Portfolio Associate PIMCO

Pennypacker's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 44

Coming from S&T (3+ years experience), is this a role which can grow with time? The responsibilties are quite similar to the typical Junior PM roles advertised but PIMCO is known for hiring MBAs into their PM positions with only a few exceptions which makes me worry it is something you can get stuck in.

Description:

Portfolio Associate supports an assigned Portfolio Manager and or Senior "Generalist" Portfolio Manager, in the trade room. Portfolio Associate must build solid internal relationships and partnerships with portfolio management and Account Management across the firm's Global Offices. Additionally, the role frequently interacts with Product Management, Legal and Compliance and Operations.

Portfolio Associates provide:

* Portfolio summaries
* Portfolio monitoring
* Performance and attribution analysis in addition to other requested analytics
* Create reports for risk monitoring
* Monitor client portfolios position weights and product versus client guidelines
* Interaction with Compliance Department
* Assist in Account Transitions
* Re-balancing of portfolios to model/target weights
* Generating allocation studies across a set of mandates or products in accordance with investment guidelines and benchmarks
* Ad-Hoc requests from the Portfolio Management Team

Position Requirements

Qualified candidate will possess:
* Excellent communication skills
* Great attention to detail
* Advanced analytical skills in Excel
* Bachelor's degree from accredited college or university
* 2-3 years of working experience in the industry

Preferred:
* Working experience at trading desks or in trade operation (preferably in fixed income, but not limited to)
* Working knowledge in bond math and the various interest rate instruments (bonds, derivatives, futures, swaps, and foreign exchange)
* Working knowledge in database or programming
* Macroeconomics or finance background

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Comments (30)

Nov 16, 2014

I interviewed for this role last year and the interviewers told me that you cannot move into the PM role. You are basically stuck and they hire for PM roles with MBA grads.

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Nov 21, 2014

Yes no upward mobility

Dec 10, 2014

What about exit opps?

Dec 20, 2014

It sounds more like an ops type of role. An equivalent of sell-side trading assistant. Knowing PIMCO's recruiting is similar to sell-side firms given the size, the chance of growing into a PM is the same as a chance of a trade support growing into a trader.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Dec 20, 2014

Qualifications:
Advanced degree (MBA or MFE preferred) with concentration in math, science, finance, economics or other related quantitative/analytical field from a leading, accredited college or university.

Doesn't sound like they are looking for someone right out of undergrad

Dec 20, 2014

Could you answer under the assumption that I would be able to get this (or a comparable position) out of undergrad?

I am more interested in the long term potential of such a job.

Dec 20, 2014

These types of positions are pretty difficult to come by straight out of undergrad. Make sure you don't narrow your focus too much.

Dec 20, 2014

this is definitely a FO role. just because you are "supporting" a portfolio manager doesn't mean you are not in the FO... performance analysis, re-balancing, monitoring client portfolios, working "closely" with portfolio managers?

if you can get this out of undergrad (as above posters say, I really doubt this... everyone tries to move to the buy-side), it would definitely help you on your way towards being a PM. you get put directly in the buy-side, and good firms like PIMCO don't recruit PM's from the outside... they always promote from within

Dec 20, 2014

This is a prime position man, if you COULD get this (echoing the doubts of previous posters), I'd jump on it.

Dec 20, 2014

If you had to place a label on it, middle office would be most appropriate.

We have similar positions and even have a current company analyst who started as a portfolio analyst, so it's a good path IF you can get it.

Dec 20, 2014

you haven't written on your buyside blog in a while... get on it

Dec 20, 2014
lifesgreatmystery:

you haven't written on your buyside blog in a while... get on it

haha I posted yesterday! It's been a busy travel month.

Dec 20, 2014

FO role...this is a post MBA position. You support a PM in a specific PM group (i.e. Municipals). Extremely competitive, no undergrads in this position that I'm aware of. I know someone at PIMCO in that exact role. Probably one of the most direct ways to a PM role.

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Dec 20, 2014

interested. also, what are post-MBA PIMCO jobs like?

Dec 20, 2014

front office. but honestly if you have to ask these types of questions and are unsure of whats going on at PIMCO, then you have a long way to go for your offer.

Dec 20, 2014
Prangs:

front office. but honestly if you have to ask these types of questions and are unsure of whats going on at PIMCO, then you have a long way to go for your offer.

Oh I think it's ok. Different firms have different names for the same jobs. You can know "what's going on at PIMCO" generally without knowing what type of job a "portfolio associate" is.

Dec 20, 2014

interested as to why its considered front office? I get the feeling that your not actually making investment decision (whether it is trading related or research related). Seems like your "supporting" the people that make the decision with reports, monitors, etc...Maybe I'm wrong??

Also pay / bonus info would be helpful..thanks

Dec 20, 2014

I got the below text from an old post on WSO. If this is considered front office, that is surprising. Sounds like ops to me. Maybe ops is considered front office at PIMCO? Why exactly do they require MBAs for an ops position?

