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Hedge fund boss Dmitry Balyasny touring campuses in search of "the best" people

As hedge fund hiring heats up, a new phenomenon has been spotted on university campuses: hedge fund founders are out there, selling the concept of working for their companies to elite students.

Ken Griffin, founder of Citadel, spoke to students at the London School of Economics in October. And in the past few months Dmitry Balyasny, founder of Balyasny Asset Management (BAM), has been out there speaking to students at MIT, NYU and Princeton. 

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Addressing students at Princeton, Balyasny said BAM likes to recruit and develop the "best people", to support them "with all the various tools and tech and data," and to then allocate capital between them.

Like Citadel, BAM has an established graduate training program, which Balyasny said involves "rotational internships." It also runs an early careers program for analysts coming from banks. Speaking in October, Balyasny said BAM had hired 120 interns this year and that around a third of them typically convert into full time employees. 

Like Griffin at Citadel, Balynasy said that to succeed in a large multistrategy hedge fund, you need to be a good communicator. "My philosophy has always been that specialists in different trading and investment areas, when they lose money in a significant way it's usually not because they completely misunderstood something in their area of specialty," he told students at Princeton. "Usually it's because something is impacting them that came out of left field, at a macro level or like a market structure level or something that's going on outside of their particular relative value universe."

To overcome this, he said the specialists much talk to each other. Success is about, "creating the environment where it's very easy to walk up to a person on another desk and learn what they're doing and pick up some stuff...."

Balyasny stressed that hedge funds don't just have jobs for portfolio managers. "A lot of people underestimate how much the business of the fund drives the ultimate success...it requires investment in people, infrastructure, business processes, real estate, and more," he informed the students at Princeton.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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