Moving from BO to S&T

After graduation, I have worked for about 3 years in BB BO finance in Asia. I am bored and want to move into S&T.

Things I have "going" for me:

  1. I have a finance degree and my GPA is very competitive. Most of my ex-schoolmates who are FT at BB IB/S&T have a lower GPA than me.

  2. I have completed an M&A SA internship at a reputable boutique.

  3. I am taking CFA level 1 in May (probably not a game changer since I already have a finance degree).

4. I did a fair bit of Equity ETF trading over the last year (too many compliance restrictions with individual stocks/derivatives). Hence, I am considering adding a list of my recent investments in my resume to show that I have been actively following the markets, and I am happy to walkthrough the interviewers on my thought processes when I bought/sold.

The biggest hurdle that I am facing now (I believe) is a lack of S&T related internships, which causes me to be concerned that no S&T desk would be interested in hiring me. Although I mostly follow equity markets news and my personal investments are in equities/crypto, I am happy to work for any product and role. In my humble opinion, my best bet is probably macro sales.

My dream (miracle) scenario is to land a FT S&T role at a BB. Paths to this miracle scenario are:

  • A role opens at my bank
  • A friend refers me for an internal opening
  • Luck out on securing a direct hire/graduate program interview

Even if any of the three scenarios happen, I believe that a lot of luck is still required to eventually get the FT job.

Other (more realistic but still hard) paths that I am considering:

  • Apply for FT S&T at MM/smaller banks 
  • Off-cycle S&T internship at a BB

Doing an internship at a non-BB bank is probably more risk than I should be taking because I am giving up a comfortable job with decent prospects for a stint that can result in unemployment.

Any advice on making the move to S&T? Please let me know if my expectations are unrealistic. Thank you in advance.

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Comments (6)

Most Helpful
  • Incoming Analyst in S&T - FI
Mar 15, 2021 - 5:22am

hey...s&t analyst at a BB asia office here - defo possible to move from BO to S&T and have seen several anecdotal examples incl desk im in.

I'd say the GPA stuff, M&A internship and even the CFA L1 matters very little, plus nobody gives a hoot what you major in, and not having prior S&T internship isnt a cause for concern since frankly if you did you'd probably be working in a similar role already. having said that, your best bet is probably to figure out what desk(s) and product types you're most interested in (macro by your own admission), then reach out to the people on those desks for coffee. Goes w/o saying that being a top performer and having an immaculate reputation in your current role is imperative.

cold applying is an absolute waste of time - role's probably filled by the time you've submitted ur CV

hope this helps & out of curiosity - what makes you think macro sales is your best bet?

Mar 16, 2021 - 9:41am

Hello! Thanks for giving your insights.

I think that sales is my best bet because it is probably the least technical/experience requiring role on the trading floor. Desk wise, equities is currently a very crowded space. Meanwhile, my knowledge of commodities pales in comparison to fx/rates. Perhaps you disagree with my assessment.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Mar 17, 2021 - 12:16am

yeah I think important distinction to note here is that less technical does not equal "easier" to get into - have seen dudes from MO/BO (usually risk or even trade support) move into trading/research whereas if ur not seriously keen on going to sales ppl can spot it from a mile away. also i dont think experience factors in as you'll be starting as a desk junior (irrespective of ur title - you could be AVP but will be de facto junior aka grunt work, smallest coverage etc)

as for desks...IMO partially true in the sense that macro had a v good year so might have some spots opening, but shouldnt preclude equities from consideration esp if thats ur area of interest since it 99% depends on a lot of intangibles e.g. politics, turnover, what the franchise is good at etc rather than asset class - again basically need all the stars to align.

fyi have seen plenty uni mates make the jump from BB BO to MM S&T if thats smth youd consider - seemed to me like a very doable transition

Mar 16, 2021 - 10:34am

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