Canada! Specifically, Toronto. What's the deal?

nauru's picture
Rank: Senior Orangutan | 387

What is the deal with Canada in terms of IB career, pay, opportunities, etc.

I ask because:

I'm Canadian, starting out as a BB analyst in London. Happy where I am at the moment, but looking down the road a few years and thinking I may want to return to my homeland, be nearer to family, have a higher quality of life, etc.

  1. How much of a step down in pay and career advancement comes with a move from London to Toronto? From a totally unscientific survey of available data, Toronto pay appears to be considerably lower than London pay (both base and bonus), even after accounting for cost of living, and even in junior positions. Is this true? And if so, how true?
  2. Is a top BB the best place to be in Canada or am I better off moving to a Canadian bank? I can't really tell whether RBC CM is bigger than MS in Canada, CIBC WM bigger than ML in Canada, BMO bigger than JPM in Canada, etc. Anyone have an idea?
  3. Is pay at Canadian IBs competitive with BB Canadian offices, or is it known to be considerably lower? What about pay at BB Canadian offices vs pay at BB London offices (before bonus)? Any comparison of workplace culture / typical hours / pressure would be welcome as well.
  4. For those of you who don't know what the opportunity cost of London --> Toronto would be, I would also be interested in the opportunity cost of NY --> Toronto since they are likely to be somewhat comparable (I think).

I know some of these questions may seem a bit dumb, but I'd rather ask than assume. Thanks.

Comments (165)

Mar 29, 2008

Well I'll tell you about what I know through friends in places you asked about. Pay in terms of base and bonus at the analyst level seems to be higher at BB's. Base I was told is 80 - 90K for BB's, while CDN shops are around 60 - 70K. Bonus will obviously depend, but all-in I was told TD 150K, RBC 140K, while CS was 190K and ML was 175K. This is word of mouth, so take it with a grain of salt, but that is what I was told. I don't imagine London -> Tor would be a step down, likely step up, especially at the senior level, but at the analyst level there is no change. In terms of size, biggest BB I am fairly certain is ML, but it is definetly not as large as the 5 banks. Issue with all this is your talking few years down the line. I can't help with any info associate or higher info.

Mar 29, 2008

I don't know if Toronto pays less then London but im pretty sure they pay better then NY, for analysts at least. It tends to get worse as you move the corporate latter though, where the NY guys start to roll it in at the associate level and higher.

I beleive associates in NY make 300k+ whereas in Toronto im guessing its considerably lower. Then you have the MDs in New York that make millions where over here if you made $4 million+ you're probably like one of the top guys on Bay Street.

The numbers that Alex mentioned for analysts are accurate. Remember the trade off between pay and deal expereince at the big five vs. bulge brackets in Toronto though. If you go for big five you will get strong deal experience but at the bulge brackets offices in Toronto you get paid a shit load but ultimately alot of the execution gets sent over to NY.

Mar 29, 2008

@ AlexKap: Thank you for your response. Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but how could London --> Toronto be considered a step up? London is a top 5 global financial centre, while Toronto... isn't.

Confused. Although I would be really happy if Toronto actually is a step up.

Mar 29, 2008

and top 5 in North America.

Mar 29, 2008

I know a first year Associate at a top Canadian firm who makes $250K a year; not much of a divide compared to his NY BB counterparts when taking cost of living into consideration. Mind you however, he does work at top mining desk.

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Mar 30, 2008

Also, guys, don't forget that taxes in Canada are oppressive -- 51% for the top income bracket...which is where bankers are (although I'm sure taxes in London are high, too).

And there is no way TO is better than London.

Mar 30, 2008

All top funds in Toronto have someone with NY/London/LA experience or schooling. I beleive this is what AlexKap meant, coming from overseas will let you land in Top funds easier than coming from Bay St.

Mar 30, 2008

I guess to clarify... If you go Toronto -> NYC/London, you will likely go move down a level, what I mean by this is you will go Dir to VP if you transition. However, if you go the opposite way you will likely get bumped up, so VP -> Director, going NYC/Lon -> Toronto. Yes, top funds do have people who've gone to London or NYC or other locations, not a constant accross the board, but it's not rare either. The other scenario might be, if you move within your firm Tor-> Lon, you probably won't change levels, pay might change as bonus becomes a higher percentage of your all-in take.

Mar 31, 2008

Ah I see. Thanks folks, good to know.

Mar 31, 2008

Brisbane clearly doesn't know what he is talking about, the highest federal tax rate is 29% and that is for all income over like 120k. As an analyst if you were to make 120k given the current market in Toronto, your effective tax rate including both provincial and federal taxes would be around 22%. The taxes may be higher than the states but, its nowhere close to 51%. Capital gains taxes 50% of the gain at whatever tax rate, but even then as you can see, nowhere close to 51%.

Mar 31, 2008

Don't listen to anybody on this board.

  1. Taxes

Top tax rate in Ontario (e.g. Toronto) was 46.41% in 2007. Income taxes are a combination of provincial and federal taxes, not just federal as dar_23 implied. Tax rates can be as low, on a combined basis, as 39% as they are in Alberta (e.g. Calgary) and as high as 48.22% in Quebec (e.g. Montreal).

  1. Size (BB vs Canadian)

There are a variety of arguments on whether a BB is preferable to a Canadian bank, however, on a purely numbers basis (# of bankers, not including credit, Capital Markets Group or support), I would think the numbers stack up as follows:

  • RBC, CIBC, BMO: ~100 bankers
  • TD, Scotia: ~60-70 bankers
  • National: ~40 bankers
  • ML, UBS: ~15-20 bankers
  • Lehman, CS, JPM, GS: ~8-12 bankers

I may be off on the numbers a bit but they are directionally correct.

  1. Pay (2008)
  • Last year was irrelevant. This year, I would prefer to be at a Canadian bank. Where the global firms are laying off 15-20% of staff, Canadian firms are holding firm. You can imagine this will translate somewhat to bonuses. The "go-go" days are over.
Apr 1, 2008

Close on the global vs. cdn bank stuff but not quite on.

  1. Size (toronto)
  • ML, UBS, CS: 20-30 bankers
  • MS, Citi, JPM: 10-20 bankers
  • Lehman, GS, others: 5-10 bankers (in toronto)
  • Lazard, BofA - 1-5 bankers (BofA just let everyone go)
  • Thomas Weisel and Macquarie - both just bought Cdn boutiques so actually have a fair number of bankers, not exactly sure how many though. Possibly 20-40 each.

Some also have calgary offices with more.

Obviously the ones with more bankers will handle more execution. I know for a fact (I work at one of them and have worked on stuff with the others) that ML, UBS and CS all execute many deals independently of NY (barring specific product support such as lev fin and structured products). That's important - junior guys in Toronto with GS and some others hardly ever run the model or have control over the docs in a deal process.

  1. Pay

Noticeably different. Base at the BB's can be as much as 50% higher than the cdn banks. Top all-in on the street was ~C$190 at some of the BB's for a first year in 2007 vs. ~C$140-150 at the cdn banks. Bonuses will come down for everyone in 08 (and the C$ has strengthened, bringing down US$ converted pay) but there will still be a significant difference. No layoffs yet at the BB's in toronto except for BofA which cut the whole team, but they were a crap office to begin with.

Also good mobility from the Toronto offices - many more opportunities to transfer to NY or London if you want down the road, vs. the canadian banks where RBC, TD, Scotia and BMO have minimal presence outside Canada and CIBC "World Markets" just shut down their US operations.

