2nd yr Capital Markets Analyst - Help

oliver13's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 287

Hey guys, was looking for some guidance - any input would be highly appreciated.

I'm a second year capital market analyst at a BB. Majored in Econ from a target. Not with much of surprise, I find myself with zilch exit opportunities. The PE shops are looking for people from IBD, for HFs I don't have a Masters / Phd or a Trading / Quant background. That being said I've managed to obtain a few prop trading and a couple of HF interviews my first year due to my keen interest in quant fin. Now, I'm faced with a few options and I just can't decide with certainty which one to follow. I'd also like to add that I'm currently doing a part-time masters in statistics one of the top 2 programs in the world.

1# Complete a third year and then apply to B-school. This I guess would be focussed on a move to PE / Fundamental HFs

2# Complete a third year, apply for Masters/Phd at the school I'm doing the PT program

3# Try lateraling for the third year in S&T/ Quant. HR has arranged an opportunity for 2nd years to apply to S&T/Quant

4# Apply to a MFin/MS Stats program now for Fall 2013 (This is taking a view that there's no point wasting time in Capital Markets at all)

5# Die

As for interest, after working with both traders and bankers, I've realized I'm almost equally interested in both. I like pricing structured products as much as valuing a Company.

PS - Since eye candy is almost as worthy as a USD note, I thought I'd compensate for the help with it.

Comments (20)

Dec 12, 2012

#5

But in all seriousness: #5.

Lets stop the games .... #5.

I would say you should do a third year at your current firm. Most of the guys in the HF space care about experience over more book work. Not saying that ECM is going to help you, but you really did not address where you wanted to go in your post. If you said HF I would say do x and if you said PE I would say do Y. You are getting a good experience and seem like your in a good spot. So if you like bankers and traders stay and apply to business school when you are ready to make a move. Good luck.

Dec 12, 2012
vtech243:

#5

But in all seriousness: #5.

Lets stop the games .... #5.

I would say you should do a third year at your current firm. Most of the guys in the HF space care about experience over more book work. Not saying that ECM is going to help you, but you really did not address where you wanted to go in your post. If you said HF I would say do x and if you said PE I would say do Y. You are getting a good experience and seem like your in a good spot. So if you like bankers and traders stay and apply to business school when you are ready to make a move. Good luck.

I'm RE Debt. Thankfully enough, I've had the opportunity to work on some sexy advisory assignments (think Macro level stuff that affect banks as a whole), modeled structured products from scratch and of course worked on the usual DCM/LevFin kind of deals.

For B-School, do you think 2 years of exp is enough? And you'd rule out the MFin/MFE/MS Stats option?

Dec 13, 2012
oliver13:
vtech243:

#5

But in all seriousness: #5.

Lets stop the games .... #5.

I would say you should do a third year at your current firm. Most of the guys in the HF space care about experience over more book work. Not saying that ECM is going to help you, but you really did not address where you wanted to go in your post. If you said HF I would say do x and if you said PE I would say do Y. You are getting a good experience and seem like your in a good spot. So if you like bankers and traders stay and apply to business school when you are ready to make a move. Good luck.

I'm RE Debt. Thankfully enough, I've had the opportunity to work on some sexy advisory assignments (think Macro level stuff that affect banks as a whole), modeled structured products from scratch and of course worked on the usual DCM/LevFin kind of deals.

For B-School, do you think 2 years of exp is enough? And you'd rule out the MFin/MFE/MS Stats option?

Seems like you want to go back to school. I would not rule any of those options out. Again depends on what the end goal is. If you want to leverage your experience in DCM to go work at a distressed fund or buyout shop then it might not be a bad idea to stay three years and then go to general business school. If your end goal is to focus on building stratigies for a long/short fund that stats may be extremely valuable and full blown business school may not be for you. My cousin works for Citadel and has always stressed to me that hedge funds care a lot more about the brand name of your firm over the brand name of your education (so being at a top BB would mean more than going to a top MBA). This is obviously for pre-MBA. Once they start looking at MBA students they weight things differently.

To answer your question, I do not think 2 years is enough experience for some of the better MBA programs. The MFE/MFin option is viable but you will have to network harder to get into some of the more sexy firms. Good luck.

Dec 12, 2012

DCM or ECM? If ECM I would think you should have more opps to move to long/short HFs, no? In any case, 3rd year and business school looks like the best route. I would see if it is possible to do a 3rd year in IBD- some banks allow this, though obviously it is tricky and competitive. Another option is obviously staying on as an Associate- if you hate your job now then you obviously won't want to do that, but if not it is a better salary and better hours (though more responsibility and arguably a worse job in many respects). Also look at switching into LevFin if you can- will open up more doors. Basically with the options you presented I would suggest number 1 for sure.

