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So I'm a 2nd year analyst in FIG in a lower-tier bulge bracket. Trying to get out to HF/PE but headhunters and firms are so racist against FIG experience. I've actually focused on asset managers and FinTech companies which follow traditional EBITDA based modeling, and purposely don't do any insurance or banks. Yet it seems impossible to shake off the FIG stigma. People from the class above me either went to FIG PE or left finance altogether.

Any advice on how to deal with this and break out of the FIG pigeonhole to a generalist role on the buy-side? Unfortunately, switching to M&A or LevFin within my bank is not an option at this point. Thanks in advance.

Comments (37)

  • happypantsmcgee's picture

    I lol'd at Racist against FIG experience...keep it there, that shit is priceless.

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • TNA's picture

    Why not use racist. I mean if you vote against Obama you are racist or if you think Holder is a piece of shit you are racist. I think recruiters not picking FIG people for PE positions is absolutely racist. The word has no meaning now and the colloquial meaning fits this topic just fine.

    Fuck, if you don't like black licorice candies you are racist.

  • Stringer Bell's picture

    I've heard the same complaint. Being in Nat Res we get some similar buyside cock-blocking just given the type of modeling experience you get. However, have also encountered plenty of folks from FIG groups that have got where they want to be. And dude, head hunters can be huge cunts sometimes. Most don't come from banking backgrounds and the ones that do are (seemingly) so far removed from their experience they're not a lot different than the later (w/ exceptions of course).

    I've seen more than one or two farewell emails from kids in our FIG group, which is mediocre if I had to guess, going to some pretty top shops. So I know for a fact it's doable. Just bust out your undergrad networking trick bag and do it yourself. If you're good / know your shit, have some interesting deal experience and fit with a shops culture you're fine.

  • seamlessftw's picture

    When meeting with headhunters and firms, you should really emphasize that your experience has been mostly generalist and transferable to other industries since you've done no work with insurers or banks. You should also explain that your longer-term interests lie outside of FIG. It might be slightly more difficult for some FIG analysts, but it's definitely not impossible to land a job at a top PE shop or HF if you present yourself in the right light.

    Also, I know you said that switching to M&A or Lev Fin aren't options, but have you thought about moving to a different industry group? Consumer/retail, industrials, TMT, etc?

    Stringer -- it's hard to see how "racist" could be a euphemism. Try looking up "euphemism"...

  • Banker88's picture

    I definitely highlight to recruiters that I don't do typical "FIG" work and my FinTech experience is more Tech than FIG, but here is an example email from a headhunter this morning replying to my resume:
    "...there is only one that would consider FIG and that would be in [XYZ city]."

    Moving to another coverage group will also be difficult given that the entire bank (and finance industry) is cutting down on hires. And I'd rather not do another year of banking anyway. Guess I will have to try and use my alumni network and bust my ass to even get an interview...

    And holy shit guys about the racist word, lighten up.

  • In reply to Pike
    duffmt6's picture

    Pike wrote:
    I would have assumed it would be the other way around and FIG would be more attractive to PE/HF.

    It's a very niche industry to cover and the modeling differs a lot, depending on the types of financials you are covering.

    If you are really good in FIG you will stand out at the very least. If your heart isn't in it, better to get out sooner rather than later.

    "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."

  • happypantsmcgee's picture

    I changed it back, pretty shitty of one of the mods to do that.

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • PeterN.'s picture

    You are clearly doing something wrong. I've seen numerous FIG analysts going to absolute top shops, i.e. joining the financial services practice. If you hate FIs and want to go to industry PE it's harder (but why would you want to do that when being a sought-after specialist with a lot less competition for buy-side roles?). Focussing on Fin Tech is also not really smart. In FIG, you should be getting solid deal experience right now, unlike many of your fellow analysts from other industry groups.

  • In reply to TNA
    manbearpig's picture

    ANT wrote:
    Why not use racist. I mean if you vote against Obama you are racist or if you think Holder is a piece of shit you are racist. I think recruiters not picking FIG people for PE positions is absolutely racist. The word has no meaning now and the colloquial meaning fits this topic just fine.

    Fuck, if you don't like black licorice candies you are racist.


    Trivializing racism toward black people is racist!

    -MBP

  • gerytos's picture

    I'm in the exact same position. Getting placed into FIG sucks balls. Unfortunately, didn't have much choice. If anyone knows of someone that made a successful switch from FIG into non-FIG focused PE (MF or MM) I would be very curious to talk to them and get their insight. Thanks monkeys. (oh wait, is that racist too?)