Tomorrow I will start in my new role as an Equity Research Analyst (Associate Director) for Exotix. I will be covering banks across Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. For the unaware, Exotix is a frontier market investment bank specializing in illiquid bonds and loans, equities, structured finance and capital raising.
Getting a new job, particularly one with a great team and culture is quite rare. Nevertheless, the challenge lies not in getting the job but doing extraordinary work. The work of a research analyst in my opinion is like that of an artist trying to create masterpieces. You have to produce differentiated reports with unique insights and ideas before others and communicate that in clear language.
One thing that I realize from my move is that talent sourcing strategies have changed a lot. Employers are increasingly looking for good local talents who have the local know how and connections but can work at a global level also. When I started working for Caravel Management LLC in 2009 it felt to me that I was the odd one out. Now I see more such instances happening. Tundra Fonder, a Swedish fund manager that invests in Frontier Markets opened up a full-fledged research house in Pakistan. I believe that this is just the beginning.
The second thing is about knowledge. The growth of information technology has made it much easier for people to learn if they really want to. Books, blogs, podcasts etc are available for the inquisitive mind. Thus someone living in the developing world can fill up some (not all) of the knowledge gap that someone in the developed world has access to. All it requires is the right mindset.
The last point is about customers. While research in most industries is a back office job in equity brokerage business I consider it as a front office job. There is constant interaction with clients. Therefore, the best thing one can do for his employer and himself is to give the best possible service to the clients. Even though this sounds like common knowledge, we forget this very often.