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I have 1.5yrs of experience at WF. I have finally received an offer from a decent BB (GS, MS, JPM, CS). However I have recently found success in landing a few (though not many) interviews for credit investing gigs (which is the ultimate goal).

I have no pedigree whatsoever.

Would the incremental benefit of committing an additional 1-2yrs to a relevant group at one of these banks be worth it? Will I actually have access to any opportunities that aren't available to me now?

In addition, I'm currently in a southeast financial center. Will recruiting for funds be any easier by moving to NYC?

Will my lack of pedigree still keep me locked out of fund recruiting channels regardless of which bank I work at?

I am considering passing on the opportunity and trying my luck with the few hedge funds that are willing to speak with me now. This is an incredibly difficult decision for me, and I have no idea what to do. Accepting this offer means I will have to drop out of the recruiting process for a $2B & a $500MM credit fund, and also wait a year to begin recruiting again.

Help!

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Comments (27)

  • wso_user's picture

    Not sure about lateralling, but the difference between good and bad groups is night and day. A BX M&A kid will get magnitude more top-tier than the average MS/JPM kid, who will in turn get magnitude more interviews than an average BB candidate. It's kind of a J-curve where you'll have kids from top groups get 10 megafund interviews and kids from ok groups (CS/BAML/LAZ) get literally 0 megafund interviews and struggle for a good middle-market. Yes, how articulate you are, deal experience, etc all matter but a good group is probably 50% of the equation

  • Cries's picture

    Thanks for the detail. Do others share this sentiment as well? Does this even apply to me if I have no pedigree to speak of?

    I believe I have no shot at a megafund based on my academic background alone, so I'm thinking in terms of mid-sized funds.

    Thankfully this offer is related to what I want to do (credit investing), and its at a bank that is highly ranked for this particular space.

  • In reply to wso_user
    ricottacheese's picture

    wso_user:
    Not sure about lateralling, but the difference between good and bad groups is night and day. A BX M&A kid will get magnitude more top-tier than the average MS/JPM kid, who will in turn get magnitude more interviews than an average BB candidate. It's kind of a J-curve where you'll have kids from top groups get 10 megafund interviews and kids from ok groups (CS/BAML/LAZ) get literally 0 megafund interviews and struggle for a good middle-market. Yes, how articulate you are, deal experience, etc all matter but a good group is probably 50% of the equation

    Completely agree, did my analyst stint at a top 2 BB (GS/MS) and while you'd think everyone from those firms get interviews like noone's business, the people in the top groups (GS TMT, GS FIG, MS M&A) got literally twice the number of them.

  • dest149's picture

    But the thing about location of your group never came into the equation. Is it a factor? I.E. - TMT in NYC or Chicago vs TMT in Miami or Denver?

  • In reply to wso_user
    mrb87's picture

    wso_user:
    Not sure about lateralling, but the difference between good and bad groups is night and day. A BX M&A kid will get magnitude more top-tier than the average MS/JPM kid, who will in turn get magnitude more interviews than an average BB candidate. It's kind of a J-curve where you'll have kids from top groups get 10 megafund interviews and kids from ok groups (CS/BAML/LAZ) get literally 0 megafund interviews and struggle for a good middle-market. Yes, how articulate you are, deal experience, etc all matter but a good group is probably 50% of the equation

    And that is a J-curve how?

  • In reply to mrb87
    dest149's picture

    mrb87:
    wso_user:
    Not sure about lateralling, but the difference between good and bad groups is night and day. A BX M&A kid will get magnitude more top-tier than the average MS/JPM kid, who will in turn get magnitude more interviews than an average BB candidate. It's kind of a J-curve where you'll have kids from top groups get 10 megafund interviews and kids from ok groups (CS/BAML/LAZ) get literally 0 megafund interviews and struggle for a good middle-market. Yes, how articulate you are, deal experience, etc all matter but a good group is probably 50% of the equation

    And that is a J-curve how?

    I think what he is trying to say is that it's a step curve lol.

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  • Cries's picture

    So where does your average WF/RBC/SunTrust group & average GS/MS/JPM/CS group sit on the aforementioned "j-shaped curve?" Is there actually a significant difference between these two tiers of banks in terms of recruiting opportunities?

  • AnalystMonkey2769's picture

    so people that are going into top MMs are bascially fucked you are saying according to this thread if mid tier BB analysts are struggling....GREAT haha.

    I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG

  • triplectz's picture

    If your goal is credit investing and you have interviews with a $ 2bn credit investing fund, I certainly wouldn't drop out of that process yet. Feel like it'd be easier going from there to another fund (assuming you'd even want to switch) than going to another BB, restarting recruiting, targeting credit funds, etc. Can you delay signing with your lateral offer until you complete the process?

