Citi Public Finance - Thoughts on the group

Got 1st round at Citi PubFin. Thoughts on the group? What type of interview questions? Easy to lateral to IBD?

Citi Group: Public finance

CitiGroup has good deal flow in the public finance space. They are a top practice. They consistently rank at the top of municipal league tables with Bank of America and JP Morgan.

For an interview you should know a bit about the following topics:

from certified user @PEConsulting

get a good idea of the market and current trends, the differences in credits, you should probably know where the firm sits in the league table. Technically I would probably know how coupons, yields, and prices all relate.

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Comments (16)

Jan 27, 2013

I work in PubFin... They more than likely won't ask you any technicals as Muni Finance is a niche market and not really something you study in school... Maybe a bit of general bond math, or What OID/OIP is.. I would read more into the industry in general. Check out the bondbuyer. read about the AGM downgrade and maybe BAM(The new insurer). Possibly check out some big deals Citi is pricing in the near future. Check this site out --> https://www.tm3.com/homepage/homepage.jsf?ur=y

The longer you stay in PubFin the bleaker the exit opps are. I have been in for about a year and a half and am getting the F out... It is a niche market and the modelling isn't typical equity, DCF, LBO modelling so the skillset isn't as transferable.

Jan 27, 2013
calikid3820:

I work in PubFin... They more than likely won't ask you any technicals as Muni Finance is a niche market and not really something you study in school... Maybe a bit of general bond math, or What OID/OIP is.. I would read more into the industry in general. Check out the bondbuyer. read about the AGM downgrade and maybe BAM(The new insurer). Possibly check out some big deals Citi is pricing in the near future. Check this site out --> https://www.tm3.com/homepage/homepage.jsf?ur=y

The longer you stay in PubFin the bleaker the exit opps are. I have been in for about a year and a half and am getting the F out... It is a niche market and the modelling isn't typical equity, DCF, LBO modelling so the skillset isn't as transferable.

any ideas on moving from a muni issuer over to your side?

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Jan 27, 2013

PM'd you...also what kind of exit opps exist? M&I article said little to nothing except government roles...

Jan 27, 2013

I interviewed with a PubFin team for a summer spot a few years ago. I guess it varies firm to firm, but they were extremely technical; not to the level of HLHZ/Moelis, but still more-so than standard IB interviews.

One interviewer explained the "buy america"-bonds program, then asked me questions about it. I got a good deal of bond pricing questions too. One interviewer even asked me about how an municipal entity's bonds would trade versus a general revenue bond.

Jan 27, 2013
West Coast rainmaker:

I interviewed with a PubFin team for a summer spot a few years ago. I guess it varies firm to firm, but they were extremely technical; not to the level of HLHZ/Moelis, but still more-so than standard IB interviews.

One interviewer explained the "buy america"-bonds program, then asked me questions about it. I got a good deal of bond pricing questions too. One interviewer even asked me about how an municipal entity's bonds would trade versus a general revenue bond.

That blows... Did you have previous experience or something that opened you to that line of questioning? I know when I interviewed I was straight up told that the training would teach me everything I needed since its such a niche market...

Moving over to the Finance aspect from an issuer would depend on the size of the issuer and your role within the organization. My office and my clients are all smaller entities so none of them have any actual useful skills or real understanding of finance. If you work for a larger authority or agency and are directly involved with structuring and pricing I am sure you could network with the bankers you work on deals with.

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Jan 27, 2013
calikid3820:
West Coast rainmaker:

I interviewed with a PubFin team for a summer spot a few years ago. I guess it varies firm to firm, but they were extremely technical; not to the level of HLHZ/Moelis, but still more-so than standard IB interviews.

One interviewer explained the "buy america"-bonds program, then asked me questions about it. I got a good deal of bond pricing questions too. One interviewer even asked me about how an municipal entity's bonds would trade versus a general revenue bond.

That blows... Did you have previous experience or something that opened you to that line of questioning? I know when I interviewed I was straight up told that the training would teach me everything I needed since its such a niche market...

Moving over to the Finance aspect from an issuer would depend on the size of the issuer and your role within the organization. My office and my clients are all smaller entities so none of them have any actual useful skills or real understanding of finance. If you work for a larger authority or agency and are directly involved with structuring and pricing I am sure you could network with the bankers you work on deals with.

Not exactly. I had no idea what the hell a "buy america bond" was going in. But this was in '09, and the market was really competitive (particularly for public finance - not much hiring there). I think they took 1 summer. This bank was had public finance as a weird split between IB, S&T, and capital markets.

I didn't ask about exits during the interview, but a few bankers did mention that going to work for the government/public entities was fairly common. This apparently includes senior positions in hospital finance - I was surprised to learn hospitals often deal with pubfin groups.

I think of public finance like ECM/DCM - poor exits, but not a bad place to build a career in terms of risk, time invested, and compensation.

Jan 27, 2013
West Coast rainmaker:

I interviewed with a PubFin team for a summer spot a few years ago. I guess it varies firm to firm, but they were extremely technical; not to the level of HLHZ/Moelis, but still more-so than standard IB interviews.

One interviewer explained the "buy america"-bonds program, then asked me questions about it. I got a good deal of bond pricing questions too. One interviewer even asked me about how an municipal entity's bonds would trade versus a general revenue bond.

BABs blow...

They are however based on the principle that the Govt/IRS hates tax-exempt debt because it generates tax-exempt income. the BABs are taxable bonds that pay the issuer a subsidy so they are supposed to net out and have the same effective rate as a traditional tax-exempt issue..

GO will trade at a lower spread because it pledges the "Full taxing powers" of the issuer. Revenue bonds are only guaranteed by revenues generated from the entity, from a particular project, or a particular tax.. Therefore they are riskier and have a higher premium

Jan 27, 2013

Is this for S.A? I work in Pub Fin so shoot me a PM if you have any specific questions.

Jan 27, 2013

This is for SA...sent you a PM...curious as how to leverage SA stunt in PubFin to switch to IBD...I have experience in a boutique IB shop...

Jan 27, 2013

If you want IB then seriously go for IB. Friend of mine did pub fin SA at a top bank and was only able to get a couple IB interviews for FT. Banks are filling up their FT classes with their SA programs and ones who are able to intern elsewhere and then move to IB generally did IB their junior year summer. This isn't 100% the case but has been the general trend among people I know FWIW.

Feb 2, 2013

Not to be pedantic, but public finance is investment banking. Because they often work with tax exempt entities, some of the banks just put it in their DCM groups.

Feb 2, 2013

Hi I am curious about this as well but for another bank. How is the public finance interviews different from normal ibd interviews?

Feb 2, 2013

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Feb 2, 2013
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