Interview With A Rising Young Analyst


The following is an interview conducted by Richard G. Lipstein, a U.S. based executive search consultant with Gilbert Tweed International specializing in financial services recruiting.

In my last column, I interviewed a veteran Director of Equity Research who recounted his several decades-long career.  For this column, I’ve decided to go in the other direction – interview a talented young equity research associate whose best years are indeed still to come.

To find this professional, I asked Erica Moffett, Associate Director of Equity Research at Oppenheimer and Company, for her top choice. As talented as her staff is, Moffett quickly recommended another Erica, Erica Eiler.

Eiler currently works as an Equity Research Associate for Rupesh Parikh, Oppenheimer’s Food, Grocery and Consumer Products Analyst. He had previously supported Brian Nagel’s coverage of Hardlines/Broadlines Retail at the firm before his own promotion last year.

Eiler had been hired in 2010 as research associate for Nagel and joined Parekh’s team in December 2014.

Interest in finance and equity research had come early in Eiler’s life and career. Born in a Cleveland suburb, her father was a CPA and while a finance major at University of Richmond, Eiler was among a group of students who managed a portion of the University’s investment fund.  She landed her first Wall Street job in the Securitization Services Group at Deloitte.

When I asked Eiler what it was like to be working on Wall Street during the tumultuous beginning of the “Great Recession”, she responded that, while “it was a little scary, it was not enough to scare her away”.

However, it was enough to get her to pursue her strong interest in research.  Eiler joined Oppenheimer in mid-2010 after learning about the opening through a networking contact.

While it can be said that not all associate analysts are treated well by their seniors – some have described their experience over the years to me as akin to being a “bag carrier” – Eiler describes her experience in very positive terms. Both research analysts for whom she has worked have given freely of their time to help her succeed.

Despite no formal company training for her role, Eiler has found her on-the-job training has taught her what she needs to know at this point in her career. Moffett described this as typical at Oppenheimer and Company. To grow as a young research professional at the firm, she said “(you) succeed at one part of the job and then you move on to the next one”.

Eiler has clearly mastered each step. She has progressed from a supporting role in dealing with each of the analyst’s constituencies – institutional sales, clients and corporate management – to often taking the lead in these relationships. It goes without saying that Eiler has mastered the financial modeling aspect of her job.  Her senior analyst, however, remains in the front lines given that it is his investment opinions that are ultimately proven right or wrong.

No two days are alike according to Eiler. She is always being challenged by something, whether it’s questions from a salesperson or client during earnings report time or involvement in a company initiation report.  This job keeps you on your toes, she said.

What strikes me the most about Eiler is her intelligence, confidence and positive attitude. She possesses a very strong work ethic and displays an intense curiosity about all aspects of her job.

She also knows what she doesn’t know.

Eiler acknowledges that her profession is a stressful and tough one that can never be completely mastered given two factors: the vagaries of the markets and the fact, that no matter how much time is spent on a company, you are still attempting to predict its future performance. You can never guarantee that you will be correct. Understanding the dynamics of a company as well as the quality and veracity of management only goes partly towards that task.

She is a CFA charter holder. The CFA program has been extraordinarily helpful, she added. It’s given her a strong foundation for her investment skills.

Where does Eiler want to take her career? She can also be quite diplomatic – she described her current responsibilities as opening up a “ton of opportunities” and giving her a strong foundation for managing her career going forward.

When I asked if she had advice for her peers and those seeking to enter the profession as a research associate, Eiler was quick to respond. “Be prepared for an intensely challenging but immensely rewarding job and, if you succeed at this level, you will have a long career ahead of you”.

Erica Eiler has the right tools to succeed in this business in my opinion. A combination of talent, ambition and luck will get her far on Wall Street.




About Author

Richard G. Lipstein is a Managing Director at Gilbert Tweed International, a global retained executive search firm. As a member of the firm’s financial services practice, Mr. Lipstein is well recognized for his record of achievement placing professionals in a broad range of functional and product areas ranging from Private Wealth/Investment Management and Investment Banking to Research, Sales and Trading and C-Level positions at private equity portfolio companies. Before entering the executive search profession in 1989, he spent a combined seven years as an executive with ABC Inc. and a mergers and acquisitions banker with the boutique Henry Ansbacher Ltd. Mr. Lipstein recently stepped down as Vice -Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA), one of the largest affiliates of the global CFA Institute. He had previously served as Chairman of its Career Development Committee where he produced and moderated numerous seminars on current events and relevant trends in the investment and banking professions. In 2009 Richard received a Volunteer of the Year Award for his contribution to this 10,000+ member organization. He is a graduate of the City University of New York and received an MBA with Distinction from Pace University Lubin School of Business. Mr. Lipstein is regularly quoted in the media, including, among others, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Reuters, Bloomberg and eFinancialCareers. He has appeared on TV and radio as well.

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