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Jensen Partners Q2 2021 Newsletter: Hiring Boom Kicks Into Overdrive for Alts Firms


More than 1,300 marketing professionals have moved into new roles so far this year

What started as a stream has turned into a torrent as the alternative investment industry kicks back into high gear.

Investment firms have now posted two straight quarters of record hiring, with Q2 in particular up by more than 40% over what we tracked during this time period last year. In total, we have tracked 1,315 marketing moves in the first half of the year, easily outpacing any previous two-quarter period. These hires are buoyed by a similar record jump in fundraising and fund launches as more firms ramp up their activities. While the threat of rising inflation is in the back of many investor's minds, most firms we have spoken to are taking a longer view and planning accordingly. This is good news for the thousands of marketing and IR professionals that either recently took time off to be with family or are now looking for a new challenge.

The marketing role itself has evolved significantly in recent months. While investor relationships and fundraising experience are still the two most important qualifications for a candidate, our conversations with hiring managers suggest that firms are also looking for marketers that can bring a unique set of skills to the table. The skill sets in highest demand include:

  • Marketers with specialist knowledge about a niche investment strategy, particularly in the credit markets
  • Marketers who have familiarity with ESG and sustainability, and are comfortable answering investor questions about a firm's alignment with industry best practices
  • Marketers with on-the-ground experience in specific geographies, such as China, Japan, and South Korea
  • Marketers who come from diverse backgrounds, and who are committed to building a diverse team

Very few marketers are likely to be able to check all these boxes, which is part of the reason why alts firms are hiring for multiple roles simultaneously. A product specialist may work alongside an ESG specialist, both of whom may meet regularly with the DEI committee and with their colleagues in APAC. We see this kind of segmentation as indicative of the marketing team of the future, with each individual responsible for a specific aspect of the marketing function. More to come on this trend in future newsletters.

As for Q2 itself, we recorded a total of 570 marketing moves, down by nearly 25% from the 745 hires in Q1 but up significantly from any previous Q2, including +41.44% compared to Q2 2020 representing an increase of 167 moves. The second and third quarters historically tend to be the quietest in terms of hiring activity, so for Q2 to easily surpass 500 moves (and with Q3 already off to a strong start) suggests that this will be the busiest year in the history of the alternative investment industry.
The biggest drivers of the hiring activity YTD appear to be Private Equity firms (194 moves YTD), Multi-Asset firms (186 moves), and Hedge Funds (116 moves). These were also the most active types of firms in Q2, although in a slightly different order, with Multi-Asset firms (153 moves) leading the way, followed by Private Equity firms (107 moves) and Hedge Funds (86 moves). Taken together, these three strategies account for more than a third (37.72%) of all hiring activity this year and offer a useful lens into industry trends and challenges.

As we've discussed in previous newsletters, one of the biggest trends (and challenges) for alts firms is the growing demand for action on diversity. In Q1, we noted that we were beginning to see signs of improvement when it comes to the hiring of racially and gender-diverse marketing professionals. This progress has continued into Q2. Consider that in Q1 we tracked 386 diverse moves (303 female candidates + 83 male BIPOC candidates), representing a little more than half (51.8%) of all marketing moves in the quarter. In Q2, we tracked 320 diverse moves (213 female candidates + 107 BIPOC candidates), bringing the diversity ratio up to 56.14%. The increase in BIPOC talent is especially encouraging, although there is clearly still a long way to go with Black hires accounting for just 3.33% of all moves in the quarter. We will continue to report on these trends and occasionally offer deep dives into our diversity data using our proprietary DiversityMetrics™ platform. If there is a specific data point you would like to see, please do not hesitate to ask.

In the meantime, extending our best wishes to all our clients, partners and friends for a healthy and happy second half of the year.


