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# Investment Management Schools

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18 Feb 2009, 22:00
What are the top 5 five schools for Investment Management?

I am interested in Buy Side IM. I have seen all the lists of top finance schools, but this doesnt seem very specific. I'm assuming Wharton is probably #1, and then Columbia as possibly #2. What other schools round out the list?
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18 Feb 2009, 22:23
CaliCpa wrote:
What are the top 5 five schools for Investment Management?

I am interested in Buy Side IM. I have seen all the lists of top finance schools, but this doesnt seem very specific. I'm assuming Wharton is probably #1, and then Columbia as possibly #2. What other schools round out the list?

Are you asking about top 5 schools that attract top IM firms for recruiting or are you asking about top 5 schools in terms of academics for IM?

Questions like this usually stirs up a lot of debate and before any of us answer this question, let's be specific.
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19 Feb 2009, 00:21
I originally intended it to be for academic purposes. Which schools are the most respected as far as quality of professors, education, and programs. I imagine that recruiting follows that same list to some extent. The main reason I ask is because I noticed that UW Madison seems to have a program focused solely on IM. Not sure how this stacks up against Columbia, NYU, Wharton, etc. I know that the UW MBA in general is not as respected as one from say Wharton, but how does the IM concentration match up?

So I guess to revise my original question, as far as quality of education goes, which are the top 5 schools for IM?

If anyone can provide some insight into the UW question asked above, I would also appreciate it.
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19 Feb 2009, 03:56
I think you'll see a strong correlation between the top finance schools and the top schools for IM. With all due respect to UW, I don't think it's even close to the same league as these schools, since the power of the brand and reputation at Wharton, Chicago, Columbia, NYU, etc. would attract the best and brightest faculty.
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19 Feb 2009, 08:31
So I'm going to take a stab at this with the limited knowledge that I have. (I am more than prepared for people to dispute anything I have to say, so bring it).

First of all, to address UW Madison: While I haven't researched much into the program, I have been looking into a lot of post-MBA careers in IM, ideally in the Midwest. And, more than once, I have come across firms that recruit at 4 schools (Chicago, Wharton, Columbia, UW or Chicago, Wharton, Kellogg, UW). So, if you're looking to stay in the Midwest, getting a UW Madison degree is certainly an option as it'll give you access to many firms in Chicago, Milwaukee, and MSP. That being said, I cannot comment on the quality of education.

Getting more into that, here are a couple opinions
- Chicago Booth: You will probably get the best strictly IM education. It has a wealth of incredible professors that laid the foundations for modern finance and great programs like the student IM treks. I believe the IM group is the biggest among any b-school and has great resources. This is probably your best chance at getting an IM job anywhere in the U.S. as a number of grads stay in the midwest, many go East, and many go West. So lots of options.
- Wharton: Along that same line, Wharton probably will provide you the best chance to go international IM and one of the best opportunities to do IM on the East coast. And while it is incredibly strong in finance, it probably has the best overall MBA brand to complement that IM focus. They actually have a series of courses specifically for the IM focus
- Columbia/NYU: I can't comment on specifics, but if you want a job in NYC, these are the places to go. Columbia obviously has the better reputation, but I can't address it any more than that
- Kellogg: You might be surprised to see this on the list, but it has a growing reputation in Finance, and attracts most of the same big firms (but maybe not as many positions). A major highlight is the Asset Management Practicum. This is a 3-4 course sequence that gives you that experiential learning that Kellogg focuses on. While only a couple years old, this seems to be drawing a lot of attention from applicants and recruiters, and definitely something to consider.

This #5 school is certainly up for debate, but was the most attractive to me during my research and why I applied to Kellogg. Any other suggestions?

Bottom line: having an idea where you want to be and what you want to do post-MBA can help make your decision easier.
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19 Feb 2009, 08:51
Columbia will provide the best investment management education. At CBS you'll have classes at the offices of guy's working at hedge funds running big money. CBS' Value Investing Program (which is highly competetive to get in to) is unmatched by anything at Booth or Wharton. Sure, Wharton and Chicago are great "finance" schools with great academic minds and professors. However, when it comes to investment management education, Columbia edges those two out.
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19 Feb 2009, 10:19
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There's no doubt that Columbia is among the very best. Benjamin Graham basically founded value investing while he was a professor there and the discipline was later perfected by Warren Buffet, who is closely tied as well.

