Investment Banking Headhunters

What would you guys say are the best headhunters to use for IB laterals? I found a few topics on this but they are all outdated and generally do not have great responses. My buddy is looking to lateral from a European city (he is in sort of a hybrid trading / lev fin role at a BB) to NYC and all of my recruiter / headhunter experience has been buyside focused so I unfortunately do not have great advice to give. All of the IB postings I have gotten over the past few years have been from CW Partners, Pinnacle and Pinpoint but I am sure there are more / better options.

Separately, has anyone had any good experiences with Vettery?

Before one of the moderators jumps in, yes, I have pointed him to the WSO job database. Any other names are much appreciated. Thanks.

Comments (47)

Jun 16, 2015

When I was lateraling, I reached out to a few, but never had any luck. Avoid Selby Jennings and any of the head hunters that are not well known.

Jun 16, 2015

Michael Page works pretty well. Have come across solid opportunities with them. Outside of that some of the normal "premier" firms also deal with IB lateral opportunities, Henkel Search Partners, for instance is one of them.

Jun 16, 2015

Thanks, very helpful. I have worked with HSP but not Michael Page so good name to know. If anyone else has names that have been helpful in the past please let me know.

Jun 17, 2015

Something wants me to say someone that joined my group as a lateral used the Weatherly Group? Don't quote me on that though.

Jun 17, 2015

Arkesden energy, one search, circle square, goodmanmanson

Jun 17, 2015

Oxbridge, CarterPierce

Jun 17, 2015

Oxbridge - Great overall
Carter Pierce - West Coast / Texas focused
Pinpoint Partners - some decent opportunities (UK based I believe)
Henkel Search Partners - They have a lot of large opportunities but some smaller ones too. Got an offer through them at a lower MM shop
Permanent Solutions - Lots of lower MM
Forrer Group - Lower MM prospects

I wouldn't restrict my search just to these though. DSP, Opus, SG, CPI, etc. all have opportunities in the upper to lower MM as well.

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Dec 26, 2017

Excellent, thanks for this.

Jun 17, 2015

Add Bellcast to the list too, believe they exclusively do MM

Jun 17, 2015

Thank you!

Jun 17, 2015

I have several friends who have done this and it's not an issue. If you're experienced and a good candidate they'll figure out all the Visa stuff for you. Could be wrong but my it's my understanding that at least most of the US guys are on a calendar basis and payout in Q1.

Interesting combo of experience you have though as I don't know of any banks that combine those two industry groups so you either started as a generalist or switched groups within the first year which is unusual.

Jun 17, 2015

Don't bother with recruiters/headhunters. BB's and EB's have dedicated HR departments so they don't use headhunters for IBD analyst placements.

It's going to come from your own networking efforts. You're going to have to find alumni or anyone else who is willing to speak with you about possible openings at their bank. And brace for the fact that it's going to be time-consuming on top of the 60, 70, 80+ hour weeks you're already doing. Also don't expect to necessarily be able to pull off the lateral in private. Oftentimes if you're looking to lateral into a certain group an MD/VP/Associate from that bank will simply call up a senior banker on your team and ask how good you are. So if you have good relationships with those from your team, you might lose those when they receive word you're attempting to lateral to another bank.

Interviews will center around your deal experience so far to best see if your background matches the spot that's available.

(Also, when networking with those in SF, don't refer to it as "San Fran," "Frisco," or any other of those ridiculous nicknames.)

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Jun 17, 2015

I sent one yesterday. I just explained: who referred me, how a relationship btw us could be mutually beneficial, what I am looking for, what is my edge, and what I expect on her end. Not hard at all man.

Jun 17, 2015

I would say; my name is__ and I am an Analyst at chase bank. Now try to state what do you need from the headhunter say you are looking to become a buy side analyst, so say it tell them why you are reaching out to them. Explain why you think you are a good fit and what skills you have to offer. Thanks the person and ask when you can call or meet in person to increase your chances of getting a job.

Jun 17, 2015

Send me a pm with your background. Let's discuss.

