FT Partners is Paradise
Investment banking had always been your goal as a college student. You often tell people on networking calls that you're interested in banking "for the incredible learning environment and opportunity to engage with ground-breaking companies". Ok, maybe you know that's a stretch but hey, its better than admitting you want to do banking for the money, prestige, and fact that your student-managed investment fund has 100% placement on Wall Street. That last reason especially resonates with your motivation for banking. You would hate to be ridiculed and known as the one incompetent schmuck who couldn't break in - how embarrassing that would be.
You're also a big believer in the fact that you can speak things into existence - if you keep incessantly regurgitating that you personally findto be an "interesting and challenging" field, maybe it'll eventually become true for you.
Your On You're Way to Chase the Most Prestigious Undergrad Title: "Incoming Summer Analyst"
So far, however, your "Why Banking?" spiel has been overwhelmingly ineffective in yielding an offer from any investment bank. This disheartens you because most of your peers have already landed top bulge brackets and elite boutiques. You begin to quiver at the possibility you might have to aim for a middle market bank.
Days of silence turn into weeks and soon you're starting to lack confidence in breaking into banking at all. You recently received your rejection, Truist, and Piper Sandler. You are becoming desperate. At this point, you are one rejection email away from reaching out to Sam Shiah of Wall Street Mastermind to register for a $6,800 Investment Banking workshop class. You've seen his YouTube ads before and are starting to believe that he could be your knight in shining armor. Sam worked for and GI Partners, an upper middle market private equity firm, after all.
Your Entry to Paradise
Around this time, you are also beginning to check LinkedIn moreapplications. You just found out that your universally inferior friend landed an offer from despite majoring in Marketing and now you're furious. However, promptly at this time, a beacon of hope comes your way to ease your contempt: you received a new message on LinkedIn regarding your investment banking application. It is from a recruiter who works at a small bank you've maybe heard of once before called FT / reads:
"Hi prospect, I recently left Evercore over the Bill.com, the $2.9 billion MoneyLion SPAC deal as well as the $3.8 billion Payoneer SPAC deal. We also just announced the closing of US$800m in Series C funding for Mollie with many more ground-breaking deals on the way. We're at 200 headcount now and looking to double in the next few years. I'd love to chat live this week! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at all we have going on and the personal opportunities for rewarding growth.". FinTech is incredibly hot right now with no signs of stopping. It's been a wild year with the $2.5 billion Divvy sale to
Instantly, your face lights up. You can't believe that your groupthink approach to investment banking recruitment is finally paneling out. You frantically respond to the recruiter that you would be delighted to speak. You'll worry about the firm/culture fit later - "who cares anyway", you think, "I'm going to be classified as an investment banker."
The Day When a Prospect Becomes an Analyst
Interviews go well with FT Partners. Ironically, FTP was the only bank that didn't ask you "Why Banking?" - who cares why they didn't. Originally, you thought FTP was a lower middle market niche firm but the 2nd year analyst in your interview referred to the bank as an 'elite boutique'. Then the VP said the same thing. After hearing this, you develop an axiom that FTP is nothing less than a top elite boutique. Also, you've suddenly contracted a life-long passion for the fintech industry in the last 12 hours, almost as if you were Peter Parker bitten by a mythical spider. You're not exactly sure why or how this passion emerged but all you know today is that Fintech is going to change the world even more than the Microsoft's, Google's, and Facebook's did 20 years ago.
Later that day, you get a call from HR notifying you that they'd like to extend you an offer. Quickly, before even receiving the official offer letter through email, you update your LinkedIn to "Incoming Investment Banking Analyst at FT / Financial Technology Partners" - god knows how long you've been waiting to claim a title like that. You begin fantasizing in your head about how you're going to reveal your insane accomplishment to your peers. They all will be so shocked you landed an elite boutique this late in the recruiting cycle.
You're Now the Big Man on Campus, Right?
Next day, you are on campus with your peers. They used to be your friends but you feel "peer" is a better term now that you're headed to a top, perhaps one day global, investment bank. Seeing your LinkedIn notification, they congratulate you on the offer. You feel elated and start talking about your interviews. Abruptly, one of them responds, "Very cool. I wish I didn't give up on recruiting for middle markets so early. Seems like a great opportunity." Suddenly, a thin flame of rage drips through your veins. You can't believe he just implied FTP is a middle-market bank.
Without hesitation, you interrupt him, "Actually FTP is an elite boutique, haha. I know, people can get it mixed up all the time, no worries! I didn't realize either at first, but if you look at their deal flow (I.e., $2.5 bn Divvy sale, $2.9 bn MonkeyLion SPAC, $3.8 bn Payoneer SPAC) they would definitely be considered an elite boutique." Your peer, out of mild sympathy, nods his head, faintly smiles, and directs the dialogue to a less worthy topic. Later that day, a few more of your peers also unapologetically mistake FTP as a middle-market bank during your conversations. Although this cripples your enthusiasm over securing the internship, you try not to let it get the best of you since you're a big believer in the fact that you can speak things into existence - if you keep incessantly regurgitating that "FTP is an elite boutique", maybe your peers will eventually find it true.
