#4 Hedge Fund v Private Equity: The Final Piece of the Puzzle… by Barden

Welcome to the final edition of the Barden Financial Services Asset Management Blog Series. Each blog has aimed to deliver asset management focused content, to demystify and decode some of the tricky terminology out there, and to shine a light on asset management as a career.

As the experts in financial services recruitment we regularly field questions about asset management, and in particular hedge funds and private equity.

In this final edition focusing on hedge funds and private equity Fionnán O’Sullivan, Managing Partner with Barden’s Financial Services Practice, summaries what we’ve learnt so far and delivers the final piece of the puzzle…

So far we’ve published three blogs about hedge funds and private equity including what they do, the nature of the work, and, more recently, skills and career requirements for each.  In this final edition, focusing on hedge funds and private equity, we summarise it all…

Hedge Fund vs Private Equity: Summary

Private equity is better if:

  • You want to work on long-term investments, and you like structure, process, and relationship-building.
  • You’re analytical, but you don’t like maths enough to be a “quant,” and you want a variety of day-to-day work.
  • You come from a traditional investment banking background, and you want to continue working on deals.
  • You don’t mind hours that fluctuate with deal activity as well as a decent amount of business travel.
  • You like the structured hierarchy and advancement process and the career visibility that accompanies them.
  • You’re not 100% sure what you want to do in the future, and you want to leave your options open.

Hedge funds are better if:

  • You are extremely passionate about the public markets and investing, and you want to spend the bulk of your time coming up with ideas to help streamline the process of accounting for investments.
  • (For quant funds) You have a maths, engineering, or computer science background, and you want to use it in a technical role.
  • You don’t fit the mould of a “typical banker” (i.e., 1H undergrad, top bank, Masters/MBA route), but you want to start earning money and have an interest in the in the markets.
  • You like regular, predictable hours (can be long, esp. at month end) and a consistent location with less frequent travel.
  • You don’t mind the random/unpredictable advancement process, and you can tolerate significant uncertainty.
  • You’re very certain that you want a long-term career in finance, and you have no interest in joining a normal company or doing something outside of finance.


As you can see there are a number of differences when it comes to hedge funds and private equity. If you’re considering a career in these areas it’s essential to be aware of the ins and outs.

We hope these blogs have helped to shine a light asset management, and more specifically hedge funds and private equity. To read the previous editions of the Barden Financial Services Asset Management Series click the links below:


We’re the experts in financial services recruitment in Ireland: We work on financial services (FS) jobs at all levels, partnering with FS talent and world-class FS teams nationally. If you’re a financial services professional seeking opportunity or an FS leader looking to attract new talent, our experts can help. So get in touch with our team today on hello@barden.ieSimple.

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to hello@barden.ie and we will take it from there. Easy.

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