Corp finance jobs: financial analyst, controller, treasurer etc. How could newly minted MBAs to make 100k+ to do these? My understanding is: financial analyst/planner, controller pays around 70-80K.
Your not taking into account prior work experience and salary history. At my gig, controller gets 150k, asst. controller gets 90k, director FP&A gets 135k. In conclusion, it varies depending on firm, experience, etc. I think 100k is pretty standard for MBA in corp fin in CA with significant experience at a relatively large and profitable firm.
Thanks Gouman. I am looking into moving to corporate finance with MFE and CFA level II cleared. Do I have to go for a MBA to make the switch? Those figures are for people with significant experience - so for new MBA to make that kind of salary, it may require consulting for several years?
Gouman, with MBA + CFA Level III Candidacy + 10 years of technical experience but no P&L or finance related experience, what kind of salary do you think one can expect as a senior financial analyst at HP or Intel? Basically, this would be a career change to make a progress towards investment management in future. It has been very hard, almost impossible, to make the case for the position as the employers do not buy that I am serious about making the career change after 10+ years of technical experience. I think the technical experience puts me in a better position to be a well-rounded financial analyst, who can use the technical insight to help the business make better financial decision.
Most people that move into controller,financial analyst positions usually have an accouting background i.e CA , CPA , CMA etc . MFE + CFA and a technical background would make you more suitable for a quant. shop . Just my .02
Rudeboi , Thanks I understand the barrier. I am working for an IB quant development. I don’t like the work and want to make a switch. I heard some firms employ finanical analyst that do modelling.
stupid Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Thanks Gouman. I am looking into moving to > corporate finance with MFE and CFA level II > cleared. Do I have to go for a MBA to make the > switch? Those figures are for people with > significant experience - so for new MBA to make > that kind of salary, it may require consulting for > several years? With an MBA and no prior finance experience, you should expect maybe 75-85k (which is low) maybe 90 of you went to a top program for an FP&A Analyst or Staff Accountant. Not sure about treasury. That would be pretty low too. Like I said 100k is the benchmark. So after a year or two, you’d have to vamp to a new firm and your salary would likely jump to 100-125. Employers will always try to milk the experience card to low ball you on salary. Once you have the credibility, then you can demand market rates or even a premium if you came from a bigger and better firm. Consulting experience is not necessary at all. Could help if you wanted to FP&A or biz development, but would not mean diddly of you went into financial reporting i.e. accounting. Note, my boss the head of FP&A was a former banker. The controllers who are G/L guys are CPAs.
buddham Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Gouman, with MBA + CFA Level III Candidacy + 10 > years of technical experience but no P&L or > finance related experience, what kind of salary do > you think one can expect as a senior financial > analyst at HP or Intel? > > Basically, this would be a career change to make a > progress towards investment management in future. > It has been very hard, almost impossible, to make > the case for the position as the employers do not > buy that I am serious about making the career > change after 10+ years of technical experience. I > think the technical experience puts me in a better > position to be a well-rounded financial analyst, > who can use the technical insight to help the > business make better financial decision. Senior analyst (3 min but generally 5-7 years exp.) at HP or Intel are in the 100 -150 range. In Corp Fin you have to be a department head to make real cheese. Analyst will top out, Accountants will top out, it’s not like Wall Street. However, once you start gaining titles and responsibility for other the salary can be good 200+ but the bonuses still are paltry compared to the street unless your at a publicly traded monster of course. Nobody will really care about your tech background. Many will likely be intimidated, and fear you think you know to much. You can do silly things like use Macros and earn Kudos. Overall, most of the rank and file finance and accounting types I encounter are just not that impressive or ambitious. Our work is not that tough. Many corp fin people failed to break into Wall Street jobs therefore they envy, yet despize people who have "real’ finance jobs in i-banking, AM, HF, PE etc. Overall, I want out. I need to be around people who are smarter and more money hungry. Corp fin is family men who just want to make modest living with a shot at making big bucks in the tail end of your career if you can work (kiss ass) into a C-Level or at least Junior Exec role. I would keep to yourself that your using them as a stepping stone. most people don’t want to hear that your going to be better than them. This is generalization based on my experience, so take it with a grain of salt and not as the gospel.
Gouman, My situation is exactly the opposite. I worked at I-bank for a couple of months plus an internship, I know I am not the type now-- I don’t have the ambition to make a lot of money. That is why I want to move to corp finance. I also have 8 years tech experience with big firms under my belt. I want to move to corp finance however I don’t know what to do with a MFE. Should I get another MBA?
