A Guide for Switching From Commercial Banking to Investment Banking

Given the number of messages I continue to receive with questions regarding my switch from commercial banking to investment banking, I thought it'd be helpful to provide a few guidelines for those looking to make the switch.

How to Break Into IB from Commercial Banking?

Below is an overview of how to break into investment banking from commercial banking.

Target Middle Market or Lower Tier Banks

Aim low(ER). I guess you could technically move from a middle-market commercial bank into the TMT group at Goldman, but your time would be better spent focusing your targeting on the middle market banks, Big 4 corporate finance groups, and boutique offices.

Find Commercial Bank Alumni in IBanks

Find former commercial bankers in the industry. Your odds to get hired are much higher if you can find banks who employ a few former commercial bankers who are more likely to sympathize with your situation and willing to "give you a shot". Not sure if it's a coincidence, but one of our senior bankers was previously a commercial banker.
These are the only real tips I have for those looking to land interviews. There is no magic formula for securing these interviews. You'll have to network, cold call, email, and search like all the other monkeys. The majority of my comments are for those who have already entered into the hiring process and want to get an IB offer.

Know the Comparison Between CB and IB

Highlight the similarities. Despite what many on this forum would want you to think, commercial banking and investment banking are a lot more similar than different. In your interviews, point out that you are already comfortable covering multiple industries at once, dealing with the ebbs and flows of transactional-based workflow, financial modeling (albeit more basic), and that you enjoy and understand the nuances of dealing with business owners who are considering large financial decisions for the future of their company.

Be Prepared to Address the Differences Between IB and Comm. Banking

Anticipate their doubts. Any IB will assume the following three things about you during the interview process:

  1. You can't handle the hours in IB
  2. Your modeling skills are sub-par
  3. You weren't worthy of breaking into IB out of undergrad

Some would say it's not prudent to bring these "areas of weakness" up in interviews, but I believe it's better to address these head-on, rather than let the bankers draw their own conclusions, especially if you have strong supporting evidence to refute their suspicions. For example, I explained in my interviews that I was already working 60 hours a week in the commercial bank's most intensive group and that I was aware and willing to increase that workload even further. I had taken a modeling class after graduation, and the reason I didn't pursue IB out of school is because no IBs recruited on campus and I was less aware of this industry as a 21 year old. All fair answers and (hopefully) laid their suspicions to rest

Be Prepared to Prove Your Interest in Interviews

Demonstrate you belong. Given your "atypical" background, you will have to try that much harder to show you belong compared to your interviewing peers who may already be working at other IBs and looking to lateral. Read up on the latest M&A deals, know your technicals frontwards and back, and show an over-the-top eagerness to break into the industry. In response to the "Why switch from CB to IB?" question, I recall responding with "because I look around at 5pm seeing everyone head for the exit, and I know I have more to offer and want more out of my career than that". May have been cheesy in retrospect, but I believe that's when I won over the interviewer.

Hope this helps for those looking to move over to "dark side", and remember, the longer you stay in commercial banking, the harder it is to make the switch!

Want to learn more about commercial banking? Check out the video below.

Read More About Commercial Banking on WSO

Preparing for Investment Banking Interviews?

The WSO investment banking interview course is designed by countless professionals with real world experience, tailored to people aspiring to break into the industry. This guide will help you learn how to answer these questions and many, many more.

Investment Banking Interview Course Here

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Comments (195)

Sep 4, 2013 - 2:06am

#5 so true. Honestly I did a CB internship last year and it was very relaxed and not hard at all. I'd honestly rather be pushing myself both physically and mentally when i'm young and can handle it.

Sep 4, 2013 - 8:53am

Well said. For those facing this situation, understanding #4 and 5 will be crucial to acing those interviews.

All the world's indeed a stage, And we are merely players, Performers and portrayers, Each another's audience, Outside the gilded cage - Limelight (1981)
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Sep 4, 2013 - 9:03pm

Excellent post and timely for me. I'm already ready to get out! I have the same experience with 5 pm rush out the door.

