Mar 12, 2024

Future Career Path with Sell-Side Private/Structured Credit

A few months ago I accepted an internship offer to work at a sell-side BB in Chicago this Summer doing S&T (Structuring and Sales mixed together) on a desk doing Private Credit, Loans to PE firms, Structured Credit. I was wondering what the career path looks like and if there's good opportunities to lateral and move to LevFin IBD group internally after a few years (given I assume they'd work with the LevFin IBD group and PE sponsors)? How modelling intensive do you think the group would be (and is that beneficial)? How complicated is credit/bond math, as someone who is not like an ex-quant trader/coder or anything? Would a later career in Real Estate/Infrastructure Debt be possible too?

This is not rotational and I'm planning to focus on just getting the return offer (because im actually graduating right after my internship weirdly enough and so will be starting full-time immediately). So let's not talk about re-recruiting post-internship, etc


Based on the most helpful WSO content, embarking on a career in Structured Credit and Private Credit at a sell-side BB in Chicago offers a unique and promising pathway within the finance industry. Your role, which combines Structuring and Sales in S&T, focusing on Private Credit and Loans to PE firms, positions you well for a variety of future opportunities. Here's a breakdown of your potential career path and related queries:

  1. Career Path and Lateral Moves to LevFin IBD:

    • It's quite common for professionals in Structured Credit and Private Credit roles to consider lateral moves within the firm, including transitioning to LevFin IBD. Given the close work with LevFin IBD groups and PE sponsors in your current role, you'll likely develop a strong foundation in debt financing and relationships that could facilitate such a move. Networking internally and demonstrating your capabilities will be key.
  2. Modelling Intensity:

    • While the role might not be as modelling intensive as traditional IBD roles, you can expect a fair amount of financial modelling, especially related to credit analysis and structuring deals. This experience is beneficial as it enhances your analytical skills and understanding of complex financial structures, making you a more versatile finance professional.
  3. Complexity of Credit/Bond Math:

    • Credit and bond math can be complex, but it's not insurmountable, especially for someone with a solid foundation in finance. You don't need to be an ex-quant trader or coder to excel in this area. Many professionals develop these skills on the job, and there are numerous resources and courses (such as those offered by WSO) that can help you strengthen your quantitative skills.
  4. Transition to Real Estate/Infrastructure Debt:

    • A career in Structured Credit and Private Credit provides a strong foundation for transitioning into Real Estate or Infrastructure Debt in the future. The skills you develop in analyzing and structuring deals, understanding risk, and working with various financial instruments are highly transferable to these sectors. Building expertise in specific asset classes during your tenure can facilitate such a transition.
  5. Focus on Securing a Return Offer:

    • Given your unique situation of graduating right after your internship, focusing on excelling in your role and securing a return offer is a wise strategy. Demonstrating your commitment, eagerness to learn, and ability to contribute to the team will be crucial in achieving this goal.

In summary, your internship in Structured Credit and Private Credit at a sell-side BB offers a promising start to your career in finance. Embrace the learning opportunities, network internally, and consider how each skill and experience aligns with your long-term career aspirations.

Sources: Buy-side vs sell-side path to credit funds, Accounting vs Finance: Part 1 – Career Paths, BofA Wholsale Credit vs Credit Risk, Which Offer? IBD Originations: Structured Finance or Public Finance?, IB Credit Risk to Buyside Debt

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

To be honest, from the info you provided, I can’t really tell you much. As this is a structuring/sales role I highly assume you will be responsible for syndication of levered loans originated by your financing desks. Internal lateral might be possible, but the LevFin/Private Credit teams at BBs I know are extremely lean and highly competitive to get in as they obviously get the best looks at credit funds. Maybe provide a bit more info what the team does and we can help you more…


Here are some questions that may be helpful for your upcoming interview. What types of projects and tasks can I expect during my internship? What professional development opportunities are available to interns in your group? What skills and knowledge can I develop during my internship that will be useful in a future career in finance?


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