Goldman FICC FX Structuring Strats

I got an email this morning saying I was selected for an interview with Goldman FICC FX Structuring Strats. I don't know how I got selected as I never applied for such a position, but since it's still GS and I don't have a job lined up yet obviously this is something worth pursuing.

My question then is what exactly does this group do?

I tried looking at the GS site, but their securities division is broken up into more specific desks and I can't find anything called 'structured strats.'

Is this a trading role or more of research/analytics?

How should I prepare for such an interview? (both for this first phone round and going into the future assuming I get through that.

Thanks in advance

Comments (69)

Mar 23, 2011

Strats Structuring is generally a very complicated area of structuring. I believe it is structuring algorithms (the strategies being the algorithms) to take advantage of market situations. Something like this...

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&HL=en&q=UBS+carry+trade+strategy&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=40c8a906aa80097c

Go down to third result, this is what you would be working with

Mar 24, 2011

pardon op for i dont mean to crash your topic but awm55 are you in fx desk for i want to throw fx forward contract question your way. Do let me know please. Thanks

Mar 23, 2011
Inept Speculator:

pardon op for i dont mean to crash your topic but awm55 are you in fx desk for i want to throw fx forward contract question your way. Do let me know please. Thanks

i work on a structured rates desk

Mar 26, 2011
Inept Speculator:

pardon op for i dont mean to crash your topic but awm55 are you in fx desk for i want to throw fx forward contract question your way. Do let me know please. Thanks

What do you want to know?

Mar 26, 2011

This might be pretty obvious but people in structuring/strats roles all come from very quant backgrounds e.g. Ph.D/M.S. in Physics, CS, (at least at GS, but I'd expect the same at other places) since that's what the role demands. So I'd expect a fairly quantitative interview... Sorry if that's not much help.

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

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Mar 23, 2011
ah:

This might be pretty obvious but people in structuring/strats roles all come from very quant backgrounds e.g. Ph.D/M.S. in Physics, CS, (at least at GS, but I'd expect the same at other places) since that's what the role demands. So I'd expect a fairly quantitative interview... Sorry if that's not much help.

This really is not true. No amount of schooling will prepare you to be a macro structurer. I know plenty of structurers with econ backgrounds. Strats is definitely more quant than macro structuring, I will give you that.

Mar 26, 2011
awm55:
ah:

This might be pretty obvious but people in structuring/strats roles all come from very quant backgrounds e.g. Ph.D/M.S. in Physics, CS, (at least at GS, but I'd expect the same at other places) since that's what the role demands. So I'd expect a fairly quantitative interview... Sorry if that's not much help.

This really is not true. No amount of schooling will prepare you to be a macro structurer. I know plenty of structurers with econ backgrounds. Strats is definitely more quant than macro structuring, I will give you that.

haha thanks for the correction, understand that was probably a gross over-generalization. Just speaking from what I've seen, obviously very limited, but no one else was offering any input...

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Jun 20, 2014

Hi awn55, I'm doing econ masters specialising in international finance and time series analysis. What are my chances of making it onto an FX structuring desk with this kind of background? Thanks in advance

Jun 20, 2014

Thanks, very encouraging!

Jul 2, 2014

bump...

Jul 2, 2014

Not familiar with it personally. I have a good friend who works in GS credit and speaks very highly of the FICC program. Also know someone from my college who is starting FT in FICC after she graduates. I know it must be a top notch program, because she has 3 internships all at GS, the last one in S&T. She is incredibly bright and her mentor is in PE at GS.

but again, no personal knowledge. Just sharing anything I know about it.

Jul 2, 2014

did you go to a target or non-target?

Jul 2, 2014

non-target

:(

Jul 2, 2014

a good amount of pp on this site are from non-targets

Jul 2, 2014

Great program from discussion with friends. Of course, your experience is highly dependent upon the desk you get placed on. If you join FICC for the summer, my advice is to express your interest in IBD and try to set up shadowing days with the bankers. Then try to either spend an extra week in IBD after your FICC internship ends or set up an interview for FT before you leave NYC.

Jul 2, 2014

what's your background in math and statistics?

Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.

Jul 2, 2014

I'm studying Statistics with Finance. I'm yet to cover the advanced quant finance stuff like Stochastic calculus later this term, ito's lemma etc. I've done risk models though and done a bit of Matlab

Jul 2, 2014

Somebody please help!

Jul 2, 2014

Hello Sportycricketer, I am exactly in the same situation, I am currently doing a master of mathematics at warwick university and I have applied for a summer internship at GS for the securities division, and I received an email for a first round interview for a quant/strats summer internship, so I wanted to know how you deal with this and how goes your interview and everything regarding this, because it was not your first choice of position.

Thank you very much for your help !!
best regards,
Stephano

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Jul 2, 2014

Wouldn't your HR contact be a better person to ask?

Jul 2, 2014

seriously...maybe try reading your offer letter

Jul 2, 2014

silly rabbit

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Jul 2, 2014

J. Aron is the commodities/energy trading arm of Goldman Sachs

Jul 2, 2014

Depends on desk and individual performance.... $100k to $150k base for a 1st year associate is realistic with Trading > Sales > Research.... Bonus can be anything really.... but $150k to $300k is the range for a performing associate.

Jul 2, 2014

Does GS FICC recruit at b-schools?

