PIMCO Account Management Or Management Consulting?

Want to get some perspectives on this forum. I am about to graduate from a top 5 MBA and just received offers from PIMCO account management and a T2 management consulting firm (think LEK, Kearney, EY-Parthenon, Strategy&,etc). I am having a difficult time deciding between the two offers because they are drastically different, but both are industries I am interested in. 

I have never done consulting prior to MBA and am deeply interested in this line of work. I feel the work in consulting will be interesting and is something I would enjoy (despite the hours). However, the total comp at PIMCO is 70-80% higher compared with the consulting offer. I've benchmarked it with my peers who got MBB and other consulting gigs, which are all similar at the post-MBA level. 

I have so far heard many great things about PIMCO after speaking with many alumni and I am impressed by the caliber of the people I interviewed with. On the other hand, taking the account management role at PIMCO would mean that I will be committed to the asset management industry for the long term.

Is management consulting worth the difference in pay and is it a better career path?

Comments (60)

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 28, 2021 - 9:24pm

Do you mind sharing the salary and bonus for pimco?

I think you should take pimco if you like asset management and want to make a career out of it or sales. If you don't know what you want to do down the road then take consulting. 

Dec 29, 2021 - 8:59am

Firstly, congrats on the role man!

I can't really speak for consulting but PIMCO is a solid shop (especially within the Fixed Income space) so you'll be in good hands.

Bare in mind that account management at PIMCO is on the client-side in lieu of an investing seat and hence will be very difficult to migrate away from. But if you're happy to work in a client-facing capacity then this should be a good gig.

Much of your day-to-day work will be sourcing info from stakeholders as there's a big focus on knowledge development by others but not account management. In other words, you'll be memorising a script and will probably need to call on technical specialists (e.g. Product/Portfolio Management teams) to support with more complex discourse.

Compared to management consulting, the above could be an issue, especially if you're inherently an intellectually curious person. For example, you won't have as much autonomy of thought at PIMCO in regards to client engagement.

Another thing worth mentioning is exit opps. Account management will probably lag behind here as many top roles within/outside of finance require consultants. Typical exits for account management tend to still be within the remit of sales/client relations.

Dec 29, 2021 - 7:14pm

Thank you for this insightful comment. Could you share more about the prospect of client-facing roles in asset management? Some folks have told me that client-facing professionals in AMs have been increasingly important as product manufacturing and channel development are becoming key differentiators in this sector. 

I feel that my decision boils down to whether I see myself working in the AM sector in the long term or if I want to continue to be exposed to different sectors in consulting to find the one I see myself in. 

Additionally, from what I gathered, the compensation gap will persist until I reach senior partner level in consulting, where the money starts coming in. The big question in my mind is if consulting is what it's hyped up to be for me to make less money for the foreseeable 7-8 years. 

Lastly, I wanted to add that my ultimate goal is to be an entrepreneur in the long term. Is consulting conducive to that endeavor or it doesn't really matter?

Really appreciate your insights. 

  • Research Analyst in AM - Other
Dec 29, 2021 - 7:28pm

Well now that you've said your ultimate goal is entrepreneurship even moreso I'd say take the MC offer, you just won't develop that skillset at an AM especially in an Accounts position which is Middle Office at best. I work in AM so there's absolutely no bias here but you won't develop the skillset you'd want in that seat at Pimco but I can venture to say you likely will in Consulting hence why soo many leave and go into Tech/F500 or Entrepreneurship type roles just because you develop a broader skillset. To be fair I don't know fully what your goals or desires are, i'm really not a Salesy guy so that role at Pimco would never attract me regardless of the pay but you may be different, also don't expect to easily recruit to an Investing seat coming from there as I know how incredibly difficult it can be, i'm not at Pimco but had a few Sales people try and fail to make the move over to Investing, for some reason they prefer to hire someone from elsewhere with the relevant experience or at my firm just develop Analysts straight from Uni into the Investing seats.

  • Analyst 1 in HF - Other
Dec 29, 2021 - 7:34pm

It's PIMCO... just the name brand will take you very far and the role isn't bad at all. Take it and don't look back.

