3/23/12

How bad are broker positions at places like ICAP and Tullet Prebon? People on here seem to shit on them a lot but does any1 have more details. Exit opps from broker to sales/trading? I understand the pay can be comparable if your a star at these places but where do entry level positions take you in your career.

Comments (59)

3/23/12

If you have any other options, avoid it at all costs. No real exit opps or skills development.

Just don't. Better off in a BO financial analyst role somewhere.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

Financial Modeling

3/23/12

It really depends and they can be a great job. They have the reputation of a "frat boy" type roll. Not intelligent just drink and party every night

3/23/12

What year are you in at college, and what is your ideal full time position upon graduation?

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

3/23/12
sxh6321:

What year are you in at college, and what is your ideal full time position upon graduation?

I am graduating january 2013, i may be able to intern over the summer at an FX Broker. my Ideal job after graduation is S&T in FX. I am from a non-target and i dont think that a summer position at a broker will help me land an S&T position even if i network extensively.

3/23/12

As someone who has done something like this, I can say that it is HIGHLY stressful. Today's time is not like the 80's where you just work hard and make a six figure income. Most people wash out within 2 years because they will want you to rely on your friends/family for your first clients. Plus, you're working on commission. This is much tougher than you may think. This type of culture breeds a system of shafting clients for the sake of the commission, leading people to distrust advisors, so that when you come along, you're calling a skeptic.

After no longer than about 2 years, you will find that you've washed out since you've sold all of the low hanging fruit (friends/family) and then will be forced to rely on leads given to you and referrals. When this fails, you will be doing something else.

3/23/12

I summer interned at ICAP/TULLET/GFI/PHOENIX and will echo the statements about the limited exit oops (you
could go into sales however). But on the other hand, simply put, many of the brokers I worked with had great lives: 7:30-5 out with clients 2 nights a week. If your at a reputable shop such as those I mentioned, most desks aren't that stressful as you'll be making commissions as long as there is a market and build good relationships.

Your success is almost COMPLETELY dependent on the desk you land on and the people you work with. For example, the brokers at the treasuries desk at my firm brought in about 500k-1mm per month (personal income, not commisions) Another guy I know started as a trainee on an FX desk, his boss left and he inherited the book, making about 400k+ at 25. On the other hand you may be on a desk that caters to smaller hedge funds and it may involve cold calling. I would say that the norm would be making 55k-70k your first two years as a trainee, then slowly inheriting clients off the desk and building those relationships.

As you can see the experience and pay varies by desk, however the individuals I worked with that accepted offers are all having a great time in their positions. Knicks tickets, awesome seats at concerts, clubs/bars. Sure their max potential earnings at the respective desks may max out at anywhere between 200k-400k but their having awesome lives that I'm sure as hell not having at 23.

Shoot me a PM if you have any more Q's

3/23/12

my buddy worked at ICAP/Tullet/GFI this summer and although he enjoyed it he said it seems as though its a dying industry as everything gets more transparent and becomes exchange traded. I agree with that sentiment, although I dont have any personal experience working in the industry

3/24/12

Could somebody give a day in the life account of what brokers actually do? What type of skills do you need?

3/24/12

Could somebody give a day in the life account of what brokers actually do? What type of skills do you need?

3/24/12

Skills: Communication, you basically get a call from your traders, and ping or call other traders on the street what they would be willing to buy/sell at. Other brokers at your desk may cover said traders and you might have 3-4 brokers asking you for updated prices for a certain security/item so you have to keep track of who is bidding what and what your client wants.

Day in the life (in something a bit less liquid)

7am-9am: Start feeling out traders for what they want / start trying to get prices in so you have somewhat of a market
9am-5pm: Match orders/trades
5pm-8pm: Either go home or entertain traders

3/24/12
J.:

Skills: Communication, you basically get a call from your traders, and ping or call other traders on the street what they would be willing to buy/sell at. Other brokers at your desk may cover said traders and you might have 3-4 brokers asking you for updated prices for a certain security/item so you have to keep track of who is bidding what and what your client wants.

Day in the life (in something a bit less liquid)

7am-9am: Start feeling out traders for what they want / start trying to get prices in so you have somewhat of a market
9am-5pm: Match orders/trades
5pm-8pm: Either go home or entertain traders

Whoa. I thought there were retail brokers and Institutional Salesmen. Now what kind of broker are you referring to here again? Could you explain in detail what type of broker this is?
Thanks.

3/24/12

For the above: a broker at one of the major "broker's broker" houses in which you are the middleman between BB traders. Specfic term is an inter dealer broker (ICAP/gfi/Phoenix/TULLET)

3/25/12

Good info. Would you say that the traders are more clients of the firm or of the individual broker? I am assuming that individual traders work with more than one inter dealer broker firm? Do you get to pitch the traders ideas?

