E&Y audit of financial institutions vs IB product controller (derivatives)

kemotq's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 4

What should I choose if my objective is to end up in Portfolio Mgmt. Product controller seems to fit better lately in fixed income but BIG4 audit helps in equity analysis, am I right. What do U think ?

Thanks

Comments (21)

Jul 21, 2011

Don't do product control, I know that much.

Jul 21, 2011

Why is that ?

Jul 21, 2011
kemotq:

Why is that ?

Do you have the role description in front of you? Try reading it.
Keep in mind, they usually make these roles sound a lot better than they actually are. I would say discount that description by a sh*t factor of 40-50%.

Jul 21, 2011

big4 --> Equity Research ---> PM

Jul 22, 2011
technoviking:

big4 --> Equity Research ---> PM

That needs an MBA after big4.

And even then, CPAs aren't given a ton of creedence in the ER side of things. "Fucking nerds" is a colorful phrase tossed around to describe Big4 accountants who look for ER jobs.

Just my experience.

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Aug 4, 2011
NorthEastIdiot:
technoviking:

big4 --> Equity Research ---> PM

That needs an MBA after big4.

And even then, CPAs aren't given a ton of creedence in the ER side of things. "Fucking nerds" is a colorful phrase tossed around to describe Big4 accountants who look for ER jobs.

Just my experience.

I'm curious as to why that is. Care to shed some light on the reason behind this sentiment?

I work at a Big4 and I've seen a few seniors leave the firm for ER over the last two years that I've been here and I'm interested in going that route too.

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Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jul 21, 2011

product control = dead end. No useful skills, deadly boring job. I've spent one summer as an intern in PC, I feel sorry for the guys who have to do it everyday..

Jul 21, 2011
tomm29:

product control = dead end. No useful skills, deadly boring job. I've spent one summer as an intern in PC, I feel sorry for the guys who have to do it everyday..

Wouldn't you still learn about your product, valuation, accounting aspects/practices, excel and basic modeling?
Don't most product control groups have quants on their team?

Correct me if I'm wrong but don't you do independent valuations for the product and manual calculations of adjustments on top of PnL statements?

Maybe my interviewers were just able to sell the shit out of the position but it really didn't seem too bad. I probably wouldn't have taken the position but to me, it seems on par with entry level risk jobs, not that those are all that exciting.

Jul 21, 2011

Every person I know in product control is trying desperately to get out, and really not having much luck. That and margins. Seriously, run for your life.

Jul 21, 2011

Reddog. No quants there. That fucking job is the equivalent of watching paint dry. Those fuckers love to throw words around that they might have seen in an angry email from a trader, but trust me they have no fucking idea what those words actually mean.

Their idea of a quant is some kid who writes macros in vba to make it easier to format the fonts and colors of the 15+ reports you'll be sending out daily. You dont learn shit.

Jul 21, 2011

llama

Jul 21, 2011

Quants are not product control. Wtf man. Product controllers pull data from various sources to verify prices. They do not build any models, they do not price anything, they do not value anything. They simply take information that someone else already produced. I did this job for more than one desk and I know product control teams at several banks at different levels of management. Just drop it, there is nothing exciting about this job.I'm guessing youre confusing it with something else.

Also think about what you just asked, "price verification" models? What do you think that is exactly? Some fucking complex pricing model? No, you take the prices the trading desk reports and compare it to what the actual closing price was. If that sounds fucking complicated to you...by all means go for it. You'll fit right in.

Jul 21, 2011

*my post should have read independent valuation, not price verification. I used the terms interchangeably earlier, but you are right in that they are not at all the same thing.

Regardless, you're missing/ignoring my point.

These roles within product control are not quant jobs but they really don't sound too bad.

http://www.bullhornreach.com/job/40022_product-con... http://www10.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_BarCap04.asp?newms...
http://www.euromoneyiijobs.com/job/valuation-produ...
These quant jobs (what I was thinking of) appear to be in a different group but their roles are similar.

https://www.ivyexec.com/professionals/search/job/0...
http://jobs.phds.org/job/30259/the-quant-team/ipv-...
How did you manage to work for multiple desks without understanding any role outside your own?
Did you isolate yourself from the rest of your floor?

Jul 21, 2011

Listen dummy, they are back office/operations roles. End of discussion. if you want to f*cking do it, be my guest. Let me know how that works out for you. I was trying to help you steer clear of something awful but I am done explaining it and wasting my time.

Jul 21, 2011
Flake:

Listen dummy, they are back office/operations roles. End of discussion. if you want to f*cking do it, be my guest. Let me know how that works out for you. I was trying to help you steer clear of something awful but I am done explaining it and wasting my time.

The issue I have with your posts (and the reason why I am still posting) is that you are telling people to avoid an entire area based off of incomplete and misleading information.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that there are multiple roles within product control. Not everyone sounds as bad as what you've described. Yes, the main role sounds pretty boring but this in and of itself is not a reason to avoid other roles within the division.

Yes, they are all back office positions. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you're looking for an easier lifestyle and increased job security, it may be the place for you.
No, i have never worked in product control but from the sounds of it, neither have you.

Also, product control is not operations. The job functions aren't at all the same and they aren't even in the same division.
By all means, tell people not to work in product control, but don't lie about the position. Honestly, what's the point?

    • 1
Jul 22, 2011
reddog23:

Yes, they are all back office positions. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you're looking for an easier lifestyle and increased job security, it may be the place for you.

This is where you'll lose most people on this site. Easier lifestyle? Well, define easier - if you assume less hours, that's probably not true. The guys in our pricing office work more than most of the ERAs on my team for probably 20% of the pay. The work is more monotonous and definitely less prestigious. Oh, and job security? Most companies take the scythe to ops farms before they will touch front office profit centers. The profit center guys that get axed are underperformers and they will go regardless. Ops people will be axed and then the remainder will work 13 hour days to make up the slack.

I have worked very closely with people in product control, and I spent 3 years in ops at a BB, and Flake is 100% right, whether you want to hear it or not. I'm now on a large equity fund as a summer analyst and the world is far different here - hours wise, work wise, and simply in the way the firm views me as an employee.

To sum it up: back office employees are the shit on the front office employees' Allen Edmonds.

If you go back office realize the odds of making front office are infinitesimal. You may not want front office now, and justify it with that "better life" rhetoric, but after you see how well portfolio managers are treated in relation to you, you'll get the itch. It's why most CFA holders are back office people hoping to make the leap.

Jul 21, 2011

Thank you all for your advice. I think I'll go for E&Y.

Aug 4, 2011

CPA will be your first step at E&Y, but then consider your CFA. It will definitely help in ER/PM.

Don't stay in Audit too long. Get your CPA, get promoted to Senior and see what you thinking then. Maybe do your CFA after you switch to E&Y Transaction services. You can do valuation work there... something to look into before ER

Good Luck

Jul 22, 2011
ripken818:

CPA will be your first step at E&Y, but then consider your CFA. It will definitely help in ER/PM.

Don't stay in Audit too long. Get your CPA, get promoted to Senior and see what you thinking then. Maybe do your CFA after you switch to E&Y Transaction services. You can do valuation work there... something to look into before ER

Good Luck

Still need a way to get from Transaction to ER, though. Just getting a CFA won't do it.

Aug 4, 2011
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Aug 4, 2011