Sasha Jensen

News Corner

Here is a selection of recent articles and studies about hiring, marketing and fundraising in the alternative investment industry:

Citywire Selector: Private equity goes on ESG recruitment drive

FN London: Banking exodus drives PE hiring spree: ‘I’ll earn more in private equity’

FundFire: Private Equity Shops: If We Don’t Deliver on ESG, Don’t Pay Us

FundFire: Sustainable Infrastructure Funds Move 'Front and Center'

FundFire: Hedge Funds Aim New ESG Funds at Climate, Energy Transition

FundFire: Private Equity Managers Scramble as Fundraising Pace Speeds Up

Private Equity International: Black Women in Asset Management- 'You belong'

Private Equity International: ILPA- A 'positive, not punitive' approach

Private Equity International: Gender-lens investing- More than meets the eye?

Private Equity International: Gender equality- Five ways private funds are making progress | Private Equity International

Private Equity Wire: Capstone survey highlights growing ESG conviction among private equity LPs worldwide

The Wall Street Journal: Private Equity Weighs Linking Manager Pay to ESG Performance

Data Highlights

Here are a few of the most interesting data points from Q2:

❖ We tracked 570 marketing moves in Q2, a 23.49% decrease from Q1 2021 but a +41.79% from the 402 moves in Q4 2020, making it the sixth straight quarter that hiring activity has surpassed 400 moves.

❖ The biggest movers and shakers for Q2 included: Multi-Asset firms (153 moves), Private Equity firms (107 moves), and Hedge Funds (86 moves). These are also the three sectors that generated the most hiring activity YTD, although in a slightly different order with Private Equity firms (194 moves) leading the way, followed by Multi-Asset firms (186 moves), and Hedge Funds (116 moves).

❖ Only two sectors saw a jump in Q2 2021 when compared to Q1 2021: Private Fund Group (65 moves, or +30.0%), and Wealth Management (49 moves, or +4.26%). Private Fund Group also witnessed the biggest jump compared to Q2 2020, with a 441.67% increase from 24 moves. The remaining sectors, with the exception of FinTech/Venture Capital, which is a more niche sector, experienced a hiring slump, according to our data, including: Private Equity (107 moves or -44.85%), Real Estate (19 moves or -34.48%), Hedge Funds (86 moves or -25.86%), Credit (34 moves or -24.44%), and Multi-Asset (153 moves or -17.74%).

❖ When compared to Q2 2020, however, we observe a different trend. Private Equity, Multi-Asset, and Hedge Funds, which experienced a hiring slump when compared to Q1 2021, are the three sectors that saw an increase in hires when compared to Q2 2020. Specifically, Private Equity hiring increased by 143.18% (or +63 moves from Q2 2020), Multi-Asset by 128.36% (or +86 moves), and Hedge Funds by 65.38% (or +34 moves). Similarly, FinTech/Venture Capital and Wealth Management are the two sectors that experienced a boon in hiring compared to Q1, but Q2 2020 comparisons suggest a different scenario, with FinTech/Venture Capital experiencing a 70.00% decrease in the number of hires (or -7 moves) and Wealth Management -49.48% (or -48 moves).

❖ We continue to also track hiring activity in the more niche sectors of the alternative investment space (see 'New Categories' table). In this category, FinTech/Venture Capital had a strong second quarter with 3 moves (or +2 moves, an +200% increase). Unlike the first quarter, the Secondaries sector, which saw a 580% increase in Q1, experienced a slump in marketing hires with 28 moves (or -6 moves, a -17.65% decrease). However, when compared to Q2 2020, we observe that the Secondaries industry saw a 64.71% increase in hires (or +11 moves).

❖ Unlike Q1, in Q2 we observed a decline in marketing hires across all regions with the exception of MENA, which remained at 4 moves. Specifically, in the second quarter of 2021, APAC had 45 moves (or -22 moves, a -32.84% decrease), the UK had 120 moves (-42 moves, a -25.93% decrease), the rest of Europe had 56 moves (-16 moves, a -22.22% decrease), and NORAM had 344 moves (-93 moves, or a -21.28% decrease).

