No deal experience after 3 years
So basically I work at a second tier bank (RBC/WF/Nomura/Deutsche/HSBC) in one of the most weak groups and offices . To give some context, my team has closed 4 transactions since 2018, one of the associates in my team has only 1 deal toy despite being in the job for 5 years and a half.
90% of my time is spent on pitching and admin stuff, and I've only been staffed on 4 live deals (all of them buy side engagements, and all of them fell apart, actually only one of the projects made it to the second round and to the data room). Don't think I don't get live projects because I am an underperformer, the other analysts in my group are in the same situation.
I should've left this group long time ago, but the money was so good and the work life balance was amazing (around 60-65 hours and 80% of my weekend free) besides I really get along with the people in my group.
However, I realize that my skill set is so underdeveloped compared to my peers at top banks due to the lack of opportunities and deal exposure. I am about to become associate in a few months and I am lacking so many things and experiences. Most first year analysts at places like GS or MS are more experienced than me.
I've decided to start looking for a lateral option, my goal would be to land something at GS/MS/JPM/BoFA, but I am afraid that maybe it's too late, they would have to hire me as ASO but I have no deal experience whatsoever. I've approached a few recruiters, but they ask me for a deal sheet, which I have to leave empty, and it is so embarrassing. I feel like because my complacency, I've missed the train.
This is Nomura 100% percent. A VP told me he hasn't closed a deal since he's been there (5 years)
yeah, I work at one of the non-HSBC / Nomura names listed and I've closed well over $15bn in 4.5 years in just M&A and probably will hit that $20bn mark by EoY....I'm in a busier group but I'd be shocked if even the slow ones went years without closing deals.
I would expect all three of the other banks to be closing deals to some extent.
Hahahaha, I don't want to disclose the bank, but actually is not Nomura, but it is good to know that others have it worse than me.
How do groups justify promoting people if they're not closing deals? Like technically that VP has then just been a massive G&A drag to the bank since joining if he hasn't closed a single deal. Unless has that VP done other revenue generating activities (e.g. transaction opinions, general financial advisory, BD for other parts of the bank, etc.) ?
A lot of the time there are financing fees, especially passive bookrunner IG debt deals that bring in decent revenue. Terrible deal experience though, you don't learn anything.
Also some of those banks have really strong groups which bring in good fees and subsidize underperforming groups.
I think you just make a deal sheet with some deals that you're working on currently or ones that have fell through. Lateral market is shit rn as you probably know
Have you ever gotten close? When I moved banks I also had 0 deals closed, but I would just tell people about the couple deals that pretty much made it to the finish line and then fell apart. That way they could understand that I knew the process / work.
Not really, out of the 4 deal processes, in only 2 our client submitted a non-binding offer, and in only one occasion we were invited to the second phase of the process and we get access to the data room, but our client decided to not pursue the opportunity.
I have no experience working on due dilligence, closings, and management presentations. But the worsts is that I have never worked on a sell side engagement. I have never draft a teaser, a CIM, and I have never run a sell process, which is basically the kind of projects In which analysts grind.
So wtf do you do all day
Yeah that was my situation. The 2 where our client submitted an NBO bid, they lowballed (against our explicit instructions) and got kicked out. 1 wasn't serious so no surprises, but the other was actually quite upset and gave us surprised pikachu face (gotta love unsophisticated large corporates in APAC).
I lucked out as when I was ready to leave, we got our first real sell side. It was a good asset, just not a popular industry so it wasn't likely to close, but at least I got to write the entire CIM, have management calls, and those few weeks really formed the entire basis of my "industry experience" that I marketed myself on after.
And actually got good buyside offers on.
I'm in the same boat. It's crazy. Barely feels like IB sometimes
How do you even manage to work 60 hours a week? I feel like that kind of workload should equate to like 40 hours max.
We pitch a lot and prepare a lot of regular catch ups with companies and funds that we cover every quarter.
Tbh, 60 hours is the amount of time I spend in the office, but then I have some spare time between staffings or waiting for comments, so "real work" time is significantly less than 60 hours.
Wouldn't a bank like yours at least do a bunch of debt deals?
Four deals in 5 years is really poor (especially if we consider that 2020 and 2021 were amazing years in terms of deal count and volume). Can I know how many people work in your group?
The team in my office is composed of 12 bankers, but globally my group has over 70 people.
Dude you are in a dream spot. You get banking money for IT hours. And the stamp of a large bank on your resume.
You're only concern is being fired or let go and then having to recruit while not knowing much.
But these types of banks rarely fire you, they just give you crappy bonuses. And you could likely move to credit or something even if you start to underperform.
Don't ever look a gift horse in the mouth.
It's not a dream spot at all, it's a terrible start for a career. As a banker (pre MD) all that matters is your transaction experience. You just lost 3 years and now you are not competitive anymore vs other bankers your age for ASSO positions and you re too old for AN1 positions.
You were complacent and it's good you are starting to acknowledge it
when I was an intern, some ASSO1 were in the same spot (years of pitching). Typical exit opp if you are lucky is corp dev in a corporate which doesnt do much. Brand name of your bank will help
Name checks out.
