What advice do you have for a candidate looking at investment strategy roles (investment specialist/director of investments/CIO/Portfolio Manager) inside of a practice?
Eddy Ricci, Jr., CFP ®, CEPA ®: Candidates need to understand how different these types of roles can look depending on size of firm, owner’s mentality and current support team. We sometimes see investment strategists who helped to manage a fund or worked as a corporate level investment director attempt to transition to the practice level. In this case it is important to understand the support team that would surround you (investment operations, client service associates, etc.) and what type of work will trickle to you being in more of a “small business” structure. Sometimes in smaller practices, firm owners may try to merge or blend an investment strategy role into other areas such as operations, service or even sometimes business development expectations.
Michael P. Connaughton, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®: As practices continue to become more specialized the demand for candidates with expertise in specific aspects of the business has increased. More firm owners are seeking out wealth management professionals with a background in investment strategy and portfolio construction. These types of candidates should be aware that the focus for these roles are unlikely to be narrow and specific as they may have been at a larger institutional firm. Many times, in these positions candidates are asked to help with everything from portfolio construction to market commentary to client relationship management and even some operational support, so a candidate should have a willingness to take on more broad responsibilities and a desire for direct client impact.