I am a level 3 candidate and am targeting an emerging market buy side asset management role on the american west coast. Even though I have a 6 year track record of emerging market investing decisions (nothing stellar, outperformed market by 4% although with a low beta 0.75 - 0.8), it is NOT at an AM firm but as a discretionary portfolio manager for a few retail accounts.

I have programming skills that do get used for investment analysis but would rather not spend all my time writing class files, tweaking sql queries or debugging data type errors.

On a different continent and in times gone by, i have been a strategy consultant for 2 yrs and an entreprenuer for another 2, after being an avg student (3.3/4) in my engineering and mba programs.

Apps to few openings have not elicited any response.
given the background -
In what kind of buy side firm/s - boutique, regional, large firms with lots of lower level folks, tier 2 / tier 3, any other- do i stand a realistic chance of getting my foot in the door
should i seek out 1 - 3 yr AM experience positions and just drop any mention of my track record
is the programming skill my best bet to enter AM

If you have made it this far, thanks for reading.
And it goes without saying, your inputs are sought and appreciated.