ER vs. Risk Mgmt

Long term goal is to be in HF, perhaps portfolio mgmt. or PE
Short term goal is to be in IBD.
Currently a junior going for a summer intern position.

Recruiting season is coming to a close for me. I am at target Ivy (harvard/Wharton, one of those two)

What should I take this summer: equity research in TMT (below BB, above boutique/MM) or risk and quantitative analysis(RQA) at BlackRock?

I personally want to try for the ER summer->IBD full time->HF/PE track. However, chances of me getting IBD full time w/o an internship is slim, even if my school is top recruited and I have good academics (magna cum laude)

On the other hand, the RQA sits pretty close to portfolio mgmt, and its well reputed. Is it middle office? The nature of the work is very quant heavy though, using statistical models, fixed income analysis. Here, I would have to lateral into their portfolio mgmt group, which accomplishes my end goal or try to do the
Risk summer -> HF full time, again....unlikely because I might get pigeonholed

Comments (10)

Mar 3, 2011 - 5:51pm
HedgeKing, what's your opinion? Comment below:

ER is considered Front Office, while Risk Management is usually considered Middle Office. In my book, Front Office is ALWAYS better than Middle Office if your career goal is Front Office.

Mar 3, 2011 - 6:03pm
What-to-do-What-to-do, what's your opinion? Comment below:
HedgeKing:
ER is considered Front Office, while Risk Management is usually considered Middle Office. In my book, Front Office is ALWAYS better than Middle Office if your career goal is Front Office.

Risk people (actual portfolio risk/risk modeling and not the risk monitoring/reporting, so FMG within BlackRock, not PAG) fall under investment professionals in a traditional AM firm. You cant construct a portfolio or allocate assets efficiently without them

  • 1
Mar 3, 2011 - 6:35pm
drnoeyedea, what's your opinion? Comment below:
What-to-do-What-to-do:
HedgeKing:
ER is considered Front Office, while Risk Management is usually considered Middle Office. In my book, Front Office is ALWAYS better than Middle Office if your career goal is Front Office.

Risk people (actual portfolio risk/risk modeling and not the risk monitoring/reporting, so FMG within BlackRock, not PAG) fall under investment professionals in a traditional AM firm. You cant construct a portfolio or allocate assets efficiently without them

I guess my post basically screamed BlackRock, so no sense in hiding it.ER vs. Risk Quant Analysis, which sits within PMG. Which one ?

Best Response
Mar 3, 2011 - 7:24pm
APAE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Kids break into BB IBD without relevant experience or an uber-target name behind them. You could take either of these and still do exactly what you want to do given the advantages you enjoy (simple name brand of Blackstone) or ER as related experience. Don't stress so much over whether this SA gig will predicate the rest of your career. You're at H/W and you already plan to do FT IBD recruiting. Enough said, you're already golden compared to everyone else applying.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

  • 3
Mar 3, 2011 - 8:07pm
drnoeyedea, what's your opinion? Comment below:
A Posse Ad Esse:
Kids break into BB IBD without relevant experience or an uber-target name behind them. You could take either of these and still do exactly what you want to do given the advantages you enjoy (simple name brand of Blackstone) or ER as related experience. Don't stress so much over whether this SA gig will predicate the rest of your career. You're at H/W and you already plan to do FT IBD recruiting. Enough said, you're already golden compared to everyone else applying.

BlackRock, not Blackstone.

But either way, this recruiting season has been an eye opener for me, and very much humbling. I got a little overconfident and even though I got tons of first rounds, I was not able to convert them into final rounds, because of various factors(sophomore BB back office, generic resume for all kinds of jobs, lack of serious interview prep). I basically thought I was a shoo-in, but then a reality check came....

I wont be making the mistake of thinking myself as "golden" due to experience, target school, etc. To me, it's always going to be an uphill battlle

Mar 3, 2011 - 8:21pm
jqbuyside, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Either experience will serve you well.

Why IB if you want to work on the buy side, though? You could go ER summer -> ER full-time -> HF. The primary exit op from the sell side is the buy side. I don't think I could even attempt to count all the sell-siders I've known that have jumped to the buy side over the years.

Mar 4, 2011 - 3:55pm
HedgeKing, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Risk people may fall under under investment professionals in a traditional AM firm, and BlackRock RQA maybe considered Front Office, but what the OP has keep mind is the perception to the IBD people who will be interviewing him in IBD FT recruiting next year. Will those IBD interviewers have enough insights into the AM world to know this, or will they simply toss the resume away when they see "risk management" and perceive it as middle office? And sure, BlackRock's brand name is hard to beat in the AM world. But will those IBD interviewers know enough about the AM world to recognize its full worth?

Mar 5, 2011 - 6:33am
Wannabedude, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Spoilt for choice.

Hedgeking brings up valid points.. if you're long term goal is IBD then I suggest going for the ER position, side with caution on this one and assume the people interviewing you will see risk mgmt and screen you out. The stuff you learn in ER i'd imagine would be quite useful in your ibd interviews.

Mar 5, 2011 - 2:23pm
drnoeyedea, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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