Letting go of front office for BB middle office role

lunaticmonkey's picture
Rank: Chimp | 4

Hi everyone, I'm in a dilemma looking for advice. I worked for a boutique in the corporate finance team as an analyst doing financial advisory and M&A execution work. The market was really bad and we didn't close any deals over the past 3 years whilst working for the firm. I got laid off recently and couldn't find any IBD or FO/PE related jobs. Honestly I feel I had enough of investment banking and I hated the nature of the work - I hate making pitch books, coordinating meetings, pushing e-mails and doing all the bitch work. i like valuations and technical analysis though. I feel like I want to quit FO all together. I got an offer to work for the compliance team of a top BB (GS/MS). Should I take it really? I feel burnt out to work for front office but I still want to work somewhere inside a top BB. My buddies are all saying I should not give up that easily on FO. Since I have no other offers I'm thinking that I should work in compliance first and see how I will like it. Am I making a stupid decision? What do you guys think?

Comments (15)

Dec 14, 2012

Compliance is a growing need at banks and rarely faces downsizing or headcount reductions thanks to the new regulations and rules frequently being churned out by the Fed, CFTC etc.

My only concern for you would be whats the upside in Compliance? Maybe someone else has better wisdom as to where you can go with a compliance background.

Dec 14, 2012

So, you're complaining about doing bitch work for the first couple years of your career. Do you think your special in that you do not have to pay your dues?

There is nothing wrong with joining the compliance team though - especially if you have not been able to find another FO gig within a reasonable amount of time.

Dec 14, 2012
tmur:

So, you're complaining about doing bitch work for the first couple years of your career. Do you think your special in that you do not have to pay your dues?

Man, no one likes doing bitch work. That's why it's called bitch work. I'm not getting a superiority complex from OP at all.

Dec 14, 2012

it comes down to what you want to do/ makes you happy. I wouldn't let the bad experience at the other shop ruin your perception of FO roles. However, some people enjoy non-FO role, and its what they would prefer. They enjoy the lifestyle and less stress. You won't hear that a lot on this site but not everyone is the same.

Dec 14, 2012

i found a lot of the guys up top in compliance are lawyers so i guess i will end up more legal and become a VP for life. the job is not financial and hence i will be dumping all my interest and education in finance to the toilet.

if i don't like this compliance job and want to switch for a good b-school or some other banking areas, would my chances get a lot worse because i'm not in FO anymore?

Dec 14, 2012

You don't think you'll be doing bitch work in compliance?

Dec 14, 2012

Why don't you attend Starter League in Chicago?

Dec 14, 2012

well... i want to leave FO not because i hate the nature of the bitch work. it's because i've been doing terrible things that erodes my integrity and faith in FO - forced to make fake numbers in models with no backups, forced to spend my own money to entertain clients and then refused to approve my claims, being scapegoat all the time, pitching startups and bankrupting companies that no one wants to invest...

it is a terrible shop. the worse part is that our MDs are so bad in originating they depend on us to make ideas. all they can get are shitty companies that no one in the world would invest. our team is so weak no one knows how to do a proper model and no one has completed a deal before even at the AVP level.

i'm so dishearted as i found in the FO world everyone just care about closing deals and make bonus - no one cares about what they are selling to their clients. we just make lies and carry on our day hypnotizing ourselves how great these deals are and that we will eventually close them.

i feel the whole FO is like that and that;s why i don't see myself doing this for very long.

Dec 14, 2012
lunaticmonkey:

well... i want to leave FO not because i hate the nature of the bitch work. it's because i've been doing terrible things that erodes my integrity and faith in FO - forced to make fake numbers in models with no backups, forced to spend my own money to entertain clients and then refused to approve my claims, being scapegoat all the time, pitching startups and bankrupting companies that no one wants to invest...

it is a terrible shop. the worse part is that our MDs are so bad in originating they depend on us to make ideas. all they can get are shitty companies that no one in the world would invest. our team is so weak no one knows how to do a proper model and no one has completed a deal before even at the AVP level.

i'm so dishearted as i found in the FO world everyone just care about closing deals and make bonus - no one cares about what they are selling to their clients. we just make lies and carry on our day hypnotizing ourselves how great these deals are and that we will eventually close them.

i feel the whole FO is like that and that;s why i don't see myself doing this for very long.

If you feel this way, then going to do compliance in the same type of firm puts you in the same moral position. Your paycheck is paid by those guys bringing in money and if you disagree with their ethics and continue to take money from them, you aren't doing anything morally better than they are. If you really like finance, then find something else or someplace else that fits more within your moral code.

I think if you aren't a lawyer, then compliance is a horrible move. You will have basically no upside. If you don't like the industry, then just leave, there are lots of ways to earn a living.

Dec 14, 2012

Per a recent experience I had working with the compliance team in my bank, seems mo
re like a back office job than anything. incredibly mundane and all about following regulators guidelines that only cost the client and bank money for no value add.

I understand the frustration of not closing deals but stepping down to BO is not the answer. Lateral somewhere else first

Dec 14, 2012

It sounds like you're just in a shitty shop.

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Dec 14, 2012

i know it sounds weird to step back. i dont have much choice other than the compliance offer. im not impressed with the job itself but just because i want to work for a top BB. somehow i feel the people there are quite smart and perhaps i cam learn something.

i think at least compliance is needed even it is boring. thats because i did CF for 3 years and did exactly nothing other than just receiving paycheques. learned no shit either other than cold calls that a high school kid can do just as good as me.

anyways, if my main motivation is just to try work for GS / MS and see how it is like, is compliance a wrong move?

Dec 15, 2012

From OP's posts, it seems to me that he doesn't really care what he's doing as long as he's at a BB.

No offense or anything, but you seem like you only care about "pressteege" rather than what you're actually doing. It sucks to hear that you were at a shitty place (let's not lie to OP here), but this doesn't mean you won't be doing bitch work at a BB.

And jeez, it's in Compliance. From my interaction with Compliance people, they seem to despise it more than you despised IB. Don't delude yourself into placing prestige over actual experience. I am 92% sure you will come back here in a year or so and regale us with how much you hated Compliance and how it's bitch work.

Everything is bitch work, my friend.

Dec 15, 2012

Thanks for all your comments. So what should i do then? I have tried very hard for the past 6 months trying to find a FO job but they all said either i had no real deal experience or looking for someone more senior.

I can quit the IB industry all together and find some finance analyst job in the industry or go to school. but i cant be out of job for too long.

just lost as to what i can do really

Dec 16, 2012
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