Best B-school for Equity Research

I'm applying to b-schools this fall for next and I want to do ER post-grad. What are the best schools for giving me the most ER opportunities after getting my MBA? Are any schools particularly well-known on the street? Any additional info related to ER and business schools is also a big help!

Thanks a ton, Mossy.

Comments (60)

Jul 29, 2010

A Masters in Ethics by the CFAI. Seriously though, beyond the top 5, I would look for a program which has a similar program to the CFA (or a partnership), and have at least level 2 passed by the time the program is over.

Jul 29, 2010

I just wrote LIII for CFA and will have that passed before matriculating, so CFA tie-ins, are not a factor for me.

And as a follow-up, obviously if you go to H/S/W you can write your ticket pretty much anywhere. I also assume that Chicago, Columbia and NYU are very strong. Beyond that, however, are there any other schools known for ER placement on the street? Maybe Kellogg, Yale, Cornell, UM Ross, etc? Beyond the "obvious" schools, I'm not quite sure where the major ER players are.

Are any schools particularly strong in ER relative to their overall ranking? Visa versa, are any schools particularly poor (relative to their overall ranking) at ER placement -- ie you would expect them to be generally strong everywhere but recruiters shy away from these schools particularly? Any tips are a big help! Please be specific!

Jul 29, 2010

If you did that well on the CFA, doesn't it make sense to transfer into a team as an associate, and not even bother getting the MBA? If I were you, I would call every senior analyst of every coverage sector in all the BB+OPCO/SN/SCB and ask for an interview. In terms of grad schools, I have no idea, you're probably much better versed than I am. Good luck regardless, an MBA/CFA combo is a knockout punch.

Jul 29, 2010

Wow I'm usually really good with the finance acronyms but I have no idea what OPCO, SN, or SCB mean!

Jul 29, 2010

One of the things that I noticed was that we had a higher proportion of U Chicago grads in research- both equity and fixed income research- than from other schools.

It seemed like a good cultural fit. Chicagoans tend to be quiet, conservative, frigging brilliant, and love to talk numbers and have an informed/friendly debate. That was how research tended to work at the BB I worked in analytics for before we capitulated.

Naturally, for any position involving financial analysis, UPenn is also in the running. Northwestern and Harvard are excellent schools for management, but when you get to an area more towards the Capital Markets side, their MBAs have a reputation for being a little more fluffy than Chicago or UPenn- that's a perception you will have to overcome in an interview.

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Jul 29, 2010

Freeze those knees, my chickadees!

Jul 30, 2010

^^^^Yep....sorry for the acronyms...... just out of curiosity, what is it about getting an MBA that you feel is worth the opportunity cost? coming out of an MBA, I would think you would have to start as an associate any way.....CFA level 3 should hypothetically get them to roll out a red carpet....

Jul 30, 2010

Went to a very non-target undergrad and therefore have some insecurities over my pedigree due to a lack of alumni support, wall street network, etc. I think that for me to go far in the ER field and to also maximize my exit opportunities that an MBA will really help. Also, I'm in a back-office investments role right now at a fortune 100 firm, and I think that the regular recruiting cycle that MBA schools offers will help as well.

If you think this isn't the case, I'm willing to hear out why I'm an idiot!

Jul 30, 2010

My take, Mossy, is that you should apply to the MBA programs. But at the same time, you need to start applying for research positions at banks- it might save you a hundred grand. ER doesn't require an MBA, let alone a finance/econ undergrad. (Some knowledge of Accounting is probably required.) Tell them about your situation- if you've gotten any interview invitations from the MBA programs, be sure to mention that, too. But you don't need a target-school degree to get into the front-office at a bulge bracket. (I speak from experience on this.)

It's ok to be insecure about your background- you just have to leverage that insecurity constructively. Every day for my first two years out of school, I told myself that I was up against kids from MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton, and I had to do a better job than them. And my story for the past three years has always been being the youngest guy in the room- being the youngest pricing application owner in the firm's history; being the youngest chief quant developer by about a decade for any trading desk at the firm. And if you get hired in at JPM without a target-school MBA and keep staying insecure about your background, there's a good chance you'll be the youngest MD in ER one day.

Plan B- get into Ross or Wharton. (Don't worry- your non-target background won't be a hindrance at Chicago if you've got a strong math background and solid recs; I speak from experience on this.)
Plan A- get hired into ER as an associate directly, stay insecure about your background but channel that insecurity effectively, and kick the target school kids' butts. (Just be nice about it.)

    • 1
Jul 30, 2010

CFA is not a golden ticket into ER. There are many 1000's of charterholders out there and precious few ER jobs.

