IB Associate Churn after 3yrs

As everyone know, several juniors have been leaving banking so this week I ran the numbers of how things look at my EB.

I'm an Associate class of 2018. I would be promoted to VP next year (if I stay, which is a big IF right now).

Please see below and comment if this looks normal across other banks, also would be great to know if this is more churn than expected due to COVID or if numbers are similar vs previous clases:

35 Associates joined full time in 2018

15 are still here (43%). Majority of the 15 are internationals (visa constraints?)

Of the 20 that are gone:

6 fired

6 Corporate exits (Big tech, startups)

4 MM/regional buyside

1 Bulge Bracket

1 MBB Consulting

1 entrepreneurship

1 rage quit without a job

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Comments (150)

Apr 18, 2021 - 8:03pm

The fact that so many internationals at your bank survived the visa lottery is quite Interesting. Maybe you guys hired candidates only from countries that have some kind of a special immigration treaty with the US (e.g. Singapore)? In contrast, most of my bank's international associates were gone by the second year (~80%) after the lottery. (NYC BB M&A) I hear the lottery win rate is only 33%. In fact that is exactly what were seeing right now- the annual visa lottery was a few weeks ago and now we're seeing internationals packing their bags and sending good bye emails left and right. Same thing happens every year. 

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Apr 18, 2021 - 8:24pm

No, I follow most of my associate class on Linkedin and according to their profiles none of them got relocated - whether it was involuntary or not idk. They now all work at different banks at their countries - mostly local banks, some boutiques, and 1 at another BB. Not an expert on this topic, but I hear from my 'international'  colleagues that it's a common misconception that everyone at a large bank can get relocated, if they lose their lottery. The reality is that there are very few openings at regional offices (even at larger cities such as London) given their smaller sizes compared to NY and A2A culture being more common in most (if not all) other countries outside of the US

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 18, 2021 - 9:39pm

I think that's atypical and unlucky. MBA grads have a lot of tools at their disposal to get improved H1B chances. I had ~10 international people in my EB class, including myself, and another 5 from my B-School banking class and only 3 guys didn't get H1B.

Lawyers will file for your pre-grad H1B as a US Graduate Degree holder if you've gotten enough credits to graduate before your last school term. That takes your H1B chances up to about 50% and with OPT, you get 1 more chance to apply at the same odds.

Then majority of MBA programs have also done STEM OPT since around the class of 2018 and banks have taken advantage (even if the definition of what jobs are qualified for STEM OPT is kind of a grey area) so you can even get up to 4 tries for H1B.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 18, 2021 - 9:56pm

Is this any different for analysts who don't get the H1B visa?

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 18, 2021 - 5:02pm

I'm pretty sure we work in the same place. How do you classify the one from Real Estate? I wouldn't call him MM/regional since it's a big firm in NY

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 18, 2021 - 5:33pm

Bump, curious on the firings 

As an incoming MBA Associate, is there any specific advice you'd have?  

As an aside, judging from the MBA Associate class of 2018 or 2019 I think 3-4 of the ~6 or so have left.  Seems like your figures are about right 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 18, 2021 - 9:37pm

Thank you! 

If I can press you for one more question - what was the key thing that you think got you to the likely VP promo (or at the very least successfully through the last 3 years)?  Was it technical proficiency, getting good with the m&a process etc.?

Apr 26, 2021 - 1:06am

"Identify the best people to work with." Everyone starting in banking should read this approximately 1,000x / day. Not uncommon for people to come into the "elite" world of IB and assume that every MD is just god-like. Trust me, they aren't. Varies with market conditions and by firm, but there are a lot of warm bodies out there. And it usually takes 2-3 years for leadership to catch on and get rid of them, but if you hitched your wagon to one of them early on, that's 2-3 years that you spent far less productively than you could have.

Apr 19, 2021 - 9:34am

~35 back in Class of 2018 (hired in 2017) checks out for Evercore given it's current ~40 ppl annual MBA hires. Retention seems reasonable given rate is even worse at larger banks...

