How should I approach breaking into asset management post graduation?

Hi. I am having a mini panic about my potential career path going forward. I have just graduated and I have secured a job at a well known financial services company. I have wanted to pursue asset management since my penultimate year of university but haven't had any luck with applications. I was thinking about applying again this year for graduate schemes but having researched and read up on things on WSO and related websites I have realised that perhaps I have been approaching it from the wrong angle. I see people saying how it is near impossible to get in. I have 3 main questions:

  • Should I switch my application strategy to just sell-side role applications instead?

  • Should I wait until I have enough money for a MSc at a top school?

  • Is it impossible just for larger firms? Could I break into smaller shops?

Most Helpful

Would need more context:

- what you studies, where you studied, what your expected to be doing at the financial services company.

But generally, do both of below:

1. Try to break in to SS Equity Research

  • Get your CFA
  • Practice modelling (choose one of many online courses/packages and practice a lot) and stock pitches
  • Network like crazy (alumni, cold call)
  • If successful, do two years and lateral to an AM (network)

2. Try to break into AM directly

  • Same as above + learn about the funds investment philosophy and horizon (13Fs)

It's a tall task to break in to AMs but you need to know what you want. Do you want to be in equity fund, fixed income fund, asset allocation team? Equity funds will "typically" hire from SS ER. Fixed income funds "typically" hire from corporate banking (+IB LevFin/DCM). I say typically because there are unconventional routes but given they are unconventional, they are very rare - middle/back office to front office internal lateral.

I wouldn't recommend you to do MSc at a top school unless you have terrible GPA from undergrad.

I would argue, it might be tougher to break into smaller shops if you want direct path (not SS to AM). 

Best of luck!


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