What do FIG bankers do?
Reaching out to an FIG banker at a BB. If a "why FIG?" question is asked would it be intelligent to answer by saying something along the following lines:
"FIG is a group that has good deal flow most of the times. In bear markets ==> restructuring, and in bull markets ==> new products, IPOs etc. Also newer, more stringent regulations mean that banks will change the way they finance their operations which may affect their BS."
Does any of what I said make sense?? Do FIG bankers undertake restructuring for failing financial institutions? or do they only do capital raising and M&A??
Could someone kindly give me better answer or tell me what different sorts of deals do FIG bankers undertake?
Thanks in advance.
I hate these "Tell me how to answer this question" posts. If you need to come to a forum to get people to tell you why you like something, then you clearly don't like it enough to do it for a living for several years.
You gotta have a story. What inspired you to want to be a FIG banker more than anything else in the world?
M&I has a FIG article
Now find a way to fit that into your story and what you want to do.
Thanks a lot for your input boothorbust, sandhurst, SECfinance and Human.
No one can really answer "why" fit-type question. There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter answer on this. You need to ask yourself that.
One thing to note, FIG has some very distinct verticals, consisting of asset managers, insurance companies, banks / depositors, financial technology firms, and specialty finance companies. Some firms like JP Morgan also have a governments vertical as well. If someone asks you "Why FIG? - they will most certainly also ask you "Which vertical are your interested in?"
bravo. excellently done.
they munch on figs and fruits of other variety all day
FIG Banking - Exit opps? (Originally Posted: 02/18/2009)
I ran a search but a lot of the viewpoints seem to be relatively outdated -- FIG has obviously gotten a lot more active and complex over the past 12-18 months. Where exactly are the opportunities in the financial institutions space going forward (continued consolidation plays among banks, rollups in the exchange space, more investments in clearing & settlement systems in light of increased gov. regulations, etc.)?
Also, to all current FIG bankers, what made you interested in the space and what are the exit opportunities post-IB? There seems to be a stigma associated with FIG banking because of the highly specialized skill set you develop, but top FIG groups (GS/MS/JPM) must place into PE pretty decently, right?
PE placement is very hit or miss. FIG is very specialized practice and usually places really well into hedge funds and FIG focused PE shops.
i was in a fig group at one of the places you mentioned. among other places, our analysts placed into JC Flowers, Blackstone, Madison Dearborn, Silver Lake, Warburg Pincus, and Providence Equity. take from that what you will.
Thanks ChelseaFC85, a bit surprised to see Providence Equity on there. Silver Lake and FIG makes sense though.
The experience you get in a FIG group is interesting.
FIG financials are typically the most complex, with balance sheets and income statements that differ significantly from the widget companies you deal with in school. In that regard, you become good at analyzing complex financial structures, but at the same time, placing into a traditional PE can be slightly more difficult because the companies they invest in (traditional bread and butter firms) will not require the same type of financial statement analysis that a FIG company does. However, placement into FIG-specific PE firms such as JC Flowers is strong.
If this is a SA consideration, the FIG space will provide a strong learning experience because all FIG companies are currently in need of capital, and consolidation is a key factor in the industry. These trends contribute to high deal flow, especially within the top FIG groups you mentioned, which is key to a fulfilling internship.
What does FIG stand for? If you have a chart for these terms, I'd love to be linked to it...
financial institutions group
this made my day old champ. Hope the 10years since you posted this have treated you with kindness.
FIG Groups - sharing my knowledge and asking for yours (Originally Posted: 01/09/2007)
Hello. What do you guys think about FIG? I really like the industry and I am very interested in working for such a group. However, I have heard that it is very specialized and that might be bad for the future. However, FIG is an industry that, in my opinion, will always have a decent amount of activity, so that would be good long term. Also, couldanyone rank the FIG teams of the top banks (or share any info), in particular CS, JPM, DB, UBS.
