Portfolio Analyst interview at a large insurance firm

I have an interview coming up for a portfolio analyst position at a large insurance firm and I was wondering if somebody could provide some insight on the job description. Does it sound like a front office position? MO? What could this job lead to in the long run? Portfolio Management? Currently, I’m at a large bank in their asset management group. Is it difficult to move out of an insurance firm into a finance firm in the future even though I’ll mainly be doing finance/investment work? Job Description The Investment Research and Analytics Group oversees the investment activities in over 75 unique portfolio’s totaling over $75 billion of assets under management. Job Responsibilities: • Support senior analyst in providing investment oversight and evaluation of investment activities in assigned portfolios and assist in the manager search and selection process. • Run and analyze performance attribution analysis for assigned portfolios and document findings in written reports. • Provide quantitative, qualitative and peer group analysis along with timely updates of assigned portfolios. • Utilize investment related software to aid in the evaluation of managers and in the formulation of recommendations. • Support the coordination, preparation, and timely delivery of Board materials. • Provide analytical support to Investment Committee in preparation and maintenance reports required to evaluate the health and success of the *** Asset Allocation program. • Support sales and service activities for internal wholesalers and third party intermediaries. • Work with investment marketing to ensure prompt and accurate performance and other investment related communications for client, consultant, and wholesaler requests. • Maintain strong knowledge and expertise of *** product line to ensure high quality analysis to Sr. Management. • Support the review and proof reading process of product and trust prospectuses for the November and May update windows. • Effectively communicate and promote our investment philosophy to other departments. Competency Requirements Job Requirements: • Bachelors Degree • 2+ years of investment management, investment consulting, or client service related experience • Knowledge of various investment products and styles across asset classes • CFA/CIMA/MBA or demonstrated progress towards one is a plus • Series 7 preferred • Proficiency with investment analytics such as Bloomberg, Morningstar, Zephyr, and Lipper • Detail oriented team player with excellent research, communication (written and verbal) and organizational skills with some prior service orientation • Must be able to work independently and in a team environment


hmm I would say MO to FO depending on how much contact you will actually have with Investment Managers . Its actually similar to what I do minus the sales/marketing part . What YOU do matters more than where you work ( insurance co. vs asset mgmnt. ) so I would not worry about working for an insurance firm . This experience could take you in a few different directions depending on where you want to go .

What different directions do you think this can take me? I have my interview this week and will ask them about the amount of investment manager contacts I’ll have. Do you think it’s ok to ask them straight up if this is a FO position or not?

what direction are you looking to go with your career ? What do you do now ? “Do you think it’s ok to ask them straight up if this is a FO position or not?” That would be a stupid question …you should be able to figure that out while talking to them about the job …

I work in investment management at a large bank supporting institutional advisory group. I’m in a support role working on financial plans (expense management, revenue analysis etc) and other MO tasks. Long term goals are to work in portfolio management. Rudeboi, does it sound like/or will it get me into a FOF role in the future? Could you let me know what type of managers are they referring to in “assist in the manager search and selection process”? mutual funds? I appreciate your help.

This role sounds similar to one discussed at this thread. One is for the U of Chicago and the other for an insurance company. In both it looks like you select active managers to run portfolios then monitor to make sure the managers are doing what they are hired to do (stay within their style box, concentrated vs diversified funds, etc.). As willy said in the other thread, if you have any experience with Zephyr, Factset or MStar, it would be wise to mention it. http://www.analystforum.com/phorums/read.php?1,841320 If you are going to be interviewing PMs, etc, be sure to come off as mature if you are on the younger side. Any comp expectations?

I agree with what PSN0706 said above , although I dont think the role would actually involve an manager interviews as it seems to be more of a supoprt role . Although that could change as you get more expereinced in the role . It does not look like you have done a lot of research on the position or similar roles elsewere , I suggest you really understand the nature of the job and the structure of the firm . Like psn said above manager would refer to active/passive managers depending on the needs of the portfolio. To me it seems like you have not done much research , I suggest you look at similar companies as well as larger public pension plans to get an idea of how they manager thier assets .

I’ve done quite a bit of research but I’m still unsure as to what these “managers” are. Are these banks who manage different funds/have different styles (passive/actice) and you put client money in various portfolios and then manage those managers?

these managers are investment management firms who manage portions of the portfolio … You portfolio is allocated b/w various asset classes . Each asset class will have one or more managers ( basically any investment management firm ) managing the portion that has been allocated to them . Example : Global Equity 10% allocation - Managed by UBS US equity - 30% allocaation - Managed by Goldman Sachs Fixed Income 30 % allocation - managed by PIMCO Alternatives 20% allocation - Managed by DGAM Canadian Equity - 10% allocation - CURRENTLY SEARCHING FOR A CDN.EQ MANAGER If they dont do a good job ( usually measured relative to a benchmark i.e S&P 500 etc ) they will be fired and a new manager will be sought . Your response is an indication that you have not done enough research or lack knowledge about this side ( Buy side ) of the industry .

Btw Passive/active are strategies … Styles would be growth / value …

You’re right…I work in a support function so I don’t know much about this job and the responsibilities. I’m trying to learn as much as I can before my interview. You input definitely helped clear some stuff. Thanks. Is there any website that you could recommend where I can get more info about manager selection, different strategies etc and some general info about this type of position? I’ve been reading up stuff on wiki and investopedia.

google search …u’ll find tons of stuff . You might also want to read up on performance analysis /attribution , you should be able to find some stuff on the CFAI site . All this stuff is covered in lvl 3 , try to see if you can borrow lvl 3 books either current or the last few yrs wd work as well . If all else fails buy some books from a book store and return them after the interview . This is a good book to skim through if you have the time : http://books.google.ca/books?id=ezV9EiwxGW8C&dq=investmen+manager+analysis&pg=PP1&ots=iPc_N0hJLp&sig=sqr_98wXmPhQ9j4LZEb1MbYDP3Y&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result

I was all set to have my second round interview for this position tomorrow and just got a call from the HR person that the position has been filled. This is just unprofessional.

damn, that sux. sorry to hear it. At least you saved gas money for tomorrow : ) -

how is it unprofessional? you were already in for a round so they have a good idea of the candidate pool and found one they liked who accepted…no sense in wasting your and their time