Is IB not the desired path anymore or are there so many open spots because of dealflow?

For each lateral spot that opens up in my M&A group at a mid-tier BB, the resume drop gets constantly bombarded with resumes from no-name banks and roles outside the industry as opposed to Piper / HW / WF banks trying to get into BB

Also, for SA positions, my emails are constantly from non-target school students that attend a business program outside the top 150.

Was wondering if banks are just too busy that they have to expand their normal talent pool outside of traditional paths or are the traditional students who were interested in IB or have just started their analyst stint hated it and it caused many prospects to avoid IB?

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Comments (73)

Jun 25, 2021 - 12:11pm

Definitely dealflow, I think your group might be an outlier because we see the same flow of candidates who are from target schools and who have IB experiences previously at a reputable shop.

IB will always be a glorified path and if anything, people have wanted it more after the recent burnout news since banks increased base pay

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 12:18pm

I beg to differ, your group is definitely different. I've been trying for the past two months to lateral to GS / MS / JP heck even BAML and every application I haven't heard back

Jun 25, 2021 - 12:19pm

Dealflow. Non-targets, especially extreme non-targets, are more educated than ever on IB recruiting with the availability of info online these days. Even more so with WallStreetMastermind telling kids how to write a cold email for FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. I get BOMBARDED with his advertisements on seemingly every platform and I imagine that college finance grads are getting the same obnoxious treatment.  

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 1:53pm

I'm at a bb.  All the students that reach out to me are from extreme non targets schools like Appalachian state or Central Michigan u. Half of them don't even have us work visas.

Literally zero target school us work visa holding students have contacted me in over a year for coffee chats or networking.

All the lateral requests I get are from analysts in absolute tiny bucket shops and again are from no target schools and need visa sponsorship.

I'm at a mid bb, top group.

No one wants to do this job anymore. If you have other options to make good money, IB is the last choice.  

Even for the people that stay in my group, its really only the ones with visa issues where they can't give up the sponsorship our bank gave them. All us citizens are fleeing.  I imagine a future where all junior bankers are h1bs who cannt quit because they need sponsorship.  Anyone else will simply refuse to be treated the way we are when you can work at mbb, tech, startups, Med school etc to similar or more money.

Sorry but its the truth.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 25, 2021 - 2:06pm

I mean it could be that target school kids just use on campus network as opposed to cold outreach. I still get a constant flow of emails from dartmouth / cornell but mostly from guys with tas / valuation exp.

Also, it think someone mentioned above that it hasn't been high attrition rates, just that there is too much dealflow for the normal capacity of junior, maybe different but the churn you see nowadays is the usual 2nd years that have corp dev or buy side exit ops

Jun 25, 2021 - 2:12pm

I'm at a bb.  All the students that reach out to me are from extreme non targets schools like Appalachian state or Central Michigan u. Half of them don't even have us work visas.

Literally zero target school us work visa holding students have contacted me in over a year for coffee chats or networking.

All the lateral requests I get are from analysts in absolute tiny bucket shops and again are from no target schools and need visa sponsorship.

I'm at a mid bb, top group.

No one wants to do this job anymore. If you have other options to make good money, IB is the last choice.  

Even for the people that stay in my group, its really only the ones with visa issues where they can't give up the sponsorship our bank gave them. All us citizens are fleeing.  I imagine a future where all junior bankers are h1bs who cannt quit because they need sponsorship.  Anyone else will simply refuse to be treated the way we are when you can work at mbb, tech, startups, Med school etc to similar or more money.

Sorry but its the truth.

This is facts, IB is yesterday's news 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 2:14pm

Yeah man, I think what you're forgetting is that since the banks are still seeing dealflow most people who were already good enough to get into IB are already in, not because people are leaving. Since extra sports were created there might be less than stellar candidates getting applications in.

Also, how is IB getting overlooked, I thought more people wanted in after the banks started raising pay 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 2:58pm

100% facts

Anyone that is smart and goes to a good school is focusing on

1. tech

2.buyside  (direct to a hedge fund or pe shop)

3. MBB

4. possible medical school (a huge grind but way more rewarding)

5. government work

6. Startups






and for the student that don't know what they want, failed in the above paths, went to a no name school, were raised lower middle class and are just grinding to get a good salary, aren't us citizens and want to secure a spot living away from  New Dehli.....   INVESTMENT BANKING

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 26, 2021 - 3:47pm

Government work?

