How hard is it to make it into capital markets from a non-target?

How hard is it to make it into capital markets? Id assume that the majority of undergrad students are gunning for M&A, but for those of us that would like to be career bankers, is it easier to get into equity/debt capital markets? How much easier would it be for a non-target to get a job in capital markets at places like HSBC, UBS, Nomura, SMBC, Santander,  or Societe Generale compared to M&A? I have been looking at the linkedin's of many analysts from top MM firms, and there seem to be WAY more non-target people in capital markets compared to M&A. I just want to know your personal experiences. I really am interested by Equity and Debt capital markets, and I will most likely be attending a higher end non-target/lowest tier semi target for undergrad. The fact that they pay is nice and the hours are doable, capital markets seems like the way to go for people who want long term careers in banking. 

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Comments (5)

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Sep 14, 2021 - 12:57am

I would say it's easier to get an interview if the application is a separate application than the coverage groups application because of the fact that there will likely be less applicants. However the main thing here is networking and showing real interest in Cap Markets. If you find fellow non targets, reach out to them to network. If they see that you have a real interest in DCM/ECM (besides the hours and pay) then they may push for you given the fact that less people show true passion for those groups. Just my $0.02. It may be easier, especially if the application process is separate and if you network and know your stuff but you still have to put in the work.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Sep 14, 2021 - 9:13am

Second all of this. Will add that the application for cap markets is typically the same as IB or M&A though, and you get placed after you get hired, so it's not that much easier at most banks. At banks where it is a separate process (only a handful) it would be a bit easier.

Sep 14, 2021 - 8:49am

Did 2 years as an analyst covering abl for larger deals at a BB then move into DCM work. Completely doable but I didn't get any interviews for cap mkt right out of college. Would strongly recommend getting a credit role as back up.

Sep 14, 2021 - 12:32pm

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