PIMCO Portfolio Associate, worth a try?

Hi all,

I was approached by PIMCO recruiter last year about a Portfolio Associate - Asset Allocation Role (the role is based in NYC), and I did multiple rounds of interviews with them. The overall interview experience is great. I currently work for a large derivatives exchange as a quant researcher, the team develops the exchange's core initial margin model.
PIMCO has not contacted me for 3+ months since the previous round but suddenly reached out again recently and arranged interviews with PMs (I think this might be end of the series?). I have a few questions related to the firm, the role, and the career path.

  1. I have a quantitative background (BS + MFE) and work as a quant, and I am not familiar with AM (only surface level knowledge) before this opportunity, I was wondering why PIMCO reached out to me and found my background interesting. Is it because they now want people with more quantitative skills (coding, analytics, etc.) to facilitate PMs? From my understanding, the role of portfolio associate is to support PM and transactions. The nature of this role is not quantitative, but involves more operational tasks related to transactions, risk analysis reports, and performance attribution. The PMs I am going to meet have quantitative backgrounds as well (STEM PhD) so I was very curious about what this job is like, will it be very interesting/challenging? Will I get the chance to still apply my quantitative and computational skills? I also notice that PIMCO has multiple quant team (all in Newport Beach CA): client analytics, systematic strategies, quant PM, I'd like to know about the quant teams there as well.
  2. PIMCO in New York? I live on the east coast now and I don't plan on moving in the next 2 years. The role itself is in New York, which is great. But I know that PIMCO's headquarters is in Newport Beach, so I'd like to know more about their New York branch. Which teams are here? how many people? Growth opportunity compared to the West Coast. How do New Yorkers reconcile with Californians? How is PIMCO's equity business performing? If the role is on the equity team? Is it still worth a try? Are there many internal opportunities?
  3. PIMCO's reputation and culture? How's PIMCO's reputation nowadays in 2023 (compared to Blackrock, Capital Group, etc. or simply within AM). I heard that PIMCO still has traditional financial culture and values MBA. In the quant field, the hardcore skills are much more appreciated than degrees. Also, the portfolio associate role is not quantitative, will it hit the ceiling sooner without an MBA? Also, what are the hours and salary at PIMCO (could you please provide a number or range?) Is the environment collegial or political?
  4. Career Path? Someone at PIMCO told me the role is sort of like a trading assistant? Is this true? What are the career paths for portfolio associates in the near and long term? Will some of them become PMs at some point in the future? What are the exit ops?

P.S. I read from another post "Associate Positions at AMs Will Die Off at An Accelerated Rate" it also expresses my concern. If the role is all about monitoring, reporting, and risk analysis, all these tasks can be automated. What else can someone in this role learn?

Your answers and comments are appreciated. Thanks guys.

Comments (3)

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other

It's PIMCO.. get the offer first then worry about those things. 

kkbb2018, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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