3/11/09

Why do M&A analysts seem to have more prestige than other analysts? Are they paid more on average? Do they have better exit opportunities?

What advice would you give an undergraduate as to how to tailor one's resume to be more appealing to M&A recruiters? Besides, of course, doing M&A internships.

Comments (17)

 
3/11/09

You should have viable reasons for wanting to go into something. Everybody is somewhat attracted by the money and prestige. But you should spearhead something because you want to gain something more from it. Money and prestige comes and goes buddy.

Don't simplify the situation into such variables. You'll have a very difficult experience in explaining yourself in an interview, networking event, etc.

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

 
3/11/09

Ok. Do you know anywhere online that clearly explains the role of each desk/division in investment banks? I'm trying to find info and theres not much on here.

 
3/11/09

You gain a better understanding as you study more about the field, take on leisurely readings about the field, talk to people within the field/left the field, etc. It's not something you blindly read from a company's website.

On another note: Pick up Barbarians at the Gate, Predator's Ball, When Genius Failed

They are very interesting reads that will help you appreciate the field a bit more.

Even guys who go into their fields (product/coverage/whatever it may be) don't have a clear understanding. It's not something you will get overnight, but just keep digging away at what interests you.

 
3/11/09

I think yours is a very valid question. M&A prestige comes from the boom in M&A activity as of late (excluding the past 2 years) as well as the PE exit ops. It's also probably the easiest to understand to an undergrad, as well as the activity an undergrad would be most exposed to.

 
3/11/09

read Monkey Business as well.

M&A groups do the real work, modeling. If you're not in M&A or if your group doesn't do their own M&A, the experience is rather different. P/E firms only look at deal and modeling experience, so M&A groups or groups that do their own M&A, will naturally get the best exit opportunities.

 
3/11/09

M&A is not necessarily harder or longer hours than the product groups, we just do more modeling and less pitchbooks. It is more prestigeous because many of us want (wanted) to go into private equity and in M&A you have opportunities to be on many deals, and if you are at a bulge-bracket you see your shit on the WSJ.

Overall I think M&A is best for those people who want to work for a PE fund, and product groups are best for those who want to work at a specialized hedge fund (a tech fund, or energy fund, etc). If you can get into the M&A group do it.

 
3/11/09
MoneyKingdom wrote:

M&A is not necessarily harder or longer hours than the product groups, we just do more modeling and less pitchbooks. It is more prestigeous because many of us want (wanted) to go into private equity and in M&A you have opportunities to be on many deals, and if you are at a bulge-bracket you see your shit on the WSJ.

Overall I think M&A is best for those people who want to work for a PE fund, and product groups are best for those who want to work at a specialized hedge fund (a tech fund, or energy fund, etc). If you can get into the M&A group do it.

M&A is an advisory product...of course, you know better cuz you are an M&A analyst/associate...right?

 
3/11/09

I think he meant to say industry groups in his second paragraph

 
3/11/09

? he made two mistakes?

 
3/11/09

M&A you see more deals, do more modeling, and most PE shops look for candidates with heavy M&A experience.

 
3/11/09

Obviously I meant industry groups, in the sense that we use them. Energy, Tech, Power & Util, Healthcare..etc. don't be a moron LondonE1. Dontmakemeshortyou...thanks.

 
3/11/09

I still don't get it. Correct me if I am wrong, but you are still saying that M&A is not a product, right?

 
3/11/09
LondonE1 wrote:

I still don't get it. Correct me if I am wrong, but you are still saying that M&A is not a product, right?

Seriously? He said he meant, in both cases, industry groups, not product groups. It shouldn't take more than the intelligence of a 3rd grader to infer that he is saying M&A is a product group and is different than INDUSTRY groups.

 
3/11/09

So in general would you be at a significant disadvantage for PE if you did energy, healthcare, etc but with only some limited M&A exposure?

 
3/11/09

I worked in an M&A group for two years and although you have to slug through less pitch books, I wouldn't say it is more prestigious.

A lot of what we do is processing which is dull as shite i.e. timetables, IMs, letters etc.

Also on the modeling comment, we only really did the merger models. Most other modelling was done by the industry/lev fin groups.

Saying that, I was there for two years and saw 3 $20billion+ dollar deals all the way through to completion. My sector team mates would have no idea how that feels.

I'd say best compromise is to be at a bank where there is no specific M&A group and the sector teams generate and execute (I know DB and Citi are set up like this in London).

 
3/11/09

1-Click to Unlock All Comments - 100% FREE

Why do I need to be signed in?
WSO is a knowledge-sharing community that depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something.
+ Bonus: 6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons with 1-Click Signup ($199 value)