This panel session is for performance professionals just starting out in their career and experienced professionals thinking about making a change within the performance industry.  

  • What are some of the various opportunities within the performance profession?
  • How a career in performance may springboard into other roles within an investment management firm
  • Why you may want to consider changing roles within the industry
  • What are some of the benefits and/or drawbacks to changing roles within the performance profession?
  • Is it better to stay with your firm or seek opportunities outside your firm?
  • What do you see in terms of future changes to opportunities within the industry?

Career development in Performance and Risk areas matter as much as the actual functions. This is because there is a necessary growth that the performance function must realize with the increase of client sophistication, evolving best practices, and heightened regulatory awareness. As this growth takes place, the investment professional grows with it. It is easy for the back office or operational personnel who perform the risk and performance functions to plateau in their career while their colleagues in other departments experience different levels of progress. This is mainly due to the day to day functions of calculating figures, running reports, obtaining and reconciling data, compliance checks, only to mention a few, which keep one’s head so deep in the sand that it takes a special effort to see beyond. It however becomes necessary to make that effort to carve out time to develop yourself by increasing in learning, attending conferences, and looking out for new ways of doing things and even looking out for new opportunities in career to advance one’s self.

When you develop the art of deliberately training yourself, it flows into your current function. Generating performance and risk reports are no longer tedious head in the sand tasks but opportunities for analysis that will better inform the end user, opportunities to upgrade software and in some cases hardware for generating outputs, and even intelligent partnering with other non-operational functions that could evolve into a step up in career.

Takeaways: The 3 Don’ts of your performance career

Don’t over specialize in reporting and data reconciliation, it leads to a quick stagnation in your career opportunities. Press on to move into analysis, commentary and even presentations.

Don’t settle for “my foot in the door is all I need”. Grow in your learning; there are a variety of paths: CFA, CIPM, BS/BAs or Masters Degrees, and many other certifications. Compliance, portfolio management, actuarial, human resources and portfolio research roles are within hand-shake functionality with performance roles, providing opportunities to transition into one of them.

Don’t leave your files in the “traditional” box. With ongoing discussions and changing needs, metrics on performance and risk can be highly customized among different clients with the same asset manager. To use the same traditional metrics in the same way for all clients can reveal a myopic view of the performance world. Read, research, network to find out what’s new, what works better, what will be more suitable for clients and that in itself can open new doors for you in your current role.


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