Exit opps are better too. Headhunters like SG Partners get the BB analyst's emails when they collect the lists for all the BB's, and will regularly contact you with opportunities and whatnot. Some send people up to Toronto from NY to meet with analysts when recruiting season starts. "Big 5" analysts don't usually get that much attention from the international headhunters and have to work a bit harder to find out about opportunities outside Toronto. However, all Cdn. operations run a little differently in that not as many people leave after two years and it is very common to work through a third year and get promoted to associate.

Really, not too many reasons to choose a Cdn. bank over a global BB opportunity (though some solid arguments could be made for the Cdn boutiques that are good at their game like Genuity, GMP and Canaccord). Still wouldn't suggest working for one of the tiny "bird-dog" (pointing out opportunities for NY) operations in Toronto such as GS or Lazard. And as for the market slowdown, the "Big 5" are feeling it just as bad as anyone. If anything, the loss of the income trust market just creates more opportunities for global guys to edge out the cdn banks - that was the one area the global guys couldn't touch.

Anyways, just wanted to clear up some misconceptions about working for a non-Cdn. IB in Canada. Hope that helps. And that comment about having to get demoted if you go abroad or promoted if you return to Canada is total BS.

Apr 1, 2008

However, one other thing you must clear up:

"Really, not too many reasons to choose a Cdn. bank over a global BB opportunity"

I am hearing constantly on this board that the reason you would want to choose a cdn bank over a global BB is becuase you actually get to work on deals. Whereas at the BB, all the deal work is sent to the NY offices.

I would like to get your thought on this.

Thanks

Apr 1, 2008

Thanks for the detailed comments so far.

I have to ask though, how are people coming up with Canadian tax rates way above 40%?

From the most credible source: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/individuals/faq/2007_...
29% federal tax + 11.16% provincial tax (Ontario) = 40.16% top bracket tax rate for a Toronto banker, with effective tax rate obviously lower than that. For Calgary that number drops slightly to 39%.
Also:
UK = 40% top bracket tax rate
US = 35% top bracket tax rate

So I ask again, where are people getting their numbers? (unless they are trying to change the topic to banking in Sweden or Finland)

Have I missed something?

Apr 1, 2008

Nauru - Ontario has a 56% surtax on income above a certain level (I think around $80,000). So 1.56 * 11.16% = 17.41% + 29.0% (federal) = 46.41%. On top of that there is roughly a $900 health surtax but this is modest when considering incomes above $100,000.

Apr 1, 2008

Nauru - Ontario has a 56% surtax on income above a certain level (I think around $80,000). So 1.56 * 11.16% = 17.41% + 29.0% (federal) = 46.41%. On top of that there is roughly a $900 health surtax but this is modest when considering incomes above $100,000.

Apr 1, 2008

As Nauru has stated the effective tax rate is much lower than the posted rate, it is a progressive income tax system. On the federal level you only pay 29% on income over 120k, on the provincial level only income over around 72k is taxed at the 11% rate. All income below that is taxed at lower rates. Even with a surtax included it does not cause you to be taxed anywhere near 50%.

Apr 24, 2008

Sorry, I'm a native Montrealer and was talking about Quebec income taxes, not Ontario ones. I do believe that 05 or 06 tax rates were definitely above 50% (my friend's tax accounting coursebook has the rates).

In any case, I hate taxes.

Apr 24, 2008

Tax debate:
First of all. People are forgetting about sales tax. Toronto has about a 13% sales tax on most goods. Higher for alcohol, tobacco and gasoline, slightly lower for selective basic essentials. This is significantly higher than the US where Sales tax is generally around 5%.

Also, there is just more than tax that is taken off your paycheck. Unemployment insurance, retirement benefits and in Ontario a "health premium" is charged. These are essentially taxes. You must pay them, and it's not like the funds are stored in a separate account for your use.

Work:
In terms of execution, London->Toronto is a step down. London is where all the work for EMEA investment banking work gets funnelled to. New York is where all the investment banking work gets funnelled to. In Toronto, you will see smaller domestic deals. Significantly less cross-border deals, and when you work on a Cross Border deal, most of it is done through New York.

I just finished an advisory/restructuring role for a Canada client. I never left New York. Almost all conference calls. My MD flew to Toronto and Montreal several times to meet people. One MD from Toronto was there. The rest of the work was all done in New York (except for the bits the basic support stuff that was outsourced to India)

In London, you have a large team of analysts across the bank. In Toronto, all the bankers are smaller than a BB analyst class (at least before, can't comment on this year). Your pool of analyst friends will be smaller (the groups in toronto are top heavy), but should get better interaction with senior bankers.

Apr 24, 2008

Thanks for your comments. I'm already aware that London --> Toronto would be a step down in terms of execution. But could you give some indication of how much of a step down it would be? I mean, is a job as an associate in Toronto at a BB a dead-end job or would it just be slightly lower pay, less going on, fewer opportunities and generally higher quality of life? I don't want to transfer just to sit on my ass all day, but I think I could definitely be open to trading off a certain amount of bonus/opportunities for better living in general, at some point in the future.

If everything is being run out of NYC including all Canadian deals, trading, etc. then why have a Toronto office at all? The way you describe the setup, Toronto BB bankers sound non-essential at best, and pretty much redundant at worst.

Also, people keep saying how small these BB Toronto offices are. Do Toronto BBs even have markets desks or do they just keep those concentrated in London/NYC/Tokyo?

Apr 24, 2008
nauru:

If everything is being run out of NYC including all Canadian deals, trading, etc. then why have a Toronto office at all? The way you describe the setup, Toronto BB bankers sound non-essential at best, and pretty much redundant at worst.

They need offices for coverage--essentially to maintain relationships.

Apr 24, 2008

I'm in ER but from my understanding:

-BMO has one of the strongest mining groups (bar none) and have been doing very well in energy.
-RBC is definitely the biggest in Canada (usually, topping the league tables) and I would say them growing capital markets is valid (the CEO is an ibanker)
-TD has a good oil sands group but don't know much else.
-CIBC hasn't been doing that much lately but just poached former MS MD so things could be changing.
-Scotia is energy focused but had an HUGE exodus in NYC and Houston (moving S&T HQ from NYC to Calgary and some MDs in Texas starting their own shop (and taking most of their team). No idea how it is going to end up.
-NBF haven't heard about them doing anything lately.

In terms of boutiques, they will mostly stick to the small/mid caps and do majority equity financings (some m&a). The tiny ones will probably stick to <50m, while the more established ones (eg. FirstEnergy, Peters, CG) will see more >500mm mandates.

Apr 24, 2008

BMO is in a league of their own when it comes to Mining. But their analysts also don't know what sleep is. Canaccord Genuity is the best boutique and again do not really believe in sleep, they pay very well and chase lots of deals of all sorts of sizes.

Besides that all of the big5 have good deal flow. In Calgary, Barclays/JPM/Citigroup have all been fairly busy in the last couple years.

Apr 24, 2008

Also want to point out it that location is pretty important, Calgary you'll live and breath energy. Toronto you'll likely see more diversified exposure and Vancouver is a pretty real estate focused.

Apr 24, 2008

CIBC M&A team is top 10 in the WORLD

Apr 24, 2008
al865149:

CIBC M&A team is top 10 in the WORLD

Not even going to bother to fact check this. Does this claim come from a CIBC presentation?

