Asset Management: Portfolio Manager Career Path?
So after doing my own research and reading this site I have realized the Asset Management is a solid career choice. So I wanted to know what is the usual career path to become a portfolio manger at a asset management firm like BlackRock, PIMCO and wellington. Also what is the salary like for a portfolio manger at these places?
How to Become a PM?
While there is no straight forward path to becoming a portfolio manager - our users shared their thoughts on how to get from point A to point B.
The easiest and best way to do it is to work as an analyst level at one of these places [BlackRock, PIMCO, or Wellington] then you go into a top MBA program (for PM's it's likely going to be Booth or MIT as the best in's), then you move into a PM role as part of their MBA recruit process. You could also start as Analyst, move to Associate, then to PM, but that's incredibly hard and very, very, few people will be able to pull it off.
You either have to start in AM as an analyst and move up, get sellside experience, and/or go to a top MBA program.
However, User @ibleedexcel",a private equity associate, had a different perspective on the career trajectory:
Pre-MBA roles are typically Research Associate where you support the analysts and PMs. Post-MBA role is Analyst (direct promotion for outstanding RA's is also possible). After a number of years (5-15), you can become a PM. Breaking into the Analyst role is the actually the toughest transition point.
The top MBA programs for access to the Analyst role are (in order): H/S, W, C/C (but they will all give the serious and well-prepared candidate a good shot).
The strongest MBA candidates actually turn out to be those with prior private equity experience, valued for their fundamental due diligence/research experience, valuation skills, and typically very strong background/resume to even be coming from PE. But of course, there are lots of others that successfully make the MBA placement as well.
Portfolio Management Pay Scale
Our users shared their thoughts on the pay scale below.
User @Something Creative" shared:
Comp is going to be a couple 100k in base and then bonus. Starting out you will probably only clear like 250-350k including bonus, but once you're actually PM on accounts instead of just a PM you will get a % of the AUM you manage. That's when you're clearing 7fig+
Comp wise: Research Associates typically don't do very well (less than banking). Analysts do well (similar-to-slightly less than banking but better lifestyle). And of course PMs can do very very well (seven-figures) with a wide distribution depending on the firm, assets, and, of course, investment performance.
Read more about Hedge Fund managers salaries in another article on WSO - 7 Figure Hedge Fund Salary - Myth or Reality?
Looking to Break into the Hedge Fund World?
Want to land at an elite hedge fund use our HF Interview Prep Course which includes 814 questions across 165 hedge funds. The WSO Hedge Fund Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to land the most coveted jobs on the buyside.