Which has better exit ops, ops or PWM?

YoungHedge's picture
Rank: Baboon | 118

Neither of the two are the best when it comes to breaking into Asset Management or equity research, but which of the two is easier to move over to the buyside?

PWM probably has more networking opportunities and you are doing something front office-ish (mostly sales)

Ops, on the other hand, is that you are gaining experience doing something tangible outside of cold sales, but none of what you learn seems to be transferable or interesting?

My first impression is that PWM/PB is the way to go of these two, just wanted to see that the board has to say. I'm currently trying to network my way directly into asset management, trading, or research. But if that does not work, I will need to do something between now and bschool.

Comments (13)

Oct 13, 2010

Ops is going to be pretty operational stuff. It won't really give you a bigger picture look at things since it's so low level. There's going to be a lot of fuzzy soft skills with PWM, I say if you complement that with CFA Level 1 you can at least get your foot in the door for asset mgmt, research, and mb trading. They are different skillsets...which can be your explanation for your transfer when that takes place. You might say you want something more numbers based or where you get to formulate your own judgments on where the market is headed. PWM soft skills play a good role in asset management...the other fields need less of this and more and the rigors of the analysis. Take CFA to overcome those weaknesses....and last resort is the MBA route - you'll have to take your GMAT (checkout GMATPill)

Business school opens doors but you'll still need some experience to stand on..it's not just the degree itself..it's your experience beforehand that will edge you over your peers.

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Oct 13, 2010

Ops is the biggest joke known to finance/career. There is no transferrable skillset and you learn nothing. Do PWM and take the CFA, and network

    • 1
Oct 13, 2010

Actually, it depends where you do ops. trading desk can be pretty useful...may be transferrable. hard but possible. pwm ops tough. not gonna send you anywhere.

pwm > ops

Oct 13, 2010

PWM a thousand times dude, if for no other reason than you might get out of pwm without killing yourself and potentially make some decent contacts. Plus the name won't hurt. I had to do a little tour thing once and sat with the ops people for 2 hours and still cannot comprehend how the fuck they don't just leave and never go back.

BTW, is this PWM or GWM?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Oct 13, 2010

It doesn't matter what division it is. Ops is Ops. It's a dead end career path

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Oct 13, 2010

Ops is not necessarily a dead end career path, at least it didn't used to be but maybe things have changed. I started in derivative Ops at a top BB a number of years ago, and most of the guys I started with eventually ended up with jobs in trading or sales (mostly trading). I left to switch into banking, but Ops jobs that have close contact with or actually sit on the desk (generally deemed to be middle office roles) can give you enough face time and exposure to the right people. If you are able to impress them, then you should find opportunities to make the transition. To do this it's important to take initiative to learn more about what is going on around you than what is simply required to complete your assigned job tasks.

Additionally, rising up the ranks in Ops can be a great career. One guy I know who did that is actually much more successful than all but a couple of the traders that I know, and he's definitely making more money than anyone I know of a similar age on the banking side of the wall.

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Oct 13, 2010

I know a kid go grew up in the ghetto and did drugs. He actually was able to become president of the United States. Of course there is an exception to every rule, but this is the rule.

Jan 20, 2014

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Oct 13, 2010

Eyelikecheese, I am not saying that everyone who starts in Ops will have a brilliant career path laid out for them. I am simply saying that I have many examples of successful people who started there. My opinion is based on more than a singular occurrence.

I was personally able to spend a couple of years in Ops and then leverage that into a banking job at another IB. Two of my best friends stayed the course at our original firm and are now traders. A number of other former colleagues successfully went on to various front office positions from trading to sales to structuring. Upper level management within Ops can make more money than a VP in banking does.

There are probably a few kids on this forum who may be considering Ops as a career path. It's an area of finance that receives constant bashing by posters here, but the reality is that it can be a good place to start, particularly if you want to break into finance during a down economy. Spending a couple of years in Ops at a BB in NYC is a lot better resume builder than living in your parents basement playing video games after graduating college, and in my opinion it's a much better place to start than doing cold calls for some random stockbroker's office.

Oct 13, 2010

have you looked into equity research?

Oct 25, 2010

It depends on you as a person if you want to eventually be a VP or MD you better off working in a more sales orientated financial role. PWM is good for this since you should have client exposure early on. The networking skills, relationship management and ability to close deals is what will ultimately make you truly successful. If you take the ops roles it simply won't have front end business exposure. However be honest with yourself about what you want..alote of people on this forum have this idea of having a top job in a investment bank, PE, HF but scared of sales!! If that's the case work in ops or stay as analyst or associate for the rest of your life and let the sales guys bring home the bacon so you can get on working on your spreadsheets and creating/re-writing pitch books if that's what you happy doing.

Oct 25, 2010

I worked in the PB at a BB as a summer analyst. The analysts at the BB I was at had little to no client interaction. That typically doesn't happen until the associate level, which you don't get to until 3-4 years down the road, or with an MBA.

Some smaller shops may have junior people facing clients, but at the BB I worked at, there is little to no sales experience or development of sales skills at the junior level. This may not be the same for all big banks. I'm pretty sure junior people at Goldman have a little more client interaction.

Oct 25, 2010
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