At what point is it worth burning bridges?

So a few weeks ago word had gotten around that I was interviewing for lateral positions and my group head ultimately found out. Apparently the MD who interviewed me at bank X was good friends with my group head. Rather than getting fired, the group head gave me a ~$15k bonus to stay and promoted me to associate on the spot. Im also being given a 2 week vacation next month. I'm at a middle market bank on the west coast and this was more of a symbolic gesture than anything since the other 3rd year analysts are being promoted this summer. Fast forward a few weeks, bonus has hit my bank account and my base is now $60k a year more and one of the banks I was talking to a month ago extended me an offer out of nowhere. I feel sick to my stomach knowing that I have the opportunity to move to a much more prestigious bank (GS/MS/JPM) but at the expense of burning bridges with everyone I've spent the last 2 years building good will with. Full disclosure, I'm currently in IB and the new offer would be in IB but a less sexy group. Think investment grade / syndications. The role I'm in currently would pay me roughly $50k more this year but name brand is something my current firm lacks.

Would any of you have the balls to fuck over your current firm that's treating you well for a more recognizable name brand? I'm sure analysts screw their groups over all the time but at what point is it worth it?

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Comments (26)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 13, 2021 - 3:08am

If you had not taken the asso promotion, the $15k bonus, and the pay bump, then you probably could have left without too much worry. But because you took all those gifts, I don't think it would serve you well to burn them like that - especially since you noted that the head of your group is friends with the other MD. 

Golden rule is fuck loyalty to the firm - which is true. But I think there's is more to lose here now given how your MD has demonstrated that finance is such a small world. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 13, 2021 - 4:59am

Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind...Think investment grade / syndications...

I don't think it's worth hopping over. What is your current group?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 13, 2021 - 4:08pm

Swapping from M&A to investment grade/syndications is not worth it IMO. 

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  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Apr 13, 2021 - 10:17am

Too many people focus on prestige and brand name, it can be important if you are looking to make a transition to PE or something else but if that is not your end goal then prestige means very little and other variable such as work life balance, how well you get along with your team, etc., mean a great deal more. If I were in your shoes I would take some time to think about which is the better move for your career in the long-term before making a decision.

Apr 13, 2021 - 10:35am

If you stay and start thinking "what if..." down the road, you may end up making a poor decision down the road when stakes are higher just to take that "what if" out of your mind. Think about it. Prestige is over-rated in this industry, but peace of mind is important

  • Intern in PE - Other
Apr 13, 2021 - 11:10am

I wouldn't burn them. Taking less pay and a less-interesting role would not make sense. Just like the other commenters have said, prestige is over-rated. At the level you're at, you're working on better deals in your current role.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind
Apr 13, 2021 - 11:11am

Also forgot to mention... group head let me relocate to NYC office (where I'm from) and this new role is in NYC. Essentially would be moving out here on the firms dime and then immediately jumping ship

Apr 13, 2021 - 11:37am

First, I'd say, in ten years, what do you want to be doing/say. As in, if you worked at a smaller, lesser known shop but made more money, is that better than having a BB on your resume. That looks to be the set up. Don't know what the long term salary projections are, but its probably a slimmer chance to make more money at the BB than a higher chance to make good, but just not as much money, at the smaller shop. 

I'd also say factor in work-life balance if thats important. One may pay more or less, but hopefully the one paying less always has less hours. Don't know what your future plans are, but in 10 years you might think time is more important than money. 

One more point, I've worked at big firms and at small ones, when you're making money, no one cares. If in ten years you're sitting in your vacation/beach/ski house that you paid for with the money from the smaller firm, people wouldn't not want to go because its not from a GS paycheck. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Apr 13, 2021 - 2:04pm

Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind

So a few weeks ago word had gotten around that I was interviewing for lateral positions and my group head ultimately found out. Apparently the MD who interviewed me at bank X was good friends with my group head. Rather than getting fired, the group head gave me a ~$15k bonus to stay and promoted me to associate on the spot. Im also being given a 2 week vacation next month. I'm at a middle market bank on the west coast and this was more of a symbolic gesture than anything since the other 3rd year analysts are being promoted this summer. Fast forward a few weeks, bonus has hit my bank account and my base is now $60k a year more and one of the banks I was talking to a month ago extended me an offer out of nowhere. I feel sick to my stomach knowing that I have the opportunity to move to a much more prestigious bank (GS/MS/JPM) but at the expense of burning bridges with everyone I've spent the last 2 years building good will with. Full disclosure, I'm currently in IB and the new offer would be in IB but a less sexy group. Think investment grade / syndications. The role I'm in currently would pay me roughly $50k more this year but name brand is something my current firm lacks.

Would any of you have the balls to fuck over your current firm that's treating you well for a more recognizable name brand? I'm sure analysts screw their groups over all the time but at what point is it worth it?

Quoting this for when he inevitably deletes

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 13, 2021 - 3:10pm

I'm surprised others haven't focused on this, but don't go to the BB.

You don't want to move over to investment grade / syndications from M&A unless you were really interested in financing, which I don't think you are.

And you especially shouldn't move over given your situation. 

Just stick it out for another 12 months then start applying. 

Apr 13, 2021 - 4:10pm

What in the actual fawkkkk

You'd be moving from your MM in IB to a syndication / shitty product group as GS mS JPM? This is a no brainer. 

Unless you want to do that specific product that those 3 banks, no stay where you are. The work is entirely different. wth

Apr 13, 2021 - 4:23pm

I would definitely stay where you are, take the gifts, and make more money. Your group head, as you said, showed how he is connected. Who knows what happens after you leave. Additionally, your current work is way more interesting than syndications....

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 13, 2021 - 4:59pm

Plus, if you're crushing it in M&A at your current bank, and want to stay in M&A, sounds like you'll have a decent chance of lateraling to M&A at top tier BB in the future. Nothing guaranteed, but sounds like your work and interviewing skills will give you a decent shot.  

Apr 13, 2021 - 5:11pm

Reminds me a lot of that classic Leveraged Sellout article from 2008...

"Would you rather be:

(A) An M&A MD at Jeffries
(B) A PWM VP at Bear
(C) A trade settlement analyst at Lehman
(D) A HR intern at GS
(E) A janitor at Citadel"

Stay in M&A bruh

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
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