Asset Allocation Research Specialist

Mesirow Financial
Chicago, USA
Sep 24, 2019
Oct 24, 2019
Industry Sector
Finance - General
Employment Type
Full Time
The Opportunity

Mesirow Financial is an independent, employee-owned firm founded in 1937. As specialists in investment, risk management and advisory services, we are committed to helping our institutional, corporate, and individual clients achieve their objectives. We are proud of Mesirow's culture of fostering team member engagement, entrepreneurship, and empowerment. Our positive culture, volunteerism, and opportunity for advancement makes Mesirow one of the few employers to be included in both Chicago Tribune's Top Places to Work and Crain's Best Places to Work in Chicago.

The Investment Strategies Group provides fiduciary partnership, investment management, asset allocation, and guaranteed retirement income product allocation services to institutional clients in the financial services industry, primarily in the defined contribution space. Recent growth in investment management and retirement income opportunities has created a need for additional research capacity.

The role of the Asset Allocation Research Specialist is to work with the Chief Investment Officer/Director of Research to provide multi-purpose research support for the group's investment management priorities, including taking the lead in client interactions. Areas of focus include strategic asset allocation and capital market assumptions; understanding, operating, and improving existing quantitative financial processes; and developing and implementing new quantitative financial models and optimization techniques.

  • Learn and document existing quantitative financial processes, including strategic asset allocation, capital market assumptions, target date glide path development, and a simulation-based optimization framework for portfolio construction with guaranteed retirement income products.
  • Spearhead the operation of these processes to update ongoing deliverables, conduct client engagements, take the lead role in client interactions, and further enhance and improve the processes as business needs dictate.
  • Develop new quantitative financial models, methods and algorithms to support strategic asset allocation, capital market assumption, and glide path construction initiatives, using statistical analysis, risk management techniques, simulation, and/or data mining approaches.
  • Maintain, enhance, and continue to develop these new quantitative financial models.
  • Meet with investment professionals within the Investment Strategies Group to interpret the models' findings and recommend changes in investment policy in response to the findings.
  • Evaluate and model alternative asset classes and conduct related asset allocation studies suitable for both client-facing white papers and professional journal publication.
  • Apply complex financial theory to provide solutions to problems of an applied nature.

  • MS degree in finance, economics, mathematics, statistics, engineering, or a related field required.
  • PhD/ CFA preferred.
  • 2-5 years of experience in investment consulting or a related field (asset allocation, capital market assumptions development, quantitative analysis, financial engineering, investment research) within the financial services industry.
  • Ability to communicate complex financial concepts effectively to clients and previous client-facing experience are required.
  • Significant programming experience required; R and MATLAB experience preferred.
  • Ability to convert academic research concepts into practical solutions for use by other members of the team.
  • Knowledge/experience in at least two of the following areas is required: strategic asset allocation; capital market assumption development; optimization methods; statistical/econometric analysis and modeling; Monte Carlo simulation. Knowledge of insurance products is a plus.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and overall ability to work through obstacles independently.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills are required.
  • Demonstrates the ability to work and interact with all levels within the organization.
  • Superior skills in organization, time management, prioritization, research and self-motivation.
  • Team player with a positive attitude.
  • Demonstrates desire for and commitment to growing the business.