How hard is it to go from CIB to IB?

I'm an incoming FT analyst at a large US bank. I had a great summer internship with a banking team (within the bank's corporate and investment banking division, but wouldn't be considered IB on its own), and I want to hear any advice for switching into one of the "real IB" groups at the bank. I like the team I'm on now (100k base and less hours), but I know the bonus won't be nearly as much, and who knows about exit opps. I am fully confident in my abilities to do well in one of those groups (I'm a stem-major athlete at a semi-target school), and I'm willing to accept the longer hours. 

Once I start working, I'm going to tell my hr person/DO about my interest in those groups. I also had the idea of just walking down the hall to where some of these groups sit after I "clock out" for the day (was typically 6-7 this summer) and asking if I can do some work for them to demonstrate interest and work ethic. I know I might get roasted and called a hardo for that last bit, but I have the self confidence to not really care if the people at the bank think that about me. What do you guys think? I'm happy and grateful with the gig I have now and where my life is going in general, but I feel like I could do more.

Comments (4)

  • Intern in IB - Gen

Sounds a bit like Wells Fargo or similar. Interned there this summer in a "top" IB group and a significant portion of 2nd year analysts and associates on my team were internal laterals from corporate banking or other quasi-IB groups. Definitely doable at most BBs with some networking and much easier than lateralling to a different bank

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs

My 2 cents as someone who was able to pull off a move similar to this early in my career - you need to be thoughtful about how you go about this. You're an incoming analyst - put yourself in the shoes of the guys you'll be working for. How would you feel about the guy who showed up on day 1 saying they don't want to be there? There's a pretty high chance you rub people the wrong way. A rough way I'd go about things is as follows:

Forget about IB for your first few months - focus on performing well and being well liked. Have a great attitude, volunteer for things, go to the happy hours, never show them that you don't want to be there. Your goal is to develop a reputation as being a great member of the team - for you to pull this off internally you need to have people who will advocate for you. Not to mention, there will be plenty to learn in corp banking that is transferrable - modeling etc, so this isn't wasted time in your hunt to get to IB. Meanwhile - start researching on linkedin for people at your firm who made this same switch - ask them for a (discreet) coffee chat, learn from them, how they switched, why they switched, how they prepared for their interviews etc. These people will be able to give you advice that is tailored to your firm - some firms are great about internal mobility, others aren't. Many have formal policies - these people will know all of this and can help you gameplan before making your move. Ideally you should wait until your 1 year mark before you formally express interest, or atleast some formal review period where you have an official review on a sheet of paper saying how great you are - this is your golden ticket, and it's critical for 2 reasons: 1) most importantly, it protects you in the event that your team takes offense to you wanting to leave, or worse, you get put on the chopping block for the next round of layoffs. You want your hard work and contributions memorialized on paper incase you find yourself out of a job. This may sound harsh, but again think from your boss's perspective - if we're in a recession and HR comes to them demanding a 10% headcount reduction, the guy who just told everyone he doesn't want to be in the group is first to go. 2) this serves as a marketing tool for you - eventually if all goes well you will interview internally for your IB switch - having a formal review praising your contributions and work ethic goes a long way here, and again in the event that your team feel burned that you want to leave, you have their true feedback untainted by the news of your desire departure in your review sheet. Now I realize that coming out of school 1 year can feel like a lifetime - but trust me, it isn't. Tons of people in IB did other front office roles for a year or two prior to switching as well. Anyways - after your first year of crushing it, armed with your positive year-end review sheet, you now have leverage. I forgot to mention this as well but throughout your year you should be drilling BIWS 400 questions, working on your story, brushing up technicals so you can crush interview when ready. Now that you are ready, again I would rely on the folks you have networked with to determine the best path here because every bank is different, but a few weeks after my reviews I engaged a full court press - I asked to meet with my boss and told him that despite how much I love the group and working for them, my real interest was in the IB side. By this point we had become fairly close, and because I had worked so hard for him, he was more than supportive and offered to help any way he could. Meanwhile my contacts I had developed on the IB side began pushing internally for me as well. After a quick interview process (at this point I had already spoken with everyone on the IB team through the course of networking so this was really a formality) I made the switch. Let's say for instance though your firm for whatever reason doesn't want to let you switch, or maybe they don't have any spots open for you. You can then go out, armed with your great review sheet and interview skills you've been working on, and get a job elsewhere. That's my 2 cents, YMMV, every bank is different etc etc etc but that is a rough overview of how I went about it. I cannot emphasize enough that just showing up and week 1 going to HR to try to switch groups will not work out well for you. Good luck!

edit: Finally, sorry for the stream-of-consciousness post. Busy day here but wanted to get my full thoughts out for you.

  • 12
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen

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