ECM Analyst offer - should I take it?

Received an ECM analyst offer at a MM firm - for a role in ECM syndicate team

My background: big 4 chartered accountant, currently work at small real estate firm in corporate finance (debt/capital raising/budgeting/some m&a analysis)

I had originally planned to stick at RE long term and try and move over to investment side (but not sure how likely this is given my background)

This ECM role offers significant payrise (because of a considerably larger bonus) - I'd have to start as an analyst in my mid-twenties. Should I make the jump into ECM and get paid more - the work would be interesting at a quickly growing bank with good deal pipeline or stick at real estate which I do enjoy but worry has less long-term earnings potential?

Any comments/opinions are welcome!


Comments (11)

  • Junior Trader in S&T - Comm
Nov 12, 2021 - 8:35pm

Congrats on the offer! I would definitely take this role if I were you, its a great entry point into banking! Looking to make a similar move and I'm also in my mid twenties so its not something that's uncommon.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 12, 2021 - 10:44pm

What are your long term goals? 

ECM you will work a lot more hours, which you didn't mention in your OP. It's not M&A hours, but definitely ~70 hours, 6-7 days a week. If you have it pretty good at your RE firm this is a significant increase. I'd focus less on analyst pay and more on your 5-15 year time frame. ECM exit ops are fairly limited - IR is common, pays well but not on the investor side - and you'd need to have an idea of where you want to go after this.

You mention liking RE - any thought towards a move into RE IB so you can get to the investment side from there? You'd also be looking at analyst roles, but if you like the industry, have some corp fin/dev experience, and can model, you would be able to find a seat. As an RE IB analyst you will basically have the whole world of RE exit ops open to you, seems like a better slot if that's your long-term focus.

Most Helpful
Nov 12, 2021 - 11:07pm

Thanks for your reply - appreciated!

Ideally would love to make the move into RE IB - but I'm based in HK and don't speak Chinese so with no banking experience, most IBs won't even consider me. Have had some talks with smaller REPE shops but given my background, they also wouldn't consider me for investment-based roles - tends to be for portfolio/asset mgt roles. I do get to do some interesting corp dev work but a lot of my time also spent budgeting. Though have only been in the industry 1 year so maybe longer term I'll be getting more opportunities.

My current firm is quite young and could stick it out and get into management role but very contingent on the success of the firm. I'd also be working at industry wage for longer - might get some stock options later on but again the firm could just as easily fold/our portfolio be acquired.

Which is why I'm tempted to take the ECM role to break into banking and get paid better in the short and probably long term and benefit from slightly better ECM hours - I've heard that Syndicate hours tend to be 8-8. Cognisant that the hours will be longer than my current role - but I think I'd be earning essentially double my current salary (taking into account bonus). Also the bank I'm joining has done a fair amount of RE adjacent work so I also think longer term exit op might be to join a RE company's strategic finance/capital markets team.

I guess it's a toss up between more guaranteed good pay in ECM (and if I committed to ECM for my career - can make good money at bank if get senior) or stay in an industry I enjoy more and try to develop modelling skillset and network in the hope for another opportunity to come up later down the line in RE.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 13, 2021 - 12:12pm

Ah, missed the HK tag on original post. ECM sound like a solid move for your goals, if you aren't getting any bites without banking experience ECM -> RE IB would be a reasonable move after a year or two.

Moving internally from AM to investment role at a REPE is pretty difficult, so your path might have to be this backwards route to get there. You're young enough that you can still make a couple randomish moves to get on the right track

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 13, 2021 - 3:54pm

I can't really speak to your RE role, but I will say be thoughtful about what you want to do day-to-day in your job. I helped out the ECM team at my bank in the past as they were severely short-staffed, and the work was not analytical and was basically all process work (setting up meetings, tracking investor interest and outreach, etc.). Double my salary and I still wouldn't do it again 

Nov 14, 2021 - 3:25am

If you're okay with pivoting out of RE and into ECM, then it's a good move. But you've gotta think about that move yourself pretty intently as it's a total transition into a whole new field with a whole different career trajectory. Being an analyst in your mid-twenties is not a big deal at all and shouldn't play a role in your decision, especially given it's a step-up in pay for you. Plenty of folks end up being analysts at an older age than new grads and it's totally fine.

  • 2
Nov 14, 2021 - 7:52am

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