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Comments (8)

Jan 18, 2017 - 10:21pm

I don't know much about due diligence, but I did intern in equity research, and it seems to me that those two roles probably have very little in common with each other, so this is entirely dependent on what you want to do. If you want to be in investing long-term, though, go with the ER option.

"There's nothing you can do if you're too scared to try." - Nickel Creek
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Jan 23, 2017 - 4:32pm

Having worked in financial due diligence, I would say go with the ER offer. FDD will be much more accounting focused and you will be at the mercy of the clients you work for. Most likely exit oops will be better in ER as well. I exited for Corp Dev but I would say that I am an exception and not the norm

Jan 19, 2017 - 10:17am

Like noduckingway said, I was thinking that ER exit opportunities would primarily be in banking. But that DD may be more transferable to broader areas, like if I wanted to go into finance or consulting. However the ER pay seems to be much higher. I'm just not sure how much room there would be for advancement in the long term

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Jan 21, 2017 - 12:42pm

I can speak for equity research. In my view and experience thus far, equity research is the only "total package" role in the financial industry when you are young. The demands of the job will summon both your inner extrovert and introvert. You build models (both operating and M&A), write research, and make stock calls which you must then share, explain, and pitch. The job requires (and develops) top-notch quantitative and writing skills that will be scrutinized by the public - the buy-side, bankers, companies, and the media alike. These skills are transferable everywhere and anywhere. You are somewhat of a public figure, if not initially then eventually. Those in equity research who embrace and leverage this, rather than avoid that spotlight, are the most successful. You could also find yourself rubbing shoulders with the most important people in the room very quickly, from CEO's, to the top investors and deal makers in your space, to leading journalists. I acknowledge that the timing and degree to which this manifests may depend on your firm or analyst's following/ranking, your sector, or the quality of your sales and banking teams, but equity research is something that demands a total body of work and quality of mind, more so than any other role you will be offered at this early stage of your career.

Now if you find yourself still unsure and unable to make a decision, then know this: If you are a confident person, a person who realizes that he/she will always be in a cage - confined by expectations and rules - but also that the cage has a door with a latch, then you will be successful regardless of which offer you accept. You will find that your career is often the story of successively finding yourself confined and then finding your way out. Sometimes you will realize you've broken free only to find yourself in an even larger cage, but you will still be in a better place than you were before. While that may seem a bit poetic (while paying homage to this site's mascot), my point is that any job you take will be both a confinement and an opportunity. Work as hard as you can, learn as much as you can, network as much as you can. Go beyond what is expected of you and beyond what is written in your job description. Smile, look people in the eye, and shake hands. Volunteer to help, join clubs, shadow other groups, find mentors, and ask questions. Be relentless, yet tactful. Do these things and you will notice the latch is open and you can go anywhere and do anything you want.

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Jan 31, 2018 - 5:23pm

I know this is an older post but I think I can offer a unique perspective as to the benefits of working in ER vs. a transaction heavy role. Quick background on myself, I started off in Equity Research out of undergrad (~2.5 years) at a BB and made the transition to an IB M&A Generalist team at a middle-market bank.

Few points to note on Equity Research (in my experience):

• It does make a difference for exit opportunities regarding the "pedigree" of bank you work for. You're going to have an uphill battle to get a job over BB candidates (but it's possible nonetheless)

• While Equity Research does give you great skills it does not open nearly as many doors as a corporate finance role (in my opinion, i know others will disagree). It is much easier to make a transition from a transaction advisory team to Corporate Dev. /PE/IB. The key here being --> transaction experience. However, if your goal is to go to a long only fund such as at a place like Fidelity, then ER would make sense. My point is, the transaction experience is more applicable to a wider variety of jobs

• Once you have over 2.5-3 years of experience in ER in one sector it is hard to get out (of the sector) as you'll have developed such a niche expertise. You can pigeonhole yourself

• You also need to look at the long game here. MIFID II has begun to be implemented and it has been quite the headwind to ER. I see some career risk medium-to-long term

• While it is true what BaaketLeon says about the skills you build and things you do, you'll find that most of the time you end up backing into a price target and finding any explanation to justify it. Furthermore, the modeling portion of the job actually tends to be on the lower end unless you are part of an initiation of coverage (which is the best part of the job, IMO), however, you may not be lucky enough to be a part of one

I know you've already made your decision but my advice to anyone in your position in the future would be to go w/the M&A advisory team, do an amazing job and then transition to the corporate finance team at Deloitte or another Big 4. You could also make a transition to investment banking if you'd like. I just think longer term you'll be more marketable for a wider range of roles.

Hope everything ended up working out!!

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