How to switch divisions within your firm?

Hello all,

Currently I am a financial advisor apart of the wealth management division of my firm.

After being an advisor for about two years, I’ve realized I much more enjoy the research and analytical part of finance than the sales aspect of being an advisor. I have a huge curiosity for understanding the markets and love communicating my thought process on particular industries.

My company has an equity research division and I would like to inquire about trying to make the shift over to that division but I want to do it the right way as to not cause any internal problems (especially if they were to tell me they're not looking to add anyone to the team). I have been making steps to prepare myself for that type of role most notably registering and beginning to study for the CFA, so I think I could perform well at an entry level role.

Would appreciate at tips on how to approach this and ways to reach out that would be most appropriate!



If you make this switch, just know that you won’t be ascending some ivory tower where you cast down your fundamental research and analysis that is somehow self-evident and self-distributing. 

ER is sales by another name, so if you don’t like sales, you wouldn’t necessarily enjoy ER. And you think you’re prepared for an entry level role just because you have signed up for L1?? Why don’t you pass it first. Or better yet, start forming your own coverage list within an industry / sector that is either under-staffed or uninitiated at your firm’s ER division (if you’re really good) and forming views on the names. Then approach DoR with a report or two after you get some prints under your belt


This seems like quite the snarky comment that I'm not sure is necessary. Few things, I never claimed that Equity Research is "better" or that I would be "ascending to some ivory tower", simply that I believe it is an area of finance I believe I would enjoy more. Is there something wrong with me wanting to move to something I think I may enjoy more?

Being an advisor has its merits, but overall, my firm would rather advisors be manager selectors and not focus on doing investment research and stock picking. That makes sense considering wealth management is not simply about investment management but helping clients on a holistic basis. That being said, I would much rather focus on the equity side. I don't mind sales, more so that as an advisor that is the main focus with little emphasis on the investment research side. I have gained a decent track record of bringing in net new assets even in my two years so it's not so much about the sales aspect that I want to change. 

Also, it's a bit pretentious to make a post such as yours without knowing all of the details. I only mentioned the CFA as the post wasn't so much about whether or not I believe I can do the job, but about how to approach my current department and equity research department in a way that was respectful to both. I have a bachelors in finance, experience in working on loan analysis, track record of investment success within the firm as an advisor, multiple designations and licenses, courses and certification directly related to investment research, as well as having prepared multiple investment memos and reports (that I am not claiming are perfect, but stating it because I have in fact done it) that I am prepared to show and explain to our DoR, in addition to me studying for the CFA

I am not claiming that I "deserve" a role in equity research because of any of these things, simply that I believe if giving the opportunity, I would do well. Which, as far as I am concerned, is entirely my prerogative to believe. 

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Lol, you call me “pretentious” because I don’t have all the facts? Those facts that maybe you should have included in OP to avoid this exact situation? Think you mean “presumptuous.”

My response was snarky, granted. I was speaking more to the misconception that  analysts spend all day locked in a room with 3 monitors trying to pin down go forward EPS for the next 8 qtrs x # stocks covered. I used to share that misconception myself. But as an analyst—the amount of time you actually spend researching is inversely proportional to time t, where t=0 is when you start your own franchise. So you just have to know what you’re really signing up for.

Also, you betray some insecurity in your reply, like you’re almost having to convince yourself. Sounds like you already have a path in mind, and it sounds reasonable. Just follow your plan and adjust as necessary, and you should try to shed the defensiveness.


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