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Is this a back-office IT role masquerading as a front-office quant one?

Back-Office vs Good Quant Role

  • Back-officey -- keep looking

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • Good opportunity -- take it

    Votes: 2 33.3%

  • Total voters
    6

Chase M.

New Member
Got an offer for a sell-side financing quant analyst role at a BB (not a top 3) IB division. However the responsibilities sound terribly back-officey: optimising funding costs, lending, inventory and collateral management, Δ1, balance sheets, GUI coding; there was very little math-grilling in the interview process.

I have a solid academic background and strong statistics, modelling, probability, optimisation and programming skils. I am working as a buy-side FO quant. However for a mid-tier firm -- and this is a problem. Top tier funds typically refuse to interview me. If they do -- I breeze through 10 or so rounds of hard-core math and programming grilling only to lose out to someone equally capable, but coming from a top-tier brand. My second problem is that I work on spot only, be it FX, equity, ETFs or bonds; which is dull and simple. I know theoretically how to price exotic options, but getting practical experience would be a whole different thing -- even some basic forwards or swaps pricing would enhance my current practical instrument knowledge. Basically, to move my career forward I need prestige points and derivative instrument experience.

So the questions really is: is this a worthwhile opportunity or a career-killer in disguise and better to keep looking? I also know that the general flow is sell side --> buy side; not the reverse.
 
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MRoss

Well-Known Member
you can lateral within the bank... heard it's kinda hard to do in certain bank e.g. ms and gs
Not sure your source. I work in MS and have moved a few times. Made it from Risk IT to S&T. They are excellent about internal mobility.
 

David.Wan

Active Member
C++
Not sure your source. I work in MS and have moved a few times. Made it from Risk IT to S&T. They are excellent about internal mobility.
Yup agreed. It is very easy to move within MS. As long as you are good and build the connection with the team you would like to work for.

To OP's question, lots of the FO strats job are like that nowadays. Don't be too surprise. Hardcore modelling is very rare and only few teams does it (and they must be really good to still survive until now).

Strats are not necessarily quants. Some of them are but lots of them are not nowadays. They are people who possess the technical skills but in the meanwhile can understand the bank's business. Well you can say this is little bit over marketing but it is what it is. At least it pays pretty ok :)
 
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