What does an institutional bond salesmen do?

Just curious as someone I’ve recently met has this title.

Get on the phone everyday and try to sell bonds to instiutional investors by emphasizing their excess yield, decreased risk, better liquidity, tax advantages or some combination thereof and generate commissions for their bank. That’s what I’d imagine at least…

I worked with some muni bond salesmen in Buffalo NY as an intern 4 years ago. They play golf 4X a week in the summer and visit lots of savings and loan banks, some muni fund managers and bank trust departments, and some wealthy individuals and their advisors. From 9AM to about 3:30PM they are constantly taking calls from their clients and making tons of money. The more specialized the market the better. That way you can get a bigger spread.

What is their compensation like? I suspect it is highly volatile depending on the market condition. What is this career path like to get their?

I think the guys I worked with were getting about a third of the gross commission (i.e. spread) they generated and the rest went to the firm. I suspect the top guys were making about a half million to a million+ (the guys selling to the Oppenheimers of the world) The lower performers and new brokers were probably making anywhere from 75k to 200k. Obviously this is a sales job and there is no ceiling on what you can earn. Keep in mind this is a relatively small private brokerage I’m talking about. They are the leading underwriter of munis in New York state (in terms of # of issues, not volume).