Mizuho IBD or HL FAS

I am fortunate to have received an offer from both Mizuho IBD and HL FAS doing Corporate Valuation for SA 2022. I personally connected with the HL team much more, and HL is an incredible brand. However, I've preparing hard for IBD this past year, and not doing IBD feels a bit conflicted for me. I would like some advice on the two offers? What are the chances of lateral hiring for FT at HL? Thank you all so much. 

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Comments (24)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 31, 2021 - 5:47pm

This. Like the good ol' days in WSO they used to say banking is banking. Unless you are at a business brokerage take IBD anywhere you can get it. That's at least a stamp of approval so you choose to lateral from there. Shouldn't be a problem. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 3, 2021 - 11:30pm

lol a quick linkedin search shows that numerous people who lateraled from Mizuho to BBs, including MS, Goldman, and JPM. That's just on the first page too

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May 31, 2021 - 6:35pm

Not sure what the other guy is saying. Once you're in IB it's a million times easier to lateral, than it is to switch careers from outside of IB to in. I'm not saying you can go from Muzuho to GS TMT, but you have a solid shot lateralling to a MM firm, and from there lateralling higher if that's your goal. Lateralling from Mizuho will be easy in the sense that you have definitive reasons for lateralling and you're coming from a different bank. When lateralling from HL FAS, you'll be constantly questioned on why you qualify to break into banking, why you couldn't get into IB in the first place, etc.

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Jun 2, 2021 - 3:50pm

DCM but I saw a lot switch to Healthcare FT, so that might be my path if I choose Mizuho

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  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jun 4, 2021 - 11:40am

I work at Mizuho. Look TMT is by far the strongest group and they have lost a lot of people. If you network and show exceptional attitude you can get there.

Being in IB and moving to another IB is so much easier than breaking to IB for first time. People look for that experience even if the place you're coming from is not incredible.

I know so many people who went from Mizuho to BBs and that is because it is a big institution so processes are very similar to an extent. The coverage/product model is similar too which they like.

I think something you need to know is that BBs have their own M&A group. Coverage groups work with M&A groups but to varying extents.

Now having said all this, I think Miz or any IB role in a reputable organization is better BUT if you want to get out, you need to do it before you become a second year analyst. Competing with other analysts who had more M&A experience for experienced analyst lateral positions is not the easiest.

I made that mistake of waiting and now it is taking longer.

Whatever group you get into, prove yourself, try to get as much experience especially in modeling and know the industry you're in and start networking to leave from day 1.

One last thing, miz internship program is rotational (2 groups) I would recommend doing one product group and one coverage group. Network with people from the group you want, if they like you they will make sure you intern with them. DCM group is solid but they do origination only, it won't give you that much hands on experience.

Jun 4, 2021 - 12:36am

HL FAS is not restructuring, nor is it the group Houlihan is known for. Everyone at Houlihan tries extremely hard to get out of FAS into the other groups at Houlihan. According to glassdoor, FAS is a trap. I don't know how good exists out of Houlihan FAS are because I have never seen anyone on LinkedIn that used to work in that group. However, people lateral out of Mizuho and into Mizuho from other BB's all of the time. I strongly recommend Mizuho > Houlihan FAS.  

Jul 17, 2021 - 5:55pm

Hey I spent a few months working for HL FAS while it was rebranding to FVA which I think it is now known as officially maybe. First congrats on your offers. I have friends at both and each are great places from what I know. As an alum of HL I would preface it by saying would be happy to have you join the network and help us keep building the firm and the alumni network if you choose (or in my case not choose so directly) to leave and continue your career elsewhere. 

that being said, I don't know too much about corporate valuation there. Is that corporate valuation advisory services? Not sure if that is more of an accounting practice there. I sat in transaction opinions and did mainly m&a board advisory. My team and group was definitely IBD work and hours though not as intense an all encompassing like my time as a generalist at Moelis. Corporate valuation services there I'm not sure if I interacted with too much. In terms of internal mobility, I have seen people do it at the firm though not sure how common it is, but definitely common enough where people don't make a big deal out of it. Maybe it's just because most people only stay for a few years so by the time they get a few reps in for their group it is basically time for them to leave. Those that stay to promotion time maybe and beyond generally I've seen can move around okay maybe but I don't have too much exp with that. 

mizuho I have a few friends who may work/have worked there. Solid place. Seems like good IBD exp. it is I believe a Japanese bank so not sure about exits into USA based PE and the like if that's what you want. One of my friends is now an associate there. One left to do corporate finance or corp Dev at like a hot covid testing healthcare start up and actually one of them was working with me at HL FAS in my group as I believe he lateralled from mizuho. 

japanese banks are in some ways kinda different from usa banks. Have friends at different Japanese banks and it is a bit more focused on international/Japanese work just by it being based in Japan. Some people like that and actively seek it. Others kinda see it as a platform to build a usa bank for someone who has the capital but not the boots on the ground to do it. 

if your ultimate goal is to do a more traditional IBD/m&a job at HL FT then I think taking the HL job even if it is not super IBD-like may bode better than an IBD job at Mizuho because you can spend the summer at HL getting to know the people and networking. Like one example for you that may be helpful, I think one of the first years there in an accounting type group ended up lateraling his 2nd year into FRG because they had a fairly urgent hiring need with the pandemic stuff maybe. 

If your goal is to just do IBD FT and it doesn't really matter where too much then I would say take Mizuho IBD because it is definitely IBD and at the end of the day if you want to build a career in the industry your name, your quality and your personal work ethic and what you do will matter more than the bank you work at (within reasonable limits) in my humble opinion. A good banker is able to lateral around a bit during his or her or their career and it might be more common than not for a career banker to work at more than one bank over the length of their career

for what it's worth I enjoyed working in FAS and think it's a reputable place. Maybe it's not so sexy and IBD big fee heavy but is a solid training ground in my opinion and well respected in what they do. It's a profitable division and I think it is the division that HL was kinda founded in for whatever that is worth (even though if you look at BX they eventually spun-off the division that started the firm into a merger with PJT). I think Richard Houlihan who founded HLHZ (who may be the Houlihan of Houlihan Lokey) now kinda does his own valuation work / has his own company that may be most similar to what FAS does. I may be wrong though or slightly off on that

Either way just some thoughts that I hope may help you. Good luck

Aug 8, 2021 - 4:52pm

Hey I'm joining FAS soon. What were the hours like? My interviewer said it would be 80 max but that it was pretty cyclical. Also, do you have any insights or any advice I should keep in mind before starting? My first 2 weeks are going to be completely remote due to personal circumstances, so not sure what it's going to be like

Aug 12, 2021 - 5:37pm

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