Dec 12, 2012
Black Jack:

DCM or ECM? If ECM I would think you should have more opps to move to long/short HFs, no? In any case, 3rd year and business school looks like the best route. I would see if it is possible to do a 3rd year in IBD- some banks allow this, though obviously it is tricky and competitive. Another option is obviously staying on as an Associate- if you hate your job now then you obviously won't want to do that, but if not it is a better salary and better hours (though more responsibility and arguably a worse job in many respects). Also look at switching into LevFin if you can- will open up more doors. Basically with the options you presented I would suggest number 1 for sure.

Black Jack, you're one of my favorite new posters. Really helpful. But on this, probably better not to comment since you're still in college and he's a second year at a BB.

Dec 12, 2012
triplectz:
Black Jack:

DCM or ECM? If ECM I would think you should have more opps to move to long/short HFs, no? In any case, 3rd year and business school looks like the best route. I would see if it is possible to do a 3rd year in IBD- some banks allow this, though obviously it is tricky and competitive. Another option is obviously staying on as an Associate- if you hate your job now then you obviously won't want to do that, but if not it is a better salary and better hours (though more responsibility and arguably a worse job in many respects). Also look at switching into LevFin if you can- will open up more doors. Basically with the options you presented I would suggest number 1 for sure.

Black Jack, you're one of my favorite new posters. Really helpful. But on this, probably better not to comment since you're still in college and he's a second year at a BB.

Haha usually I wouldn't disagree, but one of my siblings is in the same position as the OP (2nd year analyst in capital markets at a BB)

Dec 12, 2012
Black Jack:

DCM or ECM? If ECM I would think you should have more opps to move to long/short HFs, no? In any case, 3rd year and business school looks like the best route. I would see if it is possible to do a 3rd year in IBD- some banks allow this, though obviously it is tricky and competitive. Another option is obviously staying on as an Associate- if you hate your job now then you obviously won't want to do that, but if not it is a better salary and better hours (though more responsibility and arguably a worse job in many respects). Also look at switching into LevFin if you can- will open up more doors. Basically with the options you presented I would suggest number 1 for sure.

Thanks! Just curious, what your reason is against MFE/MFin/MS Stats. I'm doing this coursework at Stanford and the classes are PhD level and tough as hell. I'd hope they give me leverage applying to Masters programs at top schools. But in the end if it's not even worth going that route, there's definitely no point in it.

Dec 12, 2012

I mean if you are open to PE why not look into value HFs? A lot of it is the same skill set and if you are in ECM it shouldn't be impossible, another route is to transfer to S&T. If you are in DCM lateraling to LevFin or Sponsors is a great option for PE and distressed HF recruiting.

But if you really want to get into a quant role then a masters in finance/stats/econ/financial engineering is a good option.

im a 1st year so just my $.02

    • 1
Dec 12, 2012

Thanks, we just had 2nd year to 3rd year interviews and I'm supposed to hear back this week / next week. I'm definitely going to apply to S&T internally and see what I get, if anything. But all in all, I most certainly need to get out of this group.

Dec 12, 2012
OMS:

I mean if you are open to PE why not look into value HFs? A lot of it is the same skill set and if you are in ECM it shouldn't be impossible, another route is to transfer to S&T. If you are in DCM lateraling to LevFin or Sponsors is a great option for PE and distressed HF recruiting.

But if you really want to get into a quant role then a masters in finance/stats/econ/financial engineering is a good option.

im a 1st year so just my $.02

Thanks, we just had 2nd year to 3rd year interviews and I'm supposed to hear back this week / next week. I'm definitely going to apply to S&T internally and see what I get, if anything. But all in all, I most certainly need to get out of this group.

Dec 12, 2012

In my experience it's hard for even ECM to get into hedge funds. Most that go over are not doing any investing/research role but a fundraising/marketing role.

You can try S&T but make sure you're doing it because you actually like trading because it's not about exit ops over there. If you suck you'll be even more screwed than you are now.

I recommend number one but don't get ahead of yourself. Even if you go to HBS you're not going to PE with a ECM background. You have 0 transactional experience and investing deal experience, most ECM guys at my old BB didn't even know what a covenant was and had no idea what LBO stands for. I would say get a MBA and go into banking and then go into PE if that's what you REALLY want to do.

Otherwise, go to bschool and look at top mutual funds like Fidelity or do ibanking -> PE/HF.

