B Riley FBR / Very small I-bank

I am a Big 4 portfolio valuations manager (recent promote) and was just offered an associate position at B Riley FBR in there I-banking division. Whats the word on this firm or switching from big 4 to very small I-banks in general?? I am also applying to top B-schools (not admitted yet) - is it worth waiting for MBA and have potential for larger bank or try it out on internship?? Note that tuition but not cost of living will be fully paid since that may alter decision.

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Comments (16)

Dec 7, 2018 - 5:01pm

When will you hear on MBA decisions? If you attend a top b-school, you'll have the opportunity to pursue bigger name firms. I think this depends on your long term goals. Is an MBA a goal of yours? Is it something you'll want to pursue eventually if you went to a small ibank? Do you want to be an MD at a large firm, or are you ultimately just looking to work for a corporation in corp dev or another group?

Dec 7, 2018 - 5:53pm

Won't find out about schools for another month or two unfortunately. And I think Corp dev is the long term goal. So my biggest concern would be my ability to move to Corp dev rather than moving to a larger MM or making MD

Most Helpful
Dec 7, 2018 - 6:53pm

If you take the offer at FBR, you could go work there for ~2 years and then pretty easily find a corp dev job. At some point, depending on the corp you work for, it may be difficult to move up without an MBA. Really varies company to company.

If you do the MBA at a good school (assuming top 10-15), then you'll have a very good shot at getting an offer at a BB or EB. All else being equal, someone with a Barclays on their resume will have an advantage over someone with an FBR.

Having said that, not having a BB or EB is not as big as a barrier as some might think. I've worked in multiple F500 Corp Dev groups. I've seen backgrounds from MMs/small boutiques to EBs, and even some outside of banking. If you just want to get into corp dev and don't care about prestige, you may want to consider the FBR offer. If you want to be the head of Corp Dev for a company like Disney, or if you want to potentially have more optionality later on, it'd be best to go get a top MBA and go work for a BB/EB. If you ultimately go into Corp Dev but years down the road decide it's not for you, having a top MBA and BB on your resume will make it easier.

What do you mean when you say MBA tuition will be fully paid? Do you have confidence in some kind of scholarship? If you have confidence in your ability to get into a top 10 program, and some of it will be paid for, that could be quite compelling (although you may mean that you'd have to go back to Big 4 if that's how the tuition is paid for?).

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Dec 7, 2018 - 7:40pm

Helpful and hard to get a lot of insight into deal flow although they seemed to indicate they were drastically understaffed at associate level (which could be good cause business growing or bad cause turnover)...you think deal flow is a big deal if my goal is really 2 years and gtfo?

Dec 10, 2018 - 9:48am

Update on this. 2 days after calling and offering the position they called back and said "they made a mistake and are actually going in a different direction". So either they saw this post and figured out who I was or they are an unorganized mess.

Either way I would stay away.

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 3, 2021 - 7:07pm

B Riley is a terrible firm. 

Source: My roommate worked there and did consistent 90 hour weeks for 8 weeks straight. 

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