Dec 30, 2021 - 2:28am

I'm changing my opinion. You could always switch to another Sales role that sells products that cater to the financial services at the Enterprise level. I vote PIMCO!! Better hours, hot women and near the beach( If in the Newport Location), good money, some crazy upside at the senior levels, andddd it has a strong name. 

Dec 31, 2021 - 3:58pm

Angus Macgyver

How are the PIMCO hours?

EMs/PLs/Ms at MBB happily exit to roles that pay $300k+. So if the hours are expected to be decent (ideally ~40-45, but ~50-55 range is acceptable too) then the PIMCO gig could be a shortcut to a happy ending for you.

Dec 31, 2021 - 3:59pm

It sounds like consulting salary will lack behind PIMCO for the foreseeable 7-8 years until I make partner at a consulting firm. Is it even worth it to make partner?

Dec 31, 2021 - 11:40am

Forget about PIMCO in the current macro environment which is going to make extremely difficult for you to sell their funds. You might be able to bank for 2 years without any revenue pressure but after that who knows. Go for consulting.

  • Analyst 1 in HF - Other
Dec 31, 2021 - 4:38pm

You will learn a lot and make more in the long run at PIMCO. Take it and don't look back. 

  • Analyst 1 in HF - Other
Dec 31, 2021 - 4:37pm

PIMCO has a whole suite of products designed for any IR environment.. they are an ACTIVE FI manager with capabilities across alternatives, EM, privates, etc. There's a reason why their AUM keeps reaching all-time highs despite "the current macro environment." 

Dec 31, 2021 - 5:38pm

I think you're overlooking the fact that the consulting side is heavy on sales too, especially if you want to command the big salaries. You think you're going to be collecting 350+ at PwC without bringing engagements in the door? Fughedaboudit!!!

You might as well take the big money now and still end up with PIMCO on your resume. Put in your time and when you're ready to move you will have the better salary for a few years and an eye-catching name on your resume. 

Dec 31, 2021 - 4:40pm

I mean do you see yourself selling Fixed Income funds all your career? Since it will be pretty difficult to get out of it. You might be able to switch to PB but not that common since you'll be targeting institutional instead of retail clients.

If those options do not convince you, yeah i'd take consulting. Comp at PIMCO might be negatively adjusted anyways, I would think l/t.

  • 1
  • 2
Dec 31, 2021 - 5:57pm

This is really an Apple vs. Orange scenario. They are both outstanding opportunities but very different (some similarities as someone already mentioned any long term advancement at MBB will require significant sales/relationship mgmt acumen). What do you want to do? If you want to be in AM, PIMCO is top shelf and is a deep knowledge shop. You'll be required to learn a ton about macro economics and the markets, even in a sales position. But it won't give you the expertise to run a manufacturing company or something like that. I mention that because the vast majority of folks who go MBB don't stay MBB. They move to industry. PIMCO, however, has many long term employees. Because they want to be with the best and they are. So again, what is it that you want to do?

Time for some soul searching.

Jan 4, 2022 - 6:31am

Thank you everyone for your valuable inputs.

After lots of soul searching and speaking with numerous alumni working at MBBs/strategy houses as well as PIMCO, I have decided to join PIMCO.

I'm quite attracted to the financial industry and feel like I would have exited to similar roles after a few years in consulting anyway. It's hard to pass on working for the top firm in the industry, which I have heard many good things about. I feel like I may as well take the exit opportunity now. It's certainly a huge plus that they are paying exit level salary now with upside as I get more tenured.

Most Helpful
Jan 4, 2022 - 7:47am

Congratulations. No bad decisions but you made a great one! Know people who work there in many different capacities including your new one. Most get there and stay. Unlike what others have stated, Account Managers are not limited to sales (although in and of itself that is a rewarding and quite lucrative position at PIMCO) as some move on to business leadership (Head of XYZ - yes may technically be in the sales funnel but are on the business mgmt side at that point). 

