Why So Many Ivy League Fund Managers?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Corso482, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. So I'm reading through the article detailing the top earning hedge fund managers of this year. I can't help but notice how many of these people had ivy league educations.

    Link: http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12280

    Now the question is, why do so many of these people have ivy educations?

    Are these people so successful because of their connections that they gained at school? (I suppose getting seed capital for your fund is easier if you've got big shot connections.)...

    Or...Were these successful managers very smart people in the first place, which allowed them to get into the ivy leagues, and that intelligence eventually went on to make them top hedge fund managers...

    Or...Did these people gain important employment experience as a result of their ivy credentials, which helped their ability to run a successful fund...

    OOOORRRrrr...did the ivy league education teach them things in the classroom important to their success.

    Oh yea, and I didn't read through the whole article, so I suppose my premise may be wrong, and many didn't go to the ivy leagues.

    Any ideas? This is kind of an off shoot of the "is intelligence important in trading" discussion.
  2. Brandonf

    Brandonf ET Sponsor

    I know a few Ivy Leaguers and none of them have been trust fund babies with great connections that got them in. They have all been very hard working, disciplined, intelligent people. Exactly what would make you a good trader.

  3. def

    def Sponsor

    If I'm recruiting for a job, where do I look if I want the cream of the crop? - the top schools. If you are going to screen 100 people for a job, the odds of finding someone with the perfect fit is more likely if they are pre-selected. By gaining admission to a top school (doesn't have to be ivy league as there are many great schools around) you have already been pre-selected into a talent pool in which it is easier to recruit.

    I'm not saying that you won't find extremely well qualified and maybe even better candidates in a mid-tier school, just that a recruiter most likely not have as large a talent pool to chose from.

    Another big factor is connections and networking. Alums will usually prefer to recruit at their alma mater. If I had two equally impressive candidates for a job and one of them went to my school, the scales would be tipped in their favor.
  4. omcate


    Hi def,

    You are exactly right. I have a degree from an Ivy League school. This is exactly what my friends and I have found out. However, I have to admit that there are a lot of dummies with degress from top school. I may be one of them. Doing well in exams is easy. Able to live a prodcutive life is tough.
  5. Being an Ivy Leaguer myself, I think there are two reasons why fund managers have a tendency to come from these schools... firstly, as has already been pointed out, Ivy League schools provide a mass of good quality candidates from which to conveniently select your future employees... secondly, like attracts like... this old school tie phenomenon has debatable merits, but some would argue that those who emanate from the same ilk create a more cohesive and collegial spirit at the workplace... some would argue that this is hardly meritocratic, but I would argue that it is meritocratic if the hiring that was done from Ivy League schools was done irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc...

    However, in the field of proprietary trading, I don't think an Ivy League degree is necessary at all... this is because you can find the same qualities of quick-thought, grit and determination amongst a plethora of different groupings, from street gangs to sportsmen to musicians...
  6. Anyone know how hard it is to get into Harvard for Post-Grad studies??
  7. KavMan


    Just 18 months of studying :D
  8. Aphie, this depends on what you are applying for... some areas are necessarily harder than others, as a result of excessive demand for places... I would suggest that it would perhaps be easier to get into Harvard Divinity School than Harvard Business School (assuming a roughly equivalent background of fulfilled criteria for both)...
  9. m22au


    Does the Ivy League actually exist?

    Or is it just something that is perceived by people?

    If the former, when was it founded, and why?

  10. brandon,

    they may not have had connectons before the ivy leaque. BUT after graduation, the connections with the "money people" are there. the connections found in the ivy leaque are worth far more than the education.

    #10     Dec 30, 2002