Career Advice - Asset Management First Year Analyst

I am currently a first-year analyst in the AM arm of a BB (GS/JPM/MS). I am nearing completing my first year but know that I want to transition out of my current role. To give a backstory, I graduated in the summer of 2020 from a CUNY with no offer in hand from a BB S&T Superday. Markets and investing in general are what attracted me to Wall Street. I spent the next 1 year and half networking, interviewing, and taking online courses in financial modeling, writing, etc. Fast forward to start this year in January I got an offer in the alts platform within the AM arm of my current firm (think hedge funds, real estate, private credit). The role is characterized as product role internally. I would disagree, but it is client facing. I spend my days on PowerPoint creating and updating decks or just writing basic commentary on manager performance for client portfolio reviews. There are pros from my work though such as, sitting in on meetings with institutional investors, attending HF/PC manager calls, and exposure to the research team that cover the managers. I learned and gained a better understanding of the asset classes that I cover (HFs and PC). The culture is good, welcoming, and very flat, but I am not enjoying/ have passion for the current work I do. I gravitate to analytical work like creating financial models, research, due diligence none of which I do on the job. Am I being too narrow-minded or impatient? I am grateful for getting in this seat, but I would like a role where I can do all the above (ER whether buyside or sell side, within AM, HF) except IB. Should I stick through the analyst program in this current role?

Comments (5)

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities

Lmao this is literally me, but you're at a much better bank. Based on what people on my team have told me who are in my track and a few years ahead - the role is not designed to be very discretionary. It's also heavily mandated, AM at a bank just doesn't generate the revenues corporate/investment banking, advisory or lending services so naturally banks don't really beef up their AM arms especially with how efficient it is (but you're in Alts which is a great space tbh).

Mind it im probably your age but same situation - I think sell side ER is what you're looking for. I'm considering either ER or work my way up on a trading desk. AM @ a bank just feels like a glorified salesman role, no true analysis or discretion.

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other

Yes, my role is more salesman than I expected. I wouldn't have mind it if it was a part of my responsibilities and not the bulk or entirety of my role. I will have to be patient though; my firm has one year requirement before you can move around internally. In the meantime, I will prep for interviews and network. Thank you for your advice. Sell-Side ER was already at the top of my list.

  • Research Associate in AM - Equities

I would start networking and looking for roles externally, since it's always easier to make the jump to ER sooner rather than later.

Regarding buy-side vs. sell-side, there tends to be more opportunities on the sell-side given the greater number of firms (more sell-side than buy-side firms) and the higher turnover among associates (who make the jump to buy-side AM/HF or Corporate IR). Sell-side ER is also more open to those without research experience, while buy-side ER usually requires prior investing experience.

Most Helpful
dickthesellsider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If more financial analysis work is your goal, I would make the move sooner than later because you won't learn the needed skills on your day job. 

Learn the skills (modeling and research) - good thing about public investing is information is available so it comes down to self-discipline.

  • Modeling - sign up for a modeling course (paid or free).
  • Valuation - Damodaran videos are free but modeling courses teach you valuation too.
  • Research - pick a company, read the 10K, build a model and value the stock. Have a view - is it a buy, hold, or short

Research is hard to get into and buy-side is harder than sell-side: you need to demonstrate baseline modeling and research skills before getting the job. 

Why buy-side is harder? A typical day starts with a senior people telling you "Hey, take a look at $RTX and let me know what you think". That's all the instruction you will get. There is no training and buy-side sources juniors from investment banking and sell-side research because of the baseline skills. 

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other

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