Litigation Consulting to Equity Research

Hello Monkeys, happy Independence Day. As the title suggests, I am currently a senior consultant with a litigation consulting firm and determined to break into sell or buy side equity research. In my current position I have worked mainly on accounting investigations, including rev rec., bad debt reserve, and stock option backdating analyses, as well as commercial damages lawsuits.

Unfortunately I didn't really grasp the importance of school and the impact it would have on my career ambitions until senior year of college. When I look back I really can't understand or accept my mentality at the time. I attended a private non-target, with a top 50 business program. My GPA was fairly low until senior year after my internship with my current company. Once I had a taste of the real business world it completely changed my priorities. I returned to school and earned a 3.85 for the remaining two semesters, mostly finance courses. I graduated in 2009 with a BS in Finance and a 3.32 cumulative, 3.6 major GPA.

While I find litigation consulting interesting/challenging, I have always been interested in investing and have resolved to make a career change. I follow the financial markets, manage my own portfolio, and manage a small real estate fund (only 1 property so far) with two friends. I am also a level II CFA candidate, awaiting results from the June 2013 exam.

Since sitting for the exam, I have felt a renewed determination to make this change. I am finishing up the BIWS financial modeling fundamentals course, spending more time reading the recommended financial news sources, books, this forum, and analyst reports, and re-working my resume.

Based on this background I believe most decent firms would be unlikely to consider me for an associate analyst position. However, before I spend $150K and 2 years in B-school, I would like to try my best to find this type of role. I have decent connections and am very social/personable. While I do not have professional experience in the industry, I feel confident in my understanding of financial analysis, markets, job requirements, etc… I believe that if given the opportunity I can make a good impression in an interview.

My questions are not new to this board, although I would like to ask them in the context of my unique circumstances. Does it make sense for me to go the networking/cold call & email/praying route, or should I face reality and study for the GMAT (probably "both" is the correct answer)? Does litigation consulting experience (which involves accounting, due diligence, and some finance) mean anything to decision makers in this field? Would writing a sample research report be useful or a waste of time (I realize there are differing opinions on this)? Sorry for the long post but any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I have attached my current resume as well, any thoughts on it would be great. Thanks and cheers!

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Comments (5)

Jul 4, 2013 - 9:36pm

I would definitaly try the "begging/networking" route.

If you have decent portfolio returns/performance to show for, and write a research paper/analysis on the back of this (sort of advocating your investment approach and/or individual positions) - I, at least, would take great interest in reading it. I reckon most bulge bracket IBs (if this is what you're shooting for) will have recruiters with similar perspectives.

Just my two cents. Good luck!

Jul 5, 2013 - 12:13pm

Want to keep this concise as I'm typing on my phone. I used to work at a litigation consulting firm though in a valuation role, but many of my coworkers were in patent litigation consulting.

1. For sure pursue business school while networking. It may be your best shot at this point. Sounds like you're a good candidate for a top 15 business school depending on your other stats.
2. Your experience is purely backward looking in terms of analysis. Equity research is forward looking and information is scarce. That's going to be a huge shift.
3. I think your chances may be better if you get your cfa charter after a year, and you may not need to do business school with that.
4. Buyside is probably out of reach, your best shot will be boutique sellside firms. You could have a chance with bulge brackets or middle markets, but I doubt it.
5. Best time to apply is jan-April as people shuffle around after bonuses.

Jul 6, 2013 - 1:42pm

Thanks for the replies, looks like I should pick up a GMAT book while working on the job search. Any thoughts on the resume I attached? I included the RE investing experience as well as the fact that I manage my personal portfolio, although results of the latter have not been impressive this year.

Jul 6, 2013 - 7:28pm

I think anything is within reach if you're lucky. In any city other than NYC if you can talk the talk and you're sitting for level 2/passed you'll get some looks. Level II alone seems to be when people can start making moves. Take this w a grain of salt- if you can't make a move w level dos in the books it may be you.

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it
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