Midwest Middle Market or Goldman Sachs/BTG Pactual/Other top firms Brazillian Office?

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Rank: Baboon | banana points 105

I am a long time lurker here, but usually never post.

Some background...

Grew up in Brazil and came to the United States for college. I did some finance, and other, internships here, had a lot of extracurricular leadership (President of two groups and board member of a third), honors, good grades, research, yada yada.

Initially I wanted to live here for the long term. Start in banking, move into PE, go to MBA for the network, and then back into PE onto the partner track. Maybe I could one become an entrepreneur or something else, but so far the track was Banking>PE>MBA>PE.

Currently...

My main goal right now is to be able to get into a top MBA program (HSW) and I am trying to decide the best path to get there.

I am into my 5th week of my summer internship at a great MM firm in the midwest (think HL/Piper/Lazard MM/Willian Blair), and while I am 95% sure I will get a FT offer, I am unsure if I would like to stay here. The reason is that while many people went to MM PE firms, I was not able to find anyone that was able to go to HSW or a PE Mega Fund and this worries me.

I am sure that if I go back to Brazil I could get a job at any Investment Banks (or any financial firms for that matter) there, because of the American Education and work experience here, both of which are extremely praised in South America.

My Dilemma...

Should I go to back to Brazil and try to do a "Boomerang" into HSW? Would working for Goldman Sachs, BTG Pactual or another firms/groups (feel free to suggest in the comments) in their Brazilian office be more advisable?

Outside of work, I think Brazil is a wonderful country, the only things I don't like there are the corruption, bad attitude towards work (too much playing and not much hard work as compared to the U.S., which means that I would probably learn less), and inequality. However, I believe I prefer the U.S. because it is a more developed country and the overall quality of life is better.

Lastly, IB in Brazil pays roughly 1/3 of what it pays in the U.S., because the Real (Brazilian Currency) is performing poorly due to many factors/problem that I believe won't be solved soon, which means that I would not be able to save as much for MBA or living abroad if I decide to do so in the future.

So WSO, should I pursue a MM Midwest career in the US or work for a top firm in Brazil?

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Comments (2)

Jul 6, 2015

Dear Colleague,

I couldn't help but to offer my insight on your current situation. Like yourself, I am also a Brazilian national who is finishing his undergrad at a top american university and going into finance and considering my long-term options. I am at a much earlier stage of my career, so take my comments as considerations of a fellow Brazilian as opposed to ones of a PE recruiter.

I have heard from my mentors that rather than making life decisions based on your professional career, one should make career decisions based on one's personal life needs. Meaning don't think about moving back to BR as a means to achieving a better PE firm position. In moving to Brazil, there are a few considerations that I would make:

1) You're young and Brazil is a country where it is easy to be happy. Think family, friends, beach and lower levels of daily stress that we find in Finance in the US.

2) PE firms care a lot about names and brand/stamp of approval right. and there are great Banking divisions in Sao Paulo to consider (I'd mention Credit Suisse in addition to BTG and Goldman). If you believe in long term recovery and political stability after the 2018 election, the financial services industry will greatly benefit from that. Also consider the development of the alternative investments industry in Brazil (3G capital, etc)

3) With the currency devalued and high interest rates, you can make the most of moving your money into Brazil and easily making 15-20% returns on relatively safe investments. As the economy recovers overtime, you can always move your investments back to dollar and see a 30-50% return solely on the exchange rate recovering. This, added to a lower cost of living, can easily make up to your lower income.

But like I said, at the end of the day, your decision should be based on where you want to be/live. I can't offer any insight on PE recruitment which is what you were asking, but I hope this message sheds some lights and empathy from someone in a similar position.

Abraco.

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Jul 7, 2015