top AM firm rankings

newtoAM's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 14

what are your personal top 5 asset mgmt firms in terms of prestige?
(includes BB, MM, boutique, HF)

Comments (8)

Feb 20, 2011

Disclaimer: I only have 3 years of experience in the industry so I am not necessarily correct, plus it's all opinions. Either way, I think rankings should go by category

Traditional AM firms
BlackRock, Fidelity, Wellington, T. Rowe Price, MFS, Capital Group, PIMCO
These firms recruit almost exclusively at top MBA programs (and most of the time HSW + Chicago) and take a few undergrads from top schools a year.. They can afford to be VERY selective and really cherry pick because they only hire a few a year.

BB AM arms
Relatively easier to land a job at BB AM arms because of the slightly bigger hiring needs and some comparatively less desirable positions. For instance, BBs do quite a bit more FoF work than the traditional AM firms and you might get stuck in those positions. Also, BB tend not to distinguish their AM analyst class when they are hiring. I have heard stories about being stuck in a product management/institutional sales type of role while being given the impression that they would be doing investment.

Hedge funds are a mixed bag. It is really hard to rank but you have your most prestigious ones like Paulson, DE Shaw, Citadel,Bridgewater, Tudor etc

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Feb 20, 2011

why many people think FoF is worse than fund investing in stocks? why many can assume product management/institutional sales is less rewarding/interesting than portfolio managers?

thanks for your thoughts.

Feb 20, 2011

why many people think FoF is worse than fund investing in stocks?

The transferable skillset you gain from direct investment analysis is exponentially better than FoF work. You can always go from investment to FoF while the other way, while possible, is much harder because of the skill set.


why many can assume product management/institutional sales is less rewarding/interesting than portfolio managers?

Interesting question. I am not saying one is superior to the other, but at any AM firms, the focus is pretty much always on the investment organization. The investment professionals are the center of the universe within the firm, Everything else really cater to them.
Can a fund run without product management? Probably not as well. Can a fund run without sales? Absolutely not. But that doesnt mean the hierarchical order isnt there.
Also, all else being equal, an investment professionals make quite a bit more than product management and sales professionals (i mean comparing an junior research analyst with 3 years under his belt vs a product manager/sales guy with the same amount of experience)
also, this is personal experience. Based on what I see, research associates/junior research analysts enjoy much better success applying to top MBAs than the product management/sales counterparts.

Feb 20, 2011

I hope i dont offend anyone. Just my honest assessment from a junior research analyst's point of view.

Feb 20, 2011

The prestige of the firm depends a lot on your position. At the analyst / associate level, GSAM is probably the most prestigious because of the Goldman Sachs name and the difficulty of getting a job there (in certain groups). At more senior levels, group performance factors heavily into prestige, so the rankings fluctuate pretty much with each business cycle. For instance, GSAM is overall doing pretty badly right now, so working right under the senior people there doesn't look so great. When you're at that point in your career, and if you're still in asset management, then you will know where the hot places are.

  • EDIT *

I didn't realize you included hedge funds there. Pretty much any established hedge fund is more prestigious than any other type of asset management group at the junior level. My ranking (of prestige at the junior level, not performance):

  1. Renaissance Technologies
  2. D.E. Shaw
  3. Citadel
  4. Paulson & Co.
  5. Top BB groups

For example, top BB group would include GSIP and QIS within GSAM and Highbridge Capital within JPM (well, quasi-within).

Feb 20, 2011

What I find funny about those working at the traditional AM firms is that despite recruiting people with supposed smarts (i.e. out of HSW and top MBA programs) most of the mutual funds (Fidelity in particular) seem to do shit relative to their benchmark index. The supposed alpha we should see from active management other than a select few mutual funds just isn't present. Other than the Magellan fund when it was run by Peter Lynch many moons ago, I've been thoroughly disappointed in mutual funds overall. Especially when you factor in tax issues, index funds are the way to go.

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Feb 26, 2011


Mar 1, 2011

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