Has On Cycle 2023 kicked off?

Anyone have any updates on when on cycle recruiting (MF/UMM/MM buyout) will kick off for first-year banking analysts, especially given that the process for 2022 Associate spots has basically finished at this point?

For context, I'm a first-year at a NYC boutique (LAZ / MOE / EVR) and haven't heard anything from (reputable) headhunters. Would it make sense to reach out to them directly?

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Comments (23)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 22, 2021 - 2:29pm

Speaking as a 2nd year. Think it would definitely be an overstatement / hyperbole to say that on-cycle for 2022 is finished. Seems like the HHs are not as badly slammed as last week, but lots of reputable firms are still interviewing or some just kicked off. Up to you if you want to reach out, but not sure they have the capacity to meet with you right now.

Sep 24, 2021 - 1:35am

I heard some ppl say it could kick off in a month. Is that true / WTF.I interviewed for PE analyst stuff and went thru a bunch of case study / modeling prep last year and still feel I may not have enough time to prepare for everything alongside work where I am in a really busy group that had lots of analysts year after their first year. So much work and not enough people but I guess my reviews won't even matter for recruiting ??? lol

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 24, 2021 - 2:14am

Bro if you're at a top firm you'll hear. I'd just start prepping so you're ready when the time comes

Sep 26, 2021 - 5:27am

Wait wasn't the on-cycle process which kicked off this year for 23 starts? Like they conduct the recruiting process with first year analysts who just hit the desk and have two years of banking ahead of them. 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 26, 2021 - 8:47pm

I'm a second-year (haven't updated WSO title lol) that just did on-cycle. Topic of 2023 recruiting came up casually in a few of my headhunter meetings, and it seems like they are still figuring it out. 2022 off-cycle is likely going to be pretty active given how disorganized on-cycle was, so it seems like a lot of them are swamped still trying to place second years. A couple HHs mentioned encouraging their clients to do 2023 next fall (effectively, permanently incorporating the impact of the covid-related 1-year delay) because they are tired of the process happening so soon after people hit the desk (i.e. weeks after start) and see value in candidates being able to talk about deal experiences like we (second-years) were able to during this on-cycle process since we've been on the desk for longer. Others were much less optimistic about the likelihood of it being pushed back that far due to talent competition/historical trend of firms wanting to hire ASAP and seemed to think it could happen within a couple months. Much like this recent on-cycle process, it's a prisoner's dilemma where headhunters and firms are trying to assess what others are going to do, and if their perception is that others are planning to/about to kick off, then they will do the same.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 26, 2021 - 9:42pm

Would also add that most of the headhunters asked for the names and contact info for the first years in my group. Framing ranged from, "we don't expect to reach out to first-year analysts in the near-term, but [give us their info]" to "we have currently have no plans to begin the 2023 process this year..." That said, I wouldn't wait to prep. Will likely happen faster than you/your friends expect. A bunch of my friends went out on the Saturday before the Monday that on-cycle kicked off and thought I was crazy for staying in and prepping because they expected we had a week or two before kickoff. Most hadn't looked at an LBO in months – some pulled it off, others got wrecked in interviews. Just be ready for whenever it happens, and you'll do great.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 26, 2021 - 10:00pm

Yeah went well. Had interviews/modeling tests through the night on the Monday night it kicked off (last "Monday night" interview round ended at 6am), started first "Tuesday morning" interview at 8am, and signed with one of my top target groups at 2pm. Crazy process… Off-topic, but would say that the hardest part of the process is prioritizing interviews/gauging likelihood of offer vs. your firm/group preference. Most of my interviews on Tuesday (10am-2pm) were with the same firm (which I'd had a first round with at like 2am the night prior), and I had to turn down a bunch of interviews from other firms I really liked that were also trying to interview me that morning. Numerically, odds were still terrible at the firm I ended up signing with (still tons of other candidates in the mix and few spots), so was super stressful turning down other interview requests. Would've sucked to not get offer and then be behind in other processes. At some point you gotta just commit if you think you have a real shot (obv informed by vibe/how interviews are going)

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 27, 2021 - 3:39am

On the technical front, I started by reviewing LBO modeling basics and making sure I understood the barebones model flow well (actually pretty simple if you take a step back). Then learned the flows (including the associated line items) assuming additional complexity (pro forma BS build out, goodwill calc/step up, deferred tax liability calc, different types of debt with multiple tranches, etc.). All this is kinda table stakes, but a good place to start. In the process of reviewing the above, related niche technical questions will come up that will force you to re-learn some accounting/valuation topics you prob forgot - will be helpful review anyways for technical questions outside of the model test. After getting basic LBOs down to ~30 mins, I started practicing div recaps, add-on acquisitions, multiple ownership classes, etc. After talking with some friends that are a few years older, it seems that firms are increasingly providing less assumptions. I recommend learning good ranges for assumptions to make (equity check vs. debt, appropriate leverage vs. ebitda, transaction expenses, financing fees, interest rates associated with different tranches of debt, etc.). After getting the the modeling down, I did a bunch of paper LBOs. Mechanics are much simpler than the real models, but I thought it was helpful practice to get my personal process down for speed (I.e. orient paper horizontally, assumptions down the left side, periods across the top, line items vertically next to the assumptions, etc.). You will get into a rhythm/figure out the way you like to do them. Then did some general technical prep using the banking guides. Ofc largely review since know it from the job, but good to refresh on the types of questions asked and unlikely most people encounter all the things to know day-to-day in IB or remember everything from banking recruiting prep or training – I certainly didn't. Would also memorize the IRR table for MOICs across different holding periods. Rules of 72, 114, and 144 are helpful too.

I think the personal/story side is equally if not more important than the technical side. Anyone can learn the technical components with enough time, and a lot of people do/check that box. If you are competitive on paper and have the technical aspects down, you will get an offer if you convince people that you will be a solid addition to their team, someone they can depend on, and someone they want to work with. Sickeningly cliché, but craft your story to be authentic to you. Spend real time thinking about why you actually want to be in the industry/work at a specific firm, and clearly articulate how it fits into your personal arc (historically/based on what you've already done) and how it fits into where you wanna go. If your story feels like BS, it's BS. Put yourself in the shoes of an interviewer - make sure your story would be compelling if someone else told it to you. Lastly, just review your deal folders. Know them cold (drivers of the businesses, financials, multiples, etc.). Talking fluently here in a way that shows you were actually paying attention to/interested in your deals beyond creating outputs and building slides validates your story too, because it's a real-world check that you are an engaged person/employee.

Wow this got super long, but hopefully helpful haha

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 14, 2021 - 1:20am

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