Before you got into ER

Before you got into ER as a junior, how familiar were you with the research process? How much prior analytical experience did you have or years of working experience did you have? Were you already on top of the market and was able to basically decipher most things when analyzing a company/industry before you obtained the role?

I worked as an I-banking analyst for a year. Thus, I had little knowledge of individual companies outside one sector (and even not that much within that sector). I was, however, an absolute demon in Excel and PowerPoint and versed in financials. Basically, I had the tools to model and present an investment idea, but zero experience of making well-reasoned recommendations.

Etienne - I’m considering moving out of ER and into ECM. Given that you were in IBD, would you think this move was possible?

On this side of the Atlantic, it would definitely be possible. From the tone of posts on this forum, however, it sounds like the channels are more closed in the US so it may be a false comparison. When I was talking to headhunters 9 months back, they were forever offering to put me up for IB (ECM / M&A) roles despite my stated interest (and experience) in fund management. My experience at that point was 1 year M&A specialist at BB and 2 years buyside (one year equity research and one-year fixed income research).

I’m not an MBA, nor do I plan to obtain one at this stage in my career. I’d like to finish L3 this summer and then make my next move at that point. I’m definately going to head off to Asia (HK or Singapore) and pursue something in the ECM area, Research (Buy-Side), or Wealth Management. Not really sure yet.

pimp…I’ve heard there are alot of good ops in Shanghai for westerners too. Not sure if you dic the whole mainland China thing though…

I cant imagine it being easy to find a job doing high finance in shanghai without speaking some mandarin or wu… Im sure youve thought about this, how do you plan on dealing with the language barrier? GenY

I would consider a move to Asia myself (despite really liking my current job). It would be a very interesting life, I’m sure. To re-phrase Gen Y’s question: does anyone have any insight as to what is available to someone that doesn’t speak Chinese in Shanghai, HK, Singapore, or other major metropolis??? Otherwise, the Middle East would be quite an easy move for a smooth-talking westerner.

This question is applicable to most developing nations, is language a major barrier to entry (so to speak) to te financial job market in places like saudi arabia, china, UAE, india, etc. Can someone with experience comment on this? GenY

I think it depends on a couple of things, namely (1) how client-facing your role is and (2) what your exact market is. I think language barrier is less of a concern if you’re working in Hong Kong, as many people there speak English and I know several junior bankers (analysts or associates) that do not speak Mandarin. However, in positions where you have to interface frequently with management teams and clients, I think language barrier can be a meaningful concern. I know quite a few of the large buyout shops and equity research firms will not hire unless you can demonstrate fluency in the local language (typically Mandarin Chinese, though sometimes Japanese).

In the UAE you dot really need to know ARAbic to land a decent gig , however if you do it helps , but it is defintiely not a barrier to entry . However fast growing that place is you have to remeber that thier markets have barely been around for 10 yrs .