Either you're trolling, retarded, or burnt out after failing to recruit for PE.

Jun 29, 2021 - 12:52pm

Your list might be right in terms of prestige & work-life balance, but no one is actually picking their career based on that...who tf is doing 10 years of med school & residencies because they realized some other career wasn't worth it? You think tech workers who weren't able to pass their coding tests decide to now just recruit for PE/HF jobs, jobs that are still incredibly limited in number and not available outside the target schools? 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Jun 25, 2021 - 3:55pm

A number of posts here…I work at a "top BB", ignore my title…the idea that an analyst or associate won't be good because of the "no name shops" they're coming from is laughable. One of the no name shops is a top 3 or so bank by assets in the US that we routinely compete with for deals, increasingly so. The others are clearly recognizable within the industry.

It sucks that you guys have to deal with these laterals, can't imagine the pain you're going through. The amount of complaining about hours worked and headcount on this website and now it's an issue that you're getting resumes from these TOTALLY unqualified people? 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 25, 2021 - 3:57pm

Lol anyone else think the comments in this post are straight cap... I just graduated from a consensus semi-target and had the same amount of people go into ib as previous years. Yes, more went directly to the buyside and a few more went to tech, but I don't think it's this doom and gloom you guys make it out to be. I think the main difference is now most people know going in that they'll be exiting banking after 1-2 years. They still want it on their resume for the doors it opens up though. 

I think one other thing it does is buys you an extra year or two to figure out what path you want to go down. IB gives you the most optionality out of any career for first year out of ugrad other than MBB. You can feel out what things you like/dont like about the job and find a career path that's suited for that. Much harder to feel things out when you're in ugrad.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 25, 2021 - 4:32pm

his, right on, but the above poster is referring to many of the lateral hires coming from no-name shops or nontarget schools

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 28, 2021 - 12:11pm

yeah but who cares? the pipeline into banking is still the same - UG and MBA. If more people are deciding to leave well, that's just a wake up call for the bank. Experienced bankers have options and many will choose to exercise them over staying in a field that shits on them for 10-13+ years. Only those who truly enjoy their team, the money or have mega chips on their shoulders will put up with the BS

Jun 25, 2021 - 6:00pm

Just because a candidate comes from a non-target or small boutique doesn't mean they're inherently a worse candidate than someone that went to a target school and got a BB/EB offer straight out of undergrad. I know a lot of really smart kids that went the non-target route and a lot of underwhelming kids that attended top schools. Everyone has different circumstances. Some people wanted to play a sport in college so they want to a D3 school to make it happen. Some people have family circumstances that prevent them from moving to NYC for a job. Let's be better and try to get to know people for who they are and what they have to offer versus judging people by a name on a piece of paper.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 6:53pm

It's a demonstrable fact that from a pure IQ perspective, target schools kids are smarter (higher average SAT score for target schools vs non target).  The SAT is a proxy for IQ (show me one high IQ person that did average on the SAT).

It's very clear that kids from top target schools are less likely to pursue IB and banks are reaching out to other schools to recruit now

There are smart kids at  Central Iowa U, and fools at Columbia, but on an average basis there is a difference in intelligence between the schools.

IB is simply not getting the core group of intelligent students willing to recruit like before.  

Jun 26, 2021 - 1:56am

Sure, but if you're from central Iowa U and are even getting a first round at most banks then you're almost certainly not dumb. The dumb ones there simply never make it that far. same can't be said for Columbia.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 25, 2021 - 7:20pm

here's my SA 2c for what it's worth: I'm at a top target and actually spoke with an alum at BCG on this topic while I was still deciding between MBB or banking (too dumb for tech)-the thread is right that targets are exploring other alternatives, but I think it's because the banks of interest are becoming smaller / students are becoming more selective and flexible about pursuing other options if they don't hit their preferred choice.

