Q&A with Flake, “Don’t waste your time and energy in a back office role.”

M Friedman's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,073

How do I even begin to introduce Flake? More than anything else, Flake is really here for our enjoyment. Sure, maybe Flake is not as helpful as the legendary CompBanker, but that does not mean he is undeserving a Q&A. Within our interview, there are some real, solid lessons about the realities of networking from the back office to score an elusive FO role. Give the man props, because the BO-to-FO move is the epitome of doing the non-target hustle.

Although Flake has previously done an equity research focused Q&A, I wanted to sit down with him to discuss his back-office transition and his feelings about his current ER role. In this Q&A, Flake discusses his background, how to internally network from the back office, and the qualities of a successfully ER associate.

Please, enjoy, and make sure to look out for more of my Q&A's with our more experienced users.

MF: Let's talk about your background, education, etc. - where did you come from? How did you get your initial Back Office job? What makes you special?

Flake: I went to a non-target state school, and graduated in 2009. How non-target? Well, a few weeks ago I had a meeting with a CEO of one of the companies under my coverage and he asked what school I attended (he was a Wharton UG and MBA man himself). I had to look at the floor, kick around a bit, and mutter the name under my breath.

Where did I come from? Russia, over a decade ago.

I had two summer analyst interviews for my junior year, one was an operations position at the BB that I currently work at, and the other was Blackrock PAG. Looking back, I realize neither of those was great, but I was ecstatic to receive the offers. Given that I was clueless back then, I made my decision based on brand name (I didn't even know what in the world Blackrock was, seriously).

I thought I was the shit. I thought, "This is it, this is that Finance job that everyone keeps talking about." I was proud of myself for not even trying and getting those. At $55,000 a year and $10,000 bonus at signing I figured I was well on my way of hitting that $100,000 by 30 goal (seriously, again). If I knew myself back then, I would have slapped the sh*t out of that kid.

What makes me special? The helmet, I guess.

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MF: How did you know you wanted to work in equity research, if anything?

Flake: I didn't know I wanted ER until I received my full-time offer at the end of my BB ops summer gig. After doing mindless shit for 10 weeks straight, it finally hit me that there are different divisions within the bank. I realized that operations was not what I wanted and it was definitely not "it". I still signed the offer given the circumstances.

It was Fall '08, I believe, and firms were cancelling OCR interviews at the time. I picked up the pace a bit during my senior year and came up with a master plan: 1) work in my BO job at 25% capacity, 2) spend the other 75% learning everything there is to learn about ER and IBD (my passion for both was a result of taking a couple of corporate finance classes during senior year), 3)???, and finally, 4) transition to ER or IB. More on this later...

After reading maybe 4-5 different books on investment banking, becoming addicted to WSJ and Barron's, and speaking briefly to an ER associate who I met randomly- I knew what I wanted to do.

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MF: Are you an analyst or associate?

Flake: As you may know, an analyst is more senior than an associate in a sell-side ER hierarchy. This is an external structure that we use for clients, reports, etc. Internally, we still follow the whole Analyst>Associate>VP>Director>MD structure. So my corporate/internal title is a 1st year Associate. Previously, I was an analyst for 2 years (split evenly between ER and BO).

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MF: You mentioned that you networked your way to an FO associate job (granted some of it was sheer luck)... how would you recommend going about internally networking? What did you learn from your experience of almost getting the boot from networking a little too hard?

Flake: With networking, just be normal. I didn't want to come off as some try-hard desperate brown-noser, and at the same time I didn't want to come off self-entitled and cocky. Just be modest, be curious (bi-curious if that's your thing), ask good questions, let the person talk about himself or herself, and just be able to shoot the sh*t with the person if it comes to that.

Despite my short career and my inexperience, I am still contacted by random people who want to "network" with me. Sure, I meet them. We talk, or try to. Some of them try so hard you can smell their bullshit from a mile away. The others say shit like "so my main concern is that ER is all about writing and modeling, I just don't want to be stuck looking at an excel sheet all day". Yes, valid question, but you don't have to sound like a dick when phrasing it.

