If you decide to stay in banking, how hard is it to become one of the top guys.

I was on youtube looking at the hearings from '09 and heard a few guys speak. The talkers were employees from Goldman Sachs and they obviously had top jobs at the firm if they were chosen to speak to congress. My question is, how hard is it to get a top job at a bank(not necessarily Goldman tier)? If not wondering about being the CEO or jobs at that level. Im talking about jobs you can get at around 35-40 years old. For example, "Executive Director of Structured Products Group Trading", Managing Director(MD), Partner, VP, etc. If you want to stay in banking and choose to stay, will they keep moving you up until you leave(if you actually do a decent job and get shit done) or is it competitive and after associate, only about 25% of bakers who want to move up actually moves up? Please don't mind my ignorance as I'm not in the industry and will be going to Stanford next year, so I have a long journey ahead of me.
Edit: How much do you get paid as a pre-MBA associate(just moved up from analyst)?
I hear all-in was $200k-300k and I've heard between 250k-500k.

Comments (19)

May 21, 2011 - 9:12pm
Schwarzmanegger, what's your opinion? Comment below:
oldmansacks:
I see a lot of VPs in their early 30s. the process is more structured than other industries and so you can expect to move up in 3-4year stages. Met someone the other day who is a 33 year old director at a BB.

Sounds old for a director to me.

The youngest MD's can be 31 years old (22-25 analyst, 25-28 associate, 28-31 VP, 31- MD).

May 22, 2011 - 3:42pm
Wharton2PE, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Schwarzmanegger:
oldmansacks:
I see a lot of VPs in their early 30s. the process is more structured than other industries and so you can expect to move up in 3-4year stages. Met someone the other day who is a 33 year old director at a BB.

Sounds old for a director to me.

The youngest MD's can be 31 years old (22-25 analyst, 25-28 associate, 28-31 VP, 31- MD).

Chances of making it past the associate level are slim without an MBA (for your average joe anyways). Add another 2 years to your 31 for B-School, and you get 33 for a MD on the fast track.

Best Response
May 23, 2011 - 1:17am
HelloSunshine, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Wharton2GS:
Schwarzmanegger:
oldmansacks:
I see a lot of VPs in their early 30s. the process is more structured than other industries and so you can expect to move up in 3-4year stages. Met someone the other day who is a 33 year old director at a BB.

Sounds old for a director to me.

The youngest MD's can be 31 years old (22-25 analyst, 25-28 associate, 28-31 VP, 31- MD).

Chances of making it past the associate level are slim without an MBA (for your average joe anyways). Add another 2 years to your 31 for B-School, and you get 33 for a MD on the fast track.

That plus you don't go straight from VP to MD anyway. But there are (very few) 31 year old MDs.
May 21, 2011 - 6:29pm
bigbadanalyst, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am sure there are some who cant cut it, but most of the people who drop out do so on their own accord. Even at the MD level it is not an easy job in terms of lifestyle and sourcing deals rather than executing are two very different job functions. I have met and worked with MDs who were in their very early 30s and grinded their way up as an analyst.

May 21, 2011 - 8:50pm
pivot1990, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are good in sucking ass and ass licking.. you don't need to be good in your job.. often your ranking and your promotion is determined by subjective measures.. e.g. goodlooking useless women who are never there after 9pm get top ranked whilst men just get average ratings working allnighters every week...

May 22, 2011 - 4:05pm
electriclighto, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I know in the older generation (close to retirement age), making it to MD without a MBA is doable and has been done. I'm not so sure about that same career path for people who are analysts now however. Most banker bios I've seen have had some sort of higher ed, like MBA or JD even.

May 22, 2011 - 8:18pm
SlumstoCPW, what's your opinion? Comment below:

One more stupid question, if the age to become a MD is about 30-34, why won't more analyst just stay the extra 5-9 years to become one? Wouldn't the 5-9 years be worth the $1-3 million a year? Or would they be making more in PE/HF and have better hours on the sell-side?

May 22, 2011 - 8:36pm
JackJM, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In Europe you can perfectly be promoted from analyst to associate without an MBA.

May 22, 2011 - 10:55pm
Schwarzmanegger, what's your opinion? Comment below:
SlumstoCPW:
If you go get your MBA, will you still have a job at the firm or will you have to find another?

Usually if you're getting your MBA it's because you want to leave the firm you're working in or they aren't willing to give you a promotion...

May 22, 2011 - 11:50pm
anybankeratall, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I thought most people do their 2 year analyst program and then leave for an MBA. Is it a better idea to work your butt off to get promoted to an Associate from Analyst and THEN get the MBA to get up to VP?

This just blew my mind.

May 23, 2011 - 12:00am
deal_mkr, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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