M&A Valuations vs CIB. What will set me up better?

I am in Australia and I currently have the option between two offers:

  1. Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB) at big 4 domestic bank \~ 90k AUD
  2. M&A Valuations at Big 4 accounting \~ 70k AUD

Given that I love each career path almost equally (leaning towards M&A) and would like the option to transition into PE and don't mind working a couple of years in IB to get there, what would be the best option? I don't have a preference for WLB, no kids fresh grad :).

A large concern for me is the BIG pay gap between the two (these figures are not including bonuses), and the difficulting of lateraling straight from these roles. These are my current assumptions:

For Big 4 M&A:

  1. Compensation will get higher once you are SM and career progression is much easier than at the bank since it's time-based mostly rather than capacity based.
  2. You are not going through the entire deal which puts you in a less favourable position than someone working in TAS

For CIB:

  1. Less technical background, IB and PE would prefer a "plug and play" employee which may work against me.
  2. Exit opps are sparse
  3. Even if I could lateral into IB it would most likely be in DCM which then puts me in a tough spot for PE recruiting

Any input would be awesome. Thanks!

Most Helpful

Take the valuation role. You can easily transfer to a boutique or a big 4 M&A team once the market picks up. And then either go BBIB or PE from there.

Assuming the CIB role is a grad rotation program, a good chance you'll end up in useless teams like risk.

It is a lot easier to lateral in the Aussie market because there is no MBA feeder program. Attrition in banking can only be replaced by laterals. A non insignificant amount of people who start in audit end up in IB so you should have no problem if you are motivated and half decent.


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