Data on Diversity

With diversity emerging as a top-of-mind issue for alternative investment firms in 2020, we take a deep dive using Jensen Partners’ newly launched DiversityMetrics(TM) data visualization technology to see how well the alternative investment industry is improving diversity among the ranks of marketers.

❖   In Q1, we tracked 386 diverse moves (303 female candidates + 83 male BIPOC candidates), representing a little more than half of all marketing moves in the quarter (51.8%). This is a positive trend compared to previous quarters, and a 20% increase from the diversity ratio of 43.2% we recorded for 2020 overall. In Q2, we tracked 320 diverse moves (213 female candidates and 107 BIPOC candidates), representing 56.14% of all marketing moves in the quarter.

❖   From a gender perspective, female moves in Q2 represent 37.37% of all hires, down from 40.67% we recorded for Q1 2021, but up from 27.54% in Q2 2020. We also observed that both female and male moves decreased in the second quarter. However, when compared to male moves, female moves decreased by -29.70% from Q1 2021, whereas male moves only increased by -19.23% from Q1 2021. Yet, when compared to Q2 2020, we observe that female moves increased by 108.82%; whereas, male moves increase by only 18.60%.

❖   In terms of racial ethnicity, we continue to see Caucasians make up the vast bulk of all marketing moves-- 79.47% in Q2 (78.3% in Q1 and 81.88% in Q2 2020), reversing the progress that has been made in Q1. In Q2, we also see a decline in marketing moves across all ethnicities, with the exception of Hispanic hires, which increased by 14.29% (or 8 moves, +1 from Q1). Unlike Q1, South Asian moves, which experienced the highest increase, saw a -53.33% decline in Q2 (or 30 moves, -16 from Q1). The decline in South Asian hires, is followed by Middle Eastern hires with 10 moves (or -6 moves, a -37.50% decline), Caucasian 454 moves (or -129 moves, a -22.13% decline), Black - 19 moves (or -4 moves, a -17.39% decline), and East Asian - 55 moves (or -6 moves, a -9.84% decline).

❖   In Q1, we noted that the number of Black marketing professionals hired as a percentage of all hires decreased by about 12% from the pre-protest period (Q4 2019--Q2 2020) to the post-protest period (Q3 2020-Q1 2021), with Black professionals remaining a minority across the alternative investment industry with just 3.1% of all hires in Q1 2021. In Q2, we observe a continuation of this negative trend with Black professionals representing only 3.33% of all hires, showing a very minimal improvement. Compared to Q2 2020, however, 3.33% representation suggests progress, as in Q2 2020 Black professionals represented only 2.23% of all hires.

❖   In terms of diversity hiring across strategies, we observed that 20.53% of all hires were non-Caucasian in Q2, down -5.4% from Q1. The following strategies had the highest number of non-Caucasian hires: Real Estate (6 or 31.58%, and no change from Q1), Private Equity (28 or 26.17%, and -39.13% from Q1), Multi-Asset (36 or 24.16%, and-14.29% from Q1), Fund of Funds (3 or 21.43%, and no change from Q1), and Credit (7 or 18.42%, and -12.50% from Q1).

Current Mandates

See below for a partial selection of current mandates. Contact us at info@jensen-partners.com to learn more about each search.

HIRING: $2B Private Debt Firm 

ROLE: Principal, Private Capital Fundraising 

LOCATION: San Francisco 

DESCRIPTION: Our client is looking for a highly systematic, hardworking, and self-directing individual who is excited to work on the firm's Capital Markets team driving equity fundraising and transaction management. This person will serve as the backbone for equity fundraising, leading full fundraising campaign life cycles. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of working with institutional investors and renewable or clean energy experience is preferred. 

HIRING: Global Private Fund Placement and Investment Advisory Firm

ROLE: Director or Partner, Fund Origination, North America


DESCRIPTION: Our client is looking for a candidate with 10+ years of financial markets experience, with at least 5 years in origination, capital raising, or project management, and prior experience at a placement agent preferred. The primary objective of this role will be to develop and maintain relationships with existing and emerging GPs in North America within the alternatives space. The successful candidate will have an excellent understanding of the GP landscape, knowledge of LPs and their investment priorities, and an appreciation of the capital-raising cycle. 

