24.7% of all moves.

Other key hiring highlights from Context Jensen’s latest quarterly report: 

  • Alternative distribution moves in Q1 2017 increased by 39.4% from Q2 2016 and by 60.9% from Q2 2015
  • Both the U.K. and U.S. experienced a small uptick in hiring activity, cumulatively representing 88.8% of all marketing moves in the quarter.
  • Hedge funds slowed down their hiring with just 73 moves in Q2. This follows a particularly strong Q1 when there were 107 moves, a potential indication of saturation in the market.
  • Almost every strategy took a hit in Q2, with Credit and Equity-focused strategies dropping to their lowest levels in more than two years. Part of the explanation is the introduction of a private credit category, which by itself outpaced credit-specific hedge fund strategies.
  • With quants in increasingly high demand, CTAs are beginning to build a noticeable lead over other more niche strategies, such as Multi-Strat, Global Macro, Event Driven and Fund of Funds.
  • Fundraising in the PE space peaked in Q2, with a record-high $121 billion raised in the quarter versus 62 new marketing hires. This is up significantly from 48 moves in Q2 2016 and 37 moves in Q2 2015.

“The one constant of the alternative investment industry is that there are no constants,” said Sasha Jensen, founder & CEO of Context Jensen Partners. “Seemingly each day, firms are moving into new markets and new strategies, and of course bringing in new talent. We continue to see increased interest in strategies that can meet institutional allocators’ demand for longer lock-up vehicles and innovative yield strategies that are uncorrelated to broader markets.”

Context Jensen’s quarterly newsletter provides data and insights on the current fundraising environment for alternative investment managers, including hedge funds, private equity firms, multi-asset managers, real estate managers and third-party marketing firms. 

The publication is based on the company’s proprietary big data recruitment model to mapping out the distribution platforms for more than 950 alternative asset management firms, including hedge funds, private equity, real estate and infrastructure firms, and third-party marketing firms. Since January 2014, CJP has tracked approximately 3,100 moves across the alternative asset management industry.

Founded in 2011, New York-based Context Jensen Partners is an executive search firm exclusively dedicated to sourcing strategiccapital raisers across the entire alternative asset management industry. The company joined forces with Context Capital Partners, an alternatives specialist with subsidiaries active in hedge funds, liquid alternatives mutual funds, private equity and industry events, in 2015. 

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