I know that Lehman has a good one (did Evercore's IPO, I believe - a huge deal), and Citi too (large number of deals, very strong historically). I also know that CS used to have a good one but a lot of bankers jumped ship to DB. Is DB up and coming in FIG? What's the perception on the Street? Thanks in advance!
A lot of people say FIG is very specialized, and its country specific etc...even the accounting is different. But I agree, there are always going to be banks and insurance companies, so FIG will always have activity.
I know UBS's FIG is a solid group. I've personally met many people there, and they are all round good people. I know the group is pretty well respected on the street too, they did the MBNA deal.
Question for anyone in FIG (Originally Posted: 08/04/2014)
My question is for those in FIG or have been in FIG investment banking before. I don't know much about FIG banking (quite frankly, I hear almost no one does except those working in it), which is why I'm asking this.
Is having regulatory experience beneficial?
By "experience" I mean a summer internship, not full-time for years.
Now I know bankers hate regulators (and perhaps public sector experience in general), so I do expect some backlash here. If you have some, please speak your mind but do please explain why if you can.
I'm interning with a regulatory agency now (for commercial banks). Now I never expected what I learn this summer to be directly valuable in FIG because I know the way I look at banks and FIG Banking does differs: we look from the customers' perspective while FIG does from the shareholders' perspective. I've interned at a boutique before so I know valuation metrics, and the metrics regulatory agencies use differ (They're more akin to accounting/performance metrics rather than valuation).
But I've talked to some folks in Banking (some were MDs) and after explaining what I do, they actually think I'd fit well in FIG given my regulatory background. Of course not all of them were in FIG...
What I do is examine banks within my offices geographical coverage and assess their risk profile and overall well being using the CAMELS rating system. The way we make these ratings is by looking at the bank's financials and performance ratios for level and historical changes (relative tons peer group).
Can't hurt, at least you'd know how to look at bank financials, understand the space and whats happening (changes in regs, who the players are, etc.). I'd imagine you would take less time to get up to speed on the industry as someone with no FIG exposure
Interesting article which is pretty specific to your situation: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-26/strict-regulation-makes-the-revolving-door-spin-faster
Regulatory experience can be very helpful, but limited in your case since your experience is just a summer internship. It can give you something relevant to talk about in regards to why you want to do FIG though.
You'd be sought after in FIG. Any exposure to bank financial metrics gives you a leg up on most anyone else.
Don't act like you're some regulatory expert though. Just use the internship to craft some BS narrative about how you became more and more interested in financial institutions, etc.
FIG - Details on FIG? (Originally Posted: 09/11/2007)
How can one learn more about the details of what FIG does? Everybody knows they work with financial and insurance companies, but I'm interested in gaining more technical details. I know the McKinsey valuation book has a great chapter on bank valuations. What other books, articles, etc. are out there?
Have you asked her? I think the two of you will cross paths if you keep up the interest in FIG. I'm pretty interested in the subject myself. Have you ever heard of the American Bankers Association? They have some courses that are online.
Financial Institutions, Markets, and Money by David S. Kidwell, David W. Blackwell, David A. Whidbee and Richard L Peterson
That might be the best bet for you.
lol, thanks again blue.
What is FIG? (Originally Posted: 09/19/2010)
Can someone please tell me what FIG is? I tried to search but found nothing useful.
Financial Institutions Group (I've also heard Financial Institutions and Governments).
Financial Institutions Group.
Thank you, but what does the group do? is it the same as financial sponsor group?
financial sponsors cover PE while FIG cover the financial indusrty
Insurance companies, bank mergers, ect
In a BB, FIG is a team involved in client coverage, so the team has a list of clients (financial institutions) that is covers, usually done by region.
Can kinda look at it like a GP (similar to FIG) and a specialist (similar to a product team) in medecine. FIG is sometimes the first contact with the client, then it refers the client to a specific product team.
Look under About -> FAQ
Basically an industry group that covers financial companies
They typically cover banks, insurance companies, and asset managers.
