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    Hi guys,

    Here is my situation: I will graduate in June 2010 (predicted: 1st class) with a chemistry degree from a top 20-30 uni and did not go through the A-Level route (but the course requirement is 300 UCAS points if that counts for anything).

    I have about a week's experience at a stockbroker (not much, but it's better than nothing), and although it was only a week, from talking to various heads, I've come to the conclusion that if I ever were to work in finance, it would probably be in equity research. More importantly, I have about 4 years experience in the stock market and have a big interest in fundamental based investing. I also have about £40k of my own personal assets invested in various vehicles in the stock market.

    In terms of grades, I'm hardly the most stellar candidate (compared to someone from Oxbridge with AAAA A-Levels), but I think my investing experience and knowledge is WAY more important than grades.

    I'm convinced though, that if I do get to interview, I can sell myself through my investing experience and general knowledge of the financial markets. But are my education credentials enough to secure an asset management graduate position in 2010? I think the BB firms are a bit out of reach for me at the moment, I'm thinking an asset management or pension fund analyst position is a more realistic target?
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    Hey mate, if you have a 1st class degree in a quantitative subject I cant see why you wouldnt have a chance. I am also looking to get into equity research and from my research on the entry routes I would say that there are a lot of different ways into this type of work.

    1) BB banks in either buy side asset management or sell side equity research. 2) Major fund houses ie Fidelity/State Street 3) Smaller fund houses ie Aberdeen. 4) Insurance companies ie Aviva/AXA/Prudential. 5) Small Wealth Management Offices. 6) ACA at Big 4 then you leave after 3 year training contract and move into equity research. These paths have been ranked from toughest to easiest in my opinion. I would give my right arm to get on to Fidelity's grad program but coming from a non-target and with the competition for places I am more realistic. I would say with your profile look for firms that ask you to send in a CV where you have more flexibility to show them your existing investment portfolio.

    If you can show one of these firms that you have built your own fund using bottom up fundamental research and can explain all of your investment decisions you may be able to compensate for a lack of internships/brand name schooling.
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    (Original post by BrianGretzky99)
    Hey mate, if you have a 1st class degree in a quantitative subject I cant see why you wouldnt have a chance. I am also looking to get into equity research and from my research on the entry routes I would say that there are a lot of different ways into this type of work.

    1) BB banks in either buy side asset management or sell side equity research. 2) Major fund houses ie Fidelity/State Street 3) Smaller fund houses ie Aberdeen. 4) Insurance companies ie Aviva/AXA/Prudential. 5) Small Wealth Management Offices. 6) ACA at Big 4 then you leave after 3 year training contract and move into equity research. These paths have been ranked from toughest to easiest in my opinion. I would give my right arm to get on to Fidelity's grad program but coming from a non-target and with the competition for places I am more realistic. I would say with your profile look for firms that ask you to send in a CV where you have more flexibility to show them your existing investment portfolio.

    If you can show one of these firms that you have built your own fund using bottom up fundamental research and can explain all of your investment decisions you may be able to compensate for a lack of internships/brand name schooling.
    Hey, good post. I like the "rankings" you've got there.

    To be honest, I'm not too fussy with landing a big grad position, as long as I get something. As I see it, it's your research that will make or break you, not the name of your employer on your CV. :cool: There are quite a few fund management houses in Edinburgh as well, so that's definitely adds something to the mix.

    I'm thinking of doing an MSc in a financial subject at a top 5 uni, but I don't know whether it's worth all the hassle and money, considering most graduate trainees in research are trained from the bottom anyway.
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    (Original post by Prince of Zamunda)
    Not sure about the smaller ones, but I know there was close to zero hiring in the big AM firms/AM divisions of BBs this year.
    I heard that somewhere a while ago too. I just hope hiring picks up in 2010!...

    Just a general question to everyone: Is it worth doing an MSc in finance, due to my non-science degree, or is it better if I apply for grad roles straight after my BSc?
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    chemistry isn't a science these days? sheesh.
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    (Original post by TOTB)
    I heard that somewhere a while ago too. I just hope hiring picks up in 2010!...

    Just a general question to everyone: Is it worth doing an MSc in finance, due to my non-science degree, or is it better if I apply for grad roles straight after my BSc?
    For ER I would say Msc definitely.
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    (Original post by TOTB)
    Hi guys,

    Here is my situation: I will graduate in June 2010 (predicted: 1st class) with a chemistry degree from a top 20-30 uni and did not go through the A-Level route (but the course requirement is 300 UCAS points if that counts for anything).

