F100 Corp Fin FLDP vs. F100 Insurance FLDP

spartan119's picture
Rank: Monkey | 41

I have a few days to decide between two offers, one in a corporate finance FLVP role at a top defense contractor and another FLDP at a major insurance firm. The comp is essentially the same, both have similar benefits packages, and I would most likely live in Boston for both positions. I would like to eventually break into corporate development or VC/PE. Which, if either, do you guys think would provide better long-term growth opportunities to enter those industries?

Comments (34)

Nov 27, 2011

I would imagine you will need to pick the offer that best positions you for an MBA. In that case I would pick the defense contractor. I was part of an insurance flp that rotated me across 3 placements, 2 of which ended up being in accounting and unfortunately did me no good when it came time to apply to some of my target grad programs. My buddy did a similar program with a defense contractor near DC and had a much better experience (his roles were all finance related) and is currently doing his MBA with a pretty darn good uni.

Nov 27, 2011

I agree with above - depends on your plan for getting into corp dev/VCPE. If post-MBA, then definitely take the defense contractor. If pre-MBA, then VCPE is pretty much out of the question, but corp dev is possible at either company. If the insurance one is with Liberty Mutual, I have heard ok things about it - some stuff is ok, but most is accounting and really boring. I believe it is possible to do a rotation in corp dev in most such programs, which would of course be your goal.

Nov 27, 2011

1) Which is the better program?
2) Which industry are you more interested in?

No matter which company you choose, your performance and what you accomplish will be extremely important. If you're looking for exit ops, then the first question above is probably more important. You can tell which is a "better" program by looking at the companies' track record for the past few years. A good way to do that is with Fortune's guide to the Best Companies or whatever it's called.

For #1:
-How they're ranked for leadership and training. Have they stayed consistent, gotten better, gotten worse? Also keep in mind that just because one has a higher ranking doesn't necessarily mean it's a better program.
-How happy are their employees?
-Do you know anyone at similar companies to talk to? Even if they don't work at the same company, working in the same industry you get a feel for how things are at other companies. You can get an idea for exit ops from this.
-If you can get your hands on any MBA resume books (there are always some floating around), scan through them and see if you can find anyone that did the FLDP. If you have people going from the FLDP to Harvard/Stanford/etc, it's probably a good program.

For #2:
If you honestly don't give a fuck which industry you end up in, you should start. It will be a lot easier to throw yourself into a job in an industry you enjoy and that should show through your work. It doesn't sound like the two companies would be very different in terms of exit ops at the equivalent of the analyst level (2-3 years).

If you eventually want to move into CorpDev, take a look at the first couple replies here:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/getting-into...
And this is a pretty epic topic by harvardgrad08, the guy does WSO a huge favor answering all these questions:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/the-other-ro...
This specific reply to harvardgrad08s thread talks about rotation program exits to CorpDev:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/the-other-ro...
Last thing, breaking into PE/VC is very difficult. I imagine it's pretty hard to get into either from corpfin without a good MBA. I don't want to get into all the details of this because there are a lot, so check around the PE and VC forums and see how to break in.

Nov 27, 2011

Depending on which contractor you're talking about, I'd be a little cautious with the pending defense spending cuts in the US. It's not like they can just start selling stuff to other governments when the US decides to scale back. And, it would be a mistake to assume that because they have open req's (i.e. they are hiring), that you would be immune to a RIF. Often, news of a RIF makes its way out as people are being escorted out of the building, so hiring managers may be posting job openings with no knowledge of what's coming.

Maybe do a little research to figure out what their major sources of revenue are, and xref that to public discourse about where the cuts are likely to be. For example, it seems pretty likely that drone spending will remain at its historically high level, or even increase, but with the wars coming to an end, you can imagine fewer missiles, manned jets, etc.

Nov 27, 2011
djfiii:

Depending on which contractor you're talking about, I'd be a little cautious with the pending defense spending cuts in the US. It's not like they can just start selling stuff to other governments when the US decides to scale back. And, it would be a mistake to assume that because they have open req's (i.e. they are hiring), that you would be immune to a RIF. Often, news of a RIF makes its way out as people are being escorted out of the building, so hiring managers may be posting job openings with no knowledge of what's coming.

Maybe do a little research to figure out what their major sources of revenue are, and xref that to public discourse about where the cuts are likely to be. For example, it seems pretty likely that drone spending will remain at its historically high level, or even increase, but with the wars coming to an end, you can imagine fewer missiles, manned jets, etc.