Apr 24, 2008

GMP is also a very strong Canadian boutique, that I believe specializes in oil &gas and mining.

Apr 24, 2008

Isn't prostitution legal in toronto?

Apr 24, 2008
Blue Baller:

Isn't prostitution legal in toronto?

Negative.

Apr 24, 2008
Blue Baller:

Isn't prostitution legal in toronto?

solicitation is not. escorts are, what you do behind close doors is your business.

Apr 24, 2008

10-20% lower in Toronto than in NYC for junior positions such as Analysts and Associates. Higher positions are pretty much paid the same. Anyways, at the end of the day Toronto is cheaper to live in so you kinda make the same money :)

Apr 24, 2008
wallstreetwolf:

10-20% lower in Toronto than in NYC for junior positions such as Analysts and Associates. Higher positions are pretty much paid the same. Anyways, at the end of the day Toronto is cheaper to live in so you kinda make the same money :)

Why answer questions when you don't actually know what you're talking about?

Analyst comp in Canada is roughly on par with BB as of late...for example, all-in in Canada is ~130-160k depending on bank (i.e. some Cdn banks will outpay some American ones and vice-versa). It's certainly not at a $20k discount to American BBs. After that, NYC has a big advantage (think 300-350k vs. 200-250k for associates and the gap widens from there). Of course, hard to say how everything in the U.S. re: comp will shake out given the political environment.

And this should go without saying, but a few thousand dollars at the analyst level should not really be a factor in your decision where to work.

Apr 24, 2008

also take into account that canadian banks are performing very well at the moment ... much better than their american counterparts in NYC ... better performance equates to a better bonus come december. a BB in toronto would be a very good way to go i would say. might make better money in NYC (COL figured in) in the long run, but you can still be rich in toronto, so go for it.

Apr 24, 2008

I'm also a junior considering on moving to Toronto for banking. The only thing is I reside in Houston. A great city, a cheap city!! I know if I land a job making 60-70k I would have no worries only having student loan debt and my $600 rent. But I know Toronto has a 20-30% increase of standard of living so that stands out to me. Although it would be a great experience.

Any thoughts

Apr 24, 2008

investin925 I've lived in the toronto area for the last 18 years and would comment that it really is a great city, fairly clean, great multicultural feel.

city transportation is pretty good and overall a great place to live. However, it would be tough to choose between a place like CS LA and RBC CM Toronto - i've always wanted to live on the west coast.

Also, having spoken to an MD at RBC CM, the hours there are ~80/week, often less. Becuase our banks have always done very well we wern't hit very hard during the recession. While in the states thousands (supposedly?) were laid off, RBC CM only lost a few employees.

some food for thought for others in the same position as me

Apr 24, 2008

I appreciate it, I was there last month and I may go back by September. Of course, it was for leisure but I had a great time. I went there solo, but had good vibes, met a lot of people, and felt like i belonged. It was probably excitement. I currently work for JPMC on the retail side and would like to transfer to TO IB (card services would be a back up) or just keep networking to see what happens.

Apr 24, 2008

You should try both although depending if you're more interested in M&A or DCM you should focus your efforts accordingly.

In terms of players in field you've got for the banks:
BMO
CIBC
National
RBC
Scotia
TD

and the boutiques:
Canaccord Genuity
Dundee
GMP

There are obviously a ton of other guys out there but those are the ones of size and frankly, the market right now kind of sucks so I'm not sure many of the smaller boutiques could bring anyone on.

Best of luck in your search.

Apr 24, 2008

Thanks for your answer :)

Apr 24, 2008

Another couple names include:
Paradigm Capital, Haywood Securities, Cormark Securities, Mackie Research Capital and Raymond James

You might want to take a look a large Canadian corporations and their internal M&A departments. I have had friends that have worked at Bell, Telus and Bombardier which gives pretty good flow for both M&A and DCM.

Lastly you might want to look into the Big 4 Accounting Firms (PwC, EY, Deloitte, KPMG) and see if they offer internships in the Corp Fin department. They focus strictly on M&A and Valuation.

Apr 24, 2008

As someone who has worked for a Canadian big 5 in their TO and NY offices, I can answer this question pretty well.
The answer is basically yes and no.
While the losses of the Canadian banks compared to their US and Euro competition was small, their numbers were not very good.
In terms of on Bay street, most of the american and european banks have minimized their foot prints. On a cross border transaction, they'll still be on the deal, but most Canadian deals are led by Canadian banks today. In that sense, they have picked up some deal flow in Canada.
With regards to the US and other int'l markets, the only banks that really have a presence are RBC and BMO (w/ CIBC having a bit ex-US). They have been actively hiring, but my understanding is that they have not increased dealflow. The reasoning for this is that even the banks that almost died are major players and are very active. Citi, BoA, Wells Fargo are still at the top of the league tables despite all their financial troubles.
What you students will realize once you enter the industry, is that while relationships are very important, league tables come down to capital. If I am willing to put out a $5 bil. bridge, you sure as hell can bet that I will be getting capital markets economics, no matter how shitty my balance sheet is. The Canadian banks do not have the balance sheets to compete, and really don't have an interest in doing so.

Apr 24, 2008

90% of deals in Canada are mining or energy, so if you're interested in investment banking in Canada, these are the areas to be in (or M&A).

Apr 24, 2008

Pretty sure almost all the US IBs in Toronto are coverage offices aside from Merrill? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
RBC is probably the top overall IB out of all Canadian firms. BMO also ranks globally in mining if that's an area of interest.

Apr 24, 2008

Canaccord Geunity is also strong and growing from what I hear - TD Securities has some stuff

Apr 24, 2008

So in terms of BB in Toronto, BAML is the top shop?

"Try and fail, but don't fail to try"

Apr 24, 2008

Disclaimer: this post pertains purely to BB/EB offices in Toronto

It depends what you're looking for - deal experience or exit opps? For example, BAML will give you a great work experience (execution capabilities, largeset presence), but is weaker on the exit opps. GS/MS Toronto have weaker deal flow (and a lot of execution is done out of NY), but will give you better/broader exit opps.

If you're curious, recent notable analyst exits in the past few years (~2010 to present) from Toronto BB offices (excludes pension fund placements):
GS: 2 x TPG Capital (SF), 1 x Birch Hill, 1 x West Face Capital
MS: 1 x General Atlantic (NY), 1 x Onex (NY)
baml: 1 x Onex (Toronto)
CS: 3 x Onex (Toronto)
Barclays: 1 x Birch Hill (Toronto)
UBS: 1 x Onex (Toronto), 1 x ONCAP
Greenhill: 1 x SAC Capital (NY)

Apr 24, 2008

Bank of Montreal - www.BMO.com
CIBC - www.CIBC.com
Desjardins - http://www.Desjardins.com/ Genuity Capital - http://www.genuitycm.com/
National Bank - www.nbf.ca
Royal Bank - www.RBC.com
Scotia Bank - www.Scotiabank.com
Toronto Dominion - www.td.com
canadian

Apr 24, 2008

Here is a list I have, it was posted on here throught Capital IQ. This is Toronto/Ontario that the person searched. Some aren't useful names but a pretty good list nonetheless.

Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)
Scotia Capital Inc.
BMO Nesbitt Burns, Inc.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM)
Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO)
CIBC World Markets, Inc.
Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (TSX:OPY)
Coventree Inc. (TSX:COF)
National Bank Financial, Inc.
TD Securities Inc.
Canaccord Capital Corporation
GMP Capital Trust (TSX:GMP.UN)
RBC Capital Markets Corporation
Merrill Lynch Canada, Inc.
Research Capital Corporation
Haywood Securities Inc.
UBS Securities Canada Inc.
Orion Securities Inc.
Octagon Capital Corp.
Northern Securities Inc.
Northern Financial Corp. (TSX:NFC)
Westwind Partners Inc.
Ernst & Young Orenda corporate finance Inc.
Loewen, Ondaatje, McCutcheon Limited
JP Morgan Securities Canada Inc.
A.I.M. Group Canada Ltd.
Access Capital Corp.
Alluence Capital Advisors Inc.
Ameritrade Canada, Inc.
Beaufort Partners
Birkenshaw and Company Ltd.
Blair Franklin Capital Partners Inc.
Brant Securities Limited
Brookfield Financial Real Estate Group
Canaccord Adams Ltd.
Capital Canada Limited
CCFL
CIBC World Markets Corp.
Citigroup Global Markets Canada Inc.
Clarus Securities Inc.
Corporate Development International
Credifinance Securities Ltd.
Douglas Capital Inc.
e-bitda Venture Banking
Electronic Brokerage Systems LLC
Fahnestock Canada Inc
First Republic Securities Corporation
Fraser MacKenzie Limited
Genuity Capital Markets
Global Capital Partners, Inc.
Infinium Capital Corporation
Iquanox Inc.
Jennings Capital Inc.
Kensington Capital Partners Limited
Kingsdale Capital Corporation
Lamerac Financial Corp.
Lehman Brothers Canada Inc.
Macquarie North America Ltd.
Maison Placements Canada Inc.
Marathon Capital Advisors Inc.
MergeCo Resources Inc.
MGI Securities Inc.
Morgan Stanley Canada Limited
N M Rothschild & Sons Limited
NorthCrest Partners Inc.
Orenda corporate finance, Ltd.
Osprey Capital Partners
Paradigm Capital, Inc.
SHI Capital
Solaris Capital Advisors Inc.
Standard Securities Capital Corporation
Taurus Capital Markets
Taylor Companies
TD Securities (USA) LLC
The Commercial Capital Corporation
Toll Cross Securities, Inc.
Trilon Securities Corp.
Westminster Securities Corporation
WindyPoint Capital Inc.
ZED Financial Partners

Apr 24, 2008

This thread is meaningless, use the search function.

http://modernyuppie.blogspot.com/ The musings and antics of a Meathead college wrestler turned asset backed securities trader.

Apr 24, 2008

Words of advice:

(1) I'm unsure whether you wrote this in a hurry or what but the syntax, grammar and spelling of your previous post would not be acceptable in ibanking (or any industry for that matter). For instance, most people write MBA and CFA and not M.ba and CFa. There's also usually spaces between the period and the beginning of each sentence.

(2) Read the Vault and the posts here on www.ibankingoasis.com

Apr 24, 2008

I'm sorry, you are absolutely right.Do you have any advice for me in regards to the above mentioned question.This advcie is for a friend of mine, who is doing his MBA in Canada.Could you please advice ?

Apr 24, 2008
anu76:

Hi, i am completed my M.ba in finance and have enrolled for CFa.Can somebody advice top 4 ib companies in toronto, canada.And how do I go preparing for my Interview.Any books or articles anybody can suggest???Thankyou, all your inputs are appreciated!!!

anu76:

I'm sorry, you are absolutely right.Do you have any advice for me in regards to the above mentioned question.This advcie is for a friend of mine, who is doing his MBA in Canada.Could you please advice ?

Reading your posts makes me feel like I'm doing the robot! //start the 80s music//

Apr 24, 2008

RBC, CIBC, Scotia, TD, BMO, Genuity, National Bank + US BB's with offices in Toronto.
Read the vault guide. Every interview will be a very different experience but it gives you an idea of what to expect overall.

Apr 24, 2008

Is GS in Toronto a better way to start off as an entry level Analyst or is RBC(Canad) a better one.Could you please advice?

Apr 24, 2008

RBC for sure. GS Toronto is coverage only - everything is executed out of NY. If you want to actually work on deals that you win after a pitch you want to work at one of the canadian banks or one of the BB's with a decent presence (think Merrill, UBS, CS, or even Citi or MS)

Apr 24, 2008

that its easy to move from one of the cdn bank-owned dealers to a US BB in Toronto after a 1 yr analyst stint?

Is this even recommended if the long-run goal is NY? Or would the banks in NY recognize that you worked at one of the Big 6?

Apr 24, 2008

No, definitely not easy. Much easier to move the other way. If your long run goal is NY but you want to work in Toronto for now, do your best to get in one of the global banks - very easy to move to NY after 2 years. Not so easy to lateral between banks and cities at the same time.

Apr 24, 2008

and would you say moving from one of the Big 6 to a US BB in Toronto would be manageable ? I'm guessing this would have to do alot more with connections on the street?

Apr 24, 2008

On the contrary, from my experience, there have been many people at the Big 5 Cdn firms who move to global locations with other global banks (i.e. bulge brackets in London or NYC). I've known people who did like 6-months to 1-yr and did that. But if you're with RBC or CIBC, it makes it so much easier.

Just to let you know that if you count all the global banks in Toronto (i.e. GS, ML, JP, Citi, MS, UBS, CS, DB - maybe?), the would only take a total of, say, 8-10 summer analysts in total across all firms per year. The competition is fierce for these positions and they have a tendency to prefer certain Canadian students. For a reference, GS (Toronto) hires only 1 and maybe 2 summer analysts per year and zero full-time as presumably the summer analyst would accept the full-time offer.

Apr 24, 2008

Is it worth it to go for a global shop in Toronto if you don't really see yourself moving to the US long-term?

Apr 24, 2008

dont know

Apr 24, 2008

sure it's worth it. you get paid on par with NY, but it's around a 15% increase from canadian banks' pay due to exchange rate. (however, higher taxes in canada.) i believe the hours at a us bb in canada are a bit better (than in NY, or rbc/cibc).

negatives: to reiterate what others have said, maybe less execution... they like to bring in people from NY.

Apr 24, 2008

Would you rather work on lots of deals or get paid more and work a bit less? It is not a clear decision, and there isn't a right/wrong answer to it.

Apr 24, 2008

Yes you shouldn't worry about this. During my interview process with some canadian banks, i've had the chance to meet students from top US universities. I believe this is somewhat uncommon because top US students typically stay in the US, but I've also had the impression that canadian banks more than welcome these applicants.

You shouldn't have to worry.

Apr 24, 2008
Dibbs:

Yes you shouldn't worry about this. During my interview process with some canadian banks, i've had the chance to meet students from top US universities. I believe this is somewhat uncommon because top US students typically stay in the US, but I've also had the impression that canadian banks more than welcome these applicants.

You shouldn't have to worry.

I said I graduated from a Canadian university tho...
And my concern is more like how well recognized are the MSc from UK universities in Canada.
Like ICL and CASS?

Thank you for your input!

Apr 24, 2008

I had a slightly different experience. I did a masters in London and I found it difficult to get an analyst job in IBD in Toronto. I decided to stay in London where I got much better offers.

