take pwm offer at boutique or go big 4 acct

Rank: Senior Chimp | 25

Hi everyone,
What i have come here is to ask whether I should take a PWM internship this summer ( rising senior) or an internship in audit at a big 4. My career plan is to work at a big 4 auditing financial companies and then get an MBA and make the switch with some networking into an Asset Management firm (mutual fund).
WIth this offer I can get the internship straight into PWM at a boutique bank and get the experience necessary to switch to a mutual fund company.

Should I take this offer or go with my original plan?

Comments (11)

 
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Nov 30,2010

PWM doesn't exactly give you a correlating skill set to the mutual fund path. Bottom line, PWM is all about sales and client relationships. You would probably never do any rigorous equity analysis at the PWM boutique.

I would do the Big 4. You'll get the name brand on your resume which will help you land a FT offer and it will also help when you apply to BSchool.

 
Nov 30,2010

well its pwm within the private banking division. I thought that the equity research correlates to mutual funds

 
Nov 30,2010
 
Nov 30,2010

PWM and Private Banking are essentially the same thing. PWM generally works with clients that have $2.5MM+ and the PB works with clients north of $25MM. Obviously those numbers will vary firm to firm. Read my post again. PWM & PB are almost entirely sales driven. As an intern or analyst your job will not be to research investment ideas.

Equity Research = Mutual Funds (unless you're a trader or in the back office)

 
Nov 30,2010

I would recommend Big 4 for most people. In your situation (plan on going ft in Big 4 after graduation) I would DEFINITELY choose Big 4.

Unless you think PWM is a consideration for you fulltime, you almost have to choose Big 4. With a B4 internship you are all but guaranteed ft offers. Without the internship it could be a challenge (based on other factors).

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

 
Nov 30,2010

ok but this is one main concept I do not understand. In PWM you manage peoples money and get comp. based on your returns with AUM. Now, if I join as a 1st year , are you saying all I will be doing is cold calling to get clients rather then help out a senior official who is managing someones money?

Don't get me wrong, I do agree with you that it is sales driven, but I disagree with you about not doing any research or helping the senior out with potential stocks/industries/ etc. Do the senior people do this all on their own or something?
If all I am going to be doing a majority of time, is making cold calls and not adding any value or valuable experience to managing assets and learning about the market, then I see no reason at all to pursue this particular field

 
Dec 31,2010
liore22:

ok but this is one main concept I do not understand. In PWM you manage peoples money and get comp. based on your returns with AUM. Now, if I join as a 1st year , are you saying all I will be doing is cold calling to get clients rather then help out a senior official who is managing someones money?

Don't get me wrong, I do agree with you that it is sales driven, but I disagree with you about not doing any research or helping the senior out with potential stocks/industries/ etc. Do the senior people do this all on their own or something?
If all I am going to be doing a majority of time, is making cold calls and not adding any value or valuable experience to managing assets and learning about the market, then I see no reason at all to pursue this particular field

The answer to your question depends on the firm.

At a boutique you (or someone at the firm) will likely do a lot more of the research side of things.

At a place like ML or MS, where the advisors act as indpendent teams within the organization, someone in the group usually does most of the research; however, there is ample research available from internal sources.

On the other side of the spectrum, at JPM the local teams do very little (if any) research. All the research is done in NY and delivered to the local teams so that the advisors can focus soley on client service.

 
Nov 30,2010

I almost can guarantee you that as an intern or a 1st year analyst, you will do a) help a client to open a Roth IRA account, 2) send a necessary paper work to open a Joint account, 3) call a client to let him know that a request for $30k distribution is done, 4) receive a call from one of clients that he needs $50k right now to pay his amex credit card bill, 6) put together some easy pitch book about asset allocation.

So, take big 4. It's better for your life. If you wan to work at a mutual fund company as a portfolio manager, not a back-office person, then get a job at equity research or valuation type of job, get the CFA and go to top 10 MBA.

 
Nov 30,2010
 
Dec 31,2010