How to gracefully leave buyside equity research job?

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Moneykee - Certified Professional
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Hi all - I'm looking for advice about how to most gracefully quit my job. I tried searching but couldn't find anything specific to asset management, which seems like a different dynamic than banking. If something is out there, please point me in the right direction.

So, I'm a buyside equity analyst leaving my mutual fund and have a couple questions about how to leave on the best terms (switching industry, fyi).

  1. How much notice is customary? From what I've gathered maybe it's a month?
  2. In banking everyone advises not to tell anyone where you're going. Does this apply to institutional asset management too? I'm very close with my team, and that feels like it would be perceived to be extremely rude/distrusting, but I also don't want to compromise my new job or anything.

Thanks for the help!

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Comments (6)

Feb 11, 2019

Why are you leaving the industry? And are you planning to go back?

Look at the notice period on your employment contract - figure out if it makes sense to tell them earlier. I'd suggest being honest in general, but especially about where you are going to, eventually they'll find out anyways through linkedin or google search.

The rule of thumb is always thanking them, and figuring out the one thing they cannot give you. There must be something, otherwise you probably wouldn't be looking for a new job. It could be location, preferences of spouse / phase of life (better hours), learning opportunities (i.e. want to be a better, more holistic investor and be able to invest across the entire cap structure). I honestly don't see why one would exchange buyside ER job for banking, but even then I'm sure you could say you wanted to round of your investing skills with ability to execute deals that actually drive markets or something along those lines.

    • 1
Feb 11, 2019

Thanks for the thoughts. I think technically employment contract just says two weeks, but is that sufficient in the 'real world'?

I completely expect them to find out where I'm going pretty quickly, which is why I have never really understood why you wouldn't just be honest about it. I guess maybe in banking it's a different story?

I'm leaving for an industry that interests me more, so I think the why is more than taken care of, and that shouldn't be an issue. I'm just trying to figure out these technical details. I probably won't be back to this specific industry, but I also don't want any past coworkers/bosses to be liabilities.

    • 1
Feb 11, 2019

Ok. I don't know your current role and its scope, but would take into consideration how much disruption your leaving will cause to the team. Have you seen other people depart at your firm? I'd probably err on the side of caution, e.g. tell them a month or perhaps 3 weeks in advance.
In my last job (though that was private investing) my notice was 2 months and I actually told them 4 months in advance. In retrospect that was stupid since my deal flow stopped pretty much the week they knew. I wrapped up my old deals, and snoozed for the last 2.5 months barely even showing up at the office. Sounds great, but it's actually depressing since you still have to somehow justify your existence. So tell soon, but not too soon.

Most Helpful
Feb 11, 2019

No firsthand experience, but what I've seen from other coworkers leaving is that you at least give two weeks and preferably as much notice as it would take your firm to transfer your coverage to another analyst and notify clients, so ideally 1-3 months depending upon how senior you are how easy it is to transfer coverage (i.e. is there another analyst that can easily assume coverage relatively quickly). I have also seen consulting-style arranagements where the employee resigned immediately but provided insight on their coverage and would take phone calls as needed for a few months after in exchange for a fixed consulting fee.

However, be warned that they may tell you to walk as soon as you give notice. Personally, I would only give as much notice as I was comfortable taking financially and personally. For me, that would probably be 2 months and I would treat it as an extended vacation assuming they told me to get out immediately without any consulting arrangement etc.

I don't think there is any problem telling people where you're going, especially if it's outside the industry / not a direct competitor. In the age of linkedin and google, everybody will figure it out quickly anyways, so why be secretive. Obviously, don't spike the football or burn any bridges.

    • 3
Feb 12, 2019

That's very insightful. Thank you. Kind of confirmed more or less what I was thinking.

Feb 11, 2019