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Great organizations have great organizers. Human Resources, Finance, Corporate Tax and Treasury are multifunctional groups that contribute to making MFS a great organization. The skill sets for these departments vary, but they share a single purpose-to support MFS’ corporate goals by creating and reinforcing a strong infrastructure.
- Our size – We are large enough to command the attention of the biggest companies, but small enough so moving shareholder capital in your ideas takes hours, not days.
- Our resources – Our research platform is comprised of investment professionals around the world. Your access to information and insight is unlimited.
- Our investment horizon – We’re long-term investors. We don’t look out for one quarter or even one year. We want to see how companies perform over the long term, and we apply the same perspective when we evaluate your performance.
- Our team philosophy – Collaboration is intrinsic to our success. As a result, the people you work with are as fervently committed to your success as they are to their own.
- Our attitude – Investing is an exhilarating, demanding career. It’s important that you like the people you work with and have some fun.
Whether you are a research analyst, portfolio manager, or trader, at MFS® you are an investor first. As you research companies and explore new products and ideas, you will ask whether securities are appropriate for our shareholders’ portfolios. To find your answer, you will analyze financials, visit companies, attend conferences, and talk to industry experts. You will also weigh fundamental and quantitative research and insight gathered from investors on your sector team, analysts from other teams across equity, fixed income, and quantitative solutions, and senior managers – all the members of our global research team.
We are very proud to say that virtually all of our portfolio managers started as research analysts at MFS. We are also proud to say that many of our research analysts have made a career of being a specialist investor. Research analysts have the opportunity to manage assets through our analyst-run research portfolios; they may also focus on different sectors over the course of a career. Career paths at MFS are varied; we respect individual strengths, value the importance of every role, and try to match individual talents and desires to long-term company goals.
We look for individuals with a head for numbers and the drive of a successful athlete – accountants, economists, and financial pros who have found a way, through hard work, commitment, and team play, to excel. At the end of the day, bond investing creates winners and losers, and we have found that those who have tasted success make excellent competitors.
Portfolio managers work closely with the fixed-income analyst team to identify securities for inclusion in our portfolios through an intensive process of bottom-up research. Traders, research analysts, and portfolio managers are aligned by investment type. Government bonds, municipal bonds, corporate bonds, and other fixed-income assets require specific expertise, and immersion in specific asset classes adds significant value to our investing process. Regardless of your focus, you will have access to fixed-income, equity, and quantitative analysts from all our global offices. When you are a part of our fixed-income team, you have a worldwide, world-class organization working with you.
We need analytic thinkers who believe that investing risk can be identified, understood, and mitigated through a strategic assessment of portfolio holdings and the thoughtful execution of risk management strategies.
Our first responsibility is to work closely with equity and fixed-income managers to identify and understand risk in our portfolios, but we go deeper. We take an active role in creating products and managing portfolios – such as target date funds, asset allocation funds, and alternative investment products – that are structured to meet the changing needs of individual shareholders and institutional investors.
As a result, we look at the wider investment landscape, leveraging the success of our equity and fixed-income teams with alternative investments such as commodities, currency, real estate, options, and managed futures strategies to help meet investors’ needs. We look for analytic thinkers who always ask "what if?" and are willing to work hard to find the answer.
Our Investment Research Associate Program is open to bright, creative, curious college seniors who are looking for an opportunity to do real research on real companies and to find out why investment management is such an amazing industry. If you are the kind of student who makes your professors say, "I never thought about it that way before," are obsessed with figuring out the way things work, and are curious about how companies make money, you are qualified to apply. All majors are considered.
How does the program work?
Each fall we visit a select group of colleges for informational sessions. To be considered, resumes may be submitted through your school career website (deadlines vary by school).
After screening resumes, we return to campuses for interviews or contact candidates to schedule a phone interview. Finalists will be invited for a half day of interviews in Boston. We make offers to candidates in November and December, and research associates join us in late July or early August.
What does a Research Associate do?
A research associate does everything that a research analyst does.
At MFS we divide the financial world into eight sectors: capital goods, consumer cyclical, consumer staples, energy, financials, health care, technology, and telecom. You will be assigned to one or more of these teams based on our needs. Sector teams have between two and four research analysts located in Boston and several located outside the United States. For your team, you will:
- build financial models on companies
- analyze financial reports, annual reports, and financial statements
- summarize conference calls
- meet with managers from companies in your sector
A research associate dives deeply into industry research, answering questions for your team, such as:
- What's happening with U.S. pet food pricing?
- How fast is the category growing?
- Who dominates the industry and why?
- What's the global supply and demand for corn and wheat?
How you find your answers will be up to you. You will visit company or government websites, talk with company managers, sell-side analysts, and consult other members from your team. You will share what you learn to inform your team's view of specific issues and to help them answer portfolio manager questions about specific industries.
Research associates complete a formal, two-week training program that provides a comprehensive overview of our investment process. You are also assigned a mentor who will help with your transition and your sector team members will be with you every step of your career at MFS. They will teach you how to build models, how to read financial statements, how to interview company managers, what to ask, and what to wear. They will answer your questions, share their knowledge, and probably be the same people who write your business school recommendation letters. They will be your extended MFS family, fully invested in your success.
