QuoteOriginally posted by: DominicConnorStatGuy may have had a better than average experience in the big consultancies...It may be that the best move forward in this market is to go to a big4 outfit, I would not criticise this, as long as you knew the score. The single most unhappy group of people I have ever worked with was at a big4, and when one takes into account the travel, hours do not seem noticeably better than the average banker, though to be fair the peak is typically lower. I found it fun, including the way they made me use the black people's lift, but your mileage may vary.I certainly do not recognise the characterisation of them as "stable". Arthur Anderson blew up spectacularly, and the staff turnover whatever the market conditions should tell you something.There is an upside in that you may well be exposed to more business areas, helping you to work out what to do with the rest of your life. That could certainly help some of the entry level people I talk to.The flipside is that you go where they need you to go, good or bad.Some do seem to be trying to build a competency in quant finance. At one level this should be a good thing, since there is a clear need for quantish backup and advice throughout the industry.It however, a difficult market for them to penetrate.Any consultancy is not part of the "circle of trust" within a bank, and so are usually isolated from the critical intellectual property, meaning the quality of work it typically lower.Banks are less than perfect in managing the careers of quants, to put it mildly, but at least there are now enough senior people with some sort of quant background to at least know the issues and opportunities.In the big4 (big10, whatever) consultancies your position is a function of revenue you bring in and internal politics. Very hard to bring in top quants to this.That's a political/organisational issue, and as such easy to state and viciously hard to solve.Banks are patchy in training, but vastly better than the big consultancies whose model is basically to charge you up for the next assignment. When I turned up at a big4 to consult on a big risk management project I asked where my team were.They were all away on a one week C++ course, since none of them had done it before than the project was to be built in it.That's why the quant consultancies are vastly better than the big sprawling outfits.But some people like the culture and you ought to at least talk to them if banking jobs don't turn up.One of the worst things I have gotten to know about these consultancy firms is that they hire on grads who have zero "operative" experience in anything, and will even be more willing to hire them than people who have worked in the field for a longer period of time and who bring a demonstrated value-added to the table.Case in point: a guy who I have met through friends works at a smaller consultancy here in Germany. His firm was responsible for setting up the credit policies of a major lender in the CEE area. After he found out about what I do for a living I was bombarded with questions regarding this and that, because he and his colleagues lacked any kind of operative knowledge in this field. I was furthermore absolutely astounded by the fact that I had said to him: well, you know it would almost make more sense for your firm to hire me than to just pick my brain like this. It would be easier and more cost effective. But he, not wanting to be outdone by someone with a clue, basically said he was not willing to speak to his boss or to find out anything. At which point in time I just began to answer in gibberish to discourage him from bothering me with that nonsense.The fact that firms are willing to hire "consultants" -and pay a very pretty penny for "advice" which they could have done on their own for a fraction of the cost- is absolutely mind-boggling.CB
Last edited by Chargerbullit
on August 18th, 2014, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.