Difference between sell-side and buy-side equity research (culture/ atmosphere, salary, career paths, etc.)?

UK2013plus's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 302

Hi, I'm very curious about the difference between being a sell-side or a buy-side equity analyst. Of course, one main difference is that you don't talk to clients when you are a buy.side analyst and that your reports aren't published, as they are for internal use only. but what else? do pay (of course comparing apples with apples, so top bb with top asset manager e.g.) and hours differ significantly? hierarchy different? culture?

thanks a lot for any insights!

Comments (19)

Best Response
May 24, 2013

In buyside it actually matters when you're wrong.

    • 6
May 24, 2013

Buy-side pays more. Buy-side can be more or less hours, it depends (much more results driven; hence less emphasis on hours; more on whether your recommendations pan out or not).

A buy-side research analyst has more places to go within the firm than a sell-side one. Culture varies a lot from firm to firm, regardless of buy-side or sell-side.

May 25, 2013
alexpasch:

Buy-side pays more.

Not necessarily.

May 26, 2013

thank you. do buy side analysts actually cover more companies than sell-siders? as they do not have to meet up with clients and stuff, it seems that they have more time for analysing/modelling, right?

May 26, 2013

Buy-siders don't really 'cover' companies in the sense that sell-siders do. A buy-sider can look at a company, decide they have no interest in it, and move on and never look at that company again. Because of this need to be able to evaluate a large number of companies, they tend to cover an entire industry (e.g. energy), or often times even multiple industries, where a sell-sider will cover a sector (e.g. oilfield services) within a single industry.

The main purpose of sell-side research (driving commissions and supporting IB deals asides) is to conduct on-going research on a given set of companies. The main purpose of buy-side research is to find an idea you have enough conviction in that you can actually act on.

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May 26, 2013
MFFL:

decide they have no interest in it, and move on and never look at that company again.

no

May 27, 2013
whatwhatwhat:
MFFL:

decide they have no interest in it, and move on and never look at that company again.

no

More or less yes. If I find that a company wont fit our strategy I don't need to look at it again until it hits our watchlist price target or never again if we don't like management.

    • 1
Mar 28, 2015

How's a day in buy side? Do you have to travel a lot?

Mar 28, 2015

If pay is comparable then definitely buy side

Unless you love the sales and relationship aspect, the whole idea of doing SS research first is to spend 2-3 years as preparation for moving to a fund - you have a chance to go straight there so I would take it.

Mar 28, 2015

Definitely buy side

Mar 28, 2015

Definitely the MF gig, assuming the buy side is a part of your five year plan.

Pay always sucks on the junior level no matter where you are. The difference between 70K and 80K base is nothing in the long run. On the buy side you'll likely get the same technical experience and (most importantly) you'll be trained to think like an investor. The focus is different in sell-side ER, and getting in on the buy side is way harder than getting in on the sell side IMO.

Mar 28, 2015

Whatever you do, don't take Stifel.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

Mar 28, 2015

Thanks for the insight everyone. I really appreciate it.

Mar 28, 2015

Which one are you planning on going with?

Mar 28, 2015

I'd definintely go with the BB, every single time. BBs give you fantastic training, networking and sector experience as well as the brand name. Insurance may be buyside (kinda) but gives you....nothing.

Mar 28, 2015
Feb 6, 2018
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