Gouman, thanks for the detailed post. Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people to make the switch from corporate fin analyst position to private equity or investment management. What are you planning to move into? How about moving from finance to strategy or treasury inside the company? I am sure that will differ among companies. stupid (sorry), I am going through campus recruiting right now; I am a part-time MBA student at top 20 school graduating in May 2009. I have more than 10 years of tech experience. On top of that, I have spent a lot of time in school as I was working towards a doctoral degree. So, I am not sure if we fall in the same situation, but experience wise, we are closer and age wise, you may be a lot younger. So, you may be in a better shape to change career than me. Also, if you go for full-time MBA and do relevant summer-internship, you will have a much stronger case than mine. Let me give you my experience of trying to make the career change. First of all, there are several companies looking for financial analysts through the campus recruiting; a large percentage of finance jobs are actually in this area. I have been getting some interviews for senior financial analyst position, but most of my interview goes into trying to convince them that I am serious about changing my career. I think Gouman may be right that they feel that I may be overqualified for the job. Most of the interviews end up by them saying that my current job is more exciting than what I will do and I may get bored in the finance job pretty soon. Anyway, I think my chances of getting offer is slim as they have ample number of candidates with prior-experience. A person with 8 or 10 years of tech experience also means that most probably, he/she may have to take, perhaps significant, pay cut initially. So, unless you are going to use the financial analyst position as a spring board for something else, it may not that lucrative. But I do like finance and my love for it has gotten only more intense while going through CFA program, so I may like the work. Anyway, I am mostly confused. I interviewed with HP and the interviewer wanted me to recommend me to their operations management. He mostly forced me to do introspection as to why I want to make a career change so late in my career. My technical job has become kind of mundane (5% still very interesting) and people keep putting me mostly as a technical resource rather than a more rounded business resource. I was talking to Frito Lay for their financial analyst position, the person kind of made fun of my CFA level III candidacy saying that they would like a candidate with prior experience than CFA as the position does not use much of what one learns in the CFA program. I tried to convince him otherwise. Talking to BMC software for the fin analyst position, he did not even want to talk to me as soon as he found I have no fin experience; he said for senior fin analyst position, he really wants somebody with at least 3-5 years of prior experience. Sorry for the rambling, but I hope this gives you some perspective if you want to go for MBA.
For the most part, there is a good reason why prior experience is asked for Corporate Finance roles. These require quite a distinct skill-set and a good background in accounting. This is not to say that people without finance experience cannot succeed in this role, rather an average candidate without finance experience will have trouble adjusting to the environment. The CFA is a great boost for a Finance Professional, but it has limited value within the scope of FP&A relative to investment analysis related disciplines. If you really want to transition, you should play up your accounting experience as much as you can. Having worked in this environment, it should be an easy transition since most FP&A related roles involved building, maintaining models, and other IS related process tasks. The only real analysis is done through Management reports, which can be learned once on board.
nahsuar, thanks for a insightful post. For the reasons you mentioned, I have been trying to convince future employers that I will be able to ramp up very fast in FP&A. MBA course and CFA program does prepare you with the fundamentals and I think I should be able to pick the mechanics pretty fast. The main doubt companies have about me is that I may get bored in 3-6 months and go back to technical area. They may have a point. Maybe my thinking have been that grass is greener on the other side. But if my passion for finance is not fleeting, there is a lot of future/growth in asset management. But I am not sure if financial analyst position is an appropriate way to go there or it is too circuitous. To me, it looks an less difficult of all the options to break into finance and use it as a jumping board. But again, I am not sure how easy it will be to convince folks in equity research/asset management to hire me after1-2 years of financial analyst experience. Insight from folks with experience in this area would help me think clearly.
stupid Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Gouman, > > My situation is exactly the opposite. I worked at > I-bank for a couple of months plus an internship, > I know I am not the type now-- I don’t have the > ambition to make a lot of money. That is why I > want to move to corp finance. I also have 8 years > tech experience with big firms under my belt. I > want to move to corp finance however I don’t know > what to do with a MFE. Should I get another MBA? I would skip the MBA, it’s to expensive and won’t give you a high enough ROI. Besides, the MFE is convincing enough that you know finance. I would look at an accounting designation to show you know finance and accounting (such would be the typical MBA). It doesn’t have to be a CPA, but that is one option. You could also look at an accounting certificate from university, or the CMA designation. I would also lean away from acccounting jobs and go for more forward looking roles like treasury, FP&A or biz development, where your forecasting and and modeling skills you learn in MFE are more relevant. Your MFE is valuable. It shows you know math and can handle complex topics. You would get bored with accounting quick. But there are interesting jobs in semi large to large firms treasury groups that are hedging risk using derivatives, buying and selling paper and managing the firms raising of capital. MFE would be much more relevant in such and environment. If your interested in treasury, look at the CTP. nahsuar Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > For the most part, there is a good reason why > prior experience is asked for Corporate Finance > roles. These require quite a distinct skill-set > and a good background in accounting. This is not > to say that people without finance experience > cannot succeed in this role, rather an average > candidate without finance experience will have > trouble adjusting to the environment. > > The CFA is a great boost for a Finance > Professional, but it has limited value within the > scope of FP&A relative to investment analysis > related disciplines. If you really want to > transition, you should play up your accounting > experience as much as you can. Having worked in > this environment, it should be an easy transition > since most FP&A related roles involved building, > maintaining models, and other IS related process > tasks. The only real analysis is done through > Management reports, which can be learned once on > board. I agree and disagree. While accounting is important and should be played up, in FP&A biz development role your not going to be doing a lot of G/L work. Your going to be using the G/L guys output to make assumptions about future revenues, expenses, cash flows, margins etc. , similar to an investment analyst. Also, of your doing capital budgeting then your even more focused and aligned with investment analyst. The key difference is your clients are internal as opposed to external, you only have coverage on one company, and the work I suspect is a little more in the mundane side. However, I get ad hoc request all the time that in some cases are interesting. Like I said, the last two gigs I’ve had the finance people and the accountants were in two different worlds that were bonded by accounting data i.e. accountants approve, track, and post transactions (historical and present focused), while us financial analyst use their outputs to make assumptions and model the companies cash flows, revenues, expenses etc. The former tends to go the CPA route, while the latter goes the MBA route. Never met a CFA in Corp Fin, but those who know about it respect it. I’m sure it would carry weight in a finance environment, not so much in accounting.