Jun 17, 2015

It's pretty much all the usual suspects - a recruiter that primarily does PE isn't going to turn down an IB mandate just because most of their business comes from somewhere else. That being said, IB mandates seem to be less exclusive (i.e. farmed out to multiple HH's).

Jun 17, 2015

HSP has reached out with some elite boutique opportunities. Michael Page has come to the table with MMs (e.g., Guggenheim, HLHZ, etc.)

Jun 17, 2015

Have a meeting with HSP for a lateral IB.

Can you PM me the Michael Page rep you've dealt with that has told you about these opps?

Would greatly appreciate

Jun 17, 2015

I was under the impression that the best way to lateral within IB was to connect with banks directly via job postings etc for specific group openings.

Would a HH be the way to go for someone seriously looking to make a lateral move / cast a wide net?

Jun 17, 2015

No reason you can't do both. I definitely saw some resumes with the HH watermarks that got interviews.

Jun 17, 2015

Do these groups really do lateraling for juniors? Seems like most are doing lateraling for VPs and above.

Jun 17, 2015

They do recruit juniors - I still get some spam messages from HH firms regarding lateral opp's even though I was never interested in those to begin with.

Jun 17, 2015

Do it on your own, seriously. They all suck. I went from lower mm to bb, and even though they knew about the bb openings, they had no interest in referring me to them. They only wanted to do lower mm to lower mm, not even upper mm. Do your own networking and make the move. Apply to openings on the JPM/GS/ms/whatever job boards and then reach out to ppl at the groups you applied to and make moves. Worked for me like a charm, and trust me, my creds are not the most stellar.

Jun 17, 2015

did you have a terrible job/ work for a bad firm?

Jun 17, 2015
bankersRus1234:

I am looking for anything in finance, anywhere else; primarily, trading or hedge fund, and worst case, a lateral to a BB bank.

I think you need more definitive direction as to where you want to go. In agreeance with IronBanker, it sounds like you may have had a bad experience and are looking for the fastest route out of there. Do some research and decide what exactly you want to do, or at least the area you want to be in.

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Jun 17, 2015

http://www.unwords.com/unword/agreeance.html
Just in case anyone else was confused.

Jun 17, 2015

It's what you would call a "firm-wide cultural colloquialism." Every fund/firm/divisional area has their own vernacular, and mine is no different.

The more notable variation would be "agreement".

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Jun 17, 2015

need to know abt this; want to move badly by this summer.

Jun 17, 2015

I HAVE to move.... tips regarding headhunters to contact would be appreciated....

Jun 17, 2015

i know how you guys feel...just lowered the banana requirement to 10 bananas to see the Recruiter Database. you should check it out...definitley some top recruiters on there.

Some advice: be prepared with a sense of what you want to do, why, etc. not, "I HAVE TO GET OUT!!!!" BEFORE you talk to a recruiter. they will judge you from the first word out of your mouth.

there are also some recent jobs posted up in the Jobs section you guys can check out. we should be having more jobs up there soon.

thanks and good luck.

Best Response
Jun 17, 2015

Take it for what it's worth.

Networking is always going to be a much stronger option than headhunters. Headhunters that focus more on analyst/associate level hires are always by nature going to be second tier recruiters. Headhunters get paid based on a percentage of what the candidate makes, usually 20-30%. Think about it in banking terms, if you got paid 2% fees, would you try to sell a company worth 100mm or 1 billion? You'd need to recruit 50 analysts just to equal the fee from recruiting a single MD.

So always keep in mind that networking is your best bet. Find someone within your firm that you respect for the right reasons (work ethic, intelligence, etc.) that has some good connections. A good example would be a top notch associate that went to a top 5 b-school that has tons of contacts. If you do good work for him, and you approach the subject carefully, he might be willing to put you in touch with his b-school buddies.

If you absolutely must go through a headhunter, here a few things to keep in mind:

1) Honesty is key. Don't waste their time and they won't waste yours. If something doesn't interest you, tell them. But bear in mind that if all you want is GS TMT, UBS/CS LA, MS M&A, than you will die trying. Keep your mind open but know what you want.

