Global Credit Rating Agency ---> Backdoor to High Finance

Thesis:
For those unable to break directly into high finance, starting at a one of the "Big 3" (S&P, Moody's, Fitch) is a great entry-level job, in which you can position yourself for a bright future.

Overview:
*Entry-level analysts may only make about $70k (1st year all-in), but work about 45-hours a week max (similar hourly rate to banking)
*Pay/prestige is obviously well below banking, but there is significantly less competition for these positions
*The skill sets are real- financial modeling, deep dive into SEC filings, access to nonpublic information, preparing formal credit memos, meeting with senior management teams, attending industry conferences, investor days, etc.
*If you hustle (CFA track, network with investors / management teams), the exit opportunities can be great (buy side bond investing, banking for structured finance in particular, industry, etc)

About Me:
Started in equity research for boutique investment bank in NYC and moved to a "Big 3" credit rating agency a year ago (not my choice). Currently going down the CFA track, and hoping to make a big move up at some point in 2013. For those readers who may be interested in finding out more about this path, feel free to PM me, and I would be happy to help.

Comments (61)

Jan 20, 2013

I'm sorry I have to ask this question, but what exactly are the exit opps? I am thinking credit focused HFs.

Is recruiting as discriminatory as regards target schools vs non-target schools as in banking?

How would a you compare it to a Credit Risk Analyst at a BB?

I have sent you a PM.

Jan 20, 2013
JamesHetfield:

I'm sorry I have to ask this question, but what exactly are the exit opps? I am thinking credit focused HFs.

Is recruiting as discriminatory as regards target schools vs non-target schools as in banking?

How would a you compare it to a Credit Risk Analyst at a BB?

I have sent you a PM.

James,

If you are rating the bonds of companies in a particular corporate sector, area of structured finance, etc., the most obvious exit opportunity is investing in those bonds or securities. Another exit I have seen is working for a company you helped rate since you already know the issuer well and may have a relationship with senior management. I have also seen folks in structured finance make the move to banking.

In my role, we assign IDR's (issuer default ratings), in addition to rating specific securities like unsecured bonds, term loans, preferred stock, etc. As a Credit Risk Analyst at a BB you would most likely arranging revolving credit facilities, hedging, etc. Although you might make a bit more money in credit risk at a BB, regulation has made things cumbersome and at the end of the day you are in a middle office role, so you are not the issuers main point of contact. At a credit rating agency, you are the main point of contact, your decisions affect their cost of capital, and you are analyzing securities that are relevant to institutional investors.

Hope that helps!

Jan 21, 2013

I am a junior in college. Do S&P, Fitch, Moody's have summer internships for students? I had never really looked into those, but do you know if the deadlines are gone?

Jan 21, 2013
JamesHetfield:

I am a junior in college. Do S&P, Fitch, Moody's have summer internships for students? I had never really looked into those, but do you know if the deadlines are gone?

Don't mean to hijack the thread, however they do. I applied last year for S&P structured finance internship (no offer) and a kid at my school ended up filling the position. I know that they have other divisions and groups for interns, however being in NYC, the one thing I found negative is the very low pay. It would be very hard to live in the city if you aren't being paid very much, esp if you are not from the area and have nobody to stay with.

Jan 21, 2013
streetwannabe:
JamesHetfield:

I am a junior in college. Do S&P, Fitch, Moody's have summer internships for students? I had never really looked into those, but do you know if the deadlines are gone?

Don't mean to hijack the thread, however they do. I applied last year for S&P structured finance internship (no offer) and a kid at my school ended up filling the position. I know that they have other divisions and groups for interns, however being in NYC, the one thing I found negative is the very low pay. It would be very hard to live in the city if you aren't being paid very much, esp if you are not from the area and have nobody to stay with.

You mean the pay for the internship is very low, I assume? I have worked in low-paid NYC positions before, and as long as it is "paid," I'll survive. Any idea how much is the hourly rate? (I lived on 8.25/hour)

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Apr 11, 2013

Could you give a more detailed breakout of the Base vs Bonus portion of the salary? Do you think you'll continue your career at a CRA rather than making a jump elsewhere? What was your motive for leaving Equity Research (where skillsets would be similar and pay could potentially be higher)?

I would PM you but I don't have 10 bananas...

Apr 12, 2013
nsjkd:

Could you give a more detailed breakout of the Base vs Bonus portion of the salary? Do you think you'll continue your career at a CRA rather than making a jump elsewhere? What was your motive for leaving Equity Research (where skillsets would be similar and pay could potentially be higher)?

