Meeting with MD of ECM at Boutique, asked about what my "objectives" are

I pulled a hail mary and spat out a 32 page industry and equity research report with my own research, original thinking and thesis.

I ended up walking into a small boutique and spoke with the MD of ECM and handed him my research report. Followed up with him and he emailed me back asking to come in and to "discuss my objectives and see what other opportunities match my objectives".

What are my objectives?

I want to break into investment banking and specifically work in an M&A product group, or either a real estate, gaming, energy metals and mining industry group (if I had to choose). So, an investment banking analyst, for short.

What do I want in the time being?

Well, anything really. At this point I just want to get my foot in the door and begin navigating from within the capital markets. I have made aggressive attempts to network and polish my skills and slowly I am seeing the fruits of my labour.

The question:

What do I say to him? Do I say that I want anything that I can get? Do I say that I have ambitions within ECM? Do I say that I straight up want to be an investment banking analyst? Ideally I'd like any front office job within investment banking/capital markets (for the time being), but is mentioning that honestly, point blank, a wise idea?

Worth noting:

This boutique is primarily involved in equity and debt raising and raised $2b+ last year primarily in blockchain, cannabis, energy metals and gold mining companies.

Comments (11)

Nov 27, 2018

First try to understand what you exactly want to be, it cannot be "anything you can get". To get value out of the conversation with the MD, you should make it clear you want to do IB

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Nov 27, 2018

Thank you for your response.

Ideally I want to be an investment banker within an M&A product group. I feel like, given my current life and financial situation, that I'm not in the position to be choosing whether or not I take a role in ECM or some other capital markets position. For me, I believe that "take you what you can get" is better than potentially telling this guy that I want to be in M&A and then being rejected because my objective doesn't match with what else they have on the table. Could I be wrong?

Nov 27, 2018

Tell him where you want to be. Saying you'll take whatever you can get is indicative of you not "knowing your shit" as well as not fair to the MD.

You can't assume "If I want M&A and there isn't an M&A spot then I won't get hired"

For all you know if there isn't a spot he will refer you to a friend / connection of his.

Coming off as "I'll do anything" when in reality you would jump ship if you got ANY M&A offer is not fair to the MD that gave you a shot.

Would you tell him "I'll take anything but if I get an M&A offer I'm leaving"? That's effectively what you would be implying if you indicated you just wanted a job to get in the door.

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Nov 27, 2018

So just tell him you want to be in IB and that you are open to both M&A and ECM

Nov 27, 2018

Agreed. If you are throwing hail marys then at this point you should be telling anyone showing interest in you as a candidate that you want to work for them. If you're really that interested in M&A specifically, then mention that you have interest in both areas. If you have never worked in IB before its okay to have an interest in more than one area because you have no experience in any.

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Nov 27, 2018

You could hedge your bets and tell him you're gunning for ECM IB or tell the truth and explain you're most interested in M&A but also open to ECM opportunities. Either way have really good answers to why IB, why a boutique, why this boutique, and why M&A/ECM.

I'd probably feel out the conversation before jumping directly into M&A or ECM. Start with your objective for IB, then your objective for a boutique environment, then decide based on the conversation between the above two options. That's probably what I'd do. How demanding you can be depends on what your other options are.

Nov 27, 2018

Missed that they're primarily involved in raising capital. Theres definitely a benefit to being in the group that's the main revenue driver for the firm. Something to consider.

Feb 8, 2019

to OP any follow up/updates on the success/failure of this interaction?