Got accepted into Citi Operations Analyst

Hello all, my first post

A little about my self, I am graduating from SUNY Buffalo this May in accounting with 3.7 GPA. I interned with E&Y this summer and have offer for full time in their tax team.

I applied to a Citi Operations Analyst position in NYC and got accepted. They offered me 60k + 10k. I had no idea banks pay this much, E&Y only offerd 48K and no bonus.

Can someone tell me what Operations is like and what work i will be doing in these departments? also which one is most prestigious?

I can choose

Foriegn Exchange Operations

Credit Risk Operations

Fixed Income Middle Office Operations

Thank You !

bump, any advice please

cool story brah. $60K in NYC is like $35K elsewhere. The bonus is in the ballpark of what you should be getting $5K-$10K and very very rarely above $10K for first years. Also, BB operations>Big 4 audit in terms of hours and pay

Is the Credit Risk Operations same as Credit Risk analysis?

Yes, and let me preface this by saying that all banks have different names for groups and some sound more sophisticated then they really are, but for the most part the difference between credit analysis and credit ops is that the analyst teams will review where risk may go and the ops teams handles where it has been. Is ENY offering you a position in the tax team? Is this something you’re against? If not I don’t see why you would choose ops. ENY will allow more exit opportunities (one of which could be that citi ops jobs) and you will learn a lot more than you will in the operations role. I also think ENY will pay more over the long run (you may think about telling them about your offer at citi to see if they’ll match it), although, keep in mind that you’ll probably be expected to work 70 – 80 hours per week for the first 2 years or so. If you do by some chance have the pick of the litter at ENY shoot for anything in valuations (although be slick about this because it may cost you the offered role if they know you’re interested in different areas of the firm). Good luck!

Obviously a lot depends on where you want to go. And most people do not want to stay in operations if they have anything about them (some people are content with the nature of the work). I will assume this is not you. Get as close to the treasury desk as you can in middle office. Think it would be the FX desk from the above. You’ll be able to place FX trades (don’t think you would get too much in FI or credit) and will have to follow the rates on a daily basis. This involves cash management and real trades. This can be leveraged down the line when you can say you originally traded rates. I think the other areas will be more paper shuffling. Just my .$02

Thank you very much for information guys! LBriscoe - Yes it is a FT offer but i hated the internship, work was boring and the only fun part was tax planning but its rare. It sounds like Credit Risk Analyst is a better job. Can Credit Risk Operations move into Credit Risk Analyst role and progress from there? Dude_CFA - Thanks for insight! Do you know what career advancements are there in FX Operations if trading is not my goal? and what positions will you have within 5 years , 10 years in FX Operations? Thanks

What is your goal? Career paths in finance can go in any direction.

As an analyst working in operations, there’s not a chance he’ll be able to “place FX trades”. Operations interact a lot with product controllers. The controllers and middle office mostly interact with the front desk. OP didn’t say he wants a job in FO, and I’m not knocking Operations people, but the work is back office of the back office. The VAST majority of people in back office do want out, and FO keeps getting cut with layoffs every other month adding new batches of people with good experience to the pool.

with all due respect to LBriscoe, there is no way the E&Y or any big 4 offer is better. even if your job description there says “M&Ain’ on the buyside in the capital markets team”, you’d be some CPA-audit partner’s b!tch. on a good year your bonus at an audit firm will approach $5k. They will match nobody’s offer too, they have an endless supply of tax & accounting majors.

$5k bonus IF you are lucky. I know a guy there, top performer in his group. his bonus was $2k He describes bonuses in accounting as " a slap in the face "

thats true, i went a little over the top with my bonus estimate even though i said ‘in a good year’. $2k sounds more like the norm over there

Dude_CFA - i want to do Risk Management in IBD. Would Credit Risk Operations be a good transition to Risk Management as in actually looking at market risk and analyzing portfolios? Thanks

ZT: Good call and I would be inclined to agree with your assessment. Credit is probably your best start given the almost defacto nature of risk implied in that space. I have a friend who left operations at the same time as me and he is VP risk management at a bulge bracket firm. Entirely possible then. FYI iteracom - I know someone who also worked on the Treasury Desk in back office (Treasury Operations) with me who is now Director, Global Banking & Markets (just cut and pasted that off linked-in). FWIW, he became a sales & product manager for liquidity funds in his next role. Having said that, we worked in a satellite tax haven office so we probably had a greater breadth of responsibilities than if it was in London or NY.

^ I never said a start in Operations is a dead -end. But few people can actually pull it off to eventually make it big. There’s always the story of “I know this one guy…” The thing I think is important is perspective, because way too many threads that spring up like this are filled with “you can do it!” “you got a great future!” Just the other thread, someone said the guy had great future potential even the guy had 0 experience in finance, and works as a security guard. I mean… come on. If this background is “great potential” then how do you explain the hordes or people with good backgrounds from top business schools with internship experience that are having a tough time? Perspective.

Not disagreeing with you. It is tough and many a good man has been sucked down into the abject misery of the back office. Quite a lot do make it out though. The natural progression time and desire work in your favour in terms of opportunities and seniority. I’m a portfolio manager now. I started off in corporate actions for MS. Lots of my contemporaries from that time are directors, MDs at places like ML, GS and the like. Some still in the operations world, other’s not. Times are much tougher now and I suppose they will be this way for a considerable time. The most important thing is to get a foot in the door. Translate my tag line and you’ll get the drift.

Do think a MBA is needed to transition from Operations role to Risk Management in today’s economy? or its not necessary ?

I’m wondering… why is ops so bad. I’m not doubting it; I’m just wondering what the source is: Is it… 1) just mind numbing number checking and/or coding? 2) the desire to think about markets rather than just acting on information (this is similar to point 1, except it is about the desire to do something else, rather than the work itself being terrible)? 3) sitting alongside other people in the same firm that just make so much more money than you can ever get in ops? 4) something else?

Ops is bad for many reasons. I worked for a BB and heard mgmt and HR directors have said the problem with Ops is that you can very easily pigeon hole yourself, because whether it’s doing something like: confirming cash transaction were wired to the counterparty right, or entering in records into the back office accounting system, it’s not work that really requires you to know anything about the markets or what your front desk is trading or doing. After a while in ops, no one will really hire you to do anything else. Depending on the firm, you get looked down on. It’s just the way the whole hierarchy culture is. There’s very little respect. Nearly everyone I talk to who works in ops say it like it is embarrassing. As with most of back office, you’re essentially a revenue drain. You don’t make any calls, you don’t act on market changes. at least with middle office or back office (controllers) you get to be closer to the action and see market changes and how the desk reacts and can help with verifying valuation sometimes. They are always in contact with the desk on a regular basis. Ops essentially supports the back office doing very menial work. For someone who wants to make it in finance and have an exciting career, ops is the last place to be. You can have a decent career in ops, it won’t be stressful, and it will be a slow and steady route to climbing the ladder. Good work life balance, and decent job security (unless your front desk gets cut)

^^^^ I think this pretty much sums up why I would say big 4 is a better starting point than ops. They both put you in an equally difficult position to make it as a wall street BSD (trader, analyst, banker, etc.), but the big 4 work has significantly better fall back oppurtunites (CFO, controller, advisory, etc).