MBB: Switch office after offer?

wanna b mbb's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 716

So I have a final round with one of MBB in DC coming up, and after the interview, will have 3 days until my offer for a Tier 2 firm in Chicago explodes.

For personal reasons, I would strongly prefer to be in Chicago, but would obviously prefer MBB. I got funneled to the DC office with the MBB firm due to a connection there. I know I would be happy at the tier 2, but weighing exit options, you can't beat MBB.

All that said, what would MBB's reaction be if I were to get an offer, and then requested they change my offer to the chicago office? Should I bring this up at my final round, or will they just ding me for that?

Realistically, I might consider taking the tier 2 over the MBB, so my threat is "credible" so to speak. Just not sure how best to handle this one.

Any & all advice appreciated.

Comments (43)

Oct 24, 2011

If you got funnelled into the DC office, I doubt they would allow you to move to another office right off the bat. I would take the MBB offer (as you rightly say, better exit opps and prestige) and leverage it later to Chicago. Unless you have family or a girl in Chicago, I would stay put and take the job. However, it would also depend on the prestige of the tier 2, for me anyway.

Good luck though.

Oct 24, 2011

I don't have any particular experience with MBB, but I have a few friends in the Toronto offices. In reality, they're gone most weeks anyways, mostly to the US or Western Canada (if not in Toronto) - so your home office isn't really that important to your quality of life (though it's obviously where you'd like to spend weekends).

Because of the fact that you're on the road 80% of the time and there's no real need for you to be at any one specific office, I think they'd be fairly receptive to an office move but you should wait for an offer before bringing it up. I wouldn't do it at the final interview, because that'll just give them ammunition to pass over your application entirely. Post-offer you have at least some leverage. You also don't want for that to be the only reason you were denied - as you'll never really know and you'll kick yourself for the rest of your life (potentially).

If you get an offer and they decide to reject you based on your request, then you're in exactly the same boat you'd be in if you tell them at the final interview - minus the opportunity to use it as leverage.

Oct 24, 2011

I think there have been threads in the past too, discussing how receptive they are to an immediate office change so check that out too.

Oct 24, 2011

Thanks for the advice, I definitely won't mention at the final round. Unfortunately I only would have 1 or 2 days to negotiate before the other offer explodes, so if I get the MBB offer, I guess I will be deciding Chicago Tier 2 vs. DC MBB

Oct 24, 2011

I know a guy who changed his Bain offer from Dallas to San Francisco (where he's from) before he started working. He told me he had to schmooze senior guys at the SF office to no end so anything is possible with the right amount of ass-kissing.

I haven't had a carb since 2004.

Oct 25, 2011

it won't work unless the Chicago office wants you.
The 2nd rounds are at the local office precisely because the office wants to see if they want you. So if the DC office wants you that doesn't mean the chicago office wants you. So your best bet is to network with partners in the Chicago office NOW and then try to leverage that into an offer/R2 interview in chicago.

Oct 25, 2011

Speaking strictly about making the switch, your best chance of getting in is speaking to HR before they make additional full-time hires this fall. All offices should have an idea of how much headcount they need, and if you get to them early, they should hopefully accommodate assuming there's a need in Houston. (My guess is yes.) Tougher to accommodate after they've already made additional offers out to others.

Not going to comment on anything else since I don't want to condone reneging.

Good luck.

Oct 25, 2011

Thanks-- I kinda figured the same thing. Unfortunately, their full time applications are due this Friday, so I'll probably have to get on this in the next day or two. Appreciate your input.

Oct 25, 2011

For the office move - I don't think it hurts to ask, all they can do is say no, I wouldn't expect this to adversely affect you.

For the reneging - Although I don't know your entire situation, I say take the offer. This is definitely a case of "one in the hand is worth two in the bush."

I know of guys who did a year or two and got an MBA, or switched into trading, etc. afterwards. Also, as I've seen suggested on WSO and witnessed personally, you can go from audit into some of the sexier advisory or corp finance roles which aren't the same as the finance firms you may want to jump into, but can steer you in that direction.

I say this as a B4 audit manager. I waited too long to jump, but 1-2 years won't hurt you, and accepting the position and continuing to search won't hurt either if you have other long term goals. Good luck.

Oct 25, 2011

Thanks, Scott Irish. I actually spoke with HR and since recruiting for FT hasn't started just yet, they are going to accommodate me.

