• Sharebar

Assuming one wanted to get a job doing something along the lines of trade settlement (not for the purpose of trying to move to the FO, just because they thought it was an intrinsically desirable position), are such jobs becoming increasingly scarce as trading jobs themselves are being cut and trading volumes decline? Even if the number of BO jobs is remaining stable, is it likely that recently laid off traders are flooding into these jobs in the hopes of networking their way back to the FO? Oh, and one more question (because I'm a noob), are entry level BO jobs only available at banks, or do hedge funds also hire entry level BO employees?

Any insight on this from the people in the trenches would be greatly appreciated.

Comments (28)

  • rothyman's picture

    I'd say it's a litle more difficult than usual to get any job @ a BB right now. A lot of BBs are going the contractor route for BO jobs (aka hiring workers on 3-6 months temp to perm contracts with no benefits and hourly pay). It's less risk on their part in a time when they don't know where the markets are exactly heading.

    You talk about trade settlements as if it is a major part of BO jobs @ BBs, while actually it is only a small part of the BO/MO. There are a plethora of compliance, paper pushers, and adminstrative related jobs that all fall into BO. From what I have seen, it is extremely hard to get a BO job that involves being on the trading floor if you are entry level (such as trade support/trade settlement). And yes, HF hire trade support guys but they usually prefer at least 1 year of experience @ a BB on the trading floor. The alternative is knowing somebody @ a HF.

    And no, I don't think traders are taking BO roles. I just don't see it happening. They'd rather go trade their own capital or go consulting than stoop down to a BO job. Once you work FO, I don't think you every really go back to working below that (unless you're nuts).

  • In reply to rothyman
    UFOinsider's picture

    rothyman wrote:
    Once you work FO, I don't think you every really go back to working below that (unless you're nuts).

    ...or if you go from MM FO to BB BO and capitalize on the fact that they'll pay for masters degree / law school at night and save yourself a small fortune while getting paid :) ...that's one of the angles I'm working on at least.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    rothyman's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    rothyman wrote:
    Once you work FO, I don't think you every really go back to working below that (unless you're nuts).

    ...or if you go from MM FO to BB BO and capitalize on the fact that they'll pay for masters degree / law school at night and save yourself a small fortune while getting paid :) ...that's one of the angles I'm working on at least.

    Genius. :)

  • In reply to rothyman
    TheKid1's picture

    rothyman wrote:
    UFOinsider wrote:
    rothyman wrote:
    Once you work FO, I don't think you every really go back to working below that (unless you're nuts).

    ...or if you go from MM FO to BB BO and capitalize on the fact that they'll pay for masters degree / law school at night and save yourself a small fortune while getting paid :) ...that's one of the angles I'm working on at least.

    Genius. :)

    UFO, I always thought you did Ibanking and moved in to P.E? Ur currently working at MM IB FO role and want to swtich to BB B.O so they wold pay for ur law school? I thought u started out B.O and moved to F.O..

  • TheKid1's picture

    Also to the O.P, B.O jobs are hard to come by...I go to a non-target and my school places very well in B.O and M.O and only three banks, UBS, MS AND JPM recruited for B.O...MS upstate NY and UBS AND JPM in NYC.. Didn't hear back from anyone...

  • In reply to rothyman
    UFOinsider's picture

    rothyman wrote:
    UFOinsider wrote:
    rothyman wrote:
    Once you work FO, I don't think you every really go back to working below that (unless you're nuts).

    ...or if you go from MM FO to BB BO and capitalize on the fact that they'll pay for masters degree / law school at night and save yourself a small fortune while getting paid :) ...that's one of the angles I'm working on at least.

    Genius. :)

    You guys hiring?

    For real: I'm looking for a two - five year committment and grad school covered. You'll get every penny's worth out of me as far as work ethic goes.

    Only thing keeping me where I am is reading about a thousand people laid off from the bigger firms every week or so...

    Get busy living

  • In reply to TheKid1
    UFOinsider's picture

    TheKid1 wrote:
    rothyman wrote:
    UFOinsider wrote:
    rothyman wrote:
    Once you work FO, I don't think you every really go back to working below that (unless you're nuts).

    ...or if you go from MM FO to BB BO and capitalize on the fact that they'll pay for masters degree / law school at night and save yourself a small fortune while getting paid :) ...that's one of the angles I'm working on at least.

    Genius. :)

    UFO, I always thought you did Ibanking and moved in to P.E? Ur currently working at MM IB FO role and want to swtich to BB B.O so they wold pay for ur law school? I thought u started out B.O and moved to F.O..


    I'm MM AM and would go to a BB's back office if they paid for law school / masters. My firm covers 50% but I want to go to NYU / Columbia and they are expensive: I'm not working my balls off for the next 3-5 years while paying for education, I did that in college, fuck that. If a firm doesn't pick up the tab, then I'll go full time and take out loans. Working full time and paying for my own part time degree is not worth it in my case as I'm trying to either A) establish myself in a large company or B) use grad school to reset the recruiting options. My current job is a stepping stone and I'll have moved on within a year or so

    My options as I see it are:
    Part time at night with 100% paid for by employer OR
    Full time and I borrow money to pay for it

    Long story short (and I'm truly sorry that I'm thread jacking) is that my two years are up in a month and I'm putting my soul back on the auction block. Who wants a piece of the action?

