Best Back Office Role to Jump From

Matayo's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,666

Title says it all.

Assuming you work in the back office, what would be considered to be the 'best' back office job to position ones self (let's say assuming BB) in order to make the leap to front office. I myself have heard a few people people making the jump from compliance, legal and technology, but this is all anecdotal. I know a lot of people make the jump to front office roles like IBD or S&T from equity research, but it's unclear to me if that's truly a back office, or even a middle office role.

Any thoughts?

Comments (5)

Jun 10, 2014

ER is BO now?

Jun 10, 2014

I think the question that you have to ask yourself is which part of the business you're positioning yourself for. The back-office functions are germane to the group; there is no generic 'back-office' dept.

Let me explain since i'm not very articulate;

Sales and Trading has back office roles in clearing, settlement, risk(really MO) etc.
IBD has back office roles relating to printing dept, tech, data-rooms etc.
Wealth Management has back office roles for tax, compliance, statements

I think you'd be well served to choose a destination before you start charting your course.

Good luck.

Jun 10, 2014

thanks for answering this so concisely!

@"Anihilist", i felt like i was clear in saying it was neither really FO or BO

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

Jun 10, 2014

Back office has changed substantially too since the 90's, there's a lot of roles that exist outside what @aggmonkey wrote. In fact, pretty much everything an analyst who goes through on-campus recruiting would be doing would be "better" than his examples.

I've been in operations type of roles for 5 years, exclusively on project based teams. My first group I worked in was a global strategy group. I worked on outsourcing operations team to india and benchmarking their performance. My next role was for a performance measurements team in which we found firm inefficiencies, created heat mapping and such to prevent rogue traders, create strategic client risk metrics dashboards for the CRM team (done consulting style with external stakeholders), etc. The next team I was on was a project team that created a new target operating models for KYC/AML after my firm was sued for billions, and I personally migrated businesses into this model (and created performance metrics on all the line operations people [the type of roles aggmonkey mentioned]).

Anyways, I definitely think PMO (project roles) are the best best. Doing transactional stuff for S&T gives you a slim chance of moving to front office trading, but most people are stuck there. In my role, I was able to globally lead a project with analysts in nam, emea, and apac matrix reporting into me, and I was apply to lead the project from inception (BRD, scoping,project plan) to execution, along with working with several different area (front office MD's, tech people, compliance people, etc). This has made my resume quite strong. I got a few consulting firms reach out to me for interview, but I decided to go to business school (my experience helped me show leadership to get into a top school).

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Jun 10, 2014
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