The hills are alive with the sound of horsepower! - Jeremy Clarkson
Sep 4, 2013 - 11:18pm

I'm in CB and see no reason one would want or try to switch. Pay wise, I'm crushing it in a low COL city when my income puts me in the top 10%. Just bought a 3,500 sqft in the most prestigious gated community and I'm only 31!!!

IB is fascinating from the size of deal perspective but I work 40 hr weeks, and I'm okay with that. Working 80-100 hours for double the pay doesn't interest me too much.

Oct 12, 2020 - 9:55pm

That is excellent. I'm in a CB training program right now and I'd love to PM you to learn more about your journey if that's possible.

 

 

 
  • 1
Sep 5, 2013 - 4:14am

Only skimmed through it, but I think all of these apply to all non-traditional backgrounds. Good post, though.

Move along, nothing to see here.
Sep 5, 2013 - 8:19am

@gregt14

Nice sized home at 31 yrs of age - living the dream! You mentioned a low COL city - may I ask what state or metropolis you are living in?

All the world's indeed a stage, And we are merely players, Performers and portrayers, Each another's audience, Outside the gilded cage - Limelight (1981)
Sep 5, 2013 - 10:36pm

Thanks for the post.
I do have a different view with #1 though. Why aim lower when you can leverage your experience in a CB to wso/">suit the career target you're seeking? I mean if we take a look at a guy/gal fresh out of school, and a candidate that is at least experienced enough to know the ropes of banking, in general, I say the experienced hire has way more edge.
My above statement does come with a grain of salt; location and cost/head does play a major role in the selection process.

Death is certain; Life aint.
Sep 7, 2013 - 2:04am

What about some one who has been in an industry specific role at a commercial bank (lets say healthcare, tech, real estate) for 4 years. What then? try to get in as an analyst? Or MBA -> associate? It actually seems like a senior analyst at a commercial bank could have a similar skill-set to what an associate needs.

EDIT:
Also how about a CFA? does that help at all?

Sep 7, 2013 - 2:49am

Specifically to the OP, excellent post overall. However, I'm honestly amazed at the shortsightedness of many of us here. I switched over from investment banking into commercial banking and I don't regret it at all (although the process was quite indirect and lengthy).

What are the facts that we know about investment banking? The vast majority of people do not make a career of it after the analyst stint--the hours are horrible and the business is highly concentrated in a handful of the largest markets. And most people ultimately find it as boring as any other job (there are all kinds of posts on WSO, for example, from employees bemoaning their choice of IB). And to reach the executive level (VP/MD) requires a salesman's personality, not genius mathematical skills--in other words, it demands skills that the average brilliant IB analyst doesn't actually posses. So investment banking as a long-term career is unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people who start off as an analyst. For the incredibly small number of people who rise the ranks, their lives are utterly consumed by their job, but they do make a lot of money. My first boss made millions a year but he spent his ENTIRE life working. He lived by a charter jet.

What do we know about commercial banking? The pay at the lower levels (and even at the middle levels in some cases) absolutely sucks. As a result, there is a ton of turnover and a huge vacuum of talent that is left to be filled. On the other hand, we also know that people with 10-15+ years of experience in commercial banking can rise the ranks fairly quickly and demand $150-200,000 for a 40-45 hour per week job. And with the high levels of turnover, if you're a talented person and you stick with it then you'll be the guy waiting to fill the talent vacuum. I've worked the 80+ hour per week jobs. There's nothing glorious or special about it. Leaving at 5 pm to go do other things is a blessing that modern society grants us. To work 80+ hours per week is to go back in time to a past agrarian society where people worked from dawn 'til dusk and then went to bed and repeated it 6 days a week. Why would you want that life?

The point is, most IB analysts are likely to never come anywhere near the managing director level and will ultimately switch careers to something else, and when they're in their mid-30s they will have settled on a long-term career choice that pays about the same as a commercial banking officer with 10 years of experience....

