Goldman Sachs PWM

Just got an email out of the blue asking if I wanted to interview for a PWM position on Dallas (not quite equities, but...) Couple of questions:

1. How has Goldman's PWM business grown lately? A lot of the "rank these firms!" threads I've dug up via search tell me conflicting things. 2007-era threads tell me GS/MS are tops. Later on I hear UBS/CS are becoming elite, and then I hear JPM is the only place to be. Help? Not concerned about "prestige" as much as the level of company support and AUM.

1b. For that matter, what is the PWM equivalent term of "AUM"? Wealth under management / WUM?

2. I'm an "experienced" professional interviewing for an analyst role (FA) - what will they focus more on, my fit or my knowledge of the industry?

Note that PWM is actually where I want to be, and I'm not just prestige-whoring on GS.
Thanks!

 

1) Different business models, so it depends. 1b) net new assets 2) no clue, my MBA interviews (got to GS/CS superdays) focused on pitching more than anything else, head of GS literally told me they want someone with the right DNA before my superday (meaning they want someone who was born to pitch)

- V
 
Viktri:

1) Different business models, so it depends.

Could you elaborate on this?
Currently: future neurologist, current psychotherapist Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
 

PWM at GS is very different from your branch financial advisors at UBS, etc. The GS PWM minimum account size is $10m and I believe the average account size ~$25m. Check the WSO Firms list. I recently posted an interview insight for GS PWM. From what I have heard, they pay quite well, not IB pay, but very great pay for Dallas, Philly, DC, etc.

EDIT: And yes, you will have to know a lot about markets and pitching.

 

Thanks - insightful. Yeah, when I heard the salary for the Dallas position I was frankly shocked. Do you get any kind of commission on top or is it pure salary?

Currently: future neurologist, current psychotherapist Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
 

Wish I saw this earlier since a lot of your posts have been very helpful to my career decisions.

I worked as an intern in a regional GS PWM office in 2012.

I couldn't see those specific links you asked about but your description of the roles is spot on. The thing about FIPs is that they tend to interact with clients as well and stay on top of the markets more than the PWAs to answer client questions on the fly. They try to avoid the analyst related work such as putting together pitch books and booking a conference room for a client meeting. Sometimes they have to based on how a team is put together but for the most part they want to serve the clients' finance related needs whereas WMPs and FAs for the most part will serve the client service related needs. Its common for a PWA to hop on the phone with a client and the FIP also be listening in and potentially contributing to the conversation. If the client wants to know if he should be writing calls to hedge his weak position in FB the PWA will be expecting the FIPs to have a good answer as to why that suggestion is good or bad based on whats going on in the markets, gs research etc... PWAs are known for growing their business whereas FIPs, WMPs and FAs are known for sustaining it. FIPs and WMPs receive part of the team's GCs(money made off of client fees) that's why they put up with the support role and are content. They still make under firm average with VP WMPs making $100Kish where as Associate FIPs make $130K+. Still tough for a FIP when the new PWAs known as NPWAs make $115K out of business school and have 2 years to fine business to become self sustaining. Kind of a dead-end job unless you make it to PWA but it is a rare transition since GS is trying to build the FIP role as a long-term one.

The overarching theme as far as FIPs go is that a lot of the research is circulated through PWM through the GS research group dedicated to producing material for the UHNW clients. The FIPs sort of reiterate what GS research says known as PWM's Investment Strategy Group (ISG) for PWM clients and adds a tailored feel to it.

WMPs are basically a back office support role based on the fact they cover the team's documentation and client on boarding. The reason why I would not say they are totally back office is that they interact with the clients a lot, even more so than PWAs but most of it is service related work such as making sure documents are signed, fedexed, payments are received etc... WMPs do sit on the desks with PWAs and FIPs and FAs they are just expected to handle those things. Phone etiquette, professionalism and a care for client needs are what make a good WMP.

 

Sorry, but 18 rounds of interview? Are you serious? What position is he interviewing for in PWM that would require 18 rounds of evaluation?

 

Its for a Financial Analyst (FA) position in PWM supporting the Investment Professionals (IPs). From what I've heard, the team wants you to meet as many people as possible to achieve an informed decision. Typically it ranges from around 10-18 interviewers interviewing you.

Any other comments will be much appreciated.

 

I think OP is confusing # of interviews with rounds... eg: 18 interviews = 2 interviews first round, 6 interviews in 2nd round, 8 interviews in 3rd round = 3 rounds with 16 interviews. (to me, at least)

"I'm not sure what the four 9's do, but the ace, I think, is pretty high."
 

my interviewer at GS PWM in HK went through like 20 interviews, don't know how many rounds.

if it's that hard to get into pwm, then why do people think so low of it?

 

I speak the truth, go take a look at ML pwm internships, most are freshmen or sophs. Hand them out like candy, mostly nontargets from ohio state and shit. Sorry that you are a retard illinois kid who can't get into a BB shop for IBD.

 
HFFBALLfan123:
3.7 non target and 2 years of PWM will most certainly not get you into a top 7 business school.

I guess my bigger question was clearly the PWM is not ranked that strong and I am more talking about 2-3 years, but the Goldman name brand will not help you? If getting into a top 7 B-school after 2-3 years of work is my goal would I have to choose a MM investment banking job rather than the Goldman PWM? Clearly this is all hypothetical right now as I have no offers, but just trying to gauge my direction.

 

I have seen it done before from PWM analysts. I couldn't give you an exact percentage though. When you say PWM, would you be on a sales team or one of the groups surrounding it (like trust and estate or portfolio strategy)?

