How to Lateral out of Oil and Gas?

I'm a first year analyst at a MM in Houston. I targeted Houston during recruiting because I went to a non-target in Texas and I felt like a Houston bank was where I would have my best shot at an offer. I'm thankful for landing this job especially since not many people from my school have before. That being said, I really have no interest in O&G. I would ideally like to lateral to another bank and group in NYC (MM/BB). I've seen some of the lateral guides/posts on WSO and intend to follow what others have done. My main question is how does applying from a regional office and a fairly niche group effect my ability to get a job in NYC?

Comments (14)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 31, 2021 - 3:28pm

It's not hard at all. As long as you can demonstrate interest in the group you're interviewing with, and the interviewers feel like you can hit the ground running since day 1, you'll get plenty of look. This is based on my personal experience as I'm in the exact same shoes

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 31, 2021 - 4:24pm

Interned in a Houston banking office, someone who has spent a few years working in Houston full time might be able to give a better answer.

I got the sense that lateraling to NYC from a Houston was not very difficult after 1 YOE. Energy modeling is niche, sure, but you are still getting largely the same experience as someone in a generalist group (excel, modeling, general banking deal process). Plus, you could end up with experience that overlaps with wherever you try to end up in NYC (M&A, utilities, etc).

Banks want 'world class talent' when recruiting at the entry level, and care a lot about stuff like where you went to school, GPA, leadership, etc. My sense is that when a bank needs to find a lateral hire for an analyst, they can't afford to be nearly so picky. Attrition is high among analysts (past year especially), and when you have a AN2 spot you desperately need to fill, only someone who did banking for a year is a good fit. The fact you are in Houston, at a MM will not matter so much. You will know how to do the job, and that will put you in a pretty thin crowd of applicants. 

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Oct 31, 2021 - 6:17pm

FT analyst that has been working in Houston for a couple years here. My group had a number of people (not just on the AN level) leave for other groups. A few people in the bullpen have also heard of other groups / banks losing junior-level talent, whether that be a lateral move to another bank's non-O&G group or a different group within the same bank. I've seen people I know up to the VP-level make a move on LinkedIn from Houston to another city / group. There are other threads that "validate" this on here (if you want to rely on the words of complete strangers like myself or college students or "Prospect in Consulting" up top here).

There are definitely precedents for experienced and inexperienced analysts moving out of O&G. My group had a couple AN1s leave before hitting the one year mark. That being said, the instances that I've seen and have heard of have been more geared towards tech groups in SF. I have gotten a few emails from recruiters about IB roles that said they were looking for people trying to move out of O&G, so I think people are generally aware that it's a move that people that work in O&G consider. All in all, I don't see how a move to NY would be any harder than a move to Tech in SF so I think you're good.

I think overall it's not a particularly hard career move. I imagine having a FT role now within IB is helpful nonetheless and can be seen as a base-level vetting from a hiring perspective. Like this person is working at a MM in Houston so he must've been good enough to get the job; if your group is good, even better. I imagine you might get more instances of people who will grill you on non-O&G / more generalist deals technicals or will try to poke holes in your story / move altogether. To the latter point, you just need to craft a good story and be concise about your reasonings, which you already sort of hit here (you got into O&G bc it was a means of breaking into IB and going thru Houston was your easiest path). I would recommend you go on LinkedIn and try to find a way to find people who lateraled out of O&G / Houston and reach out to them; that is probably the best way for you to get your foot in the door if you don't already have connections outside of Houston or your bank.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Oct 31, 2021 - 7:21pm

Very easy move these days - in the current market you can just apply online, potentially don't even need to network, and certainly don't need HHs. You'll definitely need at least 8-12 months experience, hopefully close a deal or two, and you'll easily be able to target BB/EB in NYC

O&G is a bit niche but 1 year of experience does not pigeonhole you, you'll just need to show interest in the next industry. If you can talk about what you've done you can hop into almost any group without much leg work at all.

Oct 31, 2021 - 9:23pm

Have a buddy who left MM O&G in Houston to coverage in a MM in NY after a year. Applied online knowing no one in the bank, heard from the recruiter two days later, scheduled the interview for the next day, and at the end of the day got the offer. Whole process done in a week. People are struggling for analysts and if you do well in an interview then you can easily get out.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 1, 2021 - 9:49am

I actually just did this in the last few weeks and it was fairly easy to get interviews. I was at a MM in Houston and was able to lateral out before I was even halfway through my first year. It helped a lot that I went to a target but ultimately I performed well in the interview and had a great story as to why I was moving on so quickly. In terms of the actual process, I did almost no networking whatsoever and just cold applied everywhere not expecting to get any interviews. When all was said and done I received 2 offers and got super days with basically every single bank I applied for. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 1, 2021 - 6:47pm

This is good insight !
How were your interviews, were they similar to your undergrad interviews?
Also did you have any deals on you resume?
I'm close to a year exp and I have a couple capital markets deals and then one large buyside. I'm not sure what the average is / if it even matters

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 8, 2021 - 11:54am

I'd say the interviews were pretty similar to the undergrad interviews I did. Didn't really get any technicals but the ones I did were kind of tricky. 

In terms of resume I just had live deals on my resume and wrote down the expected deal value on them. 

Nov 3, 2021 - 4:06am

If you're a first year especially, it shouldn't be too difficult. O&G especially people have an understanding for from what I've seen as to accepting that people want to move out of it if they don't like it. Just make sure you have a well-crafted story as to why you're looking to move and why the group you're interviewing for is a logical next step / the right move for you. Should be fine otherwise. 

  • 2
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 4, 2021 - 10:40am

Accusamus ut ut saepe quo et. At facere qui nesciunt ullam temporibus. Aliquam quibusdam rem quam suscipit. Laborum facilis non soluta eos suscipit rerum architecto.

Eaque quod ut quis unde veritatis. Exercitationem quia sit libero quis aut. Blanditiis est ducimus deleniti sint voluptatum. Sit temporibus et a hic in magni at.

Porro dicta iste at necessitatibus molestiae officiis. Et voluptas velit inventore molestias. Qui voluptatum error impedit ut hic itaque nisi quia. Excepturi natus voluptatem voluptates et autem excepturi. Velit reprehenderit aliquid mollitia perspiciatis pariatur nulla in expedita. Alias architecto sequi consequatur eligendi repudiandae et iure.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

January 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $604
  • Vice President (20) $379
  • Associates (141) $239
  • 2nd Year Analyst (83) $154
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (15) $150
  • 1st Year Analyst (291) $142
  • Intern/Summer Associate (63) $143
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (223) $89