I would PM you but I don't have 10 bananas...

Apr 12, 2013
nsjkd:

Could you give a more detailed breakout of the Base vs Bonus portion of the salary? Do you think you'll continue your career at a CRA rather than making a jump elsewhere? What was your motive for leaving Equity Research (where skillsets would be similar and pay could potentially be higher)?

I would PM you but I don't have 10 bananas...

Bonuses account for about 5-10% of your total compensation (8% for me this past year). I have been at a CRA for 1.5 years, but am actively interviewing elsewhere. Leaving equity research was a forced move for me (mass layoff) or I would have stayed.

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Apr 12, 2013

Great post. Can you give us a sense of how hard it is to get hired? I'm assuming it's much easier than banking but harder than BB Credit risk?

Apr 12, 2013
cakepie:

Great post. Can you give us a sense of how hard it is to get hired? I'm assuming it's much easier than banking but harder than BB Credit risk?

I have mentored some solid kids (and helped them get interviews) and it is actually more competitive than you might think. It is probably less competitive than BB credit risk on the margin (slightly lower paying, but less hours). I personally would pick a CRA job over BB credit risk. For example, at a bank you might just be handling revolving credit facilities or some other niche, but at a CRA you are rating multiple securities such as unsecured bonds, preferred stock, converts, revolving credit facilities ect so there is a great learning opportunity. By understanding bond indentures, covenants ect you are much more valuable to a buyside firm that invests in those particular securities.

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Apr 13, 2013

Awesome. Silver banana for you.

I've been looking at a CRA for some time but wasn't sure if the reduced hours would hurt in terms of the experience that I would gain. Really appreciate your insight on this as it seems that i would stand to gain a strong background in fundamental analysis if i went this route.

Do you mind my asking where you are looking to move after only 1.5 years working there? I'm assuming you are looking for something higher paying or faster paced..

Given your time there, do you also have a good idea of the major differences between the big 3? Thanks again.

Sep 12, 2013

Thanks for your overview PerpetualGrowth. Question: what do you think is the best rating group (in terms of exit opportunities, internal growth prospects, transferability of skills, amount of dull and repetitive work, pressure etc.) to join now? I am in a position to choose between corporate (financial or non-financial), structured, and infrastructure finance, so I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Sep 19, 2013

Haven't seen PerpetualGrowth in awhile as far as this topic goes, but I can add that thanks to his insight I've joined a Corporates team (non-financial) at a big-3 CRA. The work is very interesting despite some regulatory changes (read: unnecessary, complicated processes). Overall you get a similar experience to ER in that you follow a lead analyst and gain insight into various names from both a top-down and bottom-up perspective. A lot of your work is dependent on what the analyst wants to give you, but the environment is very collegial and there's probably less animosity between Associates Analysts and Analysts since the jobs are more stable than in ER (there's no real performance metric like being ranked in II or being a strong salesman).

As far as getting the most out of your experience, I would recommend choosing an industry/team that is varied and faces a number of credit issues. To find this, go to any of the CRA's sites and filter out by their sectors to see which has the most non-investment grade issuers. Working with non-investment grade issuers is probably more complex and insightful as you see the full spectrum of credit analysis whereas with investment grade (especially for big corporates that don't really change much), the analysis is very standard.

I haven't worked with banks/insurance/other financial corporates or any of the other teams as we're very siloed off, however, I do have a friend in FIG at a competitor and can probably get some insight from him.

A note on exit opps: In the past two months I've seen two people leave -- an Associate Analyst (bottom rung of the totem pole) left for a buyside firm as a research associate, and an Associate Director (2nd level up) went to work in corporate banking. Neither had the CFA charter and were employed for only a few years.

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Sep 19, 2013

Most transferable skills are most definitely HY (or non IG) corporates. IG is just pretty easy to cover/analyze and FIG and the like will definitely pigeon-hole you and are also very frustrating to learn in the beginning.

Currently doing CR and cover FIG while studying for CFA. It is really frustrating because all of CFA material is on corporates and it is just hard to flip flop between the different ways of looking at a company.

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Sep 19, 2013
Anihilist:

Most transferable skills are most definitely HY (or non IG) corporates. IG is just pretty easy to cover/analyze and FIG and the like will definitely pigeon-hole you and are also very frustrating to learn in the beginning.

Currently doing CR and cover FIG while studying for CFA. It is really frustrating because all of CFA material is on corporates and it is just hard to flip flop between the different ways of looking at a company.