Appreciate the advice guys.

Oct 25, 2011

Ah, I am sorry to hear that... I kind of know how you feel. Really applaud and admire what you are willing to do for your grandmother. I am really sorry to hear that again... Just want to wish you all the best and you never know if a miracle will happen or not!

Sorry wasn't much help on your actual topic but really just admire what you are doing! Stay strong!

Oct 25, 2011

Go talk to your MD and lay it out there and see what they say. Every situation is so different that it's almost impossible for us to guess. It's even possible (not sure what your role is) that you could work from the other office for your current team and just submit your work remotely.

Oct 25, 2011

If they have a division in your hometown similar to what you'd be doing in Dallas I don't know if they would have a problem. Though if they don't have the headcount room there I guess it can be an issue.

Worst case see if you can defer your employment for a year or try to move to your hometown office for a year with the stipulation that in X months you would go back to Dallas.

Sorry to hear though. That sucks.

Oct 25, 2011

they're not that flexible with switching, unless it's a smaller firm. if it is a BB, it'll most likely to be harder to switch right away. the ny positions are very coveted, and even though you did well in HK, there's no indication that you would have done well in NY. It'd be a little different the other way around (definitely heard of a few kids who turned offers in NY to jobs in Asia and London).

Talk to your recruiter and see what he/she thinks. If you were great, they might let you go into the NY office and meet with some people, but I'd say for now, stick with the HK job and maybe after a year or 18 months, you can ask to move over.

Oct 25, 2011

sorry to rain on your parade but this can be next to impossible in most cases. BB's are not that flexible transferring you from regional office to either NYC or London. Once you've done your year or two at the regional office, you'll be pegged as a regional banker with your experience being region-specific and having very little to do with what's done on the "mainland". Besides, the HR will need to check if they have enough resources to allow you to go, you will need to make sure the group in the central office you want to join has an opening and is willing to take you on. In a nutshell, there'll be lots of ifs and constraints.

Oct 25, 2011

Are you joking? HK is a regional office!? It is comparable to NYC & London

Oct 25, 2011

Don't go to LA....NY is the best place imo. The job mkt in LA is really bad for Finance, Trading, IB....etc.
San Fran is a different story...but don't go to LA.

Oct 25, 2011
CLGCTrader:

Don't go to LA....NY is the best place imo. The job mkt in LA is really bad for Finance, Trading, IB....etc.
San Fran is a different story...but don't go to LA.

he never said he wanted ib/trade/fin

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Oct 25, 2011

Gotta depend on your shop. If offices recruit individually, then you probably can't switch it up. If it's a mass pool, you'll have a better shot. I agree with the above that NY to LA doesn't really make sense. If you really want to go through with it though, have a good reason for it... or at least a solid line to feed HR.

Oct 25, 2011

As others have said, it depends on how you were selected for an offer. If you were given an offer into a specific group, for example, tech on the west coast, it will be hard to move to another group immediately since you were hired into that particular group. If, however, you were hired into a standard program and asked to rank your locations, then I would send some emails out to HR and whatnot asking whether you can elect to be placed on one coast or another - in another words, if you had to attend a sell day and pick your groups, I would make sure to mention your interest in not being in a particular location.

If you were hired into a group or are locked in to a location, then I would make the most of it and tough it out for several months. After the first few months begin looking into making a group switch and see what it is available on the other coast. It might take some time, but it is definitely possible as long as you are patient and don't let your work slack because you happened to be working in location X and not Y. Good luck and for more on group switching, check this out:

http://www.bankonbanking.com/2009/07/27/making-the...

Oct 25, 2011

If you're doing consulting, I could understand not wanting to go to New York. If you've got leverage (another offer) then it becomes easier, if you've already signed, it might be tougher.

Oct 25, 2011

For consulting, if the company is big enough such that it is truly globally staffed, then it does not hurt you at all to ask about a potential switch before starting. Otherwise, it is not hard to request a transfer of offices after working a few projects (a.k.a one year or so) to another office. Consulting firms many times seek a global staffing goal and will support interoffice transfers that make the network smaller and tighter.

Be warned, though, that a transfer would hurt you in the sense that partners' confidence and perception in you matters a lot in the staffing of projects you want, and transferring away from the office of the partners who knows you many times means you're back at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of staffing for desirable projects.

  • Child Please.
Oct 25, 2011

you are expected to stay with your group/location for 2 years, after which if you perform well, there's global mobility assuming this is BB.