  • Associate 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 18, 2021 - 6:34pm

So no MF PE or HF exits? Is this just MBA associates (you mentioned 35 joined FT in 2018, but were any of these lateral A2As from other banks)? What happened to the A2A internal promotes and their recruitment stats? Presumably this is across all various product groups correct? (M&A, RX, etc)

Curious as the numbers seem a bit bleak but perhaps this is the norm for MBA associate hires in IB

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Apr 18, 2021 - 9:23pm

Of the ~35 I believe 34 are post-MBAs. Does not include A2A who did not participate in FT Training with me that August 2018. I remember August 2018 fondly -- times were better in this great city of New York and I was just a simple post-MBA grad wanting to make money, pay down my debt and learn about M&A. Now life is difficult and I keep running excel scenarios and moving logos in my tiny Manhattan apartment.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 18, 2021 - 7:41pm

Yes, also interested to know -- how many associates who started as analysts were fired as associates over the past year or so? Also, did you guys hire that many new associates bc so few analysts stayed on for a2a promotion?     

  • Associate 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 18, 2021 - 11:06pm

can more people add to this? it's absolutely impossible to ask these questions in recruiting and so people just end up joining and having no idea what % stays to VP and if not, where do they go lol (myself included)

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2021 - 9:24pm

I was told by one of BofA/Citi explicitly that they tracked it and over the past (3? 5?) years it was right around 25%

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 19, 2021 - 11:03am

Well they are making shit more than the analysts underneath them even though they are dumber than them 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 19, 2021 - 11:45am

Yes they're super dumb, they didn't know about IB when they were sophomores at 19/20 and so they had to get an MBA to break into IB, can you believe that?

Apr 20, 2021 - 12:47am

Haha... bunch of dif opinions on my original comment.

I meant it half as a joke. I don't feel the slightest bit sorry for anyone making 250-300k for sending out dial-ins and making sure working group lists are ordered in correct seniority. 

It pays the bills. And by bills I mean the 200K investment in that MBA

  • VP in IB - Gen
Apr 19, 2021 - 9:47pm

Here are the stats for my bank for 2018 associate class

14 joined in 2018, very few had prior finance backgrounds

3 are still here, 2 at their original IBD groups and 1 moved to capital markets

3 went to Corp Dev (2 fortune 500 and 1 tech)

1 went to a secondary fund

1 pension fund, investing role

1 tech-focused PE

1 social/impact fund 

1 went to join a startup

3 went back to their countries (no internationals remaining)

  • Summer Associate in IB - Ind
Apr 19, 2021 - 9:59pm

Im surprised that more don't go the capital markets route. Seems like a great place to be for a career banker.

  • Business School in IB - Gen
Apr 19, 2021 - 10:02pm

Those all seem like solid positions/exits? Sure there aren't a ton of MF PE exits but other than the TBD internationals, those all look nice.

Apr 20, 2021 - 12:36am

Class of 2018 at BB (NYC joiners only):

38 joined and 20 remaining

6 corporate exits

3 to other IBs (both BB and EB)

3 to PE

1 to credit fund

2 back to home country

1 startup

2 unknown

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Apr 20, 2021 - 3:20am

Good to see a lot of fellow 2018 class here. Got me curious as well.

EB NYC. Don't know exactly how many joined in my class(2018), but tracked 20 of those that I remember 

Out of 20, 5 are still here after 3 years

1 moved to BB (so only 30% still in banking)

8 corporate exits including 3 who were fired

1 commercial real estate

1 CFO at a startup


1 back to school (non-law, non-med)

2 got married (no profile updates but just baby pics - happily retired?)