---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Portfolio Associate sits on the trade room floor and reports to and supports a senior "Generalist"portfolio manager, in the Newport Beach, CA trade room.

Responsibilities
Portfolio associates provide:
Portfolio summaries
* Portfolio monitoring
* Performance and attribution analysis in addition to other requested analytics
* Create reports for risk monitoring
* Monitor client portfolios position weights and product versus client guidelines
Portfolio Associates work closely with the Portfolio Managers on the
* Re-balancing of portfolios to model/target weights
* Generating trade execution studies across a set of mandates or products in accordance with investment guidelines and benchmarks
* Reviewing and ensuring pre- and post-trade compliance
Portfolio Associate must build solid internal relationships and partnerships with portfolio management andAccount Management in the firm's Global Offices. The role frequently interacts with Account Management,Product Management, Legal and Compliance and Operations.

Qualifications
The ideal candidate will possess
* Advanced abilities with Excel, VBA, SQL, business objects, and Bloomberg. Ability to program in one or more languages is a decided plus.
* Outstanding analytical skills with a proven ability to solve problems in a timely basis.
* Proven ability to operate efficiently in a high pressure environment.
* Able to work and communicate flawlessly with experienced Portfolio Managers. Can articulate ideas and strategies clearly, both verbally and in writing.
* Hands on Fixed Income technical skills in a buy or sell side trade room is a plus.
* Advanced degree (MBA or MFE preferred) with concentration in math, science, finance,
* economics or other related quantitative/analytical field from a leading, accredited college or university.
* Strong technical skills in fixed income.
* Strong relationship skills and proven ability to build strong relationships with their Portfolio Manager.
* Enjoy working collaboratively across the organization (especially with account managers) to resolve issues.

''You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you need to concentrate on.'' -- President George W. Bush
0.5 bb

Dec 20, 2014

I would try to think of Portfolio Associate as the Portfolio group, not operations or middle office. If anything, it's front office. PIMCO generally lumps employees into several groups--Account, Product, Portfolio, Cash (i.e. sec lending), and Credit Research. I may be missing a group or two. Yes, "portfolio associate" sounds like operations since you're helping out the senior PM, but think of it more as Jr. PM. The eventual goal is to be rise the ranks. Portfolio pays the most (double base on good performance) while Account (purely front office) pays the least. This is on a junior level. Bonuses will obviously differ on a more senior level based on performances. Feel free to PM me if you want more info about pay.

Dec 20, 2014

pm me

Dec 20, 2014

sent you a pm

Dec 20, 2014

Had a phone interview a couple of years back; I was asked general view of the market, discussed my background and why I was looking to move, and what's duration and convexity. it was pretty simple. Sure you know this but you will be up at the buttcrack of dawn if it's out of the Newport office. It's probably a great place to live though.

Dec 20, 2014

Did you get it?

Dec 20, 2014

what is duration and convexity?

=)

Best Response
Dec 20, 2014

What is Duration? There are many types of Duration. More than I am going to list but basically duration as a linear expression of the interest rate sensitivity of the bond.

Macaulay duration is expressed in years and is the time it will take for you to recoup the cost of the bond

Modified duration is the measurable change (in 100basis point moves) in the price of a bond given a change in interest rates. Meaning if interest rates change by X the price of the bond will change by Y. This is a simple calculation for bullet bonds and bonds with no embedded options. This is a simple calculation that can be done in excel.

Effective duration is a more complicated beast. This is similar to modified duration in that it measures the change in the price of a bond given a change in interest rates. However effective duration takes into account embedded options within the bond. Embedded options for example would include a call feature, convertible feature, put feature, etc. This type of bond price modeling is mainly done by programs where you simply put in the inputs. I recently had an interview where I was asked the same question. The PM said "if I asked the head trader to do an effective duration calculation he would look at me like I am crazy" You are not expected to know how to do effective duration but know what goes into it and how different variables effect it.

Convexity also helps to explain the change in the price of a bond given a change in interest rates. For example is interest rates are changing and the price of a bond will change by $50 due to duration, it may change another $10 due to convexity. Convexity measures the effect of the changing interest rates on the coupon. The larger the coupon the less convex it will be and vice versa.

If you look at a graph of convexity it will be easier to understand. If price is your Y axis and interest rates is your X axis, duration will be a linear line starting in the upper left hand corner sloping down to the right. As yields go up prices go down (inverse relationship). So think of duration as a linear expression of the interest rate sensitivity of the bond. Convexity on the other hand is not linear; it's more like a parabola. The convexity curve sits on top of the duration line and expresses a non linear price/interest rate relationship. Look at a graph and it will be easier to understand.

Hope this helps, let me know if you need clarification.

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Dec 20, 2014
Dec 20, 2014