FIG Thoughts (Originally Posted: 04/09/2009)
Hey Everyone! I know this has been discussed in previous threads, but with the current dynamic economic environment I think an update is warranted. What are your thoughts on being in a FIG group at a BB in terms of exit ops, learning opportunities, types of deals, prestige, etc.? Also, how would you rank the banks according to FIG groups? Thanks!
In terms of rankings, Goldman FIG is normally considered one of the best groups on the street.
Can anyone else comment?
Because of how you value FIG companies, using the DDM, it isn't considered a great track for getting into PE or very transferable to other industries. However, there are plenty of FIG bankers that have gone onto top shops. Dealmaking has obviously been incredibly busy so that's always a good thing for junior bankers looking to learn.
To be honest a DDM in itself is not exactly all that different from a DCF and if you are good at one you can become quite good at the other very quickly. It's not exactly why it's harder to get into PE. The real reason is just that everything you cover is much different to your run of the mill co and your run of the mill PE fund doesn't invest in financials for obvious reasons (how do you lever a bank?). So why take a FIG analyst when you can have one who covered industrials, everything else equal. That said there are a good few specialist PE firms out there, JC Flowers being the most prestigious I guess and then there are also the PE co's that are doing more financial services stuff these days, for example a guy I knew went to one of the mega funds recently.
noob here, what's a DDM?
nevermind, got it.
I've worked on a few FIG deals and FIG is for the large part, insufferable in my opinion. Its just incredibly boring shit and very archaic.
So far as exit ops... like others had mentioned its not a very transferable skill-set. You're better off trying to get into a restructuring group(easier said than done), but you'll get plenty of experience across a broad range of industries, including FIG.
If the exit ops aren't that great, why do people bother going into FIG then? Just for pure interest in the area?
FIG has a lot of activity right now, which you can't say about other industries.
From what I hear, FIG isn't the most transferable because it uses different terminology (EBITDA isn't EBITDA)
Chase Us, Break In http://chasingconsultantsbreakingbankers.blogspot.com/
Is FIG really a that specialized? (Originally Posted: 03/13/2011)
I am trying to figure out what group to pick for my SA position. I was seriously considering FIG, but everyone I've talked to (including some WSOers) all say that FIG is a pigeonhole-type group because banks balance sheets are so specialized and that none of the skills are transferable.
I understand bank balance sheets are complex, but is the statement above true? Do any of you know someone who worked their 2 years in FIG and moved to something more traditional? (like healthcare, tech, etc) Or even a PE/HF that doesn't specialize in banks/insurance companies?
how much truth is there to the whole "if you can model a bank, you can model anything."?
yes GS FIG places amazingly, but how about MS/JPM?
that's exactly what i'm referring to
I don't think it's necessarily the complex BS that may make FIG seem untransferable. It's the metrics and valuation methods that are different. On a broader level, the way banks make money is much different than the way other companies make money, and understanding the different cash flows and drivers is different.
That said, top FIG groups place well in general PE and other non-FIG activities, including other IBD groups. May be more of an uphill battle from 2nd or 3rd tier FIG, but on the other hand, looks to be an active space in the next few years and so experience should be good.
It might hold you back if you cover financial institutions only (there's subsectors in FIG resembling services and tech cos). It's not only a balance sheet issue. Valuing/managing FIs is completely different. Simple corporate concepts/metrics like ebitda/margins, operating leverage, working capital, capex, free cash flow, cash flow leverage/coverage are not crucial ... rather you will be focusing on stuff like asset quality/writedowns, book equity (FIG guys LOVE to talk about book value even though its essentially, as the crisis proved, a totally BS concept).
All these "limitations" are meaningless if you end up loving FIG and everything about it.
FIG guys often know they are "pigeonholing their career" (and surrender to the perception that they are). To combat this, they place a massive premium on their specialization, and feign superiority over other industry groups - saying things like the sector is harder to model, more complex, and therefore requiring a higher intellectual capacity.
^ Thanks for the input. Interesting post...
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