You can find my detailed BO to FO story in that Q&A thread I started in December. What I learned: if you want something, you go and get it. All good things require sacrifices; otherwise they are called hand-outs (occupy my ass). If I could go back to the BO, I would do the exact same thing.

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MF: Talk to us about how to use a company directory?

Flake: Using the directory should be easy. I don't know how it works at other firms, but I can filter mine by division, title, team, etc, which made it relatively easy to find the people you wanted. The one thing I fucked up on was cold emailing a tech analyst in SF, asking him to grab lunch/coffee. I'm in New York. So just pay attention. When you're excited to email someone you can make a dumb mistake like that.

Lastly, if ER is your thing, you should have access to your bank's research reports. Form your questions around those notes when emailing an analyst or an associate. Don't ask obvious sh*t either; get a little creative with it to show that you are knowledgeable and interested in that sector. Otherwise, I will just attach a copy of my report and tell you to "look on page 3."

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MF: What is more important, a superior technical knowledge or superior amicable personality?

Flake: I would never isolate one of those and say that's the most important. It is a mix of both...also sex appeal helps. For example, I would attribute 90% of my ER transition to my handsomeness. But seriously, you do need both though.

Technical:

1) Helps instill confidence in your clients and establish your credibility as a reliable source of information
2) Having something like the CFA charter should help with your potential move to the buy side
3) Knowing your sh*t will also make your analyst more comfortable with giving you greater responsibility. Your analyst has to be confident in your analysis and at some point the analyst shouldn't feel like he or she needs to hold your hand.

Amicable personality:

1) ER analysts are not anti-social and they are not geeks or nerds or whatever I've seen thrown around occasionally
2) you need be personable when interacting with big institutional accounts and c-level executives of the industry that you cover.

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MF: What grinds your gears the most when it comes to daily interaction with people (be it supervisors or subordinates)?

Flake: I don't like people who act self-entitled. I don't like anyone who constantly argues and tries to convince you they are right, even though they have been wrong the previous 10 times in a row. I don't like people who get offended easily or can't handle constructive criticism. I like modesty. I like someone I can grab a drink with and talk about anything, including WORK. Yes, work. Just because you hate your job doesn't mean I hate mine and should shy away from discussing it in a social setting.

I have one subordinate, if you will; he is a "research assistant". The thing I hate about him is his lack of attention to detail and his inability to take ownership of what I tell him to do. I feel like he does shit just to finish it, he doesn't care about the end result and everything he hands over to me is sloppy.

My boss on the other hand, is exactly the type of person I just described. I can talk to him about anything and everything. He is easy-going but he can be strict and he can be a dick if the timing is right and shit needs to get done. That's what I usually look for in a man.

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MF: You're one of the people that transitioned from Operations to the Front Office, what advice would you give someone who is trying to do the same thing?

Flake: I may be biased, but don't waste your time and energy on excelling in your back office or middle office role if your goal is to move as soon as possible. If you are one of those people that thinks your current boss in BO/MO will "refer" you to that banking MD if you work your ass off, you are kind of wrong. That shit doesn't happen.

Focus on networking and studying (be it for the CFA, GMAT, or just reading relevant books/news). Don't spend too much time working there. If you are still in a back office role two years after you graduated it is time to pack your stuff and go to business school...that's just my opinion of course.

What I do now is not related to my BO position at all.

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MF: What is the most positive part of ER and what is the most negative?

Flake: <a href="//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/equity-research-qa-...">I discussed most of this in my Q&A thread as well.

My favorite part is that it's not all grunt work. Even when a client uses me for informational purposes and doesn't really care about my Buy/Sell/Hold rating (no one does really), I still feel like my opinion is valued and sought after. Every time I hear "Thanks for your time and insight, Flake, very helpful" I get a kick out of that.