Dec 13, 2012
SanityCheck:

In my experience it's hard for even ECM to get into hedge funds. Most that go over are not doing any investing/research role but a fundraising/marketing role.

You can try S&T but make sure you're doing it because you actually like trading because it's not about exit ops over there. If you suck you'll be even more screwed than you are now.

I recommend number one but don't get ahead of yourself. Even if you go to HBS you're not going to PE with a ECM background. You have 0 transactional experience and investing deal experience, most ECM guys at my old BB didn't even know what a covenant was and had no idea what LBO stands for. I would say get a MBA and go into banking and then go into PE if that's what you REALLY want to do.

Otherwise, go to bschool and look at top mutual funds like Fidelity or do ibanking -> PE/HF.

Thanks that makes sense - So overall you'd say the best route for me is #1? I'm just curious what your reason is against selecting the MFE/MS Statistics route. Also, I'm not restricting my 'ideal job' to just PE. Something off beat like a credit hedge fund, Sankaty for example would be awesome. I just like to be more analytical than your average banker and I'm fairly certain I don't have that charm to pull off a senior BB sell side role. I'm just trying to get a career in something that i) pays a lot ii) requires you to be analytical. I'm certain the super techie quant stuff (HFT and the like) that requires a PhD in Physics isn't for me either, so I'm just trying to find a middle ground, if there is any. Would be awesome if you know of any such opps and some kind of a path to get there. So far I can only think of credit HFs, structured products trading, some fundamental HFs and maybe quant portfolio management.

Apologise if this sounds like a rant.

Dec 13, 2012

I don't have enough experience with MFE/MS to comment on them, but I haven't seen many get into HFs. I think you should do a bit more research on exactly what strategy you're aiming for. HF is a dumb word thrown around in finance 24/7 nowadays. Some kid running an Etrade told me he works at a hedge fund too. I'm only well-versed with long/short funds, event driven and credit/distressed HFs. All of which would probably want bankers more than anyone else and they are already competitive enough for bankers.

I think you're taking the wrong approach in finding a middle ground. There is no middle ground. HF's are very specialized with very distinct strategies. Either you're a valuation guy going into a fundamental shop or you're some FX baller trader going into a macro shop. Or like you said, you are some PHD genius in physics and you go into some formula/HFT/algorithm shop.

You can't be the jack of trades and master of none in this industry. Get your MBA and do banking/HF or try to lateral now into banking. I wouldn't waste your time with master degrees.

Dec 13, 2012
SanityCheck:

I don't have enough experience with MFE/MS to comment on them, but I haven't seen many get into HFs. I think you should do a bit more research on exactly what strategy you're aiming for. HF is a dumb word thrown around in finance 24/7 nowadays. Some kid running an Etrade told me he works at a hedge fund too. I'm only well-versed with long/short funds, event driven and credit/distressed HFs. All of which would probably want bankers more than anyone else and they are already competitive enough for bankers.

I think you're taking the wrong approach in finding a middle ground. There is no middle ground. HF's are very specialized with very distinct strategies. Either you're a valuation guy going into a fundamental shop or you're some FX baller trader going into a macro shop. Or like you said, you are some PHD genius in physics and you go into some formula/HFT/algorithm shop.

You can't be the jack of trades and master of none in this industry. Get your MBA and do banking/HF or try to lateral now into banking. I wouldn't waste your time with master degrees.

Agree, I'm just gonna narrow down my focus in the next few weeks and decide on a path. There's absolutely no point trying it all. Regardless of the path, an MBA seems like the best option after staying another year here at my current firm. The only exception I think I'd make is if I get a nice gig in S&T for a third year (associate position over there) in something funky like correlation trading, structured products trading or HY research.

Thanks for the advice pal.

Dec 13, 2012

Anyone has any more input?

Dec 14, 2012

Last call.

Dec 14, 2012

I would go with Option #3 which you can always follow up or backstop with MBA or MFin. I really don't see the harm in trying to lateral to a better-positioned group; more school can still be a backup.

MBA or MFin to PE is not likely without prior PE experience. MFin to HF, maybe.

But I don't think you're trying hard enough. You should be able to better spin your experience to make more relevant to buyside shops, and then you just need to take the initiative and reach out to as many headhunters and PE/HF shops as possible. Sounds like a HF would be a much better fit, though.

What happened with the HFs you've already interviewed with? Why not keep trying for more?

Really, this is pretty straightforward: Keep working, try to lateral into a better group, spend a year there, if you still can't find anything and you still want to work on the buyside, then go back to school.

Dec 17, 2012
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