BB CRE Banking vs. CBRE/JLL/HFF (Debt not IS)

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Anyone have any thoughts on BB CRE Banking vs. CBRE/JLL/HFF type Capital Mkts (Debt)? Pros/Cons? Which offers better opportunities? Comp?

Comments (16)

Feb 15, 2017

I'm a debt analyst at a top national brokerage and have worked on a mortgage banking team within a major bank.

Brokerage guys always dump on bankers for being lazy and soft. Also guys who have come to brokerage from the banking world usually are surprised by the difference in culture and hours, etc.

As far as I know bank compensation will be a higher base with less upside at the analyst level. Loan officers will get a base salary with incentive pay - highest total comp I've heard of for a loan officer is probably 250k. Top debt producers in brokerage make 7 figures but typically aren't paid a salary or get a small draw.

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Feb 17, 2017

And the bankers laugh at the packages the brokers send us. Hehehe

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Feb 18, 2017

I'm an analyst at a debt brokerage and I hate this about my job. We treat every market and asset as the best in the world and use ridiculous assumptions. I'm sure the bankers receiving our packages are laughing at us

Feb 18, 2017

Well brokerage is a low-barrier-to-entry industry so there are a lot of shitty brokers out there. I would say laughable packages are more prominent in the investment sales world as opposed to debt and equity though.

Feb 15, 2017

They're close enough that I would be more focused on the nuances of each opportunity -dealflow, quality of the team, whether you personally vibe with them, benefits/pay, etc.

Pari passu, I think the experience as an analyst at either will open doors to similar opportunities.

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Feb 17, 2017

If you have the option to go a BB route, especially into a CMBS shop, as an analyst, take it. Because, it'll open far more many opportunities than a place with a single focus such as an CBRE/JLL/HFF. You get the added benefit of having a huge internal network within the bank itself, which in my opinion is under appreciated and vastly discounted. And for someone who hates the process of networking, it was a godsend.

I started out as analyst a little over 10 years ago in one of those BB shops, and today, when I think about my personal network from just my immediate superiors (who were associates and VPs) and colleagues, it's still a bid mind-boggling to me at times. Then you throw the clients, everything else, on top of it.

But what I think makes it the better option is the OTHER people you meet, without having to leave the building, that aren't part of CRE, but have a high likelihood of being successful. So, if you ever had the desire to switch up in the future, you'll have even more options.

As for comp, 250K was like 2nd year associate pay, and was close to my base when I left.

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Feb 18, 2017

How do CBRE/JLL/HFF have a single focus? If anything CMBS has a single focus.

Feb 18, 2017

Maybe it wasn't clear, but a bank does more than just CRE stuff, you know the dozens of other divisions.

Feb 18, 2017

Yeah I get that but I think it's just as easy to get pigeonholed in CMBS as it is in brokerage. And there are only so many large banks that play in CMBS.

Feb 18, 2017

That's not even close to true, because it's all on the person at a BB. in my opinion of 10 years of working at one from consultant (one of the CMBS specialty ones) to employee to ED, in multiple groups including large loan underwriting, origination, quant strategy, and CMBS trading. And being exposed to other stuff: I've also worked on timberland, stadium, art and equipment financing, financed a portfolio of life insurance contracts. Seriously, I've forgotten way more stuff that I was exposed to or worked on within 5 years there, than I ever could at an HFF/CBRE/JLL.

Limiting this just to the CRE Lending/CMBS side, you could work on complex transactions beyond the simple mortgage/mezz/PE. It's definitely not uncommon for those guys to work with the IBD for the debt component of their pitches or assignments. You might even find yourself in a room as an associate with 4 MDs as they walk through a pitch/debt strategy for some large client. Impressing those 4 MDs in the room should be the only focus, because 5, 6, 10 years later one may be running CRE Debt globally, another RE i-banking globally, and the other 2 may be CEOs, of a private equity firm or specialty finance company.

The point is if you're smart enough and work hard enough, you'll get more opportunities to impress some serious people, who can almost always pull you/someone out of the pigeonhole. It happened to me more than once, and I've helped others out more than once.

But you're right, the number of seats is definitely limited, but this goes back to the original question:

Anyone have any thoughts on BB CRE Banking vs. CBRE/JLL/HFF type Capital Mkts (Debt)? Pros/Cons? Which offers better opportunities? Comp?

If you get the BB option, you take it, and you run.

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Feb 18, 2017
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