M&A vs DCM/ECM, I want to have a life outside banking.


I am doing a master's in Econ at a target school, and went to the same school for undergrad. Finally decided to bite the bullet and go into finance, but can't decide which division. From what I can tell from research and from my network, M&A analyst is boring and the hours are horrendous, but the skills you get make it worth it. I do not want to burn out (been there before) but feel M&A could be worth it as my long-term career plan is vague. However, looked at DCM/ECM (leaning towards DCM) but am afraid that I'll not like it, but be stuck due to lack of transferable skills. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (5)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 11, 2021 - 5:26am

How are DCM hours generally compared to ECM and M&A? I know they are better but how much better? Thanks guys

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 11, 2021 - 7:35am

Interned in DCM at one of the top DCM groups on the street. They probably clocked in between 60-70 hours on average. Could be different in person.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 11, 2021 - 9:42am

If you already burned out before, do NOT go into IB... how do you think you gonna react when you work 80-100 hrs per week ?

M&A you build more skills and have more personal impact, ECM you have little personal impact as the IPO matrix is larger but deals are generally bigger. 

M&A hours are the longest.

No clue about DCM, but strategically probably the least interesting of all 3. More capital structure exposure though 

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Oct 13, 2021 - 5:13pm

In excepturi odit autem deserunt. Dolore eligendi ipsam iusto ducimus.

Cumque fugit ex cum rerum qui quam. Quasi expedita repellat laborum aspernatur incidunt. A deserunt dolorem iure non. Eveniet temporibus repudiandae consequatur voluptates.

Similique voluptas reprehenderit modi voluptatem explicabo. Possimus optio ut aut sequi.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

October 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (39) $363
  • Associates (228) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (137) $154
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (103) $143
  • 1st Year Analyst (499) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (385) $83