Jul 30, 2010

Illini -- Why did you narrow the B-school's in "Plan B" to Ross or Wharton? Penn is obv well known in finance, but does Ross also have a good reputation? Just found those two schools to be a curious mix.

BuysideCFA -- Understood that CFA is not a golden ticket, which I why I hope that the networking and regular recruiting cycles that a top MBA program offers would, with a CFA, experience, and busting my butt, be a "golden ticket." Is there a better way to break in when you don't have much if any of a network in place. I'm not from the NY/Chicago/Boston/London/financial hub cities and so networking will probably be tough.

Jul 30, 2010
mossy695:

Illini -- Why did you narrow the B-school's in "Plan B" to Ross or Wharton? Penn is obv well known in finance, but does Ross also have a good reputation? Just found those two schools to be a curious mix.

Sorry. Meant to say Chicago Booth. Two midwestern schools with single-syllables that use the same vowel. Ross is also a good MBA program, though.

In any case, plan A is to try and save yourself $100K by getting hired in directly rather than out of an MBA program.

Jul 30, 2010

Illini is young and wise give his advice some thought .........try doing both, it can't hurt (worst case scenario you develop some contacts for once you graduate).......there are more non-targets on the street than this site will lead you to believe.......at the same time that insecurity is your "edge"....Ill probably be one of the youngest analyst at a bulge when I graduate(19/CFA1), but I have reoccurring night mares about ending up in an F500 because I chose to go non target at 16... hope you succeed....IMO some one who works that hard deserves it.....

Aug 3, 2010

thanx for you post

Aug 3, 2010

You should be able to get it out of a T-15 B School, I would also look at Anderson and Fuqua fwiw.

Aug 3, 2010

What kind of shop are you targeting BB? MM? Boutique?

Aug 3, 2010
futurectdoc:

What kind of shop are you targeting BB? MM? Boutique?

Ideally BB because it seems like the best way to establish some credibility. I'd like to eventually go back to the buy side.

Aug 3, 2010

there was a recent thread on here with a recent t10 mba grad who transitioned to ER. you should get his input

Aug 3, 2010

Sell-side equity research is an almost statistical-outlier level of MBA job opportunities. Business school just isn't on the shortlist for research teams when they have hiring needs.

BB IBD Associate - THAT'S another story.

Aug 3, 2010
jtbbdxbnycmad:

Sell-side equity research is an almost statistical-outlier level of MBA job opportunities. Business school just isn't on the shortlist for research teams when they have hiring needs.

BB IBD Associate - THAT'S another story.

Of course, but even if I wanted IBD there's no way I'd get that as a career-changer coming out of Stern, even at a TTT bank. They place some people in IBD, but they already came from IBD.

Aug 3, 2010

Stern places lots of people in IB, including people with no finance experience. I've met lots of kids at schools like Ross, Fuqua, Darden, Johnson, Tuck, etc. that had exactly 0 finance experience, and had several BB IB offers. Engineers, athletes, consultants, corp. fin., marketing, even a guy that worked in PR had an offer from MS.

As far as your original question, from talking with students during my various class visits/interviews, ER is definitely a possibility. The banks primarily come looking for IB associates, but certainly will hire the right people into ER. Join the finance club, get involved at whichever student investment fund exists at your school, do some stock pitch competitions, do some networking, and you should be in good shape.

Aug 3, 2010

Top MBA and CFA will always get you out of Audit. Your plan is sound.

My latest post is focused on the buy side, but I'm working on a sell side ER interview with an MBA that will be out in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, here is an interview on the buy side:

http://www.lifeonthebuyside.com/buy-side-equity-an...

Aug 3, 2010

Not sure about the sizeable paycut. I think you will be satisfied with it coming from audit (moving to ER at a BB at least, can't speak for anything else). You're not that old, and therefore can't be that senior in your current group. I wouldn't worry about the pay. With an MBA I'm almost positive you will bring in more than what you're earning now. The ranges I've seen on here for first years from undergrad and first year MBAs are wide. Majority of them are guesses/estimates (poor ones).

Anyway, just wanted to light some more fire under your ass. Get that shit done. Like you said yourself, if you don't get ER, you will still have that top MBA to chase other great opportunities. Do whatever it takes to get out of a job that makes you unhappy.

Aug 3, 2010

Curious as well. My situation is similar (CPA at a BB, trying to break into ER, thinking of top 10 MBA). My concern is back office accounting at a BB will not be enough to get into the above mentioned schools. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Aug 3, 2010

BO accounting won't get you automatically written off. I've heard of Big 4 Audit CPAs getting into top schools, i don't see why BO accountants would be any different. Whether its harder than if you had IB/PE/VC work experience, well....

Obviously you would still need a high GPA, GMAT, good essays/recs.

