Switched to equity research from back office

Guys, I switched from back office support to sell equity research last year, primarily thanks to the CFA. However, i feel very bored and unchallenged doing slides and editing notes etc. I find that this job is really less about investing and more about preparing presentations. I dont think my career is going anywhere in the current team , plus my company is severely cutting down on equity research. I want to move to long only AM but i really am afraid that i dont have enough experience and i would not be able to hit the ground running. I am very confused and depressed about my career. Any of you guys have any advice on what to do?

Have you tried pursuing Indian CA?

You won’t be doing slides and editing notes forever, SS is still a good gig unless you can make the jump to BS which can be difficult without adaquate work experience.

The problem isnt just the slides etc. I also feel my personality is more analytical vs salesy. Generating votes will never be something i want to do for a living. Plus my manager is kind of a douche. I heard my team had crazy turnover before i joined so much so that HR got involved, because everyone got really sick of his style. I also feel like he LIKES to put people down. So i really have 2-3 reasons to look elsewhere. I should have elaborated earlier, my bad. I want to do long only AM because i think thats what suits my personality, and i want to be doing interesting stuff.

maybe reach out to the people who quit the team prior. Are any of them at a firm you would like to work for?

No one is at long only AM. There are a couple who went into HF, one went to real estate, and 2 more into fintech.

ER is dead

I agree. But what is the best course of action. How do i change my career direction(again)?


When i was trying to break in from operations, i would just cold email. Now i feel like, i need to go through proper channels. Or do you think i should start shooting emails to people working at long only AM, hoping something would stick.

To OP, a few thoughts First, there is a huge range of quality among ER teams across the street. The best do a tremendous amount of hard core in depth fundamental work. Since you find yourself doing stupid work, either your senior sucks, you are too junior on the team and thus get handed the bullsht work, you’re working as a contracted ER team, or some combo. At the very least, you should have access to decent models, or research from another team that is good, or just something you can at least learn from. SS ER should never be just about making presentations, and if it truly is, then your team is one of the many that add 0 value. If sounds like your senior is a dbag, and unfortunately that’s quite frequently found in seniors. I would advise you to hang around at least 1 yr+ , learn as much as you can, and then BS your way to the buyside with networking. You may have to change ER teams somewhere in between Good luck

Are you saying that i wait another year? Because i have already been here for 1 year since last summer. Would it be safe to try looking into other sectors i havent worked in? With my relatively low level of experience does it matter that i want to change sectors?

You’re 1 year in man, suck it up! First, just shooting emails can be a very bad idea. It could easily get back to your senior; I’ve seen it happen. Networking and feeling out those on the buyside is the way to go. AM can be really tough to break into, though you might have the advantage of being new/cheap. I was on the SS for 5 years and ya a lot of it is just maintenance work (slide decks, earnings notes, model updates, etc…). It is clearly necessary, but like you I found most teams focused way too much on it and very little on the truly value-add, deep fundamental research work. A lot of that reflects poorly on the senior. However this also reflects the secular decline of the space. Research budgets continue to get slashed amid lower volumes, narrowed trading commissions, regulations (separation from Ibank pay and in the UK, no longer getting paid for NDRs-likely coming to the US in the future). At the same time the bank expects you to do the same amount of work so you just pump out more, but less quality product. The buyside sees this all too well and is pushing back on paying for lower quality work. Many shops that can afford it have or are looking to staff their own research teams. It’s circular and there really isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. In the UK, it’s moving to a subscription model and there are going to be fewer analysts (seriously there’s no reason you need like 50 analysts covering AAPL-where’s the value-add in that?). I see this happening in the US where the regulators are all to eager to finally sever the connection between banking and research. With all that said, it is a great training ground so assuming your senior isn’t a jerk (a lot of them can be a-holes and slave drivers), just keep plugging away: ask for more value-add work (or better, think of it yourself!), network and plan your exit.

Hey, Thanks for your reply. I also thought that sending cold emails would be a bad idea. But the problem again is that my manager takes all the calls/client meetings.This pretty much leaves me without any buyside contacts. Under this scenario, how else could i network on the buy side? I did intend initially to stay put and work diligently, but i feel so demotivated working for him. Plus he likes to put others in stress (thats just his personality…cant change it). I have even met other colleagues at analyst days who worked with him, and they had a very low opinion of him. All of this makes me wanna jump ship sooner rather than later.

You just have to be patient and be persistent with getting more work. Once your senior feels comfortable you can handle the role, he/she should give you more responsbilities, one of which is speaking with clients regularly on ideas. Even better is setting up NDRs, conferences and other ad-hoc seminars, industry lunches, etc…

I know all to well how you feel though. I went from a small ER shop where I was the primary analyst; called all the shots, had a very strong client base, etc… I chose to move to a BB and despite my history, my senior was very protective of his clients. I got so fed up with it I just started organizing NDRs without his permission (he really didn’t want me to get an edge). I eventually just left for a mid-tier bank.

Hopefully that is not your case and your senior just wants to get comfortable with you, but what happened to me is not uncommon.

In my experience, seniors who are super anal about keeping client interactions to themselves and not allowing their associates to interact are either 1 super insecure 2 relatively new and still building their franchise and/or 3 not really that good.

His thinking is more along the lines of ‘I know you will leave for another buyside firm after 2 years, so why should I waste my time training you when I can just get you to do the stuff I dont want to do myself’

Now, i feel myself in a quandary - I have to network on my own. Infact, I was thinking of joining the CFA local society and also trying to reach out to CFA charterholders on the buyside with ‘Hey,I know you are very successful. I am relatively young in my career, would love to learn more about your life’ emails, although I feel like some people might be annoyed that am employng undergrad tactics to get them on the phone.

That’s why he’ll never be a good analyst.

Are you at cognizant?

Doesn’t cognizant mostly do modeling work and data scrubbing?