When was the last time someone who's twice your age, who is making probably 15-20x of what you make a year, and who is managing billions of dollars, thanked you for your "insight" or your "time?"

What's the most negative thing about my job? They could pay me more money.

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MF: What are some basic qualities specifically needed to be successful at an ER job?

Flake: Confidence. Attention to detail. You must have a passion for your sector and the markets (otherwise you're just bored). Have the ability to write well, and being selectively direct and concise (not my best quality).

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MF: Will you be attending the WSO conference?

Flake: I have my ticket to the WSO conference. I don't know what I'm doing yet, I might dedicate that Saturday to a catnap.

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MF: Why do you feel like it is important to give back in the realm of solid advice to the WSO community?

Flake: I didn't even know WSO existed before I started in ER... so I really don't have anyone here to thank for anything. I never even thought of going on an Internet forum to seek advice on my career or networking, but I sure wish I did. It would have made my transition a lot easier, and more importantly; I would not have felt like I was the only one trying to take that leap. Also, I would like to give back occasionally in return for Patrick letting me troll WSO 90% of the time.

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MF: I usually open up the end of the Q&A to say anything you may wish (just be nice).

Flake: I just want to give a few shout outs to the people who keep me entertained on WSO:

Nouveau Richie, shorttheworld, heister, Determined, Whiskey5, duffmt6, ekimlacks, WellPlayed, Midas Mulligan Magoo (RIP), swagon, TonyPerkis, malvvar, rothyman, and ah. If I forgot someone, I'm not sorry.

Check my past Q&A's:

<a href="//www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/qa-with-heister-my-to..."> Heister (HF)- My Total Worth is North of $50 Million

Patrick Curtis (PE, WSO Founder) Part 1
Patrick Curtis (PE, WSO Founder) Part 2

CompBanker (PE) Part 1
CompBanker (PE) Part 2

Comments (64)

Apr 17, 2012

Great Q&A. Thanks for doing this.

Apr 17, 2012

What was your major, what did you do to demonstrate to employers your interest and aptitude in your various positions (especially your internships), and you mentioned something about handsomeness playing a factor in all of this... what can you say about girth? Is that thrown into the mix?

Also, thanks for the Q&A.

Apr 18, 2012
M Friedman:

Flake: I just want to give a few shout outs to the people who keep me entertained on WSO:

Nouveau Richie, shorttheworld, heister, Determined, Whiskey5, duffmt6, ekimlacks, WellPlayed, Midas Mulligan Magoo (RIP), swagon, TonyPerkis, malvvar, rothyman, and ah. If I forgot someone, I'm not sorry.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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Apr 17, 2012

well done, monsieur flake.

i myself don't give more than 25% in ANY aspect of my life.

Apr 17, 2012

Solid insight Flake, if I didn't have negative WSO credits I'd throw an SB at ya.

Loved the shout out section at the end as well, namely because I'm in it.

Apr 17, 2012

Flake: That's what I usually look for in a man.

Apr 17, 2012
  1. How important is quantitative ability in ER? Do you have to have high level of a mathematical knowledge? Is modelling important in ER?
  2. Would you recommend non-targets trying to break into ER to take the CFA L1. We all know what M&I has to say about the CFA for people trying to break into IB, but how helpful is it for ER?
  3. How are Liberal Arts colleges represented at your firm and department?
  4. The dreaded exit option question. Where can you go from sell side ER?
  5. What can someone, who is not as handsome or charming as you, do to get an edge in that area. Obviously no one can be like you, but how can people step it up a notch?

Finally, I did not listen to you when you first told me this, but I definitely agree with you about the BO thing. I did not realize it until I did it on my own. I am currently doing an off-cycle BO internship at a bank reconciling trades all day. I can not tell you how much I hate my job. This is the most mind numbing shit I have ever done; I feel like my intelligence in decreasing every day I am doing this job. (I like it though when I look at the trade details and find out the little firm where I work raped a large BB on a derivative trade).

