How Is Corporate Banking and Big 4 TAS different from i-banking?

I was wondering what the difference between the groups in the title are, because I tried reading about them, and they all seem relatively similar. Corp banking (from what I could gather) seems to be involving less $$$ in terms of the size of the deals (and I guess salary-wise as well), Big 4 TAS seems also like a poor man's i-banking, so I wanted to make sure that I'm understanding them right.

Also, I know i-banking is hard, but is corporate banking and Big 4 TAS just as difficult to break into from non-targets?

Comments (16)

Jan 11, 2010

Big 4 TAS can cover a lot of ground depending on the firm. Some of the B4 use it as a cross-group descriptor of a bundle of service offerings like valuation, due diligence, M&A tax, etc and others mean a smaller pool of advisory teams.

In my experience there's a BIG emphasis on the accounting side of the transaction- due diligence, post-transactional, purchase price accounting, etc. I am not familiar with much, if any, strategy or negotiation advisory from the Big 4 standpoint.

At the end of the day, the Big 4 don't really have any access to the capital markets to help with any form of IPO, debt underwriting, etc. and can only offer the advice half of the IB experience.

As for recruiting, the Big 4 have target schools but they are often not the same as those of the banks as they need to hire auditors by the basket and they need people who are willing to work in smaller markets. For example, I work for a Big 4 that recruits Penn State and Rutgers but not Penn or Princeton. Penn grads as a rule don't want to audit manufacturing companies in Ohio. If you're a realistic candidate for a banking position I have a hard time imagining not being able to get a Big 4 job if you can get your resume in front of the right eyes.

Jan 11, 2010

Its back office after the fact kind of work. Not selling clients on M&A kind of work. Big 4 = accounting and accounting related, no matter how they spin it. Also, the kind of banking you're talking about is just lending money, which is nothing like modeling or doing things like lev fin.

"but is corporate banking and Big 4 TAS just as difficult to break into from non-targets?" - Don't make me laugh. They recruit only from nontargets.

    • 3
Jan 12, 2010

1styearbank do you have any experience in IB?

Jan 12, 2010


Best Response
Jan 12, 2010

Corporate Banking encompasses a lot of different things including relationship management, high level debt financing, Treasury and Trade, etc.
These are a couple links to some corporate banking descriptions/services

It is not IB, but it is also not back office type work. Each segment of a bank has profit drivers and customer segments. Corporate banking focuses on the upper end of the business market. SME<MME<Corporate

As far as the whole target issue. If you go to H/Y/P (Etc) you are going to want to get the biggest return for your investment. Those schools will open doors at most BB's. You can make a lot of money doing Corp banking, but not as much compared to IB (not so much of a difference in the beginning, but as you approach the higher ranks it becomes a substantial difference). That doesn't mean there are stupid people or less talented people in Corporate Banking, just that they tend to come from quality schools outside of the Ivy League.

I have never gone to an Ivy League school, but I have the utmost respect for the quality of education they provide. The name on your diploma doesn't mean that someone is necessarily smarter though. That seems to be forgotten sometimes. All things being equal and Top 10 school will allow you to purse more lucrative opportunities.

Cliff Notes:

Corporate Banking is not back office crap

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Nov 3, 2015

I went to an Ivy League for Engineering and I regret going. The fact is anyone from any school can go anywhere if they want. I'm not even talking about affordable privates and state schools. Anywhere. I've seen guys from schools that will take in just about anybody make it high in finance. I should know lol. I work with a guy who has the same title as me but graduated from a small christian college with an 80% acceptance rate. Not that I'm bitter. But you should always pick the cheapest and easiest option where you can get good grades.

    • 1
Nov 3, 2015

Nice job. Idiot. You reactivated a dying, nearly 6 year old thread.

    • 1
Jan 12, 2010

Don't know why the post was cut off, but oh well. You get the idea.

Jan 12, 2010

Big 4 TAS typically involves valuation and due diligence like Edomerp said, much like places such as Duff & Phelps or Alvarez & Marsal do.

Those types of service are not back-office, or after the fact type work, who would pay for that after a transaction is consummated? They complement the work done by IBs and give an outside opinion to buyers such as PE shops or targets looking to be sold.

Jan 12, 2010

You are incorrect GoodBread. MOST of the work that the TAS groups do is post-merger, post-transaction stuff, such as purchase allocation (allocating the combined company's assets legally and accurately, etc). As to your question of who would pay for a post-transaction service? Any public company that engages in a merger, acquisition or divestiture. TAS also does "pre-transaction" things like issue fairness of opinion, but the bread and butter of the work is done after a deal is announced. TAS is, however, a decent place to be if you are looking at PE exits.

As far as corportate banking goes, it is basically a mix between commercial banking and investment banking (more like DCM). corporate banking gruops generally 'bank' Fortune 1000 clients and offer them solutions to run their business (revolvers, debt issuances, letters of credit, treasury management, etc). There is also pitching involved (like investment banking), and often times, corp banking MD's will pitch together with the IB MD's.

Jan 12, 2010

It sounds like corporate banking is a reasonably attainable thing for me and something that I might enjoy. I liked commercial banking and investment banking both, so a combination of the two sounds reasonable. What kind of numbers would I need for something like that? Is the non-target thing a big deal here too?

Jan 12, 2010

TAS is in my opinion, a good place to start. It will give you accounting credibility. (never worked in audit, but some ex ib friends landed gigs in the top 4). It is seems to be a REALLY tedious kind of job, long hours, small bonus and not a great "team spirit"

Money kingdom is right on the description of Corporate Banking.

TAS is in my opinion less difficult to get in, Corporate Banking is more difficult for a non target.

Jan 12, 2010

Corporate banking usually has an analyst program sort of similar to IB. Outside of a training program it becomes kind of hard to break in because the different roles within the corporate banking space are specific and not really anything you can prepare for in school.

Example, Trade Financing is within Corporate Banking, but other than a training program or internal transfer it is hard to enter. Setting up letters of credit isn't really something you learn about in school. Cash Management deals with all types of sweep accounts, lock box systems, higher end business solutions with no applicable school major.

Outside of a training program the best way to enter is really through a Middle Market Credit Analyst role which is the most directly related to a finance major. Usually once you get some credit analyst experience you can move up to looking at larger deals or become a relationship manager, etc.

Loan syndication, corporate lending, etc is really something that would most closely resemble IB and interest people on this board. I would approach it much like you would approach IB. Thing is target schools for Corp banking are really going to be 10-20 ranked schools, like one tier below Ivy's.

Jan 13, 2010