2) Abandon the shotgun approach. Headhunters, like HR people, hate people who just apply for anything under the sun. Again, know what you want and make it clear by the interviews you choose to go on.

3) Headhunters will sometimes hook you up with a decent opportunity that you may not entirely want at first. It might be a good idea to give it a try because the headhunter will most likely want to see how you perform before they pass you onto their top tier clients. You are, after all, a reflection of them in a sense. Make sure you are prepared.

4) Don't give them the attitude like "you work for me, you are making a fee off of me, etc." Headhunters could care less about you. Yes, the market is extremely liquid for analysts, but demand still far exceeds supply. So check your ego at the door and prove your worth the old fashioned way.

5) Like NYChimp mentioned, you need to treat your first conversation with a headhunter as your first round interview (oftentimes, it is). Be polished, know your story and why things aren't working out for you at your current firm (hint: don't say it's because people hate you and you suck), and know what you're looking for specifically. To the original poster, none of this wishy washy bullshit about PE, HF, maybe IB as a last resort. Headhunters don't want to waste their time trying to accomodate your last ditch effort to leave your firm. Pick what you want and go for it. Ask the recruiter if PE or HF firms would be interested in you given your background. A good headhunter will give you an honest answer.

6) And lastly, what to do if you encounter a bad headhunter. Sometimes headhunters jerk you around with positions they don't actually have but think they may be able to get. Don't stand for it. Ask straight up if a headhunter is on retainer with a firm for their search. If he lies to you or admits he's not on retainer, don't waste your time and move on. Also, don't reach out to every headhunter under the sun. I know as bankers we by nature tend to be backstabbing, sniveling creeps, but try and maintain a little loyalty and only work with two, three reputable firms at most.

To stress again: NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK. Networking is 100x more effective than any headhunter. Headhunters may be able to get you into some of the inaccessable firms (read: top tier boutiques), but most of the bulges should be penetrable by networking. Trust me.

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Jun 17, 2015

Nice post, he hit the nail on the head.

Jun 17, 2015

yea and lateral analysts give your buddy a nice chunk of change 7.5-15k depending on the bank.

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Jun 17, 2015

Nice Post Gametheory. I hear a lot on this board about looking for options after your 2/3 years are up, and how it is important to network and get people that you know can give you good references from inside your bank.

To me it seems though, that if you are good enough to be receiving offers from the top PE firms, that you are probably a good analyst and your bank would be interested in keeping you. What is your bank's incentive to help you getting these other highly desirable jobs?

Jun 17, 2015

I'm starting in '07 and I know I'm gonna be looking to lateral out my Bank into P.E., I have a few contacts that I can bank on, but do you guys have any other advice besides Gametheory's post ??

Jun 17, 2015

My post mainly refers to lateral candidates (and for definition's sake "lateral" means apples to apples transfers, i.e. analyst in IB to analyst in IB, not analyst in IB to associate in PE/HF).

Most of the headhunter stuff is applicable across the board, however. The networking stuff really applies mainly to lateral hires. If you're thinking about going from IB to PE, a headhunter can play a much larger role. Sorry if that was unclear.

As far as your bank's incentive to keep you or not keep you, it depends. If you choose to leave prior to your two year commitment, don't expect support. If you leave after doing 2+ years, you should have a good feel for how your group handles analyst leaving for PE and if they are supportive (reccs from MDs, calls being put in on your behalf, etc.) or not.

The bottom line is just do a good job as an analyst and everything will work out. My only other peice of advice for guys like Seanc who are starting this summer is don't be so preoccupied with your "end goals" to the point where you lose sight of doing good work as an analyst. It's ironic that my friends that went to the best PE shops were the ones that originally wanted to be bankers for life.

Jun 17, 2015

true, all good points. which recruitment firms are solid? also, how do you network outside of your bank to lateral to another bank when you are working 100 hours a week?

Jun 17, 2015

bump

Jun 17, 2015
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