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I have my sights set on a career in PWM. I would like to stay with my current company, JPMorgan Chase, because I love it here. I graduated in 2008 from a state school with a top business program (10-15th). Because of the economic climate, I was unable to find a "real" job until a year later. Now I'm a personal (retail) banker, which may not seem like the most prestigious work (and it's not), but have I totally shot myself in the foot as far as breaking into PWM is concerned? I've been taking courses towards a Master of Finance (not MBA) from another top ranked state school part-time and will finish in a few months. I don't know if I should try to get in as an experienced hire (I have been in this position 18 months) or if I should go for the entry-level analyst programs. I don't think JPMorgan ever comes to my campus for interviews, unfortunately.

There is a position open currently for an "Investor Associate." From what I gather, this is a fairly high-level position despite the job description's vague quality. I read in another post that the hierarchy is Analyst - Associate - Banker - Investor Associate - Investor - MD, but I don't know if this is accurate. I'm wondering if I might have a shot at the Investor Associate role. If not, I know the Private Bank Analyst programs start taking applications in September, although I don't know when successful applicants actually start working.

Can anyone shed any light on JPM PWM?

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Comments (15)

  • tan86's picture

    The investor associate position is an associate level role on the investment team, It would be a good fit for your given your career level and experience.

  • BeastMode's picture

    That hierarchy is not accurate. The banker role manages the client relationships, while the investors manage the client's money. Each role has analysts, associates, VPs, and MDs. For the Investor Associate role you'll probably be at a disadvantage because of your lack of a markets-oriented background. JPM PWM is virtually the same as the PB. PWM caters somewhat to those who have a net worth of $25mm or under, while PB is usually higher. There is a lot of overlap with this rule and they have all of the same training, meetings, etc.

  • mclaren686's picture

    Thank you both for your very informative replies. If I'm at a disadvantage for the Investor Associate role, what do you think of my chances of landing a position as an Analyst? Pay is not an issue. I currently make $50k a year and am very, very comfortable (young, single, no debt, midwest).

  • BeastMode's picture

    Are you in a building with PWM? If so you should contact the investor desk there and try to spend as much time sitting with them as possible. If you shadow someone and then show them how much you know about the markets, they'll take you more seriously than if they just saw that a retail banker was applying for the position. The investor analyst might be more realistic, but again you have to look at the competition for the spot. In my experience a lot of banking analysts realize within a year or less that they want to be an investor, so they gun for that investor desk role after a year or two. You can almost never start directly out of college as an investor analyst.

    Think about it from their point of view. The investor role is all about managing clients' money, so if you don't know your shit when it comes to the markets, you really have no credibility. A client is going to say "who is this retail banker that they have talking to me about investments?" So you need to go above and beyond to prove that you can handle it. Whether that means networking like I said, starting the CFA, or something else is up to you.

    I don't mean to be harsh at all, I just want you to know where you stand so that you do what has to be done to reach your goal. I know people who have broken in from outside roles, but all of them have become banking analysts first and then moved to investor roles. Don't personally know anyone that went straight from outside the PB/PWM to an investor desk.

  • mclaren686's picture

    You're not being harsh at all and I hugely appreciate your responses. So by "banking analyst" do you mean the campus program that one may apply for by logging on to JPMorgan's careers page in mid-September? The one that says something like "Private Banking Analyst Program"? If so, do you think I have a shot at landing that? I was actually going to apply for it. Only downside is that it's not for another 9 months.

  • BeastMode's picture

    No. Everything we've talked about is technically under that program. Within JPMPB there are banking analysts that support bankers and investor analysts that support investors. I think you'd have an easier time breaking in as the former rather than the latter, but with the right networking and motivation you can definitely do what you want.

    You have to watch that they'll even be recruiting for full time, as I know this year they didn't because they filled so many of their spots with summer hires. You may as well apply for that when it comes, but I would reach out to anyone that you can in PB/PWM (investor desk if possible) and try to make a connection there. It helps a lot that you're already part of the company, so you'll have an easier time getting your foot in for that first visit than someone who doesn't even work there.

  • tan86's picture

    mclaren686 - Not to confuse you, but I actually had the opposite perspective than BeastMode regarding people breaking into the Investor Associate role. I saw a decent amount of people come into the role from an external position, and they had a variety of backgrounds, most of which were investments related, but there was at least one guy who came in from the branch system. I think it really depends on what type of market you are trying to break into, as your chances are going to be better in a smaller, Midwest office versus a major City (Chicago, LA, NYC),

    As far as breaking in at the analyst level, 99.9% of the people in the analyst program come from college recruiting (straight from undergrad).

    One other thing you may want to think about is breaking in as a CSA (client service associate). This role is much easier to land compared to an analyst or associate. Basically, CSAs handle the paper work, trading activity (placing trades, etc) and other "assistant" like duties (answering phones, filing, etc). Just something to think about...

  • mclaren686's picture

    Thanks for your help, everyone. I'm wondering if I might be able to get in as an analyst since I'm graduating with my MS soon. By the way, what is the pay structure for analyst 1 2 3 and associate? Are there performance incentives?

  • BeastMode's picture

    True. One thing that I forgot to add is that my experience is only for NY, so I can't speak much about regional offices.

  • mclaren686's picture

    Do you two think I may stand a better chance in the Commercial Banking department? They have an interesting analyst program for that at JPM, too.

  • tan86's picture

    CB is going to be harder to break into IMO. Your skill set is better suited for PWM.

  • mclaren686's picture

    Hey tan86, what is CSA compensation like? Is it the same as the "investment assistant" positions that are all over job connect? I hear this is a 60k job with a 10k bonus. If so, I'd gladly take that and work my way up.

  • tan86's picture

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