I recently got a 1st round interview for an analyst role at a mid-size Asset Management firm (deals with both institutional and high wet work individuals).
I was wondering what would be the interview process will be like. Any technical should I brush up on? and what kind of person do they usually look for. I believe the role will revolve more about research (stock recommendations, ideal generating etc) than portfolio management.
Thanks for your help :)
Asset Management Interview Preparation
The following list is not all-inclusive however it will provide you with a rough framework for your asset management interview.
- Walk me through your resume
- Why buy side
- Why their firm
- Why their investment strategy
- Pitch a stock
Make an effort to narrate your story. Lead the narrative to the interview. In other words, why are you there? Know your story and tell it in 2 to 3 minutes.
This answer should highlight your interest in the industry and should tie into your story if possible. Two reasons to consider are as follows. One, idea generation that requires you to form a unique perspective on an investment. Two, the independent nature of the research process that requires the agent to synthesize information from multiple sources. Also, keep in mind that you may receive a variation on this such as "Why asset management?"
Avoid answers that make the firm or job position a means as opposed to an end. Ex. I want this job so I can make good money. Instead, highlight unique qualities of the firm.
Some firms maintain distinctive work structures for new associates, e.g. equity research associates at Fidelity, T. Rowe, and Putnam (I believe) all initiate coverage on their own stocks from the moment they start the job. In contrast, other firms follow more of an apprenticeship model. So if you're interviewing for any of the former firms, you could talk about how you like being given substantial responsibility from the get-go.
If the firm you're interviewing for doesn't do anything particularly special, just claim that you spoke to so-and-so at the firm and you had a really good impression of the firm's culture
This ties in closely to the stock pitch that follows. In order to properly execute that pitch, you will need an understanding of the firm's strategy (growth, value, long-only etc)
Aim for 2-3 minutes - know it extremely well and tailor it to their strategy. i.e. focus on the tangible book, ROIC, FCF if value fund, EPS/margin upside if growth fund. Be ready to pitch another stock. have It's best to know one name like the back of your hand, and have another name or two that you can pitch - long or short - from a high-level. See the stock pitch template for a more detailed look at this.
There are some nuances to this process and the best way to prepare is to practice. So know your resume, story and stock pitch's cold. In fact, know all five points for your firm. This should provide a solid foundation for initial interviews.