I also think that people seem to be ignoring the obvious. Boston (along with Cambridge and surrounding areas) is the center of the investment management universe (both traditional IM and hedge funds). There is a reason for that and the reason is named Harvard. Because of many many factors, if you want to run money, Harvard is the clear #1.

Now, in terms of the actual education you'll get, I'd throw my vote in for Columbia or Chicago. Lot's of really smart people pushing successful ideas at Chicago; and being what it is, Columbia's history with value investing is impossible to ignore.
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19 Feb 2009, 10:59
pelihu, that is one killer gmat score congrats! although, im shocked a Q50, V51 isn't a 790...
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19 Feb 2009, 15:38
pelihu, have you made a post about IB and IM recruiting this year (at Darden or elsewhere if you have insight)? If you did, pls point to it.
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19 Feb 2009, 19:00

IMG is one of the biggest groups here and the HFG (Hedge Fund) is also a good one. For the Summer Internship, many companies came here to recruit. West Coast, Chicago, Nebraska, Baltimore, Boston, NYC, Geneva, London, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, Tokyo, are places that I remember. Usually the jobs are equity related, though some companies such as PIMCO come here too. Even though this year have been tough, I know many people, some of them internationals, who got some interesting offers, though for career switchers the buy side has been extremely hard.

In terms of classes, there are many of them, I took Investments and want to take Portfolio Management and Advanced Investments. There are even more hard core classes that may help with HFs such as Fixed Income Asset Pricing, etc.

Regarding what I think about schools, I couldn't put it better than Pelihu did. Harvard will indeed open some doors that will be harder at other places.
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19 Feb 2009, 22:40
Good info kwam.....

Do you have any info on what positions these companies are recruit for? Assitant PM's? Analysts? How competitive is it? If you had any baseline salary numbers I be interested to hear that as well.

How do these firms view students with the CFA? Do you find a majority of the students already have the charter? How relevant is it in the IM hiring process?

Booth is my top choice for IM in the next couple of years. Hopefully I will have the charter by matriculation. Curious to hear your POV.

Thanks
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20 Feb 2009, 07:11
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MrPink78 wrote:
Do you have any info on what positions these companies are recruit for? Assitant PM's? Analysts? How competitive is it? If you had any baseline salary numbers I be interested to hear that as well.

Several kinds of positions. Analysts - both sell and buy side, Assistant Portfolio Managers, Account Managers, Product Managers, etc. The more "buys side" you go the more competitive it is, usually firms hire fewer people for buy side positions and there are more people interested into these few slots. Salaries I really don't know the numbers, but I believe that they are among the best, I've heard some crazy numbers, especially for funds with extremely lean structures, I don't know if these numbers are statistically relevant though.

MrPink78 wrote:
How do these firms view students with the CFA? Do you find a majority of the students already have the charter? How relevant is it in the IM hiring process?

This goes in a case by case. Some firms really like candidates to have CFA, while others - Fidelity popped in my mind - don't care. I heard from a Portfolio Manager that if you concentrate in finance at Chicago you you basically learn everything that you need to be chartered. There are many people with the CFA, some with CPA, and a handful with both. Also there are many who will this summer "test" for the level 1.
If you have time and are willing to put the effort, go for it, it won't hurt you and it will help with some companies.
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20 Feb 2009, 10:59
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As someone who tried (and failed) to switch into a career in IM at Booth, kwam is spot on about what happened this year. Apparently, this year was exceptionally bad for those trying to do IM, experienced or not. If anyone has any questions specifically about my experiences, I'd be glad to share.

As a caveat, it's not that the internship recruiting process is even close to being over (off-campus, anyway)...it's just that my "Plan B" worked out better than I could have hoped. I'm sure there are plenty more people who will be successful in getting some sort of role in IM.
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20 Feb 2009, 17:52
Irishfan - Please indulge me. I'm curious to hear how IM recruiting is.

Kwan & Irishfan - What backgrounds do IM guys typically have at Booth? Can you give me an idea of the sort of profile you are competing against when you are vying for these coveted buy side IM spots?

