Hey WSO, how do you view the Capital Markets side for a long term career? It's just a personal decision but I prefer staying with one firm for a long term, instead of switching around often. The concept of intertwining the banking side with the markets side appeals to me and I have a strong interest in this area.
My reasons, based on reading M&I and WSO.
1. HOURS - Hours in Capital Markets usually revolves around the markets (12 hours a day give and take depending on deal flow), with little to no weekend work making it on average a 60~70hr work week for 1st year analysts. The hours of course, gets lesser as one moves up the corporate ladder.
2. COMPENSATION - Based on what I've read, the compensation structure is very generous for capital markets, usually same in base, and a bit lower on the bonus side (as compared to IBD). Now this difference may be greater at the senior levels, but taking into account the hours(60~70 vs. 80~100), it seems very generous.
3. PROMOTION OPPS - the majority of bankers in ECM/DCM have good opportunities for direct promotion, negating the need for an MBA.
Now there are some cons:
1. CYCLICAL(ECM) - If the economy plunges, IPOs capital raising etc. plunge and ECM gets axed very quickly. DCM however, may remain more stable.
2. LITTLE EXIT OPPS - If one finds out capital markets isn't a match, then you pretty much are limited to two options: lateral within the bank, or go to B-school. Not a big factor for me since I'm in it for the long run.
I summarized it into these points (please do comment if you disagree with any of the points I made up there). Now back the questions: how would you rate ECM/DCM as a long term career?
PS. Two SBs to whoever correctly ranks the current leaders in ECM and DCM!