The President of Suvretta Capital Management, a $1 billion global long short fund, recently agreed to field questions from aspiring Wall Street professionals. Keith R. Weiner’s main takeaways are summarized below.
1. Make a good impression on future employers by distinguishing yourself as a person passionate about investing. Doing that in an interview is all about actually being passionate. Weiner goes on to say that he finds it important to spend time with candidates in social settings. “The passion is something that will be exhibited by how they talk.”
2. Unconventional Road. Weiner advises getting into a good investment banking training program for those graduating from a university not targeted by Wall Street firms for recruiting. “Not everyone in these programs come from the best schools.”
3. Knowledge. Weiner recommends this document written by a former colleague as a basic guide for alternative investing.
4. “Do what you love”. In response to a question about whether it is better to focus your efforts on industry specific training (health care equities for example), or take a more generalist approach; Mr. Weiner said, “do what you love.” If CIO is the direction you are pursuing, take a generalist approach. Should you want to run a team of people who are investing, industry knowledge will be helpful.
5. Build your track-record. Having a good track record is important if a start-up hedge fund would like to attract the attention of funds of funds. If you don’t have a track record, make sure you have a good team with a strategy that replicates what you have done before. It is also a good idea to cultivate references from influential portfolio managers.
6. Look for CF and Growth. Knowing how investment strategies work is important, but it’s not the most important thing. “At the end of the day you should be buying stocks for future cash flows and with very low rates you should want some growth component.”
7. “Pounding the pavement” is how he does fundraising. There are a limited number of investors for hedge funds. Do what it takes to get in front of them. He added, “It is developing a simple story that talks about who you are, what you do, how you can scale and replicate it and manage risk.”
8. “I like fundamental driven strategies, I think they perform best over many cycles.” The company’s history in the market and goals are important factors when it comes to investing.
9. When looking at a company’s management team, pay attention to their track record as well as the alignment of their interests with growth.
10. Fof great place to retire…but not to start. Would Mr. Weiner recommend his own career path to investors? “If you want to invest I would NOT recommend my career path. A FoF [funds of funds] is a great place to retire after being an investor. Not the other way around.”