Jumping from Buy Side to Sell Side - LevFin vs Private Credit Role

Need some advice on making a career move, I'm currently at a boutique private credit shop for 2 years now, doing very interesting special sits and direct lending deals. However, comp is pretty bad and we just aren't closing any deals at the moment, none of the deals we bring seem to close.

I believe I will have 2 offers on the table soon, so want some advice.

1st opportunity, a leverage finance role in an MM bank.

2nd opportunity, in another boutique private credit shop

Both will give a better compensation vs my current role.

Would it be wise for me to jump into the sell side levfin role and gain experience there? I like credit and special situations investing, and would eventually like jump to a private credit/ special situations mega-fund.


Based on the most helpful WSO content, both opportunities seem to offer their own unique advantages.

The leverage finance role at an MM bank could provide you with a broader view of the deal cycle, as well as exposure to the process involved in private equity, such as preparing the IM, management presentations, financing documents, and coordinating logistics. This could potentially make it easier for you to move into private equity in the future.

On the other hand, the role at the boutique private credit shop could allow you to focus more on actual investing and enhance your skills in security analysis, commercial/financial due diligence, etc. This could be beneficial if you're more interested in credit HF or distressed investing.

If you're looking at a credit fund that does direct lending and long term holds on leveraged loans, you might want to prioritize the private credit shop role. However, if you're more interested in distressed/special situations strategies, the leverage finance role could be a better fit.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on your long-term career goals and the type of experience and skills you wish to gain.


  1. LevFin in London
  2. Q&A: BB LevFin - Mezzanine - Opportunistic PE
  3. Buy-side vs sell-side path to credit funds
  4. Performing / Opportunistic Credit fund vs. LevFin at an IB?
I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
Most Helpful

From my understanding, if you eventually want to explore different opportunities in buy-side credit outside of just direct lending/private credit, LevFin will give you the most exposure to different types of credit deals and will leave a lot more doors open in terms of variety of opportunities when transitioning to buy-side. However, if you know for sure (which, who does really?) what you want to eventually jump to, which in your case would be special situations/opportunistic, direct experience with private credit would probably be a lot more valuable and viewed a lot better than LevFin experience. Being in LevFin/sell-side will give you a really great understanding of the process of credit deals and how these deals are structured, but you're better off being in an investment seat in the buy-side which will give you exposure to the thought process/analysis that goes into actually investing, which these buy-side/investment firms will most likely view as the more valuable experience. 

From a personal standpoint I don't see why anyone would ever want to go to sell-side once they made it to buy-side, you're literally at the place everyone in the sell-side is trying to get to, why try to put yourself through that miserable lifestyle when you've already made it to the end-goal of said miserable lifestyle? 


Thanks so much for your insights! Yeah, I guess something in me like the optionality of going to the sell side to open the doors to other potential roles out there. But my hours in my current firm has been really good guess there will be an adjustment if I were to jump.

Main reason why I'm entertaining jumping to the sell side is also because my current firm isn't doing too well on the fundraising end and many of the funds out there aren't hiring at the moment. Seems like a bad time and market out here in Asia with the flood of CS guys from what I heard.


Yeah, a really rough time to try to lateral somewhere else. Everywhere I know typically just hires within their firm to fill up open front office spots these days. Maybe the other boutique firm you mentioned has better luck fundraising? I'd also be very wary about job hopping too much for obvious reasons haha. 


Yeah after reading all the advice here, starting to lean more towards the sell side role for the depth of experience. Seeing they have a balance sheet as well I guess its also does have a buy side element to it? Seems like the only downside might be the hours but I'm still young and dont mind grinding it out a bit.


re; the 1st opportunity - does the MM bank have an actual balance sheet it can underwrite/originate deals with? Probably one of the biggest factors I would consider with making a decision here. If the MM bank does not have a balance sheet and cannot underwrite or originate debt (and is more of a "debt advisory" type levfin shop Ala piper Sandler, Baird, etc.) would for sure stay away. Even if they do have a BS, would take a look at how many deals they lead/co-lead versus just participate. Substantial difference in the experience you'll get signing onto another banks work versus leading the originating, structuring, and marketing of a deal. 


Magni ipsum voluptatem corrupti atque cupiditate non. Saepe sed autem quidem blanditiis ipsam quo itaque. Quis ut eaque optio ab assumenda. Voluptatem illo autem sequi omnis et magnam laudantium. Quos suscipit nam provident et voluptatem. Sunt sint ipsum voluptas enim. Et aut sunt itaque velit omnis.

Cupiditate qui accusantium non eligendi. Exercitationem quia voluptatibus maxime dolore laborum vitae necessitatibus laudantium. Sit voluptatem voluptatem magni suscipit reiciendis. Reiciendis a dolore voluptatem quia. Aperiam molestiae ut autem esse doloribus quis possimus. Consequatur beatae inventore autem. Explicabo odio nam recusandae harum voluptatem aliquam inventore.

Quo illo aut et reiciendis et nemo. Repellendus non facilis voluptatem error qui enim ad. Voluptas et asperiores ex amet eligendi distinctio. Quia assumenda explicabo voluptas cum.

Nemo natus molestias dignissimos. Sunt minima asperiores sint molestias qui dolorem atque. Sunt ut dolore aut amet distinctio quia. Quis maiores aut sunt enim. Est ex doloribus quos et voluptate. Inventore non quas doloribus ut et aut. Labore id temporibus nostrum aut eum iusto. Incidunt eius repudiandae qui vero ut aliquam non.

Career Advancement Opportunities

November 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Lazard Freres (++) 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.7%
  • William Blair 12 98.3%
  • Financial Technology Partners 02 97.8%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

November 2023 Investment Banking

  • William Blair 04 99.6%
  • Lincoln International 10 99.1%
  • Moelis & Company 25 98.7%
  • Stephens Inc 11 98.3%
  • Jefferies & Company 08 97.8%

Professional Growth Opportunities

November 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Lazard Freres 17 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.7%
  • Financial Technology Partners 06 98.3%
  • UBS AG 16 97.8%

Total Avg Compensation

November 2023 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (6) $592
  • Vice President (34) $390
  • Associates (167) $258
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (15) $187
  • 2nd Year Analyst (106) $168
  • Intern/Summer Associate (48) $167
  • 1st Year Analyst (322) $166
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (234) $95
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”