For career banker, M&A or Lev Fin?

Currently, an associate in the M&A group at BB. Have an opportunity to join the Lev Fin group early next year but haven't decided it.

Thinking of becoming a career banker, not sure which would be a better path for me.

Appreciate any inputs.

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Comments (11)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 23, 2021 - 5:01pm

Seems like Lev Fin would provide the most stability while M&A would provide the highest income potential. What do you want to prioritize long term? 

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 23, 2021 - 11:34pm

The best group to be a career banker is going to be a group where you like the culture and team. I would talk with the LevFin guys at your bank and see if you can see yourself working with them long-term. If you're looking for optionality, the M&A skillset will keep you more versatile as you move up and maybe want to lateral to a different bank. LevFin is a product mostly offered by the BBs whereas M&A is done at practically every investment bank.

I would say the transactional experience in LevFin is much better as well. My peers who are in LevFin can close 10+ deals a year with ease since they can move from start to finish in a few months. You are pretty happy in M&A if you close a few a year since processes can take 6-9 months if you are lucky and you probably end up with some dead deals along the way. The key here with the added reps is you are a lead left bank on most of the deals, otherwise you are tagging along on deals and not really doing much execution. As the above poster mentioned, JPM, BofA, and CS are the top banks in the space so you will get quality execution reps at those shops.

Nov 26, 2021 - 8:02pm

With trillions of dollars in dry powder sitting on the sidelines in PE (and trillions more likely to pour in over the next decade because, though they've declined, returns are still comparatively higher than any other asset class), the long-term outlook for originating and syndicating LBO debt is red hot. The lev fin heavy hitters (BAML/CS/JPM) are going to make a killing no matter what happens to the IRRs of PE funds because they make a fee determined by transaction volume - basically selling shovels to gold miners. Above all else, I'd advise choosing the group based on which product you're more passionate about, but this is just one consideration to keep in mind.

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Nov 27, 2021 - 1:14am

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