Those of you who lateraled banks, why'd you do it? Currently getting a lower quality experience

Currently thinking about lateraling because I've been in my M&A group for close to a year now and I'm not really getting that good of an experience, as I've yet to close a full out deal (I could definitely spin pitches into sounding like deals for PE, so on paper I look fine, but haven't really done anything terrific like some other friends who have closed like 2 or 3 sell-sides in the past year so I haven't gotten anywhere near a decent learning experience). 

Those of you who lateraled from one investment bank to another at the junior level (analyst / associate), what triggered it? For me, I'm unlikely to do it but highly considering because I think my seniors just aren't pursuing that many deals and they're not exactly working super hard, so I don't get worked that hard, most weeks have been close to 60 hours, but honestly closer to 55, haven't worked a single weekend. I'm not exactly a hardo, I just an ambitious person and have a strong work ethic and can't help but feel like I'm not working my full extent so it's lowering my personal morale, I used to have an internship where I worked longer hours and really enjoyed it because I was more in my element.

Before someone goes "haha please tell me the group" or whatever, I really want you guys' perspective. Honestly, I'm not asking for a sweatshop or anything, just a better experience even if it means 70 to 80 hours, but a massive concern I have is that I end up getting into one of the PE firms I'm pursuing, which honestly is a very likely possibility, because ironically enough, my work life balance has given me the chance to prep so much for PE that I come off more polished than my buddies who work at sweatshops but haven't gotten the time to practice nor prep for their modeling (so I've end edup looking better in interviews just cause I can talk the talk more), and I end up not being a good associate just because the quality of my learning in my current group has been low.

Thoughts? Anyone else ever felt like this, in this awkward in-between spot?

Comments (10)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jun 30, 2022 - 10:01pm

Is your ultimate goal PE? If so, I'd stay where you are, land a solid PE gig and sit back and relax.

Moving banks will put you behind in many ways - from more complex things like the new bank will take a while to ramp up and you probably won't close deals quickly there either, to simple things like recruiters will not have your email.

Your experience isn't THAT unusual - perhaps on hours, but plenty of decent analysts close no or few deals for one reason or another. Don't think there is that much of an impact on whether or not you'll be good at PE. Think about the kids who started IB with no finance background, you'll pick up the role fairly quickly.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 10:36pm

Yes my ultimate goal is PE, I'll level with you, I think you're completely right in that moving banks will slowly down, hence why this situation is the least likely of them all. I just want to be frank, maybe you've felt this before, I just feel like I'm underusing my talents and capacity; I'm from a non-target, but a hard-worker and scrappy, not a hardo by any means (seriously, if I was my group would hate me) and know another bank or another group might not even be the solution, I'm just genuinely concerned about getting a good experience.

Can't help but have feelings of inadequacy, not necessarily that I'm doing something that's "below me," I'm not that type of person, but that I could just be doing more if I was got the opportunity. Any advice on how to deal with this mindset?

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 10:39pm

Man I wish you could leak the bank this sounds so ideal

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2022 - 11:03pm

Not what it seems man, when you start recruiting, you'll realize that 70 hours with decent deal flow is the happy medium

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 1, 2022 - 12:41am

I lateraled as an A1 6 months in because all of the juniors on my team lateraled to other banks and the new people who were joining the firm were moving the culture in a direction I didn't like. 

Ended up going to a BB and surprisingly the WLB is better. Think I technically took a haircut on pay (base is higher but benefits and other perks are worse) and I'll be taking a big hit on the bonus.

At the end of the day I make the same pages with a different color palette and I personally thought the content created at my old firm was of much higher quality but the new firm wins deals based on name which is better for me as a junior because there's more opportunities to be involved with clients because even if the A&As mess up it's "bank" and client doesn't care. The analysts at the old shop were better because it was more of a sink or swim type place whereas in my experience and my BB there is so much handholding which is fine by me because I can just coast.

At the end of the day you need to decide what's most important to you and then figure out if it's worth lateraling.

Jul 1, 2022 - 9:55am
bzfracas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

did you lateral by networking, dropping resumes or using HH? just curious what your process was like and were the interviews super technical with model tests?

Jul 1, 2022 - 10:44am
TimesNewMoney, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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