Seeking Megafund Approval
During Christmas break, you are very excited to share the news with your extended family. You are especially seeking your uncle Greg's approval. He was a former Managing Director at Lehman Brothers and now works at theas a principal - god how you dream of joining him in PE one day, being able to share the news with your LinkedIn network. Your aunt invokes the conversation about your internship and you tell them you'll be working at Financial Technology Partners. After a few brief seconds of silence, awaiting your uncle's response, you add, "it's an investment bank specializing in the fintech sector." Your uncle curtly responds with, "Never heard of them before", expressionless, as his eyes continue to fixate on his ribs. Your brain begins to melt but you manage to keep a mild-mannered face, educating him that FTP was scored as the #1 Investment Banking Internship Program, surpassing #2 ranked Evercore and # , according to Firsthand, one of the most reputable sources on the Street. Your uncle lightly nodded and continued to bite into his ribs.
At this point, you can't help but feel more insecure over FTP's status. How could it be elite if Carlyle's top principal has never even heard of it? You even check the bank's history and find that FTP has been around since 2001. What gives? Then, you do some soul-searching on sites like Wall Street Oasis and are troubled to find that the consensus agrees that FTP is nothing more than a bloody sweatshop filled with non-targets obsessed with being classified as an investment banker. "This can't be true", you snarl, "I need to change the narrative here." It's 10pm on a Friday night. Your roommates want to go out and have some fun but you're decided to devote your night to a better cause: protecting FTP's name and educating the public on its prestige. After all, you are an incoming summer analyst so it would only make sense that your insights must have great truth to them.
Confirm My Bias, John
So for the next eight hours, you spend your time performing confirmation bias. You've decided to quote and post anything materially positive about FTP that you've found scouring the web. In specifics, you cite all of the largest deals FTP has secured, as well as the fact it was ranked #1 by Firsthand. You also post about the Wall Street Journal's article on Steve McLaughlin, the founder and CEO of FTP. WSJ claims Steve's worth more than $1 bn, since he never gave up any equity. This is your proof to the world that FT Partners is an elite boutique.
You also realize one of your peers, now considered friends, John, accepted an offer with FT Partners. You find yourself speaking a lot with him about FT Partners, mainly for the sake of comfort. Collectively, you and John agree that FT Partners is an elite boutique and anyone who says otherwise is advocating for their own agenda. John did his own research and found that the median tenure for an employee at FTP is 0.8 years, per LinkedIn. He asks you why that might be the case. You respond coolheadedly, "probably because of the high volume of private equity and buy-side exits." John agrees with you.
Your Ticket to the #1 IB Internship Begins
After several months of defending FTP's honor online, you finally start your internship. You are working 75 hours a week as an intern but notice the first-years are up longer than you every night. All of your work has been capital raises for small fintech companies and you never got to experience one M&A transaction. "It's probably a bad time for M&A right now," you convince yourself, "well at least in fintech since the industry is uncorrelated to conventional businesses, right?" Despite the long hours and repetitive cap raises, you're still a big believer in speaking things into existence - if you keep incessantly regurgitating that you will see an M&A deal, maybe it'll eventually become true for you.
You're Now a Made Member, You Think
Weeks go by, the internship ends and you receive a full-time offer but you haven't seen an M&A deal. You persuade yourself, "when I start full-time, surely I will get more modeling experience" and leave it at that. Anyways, you're excited to change your LinkedIn profile to "Incoming Investment Banking Analyst".
However, a few weeks later when you are surfing through LinkedIn, you see something odd. Your friend, John, who interned at FTP in the summer updated his title but it wasn't for FTP. Instead, he changed it to "Incoming Investment Banking". You laugh, trying to fathom why someone would turn down an elite boutique for a low-tier bulge bracket. Couldn't be you.
You've Reached Peak Paradise
10 months later, you start full-time at FT Partners. You are now working 100 hours consistently each week, still waiting to see one M&A transaction so you can put it on your resume for. You notice that none of the analysts or interns you worked with last summer are still at the firm. That doesn't bother you though since it just got leaked that FTP will be increasing base pay to $140k - now you've got thousands of WSO prospects salivating at the possibility, waiting for your finger tips to confirm the news at any moment. You knew all along that if you kept saying FTP was elite, it would come true. This breakthrough elates your confidence and you begin to contact headhunters and private equity firms in triumph - who cares about accretion-dilution modeling experience anyways?
Speaking Things Into Existence, Once and For All
At the 6-month mark of your analyst stint, you still haven't heard or seen one reply from any of the buyside firms you reached out to. You've even paid for Wall Street Oasis's M&Ait to your resume. In fact, you've been contemplating on reaching out to Sam Shiah's Wall Street Mastermind to see if he could tailor a program for you on how to . You'd be willing to pay $25k now that you got that pay bump. Maybe, you'd in the limited edition FTP-denominated coin of Steve McLaughlin. Still nothing. As you continue to wait, you begin tackling the question prospects have "Can you coming from a capital markets role?" After all, you're a big believer in speaking things into existence - if you keep incessantly regurgitating that "PE firms recruit capital markets analysts", maybe it'll eventually become true.