Back Office to Middle Office move

Hi guys,

I recently went for an interview for a middle office role (fund analyst) at one of the largest banks in Canada. I currently work at a global Asset Management company in the back office (fund accountant). The company got back to me within a few days with an offer. However, here are the caveats:

  1. No pay bump
  2. Less vacation days (10 instead of 15 what I currently have)
  3. Same essential functions but a bit more responsibility
  4. i have to stay within the role for 18 months prior to moving anywhere else in the company

What are your thoughts? Should i accept?

Many thanks...


Comments (6)

Apr 25, 2016 - 6:08pm

No increase in pay and same function doesn't sound like a (I'm not going to mention those prepubescent titled buckets...) move.

Based on the facts given above, I'm puzzled on why you would even consider moving. Are there other factors (brand name, location, exit ops, culture)?

Apr 26, 2016 - 8:03am

I don't think the term "prepubescent" has any relevance here. I did not ask for your input on the value of these positions, it's obvious that if I'm on this forum that I'm trying to get to something better. Everyone does the best they can after grad and tries to look for opportunities to better themselves. Sometimes these "prepubescent" opportunities are the only ones available.

The new company is one of the largest in Canada with a very recognizable brand name and more exit opportunities. I'm afraid if I stay where I am at I have less chance to get out the longer I stay. However, if I do stay I can get my CPA and the company fully covers it. Perhaps I can transition to one of the big 4 after.

Apr 26, 2016 - 9:08pm
  1. No pay bump - This is very odd. Usually they'll give you something for moving...unless you're pretty well paid for your position already (which only you know)

  2. Less vacation days (10 instead of 15 what I currently have) - This is rough, I'd see if you can keep your 15 days if you aren't getting a pay raise. They take a while to accrue anyway.

  3. Same essential functions but a bit more responsibility - so you're moving into a more senior position? I'm not sure I understand the difference between a fund analyst and a fund accountant. Maybe you can provide more detail?

  4. i have to stay within the role for 18 months prior to moving anywhere else in the company - where else in the company would you go? What's the long term end goal here and how much WE do you have already?

What are your thoughts? Should i accept? My thoughts are this move sounds purely like a title change, and not much of a function/role change and with the same pay and less benefits to boot. i understand not wanting to be pigeonholed, and I'm not saying don't take the offer but I would try to negotiate; if they got back to you that quickly they clearly want you there. Usually when you go to a smaller firm they sweeten the pot to get you to move over. At the EOD, only you know if this is the most beneficial move for your career going forward- it requires sacrifice sometimes. good luck!

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers
Apr 26, 2016 - 11:01pm

Thanks so much for the feedback, Ottoreadmore!

I guess the pay bump didn't occur as I am earning at a higher end level for fund accounting already and the position is not senior enough to warrant a pay raise. They actually offered less to begin with and then said they'd match what I currently have.

The 10 vacation days they said is a company wide policy and the hiring managers can't do anything about it apparently.

The role is not senior to what I do but what they essentially did is integrate the role of several departments in fund admin (fund accounting, fund reporting and fund tax) under one umbrella and put fund analysts in charge of everything and all the funds. In my current role I am responsible for a handful of funds only. In the new role I will be responsible for all the funds and - from my understanding - have specific responsibilities which I guess would increase with seniority.

The career progression in the company is to either go into performance analytics, operations, portfolio analysis or the front office trading room as this was explained to me. In terms of how likely these moves are and how long I have to wait, I am not too sure. I have just under 2 years with fund accounting already and 3 in total in this Asset Management company. Right now I am leaning more towards declining the offer and pursuing my CPA and then trying to transition into the big 4. I understand that all this needs to happen very soon in order for me not to be stuck in this role. I am also pursuing my CFA. You are right that this sounds like a title change - I think the HR just got creative to solicit more interest for this role. However, from looking at LinkedIn many people who currently work there were secior fund accountants in their previous roles.

All in all, I think I am going to decline BC this was the first offer that fell my way and I was not really proactively applying. I appreciate your comments and insight. Thanks again!

May 1, 2016 - 12:46pm

Sounds like instead of focusing on changing job for the increased should be looking for ways to get your employer to cover the cost of an MBA. MBA is the easiest way to transition from back/middle office to front office. Front Office is where the real money is made. Everything back/middle is seen as "support" or "cost" to a financial firm, and thus, every attempt possible will be made to MINIMIZE that cost (salary, number of employees, ect..).

So, if your current employer does not cover the cost of an MBA, i'd suggest making a list of firms that do (there are many) and then look for a job at one of those firms. An MBA can be done within 2 years (or you can drag it out to 4-5).

You are young, so this makes sense. A 10k/year diff in pay over 3 years is miniscule to a 100k/year diff in pay 4 years down the line.

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