From IB to small regional M&A shop

I need some guidance here.

I started my career with an internship at a small regional M&A boutique with a team of 8 people, handling around 10 deals per year (small to lower mid-market companies). Following my internship, I transitioned to an IB where I currently work. Here, I have been exposed to a significant number of deals. Over the past 2 years, I have closed 5 M&A transactions, and I am currently working on 3 other deals that are still pending.

Recently, my former internship employer reached out to me expressing their interest in ´rehiring’ me. They believe my experience would greatly benefit their team, and they are willing to offer me a higher salary than what I am currently earning. This opportunity also comes with the advantage of relocating to a low COL area and enjoying more manageable working hours. However, accepting this offer would likely limit my options for future career moves since the company lacks name recognition and works with relatively small companies.

I am completely lost and would really appreciate some advices and guidance from you. What should I do: Accept the offer and spend the rest of my life in this nice little M&A boutique, or go an other route (PE or VP at my current IB)?


I think you've already got a great read on the situation, and it comes down to your long-term goals and values.

Do you want optionality, prestige, and to grind going forward? Or do you want a step down in prestige and better wlb?

Neither decision is right or wrong. I would definitely sit down with the M&A shop though and discuss long-term comp, title, and responsibility trajectory if you're leaning that way.


Thank you for the insight. Indeed, that is also my opinion at the moment


I stumbled across your post as I was recently in the same situation: envisaging a prestige demotion from MM IB for a wlb promotion at a small shop. I think that if you believe that your comp, career trajectory, and learning curve can be maintained it would be a no brainer not to accept the offer. But ultimately could lead to more sales work as well if the boutique lacks brand recognition (depends if you like that or not).

I personally chose to stay in MM IB for the learning curve, which I think cannot be matched by smaller structure.


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