HIRING: Global Private Fund Placement and Investment Advisory Firm

ROLE: Director or Partner, Distribution, North America


DESCRIPTION: Our client is looking for a candidate who will develop and maintain relationships with top institutions and consultants, understanding their investment needs and offering them products in alternatives. The successful candidate will have 10+ years of direct investment sales experience covering institutions and consultants. This role also requires at least 5 years of experience in placing alternative products such as private equity, infrastructure, real estate, private credit, venture capital, and natural resources. 

HIRING: $8B Global Hedge Fund Manager 

ROLE: Chief Marketing Officer

LOCATION: Houston or NY

DESCRIPTION: Our client is seeking to hire a Chief Marketing Officer to lead a team of approximately 15 global professionals with a dual focus on deepening current relationships and capital raising from new investors. Qualified candidates will have prior capital raising and/or client-facing experience covering a variety of investors along with superior investment acumen, spanning both distressed / special-situations credit and private equity. Successful candidates will be highly collaborative; team-orientated and possess the desire and aptitude for leadership, relationship management, and fundraising. 

HIRING: $1B Private Equity Firm 

ROLE: Analyst, Private Equity

Location: Dallas

Description: Our client is seeking candidates with a minimum of two years of investment banking and/or private equity experience at a top firm. The responsibilities for the role will include conducting company and industry due diligence, building financial models, material preparation for various meetings including investment committee meetings, and fundraising, marketing, and deal sourcing research.

HIRING: $14B Private Equity Firm

ROLE: Head of US


DESCRIPTION: Our client is seeking an experienced institutional salesperson to ensure AUM growth across North America. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of sourcing LPs across the universe of endowment foundations and institutions. Also, one of the AUM’s on the prior mandates has changed

HIRING: $22B Alternative Investment Manager

ROLE: Director, Client Relations – Product Manager


DESCRIPTION: Our client is seeking a Client Relations Product Manager to be a part of their Client Relations Group. The Product Manager will play a critical role in crafting product and strategy content as well as managing product launches, marketing activity and collateral production throughout the sales and service life cycle. The successful candidate will have the ability to function at a broad-based, strategic level while being capable of driving detailed, tactical execution. This position will report to the Head of Client Relations and is based in New York.  

HIRING: $22B Alternative Investment Manager 

ROLE: Vice President – CLO Credit Analyst


DESCRIPTION: Our client is looking for a CLO Credit Analyst to help analyze and invest in companies in the financial services and business service industries with 5 – 10 years of experience in high yield and leveraged loans. This position will report to the Head of Structured Credit and is based in the firm's New York City headquarters.

HIRING: $75B Infrastructure Investment Firm 

ROLE: Senior VP, Credit Project Management


DESCRIPTION: Our client is searching for an experienced credit product specialist /project manager. The successful candidate will have a deep knowledge of private credit strategies and will have a track record of working conscientiously with the PMs internally and with the LPs externally. A knowledge of Infra debt would be a major plus. 

 HIRING: $15B Hedge Fund Manager 

ROLE: Associate, Investor Relations / Marketing 


DESCRIPTION: Our client is looking for a candidate with 2-5 years of experience within the financial markets space. This candidate will support the firm’s capital raising team with their fundraising efforts and be involved in multiple aspects of the investor relations process. This role will have a focus on personalized reporting for current investors and the preparation of custom responses for investors performing due diligence.

In Q1, we introduced the 'DEI Corner' where we spotlight diverse professionals who have either been promoted at their existing firm or joined a new firm in the alternative investment space.

At Jensen Partners we believe representation is power and will continue to highlight these moves to serve as an inspiration and an example of what true representation could look like in this industry.
Please note that the diversity of each marketing professional listed here was independently verified by our DiversityMetrics™ team.


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