Understanding the Investment Banking industry
I've been on the forum for a while, haven't contirbuted much and have more-often-than-knot been latently absorbing the knowledge from others. All of this great info has nevertheless left me a bit confused about the industry and the associate level recruiting into it. I am going to be recruiting for summer associate position in the coming fall for Summer'17 and would like to get myself in a better understood spot than I am in now. Please forgive me if any part or all (hopefully not!) of this has been asked before (spare the monkey s#@t ;-) ).
I am envisioning an all-encompassing overview of the recruiting, work, internal movement and exits thread on IBD, so would really appreciate all you fellow primates (and "humans") help to get to this stage.
The way I understand the IBD industry overall is split between few different areas:
- Sales & Trading: Helps institutional buyers buy/sell securities/rates/derviatives (very generic info).
- Equity Research: Research equities, provide ratings and support S&T with getting sales/flow revenues for the bank.
- Industry/Coverage groups: Mainly source deals within that industry and will work across the spectrum including M&A, ECM, DCM, etc.
- Product Groups: Mainly M&A, but I've read a few times on this site that Financial Sponsors/Leveraged Finance/LBO would also be "considered" a product group. Possibly specalized capital markets product groups ECM/DCM outside of coverage.
- Private Banking/Wealth Management
- Prop. Trading (yes, I know going down)
- Private Equity groups (Only know of a couple of bulge brackets with this group..such as GS PEG)
- Asset Management
Question: Are the groups similarly structured in Middle-Market IBs as well? I know not all of the MM will have asset management, private wealth, equity research, S&T etc or even ECM due to size of companies; but what about M&A, coverage, DCM, etc? Are the MM more "generalized" or do they tend to be similarly structured by industry/product?
The title and grouping notwithstanding, the work within these areas can surely be looked at distinctively, with some overlap between Coverage groups and pertinent transactions to M&A/ECM/DCM product groups.
I think most on this forum understand the basic tenets of the work involved within these groups, so we needn't go in detail on what's done within these groups, but I am sure if someone does have a question, people here will be happy to jump in.
So, to understand how recruiting works at the MBA level:
Do you apply for Summer Associate roles into specific groups or is it a more generalized process and you later "opt-into" one of the groups such as M&A, Coverage, Capital Markets, S&T, ER, etc.?
Do Summer Associates typically rotate between groups, or do they dedicate themselves for that summer just to the group which they get hired into?
When does the recruiting actually take place? I hear from most people, its in Fall itself, but I know quite a few people who didn't have interviews from GS/MS/JPM/BoA until Jan. If someone could help scetch out a recruiting timeframe (or edit/add to mine) that'd be super awesome of them!
(Oct-Nov) : Banks visit campus for recruiting events, you get a beer with them and engage with them
(Nov-Dec): Set up as many informationals with bankers as possible
(Dec) : Apply online or through school website etc.
But I am not sure when the actual interviews take place. Round 1s, phone screening, in-person, super-days, etc. When are these usually held? I am assuming that super-days are usually in Jan, but would really appreciate advise.
Also, is there any flexibility on these interview times? If someone (me) is not in the country for a period of 10-ish days in early December (5th-15th, say) due to a wedding/etc (wedding), would the recruiters be open to working around these dates? If interviews aren't conducted during this timeframe or if only phone-screeners are conducted, then I guess there's nothing to worry about, but would in-person interviews ever be held during this time?
When recruiting and specifically when "networking" and/or during "informationals" do you talk about wanting to get into certain groups or just the "love for capital markets" or love for transactions/deals that help transform industry landscape, etc (in other words, keep it broad)? Moreover, do the bankers (for informationals/recruiting events usually we'll have associates/VPs) expect you to be broad or very targetted?
Is there possibility of lateral-hiring from one IB to another? Specifically, if one were to start in MM banking and then wish to move into a BB role. Are there areas where this is more probable than others? Or would the type and size of deals just out-right exclude you from consideration? As an example: If someone were to start out at Baird or Lincoln in Chicago in MM, but after 1 or 2 years want to jump to GS/MS/JPM/CS/etc would that be possible?
I know we all like to talk about exits to the PE/HF promise-land but what about internal mobility? Those of you who've been in the industry for a while and have on good authority, knowledge of this, could you please share. What are the possibilities for moving within the bank after a few years? Lets say, someone did Coverage or M&A or DCM/ECM for a few years, could you say in 3rd year move to S&T or Equity Research or even Private Wealth, especially without having to lose seniority (read: pay at 3rd year level)?
Are certain skills more helpful in move across groups/departments? Say from Coverage to M&A or M&A to Coverage, ECM to Coverage or M&A to DCM etc? In hopes of finding better work-life balance once you've paid your 100-hr work week dues for first couple of years (if of course, PE/VC/HF don't come lining up to sweep you off your feet)
Again, as I said before, I'm a bit new in my understanding of the recruiting/structure/movement within the industry and I'm sure it shows from my questions above, but I'll sure be thankful for the help!