Breaking in to Small/Regional Boutique or MM Investment Banks

Location: London, England
Education: First Class Honors from a good but non-target University in Business Management.

Work Experience: I've always had a strong passion for business and finance, but unfortunately didn't have a clear direction after finishing university. I decided to get a global perspective on business and joined a year long internship in strategic management in India, where I did data collection & analysis, senior management reporting and small projects on process and cost improvement. I then moved on to a graduate leadership program in South Africa which rotated me around a conglomerates retail and energy management divisions, where I did management, low to mid level projects such as new store launches, and senior management reporting. Unfortunately due to a significant personal life issue, unrelated to the job, I needed to return to the UK and leave the job early (before I got to take on, what I feel, was any senior responsibility or major projects). On return to the UK, I needed a job quickly an took a sales job dealing with HNWI which covered some useful areas such as relationship development and a high sales record but not any projects or results.

Situation: I am currently 28, going to be 29 this year, looking to break in to Investment Banking. I've done my research and know this puts me at a major disadvantage both experience and age-wise. I am interested in the idea of joining smaller or less popular groups with potentially more opportunity to experience all areas of the Front Office and deals. I'm not too concerned with PE or HF exit opportunities at the moment, as I believe the experience I gain from working on deals in IB can be leveraged in other industries worse case scenario and I genuinely would like to progress all the way within a investment bank's leadership structure.

I've done my research and in terms of client relationship, sales, networking, financial modeling, work hours, job difficulty, tasks, etc. I'm confident I am able to manage and actually enjoy the role and challenge. I am however concerned with my ability to enter this industry at such a late stage with no internships or significantly relevant work experience.

  1. Any advice on joining smaller/regional/MM investment banks?
  2. Would I face any difficulty joining as an analyst in these types of banks without any internship or previous finance experience?
  3. What would be the best entry route into the industry? I am considering doing BO for a year while I polish up on my financial modeling and also to network.
  4. Are there any investment banks in the UK that may be easier to join or more willing to accept non-conventional candidates?

Thank you in advance for any advice

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