Corporate Banking: advice and information

Mark Queban's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 508

I have spent a considerable amount of time of WSO and the web looking for information regarding Corporate Banking. It seems like information here is lacking. I feel as though I have a decent understanding of the business, but I have struggled to find the top players in this area as wells as where coverage groups are located. I am also interested in any advice regarding SA/FT recruiting and what to expect going forward.

I'd also like to confirm my reason for interest. From what I gather, Corporate Banking is a possible avenue for those looking to strike a more reasonable work life balance while being exposed to much of the same work as an IB analyst might be. (Modeling, Financial Statement Analysis, etc.) I have a nontarget background and have struggled to stay competitive through this summer's SA recruiting process and am looking in to other options.

Thanks in advance.

Comments (37)

Best Response
Mar 21, 2016

Top players: JPM, BofA, Wells, and Citi for US based on my experience. I'm in CB and JPM agents like 65-70% of our deals. If you can get into the Corporate Investment Bank (CIB) at JPM/BofA/Citi those would be great to start out at and they work along side the IB groups - giving you much needed interaction and networking opportunities.

If I could give you any helpful advice it would be to get into the biggest CB possible, simply because the bigger the bank the more likely you will be agenting deals which is where all the real analysis/modeling is. Just my perspective. IF you cannot get into a BB CB then PNC/KeyBank/BMO are decent and agent a good amount of deals for their significantly smaller size.

    • 2
Mar 25, 2016

Could you or @monkeys_like_bananas break down what are the tasks for an agent, a lead, and an administrator ?
Are the different roles mainly for a syndicate deal?

Mar 22, 2016

I'm a CB analyst at one of the big ones. I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, but generally CB does see the same stuff as IB, but is usually less involved in stuff like deck iterations and sometimes modeling. PM me if you have any specific questions

Mar 25, 2016

bump

Mar 25, 2016

Corporate Banking can vary by shop to shop but overall contains the same tenants. Primarily revolves around credit origination to MM or lower revenue large F500s.

Work life balance is generally better. For example, there are weeks where I'm putting in 60-65 hours a week; when I'm in the middle of a tough deal, I've worked three weeks straight at ~85+/hrs per week. On average, I put in 70 hours. Some of my peers put in more, some less.

BBDreamin is 100% correct. Recommend that you attempt to land with one of the banks that usually lead the transaction. Lowest tier I would consider is PNC/STRH/RayJay; below that tier and you're just a glorified commercial banker.

Perhaps since my bank still expanding, I'm involved in quite a bit of pitch book creation. The sophistication depends on the MD(s) you support and can range from mundane (quals) to intellectually stimulating (M&A/ECM/DCM/etc).

For exit ops, most people transfer to IB either internally or to another bank. Very rare to see someone from CB jump to PE, although it is possible with the right connections and right target (lower MM to MM shops).

One of the best (and worst) parts of CB is that it is usually geographically diverse. This allows you to live outside of the traditional finance hubs, but you are also further away from key decision makers and can be sometimes forgotten by the main office.

Where I work CB and IB have the same base with CB incurring a slight ding (~10%) in bonus. Last year a top CB 1st Yr Analyst could expect $125k all-in at my shop. From what I've heard, I expect that number to be about $10k higher at a top BB.

DM if you want additional color.

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Mar 25, 2016
monkeys_like_bananas:

Corporate Banking can vary by shop to shop but overall contains the same tenants. Primarily revolves around credit origination to MM or lower revenue large F500s.

Work life balance is generally better. For example, there are weeks where I'm putting in 60-65 hours a week; when I'm in the middle of a tough deal, I've worked three weeks straight at ~85+/hrs per week. On average, I put in 70 hours. Some of my peers put in more, some less.

BBDreamin is 100% correct. Recommend that you attempt to land with one of the banks that usually lead the transaction. Lowest tier I would consider is PNC/STRH/RayJay; below that tier and you're just a glorified commercial banker.

Perhaps since my bank still expanding, I'm involved in quite a bit of pitch book creation. The sophistication depends on the MD(s) you support and can range from mundane (quals) to intellectually stimulating (M&A/ECM/DCM/etc).

For exit ops, most people transfer to IB either internally or to another bank. Very rare to see someone from CB jump to PE, although it is possible with the right connections and right target (lower MM to MM shops).

One of the best (and worst) parts of CB is that it is usually geographically diverse. This allows you to live outside of the traditional finance hubs, but you are also further away from key decision makers and can be sometimes forgotten by the main office.

Where I work CB and IB have the same base with CB incurring a slight ding (~10%) in bonus. Last year a top CB 1st Yr Analyst could expect $125k all-in at my shop. From what I've heard, I expect that number to be about $10k higher at a top BB.

DM if you want additional color.

I work at one of the mentioned banks in IBD and can confirm that corporate banking analysts are not paid 125k all in. Their base is 60-70k with a bonus of 0-10k. A lot of MDs I had met in corporate banking came from the investment bank, they were tired of the hours and had enough money that a pay cut didn't mean much to them.

Mar 25, 2016

Damn! My sign-on was larger than their FY bonuses... That would suck to work in your CB.

I guess it really depends on how your bank views it. My bank (a large MM) has varied between housing it between Commercial and IB. Currently, we are under IB which means, pay, training, series tests, etc are the same. Pay was significantly raised about 2 years ago from the range you were mentioning to current levels, so it doesn't surprise me.