The fucking determinism of this forum drives me insane.
"Oh yeah you're here, so you can never get THERE. Your whole career is immediately decided from start to finish because you weren't in the best of the best group so might as well die."
Don't understand why you're getting MS. To say it's a dream might be true in the short term, but it won't bode well for the future.
I think OP is smart for considering a move.
As someone who spent some time in a group like this, I disagree. It's chill AF while you're there but the lack of experience will catch up to you big time.
Looking back at the people who stuck around my old shop, no one did well. You tend to wash out at VP/D because you won't have the skill set to be an MD (they'll just hire someone who washed out from a legit shop). You'll never go to buyside (for obvious reasons). You won't have the connections, and frankly skill set, for a good corporate job (assuming you stuck around past Associate). But hey, if you want to do something completely outside of finance maybe it doesn't matter but honestly if you just spend the last x years doing fuck all, I don't think it sets you up for success down the road either.
Couldn't agree more
If this is something you want to do long term, at least try to lateral.
There are no guarantees, but you just need one group that has an opening in your industry. You'll might have to step 1-2 years back (maybe less if you're an analyst), but this is nothing in the context of a long career.
No I completely feel this. I am also at a brand name bank am coming up on my third year as analyst and have never closed a transaction. Lots of failed engagements and pitches, but have never see a deal through from start to finish and I feel like I am miles behind my peers.
I don't see how this is a bad thing...like at all. Seems like a cushy spot that people would dream about. Sure, you might not get that buy-side gig but why would you want to take a paycut (yes buyside pays less outside of the senior levels at this point) for more hours? All the other exits that people talk about on this site outside of those buy-side roles are just as open as if you were at any bank. If you don't like it still, then by all means just leave and let one of us take that cushy spot rather than get raked over the coals at some sweaty EB for the same pay.
Sounds like HSBC.
Depending on groups, you may have tons of financing experience, which would still be helpful if you have gotten some IM/CDD reports which you can read and bs all the day. Knowing how to actually do a deal (logistic stuff) is the harder part though I would say. Not that easy to command the analysts to do stuff for you even you lateraled if you have never been exposed to a complete lifecycle yourself.
Personally I had gone through similar experiences (I am senior associate now, ignore my title here) and I have pretty much WFC it these days because the money is good anyway and I would likely just move corp dev / MBA and knowing how to push papers aren't crazily important.
sorry, i can't see the negatives
You're living the dream and you don't realize it. Start a side hustle with the free time
I agree with this. The lateral market is bad, take advantage of your free time
This sounds like Societie Generale
Never been in this situation, but here's my thoughts:
This is gonna be unpopular, but the people saying this is a dream spot are too focused on the short term. You've been in your career 2, 3 years? You've got at least 25 years left, and you need a skill set to back up your future moves. The money juniors make is pittance compared to potential earnings later on down the line, and no one stays at the same company for their entire life anymore.
I think you're smart for considering a move, and understand the position you're in. A few things:
Idk. Tough spot to be in. Not sure what I would do, honestly. I'm sure you'll decide what the right move is though.
+1 this is the right advice, especially #3
The gravity of your situation is highly dependent upon where you want to end up. For anything that isn't buyside you could probably brush up on technical skills for 10-20 hours and be fine. If you're still set on buyside, then you're behind the 8-ball and will need to put in some serious time and effort (spinning your experience well and catching up on technicals).
You ARE lucky that you're in a spot where WLB is disproportionately good compared to comp. Many of your exit options may be similar WLB with less comp. You need to do the soul searching to figure out if that tradeoff will be worth it. Though I think most senior folks across industries would tell you not to stay in ANY soul-sucking job.
I'd rather work 80hrs a week at a job I find interesting than scrub toilets for 40hrs a week with the same comp.
I'd be fine scrubbing toilets if they paid me half a mil forever
I personally would ride this role as long as possible. As long as your group doesn't come under pressure due to job cuts and you're close with the seniors in your group, I feel like you have a solid trajectory to stay through your VP years and maybe a few D/SVP years. You said you're in a weaker office, which I presume to mean you're not in NYC. I personally would save as much as possible if you're in a LCOL location and then if they push you out after VP, I'd look for some cush Corp Dev / Corp Strat role in your industry.
That said, if you truly are passionate about doing deals in IB, I would try to lateral within the bank as other commenters have mentioned.
1. It's definitely not too late. You're a banking analyst a few years out of school. You have plenty of time ahead of you and plenty of opportunity.
2. It's great that you are self aware enough to be thinking about stuff
3. Own it. Send in the deal sheets with whatever you've worked on and talk to that. Say deal flow in your group is slow and you are ready for more. Deal flow is not your responsibility as annalyst and a lot of people will be sympathetic.
4. Try to put aside feelings of embarrassment in work. Dropping feelings like that is a superpower in business. Don't let them hold you back
I was in a similar spot years ago, ended up going back to bschool to reset. Was hard for me to lateral anywhere worthwhile with tepid deal experience.
Nobody actually knows what you have or have not done. Beef up and be able to speak to the "deals" that died. Make them up if you have to. Study what goes into a process and be able to speak intelligently around it.