The masters started in early Oct, so I was able to interview in late September before I left. You need to network because unless you are a stellar candidate they will not be that accommodating in terms of flights and interview times because there are so many other candidates to choose from. You also have to have a good story of why you would take Toronto over London. There are also fewer spots available in IBD in Toronto than in London.

Apr 24, 2008
RE_Banker:

I had a slightly different experience. I did a masters in London and I found it difficult to get an analyst job in IBD in Toronto. I decided to stay in London where I got much better offers.

The masters started in early Oct, so I was able to interview in late September before I left. You need to network because unless you are a stellar candidate they will not be that accommodating in terms of flights and interview times because there are so many other candidates to choose from. You also have to have a good story of why you would take Toronto over London. There are also fewer spots available in IBD in Toronto than in London.

Hi, do you mind revealing which school did you attend in London? And why is exactly is that you find it more difficult to land an IBD job in Toronto?
Sorry as I said I am a newbie, so do you mean if I want an IBD job in Toronto I need to interview before I even go to London for MSc? The reason why I want to work in Canada is because I prefer living in Canada. Does that count as a good story??
Yeah, I think Toronto has a much smaller financial industry than London does therefore there are fewer spots.

Thanks a lot!!!

Apr 24, 2008

tom waits for no man

Apr 24, 2008

After giving it some thoughts, I think RE_Banker has a good point.

Banks might be okay with paying your expenses if they are inviting you from the States, but maybe not from Europe. Personally, I've met US students (MIT / Ivy League) at canadian IB superdays, but never any from europe.

And by the way, why would you go to london ? We have very good MFin programs in Canada!!

Apr 24, 2008
Dibbs:

After giving it some thoughts, I think RE_Banker has a good point.

Banks might be okay with paying your expenses if they are inviting you from the States, but maybe not from Europe. Personally, I've met US students (MIT / Ivy League) at canadian IB superdays, but never any from europe.

And by the way, why would you go to london ? We have very good MFin programs in Canada!!

Would you recommend some programs in Canada?
Er... I kind of want to study in Europe... but if the programs in Canada will do and have the same or better outcome, then I will definitely do it in Canada.
I am just more familiar with the programs in UK so far.
Would LOVE to hear your recommendation of programs in Canada!!

Apr 24, 2008

tomwaits, are you aware that doing a mfin will only land you analyst positions ?

Apr 24, 2008
Dibbs:

tomwaits, are you aware that doing a mfin will only land you analyst positions ?

Yes.
But wouldn't a person without any banking experience be competing with MFins even if he got an MBA?
Plus I didn't do finance in undergrad so I figure MFin is more specialized and thus more applicable to my situation.
I already passed CFA 1, but I think as anybody in the field knows, passing CFA exams has nothing to do with your employability in the field.
But I am a newbie so please correct me if I am wrong about this.
The other thing is that it is like if MBAs are not hired into associate positions, then the banks won't consider them for analyst positions either?

Thanks!!!

Apr 24, 2008

You have to realize that Bay Street is a small place and most banks will only take 2-8 IBD associates per year. That said, they can easily draw most of their associate classes from the MBA programs at Ivey, Rotman, Queens etc. Coming in with a MFin from Europe won't hurt you (they're probably somewhat recognized), but it's going to take a lot of networking to get noticed/land interviews. You're probably better off aiming for something in the UK and then moving back to Canada once you have some IB experience.

Also, Rotman has a MFin program and they'll place a few kids into banking per year (Less than the MBA program though)

Apr 24, 2008
Dark Pool:

You have to realize that Bay Street is a small place and most banks will only take 2-8 IBD associates per year. That said, they can easily draw most of their associate classes from the MBA programs at Ivey, Rotman, Queens etc. Coming in with a MFin from Europe won't hurt you (they're probably somewhat recognized), but it's going to take a lot of networking to get noticed/land interviews. You're probably better off aiming for something in the UK and then moving back to Canada once you have some IB experience.

Also, Rotman has a MFin program and they'll place a few kids into banking per year (Less than the MBA program though)

Yeah... that is so true.
Everywhere I read about it, it is always much easier to land a job in wherever you study.

Thanks!!

Apr 24, 2008
Dark Pool:

You're probably better off aiming for something in the UK and then moving back to Canada once you have some IB experience.

My only comment to this is the longer you wait to move back to Canada, the less desirable you become. The reasoning being that the more senior you become, the more the job becomes about contacts. If you have a huge contact base in London / Europe, it means squat in Toronto.

There are a few exceptions, like it you have institutional investor contacts that want to invest in Canada, but that is really it.

Apr 24, 2008

Dark Pool: I'm pretty sure he will only be eligible for an analyst position, even with an MFin...

Tomwaits: Did you even apply for FT analyst positions in Canada with your 'tier 1" background?

Apr 24, 2008
DavidKappoKaplan:

Dark Pool: I'm pretty sure he will only be eligible for an analyst position, even with an MFin...

Tomwaits: Did you even apply for FT analyst positions in Canada with your 'tier 1" background?

No... because I am not from a finance background and didn't do enough homework about it yet and I feel like I will be a pylon in the interview.
And by the way, doesn't everyone start with an analyst position when they first start in the field??
A person without banking-related experience, regardless of his educational background, will need to start with an analyst position, right?

Thanks!!!

Apr 24, 2008

MSc Finance will only get you into an analyst role as someone mentioned.

I did my undergrad in Canada and went to LSE/Oxbridge for the masters.

The reason it was difficult for me personally to get an analyst gig was because I didn't try to get SA spots during my undergrad - I did engineering internships to fulfil degree requirements. In the summer before my masters I tried for SA and didn't get it although I made a bunch of final rounds (the reason I got was that they typically hire 3rd uni students - which I get). One of the guys I interviewed with helped me find a job with a RE company because that was what I was most interested in. During that summer I networked and was able to get a bunch of interviews but only got offers at smaller boutiques, so I took my chances and got better offers in London.

The reasons for not getting the good full time roles were:
a) they were interviewing me before all the other candidates so I was not being compared to everyone in the superday format (mid-September)
b) at the time they were interviewing me I hadn't done much finance, even though they knew my masters would be a financed based one and I didn't have any SA
c) I always got the question - why wouldn't you want to stay in London and gain experience there? To which I really didn't have a good answer

With that said, I know a few guys that have successfully made it back and got jobs in IBD in Toronto. Only 1 got it through the traditional route, the other ones had a significant amount of luck and good timing.

I hope that helps.

Apr 24, 2008
RE_Banker:

MSc Finance will only get you into an analyst role as someone mentioned.

I did my undergrad in Canada and went to LSE/Oxbridge for the masters.

The reason it was difficult for me personally to get an analyst gig was because I didn't try to get SA spots during my undergrad - I did engineering internships to fulfil degree requirements. In the summer before my masters I tried for SA and didn't get it although I made a bunch of final rounds (the reason I got was that they typically hire 3rd uni students - which I get). One of the guys I interviewed with helped me find a job with a RE company because that was what I was most interested in. During that summer I networked and was able to get a bunch of interviews but only got offers at smaller boutiques, so I took my chances and got better offers in London.

The reasons for not getting the good full time roles were:
a) they were interviewing me before all the other candidates so I was not being compared to everyone in the superday format (mid-September)
b) at the time they were interviewing me I hadn't done much finance, even though they knew my masters would be a financed based one and I didn't have any SA
c) I always got the question - why wouldn't you want to stay in London and gain experience there? To which I really didn't have a good answer

With that said, I know a few guys that have successfully made it back and got jobs in IBD in Toronto. Only 1 got it through the traditional route, the other ones had a significant amount of luck and good timing.

