AMA: Restructuring Analyst at Top BB

Zala's picture
Rank: Monkey | 30

Hi all, happy to answer London-specific questions on recruiting. Long-time WSO user, created a new account for this AMA. I got a lot of help from this forum during my recruiting process and I owe a lot to WSO. Wanted to try and give back by offering some insight into recruiting, exit opps and general life at a BB.

Background:
Non-target, okay GPA and some very relevant work experience.

Hope that helps, feel free to ask anything and I'll try to get back and answer questions whenever I can.

--

Can email Andy/Patrick from work to confirm authenticity.

Comments (30)

Jun 10, 2015

Happy to hear more about your exit opps. Where do most people from the group go? Where are you interviewing? Etc.

Jun 11, 2015

I haven't been in this group for very long, but from what I've seen it's been a mix of PE (yes, strange!) and typical special sits HFs (Avenues/GSOs/Oaktrees). I am not interviewing anywhere as of yet, focusing on building deal experience and might look at other opportunities a 12-18 months down the line.

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Jun 10, 2015

I met with a couple guys at a smaller restructuring firm and they mainly are on site at their client firms, including the analysts. Is this how it is at a BB or is it just the seniors if they go onsite at all?

edit: By smaller, I mean smaller than BB, but not a tiny little 4 man shop type of thing. They have like 100-200 employees.

Jun 11, 2015

I have not seen this in my firm, not even at the associate level. The restructuring team isn't huge so I guess you'd expect having a bit more interaction but from what I've seen it is definitely not the case.

Jun 10, 2015

Thanks for doing this!

1) What's your story -- how did you transition from your university to where you are now?
2) What attracted you to restructuring?
3) How did you learn about the restructuring field on your own?
4) What are your plans for the future -- do you want to stick around in the distressed/restructuring space or move on elsewhere?
5) How does the restructuring scene in London compare to that in NYC?

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Best Response
Jun 11, 2015

No problem, happy to help.

1) I did a standard business degree at a very standard school in Europe and graduated again with very standard grades. I started working in PWM during my high school summers and eventually transitioned to IBD during my last summer before joining school. Spent another summer the following year (was FIG M&A) and then landed a gig at a $30bn+ HF during my junior summer, was multi-strategy but worked with the credit team. Graduated school in the middle of several interviews and managed to land an investment analyst role at a $7-8bn debt focused HF in London which invested across the capital structure. Loved the gig and the team but was not ideal for a kid fresh from school, everybody had a lot more experience and didn't really have the time to 'teach me' so I constantly felt like I wasn't up to speed and decided to join a BB to learn at a more reasonable pace. By the time I got brought in for interviews I had 10-12 months experience at a debt HF so I breezed through the interviews, I don't think this would have been the case if I had come in directly out of school however.

2) After having spent 12-15 months looking at special situations in Europe (from loan portfolios Sareb was selling in Spain to the Towergates of the UK) I was full on into the learning curve and I genuinely find the debt space much more interesting than anything else I've worked in before therefore I didn't see a reason to move when there is still so much for me to learn.

3) As I'm sure you know, Moyer's is a must. I also ready Credit Analysis by S&P, Value Creation Through Restructurings and am an active reader of Distressed Debt Investing (whenever they update it....).

4) For now I'd like to stick where I am. I have a really good team and the learning curve is very steep, so the target will be to close as many deals and see as many situations as possible. We work with businesses around the world and analysts are generalists therefore you get a ton of exposure. Where will I be in 18-24 months? I have no idea. Would I like to move back to the buyside eventually? Probably, but for now I would like to stick around.

5) Can't comment on the restructuring scene in NYC, sorry.

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  • Associate 2 in CorpFin
Jun 10, 2015

Hi . Thank you for doing this. Have you seen any aca qualified auditors join at any level? Ifso at what and what sort of eexperience did they have? Do you have any sort of UK centric material available for learning / preparation as all available atm are USA based. Many thanks

    • 1
Jun 11, 2015

Now that you mention it I have actually. One of the associates spent 2-3 years as an auditor, got his qualifications (in the UK) and then moved to my BB. He came from a target though, and had to take a cut by coming in as an analyst instead of at the associate level.

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  • Associate 2 in CorpFin
Jun 13, 2015

thank you for your reply. do you know if he spent any time in CF within his big 4? how much experience did he have above learning WSO pre guides / Rosenbaum etc kind of stuff? did he come in as analyst 1?

thanks!

    • 1
Jun 10, 2015
  1. how did you land the position from a non target with an ok gpa?
  2. does a big part of your job involve reading legal documents?
  3. how are the models in restructuring different from other models?

Thanks.

Jun 10, 2015

Are any of your colleagues former bankruptcy lawyers? If so, how'd they make the switch from law to IB?

Jun 10, 2015

How common are lawyers in your industry? Do you come across a lot of JD / MBAs or former BigLaw associates? Do you feel like its a good job for somebody with an interest in both law and finance?

Jun 11, 2015

How were your interviews for your role? Did you get a lot of technicals?

Also assuming you had OCR did you network or not? If not how did you manage to land an interview and end up at a top group. Thanks

Jun 11, 2015

What is your biggest non-technical (interpersonal) lesson after working in restructuring. Interested in hearing about your exit opportunities as well.

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Jun 11, 2015

Is it very hard to transfer between offices in different jurisdictions because of different bankruptcy processes etc? Or can such a transfer even add value to a team somehow?

Jun 11, 2015

What are some of the strategies you use when negotiating? How much of what you do is about bluffing / game theory type stuff rather than straight financial and legal arguments?

Jun 11, 2015

How many head hunter calls do analysts like yourself receive in London? What kind of buyside firms do they represent? (in the US it's obviously PE and HF, but I heard that the HF market in London is rather slim but no idea)

Jun 11, 2015

thanks for doing this AMA, I sent you a PM about how to get certified.

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Jun 11, 2015

Is the process from going from an American university to a London based IB hard?

Jun 11, 2015

What's a typical day like? And what do you spend the largest part of your day doing?

Feb 11, 2016

[Deleted]

Jun 12, 2015

.

Jun 14, 2015

Can you describe what you do? From what I understand, the BBs can't actually advise creditors/debtors in restructurings (unless you aren't a lender to the company?) and I've never seen one listed as an advisor. So are you providing DIP/exit financing?

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Jun 21, 2015

Can you comment on the differences between restructuring in IBD and in consulting?

Jun 21, 2015

1) Could you comment on the different BB that have RX groups (I understand not all of them do) and how does the work differ to the RX work done at Boutiques (HL, LZD, BX, etc).

2) Would you agree that RX analysts switching to the Buyside take usually longer than other analysts at other IB groups? If so, what do you think is common between RX analysts?

Thanks!

Jun 21, 2015

Thanks for the insight. Did you network in or just apply?

Jun 23, 2015

I've heard that restructuring tends to be countercyclical: not as much biz/deal flow during good economies, then when the economy turns bad, a ton of stuff going on. Any thoughts here?

Jul 20, 2015

Can you please mention some names that are present in the Restructuring field in Europe? I am only aware of very few and can't seem to find that many through googling.

Jul 20, 2015
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Jul 23, 2015