I am going to do everything in my power to break into a FO job by the time I graduate (I'm a Soph now).

Apr 18, 2012
JamesHetfield:

2. Would you recommend non-targets trying to break into ER to take the CFA L1. We all know what M&I has to say about the CFA for people trying to break into IB, but how helpful is it for ER?.

If you are a non-target trying to break into ER you absolutely should pursue the CFA. One of the few things you can do on your own and it really shows your interest in the profession.

Take a look at any bank's directory and see how many people in ER have the CFA designation.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

Apr 17, 2012

Very nice interview! :) Thanks for taking the time to do it!

Apr 17, 2012

"Every time I hear "Thanks for your time and insight, Flake, very helpful" I get a kick out of that.

When was the last time someone who's twice your age, who is making probably 15-20x of what you make a year, and who is managing billions of dollars, thanked you for your "insight" or your "time?""

Weird that your clients call you flake as well.

Apr 17, 2012

+1 for a dude who respects humor on WSO. Good Q&A though I haven't had the chance to read all of it yet.

Apr 17, 2012

midas isnt dead lol

Apr 17, 2012
shorttheworld:

midas isnt dead lol

"Ideas can never die!"

that's probably a V for Vendetta quote or some shit, right?

Apr 17, 2012
M Friedman:

I just want to give a few shout outs to the people who keep me entertained on WSO:

Nouveau Richie, shorttheworld, heister, Determined, Whiskey5, duffmt6, ekimlacks, WellPlayed, Midas Mulligan Magoo (RIP), swagon, TonyPerkis, malvvar, rothyman, and ah. If I forgot someone, I'm not sorry.

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Apr 17, 2012
oldmansacks:
M Friedman:

I just want to give a few shout outs to the people who keep me entertained on WSO:

Nouveau Richie, shorttheworld, heister, Determined, Whiskey5, duffmt6, ekimlacks, WellPlayed, Midas Mulligan Magoo (RIP), swagon, TonyPerkis, malvvar, rothyman, and ah. If I forgot someone, I'm not sorry.

EDIT: Noobfags can't triforce, apparently.

EDIT again: Nope. Sigh. Something up with img HTML tags?

Apr 17, 2012
Angus Macgyver:
oldmansacks:
M Friedman:

I just want to give a few shout outs to the people who keep me entertained on WSO:

Nouveau Richie, shorttheworld, heister, Determined, Whiskey5, duffmt6, ekimlacks, WellPlayed, Midas Mulligan Magoo (RIP), swagon, TonyPerkis, malvvar, rothyman, and ah. If I forgot someone, I'm not sorry.

EDIT: Noobfags can't triforce, apparently.

EDIT again: Nope. Sigh. Something up with img HTML tags?

its working for me haterfag

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Apr 17, 2012

I'm not sure how i feel about being mentioned last...

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Apr 17, 2012
ah:

I'm not sure how i feel about being mentioned last...

bros before hoes

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Apr 17, 2012
oldmansacks:
ah:

I'm not sure how i feel about being mentioned last...

bros before hoes

bro where were you mentioned?

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

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Apr 18, 2012

yeah it was me. sryz.

Apr 18, 2012

Kudos to our Russian comrade, Flake. Well done.

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Apr 18, 2012

Flake,

Good thread, 2 questions:

1) How does ER hiring work post MBA ? Does having prior industry experience in a particular sector help ? Trying to transition from tech (programmer) to tech equity research post MBA (sell side). I've been told it's 100% essential to complete 2 levels of the CFA before MBA (at least). Anything else I can do to increase my chances ?

2) Do you know if banks are hiring internationals for equity research roles post MBA ?

Apr 18, 2012

Thanks for your time and insight, Flake, very helpful!

