7/1/15

Looking around but have been unable to locate much info.

What does a client portfolio manager really do?

It looks like they relay investment and economy theses- is this a back office role?

With the client side, is there a lot of travel?

What does the comp look like, at junior and senior levels? It makes me very nervous to take a non revenue-generating role.

Any thoughts or input would be great.

Thanks.

Comments (22)

6/24/15

Client portfolio management sounds like PWM/WM, as opposed to the archetype PM you hear about on WSO.

Financial Modeling

6/24/15

First, you bring up a good point that there is a tremendous difference between a "client PM" and a "portfolio manager." Some firms even have both positions, which adds to the confusion.

A client PM is typically responsible for client relations after the initial sale is made. This is because some / many firms have a team that focuses on winning new business, and a separate group that manages existing clients. Client PMs are this latter group.

The role is generally considered midoffice and involves keeping track of the client's portfolio performance, relaying information from the firm's research group the client, and answering client questions. They serve as an intermediary between the client and research, since you don't want clients badgering your research group. They also, in my experience, have good interpersonal skills and the right temperament to deal with clients, whereas many research folks don't.

Travel - depends upon the firm, but some domestic travel is generally involved to visit clients, present at conferences, etc. Probably a 10-20% travel type of role.

Comp - not sure. The lifestyle is generally pretty good though, as long your firm's investment performance isn't in the toilet.

6/24/15

Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately I was under the initial impression that this was a front office pm type role. Sounds like it is likely not.

Any idea on exit ops?

The good lifestyle is a plus, but I don't know if I can take a pay cut if it came down to it. Also, going from front office to middle office is going to be a huge mental hurdle for me.

Anyone else have info on this career path?

Thanks.

6/24/15

Actually, the more I think about this the more it starts to feel like a call center job or something...helping grandma with her 401k.

6/25/15

If you're interviewing to help grandma with her 401k then it sounds like you're not interviewing for a CPM role

Client portfolio managers are certainly client facing and are hybrid investment professionals and relationships managers - you know the markets and sit in with the team. You are front office. You're most likely doing sales/relationship management work and yes relaying investment thoughts.

But that's okay I'll just let everyone keep clamoring for investment analyst or bust positions while there are tons of hybrid markets/client roles that pay well with amazing work life balances.

6/25/15
shorttheworld:

If you're interviewing to help grandma with her 401k then it sounds like you're not interviewing for a CPM role

Client portfolio managers are certainly client facing and are hybrid investment professionals and relationships managers - you know the markets and sit in with the team. You are front office. You're most likely doing sales/relationship management work and yes relaying investment thoughts.

But that's okay I'll just let everyone keep clamoring for investment analyst or bust positions while there are tons of hybrid markets/client roles that pay well with amazing work life balances.

Client portfolio management roles do not pay well.

Client sales/distribution/wholesale etc. pay very well- but CPM's do not sell. Your typical CPM pay is much closer to MO, and Asset Management MO at that. The work is also boring as hell

"Sounds to me like you guys a couple of bookies."

6/25/15
BillyRay05:

shorttheworld: If you're interviewing to help grandma with her 401k then it sounds like you're not interviewing for a CPM role
Client portfolio managers are certainly client facing and are hybrid investment professionals and relationships managers - you know the markets and sit in with the team. You are front office. You're most likely doing sales/relationship management work and yes relaying investment thoughts.
But that's okay I'll just let everyone keep clamoring for investment analyst or bust positions while there are tons of hybrid markets/client roles that pay well with amazing work life balances.

Client portfolio management roles do not pay well.

Client sales/distribution/wholesale etc. pay very well- but CPM's do not sell. Your typical CPM pay is much closer to MO, and Asset Management MO at that. The work is also boring as hell

What would you consider "not good money"?

6/25/15
sk8247365:

BillyRay05: shorttheworld: If you're interviewing to help grandma with her 401k then it sounds like you're not interviewing for a CPM role
Client portfolio managers are certainly client facing and are hybrid investment professionals and relationships managers - you know the markets and sit in with the team. You are front office. You're most likely doing sales/relationship management work and yes relaying investment thoughts.
But that's okay I'll just let everyone keep clamoring for investment analyst or bust positions while there are tons of hybrid markets/client roles that pay well with amazing work life balances.
Client portfolio management roles do not pay well.
Client sales/distribution/wholesale etc. pay very well- but CPM's do not sell. Your typical CPM pay is much closer to MO, and Asset Management MO at that. The work is also boring as hell

What would you consider "not good money"?

