If you were wondering just how difficult the current fundraising environment is for hedge funds, look no further than this year’s biggest startup, Woodline Partners, which reportedly capped its fund at around $2 billion before it sets to begin trading later this week, according to Bloomberg. That’s about $6 billion short of last year’s biggest launch, ExodusPoint Capital Management, which debuted with roughly $8 billion in assets in June of 2018.
Woodline will be among only a handful of new hedge funds to open their doors in 2019 with more than $1 billion in investor commitments. The San Francisco hedge fund has so far had a narrow focus when it comes to new hires, though that will always be expected leading up to a new launch. Here are the type of people the firm has been hiring so far. Any commonalities you have with the people below can only help your chances.
The vast majority are former Citadel employees
Founded by Michael Rockefeller and Karl Kroeker, two alums of Citadel’s Global Equities unit, Woodline Partners has filled many of its management roles and even a few of its more junior seats with people who have ties to the hedge fund giant. That list includes Matthew Hooker, a former managing director at Citadel Global Equities and the current chief operating officer at Woodline, along with several former Citadel employees that are now portfolio managers at the hedge fund startup, including Aaron Moatz, Chris Hawkins and Steven Rosenberg. Woodline’s chief compliance officer, Erin Mullen, and head of quant research, Roshan Raman, also previously worked at Citadel.
Many others worked at Criterion or Goldman Sachs
At least five current Woodline employees were previously employed at Criterion Capital Management, the San Francisco hedge fund that closed its doors after 16 years last October. However, only one Criterion alum – an unnamed trader – seems to work on the investment management side.
Meanwhile, a handful of former Goldman Sachs analysts and associates are now with Woodline, including trader Greg Lerner, who worked in equities trading at Goldman until May of this year. Two current Woodline associates – Benjamin Jamison and Brian Schmidt – previously worked as investment bankers at Mizuho and J.P. Morgan, respectively. As you’d probably expect, almost all Woodline employees attended target schools, including Wharton, Booth, Stanford and Georgetown, among others.
Tech and healthcare experience appear must-haves
Woodline is a long-short fund that focuses on two sectors: healthcare and technology. Every front-office employee seems to have covered one of these two industries, including the aforementioned Goldman Sachs analysts and associates. As with most funds that mature over time, post-launch hires at Woodline will likely come from different schools and be alums of a wider breadth of firms. But experience covering healthcare or tech, on the buy-side or sell-side, may be table stakes for getting your foot in the door.
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