But seriously though, Flake, you're the fucking man. I can always count on you for a laugh and am genuinely inspired by your story. Appreciate your advice and keep up the great work!

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - DT

Apr 18, 2012

Good stuff flake, solid advice. Not gonna lie though, i did cry a bit when i didn't see my name in the shoutouts.

Apr 18, 2012

dick.

i know you love me

Apr 18, 2012

Sometimes the back-office can be a little helpful, like if you're just out of school and want to get a sense of the industry.

Apr 18, 2012
nmartell:

Sometimes the back-office can be a little helpful, like if you're just out of school and want to get a sense of the industry.

No.

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Apr 18, 2012
Flake:
nmartell:

Sometimes the back-office can be a little helpful, like if you're just out of school and want to get a sense of the industry.

No.

what about the side office?

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Apr 18, 2012

that picture is creepy, hey larry david learn to link huh?

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Apr 18, 2012

First of all, who gives a shit what Flake has to say about anything?

Second of all, wtf Flake, no shout out? You should be sorry about that.

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Apr 18, 2012

Flake, what are you pulling in?

Apr 18, 2012
BCbanker:

Flake, what are you pulling in?

Not that much and less than you will if you stay as a 3rd year analyst. All-in close to mid-100k for my 3rd year. After taxes comes out to rougly 50 bucks. That's not including income from my hotel business (which I won't go into).

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Apr 18, 2012
Flake:
BCbanker:

Flake, what are you pulling in?

Not that much and less than you will if you stay as a 3rd year analyst. All-in close to mid-100k for my 3rd year. After taxes comes out to rougly 50 bucks. That's not including income from my hotel business (which I won't go into).

can you please elaborate on your hotel business?

regards,
Uncle Tony

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Apr 18, 2012

+1 Friedman..although I would have asked tougher questions j/k

Apr 18, 2012

Flake, how have you handled sudden fame? It's become a curse for me...can drugs fill the void?

Apr 18, 2012

I feel so honored.

Also, I did the back office thing as well. Couldn't agree more with Flake. It's best to start hustling as soon as you start in the BO (I waited a year and completely regret it).

Apr 18, 2012

Still no apology?

Apr 18, 2012
Nefarious-:

Still no apology?

I'm sorry, do I know you?

That's what you get for leaving to get a pack of cigarettes and not coming back for 9 years.

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Apr 18, 2012
Flake:
Nefarious-:

Still no apology?

I'm sorry, do I know you?

That's what you get for leaving to get a pack of cigarettes and not coming back for 9 years.

I've been busy moving into my office with windows and shit.

suuuppp.

Apr 18, 2012

James I'll get back to you later this week re: your post.

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Apr 18, 2012

Very inspiring. Similar story for me, although went the MBA route. I def have to say that your perception of Ops is a lil' one sided. I had a great time working 50hrs a week, making decent money (a lot more than any friend not in finance) and getting to know the industry very well -- spent 4yrs, made 2nd year Assoc. I know this site has a lot of people dreaming about the day they can own the entire Ferragamo loafer collection, but some peeps may prefer life on peachy street. It's definitely a good lifestyle.

Apr 19, 2012
Rey Kong:

I know this site has a lot of people dreaming about the day they can own the entire Ferragamo loafer collection

LOFL

Apr 19, 2012
Rey Kong:

Very inspiring. Similar story for me, although went the MBA route. I def have to say that your perception of Ops is a lil' one sided. I had a great time working 50hrs a week, making decent money (a lot more than any friend not in finance) and getting to know the industry very well -- spent 4yrs, made 2nd year Assoc. I know this site has a lot of people dreaming about the day they can own the entire Ferragamo loafer collection, but some peeps may prefer life on peachy street. It's definitely a good lifestyle.

Good point. I do have a bit of a chip on my shoulder because 95% of the people I dealt with in my rotations were completely out of touch with reality. Forgot to mention that I rotated in 4 different areas across operations and I guess MO, if you consider trade support middle office.

