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Moving from corporate finance to asset management

Hi All,

Hoping for some useful advice regarding my prospects of moving from corporate finance to asset management.

Bit of background about me: graduated 2013 with a degree in econ from a non-target and started working for a strategy consultancy, specialising in FS. I attempted to make the move to asset management through 2016 but struggled because of my experience against candidates with relevant experience and therefore decided to take a job in corporate finance as a stepping stone. Now worked in corporate finance the past 12 months and want to start attempting to make the jump again, but don’t seem to be making much traction. Since graduating, I have also passed CFA Level I (CFA II Candidate), CAIA Level I (CAIA Level II) candidate and the IMC. While these have helped get interviews, I am not finding they are a game changer.

Would appreciate thoughts on what things I could do to improve my prospects and possible options for making the jump?

Thanks in advance,

L00000000l wrote:

Hi All,

Hoping for some useful advice regarding my prospects of moving from corporate finance to asset management.

Bit of background about me: graduated 2013 with a degree in econ from a non-target and started working for a strategy consultancy, specialising in FS. I attempted to make the move to asset management through 2016 but struggled because of my experience against candidates with relevant experience and therefore decided to take a job in corporate finance as a stepping stone. Now worked in corporate finance the past 12 months and want to start attempting to make the jump again, but don’t seem to be making much traction. Since graduating, I have also passed CFA Level I (CFA II Candidate), CAIA Level I (CAIA Level II) candidate and the IMC. While these have helped get interviews, I am not finding they are a game changer.

Would appreciate thoughts on what things I could do to improve my prospects and possible options for making the jump?

Thanks in advance,

Clear level II and then level III. Network. Impress those you network with also. No one really cares about passing level I to be honest. I know from experience. Since you don’t have a target school background and presumably no BB bank name on your resume, completing the CFA program and networking are really your two best options.

Just keep looking and applying for jobs.  The vast majority of people in Finance never went to a top school or worked at a BB. Keep networking. Move over a financial advisory position where you will meet and work with people in asset management regularly. Ask them how to do it, and if they have openings. Call every mutual fund company and ask them if ther are any openings.

Financial Planner
BBA (Finance & International Business) 1998,
MBA (With a Global Perspecytive) 2011,
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What are some of the so called “asset management” jobs that you are interested in?

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You can do it, but it’s going to be hard. I’m in corporate finance and recently was offered a job for one of the investment analyst roles at an institutional asset manager… Due to where they wanted me to relocate to, I turned down the offer.

Just as an FYI I went to a non-target school and had stint in credit. People will tell you that certain jobs will pigeon-hole you, but that’s not true. Make sure you work on the necessary skills and network with people.

ohai wrote:

What are some of the so called “asset management” jobs that you are interested in?

That is the heart of the question!!  You can be in asset management for clients (managing personal or institutional wealth). Or you can be in asset management as part of the fund (mutual fund or hedge fund) industry.   

Thanks all - I appreciate the fast response to my question

@Ohai - I am targeting analyst roles within a portfolio management setting, but have also looked at roles within product development and distribution as an entry point.

To the others who replied - thank you for taking the time to respond, much appreciated. I am glad there is nothing materially different stated here to what I have also thought about i.e. networking and continuing with CFA. I’m also pleased to hear some success stories!

I think at this point my strategy will be to continue with CFA, learn as much as I can in my existing role, network and continue to apply for positions of interest to me.

L00000000l wrote:

@Ohai - I am targeting analyst roles within a portfolio management setting, but have also looked at roles within product development and distribution as an entry point.

Speaking as someone that’s in distribution, it’s not a path to buyside gigs, at all. Product development/management is a bit closer, but still not really a great path either.

if you currently work for a large US commercial bank, begin to looking into their asset management/wealth management area; entry level can work too; once in there, you will begin to get exposure to various distribution people, analyst, portfolio managers and begin to build more meaningful network with internal and external vendor.

Let me tell you something though, even though I had success, I had to work my ass off. Every day, I go home and practice modeling, programming, or something that makes me more marketable. Then, I take what I’ve learned and try to apply it to my work. When I was in credit, I practiced modeling (my managers didn’t care what I did as long as I made a credit recommendation). Now, I’m in FP&A and I continue to practice modeling and I work on programming.skills… Going from corporate finance to AM isn’t something that’s easily done if you’re wanting an analyst role. I believe 70% of your time spent should be work. 50% at work and the other 20% should be spent learning or any combination- either way, you need to always be trying to improve your marketability