    I have about a week's experience at a stockbroker (not much, but it's better than nothing), and although it was only a week, from talking to various heads, I've come to the conclusion that if I ever were to work in finance, it would probably be in equity research. More importantly, I have about 4 years experience in the stock market and have a big interest in fundamental based investing. I also have about £40k of my own personal assets invested in various vehicles in the stock market.

    In terms of grades, I'm hardly the most stellar candidate (compared to someone from Oxbridge with AAAA A-Levels), but I think my investing experience and knowledge is WAY more important than grades.

    I'm convinced though, that if I do get to interview, I can sell myself through my investing experience and general knowledge of the financial markets. But are my education credentials enough to secure an asset management graduate position in 2010? I think the BB firms are a bit out of reach for me at the moment, I'm thinking an asset management or pension fund analyst position is a more realistic target?

    You will need ABB minimum to apply to asset management firms. I wouldn't say it was a more realistic target. Both BB ER and AM is incredibly competitive. Banks and AM firms will hire only a handful of graduates every year for ER because teams are much smaller. For instance, you have max 6-8 analysts covering banks at the BB, while smaller sectors have a maximum of 3 analysts, so not many graduates are required. Places like Fidelity only hire 2-3 graduates a year for ER.
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    (Original post by BrianGretzky99)
    Hey mate, if you have a 1st class degree in a quantitative subject I cant see why you wouldnt have a chance. I am also looking to get into equity research and from my research on the entry routes I would say that there are a lot of different ways into this type of work.

    1) BB banks in either buy side asset management or sell side equity research. 2) Major fund houses ie Fidelity/State Street 3) Smaller fund houses ie Aberdeen. 4) Insurance companies ie Aviva/AXA/Prudential. 5) Small Wealth Management Offices. 6) ACA at Big 4 then you leave after 3 year training contract and move into equity research. These paths have been ranked from toughest to easiest in my opinion. I would give my right arm to get on to Fidelity's grad program but coming from a non-target and with the competition for places I am more realistic. I would say with your profile look for firms that ask you to send in a CV where you have more flexibility to show them your existing investment portfolio.

    If you can show one of these firms that you have built your own fund using bottom up fundamental research and can explain all of your investment decisions you may be able to compensate for a lack of internships/brand name schooling.
    Routes to ER (buy-side and sell-side)

    1) Graduate route - Very few graduate roles in ER at both the BB and the AM firms.
    2) Working as an investment banker/strategy consultant for min 3 years and transferring to ER.
    3) ACA at the big four. However, not all ACA qualifications are equal. ER headhunters tend to look for London based ACA's who are experienced in the particular sector they are recruiting for. You also need to have incredibly strong financial modelling skills and preferably have had some experience in corporate finance or transaction services. The most important thing is to have first time passes. Every year when all these ACA's qualify, so many of them compete for the very few jobs in ER, so first time passes are essential.

    4) Working in industry. Sectors such as pharma and oil & gas tend to recruit people from industry because they require relevant technical knowledge.

    5) Having a phd. If you want to analyse sectors such as pharma then you need a phd or a very good science background.

    Those are the ones I can think of right now.

    BTW I'm in ER right now.
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    Look at the University of Stirling MSc Investment Analysis. Its been going for 30 years and pretty much all the major Scottish fund houses are full of grads from this course, which means it has credibility amongst their recruiters. Its a CFA institute partner and is specifically designed for students who want to work in bottom-up security analysis ala Graham. The course is designed around the CFA program and although it may not have a glossy brochure or brand name reputation the number of grads working on the buy-side from this course speaks for itself. At only 5K a year a much better investment than loading up on 20K of debt.....(CASS, ICMA, etc).....unless of course you can go to Oxbridge, haha.
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    (Original post by oblivious)
    Routes to ER (buy-side and sell-side)

    1) Graduate route - Very few graduate roles in ER at both the BB and the AM firms.
    2) Working as an investment banker/strategy consultant for min 3 years and transferring to ER.
    3) ACA at the big four. However, not all ACA qualifications are equal. ER headhunters tend to look for London based ACA's who are experienced in the particular sector they are recruiting for. You also need to have incredibly strong financial modelling skills and preferably have had some experience in corporate finance or transaction services. The most important thing is to have first time passes. Every year when all these ACA's qualify, so many of them compete for the very few jobs in ER, so first time passes are essential.

