Product Specialist vs Analyst

Considering two job offers at the moment: First one… One is a product specialist role for a very big asset management firm. I would be the product specialist for the equity team……basically a bridge between the sales team and the equity team. Responsibilities - sit on the morning meetings, know every trade in the portfolio, know the local market well, work on client pitches and go along with the sales team for client presentations to talk about the strategy etc. Positives - pays very well with the possibility of a 100% bonus in a good year, good international travel (I don’t mind travel), cruisy in the sense that work hours can be long but a lot of it is schmoozing so not like stuck in a cubicle for 12 hours… Flipside - probably say goodbye to the possibility of a buyside analyst role…I know I am working very closely with the PM in this role but I have rarely heard of people making the switch….don’t know if it is the all the fluffy stuff around sales and marketing which just makes the analyst role look less attractive after a while Second one… Credit Analyst with part trading responsibilities for an insurance company…… Positives- good learning curve (I have no direct experience in credit analysis), almost a buyside analyst role, will work with a very smart person I know well, probably could even switch to equities after 2-3 years if I get my story right… Flipside - pays about 50k less than the product specialist role and little bonus…so the total difference can be quite substantial I have pretty much made up my mind to go for the analyst role but some of friends disagree……their thinking that the cumulative monetary difference which is likely to build up over the next 3-4 years between the two roles will be very hard to make up even if I get a good buyside analyst role at an asset manager…. My take - I like most of us on AF who aren’t already doing it, would love to get the experience of managing money…be it credit or equities in the start. From my perspective, early on the skills one develops in such roles is transferable as both concentrate on understanding the fundamental drivers of a business albeit with different motives….or am I just making this one up??? At the same time, the $$$s in the other role look quite attractive….I am not sure what are negatives from a work perspective in such a role. what does AF think?

I would take the analyst role. I’m surprised the 1st one pays that well, it doesn’t sound like it should. Hands on trading is invaluable. Congrats on both offers

iteracom Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I would take the analyst role. I’m surprised the > 1st one pays that well, it doesn’t sound like it > should. Hands on trading is invaluable. > > Congrats on both offers Yeah, I was a bit surpised too. But the team has been quite profitable lately and is very lean.

Guess the real question is what do you want to do with your career. Product Specialist - You’re going down the marketing path, over the long term pay should be on par with the IM side but much less than the star portfolio managers. Will be able to switch to equity/credit research but at a smaller firm. Pretty prestigious at a top firm (PIMCO/Blackrock). Credit Analyst - this is a gamble and this job sounds like a semi-entry level job for somebody w/ 2-3yrs of related experience. Good exposure to credit analysis, sector/curve analysis, maybe some CDS. Only exit would really be a long-only mutual fund. Promotion will prob be limited. If I was over 30 w/kids & mortgage I would prob pick the product specialist. If your a 20 something still early in your career I would pick the credit analyst job. EDIT: With credit buy-side experience I’m pretty sure you can find another product specialist job down the road.

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50k per annum base plus potentially the same again in bonus is a lot to give up. It’s not like the credit analyst position is your dream job anyway. Your call, but I’d be taking the money I think. If you can network well enough from that product specialist position, you could eventually move into areas you are more interested in anyway. There are no guarantees that taking a redit analyst position now will lead to a PM role in the future.

The first one pays more because it’s probably more aligned in the marketing field, which pays more since you’re eventually bringing in assets to the firm.

Congrats on both offers!!! So which one did you pick?

Super late bump but which offer did you take and what was the deciding factor?

most front office investment analysts and portfolio managers would be shocked to find out how much product specialists/ institutional sales / client servicing people make

bump 4 years later? OP hasn’t been active in 3.5 yrs… lol

Touché. Should have looked at the track function.

Recently received a look for a similar product role at one of the big players (Blackrock/T Rowe). From what I gathered you will not move in-house to an investment role.

Yes, so the role OP mentioned… a “product role” is designed to be a bridge bewteen sales and research, in the role, you help decide what research to highlight to the sales teams, organizing research product, screening the best ideas… etc…

this effectively means you end up being neither research nor sales. This job is best suited for someone who already has previous extensive experience in research or in asset mgmt.

It’s actaully a bad start for a new guy in investments, because 1) you definitely don’t pick up any fundamental research skills, no modeling skills, and you end up kind-of knowing a bunch of random stuff about a bunch of things, but nowhere close to really know what you are doing. and 2) you’re not really a sales guy either bec you’re not doing the actual day-to-day relationship build, calling.

Itera- thanks for keeping it real. Will entertain this to get back into the groove of interviewing.

I can see this being a viable alternative if you burn-out.

I turned down a product specialist role a year ago for this very reason. You just won’t learn enough and have a foundation of skills to rest on.

Good insights. Any color regarding what total comp looks like for a product specialist at a medium sized equity manager?

And how does comp compare to other client-facing areas like consultant relations, relationship managers, client portfolio managers etc.?