AMA: From MO Risk at Big 5 Bank to Real Estate Debt

takeawalkk's picture
Rank: Baboon | 130

I worked in market risk reporting supporting mortgage backed trading desk and interest rate trading desk for approximately 2.5 years. At this point I decided I did not want to be part of MO and exit to S&T seemed very rare.

Somehow by applying to everything I saw, I landed a gig in retirement housing acquisitions team with no prior experience. Ended up enrolling to MFin program at Queen's. And leveraged both to transition to a AM <15$bn on RE Debt side.

Willing to answer any questions as this board and forum was very helpful to secure my role.

Comments (6)

Jul 6, 2018

To say you had an interesting path to RE would be an understatement...congrats on making the transition.

Are you glad you made the transition and are you making more than you would be if you had stayed in the MO?

Would you say the debt team valued general finance experience (credit analysis, modeling) over RET specific experience? or vice versa?

Jul 6, 2018

My previous experience in REITs was focused on senior housing which is very similar to multi-family. Only difference was we were looking at a deal from equity standpoint. Very vanilla. Relative to debt, where there are many ways to get creative. I think the finance side and structure of capital stack, collateral, etc, is much more interesting than the modeling itself.

In terms of comp - yes. From base and bonus stand point, substantially more with a higher ceiling. MO you're pretty much capped with very limited exit ops. As such, im very very grateful for getting out.

PS. I am in Toronto. so it may differ than the states.

Jul 6, 2018

Can you speak more to how you find debt more interesting than equity? Thought it usually is the other way around.

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Jul 6, 2018

In my opinion, if you can do debt you can do equity just as well. I believe its a lot more simpler once you have a solid understanding of CFs and LP/GP & IRR waterfall structures. However, from a debt perspective, its a bit more comprehensive and goes beyond the cash flows. Ie. how to structure the capital stack, type of debt mezz, preffered equity, to syndicate or not to syndicate, etc.

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Jul 6, 2018

I'd love to learn more about some of the challenges you faced while looking for a career in s&t after ending up in MO. When you applied to "literally every job", where exactly did you apply and what did you look for? What could you have done differently to improve your situation? How did post-undergrad business school come into play? I'm about to graduate from Laurier BBA/Finance and seriously struggling to find a door into any of the fields on this forum which is my ultimate passion.

Jul 6, 2018
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