Making the leap to ER Analyst, thoughts?

Deanster's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 27

Being a trader (specifically an equities trader with a proprietary firm, yes still currently employed by the trading firm I am with.) for the past seven years I am tempted to make a leap into being an ER analyst. Trading has fizzled out and at this point in my life it's not worth the risk as I am looking to settle down. Just had a few questions if anyone could help out would be much appreciated.

At 33, I question would firms be interested in picking someone up at my age for an er analyst role?

My excel skills, they are average (maybe below) to be honest, would have to learn from scratch all the formulas, valuations, macros etc. estimated learning time frame to learn the basics?

Appreciate it.
Deanster

Comments (23)

May 24, 2013

You need to be more specific- what type of trader for what type of firm have you been? Are you still employed as a trader?

May 24, 2013

sorry about that; Equities Traders with a proprietary firm, yes still currently employed by the trading firm I am with.

May 24, 2013

Are you ready to restart from scratch?
Remember lots of unemployed ER people, but I don't see what can stop you from networking. If you do equity prop you are probably already in touch with quite a few analysts, you could ask them. Potentially a desk ER analyst role would be more appropriate given you have market experience, and you could apply some of your trading skills. In all honesty, with comms shrinking and the whole model changing at the moment, I would not call ER "safe". Still way too many of them, and banks are cutting everywhere, and ER is an easy one to start chopping at.
I'd look at a sales role, it's a more natural move from trading. Still declining industry etc... But there is always room for a good salesman.

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May 24, 2013

Not trying to be brutal here, but I think the switch you're looking for is either impossible unless you:
A) business school
B) provide sensational sensual pleasing services for BSDs w/ private filming (ok just kidding but u really need an incredibly good relationship to get a foot in the door here)

May 24, 2013

Disjoint,
Very much appreciate the insight and agree a desk ER analyst giving my trading experience would be the route to go, wasn't aware of this "role" existing coming from a small trading shop. What's the difference from being an desk ER analyst to an equity research analyst? Will def research further into this though. (regarding sales, I'd rather do anything then have to try and sell someone, did that gig in my career never again). Appreciate the info.

floppity
totally understand where you are coming from, just doing some research and trying to make decisions, you could be right I am not sure. However, I am willing to put in the time to learn all the programs, get certifications, etc.

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May 24, 2013

floppity is full of shi.t. You do an MBA and no one will touch you with a ten foot poll in this market. You worked at a prop shop you should know. MBAs are not for markets, maybe for the lonely sales person who still wonders why he is a VP at the age of 34.
Most banks have some sort of hybrid role like that, it's more a research/sales role. You are on the desk next to the traders, and because you are on the floor you feel the market and clients pay you for that insight, and you are specialised in one market as you do research on it, plus look at what's impacting the stock. It's not as standard, and there are not millions of them, but it exists. Your first point of call should be talking to the ER guys you already interact with, they'll be able to tell you how the situation is in their bank (mine is stable, not hiring; my old bank is not replacing anyone leaving, but not firing either). Although, if you got drive and are likeable, I don't see why you should not get a job in what you want to do.

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May 24, 2013

Indeed. Recruiters always pass on MBA/Phd grads on the prop side, simply because their overqualified or not looking to work their butt off.
Disjoint, this research/sales role (desk equity analyst) sounds very inline with my experience on a trading desk. The only difference is when I am throwing ideas at head traders they are trading for their own accounts, unlike an institution where they are executing for clients. Being "sales" is involved in this role so it sounds, do you know if a 7 is required? Also, how long is someone in this role typically until they move into a equity research analyst role or do some employees just like this role over the other? very much appreciated.

Deanster

Best Response
May 24, 2013

hopefully you have a decent network and can get in that way
look for spots where analysts are more involved in the trade process and you can sell your prop experience as value add

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May 24, 2013

The network I have built up over the years hopefully will come through! Out of curiosity, I see writing/research papers are a big part of being an equity analyst. How critical are these firms on punctuation, grammar, etc? What percentage of time is dedicated towards this? I certainly am no good writer, just get by with the basics, although very detail oriented.

May 25, 2013

You have to be able to write well. You don't have to like it but it's very important that you can write. It's part of the sell side job.

May 25, 2013
Flake:

You have to be able to write well. You don't have to like it but it's very important that you can write. It's part of the sell side job.

Yea writing well is an integral part of your job in ER, that's why i'll never work in ER :)

For your question previously, the role is for you to stay in it, not to move into ER. Usually you will have a sector like the auto industry that moves quite a lot. Clients want a specialist in this sector they can call; he will help with research reports etc... But his job is to be the one man stop for that sector for every questions from clients.

