Best group for a career banker

Can someone help make a basic list of the best groups (e.g. industrials, healthcare, M&A, LevFin) for someone considering a long-term career in investment banking - In terms of pay and job security, if any.

Comments (23)

 
3/6/15

Also curious

Jamal

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

 
3/6/15

Whatever one that interests you the most, because that's the one your most likely to succeed in. But, if that wasn't a factor, I would be long healthcare groups if we are taking about over the course of a career. So much structural change in the industry, huge percent of GDP that will always need to exist, need for consolidation, shift in population demographics, regulatory changes, and niche knowledge base and experience will create demand for sell side bankers (which drives your criteria, pay and job security).

 
3/7/15

M&A in my opinion. You'll likely gain experience in a number of different industries and I presume (although not 100% sure) that you can filter into an industry group of your choosing as your career progresses if you so desire. The analytical skillset / process experience gained in m&a roles will also come in handy.

 
3/7/15

Except that you'll look like you're 40 when you're in your late 20s... I would suggest capital markets

 
3/7/15

Of course, this is a highly specific question that would require an understanding of the level and the firm, but a rule of thumb applies. An M&A banker can become a coverage or capital markets banker. It is much harder the other way around.

 
3/7/15

This is the complete opposite of my experience. At my bank, the coverage officers are the ones maintaining the relationships, and thus, not only do they have to be sharp but they also have to be personable and able to continue relationships with clients.

If somebody isn't good with clients/can't cut it as a director or MD in our coverage group, but we still like them and think they're sharp, we don't push them out per se, but rather give them the opportunity to join the M&A group or leave. So a coverage banker can become an M&A banker, but we don't take any M&A bankers as coverage officers in my group.

 
3/8/15
Candor wrote:

This is the complete opposite of my experience. At my bank, the coverage officers are the ones maintaining the relationships, and thus, not only do they have to be sharp but they also have to be personable and able to continue relationships with clients.

If somebody isn't good with clients/can't cut it as a director or MD in our coverage group, but we still like them and think they're sharp, we don't push them out per se, but rather give them the opportunity to join the M&A group or leave. So a coverage banker can become an M&A banker, but we don't take any M&A bankers as coverage officers in my group.

Clearly every firm and group is different to some extent, but if you look at the senior ranks at the top banks, most of the leading group heads have an M&A background, or even if they built their careers in an industry team, were primarily focused on M&A.

The only way you build consistent CEO relationships is by working on important M&A transactions (and to some extent IPOs but M&A much more).

But I do see that many firms are deemphasizing M&A groups, so what you say may hold increasingly more true over time. I personally think this is a strategic error..

 
3/9/15

From what you've seen throughout your career, what are your thoughts on capital markets groups for a long term banking career? Is there less job stability and lower pay compared to M&A and coverage groups?

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

 
3/7/15

If you're making a career out of banking, then the key criteria for "best group" should be what you are most interested in. It's one thing to, say, pick a group for an analyst stint based on exit opps, and it's not that big of a deal if you love it because you'll only be there 2 years anyway. But to succeed long-term in a field, you have to have a passion for it.

I would be in RX because I find it most interesting. Doesn't hurt that there are always companies in distress in any part of the cycle.

 
3/7/15
Bankster808 wrote:

Lev Finance

Wild cyclicality

 
3/7/15
 
3/8/15

Thoughts on Tech and Internet groups?

 
3/8/15

Do you really want banking as a career path, especially given the entire exit ops landscape?

 
3/8/15

Do you really want banking as a career path, especially given the entire exit ops landscape?

 
4/30/15

Some esoteric DCM/ECM sub-group... better hours and you develop a skillset that makes you irreplaceable. No exit ops but you'll climb the ladder and pay scale quicker than anyone in a coverage group most likely and won't be working as hard.

 
 
4/30/15

At least in my bank, product side has limited upward mobility post VP. Basically two to three MD from M&A partners with 10+ coverage MDs in each group. Coverage guys also have better options to go find their own business (e.g. go after small accounts) vs. M&A guys are kind of waiting to be asked to join accounts. That makes it even tougher given existing M&A gets called into everything before his director (even for the smallest thing).

 
4/30/15

Yeah that makes sense. Thanks a lot for the input bud! Much appreciated.

 
 
4/30/15

1-Click to Unlock All Comments - 100% FREE

Why do I need to be signed in?
WSO is a knowledge-sharing community that depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something.
+ Bonus: 6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons with 1-Click Signup ($199 value)

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.