Merrill Lynch Canada - interview advice needed

kanon's picture
Rank: Senior Neanderthal | 4,636

Fellow monkeys,

I have an interview with Merrill Lynch Canada in 2 days for an Equity Research Associate position. I was wondering if anyone has any information about either Merrill Lynch Canada, their ER group, or general advice on what are some key things to prep for the interview. I've done IBD interviews before, but never for equity research, so I would really appreciate the help from anyone that's currently in the field, or has gone through the same or similar interview.


Comments (4)

Apr 20, 2009

Under the old ML global research, Canada teams largely had independent coverage of the US, and they converged on strategy, etc. Given that BOA did not have competing coverage, the Canadian groups have largely been safe. However, in speaking with a number of senior analysts, they know that major changes are in the timeline.
1. Decisions need to be made on the Toronto based S&T desks. This likely will not end well unless the oil and commodities come back quickly, and they actually have shit to sell and trade. In the mean time, the locals have done a better job in creeping in to take business in the smaller name usually traded by DSI, Canaccord, Dundee, Research Cap, Haywood, etc.
2. Decisions will then be made on whether the research desks actually drive business. Ultimately if merrill doesn't start getting nice mandates for RCI and BCE, Glen Campbell can kiss his desk goodbye.

My only advice for you is that research in Canada is very different than that in NY. The chinese walls are smaller, and its a volume game driven by small to midcap names. Be prepared to go hunt business very quickly, or you will not last long. Finally, be careful where you take your first job, as there is not the same concept in TO of moving down in the ranks. If you fuck up at RBC, you will not be able to get a job at Research Cap or Desjardins. Those spots are often even harder to get, and they usually go to people that are the most capable in bringing in a shitload of small deals.

I remember when I was interviewing at CIBCWM a couple of years back some schmuck in their TMT coverage group was trying to sell me by telling me "my friends at National and Canaccord make more than I can ever make here as an analyst/associate, but I get to work on BCE while they're working on shit deals in Alberta." Take a guess what I decided?
Ultimately, your decision to make: money vs. deal prestige.

Apr 20, 2009

I was that schmuck. Fuck you.

Apr 21, 2009

Thanks yusucks, much appreciated and very detailed. I take it you're Canadian? Actually it wouldn't be my first job, they're looking for people with MBAs, or with a BA but decent experience.

I hate to sound naive, but I don't know how the Associate role really works in ER. What do you mean hunt business? ER Associates are more or less like IBD Analysts, aren't they? Essentially doing the valuations and grunt work to support the ER Analysts.

Anyone else from ER or ML have any other suggestions for me?

Apr 21, 2009