Moving from the sell side to the buy side

When it comes to analyst jobs, often people end up moving from the sell side to the buy side. If you've been toiling away on the sell side, and you're eyeing a career transition, then switching over to the buy side may be the right move.

So how do you do it? 

Well the good thing is that many firms on the buy side, such as hedge funds, actually seek out individuals with sell side experience from investment banking jobs. There are a number of reasons for this. For one, it can be assumed that people coming over from the sell side have a fairly thorough knowledge of financial modeling and statements. Additionally, if you're coming over from the sell side there's a good chance you have some deal experience, which means you'll have a good idea of when is the right time to buy or sell, and why. 

Plus, no matter what, you're bound to be working some long hours. It helps buy side hiring managers to get someone from the sell side, who is used to long stretches of arduous work. 

Seeking out opportunities to transition from the sell side to the buy side
One good way to begin the transition from sell-to-buy is to look for opportunities within your organization. Some larger firms have been bulking up their asset management divisions while watching their investment banking departments shrink. As those on the sell side increasingly become more interested in moving to the buy side, expanding asset management capabilities makes sense, so look into whether or not your firm offers such an opportunity, before moving on completely.

"Start the transition sell-to-buy is to look for opportunities within your organization."

But there is an issue with taking too much time to get experience within your own organization before moving on to a new one. That is, that so many people are already looking to transition from the sell side to the buy side, that asset management hiring managers' recruiting networks are consistently swelling. One thing that could help you stand out is a CFA, but it probably won't be the difference-maker regarding whether or not you actually get the job. The best thing to do is to work hard on your research, network with people on the buy side and keep an eye on larger sell side firms that seem open to hiring. 

If you have significant experience on the sell side, and feel that you're ready to start managing portfolios and seeing the fruits of your labor unfold before your eyes, rather then sending your efforts elsewhere, then keep an eye on buy side openings – our website is a good place to start. And keep working hard, making sure that your efforts shine through and impress hiring managers on the buy side, who are open to bringing in someone with your kind of experience.