I can confirm that's what I've heard as well. For IG corporates there aren't very many skills to be gained in analyzing them (really just a matter of: did their business model change substantially, do they make enough cash to service debt, and if the economy took a downturn and we stress metrics down by 10-20% will they still be ok?).

Still, covering IG for a few years can lead to IG investment analysis at a buyside firm, so not the end of the world.

Sep 19, 2013

Yeah, and if you are resourceful, you could possibly transfer to HY. Currently work in IG myself and it's pretty boring. First job, so can't complain too much, but would like to get into HY (and stay in credit) someday.

Oct 14, 2013

Great thread, is it possible to transfer to IB? So lets say the sector you're covering is consumer & retail, can you end up in IB consumer and retail?

Salary is $70K all in for first year, what is the pay structure as in base for a first-year?

Oct 14, 2013

The easiest move is into corporate banking, but investment banking is doable as well. At a rating agency you are very much in the game, but on the low end of pay/prestige compared to investment bankers and institutional investors.

Separately, I largely agree with most of the comments above. At the end of the day, it is all about finding your interest, learning and developing your skill sets.

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Oct 14, 2013
PerpetualGrowth:

The easiest move is into corporate banking, but investment banking is doable as well. At a rating agency you are very much in the game, but on the low end of pay/prestige compared to investment bankers and institutional investors.

Separately, I largely agree with most of the comments above. At the end of the day, it is all about finding your interest, learning and developing your skill sets.

Thanks for the insight Perpetual. Since the start of this thread have you moved over to E.R or anything else or still in CRA?

Oct 16, 2013

I currently work in credit research for a large AM. We have one guy from S&P. I think going from CRA to credit research or something similar is a very possible move. We use a lot of the research that S&P, Moody's, Fitch, and CreditSights publish for our own research. Many aspects of credit research depend heavily on what CRAs say and do (upgrade/downgrade/outlook/etc). I honestly think that working for a CRA is a great job and awesome learning opportunity, but doesn't get the respect it deserves (not only on this board, but in the financial community in general).

For me, coming from a non target, it is a great "back door" to high finance and I suggest more non targets to pursue it. Admittedly, I never worked for a CRA and still don't, but it is a job that is more easily attained than IBD or ER (for the most part) and gives you an equivalent skill set as the aforementioned.

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Nov 21, 2013

Do you think there's any difference in pay among the top three firms, Moodys, Fitch, and S&P?

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Nov 25, 2013
egress:

Do you think there's any difference in pay among the top three firms, Moodys, Fitch, and S&P?

I would assume the same. Have no evidence to back this up. Your a WSO Intern so you should check the company data base.

Mar 2, 2014

S&P and Moody's pay slightly higher than Fitch. I wouldn't go by just the pay though. Being at a CRA is a learning opportunity and a springboard to move to the buyside at an early stage (not easy once you become senior). I also know that they are huge proponents of the CFA and will sponsor that studying along with up to 5 digits of education spending available at anytime. If you were to join a CRA, you should definitely be looking at the amount of exposure you get for the amount of working hours you spend, among other benefits.

Edit: I should note that S&P and Moodys have more recognition which might be the reason for the pay but S&P has a bad reputation for less value-added research and an increasingly automated credit process.

Jan 14, 2014

I'm currently a second year at a Canadian university. The big 5 banks hire from our school, but they mostly target third years, and don't really care for second years. I am currently a second year and am hoping to land an IB position for my third year. I am currently (summer after my second year) going to be an analyst in a credit rating agency. my first year i had a MO job at a bank. do you think the credit rating and MO position would be good for preparation for IB? aside from the internships i've been involved with my school's investment club, where we basically manage a portfolio, create DCFs, and pitch stocks to the committee, etc. I've been doing my own research on IB specific things along side my commitments. but i wanted to get other people's perspective. as a second year, there isn't much options for me. thanks a lot, and your help is very much appreciated!!

Jan 17, 2014

Great thread! I'd have 2 specific questions:

1 My impression over the last years was that regulators and lawmakers took a pretty rough stance on the Big3 oligopoly. If I remember correctly, some federal governments (US, Australia and Italy are in the back of my head) have sued CRAs downgrading them and been partially successful, and I think EU regulators were taking or are considering steps to reduce dependence on CRAs. My question: did you guys feel any of this and to what extent does it cause you a headache regarding the future of the industry?

2 Regarding specific groups, any comments on the sovereign teams? I assume those groups may be somewhat different from the other groups, any comments regarding pay, prestige, competition/background for entering and exit opps? I'm just curious because those markets were quite interesting in the last years.