    Get busy living

  • Flake's picture

    Man carefully research that shit before doing this whole school thing. Who knows what kind of clauses they have to retain you and make sure people don't try to do what you think is so easy to do. You will either be stuck there or you will be put on some kind of a vesting schedule and be forced to pay back some of that tuition.

    Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

  • In reply to rothyman
    exhausted's picture

    rothyman wrote:

    You talk about trade settlements as if it is a major part of BO jobs @ BBs, while actually it is only a small part of the BO/MO. There are a plethora of compliance, paper pushers, and adminstrative related jobs that all fall into BO. From what I have seen, it is extremely hard to get a BO job that involves being on the trading floor if you are entry level (such as trade support/trade settlement). And yes, HF hire trade support guys but they usually prefer at least 1 year of experience @ a BB on the trading floor. The alternative is knowing somebody @ a HF.

    Interesting. Do hedge funds also hire for the "plethora of compliance, paper pushers, and adminstrative related jobs that all fall into BO"?

  • In reply to Flake
    UFOinsider's picture

    Flake wrote:
    Man carefully research that shit before doing this whole school thing. Who knows what kind of clauses they have to retain you and make sure people don't try to do what you think is so easy to do. You will either be stuck there or you will be put on some kind of a vesting schedule and be forced to pay back some of that tuition.

    shit, good call

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Flake's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    Flake wrote:
    Man carefully research that shit before doing this whole school thing. Who knows what kind of clauses they have to retain you and make sure people don't try to do what you think is so easy to do. You will either be stuck there or you will be put on some kind of a vesting schedule and be forced to pay back some of that tuition.

    shit, good call

    There will be a prenup.

    Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

  • TheKid1's picture

    UFO, I am a senior in college, but I have heard that most companies that pay for your tuition will require you too say for a few years before you could leave or you would have to pay it back. If your looking to get back in recruiting from NYU or Columbia, i would go full time and take the loans. I am pretty sure if you decide to go into banking or consulting you will make enough money to pay your loans back in no time..

  • In reply to TheKid1
    UFOinsider's picture

    TheKid1 wrote:
    UFO, I am a senior in college, but I have heard that most companies that pay for your tuition will require you too say for a few years before you could leave or you would have to pay it back. If your looking to get back in recruiting from NYU or Columbia, i would go full time and take the loans. I am pretty sure if you decide to go into banking or consulting you will make enough money to pay your loans back in no time..

    Definitely. I guess I'm just go through every option with a fine tooth comb.

    Back to the original conversation: hiring in BO / MO

    Hiring is mostly over for this year and there were slim pickings. One of the newbies where I work came from a BB BO contract position and he really isn't a very impressive candidate. Try for a temp position and work your butt off, and it's likely they'll keep you around...then start networking and go for the jump to FO if that's your goal.

    Get busy living

  • Bondarb's picture

    Back-office jobs are very hard to get right now, just like all other finance jobs. Firms that are firing massively in the front office generally dont go on back-office hiring sprees. Also, benefits such as education payment become much more difficult in this environment...no firm is going to let you game them by running up a huge education bill and then leaving. I am not sure that ever really was possible but especially not now.

  • nonfatlatte's picture

    I know one guy moved from BO to be a trader and he has been working in the BO for 2-3 years. It is definitively possible. Good luck!

  • mojo12's picture

    I work in the BO of a BB so I'll give you my observations. As someone else mentioned, we are going the temp route to fill in attrition. This isn't bad, as the temps make pretty good money and we actually want to bring them on full time if it weren't for a bit of a hiring freeze.

    Another thing to consider is that a lot of BO roles, both at banks and hedge funds, are being outsourced. India has a bit of an industry performing BO functions. Outsourcing BO jobs is easy savings, because in general BO functions can be performed by anyone. Those jobs aren't coming back.

    If you take these 2 points into consideration, it means limited opportunity to break in. But in all honestly, don't go into BO. People generally say Ops people don't work a lot, but in my office about 30% work 9-5, 60% work 8-6, and the other 10% end up working 7-7. Not the same as IB, but you still have to sit there 10 hours doing boring work. Also, you will not gain any technical skills except in some rare circumstances when you join a team that actually does something somewhat interesting. It's tough to break out of Ops once you start working in Ops.

  • In reply to exhausted
    rothyman's picture

    exhausted][quote=rothyman wrote:

    You talk about trade settlements as if it is a major part of BO jobs @ BBs, while actually it is only a small part of the BO/MO. There are a plethora of compliance, paper pushers, and adminstrative related jobs that all fall into BO. From what I have seen, it is extremely hard to get a BO job that involves being on the trading floor if you are entry level (such as trade support/trade settlement). And yes, HF hire trade support guys but they usually prefer at least 1 year of experience @ a BB on the trading floor. The alternative is knowing somebody @ a HF.

