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Hivemind, I need advice!

The hedge fund where Mr. VB spent the last 6 years closed shop last week. He knew this was coming and has been interviewing like a mad man. He received a few offers, and now I sort of have to help him with the decision making process (he's also consulting a bunch of mentors and friends in his field who know the functional areas better) and I'm at a bit of a loss.

He has spent is entire career as a trader. For those familiar with sales & trading or hedge funds, being a trader on the buy side is one of the most coveted positions in the industry. The hours are great and static & the bonus upside is pretty much infinity if your fund is performing well and you're hitting or exceeding expectations. When I was in business school I would say 20% of my class was looking to move to the buy side as a trader.


The problem is that he doesn't love trading. In fact, he has spent the last year teaching himself coding and programming to write algorithms and create trading software.

So, he has two offers now from top 10 hedge funds. They both have the same total 1st year offer package, but the proportions in base salary & bonus are different.

1. Job A is a programming role (considered "back office") and he's actually shocked he received the offer because when they just called to make the offer he was informed his technical experience is below that of the other applicants, but his other experience and potential sealed the deal for them. After 15 interviews I really hoped that if they felt he wasn't strong enough technically they would have stopped investing interviewer time in him! This package is a higher base and a low bonus - which indicates that his earning potential in this and similar roles is capped. Hours would likely be 8:30 - 600ish, which are longer than his old trading hours of 7am - 4:30pm. There's also the opportunity that his hours would be longer , which wouldn't happen in trading. He thinks this may be his last chance to switch from the front to back office considering where he is in his career. His ultimate goal here is to become a fund COO 15 years down the line.

2. Job B is a trading role - BUT it's the European shift which means that he will be working 2am - ~11am for 2 years and would then move to a US shift of 7am - 4:30pm. I think his real only issue here is the hours because they will impact his quality of life and mean that we will likely have live in help if my current pregnancy yields a baby in October. His friends in the industry keep telling him that if he turns away from this job he will never have the opportunity to be front office again, which is sort of true. The base here is the same as his current base but the bonus is quite high. And the bonus potential would increase every year vs. Job A. He has colleagues who were traders at his fund who have been unemployed for almost 2 years because trading jobs are becoming few and far between.


Deep down I think he's also worried that trading will eventually become automated and traders will be relics of the past, leaving him without job prospects in 5 - 10 years. The functional area of the other opportunity is much more secure moving into the future.

So, I'm listening to him and encouraging him to talk to everyone he knows. I don't love the hours for Job B, but it's temporary (and the contract reads that way), and I don't want to be selfish about his time when he really needs to do what is best for him and our family in the long term. Then I'm worried if he goes to the back office he will regret it as it has the potential to be a huge hit to his ego.


Thoughts? Advice? I'll be deleting this later today because the content is a bit sensitive.

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