Entry level AM you already expect to take a hit slight hair cut- say 65-75, with bonuses being 10-25% of base. This role is more like 50-60, with maybe a 10% bonus. Which is not terrible in itself- but it is very slow growth with very little learning. The one upside is, if you are motivated you can use it to transition to the distribution or investment side. Unfort. the group will normally require you to stay in that role for at least 3 years before allowing any transfer (not Joking about this).

FYI- Interned at a well known AM for the CPM group. All the associates were very honest with me in terms of the pay. Which saved me from taking an offer simply on the basis of name alone.

"Sounds to me like you guys a couple of bookies."

6/25/15
BillyRay05:

sk8247365: BillyRay05: shorttheworld: If you're interviewing to help grandma with her 401k then it sounds like you're not interviewing for a CPM role
Client portfolio managers are certainly client facing and are hybrid investment professionals and relationships managers - you know the markets and sit in with the team. You are front office. You're most likely doing sales/relationship management work and yes relaying investment thoughts.
But that's okay I'll just let everyone keep clamoring for investment analyst or bust positions while there are tons of hybrid markets/client roles that pay well with amazing work life balances.
Client portfolio management roles do not pay well.
Client sales/distribution/wholesale etc. pay very well- but CPM's do not sell. Your typical CPM pay is much closer to MO, and Asset Management MO at that. The work is also boring as hell
What would you consider "not good money"?

Entry level AM you already expect to take a hit slight hair cut- say 65-75, with bonuses being 10-25% of base. This role is more like 50-60, with maybe a 10% bonus. Which is not terrible in itself- but it is very slow growth with very little learning. The one upside is, if you are motivated you can use it to transition to the distribution or investment side. Unfort. the group will normally require you to stay in that role for at least 3 years before allowing any transfer (not Joking about this).

FYI- Interned at a well known AM for the CPM group. All the associates were very honest with me in terms of the pay. Which saved me from taking an offer simply on the basis of name alone.

Thanks for the info. This role requires a CFA and prefers an MBA as well, so it is not entry level. I would have to doubt all I'm comp of 70k for those credentials. Any idea what the senior guys were approx making? What was their lifestyle like?

Financial Modeling

6/25/15

Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately I was under the initial impression that this was a front office pm type role. Sounds like it is likely not.

Depends upon what you consider front office. You will be directly interacting with clients. However, you will not be making investment decisions, which is what I consider front office in investment management.

Any idea on exit ops?

Generally you don't change roles. As you become senior you are given responsibility for interfacing with clients on bigger and more important products. You also will deal with the bigger clients. It's not unusual for client PMs to have several assistant PMs to help them manage clients.

The good lifestyle is a plus, but I don't know if I can take a pay cut if it came down to it. Also, going from front office to middle office is going to be a huge mental hurdle for me.

Depends upon what you're doing and earning right now. If you want to be making investment decisions this is not the role for you. If you want to interact with clients then this is a great role.

Best Response
6/26/15

With all things it depends on what you want.

From an institutional perspective, CPM's or IPM's (Institutional) serve as the conduit between clients and the portfolio mgmt. group. It's distribution - so however you want to classify that, it's along the lines of sales, and relationship management, but you have a bit more involved role in the markets due to your need to communicate with clients. Your main goal is to be a PM that is there for the client - when they have questions about trades, the market, positioning, need data, etc., you will be the one responsible for pulling that information and being the main contact for the client if they want to see how their XYZ manager is doing. You will know the portfolio intimately - as well as any PM would, but you won't necessarily develop the acumen to make strategic positioning decisions/etc.

Often CPMs will be the ones that travel to see consultants, clients, board meetings, quarterly updates, client calls, prospective meetings, etc. often accompanied with a relationship management person - the whole point of this role is to let the PM's be PMs, so if you're thinking that you need to be the guy who pulls the trigger on the trades, this is NOT the role for you. But these guys know their stuff.

