MO HF Offer vs Silicon Valley Offer


Option 1: Offer for a MO role at a well known HF (they are also offering relocation to NYC, London otherwise). The MO role is not difficult technically, so I'm sure I can impress quickly, and have time for side projects for them (ideally more quant type work) once I get my head around the business. The role is working directly with FO staff globally.

Option 2: Offer for a tech/eng role at a Silicon Valley company (not FAANG, potential relocation to Cali, remote otherwise; most people move to FAANG 1-2 years after working here).

Option 3: Do my own thing i.e. taking engineering projects from startups / companies etc. I've secured clients already. There is no 'relocation' it is all remote.

Total comp (base only) is the same for all options.

I am due to finish a Comp Sci Masters (Oxbridge) very soon and have worked mainly at branded tech firms / FAANG post graduation (Bachelor in Math/Stats from a target).

Prior to Option 1/2, my plan was to focus on Option 3, apply for Quant roles after my Masters, but the lack of finance industry experience is currently blocking me. I think a Quant / Strat role would be best for my background vs a traditional trader role either way but having never worked in finance this is still a challenge to transition (despite the marketing on articles).

What is best to do? Stick to tech or take the MO role and network my way internally / take on additional work?

(I'm not fussed about MO vs FO as the MO comp package is quite substantial either way. I'm more concerned about career paths and being able to work internationally at least for a few years).

Comments (4)

Sep 19, 2019 - 10:09pm

I would stick to tech (perhaps do some side projects in finance), and apply for a quant role again after a few years of experience. Things in finance are often not what they seem, and although it may seem like a good plan right now to take the MO and move to FO, there are many reasons why that might not be happen, and you may end up stuck in the MO role.

What's your long term goal? Do you really want to be a quant, or are you just considering it amongst other options?

Most Helpful
Sep 20, 2019 - 12:35am

The MO role can be a double edged sword. The good is that you could network your way into quant/FO if you are seen as good/talented/hungry etc. The bad is that you could be pigeon-holed at the "Smart MO guy." I have seen both happen but one may be shocked/saddened by how often the latter happens and people at funds refuse to look at their internal talent and give it a chance.

My thinking is that if you are that good quant-wise that a fund will recognize it if you network/reach out/apply etc...

The big question you should be asking yourself is "What do I want to do?" And the answer to that can and will change. And that's cool. Other things to think about are where you want to be, what level of independence do you want to have, what hours do you want to work, what kind of people do you want to work for etc etc etc.

Answering some of those big questions should help you answer your original post. We do not know you here and so cannot answer those questions for you.

Good Luck

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
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