From Middle Office to?



I am just posting my current situation to get some career advice. I have 9 month internship in asset management, which is a front office role and sat on the trading floor. Very nice, but I wasn’t really given much of a challenge, by the 4th month I was kind of saturated. It was nice watching the traders do their thing though. As I look at the middle office guys, there seem to be a lot of things going on, those guys are really busy!! and involved a lot of problem solving issues on a daily basis. Not that front office doesn’t have it. I understood that front office role can be pretty boring if you don’t pick the right desk, I was in the exciting sometimes-but- mostly repetitive desk. Because I was at the start of my career, I figured switching to middle office might help build my skills (this is where risk, strategy, client solutions, etc etc guys sit). The asset manager (company) didn’t have any opportunity open so I landed up a job with an Investment Manager. I will be working as a Portfolio controller in middle office. The job responsibilities are very very varied and involves a lot of different teams merging to come with a solution. There is a lot of scope for me to learn. I might stay in this role for maybe an year and want to move forward. This is where I am confused.

Before I jump into my next role, (after this role ofcourse!) I want to make sure I have a plan. I am open to exams (CIIMA, CFA, etc). So help me out: Where do I go after this role to get into that magic place where people sit together to design an investment strategy, forecast the market and build models? What are these guys called? Investment bankers? (I don’t believe that! what does it even mean to be an investment banker?), or are they called Investment analyst… I am really confused with these titles. If you guys can provide me any advice or send over a link which I can go through, that’d be great!