I was recently interviewed by Mergers & Inquisitions about hedge fund case studies. During such a case study, a potential employer will ask you to analyze a stock and get back to him/her with your recommendation, often providing strict timelines and little guidance on what you should deliver. The case study is representative of what you can expect to do every day as a buy-side analyst.
The interview was over two hours long, and will be rolled out in four parts. Part 1 was published today, and the remaining articles will be rolled out over the next few weeks.
I know many people here are seeking buy-side jobs, so you may find the article informative as it details what you can expect during a case study and how you can impress your buy-side interviewers. The advice is also highly transferable to sell-side recruiting processes. Both sell-side and buy-side employers want to know how you think about investing and how repeatable your research process is, and how you perform on a case study is often the most critical determinant in whether you will get an offer.
Also, presumably you want to pursue you own finance career. It would be very sketchy if a business relation searched for the real name, and found a lot of weird career consulting stuff all over the internet…
I get that, but that’s not what I was talking about. Being anonymous on AF is different than conducting an interview without mentioning your name.
I’m sure you’ve probably picked up a few clients from AF so get the marketing angle, but it would seem to me longer term success would come easier if you opened up your business to be a bit more transparent. I guess what I’m saying is, most people don’t run client facing business anonymously. If that means you have to stop marketing to AF then that’s a chance I would advise you to take (as long as we’re talking about career advice). I think you’ll get more clients by marketing yourself - your real self - than you would by posting anonymously on finance forums while holding yourself out as an expert in career consulting.
I’d go the route of building a real website, post your mug in the top right corner so people can see who they’re dealing with, and allow people to check your credentials before making the decision to contact you. Just to be clear, I’m not trying to cyber-stalk you, nor am I bashing your job. Just some unsolicited advice from one of the very people on AF to actually make their living in sales.
Edit: Or Ohai is right and you’re just doing this as a fun side gig and don’t really want to be easily linked to it. Though I don’t see how starting your own business could really come back to bite you, but I can understand the hesitation.
Thanks for the perspectives – you’ve definitely touched upon a couple things that I’ve been thinking about. I’ve definitely had aspirations of scaling the consulting business, especially since I really enjoy helping people break into finance. I realize that the absence of a dedicated website seems to be the antithesis of being a good salesman (since I’m sure I’ve lost some prospective business this way).
However, I have to look at the consulting biz a bit differently since it’s not my primary job. So in that sense, the lack of a personal website is a good self-regulating mechanism to make sure that my consulting doesn’t interfere with my primary job as an analyst at a hedge fund. It takes a significant amount of time just to answer one-off e-mails from potential consulting clients, and I can only imagine how much higher the volume of e-mails would be if I actually ran my own website. Secondly, a big reason I do this is for personal satisfaction. The ROI on my time doing this side gig is lower than what I get working at a hedge fund, but the personal satisfaction I get from earning a positive review from a client or helping them get a job is tremendous. I wish I had more time to dedicate to the career consulting business, but I do give it complete attention and focus during the handful of hours per week that I can actually work on it.
That said, your advice is handy, especially if someday I have the capacity to actually scale this business. I don’t have a sales background myself so your feedback is helpful.
I agree with STL. I know in the “seduction community” people used aliases, because of social repercussions of being associated with that stuff. But I don’t see how it’s a reputational risk for you in your current position – but of course, I don’t know many details about you other than you seem to be very knowledgable. I would look at people like Ramit Sethi for examples. Although different, I think you can make comparisons.
rawraw – simply put, I have certain ideas of my own about how I want to run the consulting business, and more importantly certain guidelines from my employer regarding what I can say in an open forum about who I am or what I do (as opposed to a one-on-one interaction with my consulting clients). Many people on this forum already know me anyway, as I’m pretty accessible and generally a nice guy. But really, I get so many inquiries from clients anyway who don’t even care who I am; they just want to get their dream jobs, they see my track record of helping people accomplish such goals, and the rest is history.
Therefore, what’s really important here is to focus on the quality of information and advice being disseminated. A sensible person should be able to figure out whether someone is credible based on the content of the article or the recommendations in my LinkedIn Profile.