LMM Exits – Long-term view

Hi guys,

Starting an SA stint at a LMM M&A shop in London this summer (retail coverage group), and was wondering if anyone had any tips as to how I can think ahead to exits in a few years time and how I can ascertain which one is for me.

I'm well aware that the standard ones are LMM PE, CorpDev, or lateralling to a BB/EB to either stay there or position myself for other PE positions or HFs, but I'm not sure how I would go about finding out which one is for me.

I'd appreciate any tips for how I can use my learning experience during the internship to think about whether I should stay long-term in M&A or shift to something else (& if so, what).



Based on the WSO threads discussing career paths and exits from LMM M&A roles, here are some strategies to help you determine the best exit opportunities for you and make the most of your upcoming SA stint:

  1. Explore Different Roles During Your Internship: Use your summer analyst (SA) stint to gain exposure to various aspects of M&A transactions. Ask for opportunities to work on different stages of a deal, from initial due diligence to closing. This will give you a broader understanding of the M&A process and help you identify which parts you enjoy most.

  2. Network Internally and Externally: Networking is key in the finance industry. Use your time at the LMM shop to build relationships with colleagues at all levels. Also, reach out to professionals in roles you're considering for exits, such as those in LMM PE, corporate development, or larger banks. Informational interviews can be incredibly insightful.

  3. Seek Feedback and Mentorship: Regularly seek feedback on your performance and ask for advice from more experienced colleagues. If possible, find a mentor within the firm who can provide guidance on career progression and exits.

  4. Research and Reflect: Continuously research the typical career paths from LMM M&A roles. Reflect on what you learn during your internship and how it aligns with your career aspirations. Consider what environments (e.g., corporate vs. banking) and work styles (e.g., deal-driven vs. operational) suit you best.

  5. Evaluate Long-term Goals: Consider your long-term career goals. If you aim for a high position in a specific sector or company type, think about which exit would best position you for this. For example, moving to a BB or EB might offer broader exposure and more significant deals, which can be beneficial if you aim to stay in banking long-term.

  6. Document Your Experience: Keep a journal or log during your internship where you can note what you learned, what you enjoyed, and what you didn’t. This can help you make a more informed decision about your career path after reflecting on your experiences.

By actively engaging in these activities during your internship, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions about whether to pursue a career in M&A or explore other opportunities.

Sources: Staying a third year as a PE associate vs. doing something nontraditional, Post MBA IB associates, how did you know you could handle the life?, Learning Curve as 2nd Year Analyst, I Got Screwed With My Internship Placement, Can I Ask to Switch Roles or Am I Fucked?, Advice on career and the switch into investment banking

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