  • Manager in CorpStrat
Apr 20, 2021 - 3:35am

BB SF west coast coverage, 7 associates joined in 2017

- 4 corporate development at tech/fintech

- 1 marketing / went back to pre-MBA industry

- 1 investor relations at a VC/GE fund

- 1 investor relations at a private debt /direct lending fund

- 0 in banking 

  • Associate 3 in IB - Ind
Apr 25, 2021 - 9:24pm

BB SF Tech 3rd year ASO here

- 6 joined

- 4 left before year 3 → Went to tech/pharma/healthcare firms in corp dev or strategy type of roles, all in Bay area

- I'm currently interviewing for M&A strategy role at a mid tech firm, so +1 pretty soon

Tbh only reason I stayed this long was to pay off student loans

Noticed there are a few people who are curious about comps for corp dev positions - pretty comparable to consulting or big law associates from what I saw. Plus stocks and all kinds of fringe benefits, and subtract 30 hours a week. This level of comp wouldn't have been achievable of course if I hadn't worked in banking and had my salary boosted - this becomes the benchmark salary for your next job.  

  • Associate 3 in IB - Ind
Apr 25, 2021 - 9:36pm

comparable to consulting or big law associates from what I saw. Plus stocks and all kinds of fringe benefits, and subtract 30 hours a week. 

  • Associate 3 in IB - Ind
Apr 25, 2021 - 9:40pm

Honestly, I don't know. I've never come across someone (outside of an interview setting) at my office or at other banks around who talked about making MD or even D. I wonder if folks in NYC do. Sure, once you reach VP, the money becomes increasingly hard to walk away from. But I've also seen many VPs and Ds leave for F500 jobs, especially here in SF where there's no shortage of if not more opportunity outside of finance and you don't see so many people 'grinding'. So I'd say 50:50

  • Associate 2 in IB - Gen
Apr 26, 2021 - 5:56am

Not quite there yet but I can tell you why I'm not going to stick around.

Because shit doesn't get any better after VP. My VPs and even Ds are grinding just as many hours as associates. 

Because this life is not sustainable - all these hours and sleep deprivation is killing my body and making me suicidal. 

Because I have zero time to meet friends and family. 

Because I don't want to die young and alone with a six figure bank account that I never got to use .

Apr 25, 2021 - 9:55pm

Would like to hear from some more associate/VPs in NY and what their class is doing


  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 26, 2021 - 12:14am

Serious question... why don't more Associates stay for VP promotion? I understand stress doesn't go away, but hours get significantly better and comp gets pretty crazy right? My VPs and above at my previous firm were always out of the office by 5:30.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 26, 2021 - 12:47am

Most VPs and Ds at my BB are always in the office until 11 pm-midnight unless they're out with MDs / clients

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 26, 2021 - 12:52am

What do banks typically do when they lose a 2nd-3rd year associate? Do they hire experienced associates or just hire more 1st-years?

Apr 26, 2021 - 12:02pm

What do banks typically do when they lose a 2nd-3rd year associate? Do they hire experienced associates or just hire more 1st-years?

Depends on the group.

They try but its' really hard to get people at that level to move over.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 26, 2021 - 11:35pm

I would assume they are really trying to thread the needle to find the right experienced associate.

That being said, it would probably be favorable to candidates? Maybe this is ignorant thinking, but as an associate looking to leave into corp dev or something, you should likely move to a more high level bank as your "last stop" which could open up some new doors?

Or are people at that level/age more set in their ways and not looking to uproot life for another year or two at a different shop?

The short version is I chose my place explicitly as one where I could see myself longer term, but if I wanted to leave I think the exits at the associate level are not as good as other options I had.

Apr 27, 2021 - 5:14pm

We usually have to hire more 1st years.  Others are right, finding experienced, strong associates isn't easy.  That's part of the reason the recruiters are so aggressive and ping every junior banker in the bank trying to find someone willing to make the jump.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2021 - 12:57am

I once saw an associate cough and spit out blood one day at work. She later found out that she had stomach ulcer. She said she had never been that sick in her life and she quit after only 11 months on the job. 

May 16, 2021 - 8:30pm

International MBA applicant here from Canada- I am curious whether BB's hire post MBA associates as a As2/As3 if the candidate worked in a BB as AN/As1 in a foreign office prior to attending top7 biz school. Do you know if BBs sponsor MBA tuition for top bucket analysts/associates anymore? 

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
May 19, 2021 - 8:10pm
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Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (205) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (116) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (425) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (341) $82