AM @ a Reputable Bank, Exit Opps?

Hey all.

I seem to read nothing but negative things on here about doing AM at a bank in terms of pay, career progression, etc. Getting into a Fidelity/Vanguard/BlackRock or just a pure AM house seems extremely difficult, more so than IB especially when the candidate pool is going to be Ivy MBA grads or people with BB IB experience let alone the fact that spots are so scarce.

Are there any decent exit opps from an AM arm at a bank? I'm considering pursuing a CFA and recruiting for ER or perhaps lateraling into the capital markets team (FX S&T) of my current bank since they have an internal hiring pool which I'm confident I can get into.

Working in a pure markets driven role is really my top priority, even if it means working as a trading assistant at a smaller fund and working my way up to a seat. 

Comments (10)

Jun 18, 2022 - 11:16pm
dickthesellsider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What function do you do at this AM? 

Despite the discussion in the other thread about how independent AM is better than AM at a bank, doing fundamental research at an AM is the exit opportunity for many (that includes me.)

Before you get sucked into this massive endowment effect called the CFA ($4,500 exam fee and 900 hours ahead, assuming you don't have family obligations), I want to understand your end goal and solve backwards the most cost effective and time efficient way to get there, which highly unlikely will involve the need for CFA

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Jun 19, 2022 - 1:32pm

Hey. So I actually don't start until end of summer. My first year is a rotation under the PM team and from what I've gathered it's mainly shadowing and training.

That being said, my two options after this year will be liquidity solutions (mainly cash management and generating yield through treasuries, corporate bonds, ABS) or OCIO for institutions. The latter I feel would be better since it's more discretionary and open to all asset classes. I'd be willing to hop off anon and DM you my company if it helps.

I'd say my ultimate goal is to work in S&T or a pure buy side fund. I've seen some smaller funds have roles for trading assistants that I'm open to as well.

Most Helpful
Jun 22, 2022 - 4:58pm
Addinator, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm happy to give you some advice and/or thoughts the best I can - my firm does both liquidity management and OCIO, both considerably large and we compete with your firm (I recall you posting a thread on this where you named your company - maybe was deleted). 

As far as OCIO goes - if you are trying to do S&T or Equity research, it's an indirect path at best. Your primary options are either other OCIO firms or plan sponsors/asset owners themselves - those are the most common types of jumps. In most cases, if you are on the investment team for the OCIO, you'll be doing manager research or high level asset class research/due diligence. Maybe more quant type or global macro/economic research to help guide the overall asset allocation/tactical decisions. I'll spare you the spin - it's simply a different path than what you seem to be describing, looking for an S&T or research role. 

If you want S&T or even research - liquidity management is where you'll get the direct exposure, or at least have that potential. I don't know how they are setup - and still assuming I know the company here - but they have basically out to core plus strategies. I'd assume they have an analyst, or a few, for corporate credit - that's an opportunity, hard to get, but there. You might also be able to make a run at a trading role or PM role there. In my view - that would give you the best case should you want to transition out to another bank, AM firm, etc. 

Obviously - if you aren't in the investing roles, all of the above doesn't really apply. 

  • VP in IB - Gen
Jun 19, 2022 - 11:05am

I did AM at a bank in my former life and I agree that is very difficult to transition to one of the larger standalone asset managers like Wellington, Blackrock, Fido etc. i was on the fixed income mutual fund side and folks focused more on asset gathering Vs true performance (as you're pegged against lipper rankings). But it truly depends on what you do in AM. If you are doing something a tad more niche like (private credit / growth equity etc) you should be able to exit to decent spots. The guys in my class in equities who were quite bright ended up in IR or wealth management shops…

you should try to lateral to your IB. I ended up leaving AM for IB and ended up enjoying it and stayed. 

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Jun 19, 2022 - 1:34pm

Thanks for your input. I was biased towards market driven  roles when applying but I do wish I learned about IB earlier and gave it a shot. Seems like starting out in IB gives you tons of different opportunities to pivot into.

How was your transition from AM to IB in regards to interviewing and stuff of that sort?

  • VP in IB - Gen
Jun 19, 2022 - 7:29pm

I actually started my career in IB so it was easier. If you are at a firm like GS/JP/MS, networking is key. These firms are great with internal mobility. There is a high chance you would have to reset a year or two though, particularly if you're at JPM

  • VP in IB - Gen
Jun 19, 2022 - 11:02pm

I was on the research/portfolio management team so I was researching sectors and recommending securities to be entered into portfolios based on mandate criteria. I wouldn't say my experience was negative (OP asked about exit ops specifically which I was opining on). I learned a lot from my buyside AM experience at a bulge bracket (think GS/JPM), but the pay was pretty bad and upward trajectory was mediocre since no seniors really leave given it's a cushy job. 

Jun 19, 2022 - 12:44pm
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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