"Why do quants with PhDs earn less than bankers with bachelors degrees?"

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I work in a quantitative role in the asset management arm of a U.S. investment bank, and I'm starting to notice that I'm not on the right track for earning the really big money. This seems to go to people in analytical jobs that aren't necessarily quant-heavy, like portfolio management, or to people in client-facing jobs like M&A.

I feel like I'm on the wrong track and am in danger of developing an increasingly technical skillset. I want to try and avoid being pigeonholed as a pure quant. I don't want a career simply building quantitative solutions or doing the mathematical modelling that supports the traders who attribute a tiny share of profits to me  - I want to own the profits I generate myself.  

Can anyone give me some advice on how to achieve this? I've been in my current role for over three years and am keen to move to something more client-facing on the buy-side. I have a quantitative degree and I like statistical research, but this doesn't mean I can't interface with clients too. In future, I want to occupy a more PnL-driven and client-focused role than a traditional quant does. 

How can I make this change? Right now, it seems to me that quants do a significant part of the work, but that the client-facing professionals are paid more. Why is it that people with Bachelors degrees in economics or finance are earning more than quants with PhDs in physics?

Please comment below this article with your advice.

Jeet Misra is a pseudonym

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