I have always wanted to go into equity analysis; however, a due diligence position opened up and I am considering it. The job requires constant evaluation of money managers for a big southeast bank. There is also some searching for new managers. Question: Is this job just a lot of B&*#h work or is it a respectable position? What are my chances of eventually moving into equity research with this experience?
I currently manage a FOF and three analytical staff below me who produce reports on our roster of managers. I personally see nothing wrong with such work as long as you keep your tenure in perspective. What I mean by this is that most CFAs do [or should] use the FOF route to gain contacts and experience with their underlying management teams. For example, Gerald Cooper-Key of Mawer, David Dreman of Dreman and even someone like Tom Marsico or Charles Brandis are all individuals I have the ability to pick up the phone and call. Why? Easy, they work for me. However, I am sort of keeping a mental tab as to how well I can present myself to these managers since THATs where I want to end up. In other words, I manage a FOF and a money market fund…but I want to do a good job at it now so that one day I’ll get a call from a real heavy weight shop. I think that’s the way you want to play the FOF game. Anyone who has made a career out of FOF [IMHO] only knows how to grade managers, which at the end of the day resonates something like this --> Those who can’t DO, teach. I’m sorry but that’s just the way I see it. At the end of the day all of those manager I mentioned are BETTER CFAs than I am because they make strategic/tactical calls on actual funds whereas I just monitor them in hindsight. Let me say it differently…if I was such a good CFA why wouldn’t I just start my own fund company? The thought did cross my mind today actually. I know a VERY good IBA who has a pretty nice idea in place. I hope this helps. Willy