I currently do cash management & FX hedging for a $4bn tech firm. Curious to know how my experience would stack up against people going for these jobs. I'd assume people already running money would not quit to pursue an MBA and then turn right around and try to get back in to PM, so am I correct to assume that no one has any real (first-hand) experience? Any advice you can give someone a few years away from applying to Booth is welcome also. Very Helpful! +1 to both Current Student Joined: 23 Dec 2007 Posts: 138 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 0 Re: Investment Management Schools [#permalink] ### Show Tags 20 Feb 2009, 22:28 Sure, this is a private message that I sent, glad to share (see below). I'd say your experience is certainly relevant, but not distinctly relevant enough that it would've been a sure close-list invite. Though, I can't stress enough that IM recruiting this year is an absolute bloodbath. My experience should not be indicative of anything you'll experience in a bull market. Exactly, re: your point about people wanting to pursue IM. Only one person I know of in the IMG had an incredible background...others worked for fund-of-funds, back office at asset management firms, etc.; experience that was kinda-sorta relevant. "It's tough to say how comparable our experiences would be, given the economic climate, work experience, firms that choose to recruit on-campus, etc. In a nutshell, I have 4 years' experience in public accounting/financial consulting, and I wanted to make the transition to IM. I made the mistake of applying to smaller shops (as opposed to the T. Rowes, Fidelities, etc.) because I figured that was a good place to get started. Boy, was I wrong...I had nine of the firms with which I resume-dropped withdraw their internship positions entirely. As the weeks went on, it became evident that the only people getting close-listed and/or second-rounded were those with extremely relevant experience. In other words, none of the firms were willing to take a chance on training someone new with zero exposure to the industry from the get-go. That said, it was tough for EVERY career changer this year, not just in IM. However, IM was certainly one of the most affected career tracks (along with sales and trading). So, I hit "panic mode" a bit early and consulted Rhyme on making my "Plan B" corporate finance/general management. I'm guessing you know how awesome Rhyme is on this board, and in person he's no exception. This was A LOT easier to recruit for, since there was less technical knowledge you needed to relay in the interviews (i.e. no stock pitches/industry analyses), and as it stands today I have three offers from two somewhat-respectable firms and one better firm which was a lot of people's "Plan A" to begin with. Guess which one I'm going with? Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, in no way should my experience be extrapolated into the greater IM-recruiting environment...I cashed in my chips really, really early, and I know there will be plenty of people to successfully land internships via the off-campus search. Also, I have a really hard time believing next year will be as bad as this one. Just a guess. Anyway, hope this was helpful. Let me know if you would like me to elaborate on anything!" VP Joined: 09 Jan 2007 Posts: 1045 Location: New York, NY Schools: Chicago Booth Class of 2010 Followers: 10 Kudos [?]: 161 [0], given: 3 Re: Investment Management Schools [#permalink] ### Show Tags 23 Feb 2009, 00:16 MrPink78 wrote: I currently do cash management & FX hedging for a$4bn tech firm. Curious to know how my experience would stack up against people going for these jobs. I'd assume people already running money would not quit to pursue an MBA and then turn right around and try to get back in to PM, so am I correct to assume that no one has any real (first-hand) experience?

I have a different opinion than Irishfan, because I didn't want Equity related jobs, unless it is equity derivatives trading. I like Macro, Fixed Income, Credit and FX related jobs, which rely much less on Accounting - I really don't like accounting. My strategy was to try some places in S&T and IM in a few places: Some HFs and Fixed Income Asset Managers. I applied to 10 places got 4 closed lists, 3 of them in S&T 1 at a big house in Fixed Income. I believe that my previous experience was somewhat important. However, it turned out that my experience made my interviews to be extremely technical, from pricing First to Default Baskets, Macro overviews, Greek discussion, to Negative Convexity (Or "Concavity" if you wish). There was one that I clearly saw that the guys was there just to "interview" people I talked 20 minutes about soccer, as he kept asking me questions about soccer.

So far I got 1 offer in S&T, though I'm considering going back to my company as they offered me a extremely interesting internship. But I'm still applying for a couple of interesting offers we have been receiving.

Talking to friends of mine at Columbia, MIT, Wharton, NYU, etc, it seems that everything related to financial services have been extremely hard this year. Also is important to mention that many firms filled very early their slots and schools that started the process later got hurt.
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23 Feb 2009, 00:39
I know this is purely speculative and anyone's guess, but what do you all think the future holds for financial services in 2 years? For those applying this fall, we would be looking for an internship for 2 years from this summer, and if the industry remains the same, I'm guessing apps will likely decrease sharply. In all the interviews, and communication with potential employers, have you gotten a feel for what the 3-5 year horizon looks like for recruiting? My guess is that it is all "wait and see," but it would be nice if someone could provide some insight.

