What advice do you have for my current situation, work as research analyst

My goal is to oneday work as a portfolio manager managing money.

I currently work as a junior research analyst for a high net wealth firm covering all asset classes (equities, fixed income, property). We have a very small research department, in fact I am pretty much it underneath another guy that calls the shots - nontheless, I present a lot of ideas to him for my level. I know this sounds ludicrious considering I have less than one years work experience. My role responsibilities are as follows:

- We run a 20 stock portfolio (similar to an SMA) and I have to track each stock, think portfolio management in a way. I look at a universe of stocks outside of the 20 portfolio stocks also that are potential targets to enter the portfolio. I came up with the previos initial portfolio stock switch recomendation however, it was my senior guy who came up with the real indepth reasons behind the trade, which he basically extended my reasons to greater depth after approving them. I then prepare the write up which goes out to investors. We dont do any financial modelling such as an equities research shop (i have worked 6 months in a equities research shop and done this previously), the strategy is mostly fundamental and using other peoples research reports like UBS, JP Morgan, Citi, Goldmans etc. to tell us whats happening and then we dig deeper by talking to management or other fund managers in the industry. I form my own opinions based on all this research and discuss it in the investment comittee for potential changes to the overall portfolio.
- We have a number of hedge funds and long only managed fund strategies that we invest in whether it be international equities, domestic long/ short funds, absolute return fixed interest etc. On a quarterly basis, we meet up with these management teams and see how they are tracking and how they are thinking. Saying this, we do track them on a monthly basis. As you would think, its really all about delivering here.. we are patient but generally go with reputable portfolio manager names or funds that have deliver superior track records. This is really engaging as I have learnt a lot by talking to some of the smartest names in the business and trying to work out how they think and what their strategies are.
- we run a unlisted property fund that design high yielding multi million dollar property syndicates (we currently have about 50 mil under management which is sizeable for a private wealth firm). I dont do much work on this side however, when the analysts on this team get swamped I come in and give them a hand or research potential areas for demographic/ development trends and any medium term risks around the area.

Anyway, as I dont really do really any financial modelling (although I am not really concerned with this because its not the be all and end all as you can just do a course on it an smash it out for 120 hours + i have had 6 months experience in this area) and my firm is a boutique name (so wont be known internationally) (although I do have massive exposure to some of the BB banks and top buyside mangers in the industry), I am concerned that my career prospects going forward, any opinions on this?

Do you see this job opening any doors? I have a first class honours degree (finance) at a non-target + university tutoring and lecturing experience + four big 4 accounting firm internships before I got this role. Do you think I should bite the bullet and go do a masters in finance at a top 20 university, I am thinking imperial college (london) to be honest and have been in discussions with them having approved my candidacy. I am thinking hopefully this would lead to a BB or something and then i could gain access from here into a HF or a reputable AM firm.

Any thoughts on my position if any I would be extremely greatful.

Comments (10)

Jul 22, 2013

I am basically trying to find out, will my experience be useful in landing another job post my junior status with a reputable company? Or should i go to imperial college (anyone know much about this lot in regards to industry rep?)... hmmmm

Jul 23, 2013


Jul 23, 2013

Your role is ok for a first job out of college, but I'd think you'd want to get into a role spending more time on primary securities analysis rather than evaluating other analysts (as you do with long only and HF managers). The best bet to make the switch is probably a graduate program. As far as I know Imperial is very highly regarded in London- which course is it?

Jul 23, 2013

I really appreciate your reply.

"As far as I know Imperial is very highly regarded in London- which course is it?"

Masters of Finance. I think, there is no point doing my MBA yet as I dont have the required work experience and the MSc Finance is a good avenue, especially if you know you want to work in finance.

Since I have been out of college for over 3 years now, I think that it is too late to land a grad program. This is why I think that taking the risk and going back to a well respected school is worth it - in this case, i will be connected with prestigious firms.

do you see any other way to get into primary securities analysis other than this route? I could probably switch into a position after 2 years as a junior but do you think that no doing primary atm (as I am doing 3rd party analysis) will impair my opportunities to get into primary?


Jul 24, 2013

You're right about the grad programs and making it an easier transition. Yes, it's very hard to make the switch because frankly there are few transferrable skills. May also want to look into LBS master of finance as that is slightly higher regarded imo.

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Jul 9, 2014

CFA would always be worth it IMO in asset mgmt... Considering you aren't in school and working at a PM shop. Sounds like a decent gig for now though.

Jul 10, 2014