Buy-side vs. Sell-side ER?

MonkeyBeesWax's picture
Rank: Baboon | 143

Hey guys, what's the biggest difference in working at a sell-side ER (working at global investment banks) vs. buy-side ER (research associate at large AM or MF) in terms of the work you do everyday? From my understanding, the biggest difference is that the sell-side ER has a lot more marketing aspect to it (going on marketing trips, organizing events, connection to management, etc). If you're an ER associate on the buy-side, would you also be covering a list of names and periodically writing out reports on your coverage? Would you care about the earnings season and quarterly results if you're on the buy-side ER?

Comments (4)

Sep 23, 2018


Most Helpful
Sep 23, 2018

I work on the Buyside, but obviously work with sell side for research and stuff. Yes, the biggest difference is that the sell side is (usually) all about marketing their ideas/brand to investors and convincing us to believe them. They do write notes (quarterly/news/etc), but I think more of the time is spent doing trips with management/investors and talking to Buyside clients.

Buyside is all about really putting money to work. Yes, we care about earnings; we analyze the results every quarter and it forces us to really think about our thesis four times a year to make sure it's still in tact. Reports on the Buyside will be less "polished" for the most part and more about getting the key information to the PM's and discussing how it impacts the thesis. The Buyside also kind of requires you to be correct to a greater degree. Some sell side analysts are great at making stock calls, and others aren't, but the ones that aren't good at it can still add value (helping me, as a sell side guy, understand the businesses and industry trends). On the buy side, though, if you can't make good stock calls, you don't really add value.

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Sep 23, 2018

Thanks for the clarification! How many names would a typical research associate cover on the buy-side (at places like Wellington/T.Rowe/Fidelity)? Also, what would you say is the biggest difference in the experience you get working as a buy-side ER analyst at AM/MF vs. an investment analyst at HF?

Sep 24, 2018
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