Need Advice: Equity Research in Asia versus Market Risk in NYC

Need some advice to compare two offers listed above, both from bb.

Work:

Equity Research: In a newly established tactical Equity Research team. Would like more information on this. Was told that the team is mainly responsible to discover misprice in mid-cap stocks in Asia that have not previously covered by the bank. Would also follow up on some thematic topics and investment ideas. Am wondering comparing to the traditional equity research that covers certain stocks in one particular sector in one country, will there be divergence in skill set and exit opportunities? Also wondering about pressure (i.e. what if cannot make the prediction).

Market Risk: So called on-the-desk front risk. Would first rotate across macro (FX/Rates/EM), credit and equity desk for a year and a half and then settled to one desk to be the risk analyst/risk manager. Job duty includes: produce weekly risk report; fight with traders and sign off their positions; some occasional side projects etc. Might need to write some code when separating PnL and calculating VaR/ES for exotics options/structured products that the system cannot handle but overall no need to produce production-level code on a daily bases, and usually there is no need to develop models. Heard that it can be a bit boring in the junior level but at the same time the stress level is also quit low.

Hours:

Equity Research: In US equity research is usually 8am - 8pm but heard it can gone significantly worse than that in Asia? (Heard that a lot of equity analyst get off work at 4 am in earnings season in Asia offices) Since I am not covering particular stocks in a particular sector I am not going to be affected by earnings season? Would love it if someone can shed more light onto it.

Market Risk: 7.30 am- 6 pm, can get off work at 5.30 pm sometime. Rarely would one need to work overtime and even in those circumstance should be able to leave by 8 pm. Heard that VP and D leave even earlier.

Compensation and Promotion:

Equity Research: With current exchange rate the base salary is around 9% higher than the market risk position in NY. Considering tax and cost of living the difference might be larger but still would not be significant enough to affect decision making. Am wondering about bonus and how salary and bonus would change moving up the ladder. Seems that under MiFID bonus level have dropped significantly over the last few years? Am wondering about the timeline for promotion (i.e. years needed in A/AO/VP/ED for equity research)

Market Risk: Base salary for associates starts at 125k and at 175k for VP. Everybody would be promoted to associate level after 2-3 years whereas there seems to be some variation in the promotion time to VP but it seems that if you stay long enough you can make it to VP. There would be a lot more divergence about that. Since European banks is not doing good in the past few years and since it is market risk bonus only would be around 10% for junior level employees.

It seems that according to headhunters report an MD at large bank in equity research can get somewhere between 500k-1.5m in New York whereas a market risk MD can get between 40k-1m in New York. Am wondering if that was true? If so, then there seems not to be that much difference in compensation down the road as well.

Exit Opportunities:

Equity Research:
Would love to know more about this.
1. Go to an equity fund and be a research analyst/PM. It seems that this is the options with the best financially rewarding. But it seems that it is very difficult to move in to a large l/s equity fund? And the pressure would be high?
2. Move to investor relations in public companies. Wondering what compensation level would be for this route.
3. Move to IBD? Don't seems like an easy move?
4. To PE/VC? Is this possible?

Market Risk:
1. Buy side risk
2. Risk consulting at McKinsey/BCG/Big Four: heard that big four risk consulting have similar base salary as banks for a given seniority but with higher bonuses (albeit worse hours). I have also have summered in management consulting before so moving from risk consulting into general strategy/management consulting might also be an option.
3. Go into structuring/trading/sales: not easy but seems not as difficult as imagined?
4. Move into quant research or jump outside to do data science/business analytics: a lot of people seems to pursue data science recently. But I think with my current ability, any jobs that need to produce production-level code under tight deadline in a daily bases and jobs that require dealing with martingales/Doob's/Ito on a daily bases would be beyond my limit.

Location:

New York is definitely much more exciting. I sometimes dream of becoming a columnist for the New Yorker or a skit writer for SNL. New York is also much for progressive, liberal and diverse (which I like). Singapore on the other hand, is safe/clean/have lower taxes/good for raising kid but very boring. Overall I think the income level is still higher in US across the board in most industries.

I am international so would need sponsorship in both cases. Would need to wait a few years for green card sponsorship if I were to join the European bank in NY (H1B will be sponsored this year). It is relatively much easier to be a Singapore permanent residence/citizen. However I do not feel like giving up my nationality to be a Singapore citizen whereas would be more than glad to do so for an American passport.

Future for sell-side Equity Research:

Considering MiFID and the changing environment, at the end of the day will it still be worth it to pursue a career in equity research? If the overall compensation is only going to be 20% higher than trading market risk at the same seniority but the hours are significantly worse, then it don't seems like a good deal.

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Feb 12, 2019
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