kwam wrote:
MrPink78 wrote:
I currently do cash management & FX hedging for a $4bn tech firm. Curious to know how my experience would stack up against people going for these jobs. I'd assume people already running money would not quit to pursue an MBA and then turn right around and try to get back in to PM, so am I correct to assume that no one has any real (first-hand) experience? I have a different opinion than Irishfan, because I didn't want Equity related jobs, unless it is equity derivatives trading. I like Macro, Fixed Income, Credit and FX related jobs, which rely much less on Accounting - I really don't like accounting. My strategy was to try some places in S&T and IM in a few places: Some HFs and Fixed Income Asset Managers. I applied to 10 places got 4 closed lists, 3 of them in S&T 1 at a big house in Fixed Income. I believe that my previous experience was somewhat important. However, it turned out that my experience made my interviews to be extremely technical, from pricing First to Default Baskets, Macro overviews, Greek discussion, to Negative Convexity (Or "Concavity" if you wish). There was one that I clearly saw that the guys was there just to "interview" people I talked 20 minutes about soccer, as he kept asking me questions about soccer. So far I got 1 offer in S&T, though I'm considering going back to my company as they offered me a extremely interesting internship. But I'm still applying for a couple of interesting offers we have been receiving. Talking to friends of mine at Columbia, MIT, Wharton, NYU, etc, it seems that everything related to financial services have been extremely hard this year. Also is important to mention that many firms filled very early their slots and schools that started the process later got hurt. Current Student Joined: 23 Dec 2007 Posts: 138 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 0 Re: Investment Management Schools [#permalink] ### Show Tags 23 Feb 2009, 15:53 kwam, you're one of the chosen few who got an S&T offer? Congratulations, that's huge! From an outsider's perspective, S&T was the only industry that seemed worse for recruiting than IM. Also, it's definitely worth noting that I was shooting for long-only equity shops with relatively fewer AUM. I hear that many people had slightly better luck interviewing for non-traditional IM roles. kwam wrote: MrPink78 wrote: I currently do cash management & FX hedging for a$4bn tech firm. Curious to know how my experience would stack up against people going for these jobs. I'd assume people already running money would not quit to pursue an MBA and then turn right around and try to get back in to PM, so am I correct to assume that no one has any real (first-hand) experience?

I have a different opinion than Irishfan, because I didn't want Equity related jobs, unless it is equity derivatives trading. I like Macro, Fixed Income, Credit and FX related jobs, which rely much less on Accounting - I really don't like accounting. My strategy was to try some places in S&T and IM in a few places: Some HFs and Fixed Income Asset Managers. I applied to 10 places got 4 closed lists, 3 of them in S&T 1 at a big house in Fixed Income. I believe that my previous experience was somewhat important. However, it turned out that my experience made my interviews to be extremely technical, from pricing First to Default Baskets, Macro overviews, Greek discussion, to Negative Convexity (Or "Concavity" if you wish). There was one that I clearly saw that the guys was there just to "interview" people I talked 20 minutes about soccer, as he kept asking me questions about soccer.

So far I got 1 offer in S&T, though I'm considering going back to my company as they offered me a extremely interesting internship. But I'm still applying for a couple of interesting offers we have been receiving.

Talking to friends of mine at Columbia, MIT, Wharton, NYU, etc, it seems that everything related to financial services have been extremely hard this year. Also is important to mention that many firms filled very early their slots and schools that started the process later got hurt.
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23 Feb 2009, 18:00
Irishfan wrote:
Also, it's definitely worth noting that I was shooting for long-only equity shops with relatively fewer AUM. I hear that many people had slightly better luck interviewing for non-traditional IM roles.

What do you mean by non-traditional IM roles?

Also, aren't you a LII or LIII CFA Candidate? What is your perception on how the CFA is viewed in the industry for MBA recruiting? Any difference in perception between LII/LIII/CFA?
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23 Feb 2009, 18:36
Curious to know whether those with the CFA designation will put in on their resume when interviewing for investment banking (corpfin) positions?

Let's say your ultimate goal is to make it to the buyside. Alot of guys get recruited from banking to hedge funds and the like so I'm curious if it is in your best interest not to list the CFA on the resume.

I could see how it could do more damage than help in the fact that i bank hiring managers would probably think you are somewhat of a flight risk, just waiting for that buyside gig to come along and not in it for the long term.

Thoughts?
Re: Investment Management Schools   [#permalink] 23 Feb 2009, 18:36

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