A to A in IB, then PE Recruit?

Does anyone have any insight as to the difficulty of off-cycle recruiting as a first year associate in a coverage group at a mid/low tier BB? To be clear, I'm wouldn't be an MBA Assoc but a direct promote, would it seriously hurt my chances to start recruiting around the time I become an assoc for something off-cycle in MM PE?

Comments (23)

Most Helpful
  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Jan 8, 2021 - 9:31am

Most firms won't care / it may actually an advantage because you're more polished. The only thing I'd keep in mind (especially for LMM opps) is being able to sell them on why you want to move. By the time you're an A2A associate, you're managing a team of analysts and possibly making more than a 1st year associate in PE. At that point PE might not even be attractive so firms will want to know why you want to make the move and that you're committed to the role.

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Jan 8, 2021 - 4:08pm

Anything up to and including megafunds is doable. IMO lower MM might be most difficult since they pay less (~$200k all in could be less than IBD analysts in certain groups). 

Jan 8, 2021 - 3:28pm

I was able to parlay a 2 year "early" promotion (program change, I was just in the first wave lol) into an implied pitch that I was strong in my class.
IMO - If you stay a full 3 years and then get promoted, that is a little more market, so then you're just a normal IB A2A associate. So if you're a normal A2A associate and most funds seem to like analysts who've worked 3 years maxed (traditional time to make associate) then that would probably IMO be a disadvantage. 

Sure you could take an angle that you're more polished or more experienced sure, but then you'd have to consider whether anyone gives a fuck lol. If a fund wanted someone more polished and experienced, couldnt they just hire from that pool? If not why not? 

IMO I would leave before the 3 year mark, that's the timeline I gave myself mostly because that is the general timeline to adhere to and if you stay longer, my opinion was that funds and recruiters would question why you didnt leave earlier (not genuinely interested? lack direction? actually like banking, weirdo? etc).

Jan 8, 2021 - 5:10pm

Plenty of people lateral banks then recruit to their advantage, but often times they'll lateral in year 1 then recruit in year 1 of their new gig so EOD you are still 2/3 years in by the time you start your buyside gig. If you did 2 years at bank 1 then lateraled, you could recruit immediately just like anyone else can, so if you're waiting another 1 or 2 years, that's a little odd.

Maybe could stretch 4 years total but at that point it just gets a little weird, more banking experience does not make you more qualified. If you're out here saying you've learned so much between years 2-3 and 3-4, maybe my personal POV, but they'd sound like a slow learner.

Obviously you definitely CAN, it's just not a downstream battle, and who cares about outliers

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 9, 2021 - 12:24am

Wouldn't your bank be pissed if you take the early A2A and then recruit out? Isn't the early promote supposed to be for people who plan to stay on? I guess it's kind of playing two sides here, but I can't imagine that the bank would be happy, might try to make it difficult to recruit, etc.

Jan 11, 2021 - 12:26pm

What's your alternative, decline the promotion then recruit then when asked by recruiters why you werent promoted/promoted early you say I had made up my mind that I wanted to recruit for one of the toughest jobs to get in finance and so I turned down the huge salary raise and my future with the firm because I am so confident that I can make it? Then they look at the other people in your class who were promoted and also recruiting and say wow this guy is so honest and cares about his firm while these other guys wow so bad they took the salary and title bump but here they are recruiting tsk tsk.

How do you think your group head, who has jumped 7 banks in his career (and 2 ex wives), probably hurting the infrastructure of the last bank he left as he chased larger cuts of the pie at each new jump, when he hears you, a 24 year old, accepted the Company's offer for more money and responsibility while/after deciding to recruit for a substantially better opportunity that he would love to join but couldnt cause he came in as an MBA. Would he be pissed that at 24 year old laterals from a MM to a BB/EB after taking the promotion? Does after a career of observing significant turnover across the board at every team he works at since that is the nature of banking, he get shocked that someone leaves for whatever reason lol

Point is, no rationale person (read: rationale, not the MD with high blood pressure in process of going to court to battle for lower alimony payments) will ever fault you for trying to better your career, I personally did the A2A on an early promote, nobody ever implied I was planning to stay on for whatever period of time, all of us have for the most part since left or plan to leave (90% of my class is gone after 3 years, the last 10% holding out for personal reasons), and nobody in my group or any of their groups were upset and if anything, treat you pretty well and throw you a happy hour or whatnot because you're going to a client. 

You think your MD will be mad at you and your bridge will be burnt knowing you will probably be reviewing his next CIM and will be asked to be his character witness (impacts his bonus) when talking to the Managing Partners at your PE shop?

Dont get me wrong, they will be annoyed internally since now they are short people, but nobody should be pissed at you specifically, if anything, people will congratulate you....plus...if you're a good IB analyst/associate and are going to a good fund...chances are you group was already making phone calls on your behalf to help you land a PE gig.

To the comment about them clawing back your bonus - you think someone's going to claw back a bonus that was already paid from someone going over to a client (if you go to a competitor they prob will)?

Just my $0.02, anecdotal and based on logic/how things work in IRL. 
But just think about it, have you ever heard of someone turning down a promotion in any job in real life even outside of finance? People use title bumps as the catalyst to lateral/switch firms all the time lol

Am new to commenting on stuff - but just noticed your an intern - these frameworks / things banks say to convince you to stay are just things people say, nobody gets pissed at 24 year olds for career moves. Even group heads leave for other firms or opportunities, like bro you're the group head! You think that person is worried about the bank getting pissed at him lol - even if they get pissed at you ... so what?!

You know what else isnt great, turning down offers when people went to bat for you, so what do you do when you receive 3 offers? This is just part of life, but if you got a BB/EB offer and 2 MM offers, and one person at each firm went to bat for you, will the 2 MM people be mad that they went to bat for you and you took a BB/EB offer? Lol I helped my interns get into better programs during FT recruiting and told them to gtfo of MM, but let's say the 2 MM people get mad at you, what are you supposed to do, take the offer with the most volatile person so that they dont get pissed?

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 8, 2021 - 4:17pm

What level do A2A IB associates recruit for? Is it at the post-MBA PE level (senior associate/VP)? Or do you have to start all the way back down to Associate? 

Jan 8, 2021 - 5:06pm

Pre-MBA, because you dont have an MBA nor have you done the PE associate that would qualify you to be a senior associate. 
Nobody's going to say wow this dude did 4 years of banking we should let him skip both the 2 pre-MBA associate years and a the 2 MBA years (if required) 

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 8, 2021 - 5:41pm

Makes sense. So are you on a level playing field with IB Analysts that are just starting their Associate role even if you have 2 more years of working experience? Do the additional years just go to waste? 

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