Why is this a two-to-four year program?
Typically, research associates attend business school during this time frame, or upon completion based on how quickly they learn and their own career needs.
Why is it an amazing opportunity?
It is an amazing industry if you are interested in how companies make money. It is a great opportunity because you will learn from MFS senior managers and research analysts with many years of experience who work at a company where sharing what they know is intrinsic to the investment process.
Why investment management versus investment banking or consulting?
Investment management gives you more of what you need in your first "real" job: access. Access to experienced people at MFS and managers at other companies who have a vested interest in answering your questions. Over time, the compensation between these career paths is comparable. At MFS, the hours will be long at times, but you have a sustainable lifestyle and unlimited learning and research opportunities.
Working in investment management is not Wall Street. It is not all-nighters and working every weekend. It is not "get on a plane tomorrow and cancel your plans." You will work hard, but you will manage your own time, and there are very few limits to what you can accomplish. You will learn to conduct research your own way, with the support of an experienced team that respects your intellect.
What's your track record for business school placement? We started the program in 2006. Our first "graduates" attended the University of Chicago and because we have a well-established MBA recruiting program, we have placement contacts and in-house visits with admissions representatives at many top business schools. From day one, you will be working side by side with graduates from these schools.
We have also sponsored Chartered Financial Analyst designations, Harvard Business School extension classes, GMAT preparation, and visits with top business schools. When you are ready to move on from our program, MFS will support you.
We think an MBA internship in investment management is one of the best options for the brightest MBA student. When you join us for a summer internship, you will have the responsibilities and resources of a full-time research analyst.
How it Works
Open exclusively to first-year full-time MBA students, our summer internship program is a 10-week immersion in investment management that may lead to a full-time research analyst position.
In October and November of each year we formally present the program at several top business schools around the country. Students at various MBA schools in the investment management club will be invited to participate in investment management "days on the job" in November and December. This is a program we coordinate with several other Boston-area IM firms. During your visit to MFS you will meet the rest of our Boston-based investment team.
To be considered, resumes may be submitted through your school career website (deadlines vary by school). We begin interviews in January either on-campus or by phone. Finalist candidates will be invited to MFS in Boston for a half day of interviews.
We make offers to candidates in late February or early March and the summer internship commences in June.
The number of interns hired each summer depends upon which global office is hiring. We typically accept three to five U.S. interns and two to four non-U.S. interns. All MBA summer internships begin at our corporate headquarters in Boston, where interns meet with the U.S.-based members of their sector team firsthand and go through a 1 week training program.
After one to two weeks, non-U.S. candidates will relocate to their designated global office which could potentially be in London, Toronto, Latin America, or Asia depending upon the hiring needs that particular year.
Why we think it's the best program
In one word: immersion. After you are assigned to a global sector team in capital goods, consumer cyclical, consumer staples, energy, financials, health care, technology or telecom, you will:
- follow three to five stocks
- join your team for weekly sector meeting and conference calls
- visit all the companies in your coverage area
- talk with sell-side analysts
- attend meetings with representatives from companies within your sector who visit MFS
- attend meetings with representatives from other companies from any other sector you may be interested in
- enjoy the support of sector team members with many years experience, who want you to succeed
Our formal training program begins during your first week. The program provides an overview of five important areas:
- How to interview a management team
- How to model
- Basic valuation
- Fixed-income analysis
- Time management
Our informal training program begins as soon as you walk through the door on your first day. Your training team will include:
- a senior mentor who will help you with big issues and make sure you are on track
- a junior mentor who will help with the basics – financial modeling, financials, etc.
- all the members of your sector team
- everyone else in the department
The majority of our current analysts started as summer interns, and all of our portfolio managers started as research analysts. You will be in good company from day one.
- Tuesday morning breakfasts with MFS senior managers, CEO, CFO, and portfolio managers from different investing disciplines and regions
- Wednesday lunch meetings with research analysts from other sector teams
- Midyear review. After five weeks you will prepare a thorough review of one company for the equity team. We will ask tough questions, discuss your conclusions, and offer feedback.
- Final review. At the conclusion of the program you will present an industry analysis, company analysis, and valuation analysis for the entire department. You will use all your resources and the experience you have gained to prepare your presentation. We will ask tough questions to ensure that your research and your logic reflect our high standards and your development as a serious investor.
What are the advantages of a career in investment management?
Investment management is a great industry. Compensation is comparable with similar fields, but if you value work/life balance, like to manage your own time, and would enjoy a sustainable career with intellectual challenges and unlimited learning opportunities - then investigating new companies and new industries can be very rewarding. Many of our portfolio managers and research analysts comment that they "learn something new every day."
Kevin Portfolio Manager and Director of US Equity with MFS since 2002
"If you believe in an investment process driven by communication, collaboration, building relationships with people you can trust, and making everyone on the team a better investor, you may fit in at MFS."Why Work at MFS?