    4) Working in industry. Sectors such as pharma and oil & gas tend to recruit people from industry because they require relevant technical knowledge.

    5) Having a phd. If you want to analyse sectors such as pharma then you need a phd or a very good science background.

    Those are the ones I can think of right now.

    BTW I'm in ER right now.
    Hi mate,

    So I'm guessing that going straight into equity research post-graduation is a long shot? How did you get into ER, if you don't mind me asking? And finally, what would you do if you were in my position?
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    (Original post by Chewwy)
    chemistry isn't a science these days? sheesh.
    Typo. Meant non-finance.
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    (Original post by TOTB)
    Hi mate,

    So I'm guessing that going straight into equity research post-graduation is a long shot? How did you get into ER, if you don't mind me asking? And finally, what would you do if you were in my position?
    Luck, skill and having done internships.

    With your background, it is going to be near impossible for you to get in via the graduate route. I suggest you do some bad ass networking and get some long internships in equity research.
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    (Original post by TOTB)
    I heard that somewhere a while ago too. I just hope hiring picks up in 2010!...

    Just a general question to everyone: Is it worth doing an MSc in finance, due to my non-science degree, or is it better if I apply for grad roles straight after my BSc?
    1. prospect of getting an ER job at the moment is zero, try something else

    2. (IMHO) MSc in finance are a waste, they tend to just be very expensive CFA courses
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    (Original post by oblivious)
    Luck, skill and having done internships.

    With your background, it is going to be near impossible for you to get in via the graduate route. I suggest you do some bad ass networking and get some long internships in equity research.
    Hi mate, just one more question.

    I've heard that being chained to your Blackberry is a common feature when you are equity research analyst, i.e. weekend work, more and more research and so forth.

    Is that something you need to accept as part of the job?
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    7 till 6/7 mon-fri is normal, weekends are fairly rare in equity research.
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    (Original post by TOTB)
    Hi mate, just one more question.

    I've heard that being chained to your Blackberry is a common feature when you are equity research analyst, i.e. weekend work, more and more research and so forth.

    Is that something you need to accept as part of the job?
    I did work last weekend. Will probably do some this weekend.

    Been doing 6.30am till 8pm recently. Once you go the gym and get home, you go to bed. Strong work/life balance.
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    (Original post by oblivious)
    I did work last weekend. Will probably do some this weekend.

    Been doing 6.30am till 8pm recently. Once you go the gym and get home, you go to bed. Strong work/life balance.
    Owch, I had no idea Equity Research analysts worked those kind of hours - I thought they were pretty much alligned with S&T, is 6.30am-8pm that common?
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    (Original post by loggins)
    Owch, I had no idea Equity Research analysts worked those kind of hours - I thought they were pretty much alligned with S&T, is 6.30am-8pm that common?
    It is in a top-rated team.
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    Research with an asset manager or a small fund will give you a more relaxed life... although the pay won't be as good as in investment banks, of course.
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    (Original post by TOTB)
    Hi guys,

    Here is my situation: I will graduate in June 2010 (predicted: 1st class) with a chemistry degree from a top 20-30 uni and did not go through the A-Level route (but the course requirement is 300 UCAS points if that counts for anything).

    I have about a week's experience at a stockbroker (not much, but it's better than nothing), and although it was only a week, from talking to various heads, I've come to the conclusion that if I ever were to work in finance, it would probably be in equity research. More importantly, I have about 4 years experience in the stock market and have a big interest in fundamental based investing. I also have about £40k of my own personal assets invested in various vehicles in the stock market.

    In terms of grades, I'm hardly the most stellar candidate (compared to someone from Oxbridge with AAAA A-Levels), but I think my investing experience and knowledge is WAY more important than grades.

    I'm convinced though, that if I do get to interview, I can sell myself through my investing experience and general knowledge of the financial markets. But are my education credentials enough to secure an asset management graduate position in 2010? I think the BB firms are a bit out of reach for me at the moment, I'm thinking an asset management or pension fund analyst position is a more realistic target?

    This is VERY interesting. Anyone with this kind of experience is shocking/suprising for a prospective grad.

    So, why did you decide to invest your own money?

    I would suggest making some contacts on the buyside with this experience - plenty will take a look at you - try doing the CFA level one - that would really help your case.
 
 
 
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