Do DCM/ECM groups recruit MBA students?

I know that many people go to business school and join M&A/industry groups as an associate. Do banks also recruit for DCM and ECM?


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Comments (21)

May 9, 2018 - 7:41pm

Very, very rarely. Not a good fit.

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
May 9, 2018 - 8:39pm

Could you comment on why? Cuz a lot of undergrats joining IBD are ultimately assigned work that is very similar to capital markets works. I was assuming that MBAs with little banking experience pre-MBA might also have to go through that as well. Could you provide your insights on this? Thanks man!

May 10, 2018 - 4:39pm

It's as simple as:

  • ECM/DCM people don't want to hire MBAs; most of them don't have an MBA and dislike having to hire someone with no experience with their processes as an Associate when they could get a cheaper and more "coachable" (impressionable) Analyst instead.
  • MBAs don't want to work in ECM/DCM; they want to work with people who understand the MBA experience, and want to do work that is intellectually challenging and actually involves corporate finance/business analytics, not process.
The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
  • 3
May 10, 2018 - 8:45pm

Thanks for clearing that out!

Do you think the exit ops are bad for capital market guys at analyst level? I've heard a lot of sayings about capital market analysts have no exit ops. I understand that capital markets guys are more of 'executioners' rather than 'advisors', but is that the case for most jobs in every field including finance? The rookies are always doing very fundamental works in the first two years of their careers, does it really matter whether we are doing it in corporate finance or capital markets?

May 11, 2018 - 3:20am

Yes, it does. CM work is a very solid proposition if you want a long term career at a bank and even make MD (and $1mm a year) in your mid-30s without working weekends or producing trading P&L or owning client relationships. But it doesn't teach you much by way of transferrable skills.

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
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May 13, 2018 - 1:52am

It sounds like those who didn't make it to corporate finance should not settle for CM, am I correct? Could you estimate the chances for a 2nd year CM guy to get himself into corporate finance (all means considered, including an inner transfer, or even getting an MBA and come back)?

Best Response
May 13, 2018 - 5:53am

Depends on what you want for your career. It sounds like you're joining a CM group in London and are unsure about your career.

Off the top of my head, I know of a few (~three across two banks in 10 years) ECM/DCM folks who have done internal transfers to IBD/Lev Fin after 2-5 years.

Doing the switch in the US via an MBA tends to be easier, but more costly, both in money and in opportunities (as you come in as an Associate, where exit opportunities are lower than IBD Analysts').

Total exit options:

IBD Analyst >= Lev Fin Analyst >> Lev Fin Associate >= IBD Associate >>>>>>> any rank in ECM/DCM.

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
  • 4
May 11, 2018 - 7:18am

Just to clear something up, while its rare because of a combination of lack of interest by MBAs and lack of need due to more analysts sticking around, every person I know in my class who wanted a job in ECM/DCM got one. The ECM/DCM groups didn't actively recruit, so random people didn't go after it. But we had about 3 or 4 who actively sought those groups out and got jobs.

So if you want it, you can get it, you'll just have to do a little extra leg work.

Oct 11, 2021 - 6:11pm

I know this is an old thread, but relevant for me now as I consider an MBA. I am wondering, for those 3 or 4 people you mentioned, did they have prior finance background already? Or are capital markets groups also open to career switcher associates?

May 11, 2018 - 8:11am

What type of discount is put on an ECM/DCM bonus at the associate or VP level? For example, if a coverage banker pulled in 120k at associate 1, what would the corresponding ECM/DCM associate be at all else equal? 100k?

Oct 11, 2021 - 6:12pm

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