Comments (43)

Jan 24, 2010 - 6:55pm

Tough one,
Each company has good funds and not so good funds
You can't rank on presitge in this industry, its about performance. figure out the style you are interested in: equity vs. fi vs. alt then equity = lcg, lcv etc... You'll see its not a simple ranking

Jan 25, 2010 - 9:26am

I agree with LAWM in that it varies by product and client type. In ternms of large, active, institutional AM firms, I would go with PIMCO, Wellington, GSAM, Blackrock, JPMAM, and AllianceBernsterin from Brotherbear's list. It is nearly impossible to make compensation comparisons. They aren't all taking in a large analyst class each year like BBs do for IB. For experienced hires, they all pay market rates for the given position.

PIONLINE.COM has rankings by AUM. This can give you a sense of what funds these firm's manage. Of course, size doesn't mean prestige or even compensation.

Feb 7, 2010 - 5:58pm

Under GSAM, I'm being offered:
1. Investment Partners (IP)
2. Global Solutions Partners (GSP) - Portfolio Management
3. Private Equity Group (PEG)

and I'm being told if I start in one, I'll be able to laterally transfer to the other. Not sure if this actually possible??
Which would be most enjoyable since I can do all three?

Jul 29, 2014 - 4:07pm


Under GSAM, I'm being offered:

1. Investment Partners (IP)

2. Global Solutions Partners (GSP) - portfolio management

3. Private Equity Group (PEG)

and I'm being told if I start in one, I'll be able to laterally transfer to the other. Not sure if this actually possible??

Which would be most enjoyable since I can do all three?

Which one did you end up joining? Just curious to know what made you choose one over other.
Feb 26, 2018 - 2:02am

Hi MutualMonkey,
I'm trying to get an idea of the landscape among the AM arms of the BBs, since they seem most attainable out of undergrad. Do you have any knowledge about how they tend to stack up? And do their Investment Banks' "prestige" affect exit opportunities? Thanks!

Aug 7, 2014 - 10:04am

I'll chime in here. don't know about prestige, but I think it's more name recognition & history which makes them respected. AF is one of the biggest asset managers in the world, and they have some of the oldest funds in the world (investment company of america). the returns are not out of this world for the entire firm, but ICA has had over a 12% return since inception 80 years ago. while that's an extremely long time and a very opportune time to start investing in US equities, it's still impressive in my opinion. other examples are american mutual (11% yoy since inception in 1950, one of the first non tobacco/alcohol funds), AMCAP (11% since inception 1967), and EuroPacific is one of the older (Brandes global equity is oldest I believe) international funds (also 11% yoy since inception 1984).

I agree, those are not insane returns, but I think compounding at 10%+ over 30, 40, 60, 80 years is a surefire way to financial independence. as far as analyst work, I'd bet that you would get more exciting work at a deep value/distressed shop than somewhere like AF where the process is pretty plain Jane.

Best Response
Aug 7, 2014 - 12:13pm

I'm fairly familiar with Capital, though I've never worked there. I think the prestige really stems from their investment process, as well as the fact that they are a private company with over a trillion in AUM, which makes the economics pretty juicy for everyone relative to other big publicly traded long-onlys.

Things like a sizable research portfolio (signals conviction), portfolio counselor approach (e.g. 6-8 PMs each investing in their highest conviction ideas), truly global collaboration (enabled by best-in-class teleconferencing infrastructure), and a fairly 'academic' culture that encourages dissenting opinions make them much more likely to outperform over the long-run. If you meet some of their analysts, you will likely be very impressed. Whether its a guy that's been covering Indonesian equities for 25 years and is well connected to all of the political families, or some of their very senior tech ppl that have been around since eToys was still a good idea... they are sharp, and yet extremely approachable. That's not to say you won't find great career analysts at Fido, Putnam, TRowe, FranklinTempleton, Dodge etc., but it is just the norm over there.

You will get a lot of guys that will walk away from Citadel or Soros offers to join Capital, which is not really the case at other MFs in my experience. All that said, I agree that their performance has been slipping the past few years. If they can't correct that they will likely see some decent outflows. But given their process, I wouldn't really bet against them over a 10 yr horizon.

Aug 7, 2014 - 12:52pm

I gave a banana for this very excellent summary of Capital. I agree with everything here. Capital is definitely a bit more cerebral and contrarian than the other mutual funds, and the caliber of talent there is exceptional. All the big mutua funds recruit regularly at my school, and Capital is the only place where no one can get an offer. From what I've heard, it's been several years since anyone got an offer there. They usually hire the best from just HBS and Stanford.

Capital has seen a $250 billion outflow since the financial crisis, so they are trying hard to recover. One area they're trying to get into is ETFs, so they can reach more customers and get rid of the middleman in terms of distribution.

Anyone know how Brandes is doing? They were at 70 billion AUM at its highwater mark, and last time I checked they were down to like $15. But this is a bit outdated.

Aug 7, 2014 - 12:55pm

Similar to the top prop trading firms ranking. I'm factoring in prestige, compensation, selectivity, type of work, exit opportunities, etc.
  1. PIMCO
  2. Wellington
  3. Capital Group
  4. Grantham Mayo
  5. Dodge and Cox
  6. BlackRock
  7. T Rowe Price
  8. Fidelity
  9. MFS
  10. Putnam

Just like in Trading, you cannot simply rank a firm. There are too many factors one needs to consider (e.g. strategies, products, etc...).

Having said that, BlackRock is the world's largest AM firm and has Larry Fink at its helm. That alone is good enough to rank it as one of the world's, if not the world's leading firms.

Aug 7, 2014 - 12:56pm

Please let people post their lists, it'll put more names into my excel sheet of who to cold call :)

How does Janus do, btw?

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Aug 7, 2014 - 1:00pm

I'm not listening to him.

Walkio: cold-calling and cold-emailing works at any firm when you get the right person on the phone.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Feb 26, 2018 - 4:39pm

Very few BB have good AM arms. I'm even shocked that Goldman's been listed, as the AM part of the firm has lagged the IB arm's vaunted reputation. Honestly, their ETFs are gaining assets on the 9bps fee, and the fact that Joe Schmoe FA from Topeka can now easily put his clients in a Goldman product. Not to knock our neighbors in the GS building though, as they bring in serious bucks. (The JC building on the other hand... ;-D )

Honestly, the workforces for AM firms are small. We manage over $1/4T with 2000 people, and we are high-touch. Vanguard supposedly has under 15k, and they manage client accounts. Hires are specific, as opposed to class-sized, and you get to know people quickly. I know a number of custom index groups, and half the talking heads, nobody was from a "class."

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
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