Rekenthaler Report

The Fund Industry’s Brain Drain

John Rekenthaler

In Demand
I know a recent college graduate who majored neither in business nor engineering. Common wisdom says that such students struggle to find work. Common wisdom is wrong. It applies, loosely and with many exceptions, to ordinary students, but not to the extraordinary. Excel at the SAT, gain admission to a top university, and then excel again, and the corporate gates will open.

This young man accepted an offer from a fund company, to assist with its active portfolio management, at a salary of $120,000. The decision to enter the fund industry was against the trend. In 2006, 46% of Princeton seniors who had jobs lined up when they graduated chose finance. Many joined mutual fund companies, to work in research or investment management. However, because of the 2008 financial crisis and the success of index funds, the percentage of top grads entering the fund industry has slipped.