What would you do in my shoes?

Ok, almost 4 years of industry experience under my belt and the Charter in the bag this fall (with 90-95% confidence, my own calculation) but here’s my outlook:

  1. I know that I will never, ever,beat the market in the long run -> no PM stuff for me. (not all candidates want to become PMs)

  2. I’ve worked in currency derivatives and market manipulation the past few years

  3. I like my current job (currency derivatives analysis/ market manipulation detection), but I think I’ve seen it all and I’m kind of worried about where the industry is going aka. Will my position be replaced by an algo within the next few years?

So, the question is: I’ve been thinking that I maybe should steer towards risk management department of a non-finance company, f.ex Shell, Neste, Exxon, Toyota, Verizon… etc? I made final 2 last year for a big oil company’s currency risk analyst position, but didn’t end up getting the job. Obviously the pay is less than at an investment bank, but do you think that securing a job at a non-finance company would be a good move at this point of a career?

Do you have any entrepreneurial aspirations? If so, I would highly suggest that you ask yourself what you are truly passionate about and see if you can solve a real problem that affects it. However, if the answer is no and you are perfectly fine with “working your way up” then sure why not? You could go into energy, develop some programming skills and trade derivatives for some oil company for 5-10 years and move over into a buy-side role that’s an energy focused fund or something…

I would avoid going to a non-finance company at this stage. Mid office roles are still a good place to be although you may have to consider skilling up (maybe a STEM masters?) to be on the side of the table implementing algorithms for long term security. There’s nothing implicitly wrong with going to a non-financial company’s currency management desk or whatever although you may want to consider a captive finance company as a middle step (like Caterpillar’s finance arm). The only reason I’m recommending holding off a bit is that once you make the move, it would be hard to come back into the industry and you could be limiting your options prematurely. The other thing that can be difficult is that when you work in a non-financial company you can feel isolated with limited otpions and often be viewed as sort of a cost center and boondoggle (and worry about being outsourced to a bank offering those services through the relationship). Anyhow, there’s no wrong answer, but just thoughts to consider.

Where do you want to end up?

My goal is to manage a risk department of a pretty large company, most likely a non-financial company. The thing is that I’m not a 100% career guy. I’m pretty ambitious; I want to leave my mark but my pay or status doesn’t really define who I am. I’m planning on hitting that STEM trail once this cfa stuff is over with. Maybe I’ll bump this thread in a few months to get more advice.

OP, if your ambition is to manage a risk management division in some company, any company, then you should stay in the industry, raise a lot of questions, and ask for a lot of new responsibilities. Most risk management people are just punching cards, and roles keep rotating as regulations change. So, a promotion opportunity will probably arise at some point if you are good.