Oct 23, 2013 - 12:00am

DCDepository:

Specifically to the OP, excellent post overall. However, I'm honestly amazed at the shortsightedness of many of us here. I switched over from investment banking into commercial banking and I don't regret it at all (although the process was quite indirect and lengthy).

What are the facts that we know about investment banking? The vast majority of people do not make a career of it after the analyst stint--the hours are horrible and the business is highly concentrated in a handful of the largest markets. And most people ultimately find it as boring as any other job (there are all kinds of posts on WSO, for example, from employees bemoaning their choice of IB). And to reach the executive level (VP/MD) requires a salesman's personality, not genius mathematical skills--in other words, it demands skills that the average brilliant IB analyst doesn't actually posses. So investment banking as a long-term career is unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people who start off as an analyst. For the incredibly small number of people who rise the ranks, their lives are utterly consumed by their job, but they do make a lot of money. My first boss made millions a year but he spent his ENTIRE life working. He lived by a charter jet.

What do we know about commercial banking? The pay at the lower levels (and even at the middle levels in some cases) absolutely sucks. As a result, there is a ton of turnover and a huge vacuum of talent that is left to be filled. On the other hand, we also know that people with 10-15+ years of experience in commercial banking can rise the ranks fairly quickly and demand $150-200,000 for a 40-45 hour per week job. And with the high levels of turnover, if you're a talented person and you stick with it then you'll be the guy waiting to fill the talent vacuum. I've worked the 80+ hour per week jobs. There's nothing glorious or special about it. Leaving at 5 pm to go do other things is a blessing that modern society grants us. To work 80+ hours per week is to go back in time to a past agrarian society where people worked from dawn 'til dusk and then went to bed and repeated it 6 days a week. Why would you want that life?

The point is, most IB analysts are likely to never come anywhere near the managing director level and will ultimately switch careers to something else, and when they're in their mid-30s they will have settled on a long-term career choice that pays about the same as a commercial banking officer with 10 years of experience....

All good stuff here.

The only thing id argue is that you don't need to be in CBanking 15 years to hit $200K.

I've been in it not even 5 years, am 31, have a base of $160K, and commissions average around $50-$60K. So my all in for this year is $160K (my base just got significant raised from $115K) and next year with the new base I will easily hit $200K+.

Oh and I work 35-40 hours.

Don't get me wrong - my situation is not typical. You have to hustle your ass off and find the right situation (right Bank, right mentors, etc).

I'll skip 80hrs for $300-$500K (VP level right? In IB?) and take $200K for 40 hrs all day long.

Oct 23, 2013 - 1:52am

gregt14:

DCDepository:

Specifically to the OP, excellent post overall. However, I'm honestly amazed at the shortsightedness of many of us here. I switched over from investment banking into commercial banking and I don't regret it at all (although the process was quite indirect and lengthy).

What are the facts that we know about investment banking? The vast majority of people do not make a career of it after the analyst stint--the hours are horrible and the business is highly concentrated in a handful of the largest markets. And most people ultimately find it as boring as any other job (there are all kinds of posts on WSO, for example, from employees bemoaning their choice of IB). And to reach the executive level (VP/MD) requires a salesman's personality, not genius mathematical skills--in other words, it demands skills that the average brilliant IB analyst doesn't actually posses. So investment banking as a long-term career is unlikely for the vast, vast majority of people who start off as an analyst. For the incredibly small number of people who rise the ranks, their lives are utterly consumed by their job, but they do make a lot of money. My first boss made millions a year but he spent his ENTIRE life working. He lived by a charter jet.

What do we know about commercial banking? The pay at the lower levels (and even at the middle levels in some cases) absolutely sucks. As a result, there is a ton of turnover and a huge vacuum of talent that is left to be filled. On the other hand, we also know that people with 10-15+ years of experience in commercial banking can rise the ranks fairly quickly and demand $150-200,000 for a 40-45 hour per week job. And with the high levels of turnover, if you're a talented person and you stick with it then you'll be the guy waiting to fill the talent vacuum. I've worked the 80+ hour per week jobs. There's nothing glorious or special about it. Leaving at 5 pm to go do other things is a blessing that modern society grants us. To work 80+ hours per week is to go back in time to a past agrarian society where people worked from dawn 'til dusk and then went to bed and repeated it 6 days a week. Why would you want that life?

