Corporate Finance to Asset Management?

Undergrad in Finance and just finished MBA non-target. 5 years of experience (rotational program at a F500, a couple accounting roles, most recently FP&A). I'd like to move out of the corporate finance world and into investment management, even if it would mean starting from the bottom or with a smaller fund. Would I have a shot at analyst positions or any others? What positions should I target? Would passing part 1 of the CFA help with getting interviews and possibly getting my foot in the door somewhere?

Comments (15)

Oct 15, 2012

Does your firm have treasury roles?

Oct 16, 2012
futurectdoc:

Does your firm have treasury roles?

I would double that question. Getting into a treasury role where you are working with risk management or trading would be ideal. Be very picky though, don't end up doing trade support and wire transfers.

Although FP&A isn't directly analogous to AM, I think that throwing in progress towards CFA could help you get in. And honestly, I wouldn't settle for an entry level position (which you are over qualified for).

You have been in the same company for a while, use that industry experience to try to find a research role that focuses on the industry you are currently in. If you get a CFA (or even progress) and you have that industry experience, you deserve more than an entry level position. Expect more $, don't bow down.

Oct 16, 2012
Bankn:
futurectdoc:

Does your firm have treasury roles?

I would double that question. Getting into a treasury role where you are working with risk management or trading would be ideal. Be very picky though, don't end up doing trade support and wire transfers.

Although FP&A isn't directly analogous to AM, I think that throwing in progress towards CFA could help you get in. And honestly, I wouldn't settle for an entry level position (which you are over qualified for).

You have been in the same company for a while, use that industry experience to try to find a research role that focuses on the industry you are currently in. If you get a CFA (or even progress) and you have that industry experience, you deserve more than an entry level position. Expect more $, don't bow down.

Appreciate the feedback - I think I will go for level 1 of the CFA next June and see where it takes me.

My company does have treasury roles and I talked with a recruiter recently about a role but the pay was around $70k-$90k plus 10% bonus. It seems like I wouldn't get anywhere near the compensation or bonus potential of portfolio managers/other AM roles in corporate finance. You agree?

Oct 16, 2012

Duplicate.

Oct 17, 2012

"It seems like I wouldn't get anywhere near the compensation or bonus potential of portfolio managers/other AM roles in corporate finance. "

I do not know of many AM roles (outside of Treasury) within traditional corporate finance gigs. The pay isn't bad for the work and considering you will be trying to jump out in a couple years to a traditional AM shop, should not be a dealbreaker. If you are pulling in 130-150k now, it would be tough to take that cut and I am not sure I would do it. Corporate finance to AM is not very traditional and especially without progress towards CFA Charter, it will be tough. I would think that ER shops would be an easier target for corp fin guys.

All that being said, there are always exceptions to the rule and it does not hurt to apply to a few AM positions to see where you stand.

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Oct 17, 2012
1337:

"It seems like I wouldn't get anywhere near the compensation or bonus potential of portfolio managers/other AM roles in corporate finance. "

I do not know of many AM roles (outside of Treasury) within traditional corporate finance gigs. The pay isn't bad for the work and considering you will be trying to jump out in a couple years to a traditional AM shop, should not be a dealbreaker. If you are pulling in 130-150k now, it would be tough to take that cut and I am not sure I would do it. Corporate finance to AM is not very traditional and especially without progress towards CFA Charter, it will be tough. I would think that ER shops would be an easier target for corp fin guys.

All that being said, there are always exceptions to the rule and it does not hurt to apply to a few AM positions to see where you stand.

It was confusing by the way I typed it but I was saying that compensation in corporate finance/treasury in my opinion would not be close to the level of compensation I could get if I were to get into an asset management firm.

Do you know what the average base salary bonus I'd expect if I were able to get into an asset management firm with my background and progress towards the CFA? How about an ER shop? Hoping to understand what the difference would be to see if it would be worth making the career jump.

Apr 21, 2013

I saw a treasury role posted with a firm in the industry I work in - Is this the type of position you feel would give me a better chance of moving into Asset Management from?

Department: Treasury, Title: Insurance & Risk Management Specialist

The selected candidate will act as lead analytical resource for the Insurance & Risk Management Department. Complete key annual and semi-annual projects relating to insurance program renewals and cost of risk allocations. Complete key activities needed for the monthly/quarterly accounting close. Perform and/or coordinate all accounting activities for the Insurance & Risk Management Department.

Essential Functions:
A. Conduct special projects, research, actuarial or analytical work for department management; collect and analyze risk data to support management decision making processes.
B. Provide department members and other internal customers with ad hoc reports and analyses.
C. Respond to questions from the Operations regarding I&RM's insurance and risk management programs.
D. Generate forecasted cost of risk allocations for profit planning in September and actual/final allocations in January.
E. Collect, organize, analyze and display underwriting data needed for global insurance program renewals.
F. Compile global replacement cost property values annually.
G. On a monthly basis, complete: (a) workers' compensation cost allocations and reserve reports for the operations, (b) captive insurance company loss reports, and (c) other reports needed for the monthly close.
H. Review, approve and ready for payment wire requests for third party claims administrator loss funds.
I. Manage the ongoing maintenance of the department's IT systems; assist with deployment of potential new systems.
J. Perform and/or oversee all accounting activities that impact the department; track and complete quarterly reconciliations (fiscal and policy year) of the department's prepaid accounts to the satisfaction of Corporate Accounting.

Apr 21, 2013

That doesn't sound like a role you want, you want something like FOREX risk hedging, oil/crop hedging, cash management, working with CDs/Time Deposists

Apr 21, 2013

Do both, either way the process is going to be the same. It's more important that you demonstrate aptitude for the job and to network that what your title is. A better title can help, but it can also 'brand you' in a way that they just don't see you as one of their type, but you would be a fool to not apply for the position you are being recommended to.

Apply for the upgraded position, and then network towards AM. If you get into AM, great. If not, at least you have a good job and can apply to masters/MBA programs with a bit more firepower than the average bear

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Apr 21, 2013

Thanks for the reply. I completely agree it would be a dumb move to pass up a promotion, but I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't disqualify myself from potential AM interviews with my new title. I would hate for them to see controller and say "this guy only knows accounting and has no analytical skills", then toss my resume to the side. That said I guess it could also help me since it would show career progression and I'd have managerial experience.

Apr 21, 2013

You could also do some AM work of your own to make the case that you "get it".

Apr 21, 2013

Tough question, I'd try to do something involving market research, maybe assessing a business decision that has multiple options. Or if your company is involved in acquiring any smaller firms, maybe you can assist in the analysis.

On one of my internships, I built a model for entering a potential new market segment and did some DCF work on a few acquisitions. Looked good on the resume, too bad I couldn't parlay it into anything special.

Apr 21, 2013
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