Do you think it is worthwhile to go for 2-tier MBA school with a scholarship to make the switch to finance?
Stupid, I’ve NEVER met a corporate finance executive that makes any distinction between the MBA and MSF degrees. I’m sure it’s different in banking, at hedge funds or at a PE firm, but you asked specifically about corporate finance. I’d have to assume the MFE carries similar weight to an MSF so I don’t see a problem for you. I was also a business analyst (IT) for EIGHT years at two large asset management firms around before making the transition to corporate finance so I see another similarity between us. I know my plans to obtain the CTP (Treasury) certification and eventually the CFA designation helped faciliate the transition but ultimately it was the MSF degree from a top school and how I presented myself at the interview. I was preparing for the CTP and was not even a LI candidate when I made the transition so anything is possible. Ultimately, hiring managers are looking for talented and motivated employees so you can get hired even if you don’t fit the template. As for Gouman’s post, it is an accurate generalization so be very particular about the type of company you decide to move to. Generally, the larger the better in my experience. To answer another question: My ultimate goal is also to move to PE and I know first hand that corporate finance (Planning or Treasury) is looked at very favorably. Best of luck, dea
For what it is worth I have had a few conversations with a guy who works for the Canadian Government who runs a small shop that hedges foreign currency exposures for export development purposes. He is an MBA, CFA, CMA and it sounds like he uses pretty much all of his quals and experience in the conduct of his work. As with all government jobs the pay is not as good as the corporate world, but he is pretty much left to his own devices and has a pretty good work / life balance. Also because it is a pretty small shop he gets a lot of interaction with external parties as well as internal. Not sure if you are against working for public sector organisations but there is some opportunities there. Hope it helps
Moving to PE is possible, however that doesn’t mean you’ll be working in a deal making capacity. PE firms have support and FO jobs too. Many who make the transition do so in another capacity than deal making. The only corporate guys I know who’ve make the transition were executives at large or highly specialized firms that are were in the industries that the PE investors make investments. It can be done. I’m interested in doing it myself. But we have to remain realistic, it’s not going to be a cake walk for any of us. Just because you land a gig at P/E firm does not mean your going to be at the bargaining table with the I-bankers and Company Executives immediately, any time soon or maybe even ever.
Not sure what you do in tech, but have you ever thought about a tech job at a brokerage firm, exchange, prop trading shop, etc.? These guys get to work on some fascinating stuff - developing OTC platforms, clearing technology, software development, data center infrastructure, etc. As we speak, the Fed is getting together with some of the biggest players to develop a platform/solution to clear CDS. I agree with what employers are telling you. I think you may be disappointed/run into a couple of things on the corp finance side: 1) CFA is not well known or recognized even by some of the largest public companies (I know - I worked for one of them). If you’re really passionate about corporate finance, I would go the MBA route. 2) Your ability to create complex models will be appreciated, however your ability to understand the business along with management’s strategic direction will be even more important - this may be more difficult than you think. My experience is that people who are extremely quantitative and technical fail to see things from a “big picture” or “flow chart” perspective. Putting the model together is the easy part - finding the “numbers behind the numbers” is the difficult part. 3) You will be working with a lot of people who have significant experience in accounting, FP&A, etc. and they will talk in these terms - you will definitely experience a learning curve in this area. The “Financial Statement Analysis” section of the CFA exam might help you look at a balance sheet, but it does not go into the depth of accounting knowledge it takes for one of these roles, especially that of a controller. Trust me - you need years of business/accounting experience to do this job. And no, it is not sexy. There is nothing exciting about analyzing supply chain inventory or capital spend. 4) Financial Analyst/treasury/corporate finance jobs pay more than you think as long as you are working for the right company - however, the year over year pay increases and bonuses are relatively smaller. Increases in compensation come with increases in title, which may be even more difficult to come by in your situation due to your lack of experience. This means you could be stuck in the title of “analyst” for 3-5 years with pay increases that just keep you in line with inflation. Good luck:)
dea_cfa, I just compared LBS master in finance with MFE. MFE is more like the MIF with a more quantitative focused electives. MFE dosn’t prepare quants, it is more like the program that trains quantitative person to do finance.
Skylar, What do you think adding Master of Accounting to what I already have?