Jul 2, 2014

No, associate biz model has changed at GS FICC. Most come through laterals and vets.

Jul 2, 2014

Same with JPM S&T associates from what they told me - no direct b-school recruiting.

Jul 2, 2014

More details on this program and application process please

Jul 2, 2014

I didn't apply to this program but now wish I had. Know someone who did it, intense program but you learn a lot (classes, group projects, job shadows).

If you do well you get an offer to come back as SA. I think they took 2 kids from my school? No idea how many applied, but I imagine it's extremely selective.

Jul 2, 2014

How do they measure your performance - "If you do well..."

Do you take tests on the material you learned? Is there practical application? Is it all "fit"?

Jul 2, 2014

performance - mainly fit and how well you do on the projects. don't recall any mention of tests.

clarification - GS took 2 ppl from my school to do the program, but don't know if either got offers or not.

Jul 2, 2014

just curious, did those 2 people have competitive stats, and do you go to a target school?

Jul 2, 2014

my friend interned on this desk and is now at a middle market bank in chicago

Jul 2, 2014

they're good in most things.

Jul 2, 2014

As jimbo said, they're good at pretty much everything.

Jul 2, 2014

get the offers first chump.

Jul 2, 2014

^ agree with the above. If you get an offer and you're in the rotational program then you'll have the chance to rotate onto desks within both FICC and Equities. In my SA class, most people in the rotational program wanted to be in FICC in like commodities or rates but equities has some sick desks too.

Jul 2, 2014

correct me if i'm wrong but I thought FICC stood for Fixed income, commodities and currency...so yes it will involve sales, trading and finance but I think finance refers to product control?

Jul 2, 2014

Fight, they are going to be doing all three things for each asset class, but I am just looking for some clarification as to what the finance people do. I trying to decide if I should apply for the Sales and Trading Rotational program or the Finance/Investing Placed Program. Both are in the Securities division.

Jul 2, 2014

That group is similar to a Capital Markets Group....more banking than S&T

Jul 2, 2014

That group is similar to a Capital Markets Group....more banking than S&T

Jul 2, 2014

i also have an engineering bg and have been told repeatedly that they won't ask you technical/fin/accy stuff unless there's something on your resume to indicate you should know it. (my first bb superday is friday so take it with a grain of salt, this is just what i've heard)

however, i imagine it would probably be good to know the basics (which i've been cramming). e.g. how to run dcf and comparable valuations, basic outline of income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow, how bonds are priced.

Besides the normal vault/wetfeet guides I've found corporate finance: A Focused Approach by Ehrhardt and Brigham to be insightful. It's fairly quantitative, comprehensive, and concise (well, concise relatively speaking ... it's around 650 pgs, but it contains as much material as like 3 other normal books). And, best of all, you can dl it from a lot of torrent sites online

gl

Jul 2, 2014

The responses that you will get on this forum are likely to be entirely incorrect. You will probably hear responses like "be a math genuis," or be the #1 student at H/Y/S. The reality is that you should definitely have a good math background, and go to a decent school. But most importantly, you should mesh with your interviewers, have knowledge of the economy, have substantiated opinions as to wherer you think the economy is headed, etc. Just my .02. Alot of the people on this board post utter crap, so I think this will be a welcome change.

Jul 2, 2014

Sorry, didnt mean to leave out Princeton and MIT. Those were definitely well represented when i was interning. If I remember correctly, the IR Derivatives desk at JPM is ALL MIT-with one wharton grad. Even the desk MD's are MIT.

Jul 2, 2014

Math, math, and some econ. Mostly math. Know the Greeks and the basic options models inside and out.

Jul 2, 2014

I have a good friend that worked on GS-ficc desk in chicago last summer. Three interns total. 2 from northwestern and one from UI. Economics and finance majors. All very smart and good feel for market. I know for him it was all having a global marco view and being able to support it. He got to sit on a few different desks in chicago and ny.

Jul 2, 2014

uiniversity of illinois? what were there approx gpas if you have them? just curious about how it works in s&t. people say you can have a lower gpa so maybe it is mostly in the interviews, how to answer global market and quant qs.

Jul 2, 2014

He has a 3.95 and other two had 3.7 and 3.6.

fyi.... none were hired to come back

Jul 2, 2014

Are you at an Ivey school?

Jul 2, 2014

No, I go to a semi-target public.

Jul 2, 2014

Had an interview with this group in Chicago for an intership before senior year. Good people - although the MD I met with was a total d*ck (he went to a rival school) and played games during the interview. Rest of the group was great though. I'd say almost all of the questions were fit-based. A couple "stock pick" questions to check my analysis skills. I would also be ready to explain why FICC over Equities or vice-versa. Also, be able to show some knowledge of the FI, currency, commodity, and equity markets. I doubt you'll get grilled on this, seeing as how you are a soph, but if you had some good knowledge it would be a definite plus.

For help on overall fit - Goldman people exude confidence, not cockiness (in their minds anyway, a lot of people would beg to differ), and they are all about the sum of the parts - not the individual. Culture is very important. I'd check out the Vault guide for them - it's worth the $20 or whatever. Oh, and this could be taken another way, but I feel as for the BBs on the street they have a lower % of non-Jewish white males than the rest. But I could be wrong - just my impression from interviewing there.

Jul 2, 2014
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Ling~

Jul 2, 2014