I graduated from college 4 years ago and have been an equity research analyst in a fairly large and well-known asset manager in my region for about 2 years. We are multi-manager and run several long-only or long-biased strategies. I like the investment process, the relative stability of the firm (much better than many small funds or large pod shops), the freedom I have in terms of research. I work as a generalist and I can be very flexible in what to look at.
Most importantly, the firm is keen to promote analysts to PMs or at least co-PMs who have a small book to run. I am told 2 years down the road I may be able to become a co-PM. Chance is not bad from my observation. Last year we promoted an analyst to co-PM, but he left and moved to another country. This year we just promoted an analyst to be a PM and he is just a couple of years senior than me.
The bad thing here is that analysts are not paid that well. I would say the pay is acceptable, much better than many small funds (especially after adjusting for the career stability) but still lag behind the global asset managers operating here. And I just got an offer from a fairly large global LO manager, and the pay is considerably better.
My ultimate goal is to become a PM, running the same kind of long-term fundamental strategy. Should I just endure 2-3 years to see whether I can make it to PM, or I just jump straight to the LO? Obviously it would take much longer to become a PM in the LO.