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Career Advice Wanted


thepupil
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Game the system for severance. They have nothing more to teach you.

Corporate financial analyst for 2-3 years. CFA at night.

MBA school.

 

Lessons learned.

Selling glamour is selling dung. But if enough fools buy it - glamour sells!

Limitations of 'wonderboy'. Move laterally & you will be forever branded a loser

Brains to ask. It only took you ONE year to recognize this isn't for you - for most of your collegues it will be 5-10 yrs, if they recognize it al all.

 

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Why not use some of your structured finance experience to look for values in that space?  CT is an interesting place to start along with GKK where PlanMeastro has a good handle.  I know there are probably dozens of publicly held firms that hold this type of paper as a primary asset.  As for your SA articles they appear to focus on shorting which in my mind is very difficult.  Why not start with some long ideas?  Just some ideas.

 

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Life is too short to spend the biggest chunk of your waking hours (= full-time job for most) doing something that drains you.  Don't underestimate the value of a bird in the hand, but continue to look for more interesting alternatives.  Loyalty is  commendable, but in the end, if the people that you work with have your best interests at heart, they will congratulate you on deciding to move onto something that energizes you more.  If they don't, you likely don't want to be working for them. 

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Some top level numbers : BV= $3.94/share ($97.7m) yielding about 5% on a pre-tax basis from investments with $4.5b AUM generating about $5.3 m/yr EBIT from AM and servcing fees.  AM on an after-tax basis is about $0.51/share.  They also have $250 million in NOLs.  With a market cap of $78 million there is upside to the assets plus the possible Zell premium of providing assets to fully utilize the NOL (like he did with Covanta/Danielson Holding).  I have a started position at about $2.40 but may add more if some of my other positions approach FV.

 

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"March 2011 Restructuring

 

On March 31, 2011, we restructured, amended, or extinguished all of our outstanding recourse debt obligations, which we refer to as our March 2011 restructuring. Our March 2011 restructuring involved: (i) the contribution of certain of our legacy assets to a newly formed subsidiary, CT Legacy REIT Mezz Borrower, Inc., or CT Legacy REIT, (ii) the assumption of our legacy repurchase obligations by CT Legacy REIT, and (iii) the extinguishment of the remainder of our recourse obligations, our senior credit facility and junior subordinated notes. The restructuring was financed with a new $83.0 million mezzanine loan obtained by CT Legacy REIT from an affiliate of Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, or Five Mile, and the issuance of equity interests in the common stock of CT Legacy REIT to the former lenders under our senior credit facility and our former junior subordinated noteholders, as well as to an affiliate of Five Mile.

 

Capital Trust, Inc.

 

Following the completion of our March 2011 restructuring, we no longer have any recourse debt obligations, and retain unencumbered ownership of 100% of (i) our investment management platform, CT Investment Management Co., LLC, (ii) our co-investment in CT Opportunity Partners I, LP, (iii) our residual ownership interests in three of the CDOs that we issued, CT CDOs I, II, and IV, and (iv) our tax-basis net operating losses. Furthermore, we have a 52% equity interest in the common stock of CT Legacy REIT. Our economic interest in CT Legacy REIT is, however, subject to (i) the secured notes, which are collateralized by certain of our retained equity interests in the common stock of CT Legacy REIT, (ii) incentive awards that provide for the participation in amounts earned from our retained equity interests in the common stock of CT Legacy REIT, and (iii) the subordinate common stock of CT Legacy REIT owned by our former junior subordinate noteholders, all of which are further described in Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements. In addition to our interest in the common stock of CT Legacy REIT, we also own 100% of its outstanding class A preferred stock. See Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements for additional discussion of our March 2011 restructuring."

 

Has 4 CDO's that they sponsored and I think they own the equity interest.  Cash is about 1.40/share. 3.4 million warrants outstanding strike of 1.79 and can be redeemed beginning in March or May of 2012. 

 

Just an observer for now.

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I agree with personal investing and the conflicts.  That is why I stay away from certain types of firms in my investing.  However, you can still analyze the firm with a perspective of an insider that others may not have and can provide you a competitive advantage versus other candidates when looking for a different job.  There are inefficiencies in all markets and if you can identify ones in the market you are getting paid to study/work in you become more valuable all around.

 

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thepupil -

 

I think your desire to get away from MBS trading is a good one.  While I believe there will always be an MBS (and structured finance) market, I don't believe it will ever be the go-go area it was in years past prior to the financial crisis.  Of course in the financial world "never" and "some time many years from now" basically equate to the same thing.  So let's just say it won't be anytime soon most likely.