Aug 3, 2010

Going to Columbia starting next fall : ) bought CFA materials and will start to study this week or next... hope this works out...

Aug 3, 2010

Got ER summer internship at BB!

Aug 3, 2010
mbaer2012:

Got ER summer internship at BB!

Congrats. Cool to see this thread progress.

Aug 3, 2010

Congrats!

Aug 3, 2010

Well done.

Aug 3, 2010

Relatively new to these forums - but this thread is awesome. 2 of the 3 people that responded to the original thread TWO YEARS AGO are still around to congratulate you as things progressed. That's awesome.

Aug 3, 2010

Great work. Crush it and land that full-time offer.

Aug 3, 2010

Same presentations, find the team captain tell them you are interested in equity research. If there are no equity research people present ask to be but in touch with the right people. Some banks will recruit for research as part of S&T process, some will have a separate team. Banking and research are limited in their ability to communicate, so the I-banking recruiting team will be of limited help to you.

Aug 3, 2010

Your main issue will be is that banks will want a commitment from you before Asset Management recruiting really starts.

Aug 3, 2010

I'm currently an MBA at a top b-school in the midwest. At most top schools at the MBA level, BB banks will come to recruit for investment banking, but not for research. You can get recruiter information by going to the IB presentations, but oftentimes research recruiters will not come to campus. However, schools like NYU and Columbia might get more ER recruiters to come because of geographic proximity. There will be some job postings for internships / ft ER jobs, but for the most part you're going to be on your own. You'll need to network and do most of the work on your own whether its buy side or sell side. Also, it can be difficult to get into a BB for ER at the MBA level. For example, Morgan Stanley will do first round phone internship interviews with qualified students, and then bring about 15 students to NYC for final rounds. Of those 15 students, they'll hire one. Keep an eye on the boutique firms as well, many of them will offer good opportunities and they might be easier to get into.

As ILOVENYGUY mentioned, recruiting for Asset Management does start later. However, sell-side research tends to be a little later in the cycle (later than corporate finance and investment banking), and buy-side recruiting is even later than that. As a result, many students recruiting for buy or sell side research wind up taking IB jobs due to the recruiting cycle.

Hope this helps, and best of luck with b-school admissions. It sounds like you already have an offer, and congrats if that is the case.

Aug 3, 2010

Some do come to the schools you mentioned, check Baird's website they got a posting for ER SA/FT

Aug 3, 2010

i don't think they always have regular recruitment events every year. they sometimes hire experienced ppl in certain industries

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.----William Shakespeare

Aug 3, 2010

i don't think they always have regular recruitment events every year. they sometimes hire experienced ppl in certain industries

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.----William Shakespeare

Aug 3, 2010

ER recruiting is usually done on an as needed basis. You do not find many ER departments recruiting on a consistent time frame.

Aug 3, 2010

interesting

Aug 3, 2010

Any top program will serve you well. Wharton, NYU, & Stanford would all be great, just due to their very solid finance/quant resources.

"Cowards die a thousand deaths, but the brave only one,"
Bill Shakespeare

Aug 3, 2010

How about Chicago Booth? Is it a target for BB's and large investment firms?

Aug 3, 2010

Yes. Booth, Wharton, Tuck, and Columbia all have "hardcore finance school" reps.

Aug 3, 2010

ER recruiting is an odd beast. Banks really only recruit for those positions when there's a need, which typically does not coincide with recruiting season. Any of the top MBA programs would make you a reasonable candidate, but backgrounds of Associates can vary greatly from MBAs, to industry career switchers, to former IB analysts that moved into ER. You'll need to have the right background, which varies depending on what the analyst is looking for, for an opportunity when it materializes.

Buyside firms more consistently recruit out of MBA programs, although the numbers are typically small.

From a top MBA program, you're likely to have a few former ER associates and certainly a number of former IB analysts. They can be key people to advocate for you at the firms they came from.

How to Become an Equity Research Associate - http://bit.ly/bMC0N
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Aug 3, 2010

The link was helpful too.

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Aug 3, 2010

From my understanding regarding ER, it is more important to get the CFA first and focus on an MBA after you've been an associate for a while. That's just some advice a MM recruiter told me. Either go to school part time or leave the firm for two years for the degree. CFA/MBA at the same time? You're going to have your hands full.

Aug 3, 2010

i did the b-school to ER recruiting thing. my school was not a core school for any ER divisions, but i was able to get in anyway.

I know for a fact these schools have ER which is recruited by Bulge Brackets:
CBS
Stern
Wisconsin has an excellent ER program
Wharton

i'm sure there's more but those are the ones i am certain of. yes, each bulge bracket ER will take interns each year. these BB recruit at "core schools" and will take a few talented people from each school year after year.

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Aug 3, 2010
Aug 3, 2010