Comments (9)

Feb 1, 2015

I'm interested in this as well.

Feb 1, 2015

I believe you mean retail banker, not corporate banker. Two completely different jobs.

In commercial banking, most graduates start off at the analyst level, i.e., loan or credit analyst. After a few years, most will move on to become a Relationship Manager or Sr. Credit Analyst. and ultimately a Credit Officer or VP.

Obviously with different commercial lenders, there are other options, but that is the standard path.

Feb 1, 2015

What I was more wondering was how does one make the jump from a RM/Credit Analyst at a place like Citi to a small bank Assets > 5BB in the same function.

Mar 2, 2015

If you start out at JMP/WF/B of A in their mid market commercial banking groups as an analyst, your best bet will be to stay there 3-5 years and get great training - and then move up to a Relationship Manager.

After you have some good contacts - you can move to any Bank you want to. A regional or a good size community Bank will fall over themselves to grab you as they know you will have good training and (hopefully) a strong network.

Transitioning from a smaller Bank to a larger Bank is a little more difficult but not really. Commercial Banking is really sales focused so as long as you have a good network and have a baseline understanding of credit - you can write your own ticket. The challenge is that Big Banks want your network to be CFOs and CEOs of companies with $25MM-$1B in sales and if you come from a small bank they will be skeptical about your success as they will think your network won't be the clients they want - but so long as the bank is $2B and over - you wou will have good size clients.

Jan 7, 2016

I agree entirely with gregt. The only thing I would add is the great training at the larger banks typically comes in the form of a Credit Training crash course which gives you the basics of Commercial Lending. These training sessions can vary hugely between banks, but typically its only the larger banks that have the real capacity to provide solid training.

From my mid-career experience at a larger bank, I have seen a relatively high failure rate (or much long learning curve) from all-stars in small- and even mid-size community banks trying to break into the larger banking realm. Simply put, there's much less 'winging it' like many small/mid size banks can get away with. You're very tied up with policy, regulations, and the overall bank goals compared to the one-off focus of smaller banks.

For your specific goals (which may also end up being my career path), I would go the following route: Analyst at a big bank learning as much credit as you can for 3-5 years > ~10-15 years as a Lender/Senior Lender/Team Lead role while learning as much as you can about the whole process and building your public profile in the community, then move to a community bank to ride off in the sunset as a Regional/Market President for a medium size bank or Head of Commercial Lending for a smaller bank. The pay should be fairly solid throughout if you perform well (with big jumps from analyst to lender), the work-life balance is great, and work really isn't that difficult. I think you will see virtually of the individuals in the the sought-after, ideal, high level and even CEO positions in the small-mid size community banks, had their start or some significant experience in Commercial Banking.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jan 7, 2016

Very doable. Commercial/corporate banking is not as competitive as investment banking, and if you are able to demonstrate knowledge of the job and specific reasoning for why you want to go into the role, it should differentiate you.

Jan 7, 2016