I have been working at First Quadrant full-time
FQ is an absolute gem. I have worked elsewhere in the industry and First Quadrant stands out as model of what every investment shop should strive for. The culture is vibrant and driven, and at the heart of the firm there is a sense of shared purpose to understand what drives markets and economies, and to honestly and transparently deliver on objectives. The people I work with are remarkable. I am surrounded by (very) bright, tenacious and insightful people who live for the questions that grab them, and who care deeply about finding the right answers. The people come from a lot of different academic backgrounds, and the whole intellectual friction thing actually pays off. Apart from just being an intellectually exciting and fun place to work, the diversity of brains generates better solutions at the end of the day.
I felt compelled to write this after reading some of the other reviews here. If you read carefully, I think it is kind of apparent that there is one unhappy person writing in the same voice. If you are considering a position at FQ and you are reading these words, be aware that the vast majority of people at the firm really do share a common sense of purpose. They believe deeply in the core mission of the firm to provide for our clients, and they strive to be successful at this. In short, most of the people I am surrounded by love what they do, and they love the firm and the culture. I have seen other shops, and the people at FQ are truly exceptional both in their intellectual pursuit of investment ideas, and their drive to ethically and transparently deliver what is promised to clients.
It's a smaller shop, so most people have to wear a few different hats from time to time. From where I sit, I generally view this as a positive, but the balance isn't always optimal. The smaller size allows the firm to be highly nimble when it comes to providing bespoke investment solutions. But striking the right balance between responding to one-off requests vs. core work is (and should be) a challenge.
Total comp can fluctuate with investment performance. I view this as objective alignment, but it is something to keep in mind.
Other con is that there is clearly one grumpy person out there. But again, for the sake of some balance, the overwhelming majority of people at FQ are all rowing in the same direction.
Advice to Management
Management strikes a good balance between providing useful guidance and offering critical insight, and otherwise staying out of the way. Bigger strategic decisions are taken slowly -- perhaps sometimes too slowly. But I'd rather they think carefully about things (which they do) as opposed to the alternative of just shooting from the hip all the time.
My best advice to management is to keep your fingers on the pulse. Take queues from your audience. Run with the successes, but be willing to invest time where things need work.
I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at First Quadrant (Mumbai (India)) in July 2015.
Overall Process is good and systematic. Good work culture. Target oriented environment. Best attribute that I wasn't kept waiting at all. I was attended very swiftly by the Human Resources personnel. They were very responsive and optimist in nature which creates a level of comfort for the candidate. For a start up, they possess the required enthusiasm and motivation.
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –