More Prestigious- Retail or PWM?

Sue Collini's picture
Rank: Monkey | 52

I have an offer from a large IM firm (250B+ AUM) and have the decision to work in either their retail division or in an investment associate/client facing role in PWM (neither involve any sales). The firm is known for their mutual funds/ETFs so retail would include the packaging of those. Im leaning towards PWM because it deals with much more money and it still seems like a great role in Asset Management. Any opinions?

Comments (7)

Aug 7, 2014

I'd say it really depends on the type of retail. Burger King would definitely be more prestigious than PWM, but I'd have a hard time arguing for the exit ops of McDonalds versus something like Fidelity.

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Aug 7, 2014

Retail is trash. Go into wholesale.

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Aug 7, 2014

Ignore prestige and pick which one interests you more and gets you to where you want to be faster.

Aug 7, 2014

Hmmm.... Currently work in PWM. Currently serving my last week and moving to IB in the same company. I remember a thread by @"thebrofessor" that explained how PWM works. My takeaway is that you need to have the right networks and connections to really make it in PWM. It needs time and patience.

You can make good money trading. Retail gets pretty boring and doesn't pay as much as dealing. There just isn't that much space for growth in regards to valuation, modelling etc.

Aug 7, 2014

explain more about what the roles are. for example, if I had the ability to be a traditional research analyst/junior PM at a firm like EIC, that would appeal to me more than say an "investment associate" at a firm like BlackRock, where you will not likely wear many hats.

for my money in Asset Management it's more about the role than it is about the firm. in banking, your first job as an analyst will look roughly the same depending on group across every firm. but at AM firms, you may get more responsibility and thus better experience at a smaller firm in AM than one of the big ones.

I will say there are degrees to this, I would not want to work for an asset manager that only has $200mm AUM and half of that is one institutional account, unless it was a hedge fund and I was offered equity/profit sharing. another thing to consider is philosophy and asset class. for example, if you were to go work for a firm like PIMCO, you will be pegged as a bond guy, if you work for Brandes you will be pegged as a falling knife guy, if at Royce, small cap. learn what the firm's bread n butter is, more importantly the fund you're working with, it may drive the rest of your career.

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Aug 7, 2014

Thanks for the replies all. The role in PWM is basically portfolio management, equity research, and various client services (no sales). It is an investment analyst position, meaning there is room to move up within the firm without becoming a FA. This should take away any needs for connections and networking to acquire AUM, right? Is this triply PWM if the end goal and managers in the group are not FAs?
The retail position is within the same firm, and will be performing various tasks supporting multiple retail-class mutual funds of the firm. Some client face to face time, PM, although as well as a number of operational duties.
Thanks all!

Aug 7, 2014
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