Muni Asset Management

Hey everyone,

I'm an incoming PubFin IB analyst at a BB and I'm interested in potentially transitioning to Muni AM in a few years. With that being said, there seems to be a lack of info on Munis on this forum outside of IB. I'm hoping someone could provide color on the municipal asset management space.

  1. Who are the top performers in this space?
  2. What is the background of most juniors working in Muni AM (PubFin IB?, Muni S&T? credit agency analysts? etc.) Is there a strong preference for candidates to have/be working towards their CFA/MBA?
  3. Is career progression in Muni AM similar to other areas of AM?
  4. Are any muni AM strategies more lucrative to work in than others (i.e. HY revenue bonds vs IG GO bonds)?

Any guidance is appreciated!

Comments (5)

Dec 1, 2021 - 1:19pm

Genuine question, what appeals about munis to you? I worked in a CRA and I know of several people who transferred out of sub-sovereign coverage because munis were so boring to cover. 

I think AM was a reasonably common exit for those who stayed and I'm sure the CFA would help. 

Again, I don't have any direct experience personally but I'd speculate that if you were going to work in the space HY would certainly be much, much more interesting in the same way EM sovereign coverage is so much more interesting than IG. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - PubFin
Dec 1, 2021 - 5:00pm

OP here - thanks for the reply! I was a SA with the PF IB team that I'm returning to this summer and I enjoyed working with the team. I'm attracted to municipals due to their tangible nature, structural complexity, and because they generally are issued for the common good. It's worth noting that the BB I'm at focuses on more complex deals and hence I was focused on revenue, HY, P3, etc. deals rather than plain vanilla GOs, which I imagine isn't as stimulating. Additionally, the team does more than just underwriting, so I had a more diverse experience than purely focusing on DCM

Obviously I haven't started FT yet, so I may eventually find Munis boring, but since I'm in PubFin now and I'm interested in public market investing switching to a Muni or FI AM team seems like a logical/obtainable career step for me. 

Most Helpful
Dec 3, 2021 - 11:28pm

Buyside Muni Research Analyst going on 5 years. I kind of fell into munis and remember there being absolutely nothing on this forum when I was weighing my decision, so happy to put some info out there. I cover revenue bonds across the credit spectrum and love the work. On to your questions…

  1. Nuveen. Full stop. Others include Blackrock, Franklin Templeton, Mainstay.
  2. Most mutual funds hire research associates out of undergrad, which is one path. There are a fair amount of ex-rating agency folks. There are also a number of people in the business that started at insurers, but that's become less common since the monolines bit the dust. To be honest I don't know many ex-IB research analysts but that's not to say the skill set wouldn't be valuable if you find the right fit.
  3. Turnover is very low at mutual funds, and only the best analysts become PMs (10-15 years of experience) which I'd say is more or less typical for AM
  4. IMO, this isn't worth doing if your not spending a good portion of your time on HY. There are lots of shops that run strictly high grade funds or SMAs (this is a big business) but there's not much value to be added here from credit research, and these jobs pay accordingly.
Dec 6, 2021 - 9:00pm

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