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Comments (53)

Sep 14, 2021 - 6:05pm

Depends on what you want.

Do you want to have very strong tech coverage knowledge by end of your IB stint (not just M&A) - BB is your best bet.

Do you want to work strictly on tech M&A - EB.

Do you want to work more with growth/startups in a specific sector - I'd argue boutiques are better options (more so than EB/BB).

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Sep 15, 2021 - 7:06am

This post is one of few that actually shows genuine perspective and appreciation of the role that all banks / advisory houses play. Not just BB or nothing. Exactly right how each has its form of exit options and benefits! Likely for you to do more volume of interesting, growth-stage tech businesses at the boutiques than at a BB which is capital markets intensive. How often do you get a multibillion merger? Once in a while like with Square / Afterpay. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 14, 2021 - 7:44pm

In terms of middle-market firms and boutiques, I'll add Canaccord Genuity as CG seems to do pretty well in the middle-market tech space. My roommate works in CG's tech M&A group and they win some pretty cool mandates in the $200M - 1.5B range in the tech space. They are obviously not working on $30 billion dollar mergers but the deal flow itself seems to be pretty good.

  • VP in IB - Cov
Sep 15, 2021 - 4:18pm

If middle market is what you are looking for, would look at William Blair, RayJay and GCA (which is currently being acquired by Houlihan.)  CG is not a bad option either, but would put those first three clearly ahead of them among middle market firms.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 14, 2021 - 8:17pm

Lots of problems with your question.

1) you aren't pigeon holed as an analyst in a sector-you could be a analyst in industrials and recruit buyside for tech, you just need to have a reason for doing so.

2) Deal size and type is going to be a huge consideration-who does the largest deals, versus most deals, versus public market transactions are going to all be different answers. Goldman and Morgan Stanley tech is going to be very dominant on the capital markets front/ are lead left on many IPO's, but if you were trying to do the most amount of M&A tech deals during a stint you'd likely want to go to Qatalyst, Evercore, or William Blair. Raymond James, CS, Jeffries, JPM also are pretty strong. 

Honestly, in 2021 most everyone has a decent tech practice because it's where most deals are being done in and it's very hard to define. Also what prospects don't get is how large something like tech really is and that MD's are moving between shops constantly (take much of UBS's leadership going to SVB as an example). Some banks might be very focused on vertical software, others might be focused on enterprise IT, it's a big space and there isn't really one place that dominates everyone due to how large the market is and how many different businesses exist in the space.

Sep 15, 2021 - 3:04am

Mostly sound and great breakdown but do disagree with the first point "1) you aren't pigeon holed as an analyst in a sector-you could be a analyst in industrials and recruit buyside for tech, you just need to have a reason for doing so". You are definitely at a disadvantage versus those with sector coverage. Expressing motivation alone isn't adequate when you haven't shown a deliberate attempt to build exposure, know-how and understanding of the tech sector. Tech sector hires / even recruiters are increasingly asking for and specifying a demonstrated tech interest and experience. It's like saying a healthcare coverage person (traditional say hospital operators or diagnostics) or a natural resources individual will be able to move to tech - there's nothing to talk to; sure they might have some interest on the side reading the news but that won't cut it. Anyway great points overall!

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 15, 2021 - 9:49am

You described my exact experience-was healthcare coverage switched to tech. So we can agree to disagree based on practical experience-it's harder, but not hard.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 15, 2021 - 8:06pm

It's very obvious you don't do tech investing based on this comment. They are everywhere based on the CIPs I see and business my firm does with them-evercore has a higher average deal size, but there isn't a more dominant player for the mm deal size they do. I'm giving a perspective for a prospect based on actually working as a tech investor seeing the deals these banks show-what's your credentials asshat?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 17, 2021 - 1:04am

Let's end this discussion-merger market software M&A deals (obviously the coolest tech space and most fun to invest in ;D). Sorting by # of deals since that's probably how frequently they are seen by buyers/ shows how many deals analysts actually get to see, also set a 100m min. Sheesh with Qatalyst doing half the number of deals as MS and getting basically the same volume-maybe I should have stayed in banking and lateraled…

Lets end this discussion

Sep 17, 2021 - 1:59am

Never been a fan of this way of looking at things because it doesn't account for group size - Not saying it has zero value - but deals per group or deals per MD would probably be much more accurate / interesting .

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 17, 2021 - 2:05am

This is actually a really accurate/ good point which gets back to the whole there really is no "best" groups. The best group is one where you learn the fundamentals of the business and get a few transactions under your belt-realistically you could do that at any of the firms mentioned. 

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 17, 2021 - 12:41pm

Completely agree that looking at league tables like the one above is not very useful. It fails to account for a large percentage of deals that are not disclosed in the middle market. I work for one of the firms in the top 20 shown on the league table, but I know for a fact that a few of the firms listed below my firm outperform my firm in terms of tech M&A. The league table is not really that reflective of the tech M&A space in the MM

Sep 17, 2021 - 10:19am

Can anyone explain Gugg? Everyone on here talks about how they run with the EBs in tech and healthcare, and they barely register on that list. Are they just in a different vertical?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 17, 2021 - 10:31am

On rep from what I've seen, less software more services-also, the above posters point regarding this way of looking at things is important. This really just shows how many deals/ how big the deals a firm does are-there's no incorporation of a headcount aspect which is a good distinction to make.

Sep 17, 2021 - 11:39am

League tables always a bit sketchy. HW really done 6 software M&A deals in the past 3 years? Obviously wrong and I don't work there. Shea with 5 is obv wrong too. I guess it has to be disclosed value over 100M which is dumb. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 17, 2021 - 11:59am

Undisclosed values/ deals exist and are going to make the totals much bigger in reality than they are shown-but it's likely a decent proxy/ assuming each has the same % of undisclosed values. If anything, this likely just massively undercounts anything in the mm because those deals are less public/ might not be announced. 

Sep 21, 2021 - 1:50am

This is a bit misleading because it only covers the software sub-vertical when IB Tech (or TMT) coverage groups generally cover software, internet, semiconductors, and fintech. This varies from bank to bank tho, as some banks have divided their TMT groups into Tech and Media & Telecom such as MS, JPM, and CS. Some banks are stronger in certain sub-verticals, for example, CS has been involved in high profile semiconductor deals, something that isn't reflected in this league table.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 21, 2021 - 10:02am

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