Commercial banking vs private equity

Bobthebuilder1's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 10

Hey guys

Need some advice here. So I have the option to work at a boutique private equity firm, only four guys in the entire firm, in an internship capacity completely for free, and I also have an offer to join a commercial bank's management associate program. The program is one year in which I would be a credit analyst with the intent to develop into a commercial banker. The bank does not have an IBD so lateral move wouldn't really be an option. PE is my ultimate career goal, but the position is more of a data entry type thing. With only three people I really feel like I could leverage this to learn a lot, but wanted to see what everyone had to say. I would basically be turning down a salary for the chance that I can turn this into something. For background, year out of undergrad, looking to get into IB but as of right mow these are my only options. Also went to non target. Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Comments (9)

May 22, 2012

Depends on the bank with the program and the size of each deal. If they define commercial banking as a company with revenue more than $15 million or so, then I would go with the program. You will get some solid exposure. Other if you are a commercial banker that sits in a branch and does nothing, then def go with the internship. What is the name of the bank with the program?

May 22, 2012

I would go with the commercial banking program, you will have a salary and you will learn a lot about credit. Now the P.E firm I assume its relatively new, do you know if they will get deal flow for certain? If you aren't going get tons of hands on experience at the P.E firm it might not be worth it.

May 22, 2012

The program would be with synovus which is why I am a little hesitant because it is a smaller bank, still somewhat large though. What about exit ops? Could I leave the program after a year or two for a good MBA and transition into ib/pe? Also, I know the pe firm just stated their second fund and are looking to expand, so the potential is there for my work Flow to increase. I am just wondering how much the internship could potentially help me later since it is fairly uncommon for younger guys. Thanks

May 22, 2012

I would stick with Synovus, I doubt the P/E firm has a significant amount of capital since it only has four people. The exposure you get from the program will probably allow you to lateral toward IB/PE easily as you will have been in a real FO role. I am assuming the program is like a rotation, so I am sure the exit ops are pretty good.

May 22, 2012

your interest is in private equity correct? I would do more research on the firm first, see what kind of deals they're doing, what the background of the guys are etc. If these guys are legit with prior experience (in IBD/private equity), I would take the PE firm. Even though its not paid, get your hands on everything available and be very proactive. You could really learn a lot. If you find that these guys are legit with a lot of connections, they can recommend you to their friends and you could possibly network your way into another firm.

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May 23, 2012

That's what I was thinking as well. Problem is that the guy said the internship would be more of a data entry role, but like I said with only a few people and a growing company I feel like I could really leverage the experience to learn a lot. What do you guys think would look better to a potential ib or pe firm? Also, the credit program is a full year. Would it make sense to leave after a year to pursue something else before I get my MBA or would I be better off staying for two years then applying to business school and then get internships in IB/pe with the hope of landing a job in those fields upon graduation?

May 23, 2012


May 23, 2012

I have never heard of a legitimate four-man private equity shop. Significantly more manpower is required to attract institutional capital and evaluate, acquire, and operate target companies or assets. The commercial bank's structured program will give you a better, more recognizable institutional background that I think will play better with business schools and future employers.

I might be a bit cynical, but it sounds like four guys getting together trying to raise money calling themselves a "boutique private equity fund" and preying on free labor from somebody desperate to break into the industry. This is unfortunately all too common.

May 24, 2012