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I'm assuming IBD for the purpose of my response.

I hate to say "it depends", but it sort of does. Different banks and different teams can have very different cultures, and your hours and predictability of your hours will vary dramatically through the year as you cycle through deal processes.

It's highly unlikely to get 7 hours of sleep every night through your AN and AS year. There'll be periods of low or no sleep in almost every team at all the BBs, particularly during heavy periods of deal execution, and that's almost unavoidable. If we talk about a "typical" night or "on average", then I'd say 7 hours is more doable, but at the expense of other things you may care about; it's all about how you prioritise things.

As for working out, I tend to think you can count on this a bit more. There are often periods of downtime even during heavy deal execution. For my own part, this was always high priority for me, and if I could be disciplined about waking up early, I could always guarantee a workout before work (although obviously at the expense of sleep).

If having both of these things consistently are very important for you, maybe consider a role with lower or more predictable hours (S&T, HF, Middle Office, etc.). Consistency is the big sacrifice in IBD

 

Thanks for the response. Yeah, I do really want both of these things consistently. When it comes to working out, I have figured that I at least will have the time on friday, saturday and sunday, and at that point I only need two more days to be content

 

As others have said, the most difficult thing is consistency and figuring out what you want to sacrifice. I was able to get 7hrs of sleep on average, but made a conscious decision to not wake up early and go to the gym. This worked well for the first year (health was decreasing, but adequate sleep helped A LOT). After the first year, I decided to switch it up and started going to the gym in the morning. While I was feeling more fit, I also felt much more tired and looked drained. The key really is finding a good group where you can go to the gym in the evening, but that's really hard to predict ahead of time. Some associates / VPs will be okay with it, and others won't. If you can find a group where it's fine, then you're golden as you can get your avg 7hrs of sleep and go to the gym in the evening before getting back to work. 

 

While I generally agree with the sentiment, it's not as simple as that. In the groups where I've seen this be the case, the associates and VPs are generally still grinding through the evenings as well, wherein it rubs them the wrong way if the analyst that owes them works steps off the desk for an hour to go to the gym (especially if there is something they are waiting to review that precludes them from going home in the meantime).  

 

At any BB I'd not expect analysts or associates to get 7 hours. I didn't as a VP. 

This isn't a WLB job, especially not at BBs. Go to HSBC or some other similar entity if you want WLB, but expect a significant compensation difference.

You can probably hit the workouts but your sleep will suffer.

London Sponsors M&A - EB
 
MonkeyProspect1

I'd be willing to accept lower comp for better WLB. Any other alternatives that are similar to HSBC?

Stephens / RBC / Nomura (certain groups) off the top of my head.

Consumer banking is often more chilled at most places but more risky in terms of market volatility.

The other considerations are of course exits (if you don't want a career in IB) and your deal sheet. These places are going to give you fewer exit options and less deal flow. 

London Sponsors M&A - EB
 

You guys should come to the US by asking for an internal transfer. Significantly more pay with significantly less hours.

Competition is also low because they let anyone in these days in NYC / US market. Whereas in London there are less open spots and only those from target schools will get in. 

 
Funniest

Dude you have no idea how hard it is to do that. Your country is more than happy to let thousands of illegals through your pathetic excuse of a border - but when a tax paying high contributor wants to work in your country it’s nearly impossible to get that Visa.

 

Dude you have no idea how hard it is to do that. Your country is more than happy to let thousands of illegals through your pathetic excuse of a border - but when a tax paying high contributor wants to work in your country it’s nearly impossible to get that Visa.

I'm not American but work here under H-1B visa. Yes you're right it's definitely hard given that this country loves illegals. You can buy your way into a top 10 MBA in the US though. Working at a BB in London should provide you great admission chance into the top 15 schools that place well into IB. My guy you got a role in BB in London, so I'm sure you're smart enough to compete well in the US market.

ASO1s here get paid 175k base + 225k bonus all-in for an average of 80-90 hours worked per week. Not too bad right?

 

Can notice in this forum that recently a sentiment emerged that WLB is not 'too bad' - maybe that is because the deal flow has been so low for a couple of years? 

Not an M&A banker but tons of friends over at BBs in LDN - 7 hours of sleep would be sleeping (not stopping work) at 0.30 to 7.30. Given London commute times etc. and the fact that nobody goes straight to bed (brushing teeth, winding down, shower etc.) this would probably mean leaving work at ~11.30pm. 

Not exaggerating that I say this doesn't match at all with the experience of my peers at top banks like GS and MS. More likely leaving the office at 2-3 am (could also be longer), Sunday normal workday. Saturday only day off but also expect friday to work until like 10-11 pm if things are hot. 

I swear I never heard of anyone in M&A doing the light hours some people mention here - heck even in consulting it might be tough to clock in 7h on average. 

 

Can notice in these forum that recently a sentiment emerged that WLB is not 'too bad' - maybe that is because the deal flow has been so low for a couple of years? 

Not an M&A banker but tons of friends over at BBs in LDN - 7 hours of sleep would be sleeping (not stopping work) at 0.30 to 7.30. Given London commute times etc. and the fact that nobody goes straight to bed (brushing teeth, winding down, shower etc.) this would probably mean leaving work at ~11.30pm. 

Not exaggerating that I say this doesn't match at all with the experience of my peers at top banks like GS and MS. More likely leaving the office at 2-3 am (could also be longer), Sunday normal workday. Saturday only day off but also expect friday to work until like 10-11 pm if things are hot. 

I swear I never heard of anyone in M&A doing the light hours some people mention here - heck even in consulting it might be tough to clock in 7h on average. 

Really depends on the teams too, GS and MS would be the worst ones for this. Don't get drawn in by the MM being easier though, shops like Jeffs and Roths are the worst of the lot in LDN for hours.

 

You want a lot of money, you better be prepared to work long hours. That's the trade-off. It is well known IB has long hours. Unfortunately, you won't be the person to change it. There's been many like you before and will be more like you hereafter. It's because teams run lean.

I would suggest you though to just grind for a few years. You can still stay at a BB, you could maybe try a capital markets role? Same base, similar bonus at the junior level, much better WLB. 

 

As in IB, hours, happiness and flexibility all vary hugely by team within ER. A typical day in ER should be 06:30 / 07:00 - 19:00. A bad day could end at 23:00 or 01:00. Some people I know regularly work 6-8hrs/day at weekends. Others rarely work weekends at all. As a junior I'd recommend you carve out some time to do some additional work regardless as you can get ahead and without the market open you get time to think in greater depth.

My general advice to those early in their careers is prioritise the platform/firm first (BB better than boutique), the relevance of the skills you'll acquire second, and the compensation last. Solve for learning about the industry, learning what you're be good at, and roles with the widest possible set of exit options. Team structure is also relevant as often the mid-level person leaves and that creates opportunity to move up the ladder faster (this applies less early on in BB's where there's more structure).

 

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