Just how easy is obtaining a PWM job?

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While I have been searching this website, it appears that a PWM job is much easier to obtain than IB or S&T.

Although this may be true, what credentials do you need to get a job at a top BB or a reputable MM firm?

Are analyst positions still dead end jobs at top firms?

is a reputable MBA possible?

any exit opportunities?

Most importantly, is it also true that many people get fired if they don't produce multi-million dollar clients (which I find nearly impossible)? If not, what exactly do you do?

Thanks for all responses

Comments (14)

Apr 19, 2011

I would not say true PWM offers are "easy" to obtain. You do see more WM (the MSSBs and UBSs) internships given there are so many potential opportunities (essentially every FA is running his or her own business and can bring a summer on if he/she pleases vs. in PWM, it is more structured in terms of analyst programs), maybe this is where you got this impression? In terms of FT, it is becoming more difficult to get an FA job in WM basically b/c you are not mature enough (firm's perception), but that role is a lot different than an analyst role in PWM.

The credentials are the same, except you need to convince them that you actually want to do PWM vs. banking (I remember being in an interview with a PWM arm of a BB and this girl, who was actually an alumnus of my school, saying the only thing I am not confident in is that you want to do PWM) - there are a lot of banking hopeful kids who would take a job at Goldman PWM need be (count me in this group at the time), and they realize this.

From my understanding, you can go to a top MBA program (I know of a former Goldman guy at Hass now, not sure if you consider this top or not) and I know at some firms there is internal mobility - Goldman has a formal process at the end of your second or third year.

Yes, if you don't generate revenue for the firm, you will be asked to leave, but this is not an analyst's concern in PWM, but is an immediate concern at the WM level.

fdba Emory Blaine and BBA or otherwise trying to find the perfect pseudonym.

Apr 20, 2011
Faustus:

I would not say true PWM offers are "easy" to obtain. You do see more WM (the MSSBs and UBSs) internships given there are so many potential opportunities (essentially every FA is running his or her own business and can bring a summer on if he/she pleases vs. in PWM, it is more structured in terms of analyst programs), maybe this is where you got this impression? In terms of FT, it is becoming more difficult to get an FA job in WM basically b/c you are not mature enough (firm's perception), but that role is a lot different than an analyst role in PWM.

The credentials are the same, except you need to convince them that you actually want to do PWM vs. banking (I remember being in an interview with a PWM arm of a BB and this girl, who was actually an alumnus of my school, saying the only thing I am not confident in is that you want to do PWM) - there are a lot of banking hopeful kids who would take a job at Goldman PWM need be (count me in this group at the time), and they realize this.

From my understanding, you can go to a top MBA program (I know of a former Goldman guy at Hass now, not sure if you consider this top or not) and I know at some firms there is internal mobility - Goldman has a formal process at the end of your second or third year.

Yes, if you don't generate revenue for the firm, you will be asked to leave, but this is not an analyst's concern in PWM, but is an immediate concern at the WM level.

Just to build on the above post...there is a big difference, from an undergrad's perspective, between working at wealth management firms like MSSB, UBS, etc and a private banking analyst program at JPM and GS.
The former is where you are brought in as a financial advisor trainee with the goal of producing revenue (bringing in clients) within 1-2 years.

At JPM and GS there is a formal analyst program where the analysts are leveraged to support the team similar to how the role of an IB analyst. Yes, the work is different, but the responsibilities are similar (putting together pitch books, running numbers in excel, etc). Analysts at these firms are not responsible for brining in clients, rather they help the senior members of the group bring in new business and build existing relationships through all the powerpoint/excel/grunt work.

So to answer the original questions regarding how competitive it is to get into PWM, it is no walk in the park, but it is definitely easier than breaking into IB. I'd argue that firms like MSSB, UBS, etc don't really give a damn what you know about finance is; all that matters is if you can sell. They feel that if you are a successful salesperson, then you can eventually learn the necessary things about finance to get new clients.

At JPM and GS, pedigree (school, GPA, etc) matter a lot more and these analyst programs are fairly competitive. Yes, you need to convince the interviewer that you ultimately want to be a private banker, but the firms feel that you will learn how to sell (and how to sell the firm!) through your 2-3 years working as an analyst.

Apr 19, 2011

You need a book to come into a BB for PWM, otherwise u will work as an analyst for 2-3 yrs before they even license u.

