Fork in the road

Been a few of these lately, but I would appreciate some advice from fellow AF’ers. I currently work at a small PWM firm (in a regional town), where we look after a couple hundred million for high-net worth clients. I mainly handle the portfolio side of things - constructing, reviewing and managing client portfolios (ranging from 50 or 60k up to 3mil), though I do meet new and existing clients. I would like to get a gig working for a fund though, which is why I’m doing the CFA (L3 candidate). My plan was to wait until I passed L3 and then try and jump into a investment analyst role at a fund in a big city. Recently however my boss offered me a position running one of our offices in another state, at almost double my current salary, and indicated that in a few years (say 6) I would be his successor as Managing Director. The job certainly sounds nice, but it isn’t exactly what I want to be doing, which is to eventually reach PM level. I also wouldn’t mind an overseas posting at some stage, which will only come with a large firm. Should I take it, and give up my ambition to be a PM? Or should I gamble that I will be able to get into a fund in 12 months or so and knock it back? I’m in my mid-30’s, so if I take this offer I am pretty certain it means that the whole investment analyst/PM track would be pretty much closed, if I decided to leave in a few years. Btw I only have a couple years finance experience (spent 10 years in a different industry). So the pros: - great pay - be own boss (to a certain extent) - potential to eventually run the whole firm (only 15 or so staff at this point but growing) Cons: - not funds management, takes me further away from equity analysis/portfolio mgmt (probably permanently) . - have to deal with all the usual boring PWM stuff such as advising on people’s retirement, tax affairs, giving seminars to would-be clients, etc etc. Anyway, just thought I would see what you guys thought. Comments appreciated.

Thats tough, I think you should sit down and write out a more detailed pro/con list. You said you’re in your mid-30’s, you could hold the top position by the time you’re in your (very) early 40’s? I think maybe you can still have your cake and eat it too. Lets say you get the boss position by the time you are 40, work it until you’re 45-46, by then you could have identified and bred another person to takeover that position while you jump off for an HF position. I’m not sure what your personal goals are (ie. outside work) however, optimistically you could work at an HF from 45-46 onwards. I think even holding the top PWM position would make you more attractive to an HF and make you much more marketable. In any case, I want to hear other opinions, I am not too educated in the career growth realm.

It sounds like a good deal to me. If you become a MD at like 42 and stay for a 5 or so years and the business is growing you could make some good money and get some great contacts. After that it wouldn’t be out of the question to even start your own small fund, you would only be 47. It sounds like you would also have some real job security in the mean time. Something that is very much lacking from a PM position. You don’t even really need to stay to take over the MD gig. Once you have your charter and you are running your own branch you could possibly move into a PM position at a small firm, I’ve meet plenty of PM’s with far less qualifications than you would have at that point.

Take the job. Ability to become MD at age 42 for a low effort gig sounds awesome. After you become the MD, there’s no reason that you can’t leverage the reputation of your firm to launch a small fund to test the waters. If that small fund takes off, delegate your “boring activities” to a deputy and work on the investment side.

The grass isn’t always greener. The chances of you rolling up on Wall street and landing a gig as a discretionary PM straight off are pretty slim. You may have to work your way up in asset management for a few years in some jobs where the day to day grind wouldn’t be any better (and could easily be worse) than what you are doing now. Also, you say you’re in a regional town. Would you be prepared to up sticks for you and your family(?) to a major financial centre? If this was a decision between the job offer you have and an alternative offer in AM, I’d say weigh up the pros and cons. I don’t know your salary, but I imagine double what you are on now would be pretty decent. I think it’s a no-brainer to take the offer. Being a PM sounds like it has always been something you’ve wanted to do. I think maybe it’s a dream you need to put aside for now and concentrate on this excellent opportunity that is in front of you. Well done on getting this offer by the way!

I work with a lot of RIAs that manage a few hundred million for high net worth individuals, and many of them start their own funds. Generally just one or two in whatever area they feel their specialty is. Anyway, my point is the path you’re on now - to go the MD route - could lead you to manage your own fund. And, it would probably be a much easier route than trying to break into a new firm and work your way up. If you think you could get to MD in six years I’d say that would be your quickest way to becoming a PM. Once you call the shots, who’s going to stop you? Now you just need to find seed money…

Talk to corporate! LIKE A BAWS!

newssuper, Whats your email? I have a few questions for you.

Thanks for the advice and comments guys. I’m also beginning to think that it is too attractive an opportunity to pass up, though of course it would mean putting aside (maybe just temporarily for a few years) my dreams of eventually winding up as a PM. By the way, I am in Australia, but I don’t think that changes things much. Thanks again for the advice. nuppal, you can get me at though I am on holiday for two weeks from today

Why floating rates?

Well I guess I could have gone for, but I prefer the flexibilty of a floating rate when rates can only go up :slight_smile:

newsuper Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Well I guess I could have gone for >, but I prefer the flexibilty > of a floating rate when rates can only go up :slight_smile: Not when its a mortgage :slight_smile:

packattack4 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > newsuper Wrote: > -------------------------------------------------- > ----- > > Well I guess I could have gone for > >, but I prefer the > flexibilty > > of a floating rate when rates can only go up > :slight_smile: > > > Not when its a mortgage :slight_smile: Very true, I probably should have gone for