Middle Market Banking Exit Ops, what do they look like?

Hi all, I've been doing some digging through past threads but all of them are really subpar. What are the expected exits opportunities for working in IBD at places from HL, Blair, Baird, Macquarie, Stifel, Jefferies, Piper Jaffray, Harris Williams, SunTrust, Raymond James, etc etc? I feel like there hasn't been a great discussion on this and it it probably more relevant to a lot of users instead of comparing GS TMT vs. EVR M&A...

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Comments (14)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 24, 2019 - 5:08pm

Interested as well, and especially for those "stronger" teams in MMs like HL restructuring, Jefferies Houston, etc. Do these stronger teams give you good exit opps compared to BBs or the brand name would still be a constraint for exit?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Oct 24, 2019 - 11:16pm

From what I've seen it is very group dependent.

Banks like Blair, Baird, Jefferies and HL tend to fair better than most, but all of the banks listed above have very good analyst programs. The main thing I have seen anecdotally from my old classmates and friends at those banks, is that the analysts who get the best exit opportunities tend to be the most proactive. This means they reach out to recruiters, network with current PE associates/VPs, and tend to have a few PE firms or specific types of investing/locations that are very obtainable from their situation.

Realistically almost all analysts who end up at one of the MM banks above will not participate in on-cycle recruiting for UMM or MF (there are exceptions). The UMM firms that have taken MM analysts are usually non-nyc based and off cycle from what I have seen.

I think one thing that users of WSO fail to realize is that the MM banking path as a career rather than just using IB to get to PE, is a pretty attractive path for a lot of analysts at these MM banks.

I remember being at school and there is a real stigma among students when it comes to BB/EB/MM. Yes at the end of the day it does matter; however, there are a ton of very good MM and UMM PE shops that place well into the M7 if that is the ultimate goal.

Most Helpful
Oct 25, 2019 - 11:41am

They'll all reach out to you. Recruiting is not a problem as long as you're not dead set on top UMM / MF type firms (and even then, can always lateral somewhere and try that way).

MM PE is very doable, even for firms w/ $B+ funds (not AUM). At my old MM, analysts placed at firms including Sentinel, Riverside, Providence, Norwest, HarbourVest, Blackstone (after a HF stint), Accel-KKR, HIG, Lightyear, L Catterton, etc.

I'd recommend checking out LinkedIn and seeing where former analysts at different MM banks place.

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Oct 26, 2019 - 10:23am

They can be great, they can suck. MM has more variance but it's hard to say if that's a result of MM or the result of there just being more variance in the quality of analysts at MM banks. People will land at multi-billion funds and some people will struggle to find a decent corp dev gig. Best answer is to look up exits on LinkedIn and talk to analysts at a specific bank and then be honest with yourself about your background and skills - if you have a 3.3 from a state school it's going to look much different from the guy with a 3.9 from a better school.

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