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londoner
Posts: 215
Joined: January 28th, 2008, 2:52 am

quant salaries in big 4 accounting firms

August 21st, 2014, 2:20 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: riskguruSlightly different sequencing to may of the points that have already been made (and summarized by Dominic).1. At junior levels, consulting firms view talent as fungible. You will get to do lot, get paid, but will eventually be encouraged to move on, unless2. You are very good at selling new projects. This is the typical basis for making partner, and knowledge/experience is NOT a substitute! While working for a consulting firm might make a lot of sense in short term, you have to understand the incentive structure if you plan to stay there for the long term. I know a lot of smart peole who could not/did not want to "sell" and were forced to move on.Cheers!AFAIK, a quantitative team in a big 4 firm has job rankings as follows: Partner, Director, Manager, Senior Associate, Associate.At what level would one have to sell new projects?Actually, I see "selling" is good experience to have. Normally a quant would not be hired as a sales (maybe except in some software vendors), so there are no ways for quants to develop selling skills at work. Maybe a quant will discover he is a good sales at Big 4 and has a shot to be a partner who makes more money than most other quants. Who knows!?
 
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londoner
Posts: 215
Joined: January 28th, 2008, 2:52 am

quant salaries in big 4 accounting firms

August 21st, 2014, 2:25 am

so does it make sense for a mid-level quant to switch from a bank to Big 4 for consulting? I kinda like the wide exposure clients and diversity of consulting projects, albeit concerned the projects are of back-office type (e.g. audit model validation reports).What are the exit opportunities after Big 4? Will banks or hedge funds or asset management firms value consulting experience in Big 4?
 
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londoner
Posts: 215
Joined: January 28th, 2008, 2:52 am

quant salaries in big 4 accounting firms

August 21st, 2014, 2:28 am

75k EUR for entry level or mid-level (3-5 years exp) quants?QuoteOriginally posted by: ChargerbullitThis thread has gotten more interesting from my first read a few days ago. Dominic - I definitely agree with what you are saying. And I have, in the course of several headhunter related "applications" to some consulting firms, brought up the fact that they are very light on members with "operational" experience in my area (counterparty credit risk) and that my experience is something that would bring a massive value-added to customers and themselves if they were to bring me in and have me work on projects as a senior specialist. Despite my basic agreement, I have a bit of a dissenting opinion on the whole area in general.I have been contacted by several headhunters for consultant positions who turned green at my wage expectation, as one put it: "I can't see the value-added that your experience brings to the table." The funny thing is, I justified it with a story: my father worked on a major construction project in the US, where his firm for lack of a better word did not make the kind of revenue they had hoped due to client issues and other things. This same project that he led went on to earn numerous rewards and other recognition which brought in new business; effectively a value-added with it that far outweighed any loss that they made. I have discussed this as well not just with headhunters but also with people at consultants to illustrate what my knowledge and experience can definitely bring, but that hasn't brought the kind of feedback as I have hoped. The problem is -at least in my opinion- that a majority of these firms think their own sh't doesn't stink. So they tend to be more myopic than insightful about what their clients really need. And only having very few people with true experience in the area they advise companies on makes it more opaque and difficult as they only want to hire people who are not a threat to themselves.For pure examples sake: I was recently contacted by a headhunter in Germany looking for someone with experience with regulatory / reporting issues for banks. My experience here is very periphery but I still have an understanding of it, I stated as such and then asked if it wouldn't be more interesting for his clients to have someone on their team with a demonstrated level of experience in my field. He agreed hesitantly and asked what I wanted to earn - that was basically where he, in the end, refused to keep playing the game. After that all I heard were excuses as to why it isn't possible etc, despite me knowing multiple individuals from my former team who were hired on by the big 4 and who make six digit salaries in EUR, GBP and USD countries. It's true that you need to show the person on the other end that they need you, but it's always very relative and contextual as to how they see it. Which, given what I've seen, experienced and also discussed (especially in regards to 'consultants') can be very difficult to bring across if they are lacking in decided knowledge in the area that you're wanting to work in.That being said, I do believe that, depending on where you're at, at least in Europe a starting out salary of 75,000 is more than enough. You can at least then maybe allow yourself to be talked to 65,000 and then really prove you're worth a raise to more dependent on performance. That being said, you should definitely work out a niche and use it to the max.CB
 
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riskguru
Posts: 79
Joined: August 11th, 2004, 4:24 pm

quant salaries in big 4 accounting firms

August 21st, 2014, 10:27 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: londonerQuoteOriginally posted by: riskguruSlightly different sequencing to may of the points that have already been made (and summarized by Dominic).1. At junior levels, consulting firms view talent as fungible. You will get to do lot, get paid, but will eventually be encouraged to move on, unless2. You are very good at selling new projects. This is the typical basis for making partner, and knowledge/experience is NOT a substitute! While working for a consulting firm might make a lot of sense in short term, you have to understand the incentive structure if you plan to stay there for the long term. I know a lot of smart peole who could not/did not want to "sell" and were forced to move on.Cheers!AFAIK, a quantitative team in a big 4 firm has job rankings as follows: Partner, Director, Manager, Senior Associate, Associate.At what level would one have to sell new projects?Actually, I see "selling" is good experience to have. Normally a quant would not be hired as a sales (maybe except in some software vendors), so there are no ways for quants to develop selling skills at work. Maybe a quant will discover he is a good sales at Big 4 and has a shot to be a partner who makes more money than most other quants. Who knows!?Partner is generally a sales job. Making partner (Manager/Director) typically requires you to show that you could use existing client projects to generate new ones Re: selling being a good experience to have, I have heard the opposite frequently as well, especially from academic/PhD types, that it is too commercial and intellectually compromising. A matter of personal preference ultimately.
 
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DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

quant salaries in big 4 accounting firms

August 28th, 2014, 10:33 am

@Chargerbullit, by saying "value add", I think the headhunter may have not quite explained the issue...The danger in any recruitment is using the same vocabulary as the hiring firm, which is sometimes misleading.The right term for an accountancy firm is ''price add".So the question is "do your skills allow them to sell your time for more ?"The client would certainly value your specialism more, but typically you would be rented at a "level", so if the accountancy/consultancy firm paid you more, they may well end up narrowing their margins and so would prefer a cheaper person, just so long as he doesn't visibly screw up enough to cause a problem.Also, being a specialist, we have to ask what use you'd be if your employer didn't have any assignments that fitted ?You'd still expect to be paid, so they would put you where they could rent you out, even if that was something you didn't feel able to do at all well.A common scenario is to be put into "implementation", or as everyone else calls it "programming".
 
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Sprinter
Posts: 103
Joined: October 21st, 2012, 11:05 am

quant salaries in big 4 accounting firms

August 31st, 2014, 11:08 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: KackToodlesBig 4 accounting firms have opennings for "quants" to price derivatives and other exotic options. How do their salaries compare to middle office valuaton work in bulge bracket banks?your question of comparing being a quant at an accounting firm and middle office function remains unanswered. I don't know if you have experience but where will you find middle office valuation work. do you know what middle office is and how it operates. or are you talking about product control being far from what valuation really is or is it market risk you are talking about yes there may be some valuation work there but that is not middle office. that is market risk a separate function from what middle office typically does. accounting firms are very particular about billing hours as their bill is charged with the number of hours put in just like lawyers. so you would be working on legacy products and models not pricing and risk managing new innovative products with challenging features challenging your skills and aptitude. there will be no concern whether the client makes money hedges efficiently or dive into a loss all which will matter will be applying standard set of models standard techniques as a second third check not as a challenge to meet clients' traders' management's need requirement.
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