3/26/12

IDB is not what it used to be at all..limited exit opps is definitely true..there just isnt enough liquidity now a days..i interned at GFI/ICAP/Tullet as well, and what J. wrote is a faily accurate depiction. I do think the industry is dying out though

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

3/26/12

I do agree on the dying industry. I remember I had a potential offer for IDB and it seemed like awesome gig for a short while. The few times I met with the desk we went out and partied with some of their clients and it was great. Had the true "models and bottles" feel. Needless to say it just didn't seem like something that would. More and more products will become traded electronically or through exchanges and these brokers won't be needed. If you have an established book, your traders like you its great. Starting off is tough

6/4/12

IDB is great when you're making money, it blows when the market is sht and no volume. Exit ops are few b/c you don't have any real technical skills, most rely on connections to transfer out but this is tough now that there is a hiring freeze and reduced headcount. If you want more info, pm me.

6/4/12

I went with this:

I read this article a while back, that said that Microsoft employs more millionaire secretary's that any other company in the world. They took stock options over Christmas bonuses. It was a good move. I remember there was this picture, of one of the groundskeepers next to his Ferrari. Blew my mind. you see shit like that, and it just plants seeds, makes you think its possible, even easy. And then you turn on the TV, and there's just more of it. The $87 Million lottery winner, that kid actor that just made 20 million o his last movie, that internet stock that shot through the roof, you could have made millions if you had just gotten in early, and that's exactly what I wanted to do: get in. I didn't want to be an innovator any more, i just wanted to make the quick and easy buck, i just wanted in. The Notorious BIG said it best: "Either you're slingin' crack-rock, or you've got a wicked jump-shot." Nobody wants to work for it anymore. There's no honor in taking that after school job at Mickey Dee's, honor's in the dollar, kid. So I went the white boy way of slinging crack-rock: I became a stock broker.

6/4/12
PIE:

I went with this:

I read this article a while back, that said that Microsoft employs more millionaire secretary's that any other company in the world. They took stock options over Christmas bonuses. It was a good move. I remember there was this picture, of one of the groundskeepers next to his Ferrari. Blew my mind. you see shit like that, and it just plants seeds, makes you think its possible, even easy. And then you turn on the TV, and there's just more of it. The $87 Million lottery winner, that kid actor that just made 20 million o his last movie, that internet stock that shot through the roof, you could have made millions if you had just gotten in early, and that's exactly what I wanted to do: get in. I didn't want to be an innovator any more, i just wanted to make the quick and easy buck, i just wanted in. The Notorious BIG said it best: "Either you're slingin' crack-rock, or you've got a wicked jump-shot." Nobody wants to work for it anymore. There's no honor in taking that after school job at Mickey Dee's, honor's in the dollar, kid. So I went the white boy way of slinging crack-rock: I became a stock broker.

Haha nice...

Anyone got a helpful answer though?

6/4/12

It's best way to answer this question is to early and often reference things such as "models" or "bottles" - that signals to them that you're hip to the jive.

6/4/12

Awesome reference, PIE.

I'm slightly curious, has that movie become a staple for college kids the way Wall Street (don't get me started on the second one) did before it?

6/4/12

I wouldn't say necessarily a staple, but tons of kids know it and a lot of my friends quote it back and forth in appropriate situations, 'crack rock or a jump shot' most frequently.

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

6/4/12

Nice. Yeah, staple is probably too strong of a word. More cult movie than staple. I was thinking about it more in the Boiler Room is to Wall Street as PCU is to Animal House sense.

6/4/12

Well why do you want to do it?

6/4/12

At one point I was considering going in to brokerage, but decided against it. If I could formulate a perfect answer to "Why do you want to do this?" It would cover these points

  • I enjoy interacting with people
  • I enjoy helping people attain their financial goals

    In my opinion - I see the broker as the face of the company for better or for worse. The broker's attitude and disposition can greatly influence how the customer percieves the company.

    When I was talking to people about their work in brokerage, one guy told me this "Manchild - My official title is "Private Banker", but when it boils down to it, I'm basically a therapist. I spent two hours in a cafe yesterday talking about the death of his child." This was the point where I decided not to be a broker. Hope this helps and good luck.

The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny.

6/4/12

If you want to be a "real" stockbroker, like in the original WS, ie a high earner, you should not answer any of those questions as they are irrelevant. Yes you'll have to do that crap, but really you'll have to hustle your butt off building a business, whether with cold calls, seminars or other grind it out method. For several years in most cases.

