BB Workouts / Special Credits Groups Pay & Hours?

Is anyone here familiar with the Workouts groups at BBs? These groups are called by different names across each bank, so a few samples below:
- JPM Special Credits
- CS Recovery Management International
- Barclays Special Asset Management
- Citi Distressed Credit & Restructuring

They got different names but all are basically just internal workouts groups that sit within their respective Credit Risk Management divisions.

I figure they must have a lot of activity right now in this environment and was curious if anyone had an info regarding their pay / hours / typical exit opps. Are these groups regarded (and paid) the same as just standalone credit risk groups (for leveraged underwriting), or are they treated in a different light?

Would super appreciate any info on this

Comments (20)

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 11, 2020 - 8:24am

Thought this was about workout groups that gym together...learn something new every day

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:13am

My impression is some of the senior workout professionals get paid quite well given they have experience over multiple credit cycles, but at the junior level the pay is along the lines of typical credit compensation rather than front office just given lack of meaningful transaction experience. Keep in mind, most of these teams have run quite lean at the junior levels given it's been a decade of historically low defaults (which also limited upward mobility for promotions to VP and beyond) so there is a very limited sample set of data on typical comp/hours/exit opps. I remember interviewing at JPM's workout group a few years ago for an associate role and the hiring manager was fairly blunt that they weren't sure if the role would end up being backfilled given lack of business need. It's a shame because now you have an entire generation of analysts that have limited restructuring/workout experience given the focus on cost efficiency in recent years. Fast forward to today, every bank is now facing the prospect of significant loan restructurings but only has a limited pool of candidates to actually hire from.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 11, 2020 - 9:54pm

Worked for a BB workout group in Chicago through a rotational program. The Workout team was the most wanted/coveted rotation. 1st years get 90k + bonus. A friend recently was hired in Texas and is making 100k + bonus. Work is pretty much classic workout across all clients, asset sales, renegotioate/refi, go over credit terms, and for large credits either syndicate or make plays by selling debt to P.E or Distressed Debt buyer for more than its worth bc of value of collateral (if there is any)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 12, 2020 - 1:20pm

My friend in Texas is moving from one BB to another. Technically, he is a 1st year in this role but he graduated 2 years ago. I know for a fact that the pay is high across the board but only for the groups working with the IB clients. As in, the bankruptcy teams at this BB go from Credit card debt to Lev Fin loans. Of course only the groups dealing with larger loans made good money.

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:43pm

A lot of these group grow and contract throughout the cycles based on new. Ours is in the process of ramping back up and they're pulling from FO. From what I understand, it's a lateral move and comp stays the same.

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:52pm

Your employer obviously isn't going to adjust your base salary down if you lateral internally, but I wouldn't expect your bonus to be the same as a front office role. I know for a fact that CS and Barclays workout groups don't fall within the IB business division, it's under their corporate function group (aka a cost center).

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  • Works at Oaktree Capital Management
Jun 20, 2020 - 9:14pm

If you're thinking about just staying in a bank for the long term, I'd say internal workout groups are one of the underrated groups out there.

You almost never get cut because your group is countercyclical, is very thinly staffed to begin with, and requires specialized knowledge on debt restructuring processes which makes good lateral hires tough to find - search up workout group MDs and you'll see that they are almost always lifers who've spent 15+ years with the bank. If you remain in the group and become a senior workouts professional you are almost stress-free because the group has no origination / P&L responsibility as the "deal flow" is basically coming from the leveraged loan portfolio (basically loans that go bust). Lastly the hours are adequate (my friend at a BB workouts group was working 9-7 most days, no weekends as an analyst), and it gets much better as you move up seniority where you deal more with the actual workouts process and let the juniors deal with the regulatory reporting / admin parts of the job.

The only downside I would say is that pay is much lower than IBD pay (with the gap widening as you move up the ranks) but I don't think the pay is THAT bad if you view it from a long term perspective and take into account the job security / relatively stress free aspect of the job. Lastly, if want to take the IBD route, there is always opportunities to lateral internally with some networking (such as LevFin given credit nature of group) or externally recruit for RX analyst roles at the boutiques.

Also note it's very tough to find these roles as there are very limited spots overall and they rarely take people straight out of college

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 21, 2020 - 3:29pm

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