Regardless of position, you'll find PIMCO to be a deep knowledge, thought leader type organization. You'll be surrounded by very intelligent people that are highly motivated and performance driven, yet quite collaborative in their approach. That's unusual. Best in Class is just that. 

Enjoy the ride!

Jan 4, 2022 - 9:28pm

Hey, congrats on accepting PIMCO, I have a few questions about the role. What is this role is called, and does it differ based on the firm? What was the interview process like? And do you think it would be possible to exit strat consulting at a T2 and obtain a role like yours or is an MBA neccessary? Thanks!

  • Analyst 1 in HF - Other
Jan 4, 2022 - 11:28pm

Huge congrats! I'm sure you'll look back in 10 years and be happy with your choice. Best of luck.

Jan 5, 2022 - 12:52pm

I Interviewed for PIMCO Account Associate role before. it's really not just a relationship role, you will have to know excel, BBG, and other analytical tools profoundly since explaining the nuances of a portfolio can be quite in depth especially if discussing with private banks, financial advisors, etc. that know their stuff. Congrats on offer you did not make a bad decision at all and the exit opps can easily be PB, Investor Relations in the IB, consulting on the Asset and Wealth side, sell side sales, etc. 

Jan 5, 2022 - 2:07pm

Don't worry about exit ops as this is a great exit op for many. Focus on maturing in the position. Within a few yrs, you'll be earning 500k+ and will likely love the organization. From there you will get deeper in your channel or lateral to another channel (lots of channels within institutional and GWM). Some guys/gals will stay in the account mgmt role their whole career. Why? Because they love it and it pays really well -500k - 1Mish once you're SVP / EVP and performing. Others will move into a mgmt role like Head of Strategic Accounts or Head of Corp Clients or Head of FIG, etc. 

Pretty awesome opportunity without having to work 80+ hours per week. More like 60 max unless your in a PM role.

  • Associate 3 in S&T - Other
Jan 6, 2022 - 3:47am

Wondering how this might play out if the role were as a portfolio manager (vp level, their lowest for that role).  I get that the job would be closer to the investments side, but wondering about career stability as a pm there as well as attractiveness on a risk reward basis vs a research or accounts role at PIMCO.  What does the "brand" at PIMCO really get you as a trader (lots of people have been citing this)?  Interviews with hedge funds later down the line?  How much better can that be than that you get at any other asset manager or a normal hedge fund trader role?

Jan 7, 2022 - 9:21am

Congrats on your offers. I work in financial services serving clients including PIMCO, so take it as a view of somewhat of a close outsider.

Account Manager role at PIMCO doesn't necessarily limit you to a career in AM, but it will most likely limit you to sales/relationship management roles within the industry. Some people at my company moved from AM mostly doing relationship managent type roles.

Based on my knowledge, it should mostly a relaxing but very soft-skill focused roles. Hours will most likely be lower than in consulting in almost all the time.

I think the question boils down to how much you want to do consulting(or don't want to do sales). If you are really drawn to consulting, take consulting and don't look back.

I wouldn't think too much about how these positions may benefit your future start up as it most likely is 10+ years down the path.

I would take PIMCO if I were you, as I enjoy soft-skill centered roles, and I think the industry is pretty interesting, but that's up to you.

Jan 7, 2022 - 6:12pm

Lol Consulting is also a "Sales" role believe it or not. Just a different kind. 

Jan 8, 2022 - 10:21am

The comp would catch up at partner level at MBB from what I gathered, since comps in both paths increase at similar rate until partner level at consulting when the rate of increase becomes much steeper.

Jan 12, 2022 - 12:36am

I highly doubt expected comp at PIMCO would match MBB growth. In good years (i.e., recent years), I'd believe it. But there's a lot more downside risk, so comparing PIMCO's upside versus MBB's average isn't exactly fair.

You'd also need to consider the risk of your advancement stalling. MBB has a clear, tried-and-true promotion path with relatively high success rates at each promotion point (for those who want it). 

This PIMCO offer seems amazing, especially if you're interested in AM sales--but if you want realistic compensation upside, MBB's likely a better bet.

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