Long time user here, been wanting to do a AMA for a while but always worried about identity issues. Finally took the time to start a dummy account to post. Don't waste SB since it's a dummy account.
Engineering major in school. Did two S&T sophomore and junior year on derivative FX and equity derivative structuring desks in NYC. Joined one of the largest real money asset managers on the west coast as a quantitative analyst, focusing on risk out of school. Worked there for two years, got bored and transitioned to a 10B AUM multi-strategy hedge fund in a relatively low cost of living city (around the dmv/nc region), nominally as a risk analyst but in reality a jack of all trade
Your first question is probably why I didn't get a S&T job out of school, and to all you/S&T or bust crowd, my reason might sound really stupid. I hated NYC after spending two summers there. I just didn't want to live in NYC, SF, London or HK due to the high cost of living, and it didn't occur to me that I could have applied to commodities in Houston. I got offers from a bunch of the Chicago prop shops (DRW, , CTC, Spot) but I didn't like the outlook of those business and I worry about being permanently unemployed with a highly specialized but useless skillset. I am guessing I probably would be making more by now had I chose any of the possible alternative career paths out of school.
My first two years - as a risk quant at a fundamental oriented real money shop, I hated working there. You are there so the firm can parade you around and tell people see we do quant analysis too and we have this many risk analysts so don't worry about your money with us. I do a lot of factor analysis/tracking error analysis/performance attribution/portfolio simulations, and these things go to management and PMs. They would all nod and say "oh that's useful thanks a lot man" but outside of a select few none of them really give a shit anyway.
My next three years at hedge fund - I was hired as an analyst in the risk group, run by a risk manager in his early 30s who reports to the top partner. The group in generally pretty much do many different things, but me in particular mainly because of the fact that I can semi-program in R. So on a day to day basis I do some equity/rates/FX hedging. In addition, I am expected to know understand to varying level of strategies/books the fund employs, and the position of trades being put on/taken off each book. Obviously I know some books better than others due to the nature of them. For instance, I know very little about the fundamental long/short equity books outside of what trades we have on and what hedges we have put on because frankly I have little value to add there. On the other hand on vol arb trades, fx/rates arb or basis trades, things that are more technical in nature, I tend to know a lot more. I am occasionally asked to evaluate technical aspects PM's thesis for the top partner, think about appropriate hedges etc. I also backtest trade ideas for various PMs as they dream up whatever trades they want to put on. More bizarre things I do include occasionally a partner or the CEO would read some research paper that indicates there might be opportunity somewhere, and tell me to investigate. On one hand I enjoy doing these things, but I also worry about how I would explain wtf I do to future employers.
1st year (half year at real money AM): 70 + 15
2nd year (1st full year at real money AM): 80 + 20
3rd year (at that year): 95 + 25 (cash) + 25 (deferred)
4th year (1st full year at HF): 100 + 40 (cash) + 35 (deferred)
5th year: 105 + 60 (cash) + 45 (deferred)
deferred comp paid out in 3 payments over the 2.5 years after grant, invested in main fund with no fees (so gross performance)
As I said, comp is on the low end of what I could have gotten with the career paths available to me out of school.
Any questions related to risk career, fire away.