May 25, 2013

It seems the desk equity analyst will be the route to go. Writing is certainly not my strong side, do candidates need to be licensed for this role given they are dealing with clients? I did some digging on Linked and checked a few company sites, can't say I came across any roles that exactly say "desk equity analyst". Would this be the title it would go by. Thanks again.

May 25, 2013
Deanster:

It seems the desk equity analyst will be the route to go. Writing is certainly not my strong side, do candidates need to be licensed for this role given they are dealing with clients? I did some digging on Linked and checked a few company sites, can't say I came across any roles that exactly say "desk equity analyst". Would this be the title it would go by. Thanks again.

I'm not sure about desk analysts but we need series 86 and 87 in addition to 7 and 63.

May 25, 2013

why would i hire your if I am the employer for there are way more qualified young'uns out there who would kill to break in? who the f are you?

How big is yours?

May 25, 2013

You might consider CFA to give you the finance background that you did not use that much being an equities trader. Other than that I am pretty sure many traders to that leap to settle a little bit.

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May 26, 2013
Beny23:

You might consider CFA to give you the finance background that you did not use that much being an equities trader. Other than that I am pretty sure many traders to that leap to settle a little bit.

Please stop giving advice. Which experience are you using to say that many traders do this?

Dean - did you say in your other post that you have a 2 year degree? That might be your biggest challenge.

May 26, 2013

Deanster, if you are having trouble finding jobs by searching for desk equity analyst, try searching for equity research analyst. On taking the CFA exam, you may want to look into whether ER analysts in the city you are in are getting the CFA certification or not because whether you will need to get it or not can depend on where you live (i.e. i've read on other posts on WSO that it is more important in Boston than New York).

Have you given any thought to whether you want to do ER on the buy-side or sell-side? Because if you are not the best writer, buy-side might be a better fit. Sell-side's audience is both internal and external so your writing could have impact on the firm's image, while buy-sides audience is only internal so if your content was superb and there were no spelling, grammar, etc. mistakes than it might not matter as much if you don't have a great writing style. Though take that with a grain of salt because what I just said is from talking to a handful of ER/CR people and I haven't worked in ER myself.

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May 26, 2013

i don't know what your intellectual capabilities are like but "i'm a bad writer" is a piss poor excuse. take some fucking classes or some shit but that absolutely should not be a hurdle for your job

and you'll absolutely be a better fit for the buy-side with your previous experience but that will also have a higher hurdle for entry.

May 27, 2013

Why not go the Associate path for two years, get your CFA and then you will be well prepared to move into a full Analyst role. Analysts typically hire Associates based on (1) how long it would take you to add value for them, i.e. when they can hand off to you what they want and focus on selling (2) your fit with the Analyst, your personality, how well you will handle criticism or stress when something blows up, how flexible you will be as far as doing what's required etc. You get this role through perseverance - building relationships with analysts in sectors you may be interested in, putting together a good writing and model sample and then just following-up. Associates tend to turn over pretty frequently.

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May 27, 2013

Jonmorris, You are correct I would have to go the Associate path, obtain my CFA and, 7, 63, 86, 87. After doing some digging I realized the analyst role is to advanced for my current experience. At 33 years old with a two year degree and seven years of prop trading experience. Would a firm be interested in taking me on as an Associate? (one of my former co-workers felt no firm would be interested as they only want young college grads coming from good schools and already license. Another co-worker felt if I tried to get certifications (training classes) learned the material and obtained my licenses I could have a shot. Any advice appreciated.

May 27, 2013

I think you could just send your resume off to a few analysts and then follow-up with them for feedback, see if they will give you a few minutes on the phone. Most analysts are used to talking with people as a big part of the job so you should be able to get some feedback. Avoid earnings season though, they won't have the time or the patience. I think some of the concerns you may hear back on, would be do you really want ER, as in, can you crank out a lot of writing, models and can you look at stocks on a longer time horizon? These would be some of the differences between ER and prop trading (as far as I know prop trading) so i would have some solid answers to those types of questions to show you have thought about it and done the due dilligence there.
There are also plenty of smaller, independent shops that do ER so don't fall into the trap of limiting yourself to just BB or MM firms. In fact, it would probably be easier with a smaller shop as they will look at your candidacy more on an individual basis whereas the BBs have pretty well-established recruiting machines that tend to select the typical, young, recent college grad who will take a ton of shit for two years and then realize he's not becoming an analyst...

May 28, 2013
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May 29, 2013