Do you work in the industry?

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Nov 27, 2011

If the fldp is with Raytheon/BAE/Lockheed then the choice should be pretty obvious.

Nov 27, 2011

no.

Nov 27, 2011
djfiii:

no.

Do you work for a firm that works with A&D corporations?

Nov 27, 2011

no

Nov 27, 2011
djfiii:

no

Then what is making you form this opinion?

Nov 27, 2011
Nefarious-:
djfiii:

no

Then what is making you form this opinion?

First, I didn't offer an opinion. I offered something to consider, in the context of the question that was asked. In any industry, if a major source of revenue is threatened, it's sound advice to consider the impact that might have on you when evaluating a new job. You seem to be confusing that with automatic dismissal of the job option, which is clearly not what I suggested.

Second, it's not really relevant what my industry focus is, is it? What I proposed is either a valid thing to consider, or not. That said, I have a number of ties to the large contractors, and a few of the agencies that have budget to spend at those contractors.

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Nov 27, 2011

He's just offering some perspective. Regardless of whether or not the defense industry is going to decrease in size, it's good to look at the strengths of the companies and make sure they look like they're going to be around for a while.

Nov 27, 2011
D M:

He's just offering some perspective. Regardless of whether or not the defense industry is going to decrease in size, it's good to look at the strengths of the companies and make sure they look like they're going to be around for a while.

Really, the only reason to get into A&D is if you will be working for a global corporation like Boeing, BAE, Lockheed. These firms are not limited to one countries defense spending.

Regardless, usually when you hear the term "decreased defense spending" the first thing that goes is a lot of R&D type stuff like laser guns.

There is still a lot of work and a lot of opportunity in this industry.

Nov 27, 2011
Nefarious-:
D M:

He's just offering some perspective. Regardless of whether or not the defense industry is going to decrease in size, it's good to look at the strengths of the companies and make sure they look like they're going to be around for a while.

Really, the only reason to get into A&D is if you will be working for a global corporation like Boeing, BAE, Lockheed. These firms are not limited to one countries defense spending.

Regardless, usually when you hear the term "decreased defense spending" the first thing that goes is a lot of R&D type stuff like laser guns.

There is still a lot of work and a lot of opportunity in this industry.

You're drawing way too much out of what I said. I didn't say there wasn't a lot of opportunity. Your reading comprehension is pretty horrible - this is why people stopped debating the merits of the JoePa issue with you - because you can't properly capture what anyone else is saying when you respond. I say "A", and you respond to "B". Makes for a pretty useless conversation.

Just because I told the guy to consider the impact a pullback in spending might have on his potential employer, doesn't mean I was suggesting these companies would cease to exist, or that there wasn't overall a lot of opportunity in the industry. Obviously they have other sources of revenue, but it's also obvious that cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from US defense spending is going to impact all of them in some way - possibly in the specific area he is going to be hired. Therefore, it's worth at least asking the question, which is all that I suggested.

At the end of the Gulf war, there was a pretty large industry consolidation, which is synonymous with RIF's. The whole point of a consolidation is to take advantage of economies of scale, and eliminate redundancies (people). So, while there is still opportunity in that type of environment, there is also the potential to get caught on the wrong side of the fence and get bounced. We will almost certainly see some consolidation again over the next few years, so, again, it's worth asking the question.

Nov 27, 2011

That's good to hear, thanks for the info Nef

Nov 28, 2011

idk, i wouldn't want to work for a company that was cutting down on laser gun r&d to be honest

Nov 27, 2011
whatwhatwhat:

idk, i wouldn't want to work for a company that was cutting down on laser gun r&d to be honest

Yea, those bastards must not be forward-thinking enough. What the fuck are we gonna do when the aliens come like in Independence Day?

Nov 27, 2011

true, true. I want health, dental, 401k, and laser guns at cost. if you're cutting back on laser guns, I'm going across the street, sorry. throw in an invisibility flak jacket as a signing bonus, and I'm in.

Nov 28, 2011

wtf robotic recon spiders too?????

nah but good insight nefarious, thanks.

Nov 27, 2011
whatwhatwhat:

wtf robotic recon spiders too?????

nah but good insight nefarious, thanks.

If you can get into the right group in A&D, you see some cool stuff. FLDP is a great path there.

Nov 27, 2011

Great, now that we've addressed all of our personal concerns with each other we can move on. ;)

A&D sounds like a great industry Nef. Any general advice (for recruiting or otherwise) you'd give that is DIFFERENT from getting a job/working in corp fin in a different industry?

