Project Finance - Introvert's Heaven?

As title says, been wondering about this. I'm basically at a fork in my life career-wise, am mid-20s and 2 paths I'm interested in.

Currently work in Corp Dev and in working with all the swanky bankers and douchey corp dev guys, really feel like cultural fit is not there for me. I'm not the type of guy who likes to talk about sports, wineries/breweries, and small talk. I don't see myself succeeding in any role in which your value is based on ability to schmooze / sell, AKA any higher role in M&A (even buyside is just being a salesman of capital). I've always desired to be in more analytical roles, and entering M&A has been a thorough disappointment as I feel the analytical rigor is so low, it's more a job about concise communication / presentation / running a process than it is about being analytical / theoretical. Completely the opposite of what college-aged me saw.

As I've explored roles and interviewed, PF / infrastructure groups (non-M&A) at banks seemed more quirky, analytically oriented, had more immigrant/CFA/engineering types of people, and from what I know of the job/types of deals they do/types of modeling they do, really seemed like the one area of finance that's the exception. Outside of this maybe I'd go get a masters in Data Science instead. For any monkeys working at PF groups of banks, any insight as to culture/job? Would an aspie savant type as myself fit in / be able to build a long term career? 

Comments (9)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 22, 2020 - 6:18pm

Work in PF at a BB, it's still sales-y banking (pitching, responding to RFPs, free work for clients etc) at the end of the day and the culture is not any different from a coverage group. Sure your work is more technical but that's in addition to all the other softer stuff, not replacing it.

YMMV across banks and I imagine as you move towards niche PF advisory boutiques you might find something more in line with what you're looking for

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 22, 2020 - 11:53pm

This - interned for half a year in PF with a major european bank. There is still a fair amount of socialising involved, especially if you're involved in syndicating the piece

  • Analyst 2 in PE - Other
Dec 17, 2020 - 3:28am

I work in buyside greenfield infra investments / project finance and spend at least half my days on calls with construction companies, insurances, bankers, lawyers, consultants, etc... and that's at junior level (other half of my day is spent on more analytical/grunt work). Totally disagree that's it's introvert heaven, especially on the buyside. There might be less social interactions as a junior banker in infra finance / project finance but still requires some good social skills to perform. 

Dec 18, 2020 - 1:00am

I don't think so. There are so many assumptions and nuances that have to be covered in the asset class that it requires a lot of communication contrary to what you believe.


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