I hope that helps.

Do you mind telling me what was your reasoning for going to school in UK while you have the intention to land a job in Toronto? Because I got asked about this very often and all I could come up with is "it is kind of cooler and the credentials are more recognized worldwide". I think it is really because I only have a superficial idea of what programs in UK are like and I do not understand the difference between programs in Canada and in UK.
I think job fairs in a MFin program is usually held in mid-Sept every year. So if I want a smooth transition right after MFin is done, I need to communicate with alumni way before I attend the program.
Also, I heard that firms in London are more reluctant to hire foreigners because of the work permit problem. I am just wondering how close to reality it is.

Your comments help a lot!! Really appreciate it!

Apr 24, 2008

no the system is fucked up. MBAs start as associates even if they have no prior experience. While sometimes better qualified kids who have worked in accounting/done a mfin are forced to start as analysts.

Getting into IBD in canada is extremely difficult as stated above. The big 5 banks only hire about 10 analysts a year and the boutiques usually only look at experienced candidates. The BBs hire 1-2 usually.

staying in canada and getting a mfin will not remotely guarantee you a position in IB.

Apr 24, 2008

....there are probably 3-4 other boutiques worth mentioning as well...

Apr 24, 2008

Canaccord, GMP, Orion, Sprott for mid market

Apr 24, 2008

Do these boutiques normally recruit for summer interns??

Even Genuity does not have an internship stated in their corporate website.

  • ....
  •  Apr 24, 2008

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Apr 24, 2008

N.G.:
Genuity does have an internship program, however, the people who get into Genuity are those who have very good connections with the existing bankers at the firm. As for the others, I know some of my friends cold-called all the boutique banks for internships and offered to work for free. This is a great strategy over your summer, esp. if you are looking to do FT recruiting in September

utcommerce:
Tier 1: BMO, RBCCM, CIBC(#1)
Tier 2: TD, BNS (these banks are only tier II b/c they decided to focus more on retail as their core strategy, still great ibanks tho) Genuity, CanAccord Adams, Dundee
Tier III: FirstEnergy, Orion, Sprott, all others I can't think of

Apr 24, 2008

"Genuity does have an internship program, however, the people who get into Genuity are those who have very good connections with the existing bankers at the firm. "

MrCanuck: What do mean by good connections? As in uncle is the cheif or more like alumni in the firm working a couple of years?

About coldcalling.... how do people do it? Seriously...what do you say?

  • utcommerce
  •  Apr 24, 2008

so CIBC wm would be an ideal place for an analyst to start out?
How about ML, UBS etc.. do they play a major part in ibanks in toronto?

Apr 24, 2008
utcommerce:

so CIBC wm would be an ideal place for an analyst to start out?
How about ML, UBS etc.. do they play a major part in ibanks in toronto?

Yes. Foreign banks are gaining ground in Canada. Particularly ML.

I wouldn't say BMO is in the same tier as CIBC and RBC. BMO belongs with TDS and Scotia Cap.

Apr 24, 2008

I'd put Scotia below RBC, CIBC, BMO, Genuity, TD. At least if you want to do any M&A work.
RBC/CIBC are great places to start, and the other banks are also very strong at certain things. The US BB's in Toronto are not very strong and on balance are probably not as good to start at. ML is the strongest but it's still not as good as the Canadian banks. Still though, there are pros/cons and just getting your foot in the door is most important. The advantage US BB's have is that you have a chance to go to NY or London as a 3rd year analyst. However, you will work on fewer deals and get less transaction execution experience.

Apr 24, 2008

Valueadd:
Looking at it again...I agree BMO is not Tier I. The reason I put it there is b/c at least the bank makes an effort in IBD and its part of the BMO core strategy. BMO has a bad habit of trying to be just like every other bank and essentially copying their strategy...although it's still not anything like RBC/CIBC.

CDNMonkey:
I know that BNS is on and off, they have amazing years when they are #2-5 in M&A and sometimes they don't even crack top 10. That's why I put them in Tier II.

In general, US BB offices in Toronto/Montreal are just sales offices. They don't actually structure the deal in canada, that gets done in NY (at least GS, UBS). So you are essentially just getting pitch book writing experience...which is not really experience that you can sell. I agree, however, that you can move to London, NY much more easily...

  • ....
  •  Apr 24, 2008

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Apr 24, 2008

What do you guys think of Canaccord Adams? I'm looking at interviewing with the old Adams Harkness Hill office in Boston. Does it place well into grad schools?

Apr 24, 2008

I'm a Canadian studying at Penn...how difficult is it for people at American universities to get jobs in Canada with Canadian IBs?

  • ....
  •  Apr 24, 2008

.

Apr 24, 2008
Apr 24, 2008

1) Folks at American universities have a good shot (well, certainly UPenn) in Canada but they have to be more proactive - approach the banks directly.

2) Not all U.S. banks give the experience of only pitching in Canada. In the BB that I work for, we eat more than 90% of what we kill and use NYC as a resource (mostly for products such as ECM, DCM aEU" but 100% of non-cross border M&A gets done out of Canada and typically 95% of any Canadian-target M&A).

3) I know at least one person who just finished their 3rd year at CIBC WM who is going to a top 5 U.S. b-school.

4) CanaEU(tm)t really say on Canaccord placing into grad schools, primarily because it is not done often. Most Canaccord analysts get offers to be associates and strangely few go back to b-school. In terms of prestige, I would put them on par or ahead of GMP for b-school placement.

Apr 24, 2008

Nayls, I find it surprising that someone with just 3yrs ibanking experience from CIBC, got into a top US MBA program....this board makes it seem like these days it would require 2 yrs BB experience + 2 years PE/something else to do that.

Do you think its the "Canadian experience" that set that guy apart from the rest of the typical analysts with US/NY experience?

P.S so your working for a BB office in Toronto?

Apr 24, 2008

I'm not going to lie to you, I think in addition to being a very solid individual (top undergrad grades, high GMAT, solid WE) he had some help from a key Alumnus of the school he got into. I got the impression that alumnus went out of his way for the guy (the guy was seriously solid).

And no, I am working for a U.S. BB in Calgary.

Apr 24, 2008

I think that comment about Genuity was more applicable to when they first opened. They hire people without existing connections.

Apr 24, 2008

Genuity:
I know the guys at Genuity pretty well and I was referring to interns. They've had two interns in the past. But both of the interns were just friends of the analysts/associates. It wasn't a formal internship program, I'm not even sure if it had an offer at the end. But that being said, I'm sure the experience looked great on a resume...and Genuity is a great bank to work for because they have a very dynamic work environment with people who are more than book-smart...which is refreshing (at least compared to the Canadian 'big 6').

Cold-calling:
1. Get a list of Canadian ibanks (including the tiny ones that serve the small caps). Call a VC, accountant, or lawyer and he/she can get you a list.
2. Get all their phone numbers using internet/yellow pages
3. Cold-call each and every one, state that you are a very motivated undergrad student in a top biz/econ program, that you are willing to do anything to learn, that you are available to work over the summer. Don't necessarily mention compensation b/c that makes you sound like a travelling salesman. If they don't call back, be aggressive...but use some judgement so all of Bay St doesn't learn about you...

