ER Sales to ER

All right fellas...The title says it all. I am currently working in an ER Sales(Small cap, micro cap...somewhat of a niche) role at a small boutique routinely in contact with AM managers and some HF guys too. As the title lays out, I am very interested to move into ER. I am trying to network and get some contacts to buy my words about my capabilities to do ER, as for my education I have a MSF (non-target) and giving CFA level 2 in June. Has anyone every transitioned from a ER Sales role to a ER analysis role. And I think my ability to sell ER reports and explain to do them what the report entails has a big advantage for me. If you or any of your buddies, or some one you know made this progress I would love to hear the experience. Or any solid advice pertaining to a transition.

Cheers fellas

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Comments (18)

Mar 8, 2012 - 1:46pm

It usually goes the other way. If you are going to transition, you will need to work on improving your technical skillset, which most sales people lack. Learn modeling and valuation basics and you might have a shot. The CFA is not going to help you a lot in that regard, so you might have to pick up some books and do it yourself. Research to sales is much easier because you can sell your technical knowledge and industry expertise to clients.

Mar 8, 2012 - 2:26pm

Easiest way to do this would be internal to your existing firm. Since you are in ER Sales, you probably interface with Associates / Analysts in ER all the time, perhaps listening in on calls and sending over data.

This should give you some exposure to different sectors and Analysts. When an opening comes up, not a bad idea to have a quiet discussion with an HR type explaining your desires. In sales, you have a good grasp on the type of information clients are asking for, and as such you can help your ER Analyst best position his reports so it appeals to buy side clients.

Should be some openings about this time of year right? Tough to land a spot though. We have an opening in my sector right now and we're getting v strong candidates with near-perfect experience (ie - previously covered exact sector for II-ranked team, etc)

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Mar 8, 2012 - 5:17pm
Bowser:
Happens often. I had a good friend leverage his BB sales role to an ER role with the same bank, and then a few years later he went to the buy-side.

But if your goal is to go to the buyside, can't you go to the buyside directly from Sales? Also, what is your friend doing now on the buyside - trading or capital raising?

Mar 8, 2012 - 6:17pm
TraderDaily:
Bowser:
Happens often. I had a good friend leverage his BB sales role to an ER role with the same bank, and then a few years later he went to the buy-side.

But if your goal is to go to the buyside, can't you go to the buyside directly from Sales? Also, what is your friend doing now on the buyside - trading or capital raising?

He's in buy-side investment research. Can't get there directly from a sales role.

Mar 8, 2012 - 11:01pm

Oh thanks a lot guys for the insights!!! I also know someone who moved internally from ER Sales to ER, but position inside the firms are limited now, as the firm is not expanding (boutique shop) and so would have to wait for a while before a slot opens up. So thinking of external options, although maybe not immediately, but in a year or 2.

Mar 8, 2012 - 11:03pm

Bowser- Yeah dude...buy side investment research ( stock selection, idea generation is my personal self-actualiztion)...doesn't necessarily have to be in a HF or AM, can even be in the investments arm of a lets say insurance firm. thanks for your inputs.

Mar 25, 2012 - 7:37am

@traderdaily - Sales that go to buy-side usually join as portfolio managers, but only if they have 10+ year experience, thereby really knowing a market or multiple companies VERY well that its almost on-par with being a PM. The very senior salespeople I know can publish their own reports for fun on non-covered companies and can come out with very good commentaries that analysts cannot do because they only know one sector. As a sales its impossible to know a company as well as an analyst because they practically have their models memorized, but you get the flexibility to talk about different sectors and be a jack of all trades.

One of my old bosses told me "a good sales is a good analyst, and a good analyst is a good sales." Words of wisdom!

@dcfness - if you switch to ER you will have to start over as an associate, so there wont be much client contact and your profile will pretty much have to be rebuilt from scratch, fixing models, doing data requests, making charts, gathering info, etc. Every analysts I know wishes they had the lifestyle of a sales, and I only know analysts to that switch to sales, not the other way around, so good luck!

Mar 26, 2012 - 9:57am
Shorttermbuy:
@traderdaily - Sales that go to buy-side usually join as portfolio managers, but only if they have 10+ year experience, thereby really knowing a market or multiple companies VERY well that its almost on-par with being a PM. The very senior salespeople I know can publish their own reports for fun on non-covered companies and can come out with very good commentaries that analysts cannot do because they only know one sector. As a sales its impossible to know a company as well as an analyst because they practically have their models memorized, but you get the flexibility to talk about different sectors and be a jack of all trades.

One of my old bosses told me "a good sales is a good analyst, and a good analyst is a good sales." Words of wisdom!

@dcfness - if you switch to ER you will have to start over as an associate, so there wont be much client contact and your profile will pretty much have to be rebuilt from scratch, fixing models, doing data requests, making charts, gathering info, etc. Every analysts I know wishes they had the lifestyle of a sales, and I only know analysts to that switch to sales, not the other way around, so good luck!

I call bullsh#t on this entire post.

I've been on the buy-side for awhile and have never known anyone that has transitioned directly from a BB sales role to a buy-side PM. The skillset is completely different. Sales is the middleman between the sell-side ER analyst and the buy-side analyst/PM. I've never heard of a salesman writing his own notes on uncovered companies, and cannot see any legitimate bank approving of this practice.

Mar 26, 2012 - 11:00am

I agree -- the idea that a sales guy would come in as a PM, no matter how much experience, is down right scary. That would never, ever happen. I can't even see the sales to analyst path happening very often. The fact is that the sales experience is good for sales, but not much else. That's just the way it is.

Mar 27, 2012 - 7:29am

If you already had a buy-side background its not out of the realm at all. There are quite a few PMs that changed to do sales (generalist), then bounced back to the buy-side at some point.

Some did it by choice as they wanted to try something new, others did it just because the crisis threw things out of whack and their funds either collapsed or they just needed a job. Perhaps this is just a APAC phenomenon too, as you have more growth/opportunities to bounce around in the industry, and experienced talent in multiple markets is harder to come by. (considering the first generation of APAC sales traders in the late-80s/90s were basically English teachers but its come a LONG way since then.)

Yeah for someone that does only pure sales for 20+years its probably impossible unless you start your own fund, or your good buddy CIO loves you and takes you on board.

Yeah salespeople cannot "officially" write notes, that's why all their email signatures in emails/dailies have "Sales Commentary, Not Research" and a bunch of disclaimers. Plenty of sales visit companies or attend conferences and write up a few bullet points of summary in the meetings they attended, add their two cents and blast it out to clients. It works well when certain sectors are hot, where analysts cannot comment due to companies not being in their coverage universe (or the market cap is too small to initiate), so the sales can visit them and just give a brief summary on the visits for clients. Its not an official note but its certainly something that is sent to clients.

The really smart ones can write their own strategy and can tie in different sectors and markets w/ their own views which really makes the best material to read compared to your cookie cutter research products. Most just write them in an email with a few bloomberg screenshots / charts and blast it out. The specific one I am referring to has been in the business for two decades, seen multiple boom/bust cycles so everything he puts out is super insightful. He also brings in a ton of revenue / votes so nobody tells him what to do, but this is a very extremely rare case.

In the end so long as you are not violating any laws, getting the client vote/trades is really all that matters for the sell-side. How you capture the client mindshare is up to your creativity.

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