Middle Office Quant to Front Office?

Daui's picture
Rank: Monkey | 47

I've been offered a position as a quantitative analyst (risk management) but I'm ideally looking for a role within the IB. The role is actually within a commercial banking division.

What are the chances of moving into a front office (trading) at an investment bank or after 3 years transferring from commercial market risk into risk management within investment banking and then perhaps working my way up from there?

Comments (13)

Feb 17, 2011

zero

Feb 17, 2011

Why is that?

Feb 17, 2011

Its hard to network from that position.
Try to secure at least a BO position close to the trading floor. That way you can meet the traders and within those few years find an open spot. Your pretty much secluded from being able to do that at a commercial branch. Its like a citi trader meeting a citi teller.

Feb 18, 2011
tabthe:

Its hard to network from that position.
Try to secure at least a BO position close to the trading floor. That way you can meet the traders and within those few years find an open spot. Your pretty much secluded from being able to do that at a commercial branch. Its like a citi trader meeting a citi teller.

Would it be easier to transfer to front office in a middle office role with front office interaction?

I've JUST started in the middle office (market risk) in a BB IB in Australia. Here, the model seems to be a little different to the US one I read about- I meet daily with a number of traders and desk heads to discuss their tactics, and approve large trades before they are made. Additionally, I'm allowed to force traders to unwind if their positions breach risk limits.

Is this any different to how the middle office functions in the US? And would a role like this make an eventual transfer to front office any more possible?

Feb 17, 2011

If you're serious about moving to front office, your best shot is to get another degree, and try again at recruiting. I know several people who went from back office to front office via an MBA.

Learn More

Boost your resume and land a finance job by passing the FINRA SIE. 264 pages & 1981 smart flashcards written by a former 8X top Fidelity instructor. Try it for 0 bananas here.

Feb 17, 2011

I'm actually on my gap year between undergraduate and postgraduate study but I was thinking of taking the commercial quants position and reneging on the masters. However after the feedback here and from a few other sources it really doesn't seem like a good idea if I want a FO position.

I enjoy Economics and Finance so I might even progress the masters into a Phd. Would the extra three years be worth doing to add to my chances of a FO position as a desk quant or quant trader. Any feedback is appreciated.

Feb 17, 2011
Daui:

I'm actually on my gap year between undergraduate and postgraduate study but I was thinking of taking the commercial quants position and reneging on the masters. However after the feedback here and from a few other sources it really doesn't seem like a good idea if I want a FO position.

I enjoy Economics and Finance so I might even progress the masters into a Phd. Would the extra three years be worth doing to add to my chances of a FO position as a desk quant or quant trader. Any feedback is appreciated.

Whether it's "worth it" is hard to say. If you finish your masters and get a FO position, then it may be worth skipping the PhD. On the other hand, if you are genuinely interested in Econ/Finance, then I would say complete the PhD. It will be an intellectually satisfying experience that has the advantage of helping your career a bit. If you are considering a PhD only because of the career benefits, then it will probably not be worth the time.

Feb 18, 2011

Your job sounds like a fairly typical MO role in the US as well. Just to clarify: it is possible to transfer, but doing so requires a combination of good performance (which is more difficult to judge for MO), good networking, and extremely good luck. It is very difficult to move towards the money in this world.

Feb 19, 2011

Well, I guess I'm only at the 'analyst' stage by US standards- I'm 22 and just finished undergraduate (In engineering). My intention was to learn a bit about the business by doing two years in market risk, then head to the US/UK for a business school education.

I guess that would be the time to make the change? I hadn't realised I was branding myself 'middle office' for the rest of my career?

    • 1
Best Response
  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Oct 6, 2015

impossible. If you're interested in front office role, trading, investment, etc... Don't waste your time in any kind so called "Quant" middle office role. No matter what they told you, it's simply just a middle office role and it almost never have any exposure to real business, nor real quant work.

it's more of a middle office work but requires a bit VBA, SQL skill. That's it. IT's not a quant at all.

    • 3
Feb 19, 2011

If you're going to B-school, then you kind of refresh your brand, so it's not a huge concern.

    • 1
Oct 16, 2015

if you are talking about the Quantitative Middle Office (QMO) from Bank of America, then the short answer is NO. There is no way you can move to trading desk from there. The work is completely not related to the desk quant job and the exposure to the trading desk is almost zero.
I heard many bad things about this group and stay away from it if you are serious of career. The turn over rate is extremely high and the management try to stuck you by giving you bad performance review.

Array

    • 2
Oct 16, 2015
Comment