  • utcommerce
  •  Apr 24, 2008
mrcanuck:

but use some judgement so all of Bay St doesn't learn about you...

that part made me laugh out loud haha.

  • utcommerce
  •  Apr 24, 2008

any more helpful advice/comments

Apr 24, 2008

Domestic Firms:

  • "Canadian Bulge Bracket" - CIBC, RBC, BMO (selectively)
  • Tier 2 BB - TD (client relationships are not as long-term, more of a secondary advisor on big deals); Scotia (poor morale)
  • Tier 1 Mid-Market - Genuity (advisory & tech underwriting are very strong), GMP (small & mid-cap financings, special situations), Cannacord (having a stellar underwriting year, not really an advisory shop), Sprott/Cormark (very opportunistic, pick their spots), National Bank Financial (rebuilding)
  • Tier 2 Mid-Market - Blair Franklin (advisory focus), Wellington West (underwriting focus), Westwind, E&Y Orenda (advisory), other Big 4 corporate finance practises, Desjardins Securities, Blackmont (some old CIBC guys are there and backed by CI)
  • utcommerce
  •  Apr 24, 2008

but how would you rank US bb's that are located in canada such as goldman, ubs, citi, ml compared to the canadian top banks in canada?

Apr 24, 2008

It is very difficult to compare U.S. BBs and Canadian domestics.

First off, the foreign dealers do not do any real underwriting in Canada. Meaning no Canadian IPOs or follow-on offerings.

They do some debt underwriting but this is done out of NY and this is fairly boring.

In terms of advisory work, they are active but in a very different way. The Canadian dealers execute 100% of their assignments out of Canada, while the U.S. dealers either outsource it to NY or are part of a cross-border team. It can be a very different experience (not necessarily worse).

In addition, foreign dealers typically compete on cross-border M&A assignments (think Alcan, BCE, etc.) not on domestic M&A (think income fund M&A, mid-cap oil patch & mining work, etc.).

Having said that, there are some shops with a very good presence in Canada. Not comparing them to the Canada shops but to each other.

Real Players: GS, UBS, CSFB, ML, MS, JPM, Citi, Lehman (each have their area of focus and client list - also each has different track records when it comes to their committment in Canada)

I don't really have the knowledge base to meaningfully compare each one but I do know it is a very different business to the Canadian bank-owned and independent dealers

  • utcommerce
  •  Apr 24, 2008

Thanks alot, you'v been very helpful.
One more thing. If I plan to go to US for my MBA, would an analyst position in CIBC in canada be better than for example a UBS one/

Apr 24, 2008

I don't think it makes a difference all else being equal.

Apr 24, 2008

There are certainly different business models in Canada wrt U.S. investment banks, but the picture you paint is wholly incorrect for the U.S. banks with which I am familiar.

M&A execution is 95% done in Canada for Canadian-targets and we do not just focus on cross-border deals but are active in domestic-to-domestic advisory.

On equity underwriting, I would take a different tact and say that while we don't participate in bought deal financings, we are reasonably active in IPOs and secondary issuances in Canada. Moreover, we have seen a marked increase in discussions on private placements into the U.S. and PIPE transactions, particularly by Canadian issuers into the U.S. market.

On debt underwriting, I can hardly think of a decent sized institutional-issued capital markets transaction where a U.S. dealer was not the bookrunner and quarterback. If the Canadian banks want to compete on their balance sheets, that's just fine because none of them are big enough to play in the space the U.S. dealers want to be in. I'll admit that the sub-prime meltdown has delayed some of this business, but it is one that drives a lot of our M&A discussions, both cross-border, domestic/domestic or financial sponsor.

The one thing I'll say is that you are right that it is a very different model than the Canadian bank-owned dealers and a remarkably different strategy than the boutiques. It is a tough call though on whether a U.S. bank or Canadian bank is better for going to the U.S. for your MBA. If you're a rock-star at a Canadian bank and you can rely on alumni assistance, it is a tried and true path. I haven't seen many analysts go from U.S. dealers to business schools (from Canada) as the banks usually promote whomever they want in Canada. One of the benefits of autonomy.

Apr 24, 2008

Which IPOs besides Lululemon did a U.S. dealer have a leading role?

I thought 90% of offerings in Canada were bought deals (including a number of $1 billion+ deals). So if that is the case, how would a U.S. bank claim to be actively participating in the Canadian equity capital markets?

Apr 24, 2008

I presume when you are referring to "debt underwriting", you are referring sub-investment grade product going into the U.S., which while more interesting and lucrative, represents a smaller portion of the market

Apr 24, 2008

On debt underwriting, I refer to both high grade and investment grade debt.

There are far more than Lululemon done by U.S. underwriters, including Tim Hortons, Addax Petroleum and many many more. Moreover, this is a major area of growth for U.S. banks in Canada, so watch this space. And yes, a majority (can't say 90%) of deals are bought deals, but for truly large capital raisings a marketed process needs to be done and it needs the distribution of large U.S. banks.

Apr 24, 2008

Just did a league table search over the last 2.5 years - all debt. full credit to lead

Top 5 - bank-owned dealers
6th - ml
7th - national
big drop off
then citi, db, others

Hardly a blow-out for the U.S. dealers

Apr 24, 2008

So is it worth applying for US BBs in Toronto or are you better off sticking with Canadian banks?
Also does anyone here know if you have to give mandatory exams to be in Investment Banker or Trader in Canada? I heard a Canadian Securities Course (CSC) exam apparently has to be given. Any thoughts on this???

Apr 24, 2008

Absolutely apply but understand there is a reason why the GS office in Toronto is 12 bankers and RBC has 120 bankers.

U.S. BBs in Canada = satelite office focused on cross-border advisory with a meaningful portion (not all, maybe 50%) of execution done out of New York. Better global presence which can be important for certain TSX 30 clients.

Apr 24, 2008

No mandatory exams for IB.

I think you may need the CSC for trading, not sure though.

Apr 24, 2008

Just getting your foot in the door is the biggest thing in Canada. Bay Street is a small place and there aren't massive analyst classes like NYC. You should apply everywhere, no matter how confident you are. People switch banks all the time, so don't feel permanently stuck if you don't end up at your first choice. It's nice to to say that you plan on CIBC/RBC M&A, but they realistically don't take many analysts and interviewing isn't the most consistent and predictable process.

Apr 24, 2008

CDNmonkey:
When you say getting your foot in the door .... Is getting in investment banking RBC/CIBC M&A Asia considered getting into the door?

Do you know the presence of RBC/CIBC in Asia?

Apr 24, 2008

Does anyone in here know what is the associate pay look like for US BBs in Canada vs. CDN BBs? I am leaning towards CDN BB > US BB just because CDN BBs make more deals than US BBs in Canada.

Apr 24, 2008

CDN monkey what do you mean by interviewing isn't the most consistent and predictable process?

Also has anyone been through the interview process at the CDN BBs? From what I have spoken to people about they are not as intensive as US BBs. Can anyone elaborate as to what do CDN banks stress most on?

Apr 24, 2008

I have no clue about RBC/CIBC in Asia.

I would completely disagree that CDN Bank interviews are less intense than US BB's. On average, I found the intensity to be the same, with more technical Q's at CDN banks. It's still hard to generalize my experience though.
Every interviewer has an individual interview style/personality. It's important to remember you are interviewing with people, not with a bank. You can't predict where a thirty minute conversation will head, and your interviewers are clearly not human resource professionals.
At the end of the day, your interviewer is probably a tired associate who got dragged away from his work for a few hours to talk to kids.

