FT Decision: Concerns over SnT Exit Opps

duckduckgoose's picture
Rank: Chimp | 3

I interned at a major BB this summer and have a FT offer in equity sales. I'm not sure if I want to stay in Finance for the long run... would definitely want to transition out to bschool after a couple of years if I took the role.

Personally, I do not mind taking a minor pay cut between industries. My main goals coming out of uni are: building a wide network and building a transferable, marketable skill-set.

    My main concerns are:
  1. Exit opps for Sales seem limited...
  2. Not a lot of meaningful work at the junior level ... can I be doing more & learning more at a consulting/business dev role?
  3. How competitive are sales analysts for bschools?

Comments (18)

Aug 23, 2014

I dont have much experience with bschool applications and the process, but just my 2 cents I would have a VERY difficult time putting together a bschool application after a couple years of sales experience. Unless you do something like start up a new desk/product Id find it very hard to find tangible things I did other than brought in X amount for the bank by bringing in these clients.

One thing you do get is a great network across the buyside, but even then people often overestimate the value of actually being able to transalte this to future opportunities. It does happen, but I think a lot of kids make the mistake thinking becayse they talk to buyside guys all day means it will be easy to find another gig.

Aug 23, 2014

Thanks derivstrading! What do you find exit opps for sales to be then? Internally, I know the trajectory is Analyst to Assoc to VP. But, if you were to leave at any stage of the trajectory, what options are available?

Aug 26, 2014

I'm in a similar position,except I would like to stay in finance but might want to transition to buy side in future. Difference is that I have a choice between spot and derivatives, would working in derivatives sales be more helpful if I wanted to transition later on?

Aug 27, 2014

the most important barrier to moving to the buyside is the network. Lets say you want to go to Bluecrest, or some other large fund. Being in sales at a BB, you will have the opportunity to make that phone call. If you don't have a personal contact...getting a risk taking seat at the buyside is incredibly difficult. This is where sales is a gem. Salespeople have the best relationships with the buyside, because that's ALL they do...sales is a RELATIONSHIP job. Sure, you'll learn the markets...but young people vastly underestimate the value of their personal / professional relationships...and the opportunities to build them. That is where you should focus your effort. What seat will give the the best opportunity to forge relationships. In 3-5 years, it won't be your finance skill that gets you the next better gig..it will be your relationships. Don't blow that opportunity now...be smart and think ahead.

I am a proprietary Govt Bond Trader...i post my comments on the mkt intraday at twitter...and longer articles on my blog. I've accumulated a lot of educational info in these blogs..so i highly recommend checking them out

http://govttrader.blogspot.com

Aug 23, 2014
govttrader:

the most important barrier to moving to the buyside is the network. Lets say you want to go to Bluecrest, or some other large fund. Being in sales at a BB, you will have the opportunity to make that phone call. If you don't have a personal contact...getting a risk taking seat at the buyside is incredibly difficult. This is where sales is a gem. Salespeople have the best relationships with the buyside, because that's ALL they do...sales is a RELATIONSHIP job. Sure, you'll learn the markets...but young people vastly underestimate the value of their personal / professional relationships...and the opportunities to build them. That is where you should focus your effort. What seat will give the the best opportunity to forge relationships. In 3-5 years, it won't be your finance skill that gets you the next better gig..it will be your relationships. Don't blow that opportunity now...be smart and think ahead.

The problem is that doing sales at a BB, unless you really go above and beyond in terms of idea generation, you might have the relationship but you dont have the right image/skillset to move into a risk taking seat on the buyside. Its the sellside conundrum: in sales you have the communcation channel but not the right skillset, in research you have the fundamental skills but no risk taking experience, and in trading you have the skillset but not the network. Imo the best way is to be on the trading side and use the sales as your network bridge (sales guys will always be down to bring traders along to client meetings as long as they arent tools/unoscial creatures).

Learn More

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

Aug 27, 2014

it really depends on the salesperson here. i know some sales people send out a lot of original commentary and market ideas that they generate on their own, and they also copy/paste ideas from their colleagues. If you take the opportunity to learn the markets and "paper trade", then sales can be a direct ticket to the buyside. I've seen this happen more than once. Some sales people would make decent traders...but sales entails much less risk...which is what seems to cut short the career of many aspiring traders who take too much risk too early and blow up before they are really ready. I've seen traders move over to sales...and salespeople move over to trading...it all depends on aptitude...

I am a proprietary Govt Bond Trader...i post my comments on the mkt intraday at twitter...and longer articles on my blog. I've accumulated a lot of educational info in these blogs..so i highly recommend checking them out

http://govttrader.blogspot.com

Aug 28, 2014

To the OPs original post. If you're at a BB and went to a top school, all you have to do is do well on your GMAT and you'll get in as at a top B-school. You can spin off the whole, "i built up my sales and client facing skills, but now I want to go back to school to learn more of the technical aspects of businesses, etc, etc.". As long as you have the ivy/top school, BB, and good GMAT on your resume, you'll be fine

Aug 28, 2014

i know a few guys in sales that did the CFA then eventually either jumped to the research side..or just stayed in sales

Aug 26, 2014

What about something like the risk solutions team at Barclays, sounds like a client facing team and they do similar stuff to structuring except I think they deal mostly with corporates rather than buy side clients, how would that match up to traders?

Sep 3, 2014

Search.

Sep 3, 2014

Some S&T desks already have a prop component built in (many FX desks generate substantial from proprietary bets) so if you're good at it, S&T IS IN FACT the exit opp.

However, you're correct that many leave for jobs on the buy side.
For example, our 28 year old friend at MS who turned down an $11 million bonus for ....substantially more at a hedge fund
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory...
Some would call that greed, but it gives you an idea of what is attainable if you remain in S&T and hence why many view it as THE exit opp they are looking for.

(seriously though... who turns down $11 million at 28 years old right?)

Sep 3, 2014
creditderivatives:

Some S&T desks already have a prop component built in (many FX desks generate substantial from proprietary bets) so if you're good at it, S&T IS IN FACT the exit opp.

However, you're correct that many leave for jobs on the buy side.
For example, our 28 year old friend at MS who turned down an $11 million bonus for ....substantially more at a hedge fund
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory...
Some would call that greed, but it gives you an idea of what is attainable if you remain in S&T and hence why many view it as THE exit opp they are looking for.

(seriously though... who turns down $11 million at 28 years old right?)

Is it possible for sell-side traders to join a hedge fund as a research analyst and then move up to portfolio manager? Or do those jobs mainly go to ex-bankers and sell-side equity research people? i'm asking because i'm planning on applying to MBA programs this year, and it seems like it's tougher for traders to get in. so for the main essay covering "short and long-term goals after an MBA" i want to know if BB S&T>>hedge fund research>>PM is a story that the admissions committee might buy.

yeah, i can't believe that a 28 year old guy can make that much. almost unheard of. i do have a friend at JP Morgan who's 25 and he made roughly 500K this past year. still nothing compared to what this guy made.