For example, a couple years ago, small % of the class would go to EBs, moderate % to FAANG or MBB, majority % to BB (of various tiers). Demand now is as follows: a huge concentration gunning for EBs first (my school takes up a huge share of EB classes), considerable flow to GS/MS and all the others to either buyside or MBB/tech/etc. 

I don't know if I 100% agree that its because banking is less attractive to students...I think the reason is more disappointing- that students are becoming much more prestige obsessed, with the aim to get the best of the best regardless of industry or job. I see this all the time now with people in my school's IB and finance clubs, who are literally finance majors, not take offers from mid-low BBs/MMs-- Instead they adjust plan to chase prestige elsewhere where options are available.  A bit shocking, as you would think someone who has prepared and mapped out a plan for banking would find other routes to it rather than completely deserting it (or perhaps postpone down the line) in the name of prestige.  There are many reputable and household firms that people in my club simply skip over because its not on short list their shortlist; or alternatively, only consider for their sophomore year summer for leverage (e.g. they have no interest to return).

I sort of have a theory that this trend is taking place because access to banking has gotten better over the years; non-targets, semi-targets, URMs and even sophomore have more opportunities ... Which I think is really awesome. But in consequence, it sort of has a "mainstream" effect on the firms that accommodate that many targets, at least at my school, implicitly or explicitly have an aversion to. Names like Evercore / PJT aren't as common lingo as say JPM / BoA / Barclays etc. but much more students at my school drool over the former just so they can feel like a special snowflake, since those firms are hard as fuck to get into and pretty much cater to exclusivity. Students that don't get an offer from these desired firms just leave banking aspirations altogether and go where they can be a special snowflake. Another anecdotal example of this "supper club only" mentality is a passive comment made by one of my IB club members who got a women's conference invite at a mid BB; she said in our group chat "that the number of non-targets and no-names on the recipient list was insane." I've had screenshots sent to me of Linkedin updates from our peers with commentary along the lines of "He/She is settling" at a perfectly respectable and renown firm.

Notice what many of you are listing as the popular alternative options: MBB, tech (assuming FAANG here), buyside? These are are opportunities equally (or more) prestigious than landing a top bank. I disagree with takes that more students are taking academic route or med/law school... Or if they are, it's because its considered the better alternative than less than best in IB. Dying interest in IB isn't the cause for lower target applications, they never had real interest anyway; it was all about the prestige. Today, IB broadly among most is just becoming "less" prestigious aka exclusive. 

Really not trying to sound off-putting-- I'm cringing at the number of times "target" and "prestige" is mentioned-- but is geuninely honestly what I think is the case from observation and reflection. Perhaps I'm wrong and maybe it was just my school. Looking back to my own process, I think it was true for me unfortunately (I'm growing)

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 11:53pm

I think you bring up really interesting points. At my top NESAC school, I feel what you said about kids not wanting mid BB/top MM is very true and is pretty much following prestige. I think taking a step back and realizing that these are 19 year olds that are still wishy-washy about what they ACTUALLY want to do, despite how idealized "top target" students can be on this site.

At the end of the day, there aren't that many people that truly want to do the job that is IB, and thus view it through the lens of career acceleration/prestige chasing. I know I did for awhile

Jun 29, 2021 - 1:03pm

Good take. I saw similar at my target, but people would take the offer they got (even seen people take MM/low BBs because the EB/top BB wouldn't move up their superday).

Only thing I'm wondering if what roles are these finance kids going for in tech? If you were referring to just the typical coding roles, wouldn't really think people's skillsets would have an overlap with finance/consulting

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 26, 2021 - 3:24pm

It's funny because in London IBD is still the best paying job by a decent amount and there are still plenty of 'target' candidates going for it

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 26, 2021 - 4:22pm

echo this completely, other options seemed so limited to me when I was graduating. 

Earn £28 - 32k a year doing audit / consulting at the Big 4?

4 more years after university to qualify as a lawyer? 

Vague tech role with no clear career path? 

MBB could have been better I guess but hard to get. Might try and lateral next year...

Jun 27, 2021 - 4:32pm

In London it's slightly different bc we dont have the same tech presence as they do in the US. It's why I tried to get into financial services instead of tech (ended up at Big 4 instead). 

