Description below:

INVESTMENTS - portfolio management INTERN

The Investments Group is the core of BlackRock''s premier, global investment management expertise. As an intern on the team, your responsibilities may include:

- Support in the creation, production and delivery of risk management reports
- Help portfolio managers to apply proprietary techniques for portfolio construction and alpha generation
- Maintain general sector allocations and consistency with the group''s portfolio strategy
- Handle client inquiries by providing a professional investment experience and resolving account-related issues accurately
- Work closely with the Investments group in coordinating client requests, general portfolio investment strategy and daily investment activities

Qualities of an Investments Candidate:

- A passion for the markets and investing
- Ability to operate in a team-oriented and collaborative environment
- Excellent analytical, communication and interpersonal skills
- Self-motivated, flexible and adaptable in an ever-changing environment
- Exercises good judgment coupled with the ability to make decisions quickly
- Possesses an affinity for intelligent risk taking
- Ability to produce high-quality, detail-oriented work


At BlackRock, wouldn't "front office" be either a research analyst position (e.g. http://BlackRock.jobs/london-gbr/investments-fixed-income-research-analyst-2013-internship/34312155/job/) or a Sales positions (e.g. http://BlackRock.jobs/virtual-hkg/sales-and-marketing-client-businesses-summer-intern/31391207/job/)?

This job description talks about "risk" a lot, which is always a red flag, right (not that risk management is bad, just saying that if it's mentioned it's probably MO)?

One last thing: when they emailed me about the interview, they mentioned "Summer intern position with the BlackRock Investments" - now that's not specific, but the above is the position I applied to. I have FO offers from reputable firms, so should I avoid this?

Comments (6)


portfolio mgmt is definitely front office

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sounds like a lot of reporting and misc back-end work. If you have FO offers, I would avoid this.

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No, this is definitely as front office as it gets for BR, unless you want to be an account manager. RQA (Risk Quantitative Analysis) is the back office group that deals with internal risk.


PM is a front office function, but as an intern you will only be playing an assistance role. Risk Management and the other daily tasks in the description are typically middle office type things, but that's only because no one is going to let an intern talk to clients and make meaningful decisions. It's a front office internship, and a good one at that.


I've seen quite a few of these portfolio management "classification" threads and being that I work in what is a probably a very similar group at a large AM firm, I think I can give you a breakdown of the role. For starters, it's hard to use the standard FO-BO distinction when talking about AM as the lines are not as clearly defined as they are in IB. I have been in my role for 2 years and I sometimes find myself asking whether this is FO or MO.

I would explain this role as a job in where you learn a little about a lot of things but not a lot about any one thing. This is possibly beneficial for an internship or recent grad who would like to interact with trading, portfolio managers, analysts, operations, and figure out a career for themselves. However, the downside is that while you may be able to talk their lingo, understand some of their outputs, you won't necessarily gain the skills to do their job. Example - a role like this will have interaction with research, but you will not learn modeling skills and this will be a very difficult barrier to overcome when looking to move into a analyst like buyside position. A lot of people look at portfolio management/junior portfolio manager roles and ask how many of them will lead to real PM jobs. the better question to ask is how many of them will lead to research analyst/associate roles and I can tell you that at my firm, you'll need an MBA or CFA (possibly both) and even then it's tough. Also, that would probably land you a research role at our firm and it would be more due to the connections you have made working with PMs. Note that the MBA or CFA is basically a prerequisite nowadays anyway so this shouldn't serve as the deterrent.

Having said that, my last point does carry some weight. There is quite a bit of interaction with PMs, research, and trading and if you are a real go getter, the relationship is yours to make. The PMs (at least at my shop) will value the assistance you give them and if you knock down enough doors and kiss enough ass, you can probably pick up a thing or 2 outside of your daily job tasks. As I mention the daily job tasks, a lot of that will be taking what is given to you on a platter (trade targets) and implementing them across many portfolios. While running optimizations and rebalancing portfolios sounds great, its not as great when you're just given 100 trade targets and asked to make sure the portfolio reflects these ideas. For comparison sake, I would liken the role to an execution trader except in this case, you're an execution PM

Lastly, I'll touch on exit opportunities. While junior pm/associate pm sounds great, you will have trouble parlaying that into significant external buyside offers where real analyst work is involved. I have seen a few from my firm move on to research associate roles here and if you can manage that, great buts its not easy. B-schools is a good option as they look favorably upon the role and ppl from my group have gone on to top 10 b-schools, myself soon to be included.

Take what I say with a grain of salt as I have never worked at Blackrock but my firm is a competitor of theirs and the role seems strikingly similar. The role will be a lot about what you make of it and if you're a real go getter who sees this as a stepping stone, you can make something out of it. Just don't expect to come in and start researching stocks on day 1. Hope this helps and best of luck,

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