The Post-MBA Position in Portfolio Management

by Vault Careers | March 31, 2009

  • My Vault
The associate portfolio manager position requires an MBA, CFA or considerable investment experience. Typically, the job is filled by successful research analysts who have at least 3 to 5 years of post-MBA experience. The job itself is very similar to that of the senior portfolio manager with one main exception: associates interact less with clients than senior managers do. Associate portfolio managers are usually assigned smaller, less sophisticated portfolios to manage or serve as lieutenants on large, complicated portfolios.

The role of the associate portfolio manager differs depending on which segment of the market is being served --mutual fund, institutional or high-net-worth. For instance, associate portfolio managers at many mutual fund firms will either act as the lead investor on a sector fund or as second-in-command on a large diversified fund. Depending on the firm, an associate could also act as a lead on a sector fund and a second-in-command on a diversified fund at the same time. Alternatively, on the institutional side, associate portfolio managers typically apprentice with seasoned portfolio managers on the largest and most complicated portfolios. After they have succeeded in that role, the firm will assign them smaller institutional accounts to manage on their own.

Successful associate portfolio managers will usually be promoted to senior portfolio managers within 2 to 5 years.


  • Great spot to showcase your investment talent
  • Clearest path to running the big-time portfolios
  • Autonomy and creative independence


  • Always being graded on your investment decisions
  • Competitive, high level of scrutiny
  • Limited client interaction
  • High degree of focus, smaller accounts or sector funds

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