Q&A: Back Office > Middle Office > Front Office

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WSO Gang 

After countless ups & downs, interviews, mobility attempts, "catch ups", etc., I've finally made it (back) to the Front Office at an amazing firm in an amazing space. 

 

Background

I graduated from a semi-target (texas target), joined a small RIA as the only employee, and was let go about 6 months into the job as the PM was a serial "firer". I took the first job I could find as a back office processing employee at a data vendor, got hired into a middle office role at a BB and found success, and finally was just offered a role in the front office. 

There's been times where I've thought about giving up and staying in operations, going to business school, or leaving finance altogether but persevered and pushed through it. I'm writing to you all now to help answer any questions about my incredibly unconventional journey to IB and would like to help others that are in the position I was in make it across the line. Fire away!

 

Comments (4)

 
Sep 1, 2020 - 8:42pm

For sure. 

So I started in a LevFin middle office role and was super transparent with my managers from Day 1. Always let them know I wanted to become a subject matter expert in the space but also wanted to generate revenue for the firm some day. They said to become an expert (because at the time our team was hiring, we had an 'expert' that was 'asked to manage another team') and that they would help and be supportive of the front office move. 

I never got any real traction until I was asked to start a new operations team in NYC (currently based out of a regional office) during a short term 3 month assignment and got a lot of clout when the team found a lot of success. From there, I caught the attention of IB leadership and had them putting in good words to partners of the desks that I wanted to work at. 

I think it's important to note that I wouldn't have gotten the opportunity for the short term assignment had I not put in the work (particularly when no one was looking) and do things the right way instead of the easy way. It's easy to get lost in the button clicks and day to day processes in an operations role and its up to you to make what you want of it. I got myself to the point where I was the point of contact with all of our clients and counterparties for any operational aspects of LevFin transactions and that helped my case when my name finally got dropped in the hat. 

 
Sep 2, 2020 - 1:01pm

What's the best advice you can give to a back-office newbie who is planning to work his way up? What are the challenges you encountered?

 
Sep 2, 2020 - 4:31pm
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