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Apr 18, 2012

I work 60 hours a week at the most. 70 during earnings season (also at the high end). I guess it depends on coverage/sector. Maybe I got lucky.

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Apr 19, 2012

I haven't been on this site forever and I thought that MM died when I read R.I.P until I saw the conspiracy thread.

Good Q&A Flake. As usual, you only get loves from me.

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

Apr 19, 2012

Do people really like ER? We are talking sell side public equity analysts right? You sit on the earnings call, you get very top level public information and build out a model with CPI growth, possibly a few acquisitions, capex needs and incorporate the capital structure. Then you fill in your quarterly write up with a bunch of industry bull shit which may be true but is already priced into the stock. Then you make a recommendation that you don't actually even trade on. On top of that, pay doesn't sound that great.

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Best Response
Apr 19, 2012
BCbanker:

Do people really like ER? We are talking sell side public equity analysts right? You sit on the earnings call, you get very top level public information and build out a model with CPI growth, possibly a few acquisitions, capex needs and incorporate the capital structure. Then you fill in your quarterly write up with a bunch of industry bull shit which may be true but is already priced into the stock. Then you make a recommendation that you don't actually even trade on. On top of that, pay doesn't sound that great.

Uh huh. And? What do you do during your first two years?

Typical bulge bracket base salary for the first 3 years: 70-75k/85-90k/100-105k. Bonus ranges from 25%-35% during weak years (something like last year) to 50-60% during good years. Pay increases dramatically if you get your own coverage. There are pay discrepancies based on your analyst/team ranking in something like II as well. Don't forget, if you sector does a lot of banking business, issuers love to have research coverage, especially the ones that place a portion of their offering to retail investors. Sector that's active in banking = likely higher job security for you in ER.

You work 7am to 7pm or so. You have direct access to c-level executives of the companies you cover (not in all cases of course, but for some I have their cell phone numbers). You interact with institutional accounts on a daily basis. Exit opps are still pretty good for ER.

Greenwhich survey results taken by corporate issuers last year showed that the chances of getting banking business from an issuer that's covered by research are nearly 4.5x higher than getting banking business from a non-covered issuer. Similar story for S&T, stocks under research coverage generate 2x commissions on average vs. stocks not covered by the firm. Lastly, institutional clients, when asked why they chose the certain broker dealer to trade with, something like 25% said it was due to the sales force, 25% due to trading, and 45% due to the bank's research (these are typical answers for BB's with well-respected research platforms).

So, having a solid research platform still has its benefits at large banks, despite everything that's happening to this industry.

Not sure what you are trying to do here, but don't you have some bitch books to edit? I don't usually shit on banking, because I respect it and have several friends on the other side of that wall, but you boys do your fair share of bullshit work as well during those early years. So if I have to 1) take a 15-25% bonus cut to banking (depending on the bucket we're measuring against) to work 30-40% less hours during the first three years of my career, 2) do something I feel is more self fulfilling, and 3) still be in a good position to exit out and do something else, then fuck yeah I love ER.

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Apr 19, 2012

Whats your level of stress like Flake? Obviously something like this differs but comparing ER to IBD and S&T what's the lifestyle like?

Do you plan on exiting to S&T, specifically sales in the future?

Apr 19, 2012
wallstreetballa:

Whats your level of stress like Flake? Obviously something like this differs but comparing ER to IBD and S&T what's the lifestyle like?

Do you plan on exiting to S&T, specifically sales in the future?

Relatively low stress for me. Honestly, I see my peers stressing not because of the workload or the hours but because they have to work with a difficult analyst. In that regard, I got lucky again, because my analyst is the shit.

Trying to move to sales could be an option, but it's just not something I would excel at. While I can squeeze out a couple of days of being social and having a smile on my face, I can't be people friendly day in and out. Seems like everyone is sales is extremely nice and easy going from what I've seen. I just wouldn't be a good fit. I have seen people move between the two groups last year.

