Offer Advice - S&T vs HF vs AM

I have just completed my full-time recruitment process, and have been fortunate enough to come away with 3 market-facing roles. I am seeking advice on the pros and cons of each offer, and why you would or would not take each offer.

1) BB( GS/JPM/C) Sales and Trading Analyst Programme- 2 Year Rotational Programme in NYC

2) Equity Associate Programme at large Mutual Fund( Fidelity/ Putnam/ Wellington) in Boston- 3 Year Associate Programme 

3) Hedge Fund Analyst programme at a hedge fund ( BW/ Point72/ Millennium) in NYC Greater Area- 12 Month Valuation Training Programme + 1 additional year research analyst training.

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Comments (23)

Oct 6, 2020 - 4:04pm

BUYSIDETRADDER

I have just completed my full-time recruitment process, and have been fortunate enough to come away with 3 market-facing roles. I am seeking advice on the pros and cons of each offer, and why you would or would not take each offer.

1) BB( GS/JPM/C) Sales and Trading Analyst Programme- 2 Year Rotational Programme in NYC

2) Equity Associate Programme at large Mutual Fund( Fidelity/ Putnam/ Wellington) in Boston- 3 Year Associate Programme 

3) Hedge Fund Analyst programme at a hedge fund ( BW/ Point72/ Millennium) in NYC Greater Area- 12 Month Valuation Training Programme + 1 additional year research analyst training.

Congratulations!

What are you looking for? I.e. post working somewhere?
What's the things that drives you into those roles?

Oct 6, 2020 - 4:41pm

I will take 2) without blinking. 

Eliminate 1) immediately. The decision between 2) and 3) is whether you believe in short-term trading or long-term investing. 

Read up on what it is like working at a MM (search for threads on WSO) and be informed about it. 

Instagram: @dickthesellsider | Substack: dicktoad.substack.com

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  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Comm
Apr 9, 2021 - 12:08pm

why does this have MS? 
he's not wrong...
assuming OP will not become a whizzkid star trader, 2/3 are on another level to 1

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  • Trader in HF - RelVal
Oct 6, 2020 - 10:33pm

Congratulations on all 3 offers - you have a bright future ahead of you. I interact with people from all of these. 

1) S&T: This is the most dependent on desk. I would only do this if you are getting placed on a competitive desk or will have a rotation on one (most credit desks, ABS, rates, X-asset). Stay away if you are getting placed in D1, equities, repo, etc. If this is Citi, their rotational program is very strong but can permanently push you in the wrong direction - if your first two rotations are in munis and equity financing, your future career on the street just got shorter.

Pros: You will receive great training and build a fantastic network. This will be the most fun and have the best "training wheels" - you will be allowed to make mistakes and grow. 

Cons: If you don't have a great desk placement or it turns out you hate your product, very hard to pivot. S&T skills are the most niche in finance and to pivot to a non-trading role you may have to do 1 - 2 years in IBD after. This sounds OK now but can be frustrating as a 26 year old Analyst 3 with a bunch of wet 22 year old NYU grad. 

2) AM: This is the easiest choice. These programs have great education for turning people into investors, the hours/pay are good, and exit opps to other funds and styles are generally welcomed. Most of these firms encourage networking so if there is a style of investing you prefer (e.g. merger arb) you can slowly work your way towards that team by doing work for them. 

Pros: Great work/life balance (this is more important than you think), good resources, good education. These seats are coveted by MBA's as they are one of the few places that pays you to learn for 1-2 years and offer career stability if you play your politics. 

Cons: There are not really too many cons here. You will make a little less $$$ than peers and you don't get modeled and bottled, but it's a very good life. A minor criticism of these firms is they're generally not very good at fast-money style investing (distressed, activist, etc) but it's not hard to steer your career in that direction after a stint here. Also, to exit to a corporate role you will most likely have to do an MBA, but these roles place very well into MBA's. 

3) HF Analyst Programme: This is probably the hardest choice - I would stay away from these as the cut rate can be extremely high. If you can make it at these, you have a career ahead of you in finance, but it can be a coin-flip at the end of the day whether a PM picks you up AND that PM doesn't blow up in a year. 

Pros: You are going to learn a very durable, hard-skill style of investing. The number of people who can ride numbers week/week (forget about q/q) is naturally low and there is no room for slackers - everyone is extremely sharp. Cash compensation should be good too. 

Cons: You are coin flipping your career, which is generally a bad bet unless you have a specific affinity for this type of investing. There are many bright, talented people on Linkedin who took swings at this (and are now doing something else), so don't underestimate your lack of control in this situation.  

Something to keep in mind is that you may have significantly different priorities in the next 1 - 3 years: lives and people change, and post-college there is still a lot of maturing to do. I would choose the careers that give you the greatest optionality to step away if you need/want to, which are generally no's 2 and 1. 

Oct 9, 2020 - 12:40am

Out of curiosity, why do you think repos, munis or equity financing are areas to stay away from? Do you think those areas don't have a viable future (wasn't under that impression from my inexperienced perspective) or that they just aren't that sexy/interesting? 

Array

Oct 7, 2020 - 10:08pm

MMPM

Yeah, 100%. Citadel will totally invite you to manage a factor-neutral book to trade quarters based on your highly relevant experience at Fidelity investing long-only on a 10-yr horizon. You're dreaming, pal.

This was literally my own career path. I started in an asset management training program and moved to a multi-manager a few years in. I know many others who have done the same. Multi-managers still hire a large number of IB analysts and junior sell-side ER types. If, after 3 years or so, you want to join from AM, you're pretty darn fungible with those candidates. 

Oct 7, 2020 - 3:59pm

Your offer for the HF sounds like MLPs program where u do 1 year at UBS, would be very careful about this program as it is new and I dont think its considered as prestigious as other MM HF undergrad programs. If its not the MLP program, would take it easily.

  • Prospect in S&T - Other
Oct 8, 2020 - 12:56pm

Why would you say it's not prestigious/stay away from it? It sounds like good gig to me... currently debating similar offers as OP so interested in hearing opinions. Thanks!

Oct 9, 2020 - 12:22am

You sound like a really impressive candidate if you have those offers. If Bridgewater is the HF you have an offer at, don't take it. Have heard very negative things about that place from senior people in the industry. A senior HF guy told me that he has reliable sources that confirmed it's basically just Ray Dalio making all of the trading decisions (that's totally different compared to the other funds you listed). Also said that their culture is super weird and annoying. Just look at the current news coverage of them and Ray's responses which on their own are big red flags.

Array

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  • 1
Apr 5, 2021 - 9:51pm

Hey All, 

First of all, thank you to everyone that offered me insights and advice.

I ended up choosing the Sales and Trading Analyst offer.

Sales and Trading offer me a lot more optionality than the HF offer should I want to change roles, additionally the diversity of the bank that I signed rather resonated with me. 

With my current network, I do not feel pessimistic about the possibility of moving to a buy-side role if that is what I choose to do in the short term to long term.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 9, 2021 - 3:35am

How did you land the AM offer? Just from general networking? Was it OCR?

Also, if you don't mind me asking, what's your general background (type of school/ballpark GPA/types of internships?)

I'm interning in a different role this summer but would absolutely love to start at a mutual fund for FT

Apr 9, 2021 - 7:10am

I'm at a MF but in the UK so slightly different. Best thing to do is to network with guys on the desk, get a feel for the different teams, and know your technicals cold. The technicals here are slightly different but trust me it's no walk in the park, good luck!

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