Oct 25, 2011

I think it would be best to stick with your group and try to move after a year or two.

Oct 25, 2011

it is possible, but neither straightforward nor 100% acceptable. to do it, you would need someone relatively senior (banker) in the location you want to move to lobby for you. hr will not be helpful. bankers from the location you have an offer from and want to leave will be pissed, so they will not help you at all.

bottom line, it is risky to do, unless you have someone on the other side vouching for you.

Oct 25, 2011

I haven't started working with them yet, I start in 4-5 months time, should I atleast ask my contacts (Directors/MDs) in the bank if its feasible. I don't know anyone in the other potential locatiosn. My only worry is that in case I do not manage to change locations, they'll start questioning my commitment to the bank and the role.

Oct 25, 2011

imo you should not approach directors/mds from your current location and ask to move - as said above they will be annoyed that you want to leave (before starting) and thus will not help you at all. you must have someone from the group you want to move to in your corner to make this work. it looks like you do not know anybody at your target destination, so it sounds to me like you're SOL. and yes, i think if you approach your current group and ask about transferring, they will question your commitment.

Oct 25, 2011

Bump. So I am seriously contemplating this all over again. I am really really tired of London and can't imagine spending another 2-3 years more in this city due to personal reasons. So I definitely should not contact the Directors or MDs but should I atleast have a chat with HR about this. Appreciate your response. Thanks

Oct 25, 2011

When I talked to a friend at GS he said there is mobility program at the firm for you if you are good performer after 2 years working there. I think it should be the same for other banks as well.

If your firm doesn't have that option and you hate your location, I guess just lateral? Just my 2cent.

Oct 25, 2011

Hahaha mobility is marketing shit... those moves are extremely difficult

Oct 25, 2011

If you really don't want to be there you have to decided, "Am I going to quit my job and find a different one if they won't let me move?" If yes, then it is worth it. If not, then it's probably not worth it.

I decided to go to a complete non-target because I didn't want to spend 3 years in a different state. It was worth it to me to work my butt off and try and network my way in. It's all about how important your surroundings are to you.

Of course, keep in mind, at a BB or top boutique you're going to be working 80 or so hours per week anyways, so does it really matter?

Oct 25, 2011

@acs_london,

It's a difficult position - the risk is jeopardizing your relationship with the current location. HOWEVER, with that said, I completely understand where you are coming from.

Here are your options:

1). Give up this offer and participate again for summer/full-time recruiting. Given the situation, it should be relatively easy to land another offer.

2) Region --> This matters a lot. New York has large SA class sizes and the rules are much stricter. Moving to New York at this point is extremely unlikely. HOWEVER, for the Hong Kong offices, there are many that are expanding extremely rapidly and actively poaching analysts from New York / London through headhunters. IF you have mandarin ability, there is a reasonable chance they will move you to Hong Kong if the HK team likes you after internal interviews.

Ultimately, if the region matters that much to you (and I understand how it might), it is not unreasonable to talk to HR about this. Or better yet, did you manage to make any close friends during your SA stint? Full-times will be able to give you more color about the transfer process.

Also, just in general, moving THIRD year (assuming you get the senior analyst promote) is extremely easy.

Oct 25, 2011

I spoke to HR today and they said although there is a possibility to transfer, the New York office may want to interview me again (with the possibility of rejection) and the US work permit process is long drawn out and if I do want to move there will definitely be chances after the first year. So as not to leave a poor impression of my commitment to the bank, I reiterated that I was very interested in staying in London and working here and this was something I was exploring due to personal reasons. Hope it doesn't leave a bad impression. So yeah looks like I am going to be sticking around London for the next few years.

Oct 25, 2011

The first question you need to ask yourself: If you got an offer there and nowhere else, will you turn it down to follow your partner to the other country?

If the answer is yes, then raise the issue now. You have nothing to lose and will maximize the chances of them being able to move you. Just tell them your situation, i.e. you wanted to stay local so you applied to the local office, but life circumstances changed.

If the answer is no, then I'd wait until you actually have the offer. Until you receive an offer in the other country, don't risk being unemployed by possibly getting yourself shut out of the first firm. If transferring offices is fairly common, there's good chance they will accommodate. You also need to be prepared for the possibility that they will want you to work for a period of time before approving an office transfer.

Oct 25, 2011