Q&A: Traditional AM (+back office to front office)

Hi all,

Short bio:

  • Started out in Sell-side risk (back office) in Canada, really wanted to break into IB but couldn't - worked roughly 4 years
  • Moved to buy-side ops (back office) in Canada coding and making lives of PMs and analysts better - worked a little over 1 year
  • Posting came up in US equities team in US, a team a used to work a lot with and made cool tools for, reached out to PM and skipped through a lot of formal process but had interviews with 3 PMs in the team
  • Currently relocated and working as an analyst specializing in energy, materials, real estate (YOE +1) while coding for the head PM to make proprietary macro / company analysis

As me anything, I'm not a seasoned professional as most other are on here but I try my best to answer, if not defer to a more experienced folks on the forum.

Thanks!

 

What’s your current comps and what were your comps back then? How's it like moving to another city?

 

Current comp 150K all in

Buyside back office 75K to 100K all in

Sellside back office 55K to 95K all in

Difficult, visa takes a long time. Looking for places to rent while keeping the idea of staying permanently (green card hopeful) at the back of my mind. I'm also married and have a 1 year old son so have had a lot to consider before making the move.

 

TLDR:

IB prep materials + coding skills (don't need a certification, just know how to use it - my source YouTube, stack overflow, gitlab)

My prep for IB when I was pursuing it was helpful. Although my team isn't value oriented we need to know the basics of modeling, excel, looking through 10Ks 10Qs on top of everything else. Added to that, my ticket to the opportunity was coding skills. I have working knowledge of python, sql, C#, html and used those to make cool tools for front office teams. My PM had excess capacity due to some senior member retirement and a bit of reorg in the team + wanted to get a coder to organize and analyze macro data to generate a top down view.

Having done CFA helped as a check off item but it did help nonetheless (I would argue content learned in CFA program is less useful then the three letters).

 

Aside from having those skills, really focus on networking. I was extremely fortunate and I recognize my path is not conventional. Ideal candidate for fundamental investment teams would be from SS ER with 2~4 YOE in relevant sector. So you are competing with these guys. So your best bet is to work hard, try to be on projects that give you face time with the FO, and blow them away (or at least build a good rapport and relationship so if opportunity comes around they think of you)

 
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