Market is not great right now so spend your free time doing this type of interview prep. When the lateral market comes back you should be fine if this is the route you want to go. Ability to network and show culture fit / be likable will be much more important if looking to lateral to IB.
If you're looking to move to buyside just do the work necessary. Analysts are getting offers these days before even hitting the desk so don't buy the people saying you're screwed. Just put in the work and time and you'll be fine.
You've been at this bank since 2018 and you're not yet an associate?
I joined in the summer of 2020, but I have made a lot of pitchbooks so I know the creds of the team
Add your deals in progress or that fell through on deal sheet. If you did any modeling, industry or other analysis (CIM), quarterbacked third parties etc. put on your resume.
"The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it." - Rafiki
Are you "behind" other IB analysts at better groups / banks? Yes. Are you "behind" everyone? Absolutely not, and don't let this impact your self confidence or sense of self worth. Many (most?) MBA Associates come in from arguably less relevant backgrounds than what you have accomplished so far.
Despite transactions not closing (not in your control, by the way), hopefully you have learned how to think about developing business, how to model and project financial statements, how to do a pitchbook in PowerPoint, how to email effectively, and how to communicate efficiently. These are all invaluable skills in the business world and will serve you for the rest of your life.
I physically shook my head reading that despite your experience and context that you are still just aiming at prestige > everything. There are a lot of banks out there.
Agree with the others here.
Put in all the failed deals and buysides you've worked on. Experience is experience.
Lateral asap to a team with flow.
Depending on your cash a business school followed by MBA recruiting is potentially a good idea. Especially with previous IB experience and also gives you the chance to ride out a shit macro environment for 2 years.
Think bschool would be a complete waste of time and money, speaking as someone who came in from MBA associate. He can ride out the environment in his current role while getting paid, prep for interviews, get the ASO promote and lateral at that point. Once the market is back he should be able to effectively move to a BB or even EB if that's the goal.
It's a possibility sure. However, deal experience is very important for a lateral associate hire.
I'm actively involved in recruiting our juniors and if they are laterals I expect them to have good deal experience. That's a standard. MBA associate hires aren't expected to have experience so it's an easier conversation.
Is this Truist?
Certainly smells like it could be truist to me
What if you just coast until vp, get stuck there and retire. Do you think you will have accumulated 500k at that point? That would be enough to invest in rental properties. I'm an A2 in a chill group not considered prestigious without much ambition and that is my plan. Work as a banker until I get stuck at vp and retire.
To reassure you, a lot of GS assoc never closed a deal either
Is this RBC Tech? Lol
sounds like RBC Real Estate
Pls let me know if they're willing to hire at the VP level. I definitely have more deal experience than your VPs from the sound of it.
In all seriousness, I was in a similar position, albeit somewhat better brand recognition, and managed to move to the buyside, so it's fine. If you're an AN3 and you teach yourself to model and can do case studies decently well, just apply, I guess.
I also tried to lateral and did get 2 offers but didn't take it as had enough of sweatshops, but one was in the JPM / MS / GS tier and another was an EB. If you can verbally communicate how processes are run, which you should be able to by asking around, they'll probably just grill you on technicals and that's it.
Ut a doloremque sint. Consequatur aliquid nulla sed quibusdam dolorem. Exercitationem cum deleniti debitis fugit praesentium doloribus. Dicta quibusdam sapiente eius sed harum. Beatae autem delectus corrupti aut voluptatum expedita libero in.
Ut et ut nam. Qui qui itaque eius. Earum vero cupiditate reiciendis recusandae voluptatem quod. Unde placeat ea dolorem pariatur numquam fugit qui. Aut sit ut aspernatur eos. Aut nesciunt corporis hic earum sit non ab. Qui dolores similique quaerat perferendis et qui alias aspernatur.
Laudantium cum saepe voluptatibus eum et eum deleniti. Voluptatum rerum sapiente minima minima ipsa iste. Vel aut quibusdam ut enim similique id. A molestiae animi voluptate fuga. Odio alias ut quaerat animi nostrum. Quas quo ipsam deserunt sed.
See All Comments - 100% Free
WSO depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something. Unlock with your email and get bonus: 6 financial modeling lessons free ($199 value)
or Unlock with your social account...
Provident animi sequi tempore dignissimos. Laborum voluptatem commodi aliquam aliquam. Illo qui aspernatur doloribus ratione voluptas perferendis.
Autem minima velit natus voluptate nihil qui veritatis. Quae quia magni suscipit iure aut in provident provident.
In delectus quia ea voluptates maiores. Facilis omnis quis fuga voluptatem aliquid sint. Itaque laudantium mollitia in fuga. Sunt dignissimos non quaerat dolorum ipsa sed.
Assumenda ea commodi ratione perferendis maiores consequatur vel. Libero fugiat dolores nulla quo eaque repellendus. Alias quia sint cumque ipsa. Voluptas id ab non voluptatum reiciendis excepturi. Explicabo illo et numquam beatae. Soluta et beatae quisquam ut aperiam fugiat quia. Ex perferendis sint iure vel.
Aut sunt porro eum expedita quo modi id quisquam. Repudiandae esse repudiandae placeat expedita.