Prop shop trader into investment management

I received my CFA last year and I am permanently relocating to the Washington DC area by the end of the year and need to find a new career path. I have spent the last 5 years at a prop shop (chicago-style) fixed income trading firm and I am looking to make the switch over to either an investment/asset management firm or work in something like structured products over at a bank. Does anyone have any experience moving out of prop trading? I know the exit opportunities are typically horrible because the skillset is viewed as being narrow. Also, do any areas of finance view prop trading as a valuable background to have? Will the CFA be enough to get my foot in the door?

I’m a fan of Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

Yes prop trading exit opps are pretty horrible.

Will the CFA be enough to get my foot in the door? no

You’ll have to establish a network.

Admittedly, the easiet way to have a network is to be born into one, most of my acquaintences who are supernetworked have done it that way, though being extremely physically attractive seems to help too.

i did it but basically at entry level into pwm. 5 years is a pretty big stamp on your forehead saying, i just hung out f-ing around for 5 years. i imagine it would be tough to go to anything but a trading desk as your first step. i know one guy who did this so it’s possible.

what is prop trading chicago style? That is different than a trader at a fund? trader at my fund is no analyst but his futures looks pretty bright

Basically means he was day trading with some firm’s capital for a living. It’s different from trading at some bank or fund, where you are either filling customer orders, managing risk from customer orders, or setting up positions for the porfolio managers.

DC is a terrible area for true investment management. Your best bet is to go to an OCIO firm and commit to manager selection…they view CFA as a positive. Will be boring as f*ck and pay will be decent but not to the amount you could get at a fund.

when people say they are a “trader” at a fund does that mean they are an execution trader or they actually buy and sell what they believe will be profitable?

I’m a buyside trader. I don’t have full discretion over my trades but I do generate trading ideas based on what I see. Sometimes we go with it and sometimes we don’t. So I would say its a bit of a hybrid role of analyst/execution.

Thanks MBStrader. If someone did purely execution trades, they would be considered OPS?