Going from Buy-Side Analyst to Sell-Side Equity Sales?

bluesun's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 7

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to ask you a few question - if you happen to want to give your opinion on that.

I am currently working on the Buy Side at a large AM house in London, mostly as an equity analyst, with 3 years exp since graduation.

A well-regarded Broker wants to poach me, but not only this involves going from buy-side to -> sell-side (which i would be willing to do), but they want me in an (cash) Equity Sales role !

I am open to go to the sell-side, but did not expect that. I was expecting a Research Analyst role, not an Equity Sales role (for which I have no experience)

1 --> How common is that move?
Is that dumb ?
(considering If I stay at my firm I can be PM in 2 years)

2 - What's the pros & cons according to you ? Work, balance, compensation, exits..

3 --> What are the Exit strategies for a (successful, or less successful) Equity Sales ?
It seems to me they are the first to get laid off every time there is a downsizing, but I may be wrong.

4 --> What's the average compensation level of a 2y-3y exp Equity Sales (base+bonus) at a large Brokerage house (JPM, GS, UBS, CS ..) ?
On the paper it seems to be in-line/slightly above what I'm earning now, but i suspect it's overall very volatile to the personal trading volume i would eventually generate on the institutional side.

Would appreciate any advice on that !

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Comments (8)

Jan 14, 2015

Any one having insight on that ?

I'm most concerned about that if I go to Equity Sales, exit ops may be limited? for example i feel it's gonna be tough if i want to go back to Research Analyst, or to Buy-Side ?

Jan 15, 2015

Your definitely right, your exit ops will be limited (compared to where you are today) and it will be extremely hard to move back to the buy-side. Sell side is also very strict about keeping salesmen from becoming research associates or analysts. You can easily get a sell side research role coming from the buy side. I would recommend that you hold out.

With that being said, sell-side sales is a pretty fun job, decent hours, good exposure to portfolio managers, and can pay decent (if the firm gives you good accounts). If they don't give you good accounts, you're completely out of luck.

Jan 16, 2015
WhaleofWallStreet:

Your definitely right, your exit ops will be limited (compared to where you are today) and it will be extremely hard to move back to the buy-side. Sell side is also very strict about keeping salesmen from becoming research associates or analysts. You can easily get a sell side research role coming from the buy side. I would recommend that you hold out.

With that being said, sell-side sales is a pretty fun job, decent hours, good exposure to portfolio managers, and can pay decent (if the firm gives you good accounts). If they don't give you good accounts, you're completely out of luck.

I've always had an issue with "exposure to [insert person who has a job which you'll never get because of the job you now have]" arguments with regard to benefits of a job. Probably started with recruitment videos for BO would be like "omgeee, I get to liaise with traders, those godly traders." Similarly for this chap, if talking to PMs is so good, why not stick where he is and retain the shot of becoming a PM.

And why on earth would a desk give away their best accounts to the new guy, it'll be a dog fight.

Jan 15, 2015

Yea- I guess I partially agree. When I was on the sell-side I just enjoyed having the ability to speak with a bunch of PM's each morning and afternoon (although I was in an analyst role not sales). This was very helpful in pooling market sentiment and I would constantly learn from them and pick up on areas of interest from their questions. Also, in my experience, a lot of the good sales guys would be recruited by their clients (PM's) to work either on sales floor (often as head of a region), in a fundraising capacity (Investor relations), in various i-bank roles. As you pointed out, sales is a bit different than research in that you won't be learning directly under the PM's so from that aspect the exposure is not useful. But if you leverage your network correctly, it can be very valuable. And no, the new guy never gets the good accounts hah.

Jan 16, 2015

Don't do it is my advice. Stay in a role where you actually add value and learn tangible skills

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Jan 16, 2015

Equity sales for me personally would be a bad idea. I prefer research analyst to PM route.

I have spoken informally with a senior equity sales guy who clearly said most of his job involves managing accounts. Very little or no research.

Jan 14, 2015

Thanks for your answers. Appreciated !

You are indeed confirming my fears. In my current job I deal with a lot of Equity Sales as we're a pretty big account for them, so I kind of see quite well what their role is.

Basically, the most they do is introduce you to the actual research coming from equity analysts, keep you updated on fresh newsflow (but i receive calls tens of calls every morning, so will only pickup on few, the smartest - the ones that actually add their opinion, that may or may not diverge from their analysts), organize roadshows, entertain you..
More like a "concierge" the way i see it (although i assume the profession may be very different - some are ex-PMs aged 50+ that have strong track records and have D / MD level packages ) - never seen one doing actual research though.

But after getting introduced to the Research Analyst on a specific stock, I almost never contact the Equity Sales again then for that stock, i go directly to the analyst - so difficult for them to add value if everyone does like this..

Does any of you know what's the average compensation level of a 2y-3y exp Equity Sales (base+bonus) at a large Brokerage house (JPM, GS, UBS, CS ..) ? (in London if possible, otherwise happy to hear other averages) Although I am sure bonus varies greatly depending on volume

Mar 19, 2018