 

Personally, if it was me, I would not try to transfer internally.  In a perfect world that should be just fine, but we don't live in a perfect world.  Think of it from the perspective of your group, particularly your MD.  He will hear that his young guy just rejected him by wanting to not only leave, but go to someone else in the firm!  It's like not only breaking up with someone but wanting to date their best friend.  It stings, and you know what happens when someone with BSD aspirations feels hurt or embarrassed.  So I wouldn't recommend that route. 

 

I think you keep working hard and doing what you're doing.  Take from it what you can and learn as much as you can.  Try not to get so down on it.  There is always a tendency for young guys to feel that they are wasting so much time.  You probably feel you're 9 months in and you could have been doing something else with this time and before you know it will be a year, etc.  Years will past and you will be doing whatever you're doing at that time and you will hardly remember that first year.  It won't mean squat.  So don't stress too hard about it.

 

I typically hate when the answer people give is to network because I think it means nothing.  But in this case, talk to people you know who might be at places (other than your current shop) you would want to work.  You never know when they've heard of something.  Sometimes you catch it at an opportune moment and they need a body and you'll do.  At the same time, contact a headhunter which may or may not be a waste of time, but at least a good one can help you explore some options.  Try very quietly to get a recommendation on someone good and discreet.  Finally, start trying to contact some shops you like.  Find out the names of some people there.  See if you can meet up with some people and buy them a drink.  Kind of like informational interviews, but again, you never know when someone needs a body or they've heard of someone who does. 

 

Finally, be patient.  This is the hardest part.  Remember, as I said above, that when you've been working 10 or 20 years this will be like a blip in your life.  I can barely remember my first year and all the horrible times now make for good stories.  Just keep on keeping on and be confident that something will turn up.  I am not saying you are (I have no idea), but a word of advice, don't be a tool.  99% of the guys are and differentiate yourself by being a decent human being.  Someone will respect that and reward you for it.  Hope this helps.  Good luck.

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I think you keep working hard and doing what you're doing.  Take from it what you can and learn as much as you can.  Try not to get so down on it.  There is always a tendency for young guys to feel that they are wasting so much time.  You probably feel you're 9 months in and you could have been doing something else with this time and before you know it will be a year, etc.  Years will past and you will be doing whatever you're doing at that time and you will hardly remember that first year.  It won't mean squat.  So don't stress too hard about it.

 

This is very good advice. 

 

Over planning your career is a bad idea.  You will have a much better chance of getting to where you should be if you do the best work you can at your current job.  Pay attention to detail, commit yourself, and provide immediate follow-up to anyone you work with.  ALWAYS take your work seriously, NEVER take yourself seriously.  Do this, and other opportunities will open up. 

 

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I think you keep working hard and doing what you're doing.  Take from it what you can and learn as much as you can.  Try not to get so down on it.  There is always a tendency for young guys to feel that they are wasting so much time.  You probably feel you're 9 months in and you could have been doing something else with this time and before you know it will be a year, etc.  Years will past and you will be doing whatever you're doing at that time and you will hardly remember that first year.  It won't mean squat.  So don't stress too hard about it.

 

This is very good advice. 

 

Over planning your career is a bad idea.  You will have a much better chance of getting to where you should be if you do the best work you can at your current job.  Pay attention to detail, commit yourself, and provide immediate follow-up to anyone you work with.  ALWAYS take your work seriously, NEVER take yourself seriously.  Do this, and other opportunities will open up.

 

As is this.  This fits in exactly with what I was saying perfectly.  I think the tendency is to not only feel that one is wasting their time in a job they don't want, but to start showing it.  "After all, if I'm not going to be doing MBS for my career, why bother?"  Huge mistake.  Kick ass and work as if MBS will be your life.  On the side, keep looking.  If you do this, one of the 2 things will happen.  One, you get "stuck" in MBS in which case you will be glad you went balls out or two, you learn some things and somewhere along the way some other opportunity presents itself because you're the guy who is always working so hard, detail oriented, etc.  Never forget too that as a junior guy the value you add right now is in being detail oriented.  You're not being paid because the firm wants your input on macro economic factors as they affect the MBS market.  It's because you put together a mean spreadsheet for 90-100 hours a week.  Do it like it's a Picasso and someone will notice.

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