    Quote:
    Do hedge funds also hire for the "plethora of compliance, paper pushers, and adminstrative related jobs that all fall into BO"?

    Yes. Complaince, Due Dilligence, and administrative jobs are becoming more in demand from what I can see.
    Interesting.

  • trailmix8's picture

    I would say that it is extremely hard. I get a 5k bonus for anyone that I suggest who gets hired FT at the analyst or associate level. In 2011 I have suggested 7 people for MO/BO roles, only one person was selected to interview and did not get a job. All 7 people I thought had very solid resumes and were decent to good fits for the roles I had recommended them for.

    All together on my team (MO at a tier 1 BB) we hired only one person all year, and she was an intern last year, and her resume destroys most resumes Ive seen people post on here for critique who have IB aspirations.

    All in all, very difficult in this environment.

  • In reply to trailmix8
    rothyman's picture

    trailmix8 wrote:
    I would say that it is extremely hard. I get a 5k bonus for anyone that I suggest who gets hired FT at the analyst or associate level. In 2011 I have suggested 7 people for MO/BO roles, only one person was selected to interview and did not get a job. All 7 people I thought had very solid resumes and were decent to good fits for the roles I had recommended them for.

    All together on my team (MO at a tier 1 BB) we hired only one person all year, and she was an intern last year, and her resume destroys most resumes Ive seen people post on here for critique who have IB aspirations.

    All in all, very difficult in this environment.

    Like I said before, I really do think BBs are starting to hire BO on a temp/perm contract basis thru recruiting companies. I work MO and a lot of those around me are newly recruited 3-6 month contractors. Interestingly enough, the BBs tend to keep a lot of these individuals as perm employees after the contract. I really do think that this is a new hiring method for lower skilled BB workers that is here to stay. It doesn't take a genius to see what advantages this brings the bank.. especially with the new employee health care standards looming in the future.

  • In reply to rothyman
    trailmix8's picture

    rothyman wrote:
    trailmix8 wrote:
    I would say that it is extremely hard. I get a 5k bonus for anyone that I suggest who gets hired FT at the analyst or associate level. In 2011 I have suggested 7 people for MO/BO roles, only one person was selected to interview and did not get a job. All 7 people I thought had very solid resumes and were decent to good fits for the roles I had recommended them for.

    All together on my team (MO at a tier 1 BB) we hired only one person all year, and she was an intern last year, and her resume destroys most resumes Ive seen people post on here for critique who have IB aspirations.

    All in all, very difficult in this environment.

    Like I said before, I really do think BBs are starting to hire BO on a temp/perm contract basis thru recruiting companies. I work MO and a lot of those around me are newly recruited 3-6 month contractors. Interestingly enough, the BBs tend to keep a lot of these individuals as perm employees after the contract. I really do think that this is a new hiring method for lower skilled BB workers that is here to stay. It doesn't take a genius to see what advantages this brings the bank.. especially with the new employee health care standards looming in the future.

    At my bank I see that the people that are hired on a contract basis are mostly those who are brought on to help with a specific project, usually associate level with unique system build-out and project management backgrounds. As far as more basic trade settlement roles, BBs are setting up low cost locations where they hire top notch kids from state schools who will accept a low salary (50K) which in their respective city is an equivalent of 90K in the tri state area with regard to cost of living.

    It seems that you and I work at different banks that have different BO/MO hiring strategies.

  • someotherguy's picture

    BO is getting outsourced and automated to death. My neighbor had about 100 people under him, and ran the BO in PWM. They got rid of the entire area. He did end up getting a similar role for another BB, but he had to go where the jobs were and moved to a small city in the midwest. He didn't mind moving, as he had a comparable salary where he could live like a king. I was also always fairly astonished that his title was only VP when he had a small army under him.

    There will always be some "touch" to the BO, but automation is trying really hard to eliminate that as much as possible. This is the white collar version of the hollowing of the middle class.

  • In reply to trailmix8
    Flake's picture

    trailmix8 wrote:
    I would say that it is extremely hard. I get a 5k bonus for anyone that I suggest who gets hired FT at the analyst or associate level. In 2011 I have suggested 7 people for MO/BO roles, only one person was selected to interview and did not get a job. All 7 people I thought had very solid resumes and were decent to good fits for the roles I had recommended them for.

    All together on my team (MO at a tier 1 BB) we hired only one person all year, and she was an intern last year, and her resume destroys most resumes Ive seen people post on here for critique who have IB aspirations.

    All in all, very difficult in this environment.

    lol

    Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

  • exhausted's picture

    To unlock this content for free, please login / register below.

    Sign In with Facebook Sign In with Google

    Connecting helps us build a vibrant community. We'll never share your info without your permission. Sign up with email or if you are already a member, login here Bonus: Also get 6 free financial modeling lessons for free ($200+ value) when you register!
  • In reply to rothyman
    design's picture