Got into DCM, now what?

Hi guys (and gals),

I ve managed to get a switch from corporate banking to bulge bracket bank (EU) DCM origination team (which I am very happy about). Would anybody have any suggestions on:

  1. Any literature which would help me get started? (I was already working on one origination transaction on corp side, got overall knowledge of macro and bonds, the usual...) but smth industry specific would help as I am coming into very senior team...

  2. I have a BC. in banking/finance and am nearly done with my MSc in Finance. Any suggestions what steps should be next that would help me work my way up the ladder, possibly go international? Most probably i will be picking up Mandarin lang. Some team members got CFA (duh) but I am not sure about the value of that nowadays, possibly ACCA?

Any other ideas/suggestions that would help me in my DCM career-path, will be warmly welcomed. (Or just sharing some experience, anything will help :) )

Thank you and have a great day!

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Comments (26)

Jan 31, 2016 - 8:32pm

Mandarin is not a great complement to a DCM skill set. Public and syndicated debt markets in Asia are pretty thin.

If you're looking to eventually shift into something in China, is it PE?

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
  • 1
Feb 1, 2016 - 4:03pm

It just seemed as a language that would be quite unique given my skill set in corp fin and now DCM. I was not targeting China, but Hong-Kong / Singapore seemed like an interesting steps in career. Though for FInance London, and NYC still seems to be pretty dominant (particularly for DCM/ECM/MnA)...

Best Response
Feb 1, 2016 - 5:26pm

There's no decent DCM activity in China, HK or Singapore.

What direction are you hoping to take with Mandarin? Are you hoping to work in China and, if so, are you ethnically Chinese? And, if ethnically Chinese, how connected is your family in China?

If you're not planning to work in China, then Mandarin becomes a lot of effort for something that is pretty useless outside of ordering meals "authentically" in China Town.

Also, China jumped the shark around the end of 2010. The rest of the world is slowly coming to realise that.

(PS: So you know the direction I'm coming from - I spent years learning Mandarin and Cantonese while working in IB in Hong Kong doing non-DCM IB; I now live in NY doing mainly LBO DCM)

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
  • 5
Feb 3, 2016 - 3:06pm

Prep for Debt/Fixed-Income Summer Analyst (DCM/LevFin) (Originally Posted: 05/14/2010)

Hi everyone,

Will be working on the debt-side of things this summer (DCM/LevFin). Can someone comment on what's the best way to learn about the fixed income/debt markets? I pulled out a corporate finance book... but the content in there is highly technical and very mathematically rigorous (i.e. a lot of formulas and theories). Is this necessary?

Can someone familiar with DCM/LevFin comment on best prep for summer internship? Will the work require a good understanding of how fixed income markets function (e.g. how much does treasury bond movements affect junk bond spreads), or would it be more secretarial kind of work, and learn as you go? (e.g. data-mining, finding relevant debt covenant info and typing it up in a memo)

Thanks guys... debt, IMO, a lot more complex/confusing than equity side of things.

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Feb 3, 2016 - 3:07pm

Hey man...It's tough to learn about "Debt" just in one shot or by reading one book, When I was younger I thought that was the way to do it...Your real knowledge in this stuff will come through accumulation. Over time you just need to accumulate practical/theoretical knowledge in pieces.
1) Read the Credit Markets Section of WSJ every single day...when you don't know something, google it and look up what it means. Learn how different instruments are quoted(i.e. differrence in price quoting between Munis and Treasurys is very different.)
2)Somehow, someway, get your hands on Grant's Interest Rate Observer...it's a newsletter that comes out bi-weekly, from Jim Grant, look him up. You aren't going to understand a lot of it at first, over time, you will.
3)Find someone that knows what they are talking about, so that when you read those two things I just mentioned, you can ask questions and have conversation about the material...this is how it will stick the most, debate.
4)Get Fabozzi's Handbook of Fixed income Securities, and use that as a reference for anything you can't find elsewhere.
5) In a year when you know something and want to learn about some more complex stuff, ask Bondarb to tell you about the T-Bond Basis and Eurodollar futures.

Feb 3, 2016 - 3:08pm

You will learn everything you need to know on the job. But if you want a head start, for Lev Fin it would be helpful to understand issues surrounding structural and contractual subordination. Also have a firm understanding about why someone would choose to invest in debt instead of equity. But honestly, nobody expects summer analysts to know that much. just don't screw up your comps.

Feb 3, 2016 - 3:09pm

What to cram for ECM/DCM analyst role? (Originally Posted: 02/16/2016)

Long story short, I'm starting in an ECM/DCM group at a BB in a couple of weeks (I'm starting off cycle). I have no experience in ECM/DCM or in coverage, so it'll be quite the learning curve.

Does anyone know what sort of stuff to learn before going into a product group? Are there any good books? I've read the Handbook of Fixed Income Securities as well as Hull's book, and have been reading Rosenbaum. Is there anything else that would be useful?

Feb 3, 2016 - 3:11pm

DCM, what next? (Originally Posted: 03/07/2012)

I will be entering into a DCM group this summer as an analyst at a top BB. I'm not sure what the exits will be thereafter, does any one have any ideas about the career path? I have heard that PE/HF is not out of the question, but I haven't seen too many people make that move.

Feb 3, 2016 - 3:12pm

PM me.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."
Feb 3, 2016 - 3:17pm

Agree with Whiskey5 -- I've seen a lot of people do 2 years DCM, be able to move to LevFin, sponsors or credit research within a bank and then exit to HF/PE after 3 years. But your bosses have to like you.

Feel free to PM me; I'm closer to the other end of that timeline than you.

Feb 3, 2016 - 3:19pm

Accept now the reality that you will have to do a third year in banking and transfer to levfin, M&A, sponsors, or a coverage group after you finish your second. Do a damn good job during your two years in DCM and make it easy for your superiors to vouch for you when you propose the switch.

Bring up the idea of the switch around early spring of your second year. This will give people time to assess hiring needs and determine if your transfer is feasible. If you propose the switch too early, you run the risk of appearing mentally checked out having your colleagues question the quality of your work.

Feb 3, 2016 - 3:22pm

It will be very tough although it happens occasionally. You will also need good amount of luck to get this done.

Most good and sizable funds recruit one year earlier, meaning you need to get your offer in the spring of Year 2 so that you can move to the buyside at the end of Year 3. Problem is you are still with DCM in Year 2 so exp wise, you are still at a huge disadvantage.

Your best shot will come through offcycle recruiting in your Year 3, which needs
a) A huge market recovery (eg: 2009 and 2010) meaning ppl need to add more pre-MBA asso
or b) Some associate leave early for one reason or another so that they need to find a replacement
or c) Smaller and no name shops with less rigid recruiting systems.

In one of these cases, you will be able to leverage your IBD exp and get recruited in the spring of Year 3 and start your new gig in the immediate summer.

Feb 3, 2016 - 3:23pm

DCM/Lev Fin - How to Prepare (Originally Posted: 03/20/2012)

Guys, would appreciate some help.

What type of materials, interview prep, etc should someone who is looking to go into DCM/LevFin/Fixed Income brush up on.

Looking for a little advice. Thanks.

  • 1
Feb 3, 2016 - 3:24pm

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Feb 3, 2016 - 3:25pm

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