  • In reply to triplectz
    Cries's picture

    triplectz:
    If your goal is credit investing and you have interviews with a $ 2bn credit investing fund, I certainly wouldn't drop out of that process yet. Feel like it'd be easier going from there to another fund (assuming you'd even want to switch) than going to another BB, restarting recruiting, targeting credit funds, etc. Can you delay signing with your lateral offer until you complete the process?

    Im going to try, but I doubt it. They seem to be looking for a quick commitment, given that I would start in early january.

    The alternative is reneging, but Im not sure that that would go over well...(although its incredibly tempting).

    My main problem is that the BB offer is in hand, but the chance of me landing the fund offers are slim, I think.

  • thedude12r43w's picture

    OP,

    From the sound of it you are based out of Charlotte. I am graduating from Emory this spring and know a few people who have interned at WF Charlotte and have accepted FT as well as a few from STRH (from MDs all the way down to Analysts). Please take this with a grain of salt as this is just based on things I have heard...

    First, your exit oops are not very good from STRH if you are looking at megafunds. I think most guys will be going to MM PE shops in the southeast or business school. I have one friend from STRH that was in HCIB and was able to get a IBD job with Goldman Sachs in London. So yes technically anything is possible if you know how to sell yourself (this guy was a networking guru). But he did mention that exit opps from STRH are not very strong, you will mostly be limited to ATL/SE, so for those guys the best chance is to actually lateral to a BB in NYC or go to a top MBA.

    For WF Charlotte, similar to STRH but not quite as bad. WF is a much stronger bank but if your gunning for megafuds you will have a hard time competing with kids from top shops in NYC, no way around that. NYC PE/HF is definitely possible and people have done it but when you look at the middle 50% of WF Charlotte vs middle 50% of NYC BB the placement will be much better at the latter. If you are top bucket and have a strong network you might make some things happen for yourself, but its all about the odds. If you need to be at a top fund you would be better off trying to lateral to a top BB. If you just want the pay bump and better work-life balance at a mid-tier shop then I would just make the transition now.

  • In reply to ricottacheese
    Banana Bread's picture

    ricottacheese:
    wso_user:
    Not sure about lateralling, but the difference between good and bad groups is night and day. A BX M&A kid will get magnitude more top-tier than the average MS/JPM kid, who will in turn get magnitude more interviews than an average BB candidate. It's kind of a J-curve where you'll have kids from top groups get 10 megafund interviews and kids from ok groups (CS/BAML/LAZ) get literally 0 megafund interviews and struggle for a good middle-market. Yes, how articulate you are, deal experience, etc all matter but a good group is probably 50% of the equation

    Completely agree, did my analyst stint at a top 2 BB (GS/MS) and while you'd think everyone from those firms get interviews like noone's business, the people in the top groups (GS TMT, GS FIG, MS M&A) got literally twice the number of them.

    ricottacheese, how would you say the other groups in GS / MS perform in terms of getting interviews compared to JPM / CS / Lazard?

  • Cries's picture

    Thanks for the responses thus far.

    If I jump to the BB, will I be able to start recruiting early without any recommendations from my current (they expect a 2yr commit) or past employers (burned bridges from jumping ship early; I've already informally accepted a 3rd year offer)?

  • Dunkin Donuts Banker's picture

    At the end of the day, PE exit opps, like any other job interview, is about YOU. Certainly at a top bank you will have access to more headhunters and job posts because that's who they will target. But if you make an effort to reach out, network, talk to your senior guys who may help you, you can for sure receive interviews at credit/PE funds as you have. Going to a BB is not a solution to the problem- you still have to perform in those interviews to get those offers after your potential BB stint and now you're set back for another grueling two years while your peers have moved on. Are you not getting good exp currently?

  • In reply to Dunkin Donuts Banker
    Cries's picture

    Dunkin Donuts Banker:
    At the end of the day, PE exit opps, like any other job interview, is about YOU. Certainly at a top bank you will have access to more headhunters and job posts because that's who they will target. But if you make an effort to reach out, network, talk to your senior guys who may help you, you can for sure receive interviews at credit/PE funds as you have. Going to a BB is not a solution to the problem- you still have to perform in those interviews to get those offers after your potential BB stint and now you're set back for another grueling two years while your peers have moved on. Are you not getting good exp currently?

    I am getting decent experience which is almost perfectly aligned with my desired exit (credit/distress investing), however, I get passed over on well over 90% of the jobs I apply for (and 100% of the mandates that are led by HHs) in the hedge fund world.

    I feel that my chances are slim now because: 1) No pedigree; 2) Located in the Southeast; 3) Work at MM bank.