In terms of lifestyle, it's lower stress than having the entire portfolio on your shoulders, once you know the portfolio, it's relatively easy to do 90% of the meetings you have, and you do get to work very closely with the PM. You'd sit in on all investment meetings, PM discussions, etc. You get to travel, and I would say it's more than 10-20% - maybe more like 30-50% and I would imagine that it's client specific + some week long road trips with sales guys to pitch your product. Lifestyle therefore, is tied a lot to that, and I think you'll probably have a great work life balance b/c of travel and you're done if the clients are happy.

In terms of Comp, again - you're distribution, so you won't be raking in PM money, but I don't think it's necessarily BAD (comp is in the eye of the beholder...). If you're the a client facing CPM w/ CFA/MBA + ~10 yrs exp, I wouldn't be surprised for all in to be at least 300-500+ with room to grow, but I caveat that this is going for a leading institutional asset manager doing a successful product. Plus the comp is more consistent, not like sales where it's eat what you kill, but I'm sure the payout structure varies from company to company. From what BillyRay says (and I'm not informed about the junior level as much), the lower lvl comp is not great, but then again, aside from being an analyst, most other junior level jobs don't pay exceedingly well in AM - it's the lifestyle and potential upside that keeps ppl motivated.

And your comment about not doing a revenue generating role - yes you're right in the sense that you aren't making money, BUT you're the guy who clinches the sale and keeps the clients happy, so I wouldn't say that you're in a role that doesn't have leverage, though at the end of the day if it came to push and shove, you would be second to the PM...

In terms of Exit Ops, you will likely stay in distribution - probably switch over to sales, relationship management, etc. There's a rare chance that if you know the PM well and they leave, you could take over, but I would again say that you'd need to earn their respect and use your privileged position to make the right connections and learn how they think. It's happened, but not often.

Just trying to provide some color - you can decide whether this is your cup of tea or not.

6/28/15

How easy/hard is it be given the opportunity to become a PM from a CPM and open your own book?

6/30/15

They'd probably pick associate PM's and top analysts to be PM before picking a Client PM to do it... but depends on the staffing at the firm and the situation. I wouldn't say become a CPM to reach for a PM job...

6/30/15

A client PM has virtually no shot at being a PM. The two roles are entirely different. One role is client support / relations and the other involves making investment decisions.

7/1/15

Ditto. Client PM is usually the contact for the investor. In the institutional world... we don't use client PMs all that much. We aim to meet with investment staff, starting with the actual PM.

In my experience, the client PM knows the portfolio pretty well, but if you try to go into granular details, you won't really get much out of them. They can tell you about themes in a portfolio, theses on larger positions, but nothing really earth shattering.

There are some client PMs who are very good at what they do, and do know the portfolio very well.

7/2/15

Agreed - I wouldn't say it's entirely impossible - I've heard of it happening! But yes, as affirmed by others, this kind of situation happens more because of an extreme event, not the natural progression of your career. But the AM industry can be unpredictable and volatile with small teams, so crazier things have happened...

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  1/28/16

I'm a CPM at a big shop. I was an I-banker before. This is a great lifestyle job. Definitely distribution and not investment. Virtually no one is going to move into a PM role from this. I love it though. I interact with my investment teams (3 different products), I act as their stand-in with clients and prospects. I speak at conferences. I'm an expert in my niche products (all of them Alternatives). I work 9-5ish, travel no more than 30%, no weekend work. Total comp is 400 (half that is base and half bonus). I have a top 10 MBA and 10 years experience between I-banking (M&A group at bulge bracket) and this role for past 6 years. Exit opps might be into sales, or else lateral moves to other firms. The CPM (also called product manager or product specialist at some firms) can be a career, especially at shops that have many different products and products that are complex, where salespeople (who manage relationships) don't have a prayer of understanding all those products fully, and the PMs need to focus on investment management and not on pitching). Though indirect, I am definitely attached to a revenue stream - I'm out there gathering assets and retaining assets -- it's just that the salespeople set up the meetings and then bring me in to actually talk at the meeting. Not a bad gig!

1/28/16

if you watch Mad Men, it's basically Peter Campbell's job.

9/10/17

CPM is definitely a front office role. Its created to allow day to day PMs to sit at the desk so CPM usually comes from an experienced PM. CPM acts as a client facing PM helping retain and gain assets.

The comp is similar to PM/RM.

9/12/17

let's see Paul Allen's card

9/30/17
Add a Comment