What are the best cities in the world for hedge fund jobs? To find the optimal city for a career in hedge funds, you have to look not just at the jobs themselves, but at local economies, costs of living, quality of life issues, whether there are any decent restaurants to be found, and many other factors. After all, why settle down in a place that doesn’t suit you?
The following is a brief survey of the twelve best cities for working in the hedge fund industry. We will look at what successful hedge fund firms can be found in each location, as well as examining basic facts about the cities themselves. Knowing what hedge fund opportunities exist in a city, and knowing what sort of entertainment, culture, and lifestyle an area has to offer, can help you to choose a location that will be an ideal fit for your life and career.
12. Zurich, Switzerland
Long known as a center for banking and high finance, the city of Zurich, located in northern Switzerland, boasts the eleventh largest stock market in the world, as well as one of the global market’s most important precious metals exchanges. Zurich is one of the region’s primary hubs of investment activity, hosting some of Switzerland’s over 100 hedge fund management firms, with investments around $20 billion. Rated as the second-best city in the world for overall quality of life by Mercer Consulting, Zurich offers numerous clubs, restaurants, museums, and a variety of other entertainments for visitors and residents alike.
The history of the city as a center of trade, artisanship, and banking highlight the current role of Zurich as a major hub of European investments and exchanges. As a city of wealth, affluence, and sophistication, Zurich is rated as the fifth most expensive city in the world, with a cost of living more than ten percent higher than that of New York City. This high standard of living is driven in part by the presence of many prestigious investment firms, such as GAM, Swiss Capital Group, and Altis Investment Management, which provide finance professionals seeking hedge fund jobs with plenty of potential career opportunities.
11. Tokyo, Japan
The metropolis of Tokyo, located in southeast Japan on the main island of Honshu, is considered one of the five “command centers” of the world economy, along with New York, London, Paris and Singapore. Nine million people work, play, and live within the city’s twenty-three wards, and 4 million additional workers and students commute into the city each day.
Tokyo is famous around the world for having a fast-paced, energetic and technology-driven urban culture, and finance professionals looking for hedge fund jobs will find the city to be full of rewarding career opportunities and fascinating new experiences. The excitement and sophistication of Tokyo naturally comes with a price. However, the high cost of living is, for many residents, an acceptable sacrifice for the privilege and enjoyment of living in the city named “Most Livable Megalopolis” by Monocle Magazine in 2015.
As one of the major finance centers of Asia and of the world, Tokyo investment exchanges see an average daily turnover of $70.2 billion worth of assets. Tokyo hosts the headquarters and offices of numerous hedge fund companies, including Morgan McKinley, the Sparx Group, and RBC Capital Markets.
10. Stamford, CT
Stamford, Connecticut is a town of over 128,000 residents, and offers a small-town feel amidst big-city amenities. Less than an hour’s travel from the financial hub of New York City, Stamford has attracted numerous finance professionals looking for hedge fund jobs with firms such as Parker Global Strategies.
Eighty percent of the securities jobs in the state are located in Stamford, and influx of capital has resulted in the generation of new jobs in the area as the hedge fund industry recovers from recent market corrections.
Despite its modest size, Stamford ranks in the top five cities in the nation for total assets managed by hedge funds headquartered in the area, and is known as the “Corporate City” due to the large number of Fortune 500 companies located within the area. According to Sperling’s Best Places, Stamford offers a cost of living that is 67 percent higher than the national average, but offers better education spending and lower unemployment.
Located in southern Connecticut along the “Gold Coast”, on the shore of the Long Island Sound, Stamford offers plenty of pleasant scenery and a variety of recreational activities for both tourists and residents.
9. Dallas, TX
As the ninthlargest city in the US, with a population of around 1.2 million, Dallas, Texas is prominent among cities in the Southern United States as a center for business, commerce, and finance. The Dallas official motto, “Live Large. Think Big”, is expressed in every aspect of the culture and daily life of the citizenry.
Despite the large population and the active and growing business community, the cost of living in Dallas is rated as 6.3% higher than the U.S. average, making the city an attractive relocation target for businesses, and for professionals in search of promising career options.
Many hedge fund analysts place Dallas as having the fifth-largest density of hedge fund management companies in the nation. Dallas is the regional capital for hedge fund management firms, hosting between 120 and 150 of the 200 hedge fund firms registered in the state of Texas, with more than 50 percent of these firms recently valued between $30 million to $250 million. Hedge fund jobs in Dallas can be found with investment companies such as Carlson Capital, HBK Capital Management, and Munsch Hardt.
8. San Francisco, CA
Located on what has been described as the best seaport in the world for both shipping and tourism, the city of San Francisco, California is a busy and bustling nerve center for business, commerce, and finance on the American West Coast. With a population of over eight hundred thousand people and a breathtaking variety of cultural institutions and entertainments, this city offers a high average standard of living and an engaging cosmopolitan environment that complements a thriving business community.
Iconic buildings such as the Transamerica Pyramid and 101 California Street mark the Financial District, or “FiDi”, and Montgomery Street, which runs through this neighborhood, is known as the “Wall Street of the West.”
While the cost of living is rated almost twice the national average, residents swear by the city, and will tell you that the scenery, the food, the culture of tolerance and environmental awareness, and the thriving business and commercial opportunities more than make up for the expense.