Anyway, good luck with the job hunt! It'd also be interesting to hear how your CRA background was perceived in interviews.

Feb 12, 2014

The case might be more apparent for S&P, but I don't think the suits have had much impact on the other rating agencies (or at least that I know of). Overall, regulatory requirements and such have led to more "check the box" type of work that is a minor nuisance, but barely adds to the 45-hour work week. Nothing to complain about.

I doubt rating agencies will ever vanish as there's a clear need for them in the market. You can't expect a bank to give fair credit opinions. If the work shifts to government-run agencies, they're still not immune to the flaws of the big three global CRAs and they certainly won't have the same level of talent if they're paying government salaries. The business needs to be profitable and the people need to be rewarded for sharp analysis; I think fundamentally, the issue comes in: 1) the revenue model and 2) the credit framework. That may lead to some significant changes internally, but I wouldn't expect a huge change in the industry anytime soon.

No clue on the sovereign stuff, unfortunately, but hopefully someone else can give some insight.

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Mar 1, 2014

Interesting. I agree that there definitely is a need for those skills, be it within a classic CRA, a government entitity, investing firms or some other organization. My impression was just that profit margins for the Big3 CRAs were inflated by the oligopoly and implicit subsidies by regulations (like central bank tender collateral eligibility) that basically make a rating from one of those 3 firms mandatory for so many emissions. My concern was that if governments/regulators start cracking down on this, the CRAs would end up becoming price takers, leaving them still profitable but way less so.

Nov 4, 2014

Great thread. Thanks so much for the information.

Nov 4, 2014

Great thread. Thanks so much for the information.

Nov 5, 2014

Anyone have insight on how b-schools look at CRA's? Suppose I had a 700+ GMAT and 3 years at a CRA, would I have a chance at any of the M7 or at least top 20?

Nov 7, 2014

@"nsjkd" Found this thread that addressed a lot of my questions, thanks! I do have a couple more though that hopefully you could answer:

1. I've learned that risk analysts at banks covering corporates also model cash flows, but how would this modelling differ from the CRA models? I've heard it is more technical (what you do at a credit rating agency). Do you happen to know the difference?

2. How is the work split between the junior analyst/assistant vs. the senior analyst? It's probably very dependent on how nice your seniors are to you, but I wanted to know how the learning opportunities are. ie. do you get to help update the models/write some research/etc?

3. Is there a structured progression from analyst to associate? I've heard that it's very performance based (at least in APAC) so that a stronger performer might advance out of a research assistant/associate analyst role within 1-2 years, but it might also take much longer.

Exit ops: I've seen a lot of risk associates in my bank with a CRA background. What about FO opportunities though? DCM / credit research / leveraged finance? You had said before that the first two is likely, while leveraged finance is harder... why is that?

Thanks so much! SBSBSB for your help haha.

Best Response
Nov 7, 2014

1) I work in structured finance but based on my discussions with corporates guys, you're mostly doing 3 statement modeling and coming up with growth assumptions. I think they project 5 years out. They also do a lot of ratio and industry analysis.

2) in my group, this is very dependent on your team. On my team the structure is very flat, so I'm doing mostly the same things higher lever analysts are doing even though I'm the lowest level. For other groups, including corporates, it may take 5 years before you can be a lead analyst and do your own credit work.

3) again, very dependent on your group. Could be anywhere from 1 to 4 years to go from lowest associate analyst to highest associate analyst, and then 1-3 years to get to analyst.

4) I've seen people move to Asset Management, HF, trading desks, research desks at banks, corporate treasury, etc. it all depends on how you position yourself.

"Money doesn't talk, it swears." -Bob Dylan

    • 3
Nov 7, 2014

1) I can't speak to how a risk analyst at a bank would do it any differently, but typically it's as Animal Spirits mentioned -- 3 statement modeling with growth assumptions, margin assumptions, etc. This would be based on the issuer and how they see their near future, blended with market outlooks on industry growth. I would imagine a risk analyst would approach it the same, but I believe they would lean more on research published by other shops and the rating agencies. The rating agencies can't do that -- our research has to be independent and our thought process around growth, etc. has to reflect that.

2) Correct, it would depend. Updating models is the base-line expectation, but that's hardly the most attractive part. How much involvement you get depends on how well you can understand the industry and the companies being covered. There's a lot of opportunity to get involved and basically "pester" the senior analyst for more responsibility. Generally, the environment isn't hostile to that -- if you end up taking work from a senior analyst they can go home at 4 or 5 instead of 6. This differs from what I hear at equity research shops where the senior analyst wants to hold onto names for their own selfish (pay/prestige/work with the sexier names) reasons.