The point is, most IB analysts are likely to never come anywhere near the managing director level and will ultimately switch careers to something else, and when they're in their mid-30s they will have settled on a long-term career choice that pays about the same as a commercial banking officer with 10 years of experience....

All good stuff here.

The only thing id argue is that you don't need to be in CBanking 15 years to hit $200K.

I've been in it not even 5 years, am 31, have a base of $160K, and commissions average around $50-$60K. So my all in for this year is $160K (my base just got significant raised from $115K) and next year with the new base I will easily hit $200K+.

Oh and I work 35-40 hours.

Don't get me wrong - my situation is not typical. You have to hustle your ass off and find the right situation (right Bank, right mentors, etc).

I'll skip 80hrs for $300-$500K (VP level right? In IB?) and take $200K for 40 hrs all day long.

Wow, that definitely is precocious. What exactly is it that you do? I assume you have some form of production or hybrid production role.

I would say I'm on the "CEO" track. People often look around and wonder how "that guy" rose the ranks to become CEO of that large, established organization. Well, he got a masters level education and he spent either many years at the organization or many years at similar organizations and hyper specialized in that business and knew many people inside the target organization. I'm getting my MSF, am halfway done with the CFA charter and am in a formal bank management program, all paid for by my organization. I'm just going to camp out here for another 10 years or so and see where it takes me. Maybe CEO? Maybe. If not here then there are a ton of smaller credit unions and banks that could use an experienced guy with all the formal education. I'm kind of upset that I spent several years at the IBD and IBD-type jobs, but I've got to admit that those firms and that experience gives me automatic credibility with everyone I meet inside the commercial bank. The first thing everyone says to me: "So, where did you come from?"

Sep 26, 2013 - 9:55am

The only thing missing from the above post is what doors IB experience opens as opposed to Comm. Banking experience.

Sep 26, 2013 - 9:02pm

watdo:

Texas Tea:

The only thing missing from the above post is what doors IB experience opens as opposed to Comm. Banking experience.

I would like to hear this as well. Can anyone speak to the possibility of jumping to a credit fund, specialty credit firm (BDC's, specialty finance, etc.), or Mez/PE?

I know several corporate and commercial bankers that moved into mezz or BDCs. Skill set is relevant. Not all are good w/modeling so if you are in a good credit analyst program, that will help. Early the better generally too, though even VPs can lateral if they aren't pure BD guys and truly understand credit.

You are going to have a much tougher time moving into equity-focused PE (i.e. buyout funds). I wouldn't bank on that at all, but anything is possible.

Best Response
Oct 29, 2013 - 12:18pm

As a second year commercial banker I thought I would add my two cents. I'm personally looking at moving to a different shop in the next year after I write my CFA Level III exam and then hopefully an MBA in 2-3 years.

1) If you want to be a successful investment banker (MD level or higher), the skills you learn as a commercial banker doing business development grunt work is infinitely more valuable than any financial modelling/credit analysis skills you pick up. Of course you need those to be able to structure deals, but if you don't know how to network and build meaningful relationships where business owners/managers trust you, you won't find major success in investment/commercial banking, PE, VC, or any transaction-oriented finance job. If you're trying to jump ship from commercial to investment, sell them on your ability to generate new business as that will distinguish you as someone who has solid long-term value to the firm.

2) Demonstrate that you're a finance nut and you don't want to get into IB for a bigger pay day. Manage your own portfolio? (You probably do because commercial bank benefits are beyond rich), show that on your résumé and talk about your investment decision making. Write the CFA exams. Not only will you learn about the basics of IB in the corporate finance section, you can prove that just because you didn't go to an Ivy or were an entry-level analyst hire, you're still smart. It also shows that you can go above and beyond what's expected of you and you're not twiddling your thumbs once 5 o'clock rolls around (even if that's not true, IB's tend to think that of commercial bankers).