Numerous investment firms, including Farallon Capital Management, Northern Trust, and Cerebellum Capital, have headquarters or branch offices in San Francisco, providing hedge fund job opportunities to knowledgeable and motivated finance professionals.
7. Hong Kong, China
The city of Hong Kong is located on the southern coast of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong has an unusual recent history by virtue of having been a British holding from 1841 to 1997, resulting in significant international influences that have shaped the city into one of Asia’s most prosperous financial markets.
Over seven million people live and work in Hong Kong, primarily speaking Cantonese, with other Chinese dialects and English widely understood as well. Despite being one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, with over 6,600 people per square kilometer, Hong Kong has managed to dedicate nearly forty percent of its territory to parks and nature preserves, making it one of the greenest cities.
As the city continues the process of re-integration with mainland China and becomes more closely connected with neighboring economies, the economy is experiencing fast growth in hedge fund jobs and a strong recovery from the recent financial instability. Numerous hedge fund jobs are available in Hong Kong with firms such as Value Partners Limited, KE Absolute, and the Swiss bank UBS.
6. Geneva, Switzerland
The city of Geneva, a municipality of 480,000 residents, is located on the shore of Lake Geneva in the westernmost point of the country of Switzerland. The city, surrounded on three sides by the country of France and sitting atop a confluence of ancient trade routes, has an extensive history as a center of finance and commerce.
While Switzerland is rated among the most expensive countries in Europe in terms of cost of living, many lucrative job opportunities, including numerous hedge fund jobs, can be found there.
5. Boston, MA
The New England city of Boston, Massachusetts is known for the richness of culture and character imparted to it by a fascinating history and a colorful and friendly populace. This city of nearly 700,000 citizens, the 24th largest metropolitan area in the U.S., offers a very reasonable cost of living in comparison with other major American cities.
Museums, sporting events, famous regional cuisine and picturesque historic neighborhoods combine to create an ideal living and working environment for business and finance professionals. Boston is widely regarded as a major center for finance and investment, with an estimated $150 billion managed by funds located in the city according to a recent SEC report, accounting for 10 percent of the value of all U.S. hedge funds.
4. Greenwich, CT
Located twenty-eight miles from mid-town Manhattan, the town of Greenwich, Connecticut offers both the charm of small-town living and access to the resources, entertainments, and employment opportunities offered by New York City. This suburban community of over 60,000 residents has been ranked among the one hundred best places to live in the United States, and has attracted high-profile investment firms who have offices located in the city to take advantage of the pleasant environment and close proximity to several centers of financial activity.
This area, known for investment firms and financial activity, is home to seven of the world’s top one hundred hedge funds, according to recent surveys. Greenwich also offers a better employment rate than the national average, and people looking for hedge fund jobs who are interested in this area will find both a promising finance job market and an active community of investment industry professionals.
Greenwich has the second-highest total value in the nation of investments managed by hedge funds with local offices or headquarters in town, providing a wealth of finance career opportunities. Hedge fund jobs may be found in this area with firms such as Graham Capital Management, AQR Capital Management, and Bridgewater Associates.
3. Chicago, IL
The city of Chicago, Illinois, is known throughout the United States and the world as a place for great food, sports teams, architecture, culture, and entertainment, and also hosts a thriving financial sector.
From historical roots as a trading post at the mouth of the Chicago river to the city’s present-day role as a global investment marketplace, Chicago offers to the finance professional in search of hedge fund jobs a wide variety of career options, as well as a sophisticated social environment.
Qualities such as low state income tax rates and higher-than-average spending on education provide a comfortable lifestyle for aspiring professionals looking for Chicago hedge fund jobs. Known as the finance capital of Midwestern America, Chicago is home to three investment and futures exchanges, the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the “Merc”).
The total amount of assets managed by Chicago-based firms was recently estimated at over $31 billion. An impressive list of successful hedge fund firms, including Allston Trading are headquartered in Chicago, and many other investment firms and financial institutions also maintain offices in the city.
2. London, England
London, the capital of England and of Great Britain, is a city remarkable for richness both of history and of culture. As one of the leading metropolitan areas of Western Europe throughout the past millennium, London has been a major hub for trading and investment since the invention of modern finance.
The combination of a strong financial tradition and active participation and leadership in the global marketplace makes London an leading center for investment professionals to find hedge fund jobs, as demonstrated by a thriving job market among investment firms. London is the foremost city in Europe for hedge fund firms, with 85 percent of all European hedge fund investments being managed by London firms, and a total of over $395 billion USD being invested in firms with headquarters or offices in the city.
1. New York City, NY
The number one city for hedge fund jobs will come as no surprise. New York, New York has long been regarded as the financial and commercial capital of the United States. A city of over 8.3 million inhabitants, it is the home of more Fortune 500 companies than any other city in the U.S.
While the cost of living is rated 44 percent higher than the average American city, New York offers a dynamic and exciting urban lifestyle, boasting influences from nearly every nation and culture in the world. New York is also the leader among American cities in hedge fund investments, with the total value of assets held by hedge fund firms being over 100% greater than the next city. The wealth of commercial activity provides plenty of hedge fund jobs, generally resulting in a better industry employment rate than the rest of the nation.