Mar 26, 2016

I work at a MM and 1st-2nd year analysts make around 70K base and pulled in bonuses over $20K. I would agree though that $125K all in is extremely high. I would also mention to the OP that some of the BB's mentioned pay at or below market in CB. I think 70-75K base and 20-30% bonus is a reasonable assumption.

Mar 25, 2016

That seems awfully low... I don't work at one of the mentioned banks , but I am in corporate banking. Salary is same as ibd, but my bonus is a fraction of theirs .

Mar 26, 2016

has anyone done corporate/commercial banking to investment banking? is it a good leg up?

Mar 26, 2016

is it a leg up vs. what? yes people have switched from corporate banking to ibd, but it is not straightforward.

Mar 26, 2016

Low bonus, 4.5k first year

Lower base salary too, 55k first year

'Oh, yeah, that's right. That's what's it's all about, all right. But talkin' about it and bein' it, that's two different things.'

Mar 26, 2016

socal
i don't have much of a choice. i have a shot at corporate banking for the summer. and i wanted to know how transferable my skills would be to IB like in m&a or a specific industry group, preferably at the same bank. considering I network my ass off.

fitz,
where did you get this from? I heard salary is on par with IB but bonuses are about 10-25%

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Mar 25, 2016

I'm a glorified commerial banker. I generally have 30 hour weeks, do no modeling, no PowerPoint, and we try not to do many syndicated deals.

Mar 26, 2016

I work in corporate banking as a credit analyst, feel free to pm!

Mar 26, 2016

Some of the points above seem pretty optimistic... My knowledge of the better-paying CB shops is that the base is 30% less than what IBD analysts get at BBs (and the payrises are steeper in IBD). Hours - ~40-60/week.

Work on books is scarce unless you're in a product team (what would you be putting in the book? You're looking at standard financing arrangements), and modelling is effectively nonexistent. It's credit-writing, basic financial analysis and relationship management, which becomes more significant the more senior you get, if you take an origination path. CB teams don't provide advisory services, they provide vanilla debt.

Mar 25, 2016

Totally (but respectfully) dispute your information.

While we primarily pitch around capital structure (plain vanilla to more exotic forms of financing), I have personally worked on complex ECM and M&A pitch books, as well.

This misaligned view of CB primarily stems from those banks with little to no "traditional" retail banking services (GS, MS, Jefferies and the like). My closest peers (BBs like JPM, WF, BAML, DB and MMs like PNC, Key, Regions, STRH) more or less perform the same duties and receive the same pay that I do. Some guys (I'm looking at you BB&T and RayJay) pay significantly less, but they aren't the norm.

Personally, I feel that I model more than some of my counterparts in traditional IB coverage, and no, it's not for underwriting (we have separate groups for that).

I can give you more color on this through DM... don't want to give too much away on here, as my coworkers do frequent the site.

    • 1
Mar 26, 2016

Seriously? No one can comment?

Mar 26, 2016

Seriously? No one can comment?

Mar 26, 2016

i can...

you are gay

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Mar 26, 2016

Calm down man you waited an hour for someone to respond, then freaked out.

Mar 26, 2016

payscale.com

Mar 26, 2016

Commercial banking encompasses retail banking. These are your tellers, personal bankers, and business bankers you see at a bank branch. Commercial banking also includes relation management with small cap companies (typically with annual revenues under $100 million). Here you focus on treasury management services, lending/ working capital financing, merchant/ payroll services, employee benefit plans....basically everything related to running a business.

Corporate banking is more sophisticated in that you will be working with companies with annual revenues typically above $500 million (including Fortune 500 companies). Entry level position is a credit analyst, but can vary depending on the group you join. If your intention is to transfer to IB, I would say that Corporate Banking will help you develop more transferrable hard and soft skills than Commercial banking would. THere are a few threads on this forum regarding the transition from Corp. banking to IB which I would suggest reading.

I made the transition from business banking at a BB Commercial Bank to IM. Hope this helps a little.

Mar 26, 2016

I've never found comp for VP and up for CB anywhere. I know as an analyst at one of the Big 4, some groups get more of a bonus depending on if their MD wants to make a case for it to their boss, or just wants to go with the flow and not upset anybody higher up since they make bank either way. I know that another group on our floor gets more of a bonus, and their analysts get more reimbursement for CFA expenses because their directors just approve whatever the analyst submits. In contrast, our director goes with whatever the policy says because he only looks out for number one and would never rock the boat.

Mar 26, 2016

If you're still in school you ought to apply to their CB training programs. If they do recruiting at your school it should be pretty easy to get given your grades and prior work history.

Obviously having worked at a BB is a boon and shows you have some sort of aptitude for finance. In my experience what they look for is a combination of finance skills (understanding loans/ general financial stuff/ economics) and soft skills that translate to the ability to sell bank products to clients.

These are skills that are of course also needed in PWM and if you get in an interview I'd angle that you liked finance, loved helping people/building relationships, but wanted to try that on a larger scale and solve problems for whole organizations rather than just individuals.

The only think working against you is that there just isn't too much hiring for these positions. It's not the grindhouse that IB is and as such you dont have huge classes because way fewer people quit. Im new to the industry but feel free to PM me and I'll answer any questions you have to the best of my ability.

Mar 25, 2016

Corporate Banking can be separated into Industry Coverage Verticals much like IBD.

Mar 26, 2016

Thank you, generally if you are looking to break into corporate banking, would you focus on a niche group and would you then cater your network/ searches to that segment?

Mar 26, 2016
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Mar 26, 2016
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