Best B-School for Dallas?


2 years FIG IB at a bulge bracket + 1 year in a hybrid role doing mostly corp dev with some public and private equity investments (~10-25% of the job; focused only on insurance space). Looking at CFA and/or an MBA.

For funds and AM in Dallas, where do they recruit from? Still primarily M7 or do regional programs get a shot?

Comments (13)

Oct 28, 2018 - 8:04pm

I tend to see people falling into two categories: 1) M7 grads with a reason they want to come to Dallas and 2) top tier local candidates (mostly UT, and, to a lesser extent, SMU and Rice).

Preference will be for experience over schooling, although as you can probably guess better experience tends to correlate with name-brand programs. HF recruiting tends to be more ad hoc for all but the biggest funds, but a local recruit who checks the experience box should be able to get an interview with pretty much anyone in town.

Oct 28, 2018 - 8:10pm

Thanks, that's helpful feedback. With the same level of experience, do you think a CFA would trump a UT MBA trying to recruit for an analyst/associate HF role? Already have HH contacts from recruiting out of banking, but obviously not going the MBA route sort of excludes you from OCR. Sounds like, based on what your saying, OCR may not be that helpful if the timing doesn't line up with the ad hoc hiring needs.

Oct 28, 2018 - 10:21pm

I don't think either CFA or MBA is necessary here given your existing buyside experience, although both will help. If you're interested in pursuing one, I'd say that generally MBA>CFA for total recruiting prospects but that CFA>MBA for ROI.

This will also depend on the type of fund you're interested in. Do you have a strategy in mind?

Most Helpful
Oct 30, 2018 - 8:07pm

Sounds like you've got a decently competitive background to begin with. So a top 5 MBA wouldn't totally be necessary for Dallas in my opinion, but certainly wouldn't hurt.

Outside your typical names (HBS, SBS, Wharton, Columbia, etc.), Texas MBA program's do pretty well with recruiting and also places you into their respective alum networks. I'd recommend UT Austin and SMU MBA's for Dallas specifically.

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Oct 31, 2018 - 11:14am

Dallas resident here. I think a lot of this decision really hinges on your long term committment to the city.

If you plan to remain in Dallas for the rest of your career or foreseeable future I would probably go to SMU as it has a lot of value locally, maybe TCU following behind that. UT is also a good public option especially within Texas.

My position is that SMU's value decreases the further outside of Dallas you go but does really well locally. If I could I would still opt for a T5 school as it leaves you with options open outside of Dallas. Really depends on your location flexibility though. Good luck!

Oct 31, 2018 - 12:09pm

SMU will help you get where you want to go. The problem with SMU is that there is a lack of opportunities through OCR. So it'll take some hustling to get where you want to go. On the flip-side to this, however, is that of all the funds and asset managers in the city, almost all have at least one, if not multiple, SMU alums. Get yourself a LinkedIn premium account, find the firms, and filter by SMU alums and message them. I don't have exact numbers, but more often than not the SMU alum is more than happy to hear you out and help you get where you need to go. I got my current role in this manner and the positions I'm interviewing for are due to SMU alums I had reached out to on LinkedIn previously who kept me in mind when they saw these positions come up.

The rankings don't show it, but the power of the SMU network is actually pretty incredible within Dallas and it definitely pays off to have that alumni base to tap into.

Oct 31, 2018 - 12:41pm

Kellogg surprisingly has a very strong alumni base in Dallas (and Booth strangely does in houston). For whatever reason I see a lot of their grads in Texas

Nov 4, 2018 - 8:02pm

I would suggest that you start with the CFA route. Assuming you are already IN Dallas, you can start building relationships with local AM folks through the CFA society. Sign up to go to lunches, engage with more senior folks who are there. Find out what they are looking for in their more junior hires.
You may decide later on that you want an MBA as you move up within the organization and need to develop a broader set of skills with respect to leadership and general management. Depending on what firm you are with, you might get support to attend a part-time MBA program - UT has a Dallas cohort.
See if you can connect with some late 20 something people in the local CFA society and tag along to some events.

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