Is it possible to move into S&T at a BB with power trading experience?

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A bit of background: I interned at a MM investment bank and had a trading internship at a private power trading firm (think Enron minus the fraud) on the West coast. I got offered a Real-time trading position here and I think I’ll take it. It’s hard to pass up a little over 6 figure salary and the work-life balance offered right out of undergrad. How difficult would it be to move to sales & trading at a BB with this experience after a few years?

Comments (6)

 
Jan 19, 2020 - 11:38pm

I’m going to start full-time as a junior trader at a big commodities house this summer but I interned in BB S&T. The impression I got from the BB was that they’re mainly just market making nowadays. I interviewed at a few top commodity houses and I met a lot of guys that used to work on BB commodities desks (places like GS/MS) and they all said that the bank presence in the space is dying because of all the regulation (e.g. MS sold their physical business). I think you’re in a better spot long term in terms of career prospects and comp. Not to mention the kind of trading you’ll do in your current role is a lot more interesting (in my opinion) than market making at a bank.

 
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Jan 22, 2020 - 8:20am

You're right. Majority of trading at banks are market making now. Ability to take exposure is significantly lower. I was talking to a rates vol trader who sits close by to me and this guy is smart, obviously. Went to Columbia and got an MFE. So I had a interview for a vol trader job for an arg major down in texas and I asked him what his strategy was so I can prepare mysel and he pulled out a sheet showing me a some charts of the vol curve and he told me he trades mean reversion with a feeling to it (Wasn't very helpful). I overheard the treasury guys buying the dip a couple days ago and the desk head didn't agree with one trader. I didn't know what they were discussing about it but it appears there is still idea generation. In market making, prop trading is always going to be there because it's an added skill that all traders want to have.

 
Jan 22, 2020 - 6:56pm

US Treasuries is one part of the investment bank that will always be allowed to prop trade with no limits...because the US govt has a financial interest in as many firms as possible taking positions in the bonds...to create a more liquid market.

buy and hold 10bln of 5yr notes - no problem
buy and hold 10bln of AAPL - slap - not allowed

 
Jan 22, 2020 - 5:28pm

Working RT basically the only way to get into a BB is on their RT desk. Most of what I've seen is guys get used to working RT, they like the lifestyle of being off for a week once every 5 plus extra vacation. The guys that leave RT desks go to (rough order): short-term trader, trading analyst, structuring analyst, pricing analyst, load forecasting analyst, etc. If you really want to work S&T at BB, joining their RT desk would be the easiest/smoothest

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