• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering.
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job.
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models.

Trying to choose between different roles based on eventual goal

I am currently working in Private Wealth Management Model Validation at an IB and have had experience in a Securitized Products Modelling team prior to my current role. In total, I have nearly had 5 years of Quant experience after graduating from a top 5 MFE program. I'm looking to shift into a new role that would put me on track to being able to eventually work under a PM on the buy-side. As I'm not a US citizen, it has proven to be easier to apply for roles internally, at the bank that I'm currently in. In doing this, I have received a couple of offers, at the same time. One for the Private Wealth Management Modelling team within the bank, which has the mandate to work on quantitative Strategic Asset Allocation, Dynamic Asset Allocation and Goal Based Asset Allocation models that are used to advice High-net Worth clients. The work primarily involves research and development of such models. The other offer I have received is for the MBS/CLO Research team within the bank (which sits on the trading floor), where I would be leveraging my quantitative background (specifically in Machine Learning) to help the team in publishing research and potentially helping advice the trading desks. Another offer I may be receiving soon is for a Funding trader role within the Treasury side of the bank, primarily focusing on Strategic ALM and making sure that the bank is appropriately funded in the short-run and managing a High Quality Liquid Assets portfolio. I was just wondering which route may be better in order to reach my eventual goal? I understand that becoming a trader would be the easiest route, but these are the offers I currently have. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
All else equal (and it’s not)
MBS > PWM > treasury
Non trivial question - which would you most enjoy?
 
All else equal (and it’s not)
MBS > PWM > treasury
Non trivial question - which would you most enjoy?
Thanks for the reply. I think my order of enjoyment would be PWM > MBS > treasury, as I would enjoy conducting quantitative research and the satisfaction that comes from building a model. However, my worry with PWM is that there may not be much scope for new ideas/models in that space, and the work would more be focused on adjustments to existing models, and currently there appears to be a focus on automation, which isn't as exciting to me. With regard to the MBS role, the analytics that goes into the articles that are published would be the most exciting component for me and the manager appears to want to use my quantitative background to help in this regard. Plus, the potential to interact with the trading desk, would be a very useful experience given my eventual goal. However, there will be slightly more mundane components like the actual writing part. For the Treasury role, I would be executing trades, but the work seems to be very regulation oriented.
 

pingu

Well-Known Member
Get the Treasury role. From your descriptions, that's the only one where you will be involved in managing money.
 
Get the Treasury role. From your descriptions, that's the only one where you will be involved in managing money.

After talking to the treasury team a little further, it would appear that the role has quite a bit of an operational aspect to it, so I'm leaning towards not taking it. Given that, which would you recommend among the MBS and PWM roles? Thanks
 

Liam

Well-Known Member
I am currently working in Private Wealth Management Model Validation at an IB and have had experience in a Securitized Products Modelling team prior to my current role. In total, I have nearly had 5 years of Quant experience after graduating from a top 5 MFE program. I'm looking to shift into a new role that would put me on track to being able to eventually work under a PM on the buy-side. As I'm not a US citizen, it has proven to be easier to apply for roles internally, at the bank that I'm currently in. In doing this, I have received a couple of offers, at the same time. One for the Private Wealth Management Modelling team within the bank, which has the mandate to work on quantitative Strategic Asset Allocation, Dynamic Asset Allocation and Goal Based Asset Allocation models that are used to advice High-net Worth clients. The work primarily involves research and development of such models. The other offer I have received is for the MBS/CLO Research team within the bank (which sits on the trading floor), where I would be leveraging my quantitative background (specifically in Machine Learning) to help the team in publishing research and potentially helping advice the trading desks. Another offer I may be receiving soon is for a Funding trader role within the Treasury side of the bank, primarily focusing on Strategic ALM and making sure that the bank is appropriately funded in the short-run and managing a High Quality Liquid Assets portfolio. I was just wondering which route may be better in order to reach my eventual goal? I understand that becoming a trader would be the easiest route, but these are the offers I currently have. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you.
Thanks for asking me to answer. Just to let you know, it was a bit difficult to work out what your goal is from the question and I had it read it 3 times. I'll give you the benfit of the doubt and assume you are far better at communicating in work, internet forums does that to people and it does it to me.

Sorry to give a generic answer, but it depends upon the bank as to which role actually involves managing money as these role titles will mean different things in different banks. When I started looking for quant work, I looked for work as an RM/PM and I was told that often people started as a trader before becoming PM, so yes, you might have a point. Only role that worries me is the modelling role as this doesn't involve managing money.

Also when you say you have a goal, is this based on what you hear about it, or based on your experience? I have a thing against this craze for fixating on goals and rigidly sticking to them as you find out as you navigate these things that you can or can't hack certain aspects. Why, oh why do we expect people to be able to pick career goals out from age of 12 before actually experiencing these roles? (FYI I'm not exaggerating - relatives actually started looking at me as if I was chicken shit for not knowing what I wanted to do in college aged 12. Not bitter just think it's sad and it's actuall gotten worse for kids these days).

The correct phrase is which role plays to your strengths? This isn't just about enjoyment but also being in a position where you will be celebrated. Break it down to key skills and which ones are tricky. The time pressure of being a PM was the worst I ever experienced. Even the level of time management I go through now as a data consultant isn't a patch on that. But some people either love that or it simply doesn't bother them and you may be one of those.

A better idea - pick a role that involves managing money and see if you can hack the time pressure. See how it goes. The role doesn't have to be something you enjoy, just that you can see yourself doing it for a good amount of time competently without hating it. It may involve enjoyment, and when it does that's a bonus. Some people I know happy with their lot do what they enjoy, but for many they are happy with their lot merely because they haven't bitten off more than they can chew. It's more about a combination of not hating what you do and not being over-stretched.

And don't be afraid to adjust career plans every now and then. To me it reflects facing the reality of going from "Oh I want role X or Y" because of what you heard or read about the role to actually doing it and it's all good. A lot of idiots, particularly those in slower paced industries see this as "not knowing what you want", don't listen to them. Having too rigid a goal is almost as bad as having no goal and being aimless.

Sorry if that's a bit off and a little wishy washy, as I haven't been in finance in 8 years, but I'd just say be mindful of being too goal oriented.
 
Last edited:
Top