I would say writing the research is the second-to-last stage; you first have to get an understanding of the industry through calls, SEC filings, meetings, etc. Chart things out over different time-periods and get a sense of how the business trends from recession to recovery. Also get to know the company's latest initiatives really well and how that might affect future cash flow/margins. Once you have an understanding of those aspects, you can start to write research framed in "X will happen in the next # of years as the company does Y. We expect Z increase from W from a year ago."

3) There is currently more structure at S&P and Moody's than there is at Fitch. The pay scales in the top two are more rigid as are the promotional processes. At Fitch, the organization is more flat and they use a banking structure (Analyst to Associate Director to Director to Senior Director), although they've been introducing a new "Trainee" level analyst which is the bottom of the barrel for new graduates (a 1-year promotion horizon to an Analyst). Typically though, the rise from Analyst to AD is dependent on your ability and timing. The company doesn't promote below a 1-year tenure, but beyond that, it's up to how you perform. At the AD level you can expect full primary coverage IF you're good. That said, some people get stuck at the Analyst level for up to 3-4 years and don't get coverage as an AD if they're terrible. At S&P and Moody's, the structure is more apparent and pay will be stifled along with that progression. At Fitch, your pay will depend on your negotiation at hiring -- check the numbers on WSO.

4) Exit ops to FO roles are the sexier route. I wouldn't make a move to an MO role from where I'm sitting today, because technically, within a CRA I'm already in the FO. My research generates cold hard cash and visibility for my company and I wouldn't trade that for a middle-office function. A multi-year career transition is tough no matter how you slice it and especially tough if you end up making it to Associate before you make the transition, so I would stick to moving to an FO role ASAP.

DCM is a possibility because it's more of a capital markets kind of move for some banks (not true banking with the same level of snobby-ness) and not particularly modeling heavy. The same goes with Credit Research -- not that modeling heavy either and it leans on the same skill set you develop at a CRA (plus some markets-focused understanding).

Leveraged Finance is hard because the role DOES require more modeling and they would expect you to have been in a deal-based environment (tight deadlines, long hours, etc.). You'll typically be overlooked for that kind of role, so expect it to be more of a multi-job transition to get there (maybe to sell-side Credit Research then Lev Fin would work).

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Nov 8, 2014

Thanks you two. By Lev Fin I was thinking more about working on the credit side, ie. what risk analysts in top BB's would do in a transaction by modelling the credit portion. But you're right, why MO when you have a good path to FO ops.

@"Animal Spirits" interested in your structured finance role. How does your modelling/research tasks differ from the corporate team? Rather than rate companies you rate products...? If you wouldn't mind sharing a bit about what you do and whether you feel being in structured finance has benefited / limited you in that would be amazing.

As well, are juniors typically hired? I feel like asset backed products are not usually something fresh grads know a lot about.

Thanks a lot!

Nov 8, 2014

The modelling differs in the sense that you're not doing 3-statement modelling in structured. Rather, you are modelling cash flows based on the transaction structure. For example, my pool of loans is 100k and the notes backed by that pool are 90k outstanding. The loans are indexed to 1ML and the notes are 3ML, what happens if there's an interest rate spike, will my pool be sufficient to cover my liabilities? Which notes will get paid first according to the waterfall, are there any triggers that could change the priority of payments? This could be for a pool of mortgages, auto loans, student loans, credit card receivables, film royalties, oil, etc.

I enjoy being in structured finance because I enjoy fixed income and structured finance. If you're purely interested in equity research than you probably wont enjoy structured, but you may enjoy corporate. They're two very different skill sets, as corporate is more accounting and structured is more quantitative. So whether you're benefited by being in structured depends on you're long-term goals. Personally, I want to eventually manage a portfolio of ABS, so I think I'm in a good spot. If I wanted to do equity research, I'd probably be in the wrong place. But, in my opinion, it would be easier to go from structured to equity research than corporate to fixed income.

Yes, they hire straight out of undergrad, but you will be interviewing against people who may be 3 years out of school with more experience. You just need to be better than them. I was hired straight out of undergrad, others hired with me were '09, '12 grads.

"Money doesn't talk, it swears." -Bob Dylan

Jan 8, 2015

At the entry-level, how you choose RBS risk graduate vs s&p credit rating?

Jan 8, 2015

At the entry-level, how you choose RBS risk graduate vs s&p credit rating?

