Portfolio Analyst - Portfolio Analytics Group

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sk8247365 - Certified Professional
Rank: Gorilla | banana points 657

What does a portfolio analyst do in the portfolio analytics group? It says you will be assigned a portfolio--is this an equity portfolio? What type of portfolios are "assigned" in this role?

What are the exit ops for a position like this? Is it a good starting point for someone wanting to manage an equity portfolio, or just for portfolio management in general?

It looks like everything on here is talking Blackrock---this is not a position there, so the exit ops may vary from PAG-->PMG.

Any ideas?

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Comments (19)

Apr 27, 2011

I'm speaking from a bit of experience because I was a summer analyst in a PWM group for a large bank and dealt with these people occasionally.

Portfolio Analyst is back office role in which you'll be producing and managing pnl and risk reports for the portfolios assigned to you. It's quite tedious work tbh. You will occasionally have the opportunity to speak with PMs and so if you're very charming and a solid networker, you can make something happen. You should know that most of the contact you will have with a PM is if they think you've fucked up and reported their performance to be lower than what they think it is, and so generally they won't have a very good impression of you regardless of how well you do your job. There is no real path from portfolio analyst to a PM role down the line. With a bit of luck and a lot of sweat, anything is possible, but if you have other alternatives, I would pick those over this opportunity.

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Apr 27, 2011

Ehh, you can make the argument it's a middle-office job, but you're going to be working with a number of hedge funds and mutual funds and meeting with their managers. There's a lot of quants, a lot of math, and a lot of risk analysis.

So is it front-office? I dunno. I think the best comparison is really financial consulting. That's basically what this is. It's an oft-overlooked career path with a lot of very smart down-to-earth people, and the economics/lifestyle would make megafundguy "JELLY".

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Apr 27, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Ehh, you can make the argument it's a middle-office job, but you're going to be working with a number of hedge funds and mutual funds and meeting with their managers. There's a lot of quants, a lot of math, and a lot of risk analysis.

Dollar per hour, you'll earn more than a banker when you're 40- and you'll age about 5-10 fewer years in the interim.

Perhaps there's a cultural difference between banks, but at the place where I interned, it was definitely back office. Don't get me wrong, the people in the group seemed a lot happier than the PMs I worked for. They strolled in at 9, left shortly after 5, made six figures after putting in 5-6 years and never ever took their work home with them. All I'm saying is that if being a PM is your goal, starting in a PAG is not your best bet.

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Apr 27, 2011
manbearpig:

Perhaps there's a cultural difference between banks, but at the place where I interned, it was definitely back office. Don't get me wrong, the people in the group seemed a lot happier than the PMs I worked for. They strolled in at 9, left shortly after 5, made six figures after putting in 5-6 years and never ever took their work home with them. All I'm saying is that if being a PM is your goal, starting in a PAG group is not your best bet.

The analysts in the group I worked with were getting compensated on the same pay scale as Equity Research. The thing is that almost everyone had a graduate degree in mathematics, financial engineering, or some quantitative subject.

If you want to be a C-level risk manager, a graduate quantitative degree and then portfolio analytics is probably the place to start.

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Apr 27, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

The analysts in the group I worked with were getting compensated on the same pay scale as Equity Research. The thing is that almost everyone had a graduate degree in mathematics, financial engineering, or some quantitative subject.

If you want to be a C-level risk manager, a graduate quantitative degree and then portfolio analytics is probably the place to start.

That's interesting. Do you mind PMing me some more details about the group you're referring to? There are some friends from my MFE who are looking to move to the US. It might be a good thing for them to check out then. They're definitely interesting in staying in the MO risk side of things.

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Apr 27, 2011

It is always hard to say what my goal is, given that it continues to change based on new opportunities. Like illi said, this was never really on the list, as it is not a typical finance path like ER IB HF PM or whatever. But I have an interview, and I really appreciate the info.

So do people stay in this role for awhile? You mentioned comp at ER levels. Having worked in MM ER, I can say 1st years make $100k+, 7-8 year (vp level) is at $500k+ and MD is 700K+. These numbers seem high for PAG.

Does the CFA fit in this career well?

From these responses I can assume that the career path is portfolio analyst -->senior or leaving to a risk management position somewhere.

Thanks again.

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Apr 28, 2011

There are plenty of people who go from PAG at BlackRock to PMG and other groups that people on here would think are much more prestigious.

Apr 28, 2011

Portfolio management is investment management - managing the wealth of high net worth clients, endowments, institutions. Also a lot of analyst-level work: pulling numbers, calculating returns.

I'll include a post about this in my blog, which is catered towards undergrads interested in finance.

Breaking Bankers
http://chasingconsultantsbreakingbankers.blogspot....

Apr 28, 2011

High net worth??? Where in heavens name did you get that from???

portfolio management @ RBS is middle office credit work. The Origination guys are client facing and get the deal in. Portfolio Management will then monitor the deal - monitors financial performance of companies, provide internal ratings - which these days is a lot of waiver requests and covenant resettings. PM also look at how much say the bank is / should be exposed to geographical locations / sectors etc.

Apr 28, 2011

its like corp banking function.....

Apr 28, 2011

bump - what preparation is required would be good

Apr 28, 2011

Check out Glassdoor and search for your company, similar companies, or "Portfolio Analyst" under "Interviews" in the dropdown. That should give you an idea of what to expect. Also, it never hurts to know the fundamentals through and through.

http://www.glassdoor(dot)com/Interview/portfolio-analyst-interview-questions-SRCH_KO0,17.htm

Replace (dot) with a period.

That being said, I would like to hear first-hand from others on this forum what their experiences have been.

Apr 28, 2011

Also interested - BUMP. Mostly in MM PE funds / smaller HFs.

Apr 28, 2011

Know at least two stocks well and don't sound like an idiot when talking about them. (Assuming security analyst)

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Apr 28, 2011

I'm assuming this is an investment analyst role.

Show passion for the market, know a few stocks well, talk intelligently about the stocks/market, be likable, etc.

"Knowing what you don't know" is not a bad thing at these types of places. Don't try to bullshit, just be honest.

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Apr 28, 2011

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