Hedge funds rumoured to be employing freelance strategists on 200k

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Investment strategy is crucial to a hedge fund's success. Having unearthed someone capable of devising a good one, it might therefore seem inevitable that a fund will make them a full time employee. Not always.

According to one hedge fund specialist headhunter, some funds are now willing to employ strategists on a freelance basis, and to allow them to reside many miles from the mother ship.

"People are getting paid to work as freelance idea generators," he alleges. "If big firms spot someone they like, rather than hiring them and giving them 25% of whatever they make, they're saying, 'We'll give you 200k a year and you can sit in your office in rural France.

"It's not a dream ticket, but that kind of money goes a long way outside London," he muses.

Brevan Howard's recent results suggest contract workers are being used to provide services outside their traditional realism of IT, risk and compliance. Brevan Howard Asset Management spent 2m on 'corporate services' including 'research, risk and oversight' from 'related parties' in its most recent financial year.

Unfortunately, unearthing a 200k strategy job which allows you to live in the foothills of the Pyrenees may prove challenging. Most recruiters say they've never heard of them, and that they're probably filled through word of mouth.

Roles working for hedge fund service firms are easier to come by. Compliance-focused consultancy IMS has recently begun offering 'financial marketing support' (fund raising assistance) to hedge funds, and would be interested in employing, "the right individuals," according to director Stephen Burke.

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