Does sell-side make sense anymore? What should current sell-siders do instead?
I understand this is a bit of a tired question but I'm feeling nihilistic so here we go.
Over the past year or so, there has been increasing press (especially from the FT) around the use ofas a market function, the value of LT career on the sell-side etc. This was spurred by at first the generative AI boom (Chat-GPT) and then the potential reform of MifiD II. At the moment I'm a sell-side junior. I'm doing fine, I'm at a very good firm. But occasionally I find myself reading the articles and feeling demotivated. While a lot of these articles are just self-serving opinion pieces, they do raise an important question: is sell-side research even worth going into as a career anymore? And if so, for how long?
We work similar hours to S&T guys who often make more than us. Not to mention those on the opposite side of the street. In the minds of many buysiders, we're borderline event planners and conduits for management. The compensation pool does not seem to have any significant tailwinds, only headwinds. The job pool only seems to shrink further as consolidation occurs (e.g. CSis obviously not going to exist soon). I'm willing to be corrected here, of course.
On exits: The platform funds really suit only certain types of people. Long-onlys may soon start using AI to replace juniors. IR - I don't know much about admittedly.
So my question is:
In your opinion, doessense anymore?
And if you were in sell-side currently, what would be your game plan or exit plan?