Corp. Dev to IB

I'm currently a senior analyst for a healthcare company's corporate development team. During my ~2 years as a senior analyst, I've developed a few meaningful relationships with healthcare focused banks and a few of their VPs. I'd like to leverage these relationships to land an analyst role at an investment bank. I am two years out of undergrad, and I intend on going to b-school, but I'd like to try to have investment banking experience prior to matriculating.

  1. What's the best way to approach these connections with my intent to transition into investment banking?

Comments (26)

Mar 12, 2017

I don't agree with your strategy - I think you should matriculate then go to IB as an associate...but what are your goals post MBA?

Mar 12, 2017
PiratesSayARRR:

I don't agree with your strategy - I think you should matriculate then go to IB as an associate...but what are your goals post MBA?

Thanks for the feedback. My long term goal is healthcare focused private equity. Ideally, I would focus on healthcare IT companies.

I've talked to strategy and operations colleagues at different companies in the same healthcare vertical as mine, and they waited 5 to 6 years post undergrad to apply, but they are going to top 5 schools.

Mar 12, 2017

It makes a lot more sense to do an MBA to make the transition than make the transition to IB, leave IB for an MBA, and then go back into IB.

I'd communicate your intent to these VPs/connections, so they think of you when there's an opening. They'll probably have more insight into how to best approach the jump to their bank.

Mar 12, 2017
The Real Max:

It makes a lot more sense to do an MBA to make the transition than make the transition to IB, leave IB for an MBA, and then go back into IB.

I'd communicate your intent to these VPs/connections, so they think of you when there's an opening. They'll probably have more insight into how to best approach the jump to their bank.

Thanks for the insight. I'd like to matriculate in 3 to 4 years. What's the best way to fill the 6+ year gap?

Mar 13, 2017

I kicked around the same thing, although never leveraged any of my banking contacts. Let us know how this works for you.

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Mar 13, 2017

Will do. I have some calls scheduled over the next few weeks.

Apr 22, 2017

Is it too late for you to make the switch?

Mar 16, 2017

What are your post-MBA career goals?

Mar 16, 2017

I'm still doing a bit of soul searching (I'm hoping b-school can add clarity). Right now, I'm researching and learning about IB and Strategy consulting (unique, I know). I do know that I want to focus in healthcare (HCIT specifically- my current industry).

Mar 16, 2017

The reason I asked was because an MBA is an extremely expensive (and really unnecessary) way for someone with M&A experience to get into IB.

I would do as some others have suggested and reach out to these banking contacts. How open is your corp dev team to you discussing this with them? I know that if I told my boss that I wanted to get back into IB, he would support it 100% and help me make the move, but that obviously may not be the same for you.

Best Response
Mar 19, 2017

Just a few things to point out:
- Why don't you just move to another firm for a bigger title? Most people I see do IBD, then MBA, then PE, then go back to do corporate development/ strategy role (the one that you are doing right now). So unless, you really want to be in IBD, I don't see the point of making a transition. If I were you, I would just the company to sponsor me for EMBA or MBA at a really good school (save myself some money). Then I would just move to another firm with a bigger title. On the contrary, if you quit your job and move to IBD: 1) first it might not work, 2) after you do get into IBD, most banks will definitely not going to sponsor your MBA [you are going to be losing at least 150,000], 3) after MBA it is not really confirmed that you can move back to your IBD job. A friend of mine got his EMBA from Columbia sponsored by IBM (he was in corporate development as you). Right after he got his EMBA, his unit got bought out by some other firm, and he is no longer chained to IBM to do 2 years after EMBA. Now he is a freeman, with an EBMA, without paying for it and moved to another firm with a much bigger pay. I think that is how you should play this game.
- Trying to lateral from corporate development to IBD won't work for one main reason: the banks are just being nice to you because they really want your firm's business and by hiring you they lost their contact, which is you.

    • 3
Mar 19, 2017

Thanks for the advice. I'm definitely looking into lateral corporate development or strategy jobs. I'm having a hard time getting interviews with companies in other industries and healthcare companies want 3+ years of experience.

Through this process, I've discovered that I really want to stay in healthcare.

Mar 19, 2017
titlelost:

I'm currently a senior analyst for a healthcare company's corporate development team. During my ~2 years as a senior analyst, I've developed a few meaningful relationships with healthcare focused banks and a few of their VPs. I'd like to leverage these relationships to land an analyst role at an investment bank. I am two years out of undergrad, and I intend on going to b-school, but I'd like to try to have investment banking experience prior to matriculating.What's the best way to approach these connections with my intent to transition into investment banking?

I don't see why you would go IB to get to PE.

In CD your deal flow is 4X as much as in IB, you are able to construct investment thesis very quickly after 2 years. If you want to specialize in HCIT, you will sit at the table with PE HCIT partners way more in CD than in IB. You'll have to work your way up to VP at an IB just to get your voice heard during negotiations.

If you want PE I'd stay in CD you'll see way more deals even though you pass on 90% of them, but your true market knowledge is way more in depth than an associate in IB.

If you want a higher comp go IB.

Mar 20, 2017

I think there are a few things to keep in mind.....
a.) Deal flow within CD is really hit or miss, you might have a pretty robust pipeline but do you have the mandate to allocate enough capital to close more than a few deals per year, if that? Maybe? Depends on your industry.

b.) Most PE want IBD experience, I think its very rare for someone to make the jump from a strategic buyer to a sponsor. Seems to me this would be a natural fit since both are on the "buy-side" but for most PE firms are very stuck to the traditional type of backgrounds with banking experience. Although an argument can be made that financial vs strategic perspective is very different.

c.) So I think logically what you guys are saying makes sense but not sure how real it is. As the other poster mentioned, I think I agree that the bankers are probably just trying to make nice so they can build a rapport to get mandates but doesn't hurt to try.

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Apr 22, 2017

You can go about it two ways.

1) Leverage the IB relationships from your work in corp dev. The IB teams are going to be very friendly with you because you are one of their clients, but I would beware if the MD spills the beans that you are looking to the head of your group. I know from my experience in corp dev, I would not be surprised one bit if the MDs at banks who are really chummy with my group heads are making small talk like that.

2) Be honest with your boss. You can say that you are thinking of going into IB and would like to have his/her help in making introductions. I know one colleague who did that and he was able to transition fairly easily that way. He, like you, was unhappy working 80+ hours/week and making crap pay.

May 28, 2017

Thanks for the reply! I apologize for the delayed response, things have been super busy at work and I have not had time to catch up on social things. I really appreciate the words.

May 30, 2017
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