3) As far as exit opps for commercial bankers go, it really tends to depend on your personal experience. In my role, I manage a portfolio of clients and am responsible for developing new business and helping the senior guys with underwriting new deals. As far as coverage goes, I can finance operating companies (not industry specific), real-estate, and construction. If I wanted to, I could realistically work at a mezzanine lender, real-estate development company, real-estate investment company, PE, VC, or IB. However, I have invested in myself beyond my commercial banking role so I think I have a shot at a more untraditional career path than other commercial bankers. Personally, I'm looking at moving to a mezz fund, corporate banking division, leveraged finance group at a bank, or possibly PE or VC but we'll see who I meet.

Feel free to message me if you want to know more.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
  • 10
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:52pm

D

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
Mar 17, 2014 - 3:30pm

Hey. Thanks for the insight. Is switching to IB after MBA more plausible or easy ? I am currently working in corporate banking for 2.5 years and am planning to go for an MBA before switching to IB. Do people without pre-MBA IB experience go in as analysts or associates ? I have very basic modelling skills right now.

Apr 6, 2014 - 11:47pm

Commercial Banking Credit Analyst to IB Analyst....??? (Originally Posted: 12/08/2011)

So I know we've talked about this a few times and i've used the trusty search function but I wanted to start a new thread about exit opportunities for Credit Analysts in Commercial Banking

Any success stories out there?

What kind of time frame were you looking at before making the lateral switch or organizational jump?

Any advice/stories from personal experiences or experiences of friends is highly appreciated!

Apr 7, 2014 - 12:01am

Commercial Banking to IB (Originally Posted: 08/07/2011)

Already done a search on this but didn't find enough.

Thought its time for a fresh talk on this topic even though everyones to busy chatting about tomorrow.

Was wondering if anyone out there has any success stories or knows of any success stories of people transitioning from commercial banking to IB, specifically with CFA 1 or 2 under your belt.

In addition, whats a day in the life of commercial banking even like?

How's the pay compare?

How's commercial banking experience compare to wealth management when someones looking to make this kind of a jump?

Apr 7, 2014 - 12:33am

How I moved from backoffice to Commercial Banking to Investment Banking/Private Equity (coming from a non-target school) (Originally Posted: 01/28/2015)

Dear All,

I'd like to share my experiences with you to let you know that it is possible to work for a private equity firm or investment bank coming from non-traditional routes, but the process is completely different from the traditional analyst-associate-VP route. Honestly, the nontraditional route also adds more to one's character than the traditional... and obtaining the CFA helps a lot. So I will start by listing some of the ways on how I became a Vice President for a reputable boutique under the age of 30 coming from the back office of a trading firm, and gradually making my way through a commercial banking:

  1. If you come from a non-target school and have a hard time obtaining a role as an analyst for an investment bank, you must have the drive to learn and continue learning while you work outside the typical analyst role. You also must be very passionate and interested in finance.

This means taking the CFA and modelling classes. I can't stress how important the CFA was for me in terms of reputation AND the amount you learn. I thought of going the MBA route, but my belief is that the CFA is more valuable (that is for another debate). It also allows ANYONE to take it as opposed to a certain few (who usually come from traditional backgrounds).

  1. Sacrifice short term gains for long term gains.

When you are young, your first thought is "I should get the job that pays me the most." Sure, that is nice,but remember, there are certain roles that you get stuck in and cannot get out of. For instance, I was at the back office of a very reputable bulge bracket firm and started off as a temporary worker (not very exciting). After about 11 months they made me an offer of about 65k (yes that's not much but decent for back office), and this was during the recession of 2008. Your first thought is that you feel lucky to even have a job, but i realized that once you are in the back office, you are stuck in the back office, and you don't learn the necessary skills to move to the front office of an investment bank... Long story short, I was able to secure a paid internship (albeit very low) with a small boutique private wealth management firm.I rejected the offer for another temporary job. I sacrificed short term gains for a role that would allow me to develop my skills. Here, I did research for the head wealth manager and was able to interface with high net worth clients, which is crucial for Private Equity and Investment Banking.

