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Alts industry fundraising hires hit all-time high in Q3 2016

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Recruitment of marketing and fundraising staff across the alternative funds sector, including hedge funds, private equity firms, real estate managers and third-party marketing firms, reached an all-time high in the third quarter of 2016, according to corporate advisory and search firm Contect Jensen Partners (CJP).

“Hiring hit an all-time high in the third quarter, with marketing moves up across the board,” says Sasha Jensen (pictured), founder and CEO of Context Jensen Partners. “This demand reflects the continued need for experienced marketing professionals to establish fund flows and raise new capital. As we head into the end of the year, we are seeing especially strong demand for marketing professionals at firms that specialise in private equity, private debt, real estate and real assets.”
According to CJP, there were 231 total marketing moves in Q3 2016, up from 188 moves in Q3 2015, making it the most active quarter CJP has ever tracked. Year-to-date there have been 631 marketing moves, compared to 457 moves over the same time period in 2015, an increase of nearly 40 per cent.
The US market for asset raising talent continues to dwarf the UK market with 489 moves year-to-date, more than double the UK’s 193 moves, while UK-specific moves declined for the third consecutive quarter and are down more than 50 per cent from a Q1 2016 peak, suggesting continued fallout from Brexit. The US market, meanwhile, remains a healthy fundraising environment with 155 moves in the quarter, up nearly 50 per cent versus Q3 2015.
Hedge fund hiring in Q3 2016 featured 94 moves, compared to 76 moves in Q2 2016 and 101 moves in Q2 2015, with equity strategies were the most active with 46 moves, rebounding from a slightly sluggish Q2 2016 when there were 37 moves.
Hiring for credit strategies dropped almost in half from the previous quarter, a possible sign that the market is becoming saturated after more than a year of strong activity, while event-driven strategies were the surprise winner in Q3 2016 with an all-time high of 17 marketing hires, more than the previous two quarters combined.
Private equity continues to attract talent and gather assets with 44 hires in Q3 2016, a 63 per cent increase from 27 in Q3 2015. Year-to-date, there have been 157 private equity hires, more than double the number of marketing hires over the same period in 2015, and already up 25 per cent over full-year 2015 numbers.
Within the private equity space, there is especially strong interest in private credit and infrastructure-focused investments. In what CJP describes as a ‘potential sign of things to come’, several large private equity firms have recently closed large fundraising rounds featuring unusually long-term investment horizons.
Demand for real estate marketers reached an all-time peak with 37 marketing moves in the quarter, up from 23 moves in Q2 2016 and 12 moves in Q3 2015.
Third-party marketers, which include placement agents, enjoyed an uptick in Q3 2016 with 41 marketing moves, up from 33 moves in Q2 2016 but down slightly from 48 moves in Q3 2015.

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