Best way into HF PM role in London?

Hello, I am an ambitious student with a passion for investing. I am trying to decide between different full-time offers and I was wondering what is the total comp for an equities analyst in a large AM in London (think Schroders, Axa Investors, Aviva Investors... etc.). I know starting salaries are slightly less than IB, but how about salaries 5-10 years in? How about total comp once you make it to PM?

I have always wanted to be an investor and I am now in my final year at a target school in London and have got full-time job offer from a large asset manager in London. However, given the shift to passive and the voices I heard, I am scared that one cannot truly make it big when starting in asset management, I am passionate about investing but would want to earn ps1m+ in my late 30s and 40s. Can one do that by being a top performer in AM? I also have an M&A offer from a BB bank (Citi/BAML/Credit Suisse) and an invitation to an assessment center for jpm/ms/gs. Should I choose M&A over AM?

I also wondered how easy is the transition from AM to fundamentally driven HF versus doing that switch from IB. If AM comp is capped then moving to an HF could be a way to make more money when performing well and still being in an investing role but I wonder if banking could be better for that than asset management. Given my objective to become a HF PM and eventually starting one, should I start off at a reputable AM or in M&A?

Thank you all!

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Comments (11)

Nov 12, 2019 - 4:39pm

First - congrats on having two offers. You're in a great position either way.

Second - I cannot answer your question about comp or getting into HF.

What I can say is that I think you should choose the role that you think you'll enjoy/learn from more and do best at. IMO If you're good, doors will open regardless.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"
Nov 12, 2019 - 7:10pm

Thank you! I am getting scared that compensation in AM will be very low. I know for a fact that in 8 years as a large AM research analyst you make £200K vs £350K as a VP in banking. This is all in comp. Assuming that I cannot make the transition to HFs, then I will be stuck in a low paying job whereas if I get stuck in banking at least I can make decent money there. Would you not agree?

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Nov 12, 2019 - 11:12pm

I suppose if comp is your biggest consideration then it's easy answer - go with higher paying job.

If you start with $x salary you generally won't ever work for less than that in your career. Of course there are always exceptions.

At least it gives you a benchmark and leverage for comp going forward. Based on what you've been saying, if I was in your shoes I'd follow the $. Regardless you'll be in great position for launching your career.


"Out the garage is how you end up in charge It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"
Nov 13, 2019 - 4:05pm

A thing to keep in mind when comparing comp down the line is the likelihood how staying on a given path. To give you an example, I graduated undergrad a little over 10 years ago. Out of the ~20 analysts in my banking class I stayed close with, practically everyone hated it and only 2 are still in banking. On the other hand, everyone I know who has ever gone into AM is still there and loving it and planning on staying until they retire. Keep in mind that the lifestyle and job security between the 2 are quite different so I would encourage to think about more than just comp when comparing career options.

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