 
SirTradesaLot:
I have seen it done before from PWM analysts. I couldn't give you an exact percentage though. When you say PWM, would you be on a sales team or one of the groups surrounding it (like trust and estate or portfolio strategy)?

It would be for a regional office sales team. Im guessing trying to lateral after a few years into another Goldman Sachs AM group might make more sense before trying to get into an top B-school?

 

Getting into a top MBA isn't simply about WHERE you did your work experience. I recommend you read into what an MBA is and what background candidates come from before even considering it. People like HFFBALLfan123 don't really know what they're talking about and assume that MBAs admissions criteria are based on prestige (they're not).

 

How technical were the interviews in Philly? Are they looking for basic market knowledge or something more indepth than that? Would appreciate your help.

 

Unless you have a stellar GPA and solid connections, getting into GS will be difficult. U of I is not a target or a semi-target; and it is VERY difficult to get to GS even if you are at a target.

Additionally, you mentioned your portfolio. That's great, shows an interest in finance. But....so what. Every finance major has been managing their own portfolio. Lastly, I have no idea how you plan to bring in $500k to $1M in clients. But even if you can, that is chump change for GS. Not to discredit the initiative, but GS would be interested in hiring someone that can KEEP bringing in clients consistently. That's what is important; residual value.

 
CanadianGekko:

Unless you have a stellar GPA and solid connections, getting into GS will be difficult. U of I is not a target or a semi-target; and it is VERY difficult to get to GS even if you are at a target.

Additionally, you mentioned your portfolio. That's great, shows an interest in finance. But....so what. Every finance major has been managing their own portfolio. Lastly, I have no idea how you plan to bring in $500k to $1M in clients. But even if you can, that is chump change for GS. Not to discredit the initiative, but GS would be interested in hiring someone that can KEEP bringing in clients consistently. That's what is important; residual value.

Hey, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. I was just curious on how competitive a company like Goldman is. Also, I planned on bringing the cash in through immediate and extended family.

Would a financial advisory type position at something like Merril Lynch be more realistic?

edit: What about UBS? Can you list some companies that I would have a more realistic shot working at. I have currently a 3.5ish GPA and experience working under a financial analyst helping with business plans at a boutique company. I plan to get better internships as I get older(I'm going into my sophmore year).

 

Getting a role at ML or MSSB in PWM isn't too difficult. But this is essentially a sales job, not a private banking job, since these places are "wirehouses". Not that many exit opps. UBS is better. Same underlying wirehouse concept, but they have larger clients. Their clients have a minimum net worth of $35M I believe.

 

All behavioral. I agree about teamwork teamwork and willing to start at the bottom. They will "wonder" why you want to be the lowest of the pile. Just stress it and your reasoning. Its only a 2year gig though before many people fall out (they wont advance) and they lie about moving to other parts of the firm.

 

I meant the firm falsely promises you a move to other parts of the firm where you feel you may have greater interest following your stint.

 

Your bonus is going to be tied to the production of your team. All in my guess is 80k - 90k, in today's equity market environment. Seriously though don't take the job based on the salary you will make in the first few years. To do well you will need to LOVE PWM; as time goes on you could make a boat load on money, and have a lot more autonomy than a IB MD.

 
To do well you will need to LOVE PWM; as time goes on you could make a boat load on money, and have a lot more autonomy than a IB MD.
Quite right. During the 1990s the single-best and fastest way to make money at GS was in PWM (or PCS as it was called back then). Stories of women retiring at 30 to have babies after having saved $20M. With the new compensation structure that kicked in a few years back it's not quite that lucrative any more, but anyone who has a knack for the business (and there aren't many; it's very, very much an up-or-out job that requires a certain kind of personality) can make an astounding amount of money with a very, very good lifestyle.
 

And all PWM offices are "regional". Your job is to gather assets, wherever those assets are, you gather them. A PW guy in NYC is no different from one in LA.

 

I don't work there, but I have asked many people who have. They say it is more prestigious and the program is probably more structured than your local ubs or baml pwm.

"Solace in Revenge"
 

I was actually wondering this myself the other day. I'm sure they only deal with the higher end of HNWIs, but is client sourcing more word-of-mouth than the other BB PWMs?

 

Top MBA programs are not made up of only IB and Mgmt Consulting kids. The Goldman Sachs name will go a long way, and you should place well. In fact, I would suggest taking the GS opprotunity over a lot of banking jobs, unless of course you get offers from the top few.

 

Hmm... I know for a fact that HFs covert GS PWM FA's (in Asia at least). I summered there and thought the ppl were amazing. But if you want to move to IBD/ PE then it is harder... PM me if you need any help

 

To add a little info, I am currently at a top 3 retail (think ml, ms, sb) financial advisory firm. I have just finished getting my registrations (7,63,65), but I am not loving the "sales" aspect of what lies ahead of me. I really enjoy the analytical side of the markets, not so much the sales side.

I am 25, and would like to get some relavent analytical experience for 2-3 years and then go to a top b school. So, I have been networking and looking for openings around Atlanta (where I live), and was thinking I needed to get out of the advisory industry all together to gain a skill set that would get me into a top school and help in getting a better job after the MBA.

So...I have targeted a few smaller IB shops and a couple AM companies. But I have found out that there is an opening on a PWM team at GS here, so I started thinking about that as well...

Insight?

 

Sounds like your options are:

  1. smaller IB shops (names?)
  2. AM companies
  3. GS PWM

This is a very easy decision, go Goldman. It will look/traslate much better for B-school (this is your goal right?). If you can get placed in an elite boutiqe IB then that might be worth looking at, but it will be difficult to get those jobs now without banking expierence.

 

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