Am I stuck in PWM?

Need honest advice here. Recent econ grad from top public university in California. Currently a wealth management associate at a BB firm. Working with the top team in the branch and very involved with high net worth clients ($10M+). However, I can't helping but thinking that Wealth Management will be obsolete in the next 20 years or so. I also like doing DD and shit, but we rarely do any of that anymore. I enjoy doing research and solving problems. I don't mind grinding long hours if it means more money in my pocket. The 9-5 routine is killing me. 

Are there any other finance careers I could transition into at this point? 

Is it unheard of to go from the WM side of a BB to IB? I know they typically look down on PWM

Appreciate any input. Thank You

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Comments (4)

Jan 29, 2021 - 1:32am

Realistically the MBA route sounds like your best option, but it's a great one. Crush the GMAT given your light work schedule, get into a top 15 and transition to IB with strong likelihood of success if you are personable and jump through the recruiting hoops.

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Jan 29, 2021 - 2:00am

PWM is an interesting place to be rn insofar as shops are increasingly bifurcated into high touch UHNW services while others are transitioning into low touch commoditized units that get FAs to shove mortgages and personal loans onto clients.

Few different ideas:

1. If you want to grind long hours for more money, you could build a client book. I met a guy out of college who built a $100MM book his first year. Very rare, but huge bonuses.

2. If you're working with UHNW clients, start building model portfolios and start pushing more active stakes. Either that transition to a team that actively manages their portfolios. All the BBs have family offices that do this. Just take a look at Barron's Top Wealth Advisors list and see who's at your firm and then look at their strats (bigger clients is usually a decent proxy for better investment services).

3. Some BBs have wealth management sales and trading desks that help facilitate portfolio trades. Get in contact with them and transition into openings there. Same with wealth management macro research, etc.

4. Cold call network with hedge funds and investment banks and switch career tracks entirely. Like you noted, people look down on PWM, but if you can prove you have the skills and you have a compelling story, you can definitely switch over. Asset management (long only, fund of funds, etc.) is probably an easier role to transition into, and I'd also look at internal referral programs or find excuses to network with bankers in firm. Everything else is kinda open ended and up to you to network. I've seen WM to IB, ER, sales, trading, consulting, etc., so find people on LinkedIn with similar backgrounds and email them.

5. If none of that works out, you can always go to grad school and buy more time.

Not sure if this helps at all, but good luck!

  • Prospect in AM - Equities
Jan 29, 2021 - 2:06am

Similar question, I am working as a first year analyst (graduated from top target) in a PB of a BB (GS/JPM/Citi/MS) in a regional office (SF/Chic/LA) note- not a branch type setup like BAML/UBS/RBC. I am on an investment oriented team and while I like the nature of the organizations we work with (smaller institutional investors), I want to be more in the AM and research side working with larger institutional investors. Is there any way to make this jump without an MBA? I am not particularly interested in banking or MBB consulting routes just more AM/Research. 

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