Apr 24, 2008

Yeah CDNMonkey is spot on, I've found breaking into Canadian ibanks much tougher vis-a-vis the US. For example, BMO and RBC both a cut-off GPA of 3.75. If you don't have a 3.75 at either of those banks, your resume is shredded. Even if you are an honors student, HR told me that no exceptions are made. I thought this was really harsh, do other Canadians on this board have a similar experience? I'm not sure about CIBC World Markets M&A and other investment banks.

In terms of interviewing, I interviewed with 3 of the Canadian Big 6 banks, and found my interviews to be much more challenging than BB US interviews. You really need to know your finance. I agree with CDNMonkey in that the interviews can be all over the place. I got rejected from CIBC because they asked me a question on why amaranth blew up. When I said operational risk (i.e. don't allow dude to trade from Canada, no checks and balances) the guy interviewing me said I was full of BS and that amaranth just didnt do sufficient natgas research. In reality, I still think that both answers are correct. I'm Canadian myself, so I targeted Canadian ibanks when I was graduating from university since I didn't mind moving back to Canada. Since 99% of analysts here have business/engg degrees, the finance questions are pretty tough, e.g.:

  1. I need foreign currency to pay off a liability. Without actually exchanging CDN$ for foreign currency, name three ways of raising this foreign currency.
  2. This bank that you are interviewing for made a PE investment in a toll road through its PE group, what has been the annual IRR of this investment? (WTF...how the F are you supposed to find this info...I still can't find it to this day!)
  3. This bank that you are interviewing for advised XX company on an acquisition, which bank represented the target?
  4. Name the five factors that influence the price of an option?
  5. What is a labor-sponsored venture fund?
  6. How does GAAP account for a capital lease? (basically, is it an on or off balance sheet item)
  7. Name 3 accounting ratios used to assess the credit worthiness of a corporate entity.

I got completely destroyed in my first interview and had to go bank AND REALLY learn my stuff. Canadian ibank interviews are really really hard because there are 1000s of applicants and barely any room for new analysts on Bay Street. You should know that Bay Street is TINY. I think someone mentioned this on this board.

In the US b/c most analysts don't have business degrees, the interviews are way easier IN TERMS OF FINANCE QUESTIONS. In terms of those annoying brain teaser questions, the US is way more challenging because how else can you test for intelligence during an interview? I actually found the easiest interviews to be UK ibank interviews (RBS, Barclays, HSBC). UK banks rely more on case-based interviews and try to create a level playing field for all interviewees.

Apr 24, 2008

-

Apr 24, 2008

but I know a second year from Schulich who got into BMO this summer with less than a 3.75 gpa....

mr.canuck, maybe since you applied for S+T your experience interviewing was a bit different at the CDN and American banks, compared to IB?

Apr 24, 2008

Backward looking won't help. Many banks are just returning. Besides, what was your minimum deal size and what debt products? Commercial lending I'd assume goes almost 100% to big 5. And try year to date 2007.

Apr 24, 2008

Thanks for the insight Mr Canuck! I did not think it would be so technical. Had a friend who interview with Genuity last month. He came out "sweating through his ass" in his words.
His questions although were not this technical. They were more based on his resume and stressing him out on it.
What happens on Bay Street if you are not a finance grad but instead an Econ one?? If you have not done enough of Finance courses but plenty of Econ stuff?

Apr 24, 2008

.

Apr 24, 2008

Hey sorry guys should have clarified. BMO sets the cut-off GPA based on number of applicants versus positions available. So for full time recruiting last year (06/07), they got so many applications, they just decided to ditch everything with a less than 3.75 GPA. 3.75 is not some magical number that stays constant all the time, or even between summer vs. FT recruiting.

Apr 24, 2008

...not true.

Logan: My friend graduated valedictorian from Queen's econ (which btw is the best econ program in Canada) and cracked into RBC Capital mkts. I know that investment banks will look at non-business resumes from ugrad students at Queen's/McGill. They do NOT, however, look at non-business resumes at UWO. I'm not really sure why. Ask your career center. If investment banks in your university will look at arts resumes and you have good credentials, you should have no problem getting in.

Apr 24, 2008

.

Apr 24, 2008

Btw, Queen's doesn't have the best econ program in Canada, UofT does.

  • utcommerce
  •  Apr 24, 2008
n3wbie:

Btw, Queen's doesn't have the best econ program in Canada, UofT does.

i can vouch for that. uoft actually made me love economics. If i could have another lifetime i would want to go further into it.

Apr 24, 2008
n3wbie:

Btw, Queen's doesn't have the best econ program in Canada, UofT does.

If your program is so 'amazing' why can't UofT econ students land ibanking jobs? Those two statements are not congruent. I don't doubt that UofT has a good econ program, in fact I know that the Master of Financial Economics program places kids into PhD programs pretty well.

I'm just saying from a purely academic standpoint, Queen's is more famous for economics. Most of the Bank of Canada governers were from Queen's economics, and the leading economic thinkers in Canada came from there. I'm didn't got to either school, so I think my opinion is quite fair. While UofT has a great program with excellent profs and academics, they are simply not as good as the economics department at Queen's. If they were, ibanks would not confront UofT grads about their program, which you yourself confirmed.

Apr 24, 2008

what is the prospect of a waterloo actsci (math) student getting into an analyst position at any of the IBs in Toronto?

Apr 24, 2008
del_monte:

what is the prospect of a waterloo actsci (math) student getting into an analyst position at any of the IBs in Toronto?

General answer: uphill struggle to get into the investment banking group (M&A or corp. fin.) Why? Becuase waterloo doesn't train it's students to have the skill set required ... uw kids can do math and probability and all that jazz, but that's certainly not what deal-making and M&A/valuation analysis is all about, and the Canadian b-school kids are way better in terms of practical finance know-how and finesse/interview prep. Plus there may be like 10 waterloo alumni in IBD on all of bay st!! so really no one trying to pull UW grads in

That said, the s&t programs on bay st should be receptive (you'll find waterloo grads at Citi, Merrill and all the canadian dealers' trading floors). Also, you can build up a solid resume through the co-op program. However, while interviewing (and working for one) of them, i've found that they generally still prefer business students over BMath guys because they are apparently more personable, etc. Can't blame them I guess: Finance is a business function/discipline first and then a mathematical one.

btw I'm not bs-ing: i'm very familiar with waterloo (math) and have worked/am still working on Bay St.

Apr 24, 2008

So basically if you come from non-target Canadian school with a BA Econ you have no chance in Ibanking??

Apr 24, 2008

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Apr 24, 2008

n3wbie,

But how did the guy even land an interview if they reject Econ majors straight out? Also if you can prove that you are indeed finance oriented (Econ degree though) is there a fair chance of you cracking into CDN BBs??
Also does this apply to all CDN banks or only CIBC/RBC/TD etc?

Apr 24, 2008

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Apr 24, 2008

I have taken a plethora of accounting and finance as well as marketing courses as free electives. Also my econ credits are geared towards macroeconomics, statistics and financial markets. Since I am at a non target I wondered if the application would be simply rejected based on BA Econ and not BComm

Apr 24, 2008

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Apr 24, 2008

How come BMO are so strict with the marks?

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