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Comments (11)

  • Analyst 2 in Research - Other
Jun 17, 2021 - 7:44am

If you're trying to go straight to the buyside right after UG without doing sellside ER/IBD first just be really careful about what your definition of "buyside" is. Typically when sellside ER/IBD guys talk about going to the "buyside" they specifically mean a role at a good long only or hedge fund to exclusively do research that contributes to the P&L, and hence get some of that P&L themselves via bonuses. Many of the "buyside" places that take people straight out of UG are actually generic AM roles at say a bulge bracket bank's AM arm, or a run of the mill "asset management" role with ambiguous responsibilities that may or may not actually include P&L-impacting research. Pay at these places is far below what sellside ER/IBD/good LO/HF guys will be pulling in (base might be similar but you'll have a negligible bonus) and you'll develop far less technical and stock picking skills. 

Unless you're going straight to one of the well-known LOs like Fidelity/Capital or a HF I think it might not be what you're expecting, and maybe worth looking at sellside first. Of course if you've got an offer to head straight to Wellington or the like after UG because you're a superstar then ignore everything I've said. 

Jun 17, 2021 - 8:13am

I would say this is fairly clear to most people. A whole bunch of the big LOs advertise internships and grad schemes for equity, fixed income research, etc. If you go somewhere in equity research, that is what you will be doing. But yes some of the roles are a bit more generic and I would avoid them.

Has been quite a while since I was an intern/ grad, but a whole load of LOs have internship/ grad schemes in London. Just apply to all of them and see where you get... the usual suspects Schroders, T Rowe, Fidelity, JPAM (from memory), Blackrock, M&G etc. Pay in the first few years is likely less than sell side, but this doesn't matter - you will get a better quality experience in stock picking, and may also progress quicker (often can progress internally to an analyst role, vs. on sell-side it can be hard to switch to buy-side, may have to take a bit of a position cut when doing it). 5+ years out you can get paid a lot more than sell-sider if you are good.

If you want to do AM, you are better off doing one of these schemes as a grad rather than starting on the sell side in my opinion. I don't think you need to be a superstar either - just be smart, hard working, clearly passionate about investing, and have some luck in the process of course. 

Most Helpful
Jun 24, 2021 - 4:39pm

Hi, I am also a student looking to get into Equities Research. I have had 2 interviews so far and here is what I have learned.

The space of Equities Research is very competitive and "sexy" everyone wants to be in equities research it seems. In the interview you need to show that you are both passionate AND knowledgeable, that is you have taken the right electives that set you up with a good understanding and modelling skills.

I am female, quite shy really, and basically the feedback I got from my most recent interview was that although "on paper" I was very good, outstanding even, and unique because I come from a non-finance background - my "passion" didn't come through.

I'm on the Autism spectrum, so I get that A LOT. It's hard to visibly show emotions and excitement. But what this reminded me to do that I had recently stopped doing is that even a buy-side analyst needs to be a good saleswoman. You have to some extent put on a really positive persona in your interview and show energy and enthusiasm.

I am passionate about investing and thought I was explaining that - but I did now visibly show that perhaps with word choice, facial expressions, and posture.

I would recommend (and it's what I plan to do now) doing practice interviews even in front of the the mirror.

To land the interview:

You need to have a top resume.

You need to have shown initiative for instance taken part in an investment competition at university.

At the interview:

Have a good "elevator pitch" about who you are and why they should hire you (this was/is my key weakness).

You need to show confidence and passion in the interview.

Be able to articulate succinctly.

Don't say anything negative about yourself. Talk yourself up (this goes especially if you are female because we tend to be humble and are taught from a young age not to brag etc). Watch Ryan Gosling in The Big Short to get the idea of kind of what I mean - but do it your way, don't be fake, don't "act a part" and maybe try to be more likeable? I don't know it's just an example. My confidence role model is probably more along the lines of Scarlet Johansen (did I spell that right?). Anyway, confidence is key in any investment and or banking role. When you start to meet the people who work in the industry you will see specific characteristics that stick out. Most times I was rejected it was not because I didn't know my stuff but because they didn't see "confidence", and probably were worried I would not be able to communicate with INFLUENCE to peers and clients. I might be highly influential in my day to day life, but if I don't show that in my application and then in the interview, they are not going to offer the job.

Interviewing is a skill and some people are naturally gifted at interviews. They interview well and appear confident, sure they might be shit at the job once they are there or leave after a short time for something else, but they have mastered the interview skill. The best regular people can do is practice interviewing and try to get better.

Know you are competing with the TOP applicants that probably have:

  1. More experience than you.
  1. More confidence than you.
  1. Friends in the industry/insider knowledge.
  1. Higher achievements/grades than you.

You need to compete against that and sell yourself as well as you can in that interview.

How to get in a bit on that:

  1. Network your little heart out and try to find a mentor - a friend who can give guidance - not just someone to ask for a job.
  1. Identify your "skills gap" and gain that knowledge. It may be things you can do extracurricular outside of uni like an inline course etc.
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Jul 15, 2021 - 2:45am

Hey, thank you for your insightful post!

I'm also an incoming UK student who is looking to get into Equities Research. Are there any books/resources that you would recommend for me to prepare beforehand?

  • Analyst 1 in AM - FI
Jul 13, 2021 - 12:49pm

It's almost impossible to break into a legit FO investment role at a place like PIMCO/Wellington/Fidelity directly out of undergrad. They hire probably 10-15 kids per research associate class while paying near-IB with significantly less hours so you could imagine how competitive it gets. Usual top candidates are diversity, have prior internship experience (top BB, HF, other AM), strong extracurriculars, and networked heavily before interviews. 

Sep 1, 2021 - 9:02am

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