S&T Personalities by Group/Desk

We've all seen posts comparing IB vs S&T, PE vs HF, etc.  Why not compare between the groups/desks in S&T? From desk quant to rates trading to the outgoing sales guy.

 Of course, it is still firm dependent but just a general personality overview between the desks.  

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Comments (14)

  • Prospect in RE - Other
Jan 16, 2022 - 3:04pm


This post probs answers your question best.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 16, 2022 - 3:07pm

I'm more interested in the personality types across the desks than the descriptions of what they do and skills needed.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 17, 2022 - 10:39am

So similar to that post except just stereotyping instead of describing the function of the desk. 

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  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Jan 17, 2022 - 10:13am

There are plenty of exceptions to all of the below but generically in my experience…

the traders are loud - a bit fratty, always talking football, all ski or golf, always joking around - very funny guys for the most part (yes, mostly guys still). Pretty smart, but they don't show that side all the time. 

The older sales people really ooze sales. It's the most clear cut for them - they're just smooth, sort of charming, always able to tell stories, talking to people comes very naturally.

Desk strats are the quietist of the bunch in my experience. Sort of observers to the antics of the traders. But generally very smart and have close relationships with the few traders they cover most directly. 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Jan 17, 2022 - 5:35pm

Agreed, especially on the second bit re: older sales guys. Feels like those guys are salespeople first and finance guys second (or even third or fourth). I think a lot of those guys were just born to sell, whether it's financial products or soap. They just happened to end up in finance. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 18, 2022 - 7:23pm

Have heard a lot of people in s&t (specifically t part) having "raw intellect" on this site.  Is that referring to quick math skills, ability to think creatively (in terms of trading), etc? 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Jan 19, 2022 - 7:37am

Can't say what others are referring to but as a trader you need to be able to synthesize large amounts of information from different sources (sales color, account color, street positioning, economic news, political news, and more) into a coherent view. Trading is the last kind of seat where you are taking material risk every day, which I think is fundamentally more intellectual than PowerPoint work for example. 

Mar 23, 2022 - 2:47am
macrokid77, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Small Opinion but from what I've seen from internships, completely agreed...

traders are always seeking market color and forming their own views (to which becomes more information for the next trader). but other than markets jargon they're always catching up on drinks with the brokers last night, or who's the next F1 champ. conversations don't feel forced but can be dropped really quickly once market starts to move (literally might just stop speaking mid-conversation to respond to something on screen)

feels like the olden days of speaking over the phone is quite sporadic as most conversations and chats are over bbg... culture really differs from desk to desk depending on how clients are split - at the junior level. Senior sales guys never let anyone touch their clients, and their trade ideas are their gold - so don't expect them to be sharing "their alpha".

i've seen 2 sides of the coin for research. some guys enjoying walking around the floor, catching conversations with trades & sales seeing where market sentiment is going, how vols/spot have been trading and sharing their research in an informal way. however, there have also been research guys that hold steadfastly to their independent views, clinging to their models and refusing to accept color from the traders & sales.

  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
Mar 23, 2022 - 1:19pm

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