  1. Continue sacrificing short term gains in order to learn.

I left the internship to work for a small distressed bank in an emerging country to help the investment group (owner of the bank) restructure its operations. They also wanted to build a wealth management team, which I was able to add value to. On top of this, and during my first year and a half working for this distressed bank, I was able to work closely with consultants and various stakeholders to restructure the bank financially and operationally (internet banking, business development, KPI changes, Sales rallies, etc.). After a year and a half, the bank decided to apply for its investment banking license. They decided to hire one of the top bankers in the country to lead the team and asked me to help him start the group. For the next year and a half we were able to build our book and expand the team to 4. The experience I had building the team and book was something I could have never learned in any school. We started off small with participations in bigger deals and shares in the fees, and eventually arranged debt syndications. This whole experience allowed me to build my knowledge base and network even further.

  1. Network Network Network

By the time I was 29, I realized that I wanted to explore equities as opposed to being stuck int he debt capital markets (I actually wanted to do both), and the best option for me was to join an independent investment bank. I met the head of one of the teams of a reputable boutique through a friend. At first, we wasn't interested in hiring me. He had a lean team of top analysts from the best schools, and he didn't understand where he could place me with my background. we continued to have lunch every week for about 3 months after this to learn about each other.

  1. When you have this type of non-traditional experience, you need to differentiate by pitching a proposal

After learning about the company for about 3 months, I decided to send him a proposal on how we could both start a private equity group. I broke down the strategy and ways on how we could both raise the money (abroad and locally). It was a detailed proposal with perfect formatting. He saw the proposal and liked it. We discussed it for another month or so, and he realized that I actually had the deep knowledge required to be in an investment bank. He also saw that I had the "turnaround" experience working for a distressed bank, which is very useful for private equity. On top of this, and through my previous relationships, I was able to introduce him to key people in the industry (happy hour, lunch, etc..) which helped him with his business... Again, value add.. About four months later, he gave me a call and said he would like to hire me as an associate, and I digested it that night with my wife. Of course we were both ecstatic, but there was nothing on paper yet... Then the following day, I got a call from him saying that he would like to hire me as vice president of their investment banking group. We negotiated for a week or so and I received the written offer the following week.

So, this is my story.. You know, I have to admit that I too was a bit skeptical about where I would end up, but I also believe that if you have a deep passion for something, pursue it, and don't let anyone turn you down. I forgot to add that I had an interview right before I got the job with the distressed bank. It was with another investment bank and i remember the managing director telling me that I will not get anywhere with my background. You will be faced with people like this but ignore them, do your thing, and make your actions speak.

I am now a 29 year old vice president of investment banking and very proud of it.

good luck to all!

Apr 7, 2014 - 12:50am

Commercial Banking to Investment Banking: Is It Possible? (Originally Posted: 07/21/2013)

I have been working in the Commercial Banking field at Bank of America for about 6 months. I was wondering if there was a possibility to transfer into Investment Banking at this stage in my career?

Has anyone had any experience with this transition? If not, what suggestions would you have in order to move into IB?

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:00am

Which is easier to transition into Investment Banking from -- Commercial Banking or Credit Risk? (Originally Posted: 01/13/2015)

Hi Everyone, I have 2 offers for a leveraged finance commercial banking and a credit risk internship. I have to give one of these companies a response soon and I haven't gotten any investment banking offers yet. Which one of these roles would give me the better chance if I recruit full time next year for Investment Banking (which is the ultimate goal).

