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Students eye hedge funds and PE firms despite crisis

The Alternative Investments Conference organised by the London School of Economics private equity society and financial markets group has attracted unprecedented interest among students and financial institutions with over six top-level students competing for each place available.

Despite the fact that the global economy and the financial markets are still recovering from the crisis, interest from top universities and business schools worldwide is stronger than ever.

2009 was marked by one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression, challenging investors’ confidence in many ways, and having a knock-on effect on recruitment campaigns by asset management companies across the board.

A greater degree of differentiation between hedge funds has taken place in 2009, with investors increasing allocations to those firms offering truly superior investment returns, proven investment processes that have been successful in weathering the crisis, solid operational infrastructure and transparency to investors. Indeed, many hedge funds staged a strong recovery in 2009.

As future sector employees, the most motivated students were quick to notice the turnaround in 2009 and see the long-term future of the industry. This has driven applications to attend this year’s conference up by over 50 per cent to 2,200 applications for the 350 places available.

The LSE AIC conference will cover a range of topics, including identifying value in unusual places, the crisis aftermath, going back to basics in private equity, commodities, funds of hedge funds, emerging markets, regulatory developments and the future outlook for hedge funds and private equity as well as a wide variety of hedge fund investment strategies.

Successful delegates undergo a rigorous screening process to attend. This year, the mandate of selecting delegates has been awarded to The Cornell Partnership’s specialist alternative investment group.

Randall Dillard, co-founder and chief investment officer of Liongate Capital Management, the lead platinum conference sponsor, says: “The talent pool for alternative asset recruitment at even the graduate and post-graduate level is now truly global, which is only logical for those firms wanting to attract outstanding talent.

“Successful firms are continuing to recruit and the conference provides an ideal event for potential employees and employers to get to know each other and identify best-fit opportunities. We are delighted to support the conference and congratulate the committee on all their hard work.”

Sir Howard Davies, the director of the London School of Economics and former chairman of the Financial Services Authority, adds: “The LSE Alternative Investments Conference proves that the LSE students are at the forefront of fostering the understanding of finance among fellow students from many universities around the world. The students have not been discouraged by the crisis and have worked harder than ever before to produce an even better conference.”

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