Questions about a long term career in RX

Recent college grad here, I joined one of the major RX consulting firms shortly after graduation. Have some questions about a long term career in restructuring and making the most of my experience in RX consulting; also happy to answer any questions from others about getting a foot in the door coming from a non-traditional  background etc. 

  1. I'm currently in a mostly research driven role on a pathway to transition to something more traditional/client facing; outside of continuing to develop modeling chops and going above and beyond my current responsibilities how can I make it crystal clear I'm ready for more responsibility?

  2. I understand the difference in the daily work between RX consulting and RX banking but assuming I do stay at an advisory firm for more than the typical 2-3 year stint, what are the pros and cons of either type of firm?

  3. In terms of "exit opportunities" is accurate to say former RX bankers are more likely to be at distressed, activist, loan to own and special sits funds while RX consultants will more likely be CRO/CFO or PE ops? 

  4. Intellectually I love the space, I'm learning from extremely bright and dynamic people, the comp is good, the work is high impact. I'm pretty much putting my head down, preparing to learn and experience as much as I can over the next 2 years and see where that gets me. But I would definitely appreciate hearing from some guys or gals who have managed long term restructuring careers. The hours and travel (consulting side) are significant and sacrifices have to be made in terms of relationships, how have you managed that?

Other general advice from those who have restructuring or distressed experiences is always valued. 

Comments (11)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 3, 2021 - 1:28pm

Appreciate the opportunity to ask some questions. I'm a junior non-target looking to try and secure a junior year summer 2021 internship at an RX Consulting shop (obviously pushing for one of the big 3 but looking for anything):

1. How did you go about recruiting for the big 3? Networking e.t.c.?

2. Have you seen RX Consulting firms typically take junior year interns? 

3. What are your hours and comp looking like (general answer if you don't want to be specific)

4. How would you best set yourself up for junior and full-time recruiting in case junior SA 2021 doesn't pan out? I.e. would you recommend a big 4 brand internship, a boutique IB bank, or even maybe a smaller RX Consulting firm? 

Thank you for answering! Happy to shoot you a pm as well as I'm currently recruiting for big 3 anyways and would love the insight. 

Jan 4, 2021 - 4:44am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can speak to the banking side a bit.

Being an RX banker will be different given your heavy involvement in the actual debt/financial restructuring (heavy modeling/credit doc review work). Also heavily depends on whether you're advising the creditors or issuers, something which varies largely by the firm you join (ie. Houlihan generally works creditor side while someone like Centerview or Lazard might usually work the debtor side). I'm not really sure what role you have given your focus on research but you can bet that RX banking will be much more quantitative and technically-driven.

In terms of exit opps, from what I've seen the RX bankers get the buyside investing roles in the distressed space while the RX consultants can get roles at PE funds with in-house consulting arms such as Cerberus' COAC group. 

Full disclosure: I was an M&A banker but have a ton of friends in RX banking. Also I went to a large distresed-focused PE fund so have a good perspective in terms of recruiting. 

  • 4
Jan 4, 2021 - 7:28am
rj49985, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the perspective - Generally speaking does it seem like friends in RX are looking to stay or just put their two years in and head to a distressed buy side role? On a related note any thoughts on joining Centerview/Lazard/PJT post MBA?

Jan 4, 2021 - 7:32am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Interestingly it's a pretty 50/50 mixed bag with my friends. A lot of them joined their groups and haven't expressed any interest in recruiting - so they're now associates. Others, as you said, made the jump to the buyside asap.

Not sure what thoughts I can offer here. The firms you mentioned are all top-notch. Can't really speak to recruiting post-MBA though in case you're asking about exit opps. My impression has been that MBA associates generally either stay in banking or move to industry given buyside is usually not an option.

  • 2
Most Helpful
Jan 4, 2021 - 10:53am
trippycannon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Curious since you're in distressed PE - do you not come across former RX consultants now in investing roles? Would a CFA + RX consulting background get someone in the door?

I know you cited RX consultants going to PE ops roles, which seems natural, but was curious about distressed investing roles. Is there a huge difference in comp for these type of roles at mid-senior+ levels? It seems like RX consulting is a field that a lot of people stay in for their careers. Has that been your experience as well? Edit: understand you're speaking from an IB background, but figured you work with RX consultants regularly since your in the distressed PE world so figured you have a unique lens.

Jan 7, 2021 - 4:03pm
rj49985, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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