The goal right now is to stick it out for another year and try to get a feel for whether my boss will let me have 3-4 companies that I can call my "own" at some point (at that point I would be called an "Associate Analyst" I believe). In the meantime I will work towards my CFA and retake the GMAT to keep some options open. I don't think anyone wants to stay in sell-side ER for 4-5 years and still be that associate without their own coverage.

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Apr 19, 2012

I figured the analyst you work under was a big determinant on what the quality of work life would be like - Thanks for the input as always amigo!

Keep rocking the free world

Apr 19, 2012

Sorry Flake. Not trying to troll. I think you make valid points for the value of ER to the firm, and I defiantly hear you on the quality of life.

Also from the pay perspective, I was comparing you at the associate level (aka after first promo). Guys here are pulling in $250, but granted getting bitched on. My real point in salary is that I feel like ER doesn't bump up for the mid tier guys. PM's rake it in, but how does it work for that 10 year in-between period?

Last thing I don't like is that 1) You operate almost entirely in the secondary markets which are very efficient. If you guys were really this good at recommendations you would trade your own book, right? 2) You aren't actually directing any capital.

Apr 19, 2012
BCbanker:

Sorry Flake. Not trying to troll. I think you make valid points for the value of ER to the firm, and I defiantly hear you on the quality of life.

Also from the pay perspective, I was comparing you at the associate level (aka after first promo). Guys here are pulling in $250, but granted getting bitched on. My real point in salary is that I feel like ER doesn't bump up for the mid tier guys. PM's rake it in, but how does it work for that 10 year in-between period?

Last thing I don't like is that 1) You operate almost entirely in the secondary markets which are very efficient. If you guys were really this good at recommendations you would trade your own book, right? 2) You aren't actually directing any capital.

Yeah, IB associate comp is definitely sexier. Are they pre-MBA associates? Basically 4th year (after staying as 3rd year analysts and getting the bump right after)? In that case the equivalent non-MBA ER associate, having worked a total of 3 years out of undergrad heading into his/her 4th year, would probably be around 165-185k all in that year. After the first year or so, it really depends on the analyst/team as your comp becomes more discretionary.

Long-term, at associate level without coverage, you will max out around 250k all in (this is just what my analyst told me on comp day). I am not sure what associate analysts make who cover just a couple of stocks while still working under a senior analyst. There are usually a couple of senior analysts at the top BBs who can bring in $1-3 million/year, those are typically the star analysts who run respected sell-side franchises and are highly ranked. These "stars" aside, average senior analyst comp is in the $700-800k area. There is a senior analyst in his early 30s who I'm pretty close to, at a different BB, who covers a low profile sector (not actively traded, low institutional interest), he was around $500k all-in last year.

To be honest, I always kind of felt that ER was some sort of marketing tool for your firm's IBD and the banking clients. But to reiterate, I do enjoy what I do and I'm very happy here for the time being.

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Apr 20, 2012

Wow, comp was more than I expected. I think you'll build a great skill set in ER (too be honest the skillsets are very similar across buyside, banking and ER). Ultimately, don't we all want to be buyside? I think that is where you really have to back up your thesis with actual performance. BTW Flake, do you think you have found alpha?

Apr 20, 2012

What about my questions?

Apr 20, 2012
JamesHetfield:

What about my questions?

Do a search bro. Most have been discussed before.

May 16, 2012

1) Did you have to interview all over again when you made the move?
2) How did you network? Do you just call them up and say do you want to grab lunch/coffee and make them like you? What kind of things do you say to them to make them like you?
3) Did your colleagues/managers/rotational managers know that you wanted to make the transition from BO to FO? Did you tell your BO colleagues/managers/rotational managers or straight went to the FO guys? Should you tell your BO colleagues and managers?

Thanks.

May 18, 2012
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May 20, 2012
Jul 1, 2012

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