Hi, I am a charterholder and have been working for an investment management firm. My CEO feels that I should move away from my core research activity, and head a larger and more impactful business head type function, where research is just a very small piece but business developement, mentoring, product ideas take the primary role. I am bit confused if this is a right move in my career. Does it dilute my investment expertise? or will I get a macro view of investment cum business dynamics taking the new profile. Can anyone with similar experience or experienced charterholders help me with this please?
I might. I worked as a research analyst for four years developing some skill in that function (I don’t know if I would say “expertise”). The opportunity came to start and manage an international office, and I accepted without really thinking about it. On the plus side, I learned a lot about hiring, managing, setting up trade relationships, international business, and so on. I also had a ton of fun overseas and learned about some really interesting cultures in Asia. On the other hand, it did dilute the amount of time I could spend on the investment process and frankly, trying to figure out how to invest in stuff that has no materials in English is both very time consuming and frustrating.
In the long run, I think it was probably worth it, since my goal is to run my own fund, and I will need to know about hiring and managing to do that at some point, even though I have learned that I primarily dislike those tasks and much prefer analyzing stocks.
In your case, I think what you should do is focus on what kind of commitments are expected of you and what, if any, “outs” you have during the process. If you are going to be chained to this thing with a double barreled shotgun pointed at your head, you might want to think very carefully about the opportunity. One of the key lessons I learned is that it can be very difficult to disengage from something once you have started – senior managers are often reluctant to make changes and would rather let something “lay fallow” for a while rather than make any dramatic moves. In my case, after about 9 months, I reached a pretty clear decision point of “we need to expand this or scuttle it,” yet the decision process for that stretched on for almost another year before anything actually happened (which was extremely frustrating for me). So make sure you know exactly who gets to put their hand on the levers that effect what you are doing – if it’s not you, how much flexibility do you have to abort mission if it should come to that? Ultimately, we made money on the effort, but it was a huge pain in the butt so make sure your life is prepared for any extra level of responsibility you are going to take on.
Basically the question is: What are your goals? Do you want to be a top notch analyst or do you want to move into more of a managerial or entrepreneurial role long-term?
thanks bromion for sharing your experience and your advice.