Straight to the Buy-Side

Have you jumped straight into the buy-side out of undergrad? Is it as impossible as people say it is? I am currently a senior doing a fall internship at a small family office in NYC that does a bunch of different stuff: incubation, short funds, quantitative finance, etc.

At first I wanted to do Investment Banking, because I thought that is the only real way into the buy side. It's what everybody does. However, talking to some people and to my boss, I realize this is not true. My boss even said that people from the sell side have a flight stigma attached to them and that he does not like their mentality. I also stumbled upon a throwback from WSO, talking about the benefits of going straight to the buy-side.

Do you think my boss is right? What do you guys think about the typical career path from sell-side analyst, to buy-side? Is this what you are pursuing? Do you IB analysts enjoy your work, or do you wish you had just started off at a HF, AM, or PE firm?

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Comments (16)

Oct 20, 2017
Nov 7, 2017

I agree with your boss in that I don't agree with the mentality. Personally, I didn't think slaving away for 2 years was worth it all, given, there was another option. I was fortunate enough to find full time opportunity at a pretigious GE/VC fund that had an analyst program, but the reality is that the options are extremely limited. Not many bayside firms recruit. So IB is the next best thjngs. It's hard to avoid it, and most people hate it. But they go in knowing there's an expiration date to the struggling, with buyside exit opps almost guaranteed, if you want, at the end.

Nov 7, 2017

So tell the what whole story. How did you reach the buy side directly?

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."

Nov 7, 2017

what's the break-down of responsibilities: i.e. modeling, market sizing, sourcing, competitor analysis, etc

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Nov 7, 2017

How big is the fund? What size investments do you make? Which sectors? What are the main differences in growth equity versus classic PE models? Do you use leverage in growth equity investing?

Nov 7, 2017

i don't know any undergrad who turned down blackstone PE when offered the job.

    • 1
Nov 7, 2017
jjc1122:

i don't know any undergrad who turned down blackstone PE when offered the job.

Based on the recruiting trends of my classmates, there's not a lot of overlap in the students applying to BW and BlackStone. One set of people are set on the quant/trader track at Citadel/BW/Jane Street, and the other on the ibd/pe track at GS/MS/BX. As a result, it's very unlikely that the said undergraduates turned down BW like firms.

Nov 7, 2017
unqwertyfied:
jjc1122:

i don't know any undergrad who turned down blackstone PE when offered the job.

Based on the recruiting trends of my classmates, there's not a lot of overlap in the students applying to BW and BlackStone. One set of people are set on the quant/trader track at Citadel/BW/Jane Street, and the other on the ibd/pe track at GS/MS/BX. As a result, it's very unlikely that the said undergraduates turned down BW like firms.

i agree that in general there's not a big overlap. but a decent number of top undergrads at harvard, wharton, princeton, MIT, do apply to both citadel and blackstone. consensus was that along with DE Shaw, those two were the most "prestigious" financial firms to work for straight after college.

Nov 7, 2017

.

Nov 7, 2017

What hedge funds?

Nov 7, 2017

I do. Someone at H/W turned BX PE down for RX back in the day.

Nov 7, 2017

Yeah, there's not a single firm that isn't occasionally turned down. Even amongst the top places it sometimes just depends on personal preference.

Nov 7, 2017

i would add Qatalyst and Silverlake to that list.

Nov 7, 2017