Jan 13, 2015

At the entry-level, start at the bank. It's probably a more robust program with a class of peers and standard raise increases -- things you won't get at a rating agency. Starting at S&P, you'll be constrained for a long time in terms of pay ad the work isn't guaranteed to be fulfilling if you get a bad senior analyst. It's better to enter as a 2nd or 3rd year and negotiate for something you'd be able to live with for a couple of years.

If the risk program doesn't give you immediate promotion or exit opportunities (e.g. takes you through crappy rotations), then the credit rating agency might be a good exit at the end. But I'm 100% on starting at the bank. You can make the leap to S&P easily, but going back into a bank is hard.

Jan 16, 2015

PMed OP^^

Feb 11, 2015

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has any insight on what work/life is like working in the Project & Infrastructure Finance teams is like at the CRA's? I'm from a corporate banking background and wanted to gain more specific PF experience and saw this as a good option, I have an interview next week. Would appreciate any insight.

Feb 11, 2015

Double post.

May 12, 2015

Whats the best sector in the CRA which would help you navigate to IB or Buy-side Research

May 15, 2015

I think that depends on your end goals, which would require a much deeper discussion.

If you're looking for a shallow answer, I'd say O&G, Structured Products, or anything focused on Project Finance will get you into the banking equivalent much faster than other groups. FIG will get you into a FIG-focused buyside research role.

Again, that's a really shallow answer and doesn't take into account what you actually want to do with your life or what you're passionate about. There's also the caveat that you'll be pigeonholed into those groups once you get there, so hopefully you actually like the subject matter.

Jul 22, 2015

Is it likely to move from CRA to DCM or Lev Fin in banking?

Jul 24, 2015

Not likely at all. DCM is a Cap Markets function which deals more with market appetite - a rating agency deals more with real credit implications. Lev Fin is closer, but the modeling you learn (or don't learn) at a rating agency will hinder you. You're also not recognized for working long hours.

There's another thread on exit opportunities. Search around for it - I replied there as well. Corporate Banking is as close as you'll get, which can help you bridge to Lev Fin later if you get in on a team that works closely with I-Banking.

Feb 11, 2016

Thanks for the note. Hypothetically if you see a lot of MM lending/MM buyout situation plus a variety of deal structures, would that be helpful from to get into leverage finance?

Aug 7, 2015

Quite interesting thread. Thanks all posters! After three years of experience working for a B4, at what level should be a good deal to get into a CRA? Can anyone from the above explain the hierarchy for the different CRAs?
Thanks!

Aug 10, 2015

There is no real "right time" to move, as it depends on your career goals and experience. For anyone not looking to be a rating agency "lifer," you should be making the move early on to gain the skills, and then moving out after 2 or so years max. If you've been at a Big 4 and you're looking to get out of say, Audit, into something sexier, this is a decent route. Make the move soon as Audit skills won't carry you very far in that career path.

Nov 30, 2016

Hey guys,

I have an opportunity to join a CRA and I am free to choose which team to join. I was thinking about trying to land in sovereign credit analysis with the plan in mind to try and break into macro research at a BB after getting some initial experience. Would you say it's a viable route? Or am I completely off the mark here?
I realize it's an old post but I just finished reading the discussion and found a lot of helpful advice, so maybe someone would have a response to my question

Nov 30, 2016

Nothing wrong with that route, but I can't speak to there being a lot of roles out there for Sovereign Credit Analysts/Research Analysts in general unless you have an advanced degree. It's more focused on economics and can get into a number of political issues which transcend basic fundamental analysis. It's a good route if you wanted to study alongside working as you'll have more time than other front office roles.

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Dec 1, 2016

Thanks for the reply, nsjkd.
Frankly speaking I was actually more unsure about the level of quantitative skills sought for in macro research and whether a sovereign credit team at a CRA would be a good environment to develop those.

Any insight on how "quant" sovereign credit research is?

Mar 7, 2017

Hi, i know this post is old but I had a question - I'm hoping to break into financial services, and come from a technical background (high tech engineer for 5 years) so I'm realizing the switch into PE, AM is quite hard. I was looking into the Big 3 credit rating agencies but would appreciate any input you have about roles for investment professionals in rating agencies? And the corporate hierarchy? Does it go Analyst --> Associate --> VP --> MD ? I wanted to contact a few people on linkedin for networking. Thank you

Jan 11, 2018

Correct: Analyst --> Associate --> VP --> MD

Mar 13, 2017
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Jun 30, 2018