MBB London exit ops - can’t find anything good

DrPo2's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

I am a senior BA/A/AC at an MBB firm in London and have been working here for the past 2 years.

I've been applying for opportunities outside consulting for the past 6 months, but it has been substantially harder to get any decent role than I thought it will be when I started working in consulting.

Things I have done so far:
- Applied for about 30 strategy manager or associate roles at FTSE 250 firms, via LinkedIn or on their websites. Got a grand total of 2 interview invites. First one went well, but I was dinged after round 1 and the salary they quoted when I interviewed would require a massive pay cut anyway. The second one is still ongoing (got to the round two, but don't think I'll get an offer).
- Worked with one recruiting agency. They seem to be more credible than other recruiters for strategy roles out there, but they managed to forward my CV to exactly two companies in the last four months and neither responded. Salary was a bit disappointing in both cases.
- Responded to a number of LinkedIn recruiter messages - I get enough of those. Most roles sound quite good, but once I ask for salary I would always have to take a pay cut.

My question to anybody that has been in a similar position is whether it's really that hard to get a decent job out of consulting in London or am I just doing something wrong? What's the easiest way to get a great role? My CV is pretty strong and my interviewing skills aren't that bad if that matters.

Comments (19)

Jan 26, 2020

You'll have to take a pay cut if you leave MBB unless you get into PE or IB. And surely reach out to alums of your firm in Strat at the firms you target.

Jan 26, 2020

I think this holds for Europe in general. Most MBB exits are going to include a pay-cut (at least in terms of salary). I know a few friends who did pretty well by exiting to senior roles in start-ups that took off, but that is more of a long-term play.

Feb 4, 2020

Have a lot of friends that did MBB out of school, their stories sound similar. There's a few tech companies (FAANG mainly with a few exceptions) where after 2 years of MBB you should be at 70-95K GBP all-in. PM if you want to chat.

Feb 15, 2020

Appreciate your advice, but my (limited) research about FAANGs didn't give me a lot of confidence that they hire lots of strategy people. And I've already applied to about 5 planning/operations manager roles at these firms online and never got an interview invite + recruiters never mentioned these firms. There are few alumni from my MBB that work there, but they are mostly quite senior and in random non-strategy roles.

As far as I know Google has a strategy team in Dublin rather than London. Don't think Amazon has one, or if they do it's part of the business I find boring (AWS). Apple doesn't have a strategy team - they hire a few planning managers but they mostly hire people with industry rather than consulting experience. Netflix has a few planning/strategy roles that hire consultants but my impression was that at least half of those roles are in Amsterdam rather than London. Facebook has some "business operations" roles that appear to be quasi-strategy but don't know much about it.

If I am wrong about anything I've written above (I might be), I would love to find out.

Feb 16, 2020

You're slightly off, I think it'd be good to chat. Don't want to share more info here - if you shoot me a PM with your contact info we can call.

Feb 11, 2020

Hey, thanks for sharing this!
In my experience your case is very typical across Europe (Central/Eastern would be even more extreme ):
1) Did you check CPG? Maybe slightly better than others on average
2) Do you know your current position for exit in London PE (how possible, which level, any alumni who managed)?

Feb 15, 2020

Are you confident that CPG pay well? I had an opposite impression although I know that Pepsico and tobacco firms pay well.

Feb 15, 2020

Well, spot on. CPG will differ of course. Tobacco, Coca-cola are definitely among those paying better.

Feb 12, 2020

I will caveat the below by saying it's based on broad generalisations / approximations which may be inaccurate. As such, please feel free to correct.

That said, I think exit roles at Senior BA/A/AC (MBB) tend to come out somewhere in the below ranges by industry (ranked by comp):

  1. Megafund PE (PS160K+ all-in; 60-80 hrs)
  2. MM PE (PS100K+ all-in; 55-70 hrs)
  3. Growth Equity / VC (PS80K+ all-in; 50-60 hrs)
  4. Big Tech (PS60K+ all-in; 40-50 hrs)
  5. Start-Ups / Corporate Strategy (PS50K+ all-in, excluding equity; 40-60 hrs)

There are obviously some major trade-offs to consider here, but you definitely don't need to take a pay cut to move on from MBB.

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Feb 13, 2020

Google/Facebook/Amazon will pay more than 60K GBP all-in for someone with two good years of experience. Closer to 70-90K all-in.

Salesforce pays less for strategy roles for some reason.

Feb 13, 2020

Your big tech and vc backed startup numbers are way too low.


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Feb 13, 2020

I was trying to highlight from lower end. I've interviewed at VC-backed start ups that were offering 50K base + equity, which may not be typical, but it definitely happens.

What's a more accurate range, in your experience?

Feb 15, 2020

Hey! As for PE do you consider exiting to analyst 3/associate 1 role? Thanks for sharing btw.

Feb 16, 2020

You can't generalize the PE offers like that. MF PE is about right although a bit on the low side. MM PE is off and a lot more variable, have heard of 200+ offers for specific shops but equally the numbers you quote; you just can't say. Your Growth Equity all-in is closer to their base. Bonuses generally lower than LBO shops I've heard but likely depends on the fund (i.e. KKR Growth will be very different from Highland Europe)


Feb 17, 2020