Fired as 1st year analyst?

How hard is it to actually be fired as a first year analyst?

Would love to hear some stories, hear-say or first hand experiences, of this happening. What does it really take to be pushed out?

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Comments (30)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 8, 2021 - 3:55pm

Following. Outside of trade compliance and behavioral attitude issues, can you be let go for just bad work product or slow learning?

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Oct 8, 2021 - 7:14pm

No way they would fire an analyst right now unless you did something egregious.

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  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Oct 9, 2021 - 9:17pm

Seen this, but in case any nervous first years are lurking you have to fail multiple times to do this. 1 month into the job would be failing the second attempt, but most firms will let you stay until the third attempt at 6 months

Other than that you'd have to have serious harassment issues, insider trading etc - 1st years with poor performance will just get no bonus. Even then, poor performance is like not responding to emails EVER and being legitimately detrimental to your teams, not just being slow to start.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Oct 10, 2021 - 10:48am

Nope, the guy I know who got fired got fired after his first try and after passing his other exams. Wasn't given time to study either, i.e. he was staffed on deals while studying. 

Oct 9, 2021 - 11:50pm

I was at a shop where one left ahead of being terminated. Multiple failures on licensing, went incommunicado for a few days to where a VP was calling local hospitals and the analyst's parents. They also didn't respond to emails even when a director and eventually an MD were CCed. Mere incompetence just means people try not to have you on live deals.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Oct 10, 2021 - 1:39pm

I've only seen it for an HR offense. It's pretty hard to get fired in IBD. Even if you suck at your job and they want to fire, they will document feedback, develop performance improvement plan, and wait to can you. Big firms don't want any controversy. 

Oct 10, 2021 - 1:57pm

Heard of a situation a few years back with an analyst sharing the DCM pipeline file with the wrong Pete (correct Pete was his group head, wrong Pete was senior person in a competing bank's DCM desk). He did this once, managed not to he fired, but then he did it again a few months later and then got fired ofc. That's pretty much the only way to get fired now as an A1.

Laborare Pugnare Parati Sumus

Oct 10, 2021 - 3:24pm

Mirroring most feedback here, it is very tough for juniors to get fired. If you make a ton of mistakes and aren't responsive to emails, etc., it will reflect in your bonus and you won't get 'good staffing' (in other words, your work-life balance actually improves / less weekend jams and your bonus will be lower than top-bucket, but c'mon $60k is still a great bonus for a 23 year old vs. the $90k they'd get if they were top-tier). I was in a higher bucket in IB, and they would grind me for it. You get a fat pat on the back after every jam-job, but if you're the type who doesn't care for this validation, it's pretty worthless. Also, leaving the firm is much tougher when you're good because the team wants to retain you. They'll make a lot of noise. Comparably, crappy analysts can jump to PE and will he forgotten almost instantly.

They'll only fire you when you get to the level between VP and MD. Because then you're way too expensive if you aren't on a pathway to generating P&L for the firm. Or they'll fire you for harassment / lying on resume / things of that nature.

So if you've opened this thread because you're a bad analyst who's nervous: have no fear and congrats. You've earned yourself a much better lifestyle at comparable pay. Just make sure you're wise enough to jump ship to PE after a couple of years. And, of course, make sure to lie in the interviews and overstate your role on staffings to impress the PE guys. Your colleagues in IB will be happy to be rid of you and will give solid recommendations if the PE firms need it.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Oct 10, 2021 - 3:52pm

Tons of mistakes and not responsive will not get you a good bonus haha. You will get a goose egg as a bonus if you are bad as you are describing. UMM / MF PE will also be near impossible. IB / PE relationships are very important and recruiting is a repeated game--MDs aren't pushing crappy analysts onto some of their most important clients. References are also done off the books (most firms don't allow them) given its a small industry and people have friends across firms. 

But yes, getting fired as a bottom bucket is near impossible. However, there is a huge difference between bottom bucket and middle bucket.

Oct 10, 2021 - 4:02pm

Good points sir. I agree that there's a big difference between bottom and middle, but at my old shop a lot of crappy guys were able to find their way into mid-bucket. It was always the same narratives, "Oh, he's a really great guy, he just needs a little more work. Let's not punish him." 

So, to clarify, if you stay under the radar, don't step on the wrong toes, can shift blame for  underperformance on other groups / other factors and are an affable-enough person, you can really build a nice little niche and enjoy life for a couple years. And yep, you're not gonna get Apollo, but there are a ton of LMM / utterly random PE firms and growth equity shops that will literally hire anybody as long as they have 'IB Analyst' on their resume.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 10, 2021 - 6:37pm

Dude I hope you're right on that last paragraph. Also, why PE? If I'm at a lower tier firm I don't think I have a shit at any PE is elsewhere like Corp dev okay?

Most Helpful
Oct 10, 2021 - 7:00pm

Sir. Let's pause for a moment. Reading back over your post and realized I missed the mark. It sounds like you are a 1st year analyst who maybe graduated undergrad this May. You may even be a non-target (like myself) who came in feeling he was inferior to the pack. 

Let me reassure you --- it's okay if you suck / make mistakes at this stage. You probably just hit your desk in August after a month of TTS / FINRA and are only 2-3 months in. Remember how I said I was top bucket? It took me a year to get to that stage and I was utter garbage when I came in. I got yelled at numerous times and made a ton of mistakes. I thought I was going to get fired and started talking to an old professor about potentially going to get my masters, but in the end the opposite happened --- the team loved my attitude and gave good early reviews despite less than perfect work product.

Don't worry, brother. No one's going to fire you. Your brand new off the shelf. You need to put your head down, toughen up, and move forward. Be a sponge and learn as much as you can. Always be positive and never think you're worse than your peers. Never give up. And trust me, bro, you can get private equity. I'm at the stage where my entire class has basically left the bank (only 1-2 A2As), and I'm telling you there are plenty of people who are worse than me who ended up at funds. If you want it, you'll get it. Maybe not Blackstone, KKR, Apollo, but they're are plenty of shops out there. Corp dev is fine too. 

And if people are giving you trouble because you're new and still suck, use that as fuel to get better. Don't let them pull you down. My post above applies to people who are 1-1.5 years in and still suck. Not new folk. Last thing, you may think your fellow analysts are all better than you, but trust me they're making mistakes too.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 10, 2021 - 8:00pm

fuck that noise above. 

A bad analyst just screws over whoever he is staffed with. Associate works till 3am while the bad analyst logs off at 9pm because he is utterly incompetent and can't be trusted with a deliverable.

With that being said, I can't see a bad analyst getting fired at a big bank. May be different at smaller with no where to hide but idk.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov
Oct 10, 2021 - 8:09pm

Not fired, but my bud at a MM IB shop got laid off last year along with other 1st year associates and 1st-year analysts. This happened during the peak of covid when everything was shut down and NYC was pretty much dead. I heard they laid off more analysts this year.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 10, 2021 - 8:26pm

How in 2021 dealflow was mad bush people were turning down deals wtf

Oct 11, 2021 - 11:33am

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