The key thing about being a broker is that you really are self employed, using the firm's menu of services to provide for client needs. The firm takes the revenue and delivers the "payout" to you, but the client is who employes you in reality. And in turn you employe the firm, ie you are their client. Once you are established that is.

The questioned listed would be more for a sales assistant or a "broker" at Schwab or E-Trade.

6/4/12

I only know a few young people that took the retail broker route. They are doing ok... its a different model now its basically just meeting people collecting their assets putting them into managed money reviewing them quarterly/yearly rinse and repeat.

Very close family friend is a 8 figure a year broker he has totally crushed it. Has the benefit of the right personality and being there to benefit from the 80s and 90s bull market.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

Financial Modeling

6/5/12
6/5/12

coke dealer

6/5/12

How much do u make?

I would say stay with broker and build up a client base

6/5/12

This is a bit drastic, but if you want to try a different path in finance you should seriously consider a second MBA. Most reputable schools are open to this idea (some aren't, make sure you're straightforward with them). It's going to cost a pretty penny, but if you're not happy and are willing to get in the top of your class, you could very well come out of it in your mid-30s as an Associate, which really isnt that bad depending on what you want to do. Hell, even a decent regional school will open a lot more doors for you as far as where you can go.

If you're good at sales, you may also want to think about getting into private wealth management. It's pretty similar, with the sales aspect, so you have something going for you there.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

6/5/12

At a 100% commission shop or salaried?

6/5/12

whichever, interested in hearing both

6/5/12

You should take the impact of technology into account. I wonder how long it will take until all trades are fully automated.

6/5/12

wrote a 4 part blog on this, check it out.

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

6/5/12

Link?

6/5/12

click on my name, then click view blog

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

Best Response
6/5/12

Disclaimer for the Kids: Any forward-looking statements are solely for informational purposes and cannot be taken as investment advice. Consult your moms before deciding where to invest.

6/5/12

did you by chance just watch wolf of wall street?

6/5/12

Haha! I see what you mean, i have watched it but i know it's nothing like that.

6/5/12

If you're thinking you're going to get rich doing this, think again.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

6/5/12

Quick clarification, because I usually enjoy you as a poster.

If you succeed, you can easily build long term wealth as a broker, however the failure rate is so high that in reality, it's extremely unlikely.

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

6/5/12

thebrofessor:

Quick clarification, because I usually enjoy you as a poster.

If you succeed, you can easily build long term wealth as a broker, however the failure rate is so high that in reality, it's extremely unlikely.

This is more correct, I was being a bit totalitarian in my response. But definitely agree 100%.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

6/5/12

If I had to choose between selling used Camrys or pitching unknown biotech stock in phase I trial to retail dudes, I would go w/ selling Camry every damn time.

In all seriousness, OP I hope you would really take the time to think about this dude... times have really changed and this isn't the 70s or the 80s. Brokers only thrive in a world filled with opaqueness and the playing field for pretty much every instrument has been evened out (perhaps except for CDS and its self regulating bullshit). This is not a viable long-term career path.

You will most likely end up regretting in a few years. And if that's the result, I would actually consider that a good thing because at least you'll still be young and can still move forward with your life. The worse case is you somehow make it work till you are 35 and you realize your stuck because you are w/o any transferable work skills...

6/5/12

Brokers only thrive in a world filled with opaqueness, seriously? Have you ever worked in the industry? Perhaps you should comment on subjects you actually have some knowledge in.

6/5/12

Just checked his post history...still in undergrad.

figures
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/hf-attire

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

6/5/12

The only thing correct in this post is the spelling of Camry.

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

6/5/12

One thing I would caution the OP is this: If the firm is still calling the position "stock broker", then it's almost certainly not a good opportunity.

6/5/12

Actually though can someone explain what a stock broker even does currently? I should probably know this since I'm working in S&T but the term still isn't really clear to me. I thought "brokers" in general just matched buy and sell orders.

6/5/12

A stockbroker is retail. Retail is basically a person who goes after retail accounts. A stockbroker today is more like a broker at a Scottrade or TD Ameritrade. Institutional S&T seeks hedge funds, mutual funds, banks, insurance companies, etc.

6/5/12

I call myself a broker. my title is financial advisor or wealth advisor. it's all the same thing. I addressed what we do in my blog, so read that.

if you're a trader and you match buy and sell orders or a floor broker matching buy and sell orders, that's very different from what we do. most of that's automated now, though, so I'm surprised there's an open position

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

6/5/12

Are you talking about a financial advisor or wealth manager? There is plenty of information on this site about those roles.

6/5/12

thanks for the feedback guys, I will look deeper into other opportunities as-well as this one a bit more at a later date.

6/5/12
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6/5/12
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