    I think I might be willing to put in another year as an analyst if it means I can substantially increase my odds of getting past the resume-drop stage & actually tell my story. This is my 3rd outside offer since starting at WF, and I believe I can impress people if I can get in front of them (unfortunately getting in front of them is the hard part).

  • Mark2010's picture

    I can't believe this is even a discussion...

    It's ONE year of your life that you give up to get what you really want. Let's say you don't take the BB offer and stay at WF, and don't get the HF offer. You're basically then stuck as a banker for life at WF or have to go back to b-school and "reset". But HF's are basically out of the picture.

    If you go to a BB, your ops suddenly reset and you have access to basically any HF/PE firm, your chances for b-school are a whole lot better, and that pedigree sticks with you for the rest of your life.

  • In reply to Dunkin Donuts Banker
    wso_user's picture

    Dunkin Donuts Banker:
    At the end of the day, PE exit opps, like any other job interview, is about YOU. Certainly at a top bank you will have access to more headhunters and job posts because that's who they will target. But if you make an effort to reach out, network, talk to your senior guys who may help you, you can for sure receive interviews at credit/PE funds as you have. Going to a BB is not a solution to the problem- you still have to perform in those interviews to get those offers after your potential BB stint and now you're set back for another grueling two years while your peers have moved on. Are you not getting good exp currently?

    While these posts on WSO sound nice and inspirational, truth of the matter is that they are misleading. As a former analyst, I will say that your firm, group, and school/GPA are at 75% of whether or not you'll get interviews at top firms (and for some firms that number might be as high as 95%). Unless you have the charisma of Bill Clinton, you're not going to convince a headhunter to get you an interview at H&F, Golden Gate, TPG or Blackstone if you're in an average BB group with ok grades, period. Will a good middle market bank open doors to middle market/lowermiddle market funds (say not top 100 AUM) or 2 or 3 top firms like Carlyle that are more open about the bank you're from? Sure, but you'll be shut out of the majority of the top 50-100 firms beyond that. Yes, once you get an interview it's about you, but you will never be given the chance in the first place unless you're already in the right place.

  • Cries's picture

    Thanks to the above 2 for knocking some sense into me. I'll update you guys with what I end up doing in a couple days/weeks

  • johnwayne7's picture

    You have somewhat of a similar initial path to what I'm going to take. Interested in seeing how this shakes out for you, good luck.

  • dayaaam's picture

    Just wanted to comment since I had a similar situation. I worked at a MM bank, had an offer to join a top group at MS. I ended up not taking it. Ended up working at a good PE firm.

    Here are the things I took into consideration:

    -Like you, I was being reset to year 1, and by this time I was already closing out my second year, so it would mean I would need to do another friggin 2 years of banking. I don't know about you, but i was getting absolutely crushed and the thought of going through it again was not happening. If you're only 6 months into your first year, that's a diff story and I would prob take it.

    -What I wanted to do after. Because of not wanting to work 100 hour weeks, I decided not to go the megafund route. Coming from an MM bank, its very unlikely you'll make it do a KKR or Blackstone since headhunters are unlikely to go your way. Had I wanted to do megafund, I probably would have taken the MS offer, but decided against it since megafund was not my goal. If you're at a good group already, you can definitely get interviews and offers at good shops.

    -The strength of my current situation. My group was decently respected, so that may help. I think WF has a pretty good name. It would be much harder if you were at a no-name boutique, in that case I would say definitely take the BB offer. A big thing to also think about is how well connected your MDs are. I actually got my job through my MD, but I did have a couple offers through recruiters too. At smaller bankers they tend to 'go to bat' (no I did not work at Harris Williams); that's something important to consider.

    -People - this is actually really important. I really liked my group and enjoyed working with them. Yeah i was getting slaved, but i was really close with the analysts and even the seniors at my group, and I enjoyed working with them. Make sure you know where you might be going - is the VP in your group lucifer, is that new associate the biggest bitch, etc. Make sure to speak to a couple analysts in the BB.

    At the end of the day, you can def get a good gig out of our current situation. It all depends on how hard you work. I had to work pretty hard to get interviews, and in some ways convince recruiters that I was good, whereas some of my BB friends were getting flooded. At the end of the day, once your foot is in the door, may the best man win.

    Also, certainly a positive sign you have interviews already, but I would caveat these. Don't think a couple interviews will lead to offers. Those credit funds are probably going to interview 50 candidates and choose like 2, so while you have an interview, you have to assume there is nothing.

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  • In reply to Cries
    duffmt6's picture

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • In reply to Cries
    AnalystMonkey2769's picture

    I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG