Relationship managers work for large investment banks and independent firms that provide prime brokerage and related services to hedge funds. There has been considerable industry consolidation in recent years. In 2019, eight firms (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, Bank of America, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Citigroup) controlled nearly 81 percent of the market, according to Hedge Fund Alert. Other investment banks that have prominent prime brokerage departments include Bank of America, Citigroup, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Fidelity Investments, and Jefferies.
Relationship management jobs at prime brokerages are generally found on job search boards. Knowing somebody in the prime brokerage department of an investment bank or at a hedge fund can also improve your chances of landing a job. You can develop these relationships by participating in internships, attending networking events, and interacting with hedge fund and prime brokerage professionals at social networking sites. Aspiring relationship managers can also learn more about job openings by using the resources of their college’s career services center, attending investment banking career fairs, and by visiting the Web sites of investment banks and independent prime brokerage firms to learn more about and apply for jobs.
After a few years of experience and excellent job performance, relationship managers can advance to supervisory positions, and then to executive jobs such as vice president, director, and managing director. Those in top-level positions move away from day-to-day interactions with hedge fund managers—instead, focusing on “big picture” issues, as well as fulfilling more challenging requests from hedge funds.
This career provides excellent preparation for a job at a hedge fund, and some relationship managers transition into investor relations positions or operational roles at hedge funds. Others work for regulatory agencies such as the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Visit https://www.hfalert.com/rankings/rankings.pl?Q=149 for a list of the banks with the largest prime brokerage practices. Use this list to identify potential employers.
As a student, obtain experience by completing an internship at an investment bank (ideally in its prime brokerage department) or at a hedge fund.
Attend BRMConnect (https://brm.institute/brmconnect-events/#!), a networking and professional development events series that is sponsored by the BRM Institute.