Basically we in London are in a different position to the original poster of this thread.

  • Intern in PE - Other
Jun 26, 2021 - 6:42pm

I think you're seeing less target kids going to IB because everyone is sprinting to get into buyside analyst roles out of college. IB is just mind numbing work. I'm at a classic top BB IB shop right now, but next year I'm doing a MF PE (BX/KKR/WP) analyst program. The backgrounds of people at my BB widely vary in terms of classic "pedigree." At my shop in PE however, it's all filled with classic target kids. I think target kids generally have access to more resources/more elite networks than us non targets, so they realize that buyside out of college sets you up wayyy better than some BB IB program.

  • Intern in PE - Other
Jun 27, 2021 - 5:00am

Probably some other cool things. Me personally, I only care about elite HF so don't rlly care for any sacrificed "optionality" earlier in my career

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 28, 2021 - 1:21pm

ok cool so like 50 people a year aren't going into banking because they got top buyside gigs. how does that make any dent in the 3000+ people that go into banking a year? y'all really overestimate the impact of these niche opps. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 26, 2021 - 6:50pm

Is there even that many top buyside opportunities to take significant talent from IB? Went to a target and there certainly were people that did a sophomore/junior banking internship go buyside full time, but I'd say MBB was the biggest competition especially for those top students who were not necessarily purely finance/accounting majors. 

  • Intern in PE - Other
Jun 26, 2021 - 7:14pm

Fair point. I've just heard from My shop that the MF PE shops are trying to get rid of their PE associate programs and just do analyst recruiting. My assumption is that this would drain the classic pedigreed types from IB to PE/investing roles earlier on in their careers, thus leaving more opportunities for others in IB.

Jun 27, 2021 - 2:10am

Undergrad at Penn here. I don't really know much about how popular banking was in the past but tech jobs are definitely more appealing to people who have even a little bit of tech knowledge or coding skills with higher salaries and better wlb. Software is eating the world and excel and PowerPoint is probably not going to cut it. I even know Wharton undergrads who did not recruit for banking at all. There is a clear trend that more top business, engineering and other quantitative students pursuing product management and other business oriented roles in tech. I would argue that in the eyes of many students the exit opportunities for product management and SWE are better than that of banking. But obviously a lot of students still recruit for banking but like one of the comments says, banking is just one of many options rather than the most desirable path. I honestly don't see the appeal if there are increasingly more PE and hf firms recruiting undergrads out of my school. If I want to do finance and not tech I rather go to the buyside directly. So many students like me are recruiting for tech, consulting, banking, pe, vc and hf all at the same time. If banking did not interview so early compared to the other industries like tech that start at the earliest In September, you would see even less people committing to banking. 

  • 3
Jun 27, 2021 - 12:43pm

PM roles don't require extensive coding knowledge and even some Wharton kids are doing SWE lol. I think in terms of exit opps it's not about how many choices you have but the quality of each exit. For SWE at FAANG, you can be a technical founder, join a startup as founding member/dev, join other tech companies and have higher comp or go into product for example. And for example, PMs can go into VC, and startups. But to be honest, SWE and PM don't even need exits because they are already the most valuable and revenue-generating roles at tech companies. It's more of an opportunity to grow your career long-term and add value. 

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 28, 2021 - 1:25pm

again.. there are like what ~200 top post-undergrad PM jobs a year for all schools? And a tiny fraction of biz oriented students going into SWE or Data (which is mostly CS or Math/Eng majors) jobs? you have better odds doing banking / consulting for a few years than getting into Product straight out the gate. not going to make a dent in a field that hires low single digit thousands a year and 50-200+ people per target / semi-target. 

Jun 28, 2021 - 1:49pm

Yeah, I got ur point and I said that a lot of people recruiting for banking anyway cus you really don't need any skills. But I'm saying that product management is increasingly one of the most coveted jobs instead of banking. No joke tho, at least 10% of people in Wharton end up doing SWE and 30-35% are doing banking. 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 27, 2021 - 1:29pm

I am also at one of the targets, still recruiting for SA 2022 positions. Why is it still so hard to get a job if people are not going for it lol

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 28, 2021 - 1:29pm

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