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:07am

BB Commercial Banking to IB? (Originally Posted: 11/23/2015)

I'm a junior at a small non-target and hope to secure a job in IB upon graduation. I just received my first offer in Commercial Banking at a BB (think Citi/JPM/WF). Before that, I interviewed at Baird, PJT Partners, and MS GCM and didn't receive any offers. My first interest is to get experience in the IB industry. I need to notify HR if I will be accepting my offer within 2 weeks, so obviously there is a risk if I were to forgo that offer in hopes of getting an IB internship. Have you guys heard of anyone doing a CB internship, and going into IB full time? How hard is the transition for CB to IB? I've read some of the past posts and would just like some more input as I'm really torn on this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:13am

Commercial Banking vs Corp Finance for Breaking into IB/ER after MBA? (Originally Posted: 02/10/2010)

So basically, I know that I should be looking for boutique spots in ibanking/ER (believe me, I am looking anywhere I can to find something for myself to do), but in case that doesn't work out, I was wondering whether I should be aiming for commercial banking or corporate finance positions if I want to eventually break into the ibanking/ER spots after an MBA? I figure that while commercial banking is more limited and a "poor man's ibanking", it will still carry relevant experience, but at the same time, in case none of this banking/ER stuff ever pans out, I hope to one day become a high level finance guy (i.e. VP of finance) at a company, and corporate finance is the route to take for that.

So how would you guys rank these fields (boutique investment banking/ER, corporate finance, commercial banking) in order of what I should be searching for the most to least. I'm anticipating that boutique IB/ER will be a huge number one, but what about the other two?

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:16am

Chances of lateral movement from commercial banking internship to fulltime IBD? (Originally Posted: 03/19/2012)

During the summer of my sophomore year, I was an intern in a boutique investment bank working in the mergers and acquisitions division.

I wasn't able to land a BB IBD internship for the summer. So my two options currently is to look for other IB boutique positions or intern at a BB in its commercial banking division.

My question is, which is the more preferable route that will lead to full time opportunities in IBD? I'm hoping that the brand name of a BB will open more doors for me and maybe even give me the opportunity to laterally move into its IBD division since I have previous M&A experience during my sophomore year. I do have concerns interning at another boutique since the chances of full-time recruitment is rather slim since it's based on a need basis. I don't want to be stuck having no full time offers during my senior year. Please advise....

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:22am

Commercial Banking -> IB? (Originally Posted: 07/15/2011)

Is it possible for those in commercial banking to make the jump over to investment banking? If so, how difficult is it to do so? I've looked through the forums and could not really find this topic in there.

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:25am

commercial banking to IB? (Originally Posted: 12/21/2006)

Is it possible to start with commercial banks and work way to IB? I know they are different stories. But there should be some overlapping areas, right?

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:30am

Commercial Banking to Investment Banking (Originally Posted: 04/23/2014)

Yes I know this is a forum already. Any respectable senior monkeys want to offer advice to a young cb analyst monkey networking his little monkey balls off to break into ib. All advice, much appreciated

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:34am

Breaking into IBD (lev fin) from commercial banking (Originally Posted: 08/03/2010)

I'd appreciate some honest, if caustic feedback. I'm a couple of years out of school and have been working in a regional commercial bank. My group underwrites participations in the big syndicated loan deals. Its been a pretty good experience, but I'd like to move over to one of the big dogs, and get the benefits of being at the agent/arranger/bookrunner (e.g. bigger bonus, exit opportunities).

Is it possible to lateral over as an analyst? Is it even heard of? Is my only option doing the top 15 B-school --> associate-route? If it is possible, will my considerable progress towards a CFA count for anything? I'm just tired of the mostly 9-5 and commensurately poor compensation..Thanks in advance for the hopefully helpful feedback.

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:39am

Commercial Banking - What kind of qualifications are required (Originally Posted: 11/13/2013)

Hey guys,

What kind of qualifications are required to land a job in Commercial Banking upon graduation? (GPA, experience, EC's,etc.). I currently have a 3.0, 2 finance internships (One abroad and one domestic), solid EC's (director of finance for an investment club and sponsorship manager for another) and good volunteering experience, as well as a couple of technical courses.

