BAML M&A vs. SLF vs. FSG

gwhope12's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 23

BAML: M&A vs. SLF vs. FSG

Which is best for analyst experience in terms of culture and buy side exit opportunities?

I am only seeking input from those with information on these specific groups AT BAML. Advice on the groups in general is redundant and unnecessary.

Thanks for the help.

Comments (9)

Sep 9, 2010

with the standard disclaimer of it depends on your preferences, how much you like the people, etc...M&A is the best one, although they work their asses off

Sep 9, 2010

anyone else?

Sep 9, 2010

Honestly, I've been down this path. If I had to select again, I would go with M&A. Why? Because although JPM dominates the league tables in DCM/HY/LevFin, that doesn't mean these groups hold the most clout in the firm. JPM is a corporate finance-oriented investment bank. It's all about client coverage... and M&A is a big part of that. SLF is more of a processing function. In fact, most SLF modeling and credit package prep is done by analysts/associates in the IB coverage groups...not SLF. Finally, in M&A you'll have more than enough exposure to SLF products to develop a decent perspective of them. HOWEVER, you can't learn M&A outside of M&A/coverage. Go with M&A. You'll have zero regrets. Trust me on this.

Sep 14, 2010

All three are very good groups and will give you the opportunity to place into a top PE firm

Sep 10, 2010

FSG is a hybrid group although it is classified as an industry group. Usually they do work with whatever industry group the sponsor is dealing with so they tend to work with a lot of different people across the firm.

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Sep 10, 2010

If you go Sponsors or M&A, do a half way decent job and are moderately social you will get a pe job after two years. It's much more difficult to get a pe job from slf. What do you mean by analysts experience (learn a lot or work/life balance). M&A works the most out of the three groups, but learns more applicable stuff for the buy side. I know the others can do lbos not sure if they are as verse in other modeling areas. Don't discount the culture fit (it's as important as anything) the groups you have mentioned have very different personalities.

Sep 11, 2010

i don't know what the hell you guys are atlking about because levFin is definitely the most modeling intensive, hands down. It will set you up extremely well for PE for either distressed or plain vanilla LBOs.

M&A is still modeling intensive, but is also very process driven. You will be doing much more modeling in levfin, where as in M&A there is modeling but also a lot of processing throughout the M&A cycle.

FSG really is a mix of process and modeling. Depending on the bank, you can be looking at IPOs, equity offerings, M&A opportunities, and of course, LBOs.

to say that an M&A analysis is more 'modeling' than an LBO analysis is, generally, incorrect. LBOs do everything that an M&A model would do, but also add on another layer of multiple debt tranches and returns analysis.

all 3 groups are awesome opportunities for hte buy-side. You just need to go where you fit best with the people and what type of work interests you the most. focus on the 2 yrs as an analyst and buy-side opportunities will come.

Sep 11, 2010

bigmonkey31, do you actually work for J.P.Morgan or are you just spouting off generalities? While I agree with your statement in some respects (ie: that LBO modeling is every bit as analytically intensive as M&A), I think you are incorrect for two reasons: 1) Most LBO modeling at JPM is done in the coverage groups, not SLF. SLF at JPM is more process management oriented. Second, M&A is a unique animal. You won't have exposure to M&A modeling, and you won't be able to accumulate M&A reps, from SLF. Juniors in SLF have zero breadth of M&A analytics. You can only get that experience in coverage or M&A. And as I mentioned previously, you'll have more than adequate exposure to SLF products in M&A to develop a reasonable grasp of how to finance a company with debt. It's not rocket science. In fact, neither M&A nor financing are rocket science. However, M&A is an illusive and, consequently, more valuable analytical skillset. It's a fact.

Jan 16, 2011