Communicating with your PM

I am struggling to understand what my PM wants. I am his first junior and he isn't great at communication.

Should I email my PM only when there is a material event for anything in our portfolio and I need to buy / sell something?

Should I email him with my notes whenever I take a meeting with management, listen into a conference call?

When I joined, I was asked to not worry about emailing him formally BUT he seems to get super anxious about stuff I'm working on, when I dont communicate with him. At the same time, he has given me crap for emailing him a quick summary when earnings hits without a BUY / SELL / HOLD recommendation. Super confused how to approach this.

Comments (10)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in HF - Macro
Jan 16, 2022 - 7:24am

I was in a very similar situation as you last year - being the first junior of a relatively new PM. My experience has been that after a while you naturally settle into a working rhythm and you both have a general understanding of what's important and what's not. A good rule of thumb is to think about what he worries about/what is important from his angle and what he would want updates on.

As an example, if there are any major developments during the day or during the week I'll usually let my PM know as soon as I come across anything. However if I'm working intensely on a deep research project and there aren't any fires to put out re: our current positions, then I might go as long as a week without any significant updates (at least on that particular project). 

Occasionally my PM gets uber anxious when there are major rotations in the market or a Fed official starts mouthing off on TV, but aside from that our tempo has gotten better over time.

A suggestion that has worked well for me is to use a text-based messaging platform that isn't email to communicate updates with him for things that don't need the formality of an entire email (think imessage, slack, whatsapp, telegram, etc.). That way it can be easy to fire off 4-5 quick messages about something that he can check at his leisure, but not need to draft a formal email.

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Jan 18, 2022 - 5:55pm

Easiest thing to do is set expectations directly with him instead of asking WSO. Think of a process of communication (dailys, weeklys, earnings previews/reviews, news causing 10%+ move in coverage and/or in book) and walk through it with him/her directly.  

  • VP in PE - LBOs
Jan 19, 2022 - 2:01am

Not really. His boss told him to do the same. If you show that you've listened (not saying OP hasn't, but PM may feel like he hasn't been listened to) and adjust according to feedback, it solves the issue over time. It's a matter of communication and follow ups.

Jan 18, 2022 - 7:41pm

Was always told to over communicate when coming up. If they tell you to scale back, that's a good sign. 

Sounds like your PM's problem is not you over communicating, but rather that you're not giving him anything actionable. Try asking yourself "so what?" with everything you send out. Even if your conclusion is "no change to thesis", still good to state explicitly. 

Jan 18, 2022 - 11:53pm

Always, always, always communicate directly and clearly. Sit down with him, explain that you don't want to piss him off, and you're looking for the best solution or process. Hear him out, implement, done. I've done this over and over in my career and also stress this with my interns  / analysts. 


  • 1
Jan 19, 2022 - 11:18am

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