IB for Italian MSc students

Do you think it is possible to find an IB job in Italy right now?

I don't come from Bocconi and I am really struggling. In addition, most of the banks in Italy have drastically cut their openings because of the COVID crisis. I remember that in September I applied for CS and Nomura (with above average results for both tests) and I still haven't received any answer.

UniCredit also never answers, while Intesa is not posting any IB job.

Comments (32)

Dec 29, 2020 - 5:20pm

Echo that not being from Bocconi might be one of the reasons. In addition to that, unfortunately IB headcount in Italy is extremely limited (e.g some banks have only 1-3 interns) so nepotism, networking and Bocconi are incredibly important. If you're not dead set on staying in Italy I'd suggest you to try for London as chances are not lower.

Italy-wise, have you tried some Boutiques like Fineurop or some Big4 Transaction services? As deal size is smaller, some deals happen to be advised by KPMG and the likes 

Most Helpful
Dec 29, 2020 - 5:42pm

It is VERY rare to see people not Bocconi Finance/IM/AFC in Italian IBanking. Those rare ones (usually from LUISS/PoliMi/Cattolica) most likely had contacts, spent 1 year working in Big 4 consulting, interned in boutique IBs, or got really lucky in the screening process. Only places that do consider these candidates are the ones that take a lot of interns such as Rothschild, but even then the process has always been really competitive. One exception is BoA, they take a lot of LUISS people, don't actually know how/why they select them though.


Working in Italian IBanking is very difficult even for top targets such as Bocconi Finance students as places are really limited and there are lots of qualified applicants. I would suggest that you see what your peers have done in the past for some reference on what is possible from your uni, maybe ask alumni of your school that have your desired profile how they got where they are and go from there. If you figure that you can't get into IB, you can aim at Big 4 advisory/consulting and switch down the line after 1/2 years of experience, or maybe try to join a boutique/MM, will still be very competitive as also the latter usually only take Bocconi people.


Leaving below an incomplete list of boutiques/MMs that have an Italian office and intern program, I made it for another post, maybe it can help:

  • La Compagnia Holding
  • Arkios
  • Seta Capital
  • Cassiopea Partners
  • Ethica Group
  • Fineurop Soditic
  • Clarence Bridge Capital
  • Vitale & Co
  • Mandarin Capital Partners
  • Illimity
  • Banca Profilo
  • Banca Akros
  • Lincoln International
  • Klecha&Co
  • Cross Border
  • Banca Iccrea
  • Banca Sella


Dec 30, 2020 - 6:10am

Also ICCREA and Banca Sella have a small IB department (I don't know what they do specifically, maybe some debt advice, but they might be good places to start)

Jan 4, 2021 - 9:31am

I would apply to both kinds and decide when offers start coming in. In general if you want to do IB, it's better to have IB experience on your curriculum even if from boutiques. Big 4 advisory is still good experience for IB though. Being a risk averse person I would take the Big 4 advisory experience if I didn't get in the better boutiques, since it offers a safe career and a decent plan B if you like advisory.


When applying to jobs I felt it was important to realise that 95% of uni students would not even be able to get in Big 4 advisory or IB boutiques, so it's still quite a good result if you can get it. IB recruiting is still a numbers game even for top target students, so you never want to cross of the list an excellent plan B. 

Jan 4, 2021 - 10:19am

It's not easy to land an offer at Big4's advisory group nor at Boutiques. I've mixed feelings about the choice (assuming that I'd be lucky enough to get 2 offers in this condition)

IB are sexy but no name boutiques aren't that cool, basically you're stucked with the same people for your whole career while B4s can give you lots of possibility to network and have fun with other young professionals that have the same desire to party hard after work.

In terms of deal experience it depends on the boutique though B4 usually work on bigger and interesting deal compared to no name boutiques

Dec 29, 2020 - 6:02pm

Good answers from above.

I have few friends from public universities in Italy who got the opportunity to do an internship in boutiques such as Arkios, then they had the chance to be called for interview from places such as Rothschild or Lazard. But it's very rare to get an internship there being the competition very high with people from Bocconi/ESCP or European target Universities with the same experiences most of the time.

My advice is to think about moving slowly upward, starting from a boutique or a Big 4, and then try to go somewhere better. Don't think about about places such as Nomura or Credit Suisse, especially in London. It's nearly impossible get an offer there without a good university name and 0 experiences.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Dec 30, 2020 - 5:30am

I agree with the above post start from a boutique. Don't directly go for tier 2/tier 1 banks 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Dec 30, 2020 - 5:43am

BoA EMEA president or similar is a LUISS's alumni which might explain why there're a lot of us at BoA.

With that being said, it's extremely tough to get a job in IB without having a degree from Bocconi but it's not impossible (Polimi/Cattolica have slightly better chances in Milan, Luiss/Sapienza in Rome)

Just keep in mind that IB in Milan/Italy is brutal and pay is shit so consulting isn't bad at all (exit opps are the same if not better).

I've seen lots of "non target" on Linkedin lateralling from B4 TAS to IB(boutique or MM mainly) or MBB after 1-2 years so everything is possible just keep grinding.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Dec 30, 2020 - 6:16am

What's the pay in consulting? Some people told me at MBB Milan base is like 1.5k-2k EUR per month which is lower than BB/EB pay and at par with MM boutiques

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