CFA as mutual fund wholesaler?

Hello, would working as a mutual fund wholesaler, internal or external, be applicable to the work experience required for the CFA?

The role would potentially be working with a smaller firm supporting two externals. Their US eqy funds have struggled past few years, firms assets have been halved, but they launched a fund 18 months ago, hired some new mgrs and recent performance have been outperfomring peers/benchmakrs.

Also, any insight as to the status of this industry, pay scale and general experiences would be appreciated.



I’d say a wholesaler would count. You are recommending various investment products to investors or their advisors/gatekeepers.

Do your homework on the firm, it is tough to sell products that aren’t performing or for a firm that has an iffy background. But if you think the new product could become a big hit, it might be a good opportunity to get in early.

There have been a few posts under this section that describes the internal / external dynamics along with pay. I believe the last one was created by MoreMoneyPlease. To address your first question, I had a former co-worker who used internal wholesaling as sufficient experience to list the CFA credentials but he had to fight for it.

You should email the CFAI directly. They should be able to answer your question better than we can.

Yes, my experience as an internal counted.

Edit: I didn’t read the end of you post. What would you like to know? Pay for internals varies by firm but you’re looking at anywhere between $65k to $135k. Generally you need some financial industry and sales experience. I can tell you all about it. I’ve been in wholesaling/institutional sales for several years now.

Thanks STL.

This position is on the low end of that range so will probably ask for 10-15% more if offered the job, although it has a good bonus structure where internals receive up to 20% of their salary in bonus and not initially based on sales, more qualitative review from externals. I’ve worked in financial services, retail brokerage and mkt data sales for past 10 yrs, so it would be step back initially, but potentially more longer term.

In terms of the sales process how difficult is it to get advisors, BD’s, etc to add their products to recommended lists? Is it all about recent performance, are there other ways to add value in the process?

The company has lost about half their assets in the past five yrs as performance has lagged, better past two years and as I mentioned before they launched a fund 18 mos ago that has done quite well and think a lot of this role will be based on marketing that.

Are most sales efforts/marketing campaigns based on whatever is performing best at the time?

How much historical performance is needed before a newer fund will start to get recognition, acquiring new assets?

In terms of salary, what is the range for externals, is it still a position most funds employ, or is the industry more intenal driven?

Another interview this Friday so anything else you think I should ask about would be appreciated. Thanks

If you’re talking about a recommended list at the firm level - say LPL’s recommended list that they provide their advisors - that’s something the Key Accounts (or National Accounts) team works on, not the wholesalers. But, to answer your question, it’s very difficult and there are a variety of factors that vary by firm. At the advisor level it’s not what we would call a “recommended list.” They’ll have their line-up of funds they use and maybe a short list of funds they’ll watch in case they need to make a switch. In general, advisors are more about performance, but as you talk to larger RIAs you’ll find they’re more geared toward portfolio construction.

Past performance definitely matters. If you have a four or five star fund (or one that’s heading that way) that’s what you’ll be talking about most of the time. But, you also spend a good deal of time trying to figure out what to sell next. Skating to where the puck will be, so to speak. If it’s a small shop I’m sure you’ll find yourself talking about all their funds.

To get a new fund on a platform at a wirehouse or a large BD, normally you need a 3 year track record and $50mm in assets. That’s not always the case though, and depending on your firm’s relationship with the wirehouse/BD things can be expedited. Firms can get funds loaded at Schwab, Fidelity, Pershing, and TD immediately so RIAs are able to buy new products right away.

By salary I assume you mean total comp? Salary isn’t really a good indicator for internals or externals. Externals can expect to make about $450k a year, but when they blow out their goals they can exceed seven figures. It’s not as common as it used to be, but at larger shops there’s generally 1-3 guys that top the million dollar mark each year. And, yes, it’s definitely still externally driven. Internals play a large roll in the sale process but this is still a relationship business so externals aren’t going anywhere.

As for advice on the interview process check out this thread. I walked Kan-yeezy through the whole process. Feel free to ask about anything else though.