And what about leaving quantitative finance for... finance? Forget coding, forget (financial) models, forget traders with oversized egos. A quant will always be "Look at his eyes, I'll give you a hint, his name is Yang. He won a national math competition in China he doesn't even speak English!" Banks aren't for quants.
What do you mean leave quant for finance (and which Yang?)? As in moving to a corporate function, or VC firm?
(Not all traders are ego-trippers of course - I was being slightly 1-dimensional)
Yes, corporate functions are an option and people are much easier to work with.
It can be a good option depending on how math driven you want to be. Excel modelling doesn't use any stochastics, which will mean if you do something like that and further on want to move into the other roles mentioned you are doing a career move and it can be tough. It is just really analysis of accounts, but there is some predictive modelling of commodity prices. Some of the prima donnas that come on this site going "I use some models but not enough WAH!!WAH!!MAMMY!!WAH!!" would hate it but I worked with ex-quants that loved it as the assets are real and it can involve travel and site visits.
Had you asked me 1-2 years in I would have said the same thing as Gamal but it gets very political. In Project Finance I was always either getting something approved or approving something and there was no middle office as even RMs and modellers client faced. As you progress to AVP and beyond it gets to the point where being good with people is not enough - even giving the impression of being brittle is enough to make your bosses paranoid.
Paranoid you say the wrong thing to clients or to credit committee and your boss could be a proper arsehole about it once he/she gets the notion you are not up to scratch. You should have a fair idea from you own career if you will cut the mustard - if you are uber confident you will be fine.
The one consistent thing I have found with a lot of people that leave these kinds of corporate roles or get fired is that their people skills are usually fine but the feedback they get on communication skills and attention to detail is very negative. It's because communication skills and people skills are not the same thing. Or put it another way, one friend that went through this has never had poor feedback on communication skills or attention to detail since moving into IT support in 2004, yet reported to me of being asked in an appraisal to "reduce spelling errors in reports" when he was in corporate finance.
Also there are support functions like compliance or "planning" in corporate finance. Again a lot of these roles aren't math driven but you might like them as the pressure isn't that heavy - I have seen people from Project Finance take up roles like "document editor" if they are stuck for work. If you have contacts that can get something similar that use your skills it is worth considering as a holding role if you are looking to move into something non-financey as it could take time to find something outside of finance that is math driven but that doesn't use programming.