Apr 19, 2011

Agree with above post.

PWM/ WM are easier to obtain positions because the recruiting process isn't as formal/ structured. Also Financial Advisors can pretty much take an intern (which is generally not paid or paid low) at any point.

Apr 20, 2011

Becoming an analyst is pretty easy. A buddy of mine interned unpaid his junior summer at ML and got a job offer senior spring. They called him out of the blue. Salary kinda sucks though... 60k base

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Apr 20, 2011
my man:

While I have been searching this website, it appears that a PWM job is much easier to obtain than IB or S&T.

Although this may be true, what credentials do you need to get a job at a top BB or a reputable MM firm?

Are analyst positions still dead end jobs at top firms?

is a reputable MBA possible?

any exit opportunities?

Most importantly, is it also true that many people get fired if they don't produce multi-million dollar clients (which I find nearly impossible)? If not, what exactly do you do?

Thanks for all responses

I work at a BB in the PB/PWM division and can answer some of these questions for you.

Addressing the question of how easy it is getting the job depends more on the bank you want to work for and the location. Getting an analyst position at a BB in New York, Chicago, LA, or SF can be just as difficult to obtain as most IBD/S&T jobs. There actually is a decent amount of movement between IBD and AM/PB analysts in these areas and you will see some people move back and forth during their time as an analyst. However, other regional/non-major banking center locations aren't as difficult to obtain and the exit opportunities aren't as great but the process isn't nearly as intense, the hours are better (12 hour days) and there is a greater focus on your development within the bank.

Some times they can be dead end jobs but a lot of it can really depend on your location. It will be easier to move on to an associate level in a non-target location than it would be in any of the traditional banking cities. With that being said, it isn't nearly as cut throat as a BB IBD and there is definitely a better chance of moving on to the associate level in PB/PWM as a whole.

A reputable MBA is definitely very possible. I know of several analysts that are attending Booth, HBS, Stanford GSB, Kellogg, Wharton, Columbia, and Tuck at the end of the program with only 3 years of experience and this being their first job out of undergrad.

The exit opportunities aren't as great as if you were working at a BB IBD although going the PB/PWM route can be more of a career move and is something that a lot of people do long term as opposed to the traditional IBD 2 years and done route.

Normally in PB/PWM the threshold of clients at a BB are going to be multi (mega) million dollar clients but the expectation is that each banker/investor will have a smaller book (15-70 clients depending on the group). However, like in any finance job, if you don't produce you don't get paid so this really isn't different then an expectation in the IBD or S&T.

Hope this helps.

Apr 20, 2011

tomahawk1515, are you saying that PWM analysts in major cities at major banks work the hours of IBD's? and r most people from targets?

Apr 20, 2011
my man:

tomahawk1515, are you saying that PWM analysts in major cities at major banks work the hours of IBD's? and r most people from targets?

Hours are definitely easier. My UBS office (summer internship) goes 9-5 so none of the 80-100 hour workweek stuff. I'm guessing this is because most places understand that clients won't stroll into the office 1 in the morning. (In fact, most of the time you go to the client... because they're that bad ass) I would say there's definitely a wide range of schools range of schools and maybe a higher percentage of non-targets than in IBD or S&T. As previously stated, pedigree matters less.

Apr 28, 2011
my man:

tomahawk1515, are you saying that PWM analysts in major cities at major banks work the hours of IBD's? and r most people from targets?

Definitely not saying that and I didn't mean come off sounding like that. I would say you can expect to work 70 to 80 hours in a busy week and can expect to do work on most weekends. Most of the people I work with went to target schools and did well there.

Apr 20, 2011

that was very helpful. thanks

Apr 28, 2011

These "internships" after fresh/soph year are almost always nothing more than unpaid shadowing for a regional financial planner. These are very, very easy to get.

Some, but not all, of the big shops have structured Summer Analyst (after junior year) and Analyst (full-time) programs, with big campus recruiting efforts, training programs, bonuses, etc. These jobs can be competitive to extremely competitive, depending on the program.

I wouldn't say it's as competitive as a lot of IB programs, but it's definitely no cake walk to get into the top ones.

Apr 28, 2011

Supermonkey which PWM analyst programs would you classify as competitive or extremely competitive?

Apr 28, 2011
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