Nov 27, 2011
D M:

Great, now that we've addressed all of our personal concerns with each other we can move on. ;)

A&D sounds like a great industry Nef. Any general advice (for recruiting or otherwise) you'd give that is DIFFERENT from getting a job/working in corp fin in a different industry?

A&D is an interesting industry.

The easiest way is to get in is through FLDP recruitment (often through the company coming to your school [and if they don't, then you apply]).

Next to that, the best way to get in is by having already worked at a different A&D company. I know this doesn't make sense, but it is true. It is a fairly clicky industry and they prefer the industry experience.

Outside of that, if you can have someone on the inside help get you in, that is going to be your best bet. Word of mouth passed around in the company goes a long way. I have seen people with no industry (and sometimes finance experience) get a job (albeit low on the totem pole so they can learn) because they knew someone.

Nov 27, 2011

I made a completely reasonable suggestion to the OP. You picked a fight after I did that. Which one of us offers no value? Lastly, just because I didn't justify my experience to you doesn't mean I don't have industry experience. And even if I didn't, as mentioned, it isn't relevant to the validity of the point I made. It's totally reasonable to consider the impact of macro economic events specific to an industry you're considering entering. That's what I suggested the OP do. Apparently you disagree, or else you have a hard on for some completely unrelated reason. Per your title, you're a 1st year Corp Fin analyst. So you're the one that's the expert?

Also, as I said in the other thread: ad hominem, irony, etc. It's hilarious that you're raging against me for apparent personal attacks, and in the same breath you lob personal attacks my way, while ignoring the valid points I raised.

Nov 27, 2011
djfiii:

I made a completely reasonable suggestion to the OP. You picked a fight after I did that. Which one of us offers no value? Lastly, just because I didn't justify my experience to you doesn't mean I don't have industry experience. And even if I didn't, as mentioned, it isn't relevant to the validity of the point I made. Per your title, you're a 1st year Corp Fin analyst. So you're the one that's the expert?

Also, as I said in the other thread: ad hominem, irony, etc.

I didn't pick a fight, I asked you why you offered that opinion because it is not applicable to the FLDP and I was genuinely interested in seeing your reasoning behind it. I was going to be more interested if you worked in A&D

Maybe YOU should work on some reading comprehension. My title says 1st year associate because the titling system on this site is geared towards banking, not CF. There is no manager classification on WSO, and I just picked the top associate option.

But hey, keep looking for some cheap jabs, that is making you look better.

Nov 27, 2011

It's applicable to any job to ask questions like that. You're telling me, and everyone else reading this thread, that it's stupid to even question whether or not defense cuts might impact the role, FLDP or otherwise? Even if you conclude that it's a relatively safe option, what you're saying is - "hey, don't even think about it. Don't ask the question, or factor it into your analysis".... because, why?

Nov 27, 2011
djfiii:

It's applicable to any job to ask questions like that. You're telling me, and everyone else reading this thread, that it's stupid to even question whether or not defense cuts might impact the role, FLDP or otherwise? Even if you conclude that it's a relatively safe option, what you're saying is - "hey, don't even think about it. Don't ask the question, or factor it into your analysis".... because, why?

My main point here is that the financial divisions of these corporations are some of the last to receive cutbacks (if any) and when they do, these are seen in the form of no additional hiring.

As far as FLDPs, no, it really does not matter since they are taking in UG's, teaching them how to do finance their way and then shipping them off after three years and an MBA to wherever the company needs them. These programs are done in rotations, so even if my example of aerospace cutbacks from before comes to fruition, they simply won't see an aerospace rotation.

Nov 27, 2011

I don't disagree with your conclusion. What I take issue with is the idea that the OP shouldn't even bother doing the analysis in the first place.

Nov 28, 2011

Thanks for the replies all! I actually asked my interviewers the very question that you guys are debating.

Just to clarify, the FLDP is with one of the 4 largest US defense contractors. From what I understand, the future business of this specific contractor will be less affected by the impending cutbacks compared to competitors due to the fact that the firm does not create the "platforms" themselves (i.e. the tanks/planes/battleships), but rather the electronics/radars/weapon systems that go into them. Thus, if no new orders are placed, then the old platforms will have to be updated with new technology (which this company will provide). If new orders ARE placed, then this company will provide the technology for those new platforms.

That's not to say that cuts in defense spending won't be a problem at all, but it seems like this firm can benefit to some extent in both situations.

Nov 27, 2011
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Nov 29, 2011