Bulge Bracket ER Q&A

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I've been on buy side, currently bulge bracket ER. I've got a liberal arts undergrad in classics and non target MBA. Ask me anything, would like to help those in need. Best, nerd

Comments (21)

 
Mar 8, 2019 - 3:48pm

Thanks for doing this. I am in data science/analytics and looking to use an MBA to transition to SS ER and later to buy side (also CFA L3 candidate so should have that completed prior to MBA start). Did you enter ER straight from MBA and to what extent does your BB recruit MBAs into ER? Thanks!

 
Apr 14, 2019 - 12:04pm

Q1: Yes, I went from MBA to sell side ER. IB and ER recruits from my MBA non-target as they are alum. Networking is key.

Good luck

Whenever you're on the right path, the universe will shovel you shit, and you must turn it into compost
 
Mar 8, 2019 - 3:56pm

Hey thanks for this, two questions for you:

  1. What's your intended trajectory in post-MBA ER world? Gain SME level of insight into your coverage area and stick it out? Do you foresee yourself making a transition from sell side to buy side research, or is that not a well trodden path?

  2. If there isn't much of a well trodden path out of SS ER at the post-MBA level, do you have any contingencies for an exit should fee compression/MiFID II begin to edge out more senior/expensive talent? I understand BB ER is more resilient to the macro pressures that are shaking the branches of the ER tree, but I'm sure it's still on a lot of peoples minds.

Thanks!

 
Most Helpful
Apr 14, 2019 - 12:08pm

Q1: Currently jumping from on BB to another BB, different vertical, within the same major industry, but different coverage area. Goal is to get 1 more sub-vertical under my belt to thoroughly understand the entire industry value chain, model building, etc. to be able to be a junior analyst at large HF and hop into the seat without a steep learning curve on the quant/research side

Q2: MiFid II has created some differences, but all its doing is transitioning the way SS ER gets paid. The dollar pool is definitely shrinking but that has to do with quantity/quality. 5 years ago there were hundreds of hack shops pumping out terrible research and HF's would use them as alt. data sources. That has changed a lot. So its all about quality, corporate access, and a differentiated mindset.

One step at a time is a path best taken.

Whenever you're on the right path, the universe will shovel you shit, and you must turn it into compost
 
Apr 14, 2019 - 12:11pm

First job out of undergrad: organic farm manager. Second job: COO at large organic farm.

1st finance job: analyst at a tiny fund
MBA internship: IBanking (opportunities for internships in ER are hard to come by esp. for MBA's)

Networking is key.

Whenever you're on the right path, the universe will shovel you shit, and you must turn it into compost
 
Mar 9, 2019 - 2:30pm

Thanks for doing this! Currently trying to break into research but have found that it’s incredibly hard just to get an interview. I have the background and skillset that shows my interest, but has been frustrating given the dynamics of the industry are changing and less openings. My background is 2 yrs post grad in S+T at BB. Previously did 6m research internship in buy side but not a huge recognized name.

How did you break in and what would you recommend to try and get a chance for an interview?

 
Apr 14, 2019 - 12:15pm

Breaking in: I applied to probably 75 different openings, got 5 interviews, 2 elite boutiques, 3 BB's. 2 offers came in, both BB's, waitlisted for 2 others due to timing, 1 no offer. Transitioning now to one of the waitlist openings from BB1 to BB2.

To land the interview: TIMING AND LUCK (sorry, little skill involved here). ER has ZERO structured timeline to hiring. It's all about a hiring need as someone quits. Best advice: tap into your network, and stay in touch. Create authentic relationships. Go to lunches, coffees, etc. As an opening occurs its easier to land than "hey, remember me, help me"

Whenever you're on the right path, the universe will shovel you shit, and you must turn it into compost
 
Apr 14, 2019 - 12:19pm

Yeah that group hit a brick wall in raising AUM to a worthy level of sticking around. Great start as it was lean and I had to do a lot of work.

Went to get MBA at a non-target due to scholarships. Got accepted to top 20 schools but wasn't willing to go 150K -200K into debt for another degree. I knew I wanted to continue into research but didn't want to spend more time in a road blocked fund. Going to BB or elite boutique seemed a great way to break into a large HF.

At the time, no problem maneuvering through a model, however being an industry expert wasn't in my wheelhouse. Better to get that expertise and then hop back over to HF to really be competitive in the market.

Thanks for questions

Whenever you're on the right path, the universe will shovel you shit, and you must turn it into compost
 
Mar 12, 2019 - 1:35pm

Do you have any immediate or long-term concerns about MiFID II?

Life is too short to be on WSO. But here I am.
 
Apr 14, 2019 - 12:23pm

No. It's been good for the industry. Cut a lot of the bull sh!t fat out of the industry. Lots of terrible research out there still though. Like any business, supply/demand is important. Supply is high, demand is high, but supply of quality is low, therefore dollars shrink to match that quality.

Good luck.

Whenever you're on the right path, the universe will shovel you shit, and you must turn it into compost
 
Apr 14, 2019 - 12:25pm

Spend most of your time learning whatever it is you are doing. Always question your analyst, they are typically egotistical maniacs who believe whatever fake bull sh!t they spew to clients on a constant basis. Always do the build out for models. Read every word of PR's, get comfortable with multiples that matter and what companies do what when.

Hope that helps.

Whenever you're on the right path, the universe will shovel you shit, and you must turn it into compost
 
Apr 16, 2019 - 7:19pm

1st post MBA all in (comp + bonus) was well above 100.

this next gig is a 33% increase to comp another 20% bump to comp within the next year.

With BB ER, you basically get capped to 400-600K at the MD level unless you are one of the studs on CNBC all the time covering technology, biotechs, E&Ps, the areas that HF's trade a lot, and areas where IPO's, equity raises, debt issuances are good for IB

Whenever you're on the right path, the universe will shovel you shit, and you must turn it into compost
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