Published: Jul 21, 2020
Wall Street used to be known as a "boys club," and media depictions of women in business didn't help. A decade ago New York Magazine was publishing stories like "Foxes of Wall Street," which rated women in finance by their looks. Of course, publishers gave the same treatment to men, like WSJ's "Sexiest Men on Wall Street." But in a field where the gender pay gap was 20% or higher for the same job, you can't blame the women in finance if it rankled.
In recent years Wall Street firms have been actively recruiting women, expanding diversity affinity groups and networks, and making sure their entry-level analyst and associate classes have a high ratio of women to men. In fact, more than a few firms' analysts classes now have an equal number of women and men. But what is it like to work at a hot hedge fund, from the point of veiw of the women who work there? We asked one to give us a day in the life:
7:00 AM: Arrive at the office, read The Wall Street Journal on the way into work to brief on current events in the market. Read industry magazines/journals to find out the latest news.
8:00 AM: After having coffee and bagel, check e-mails and phone messages from clients. Respond to client's questions concerning performance of the fund and general market conditions.
9:00 AM: Work on writing the monthly newsletter. This involves getting all the analytics of the fund, which are obtained from the operations manager. It also requires the fund manager to summarize market conditions for the month and indicate which of the firms' securities were impacted and which were not. You assist the fund manager in gathering the market data.
10:00 AM: Get called into a meeting with a potential investor by the hedge fund manager. Present the terms and conditions of investing with the fund: lockup periods, minimum investment, etc. The manager has already gone over the returns of the fund and his investment philosophy.
11:30 AM: Leave for a lunch in Midtown with an existing investor in the fund. This lunch was arranged to discuss a potential investment in a new fund that we are launching. Over lunch, you discuss the existing performance of our fund, general market conditions, and what differences the new fund would mean to his portfolio.
2:00 PM: Arrive back from lunch to many e-mails and voice messages. Respond to the e-mails, and continue to write the monthly newsletter as well as researching the macro economic conditions for the past month.
3:00 PM: Speak to capital introductions group at a leading prime broker to discuss their next conference and to see if the firm can present at it. The conference is full for speakers, but the firm will attend.
4:00 PM: Arrange meetings with potential investors for the fund manager. Continue with the monthly newsletter. This usually takes a few full days to complete since the coordination of the different departments can be timely.
5:30 PM: Leave for a dinner in Midtown with a potential investor in the fund and the hedge fund manager to discuss the investor's potential investment into a new fund the firm is launching. Over dinner, you discuss the existing performance of our funds, general market conditions and what investing in the new fund would mean to his portfolio.
8:00 PM: After dinner, grab a cab home and crash to Soho House.
Below is an account of an 18-hour period in the life of an investment banking summer analyst; she works as a corporate finance generalist for Houlihan Lokey in New York.
7:30 AM: Wake up to the repetitive beeping of my alarm; immediately check my phone.
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