About Equity Research Training Program [26 Feb 2010]

Dear all,

Good to see some of you at our “Insider Perspectives by buy-side/ sell-side analysts” last Friday…. and at the same time, I would like to provide you with some first hand info of what has been going on with the Equity Research Training Program, and some upcoming plans.  As you are aware, we did one round of “hiring” for Equity Research Assistant in Dec 09, and now have plans to do one more round next month (i.e. March), and then again in June (after CFA exams).

Update on Current Batch
The top-performer from current batch is really fantastic– did ~10 assignments in Jan (average turnaround time 3-4 days), and I am in the process of training him to become the next generation of Team Lead(s) to help me train the next batch of ppl….. and there are at least another 2-3 persons with great potential from current batch; on the other hand, we have also let go some ppl who failed to live up to our expectations, esp in the turnaround time dimension (i.e. submit assignments late).

Selection Process for subsequent batches
(1) Interested folks submit their CV and answer a brief questionaire with questions such as their working hrs, travel plans, marital status, availability (including Sat), etc.

(2) Qualifying Quiz [20 MCQs in 1hr]: Everybody must go thru this quiz and score 70% to qualify for next round.
Quiz will be 1hr and then another 45mins-1hr for me to go thru with them the answers (aka a tutorial).

(3) Phone interview stage: I plan to ask two of my Team Leads to interview them first, and let them feedback to me… before I interview them over the phone personally.  We might give them 1-2 appetitizer assignments to work on, to test their turnaround time and quality of work, before deciding to take them in.

Implications for You
You have been helpful when I first started getting people to help me in Aug 09, and demand has been strong and growing exponentially these days.  It is therefore important for me to work out a mechanism to satisfy early birds like you, but at the same time, do not compromise my rising expectations on one’s turnaround time and quality of work.
[It's pretty much like in the dating scene: when a girl has got only 1-2 suitors, she can't be too choosy; if she is hot and has 10 or even more men going after her, she can afford to be more selective, isn't it?  At the same time, she might wish to be fair and give every guy his fair chance.]

The good news for you (as an early bird) is: you do not need to go thru the selection process outlined above (i.e. no qualifying quiz/ interviews for you), except that we might ask you to submit your CVs and answer the questionaire, more for our record purposes.  Also, now that I have got more experience running such program, you will most likely receive better guidance.

The bad news is: you will be benchmarked against the current batch, i.e. we will impose similar high expectations on your turnaround time and quality of work, and many of you unfortunately pale in comparison to current batch (based on your most recent assignment prior to taking a break).  You are most likely going to work under my next generation of Team Lead(s) and will still need to be subjected to the Performance Monitoring Scorecard, till we are more confident of your abilities, and your performance will be reviewed periodically to determine your continued eligibility.

Last but not least, if you feel turned off reading the mailer above and prefer not to be given such first-hand info (as an early bird) anymore, just let me know.  Happy to remove you from this special mailing list, if it suits you better.

May your new year be filled with opportunities for learning, growth and progress.


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