Trying to Lateral from Banking to Consulting

I'm currently a 2nd year analyst trying to make a switch from IB to strategy/generalist consulting. From LinkedIn, it seems like most former bankers that go into consulting go into M&A/PE Specific Groups at consulting firms. Does that mean it's hard to get into strategy/generalist consulting as a banker?

It be great if anyone could share their insights on this if they've made/seen that same switch? Also, I'd love to connect with anyone at MBB's / T2 consulting firms to possibly get referred. If anyone is willing to chat over the phone please PM me!

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Sep 17, 2022 - 7:22pm
FinnesseGod, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Moving from Finance to Consulting

Finance to consulting is actually a lot easier than some people may think. The reason being a lot of the technical skills, mindset aside, is almost directly transferrable, on top of that, experience in Finance (IB/PE/VC) is considered the gold standard as you're already familiar with the work demands, and variable nature of the work environment. 

From a technical skill set: 

  • Boast your market research and deconstruction of companies you've analyzed within IB 
  • Your presentation decks, communications (whether word docs, memos, CIMs, Pitch Decks, Equity Reports, etc.) are all great evidence of your ability to communicate and synthesize relevant information for the target audience. 
  • Speak on your financial modelling, research, analytical tasks all as evidence of your work ethic and competence to perform in a high-pressure situation
  • All of the technical software you've used will be relevant: Advanced MS Excel, PPT, Database software  use CapIQ, Bloomberg Terminal, etc.
    • Although you won't be using CapIQ or Bloomberg Terminal, you will be using database technology

Once you've polished your resume after checking a few positions to highlight your experiences, then you can begin reaching out to ~30-50 consultants to understand the firm-specific lateral hiring demand. This will help assess whether you'd be a good fit (technically and culturally) at the firms and help assess what practices, teams or offices you'd like to work at. By the end of this, you should ideally have some people vouching for you within the firm, either in the immediate short term, or just to notify you the next time an opportunity becomes available. 

The differences exist in the scope and mindset of consulting: IB analyst ask how much is this company worth in a year, Consulting analysts ask what problems are they facing from reaching that value today? 

To have a better understanding of that, I'd advise the usual circuit of Consulting Interview Prep: reading Case Interview Secrets and Case In Point, going through Crafting Cases, PrepLounge, RocketBlocks, Mock Interviews via University Consulting Books. 

I would like to highlight that the consulting mindset is best captured by Case Interview Secrets (more useful for on-the-job in my personal opinion) and the consulting interview components are best captured by Crafting Cases (legendary free 7-day crash course). I'll dive into the resource list specifically next. 

The Reason Those Folks go to M&A/PE Groups

After ~1.5-2 years, most analysts in consulting shops begin to specialize in a function and industry experience. When IB analysts choose to exit, they do so at the intermediate level (experienced analyst, or associate/consultant position - the title differs by the firm). In doing this, it's easier for them to negotiate higher seniority/relevant skill set by applying to M&A/PE groups. Even within those specialized groups, analysts/consultants can opt for other work assignments within reason. 

Since you're recruiting at the internship level (or new graduate level), you will be considered a generalist, some firms (namely the Big Four non strategy arms) have new graduate specializations (i.e. Deloitte Finance & Performance or EY Business within Finance Transformation, etc.), but the majority (especially in  the US) have a generalist staffing model for analysts. Let me know if you need any guidance on the recruitment process or resources. 

Sep 18, 2022 - 8:50am
clutchmuffin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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