I'm currently looking at some mm's and boutiques, and hoping to transfer over to IB in the future (either through MBA or networking)

Thanks

Apr 7, 2014 - 1:47am

Commercial banking to I-banking? (Originally Posted: 10/29/2006)

Hi,

I am sending applications to the following schools:

1) Virginia
2) Texas
3) UNC
4) Boston College
5) Indiana

I am currently an analyst in the commercial bank at Bank of America. Will any of these schools provide me with the opportunity to make the switch to I-banking or PE? If not, do you have any suggestions on how to get into I-banking or PE? Thanks for your help.

JS

Oct 26, 2017 - 5:34am

Transitioning from Commercial Banking to Investment Banking (Originally Posted: 08/04/2016)

Hi WSO,

I am currently a Financial Analyst finishing up my first year for a large financial institution in their Global Commercial Banking division. I previously interned for Morgan Stanley in their Global Equity Research group. In all honesty, I find Commercial Banking to be boring. The deals are few and far between and the sense of urgency is ---- non existent. People here are complacent, come in at 8:30am... leave by 6pm at the latest. Its a pretty nice gig, if I was married with a family and wasn't as high energy as I am.

So here's the deal - I am extremely high energy, fast paced, hard working, able to maintain relationships well... etc. etc.... IB has always been of interest and seems to suit my personality/ambition level well.

So question is: Has anyone transitioned from Commercial Banking to IB? Or have you heard of anyone making the transition? If so, how and what were the challenges you faced. Any sort of advice would be great!

Thanks guys!

Oct 26, 2017 - 5:36am

Commercial Banking Analyst -> Investment Banking? (Originally Posted: 02/03/2017)

Who I am: UG looking for first job from a non-target (think Vanderbilt, Emory, Tulane), 3.75 GPA

I have an offer for a Commercial Banking Graduate Analyst role, think BNP, HSBC, BMO. From what I know, the role will be MM lending and client relationship management. I don't have any other offers on the table. I have a family connection at a major consulting firm that does restructuring, M&A, and other advisory (think Mercer, A&M, KPMG).

1st question: could I move from Commercial Banking into IB? Could I move to a MM IB boutique after a year or two in the program?

2nd question: if I can get an analyst job at a consulting firm out of college, should I take it? Then try to lateral into IB?

Appreciate your help. Feel free to be honest, I can take it

Oct 26, 2017 - 5:37am

your GPA is solid. I don't know much about Tulane, but my contacts that went to Vandy and Emory had a reasonable network to work with before getting MM IB offers. I do not know much about commercial banking, but why not leverage the family friend for your first opportunity out of undergrad? Is it a valuation type role?

Oct 26, 2017 - 5:38am

If you want to be in IB, you should try to get the job before graduating. Not impossible to switch, but unlikely.

That career path isn't the worst thing in the world either, can definitely get you to an MBA -> Associate in IB afterwards

Oct 26, 2017 - 5:39am

there's a thread on here dedicated to making the transition

Oct 26, 2017 - 5:40am

Any way to move from a staff audit position (internal group audit) at a commercial bank to ibanking? (Originally Posted: 03/04/2014)

I'm smart but I shot myself in the foot by not applying myself in HS or college.

Went to a top 3 prep school in the US, feeds in to the ivies. Got myself kicked out by skipping classes left and right.

Went to another prep school, 2nd tier, still good but more top 10-15. Again, didn't apply myself.

Ended up going to an OK school. Good business school. Not a great GPA. Too much fun, not enough studying.

No excuses, so I limited my job propsects out of college considerably.

I am starting a job as a staff auditor at a commercial bank. Long way from where I want to be.

Any advice/strategies on how to move on from this position to eventually getting into i-banking or something similar?

Oct 26, 2017 - 5:44am

thanks guys.

bullet tooth- if it's a stepping stone to something better i'd do commercial banking for a little, but it's not really what i'm interested in.

as for the MBA- would i stand any sort of chance at a good MBA program after working audit? doesn't seem like i would be an attractive candidate with that sort of work experience.

also i was thinking of working a little logner before getting an MBA.....do you guys know of any potential career paths/opportunities that might be feasible after a few years doing audit?

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