Moved from IBD => Compliance, next steps?

is-t's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 124

I posted a few months ago regarding how I was transferred from a top BB IBD to compliance, and I wanted everyone's advice/opinions on what my next steps could be. This was particularly hard on me because I turned down other reputable IBD offers to accept the BB.

The work is mind-numbingly boring, but the hours aren't that bad (8-5) and I am using the spare time to read up on valuation/corporate finance books. I've been networking both internally and externally, and I face a dilemma:

  • to qualify for an internal transfer, I must have been at my current position for ~2 years. I am not sure if I can survive that long. What pisses me off to no end is that my bank is in FULL HIRING MODE for the 2010 class, but I wasn't even considered for the 2010 pool (I contacted HR and they told me it wasn't part of the 'protocol').
  • for external transfers, my contacts tell me to 'stick it out' for a year because it looks really bad for recruiting/MBA if the job position wasn't even for a full year.

Given this, how should I go about potentially lateralling out of my job into a FO role?

Thanks for everyones' opinions.

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Comments (41)

Nov 16, 2009

Also I have developed some key relationships within my current BB, and I feel like lateralling out might sour these relationships

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Nov 16, 2009

So what's this about: //www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/middle-office-to-ibd

I think you should stay for the 2 years and then try to transfer, though it is very hard to do so. I'm surprised you had to stay in compliance. I only know of GS that did this and they moved everyone back. I can't think of a BB that would do this to you.

Good luck.

Nov 16, 2009

I heard something similar to 1styearBanker from a friend at Goldman (where all those moved to back office for 3-6 months were moved back to front office). Have they not hinted to you that they may move people back? If not, that really sucks, and sorry to hear.

From the 2 year suggestion, I have a guess as to where you are... if I'm right, it's pretty tough to do internal moves from that bank...

Nov 16, 2009

So you joined this BB in July and they placed you in compliance ? Did you go through the BB's training program ? That's important because it critical to have that on your resume. Anyways, I think an internal transfer might be an uphill battle for you. Its taboo for you to even mention it, HR will insist that you complete at least two years within that department (as they already have).

Your contacts are correct about the external transfer being tough because people generally don't want someone who's jump shipped so quickly. Also, they're understandably reluctant to consider for employment, or pass on the resume of someone who's only been employed for such a short while, that too in compliance.

Your best bet is to target smaller boutique banks that are looking for analysts. Email/call them and explain your situation. I'm sure there will be a few willing to take you on. In my opinion, this route is better than working in a position you hate for two years on the flimsy promise of being considered for a role in IB. By that time, you will be pigeonholed as a back/middle office guy so your chances of breaking into Banking at others bank will also be very slim.

I know people that were laid off in late 2007 after only a few months of work in IB, they managed to find employment at smaller boutiques, restructuring firms pretty quickly. Obviously, your situation is diff because you're in compliance but you have the training program experience.

Nov 16, 2009

I do not understand why at all you would want to lateral internally within this firm, they already screwed over once big time. Not sure who your contacts are, but if you go BO to FO externally no one will care they will think finally this guy/gal got to his/her senses. Collect your pay cheque and start looking for an exit.

Nov 17, 2009

Did they give you a reason for the move? This is just weird, horrible and unfair.

Nov 27, 2009

This is not the worst.

Last year this time, some BB screwed their IBD analysts by not placing them into any group, not even transferring them to a back office team! Instead, they created a generalist pool under IBD and threw those ppl into this group. There were no senior ppl, not even a 2nd year analyst in the group and there was virtually zero workflow. As expected, when the layoff occurred earlier this year, the whole group was canned. So basically they screwed you first and then they told you that you were not contributing and were not good enough. What a douchebag.

Personally, this is the worst I've ever heard. The layoff involves no performance issue, no office politics etc because you don't have a lot of opportunities to get involved in work and politics given the nature of the group. The worst of the worst is those HR ppl LIED. They kept telling ppl in that group that they were trying to place them somewhere else and if there was a layoff, they would be kept intact.

Nov 27, 2009

Ukon: I actually think that's not as bad as being placed in compliance. At least in this situation, you can still put 'Investment banking analyst' in your resume while looking for work. And when you say 'virtually zero workflow' what do you mean? Zero meaningful work on deals, or zero work in general? If it's the former, maybe these guys got a shitload of pitching... in which case there is still some work done. And if it's the latter... well, at least they got paid for doing nothing.

Also, in 2008, banks were just pitching left and right. I'm sure everyone was kept busy. So if any one of these kids just stepped up and raised their hands to say 'I'm willing to do this', I'm sure some groups wouldn't mind unloading some crap work on them. And then in that case, it's something you can write about under experience...

Nov 27, 2009

Kanon,

Virtually zero workflow = no workflow except for PIBs, Company Profiles and updating stock prices. All provide little to no learning value anyway. I agree that preparing pitch books will be decent learning exp, but unfortunately, that is not part of the "workflow". So... there was basically no work...

Personally, I think this is pretty bad... True, you can keep your IBD analyst title, but that's it. Your experience is non-existing and you have nothing to put down on your resume. (Well, you can still claim that you've done PIBs and profiles.. but that does not add a lot of value, right?) Also, it appears to me this bank decided to lay off that entire group from Day One, even before those kids started working. How does that make sense? I feel the only reason the bank did not let them go on Day One was to avoid lawsuits...

PS: Btw, at the end of 2008, few banks actually had enough work to keep everyone busy, and I think this was one main reason why that group had little workflow. And of course, there was no job in the market in early 2009...

Nov 28, 2009

the advice of staying 1 year or 2 yeas in a position for resume/mba/etc is normally solid advice, but these are not normal times. for example, with a future mba app, think ahead a few years and ask yourself how the story flows -- i was hired to do ibd, but switched into compliance against my intererst, surveyed the situation and realized that compliance was not a future i wanted, so i networked my way to a job i really wanted in a very difficult labor market... that sounds like the mentality most mba schools are looking for and at worst is certainly not something that you'd expect to be held against you (spend less than a year at your 2nd job and there might be some issues!)

if the markets are turning for the better, then riding out 2 years in compliance could crush your ops to get out -- 2 years from now, people will look at your resume as a compliance person, not someone who wanted to be in banking/front office.

a poster above made a solid suggestion to start networking immediately with smaller/boutique banks straight away -- particularly if you have ibd training under your belt, you should get a look and hopefully nail an offer on something you really want to do. heck, i'd argue it's worth networking everywhere including bbs... now is actually a good time. for example, i've heard of several groups wanting to hire right now, but can't b/c no bonuses are guaranteed at jr level now, so no one will move before feb/mar bonus is paid. if you're willing to pass on a stub bonus (which prolly won't be a lot from compliance), then get networking pronto imho.

Nov 28, 2009

Ukon,

You're referring to that group of kids at Lehman Brothers last year right? If so, it was done, because they failed their Series 7 and yes they basically all got laid off in the winter.

Nov 28, 2009

DA,

Not everyone in that group failed their Series 7/63... at least my friend passed both in the first attempt... and some other kids who actually failed Series 7 were not pulled into that group according to my friend.

Btw, it's not only the LB kids, the group actually had both LB and BarCap kids.. not sure how many of each though...

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Nov 28, 2009

.

Nov 28, 2009

that fucking sucks big time. look for another job.

Nov 28, 2009

I agree with McMo. That's no vote of confidence. Go back to the banks you turned down.

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Nov 28, 2009

Sincere condolences.
Get out of there.

Nov 28, 2009

would be interesting to know which BB this is...

Nov 28, 2009

Absolutely start looking around, network, and reach out to boutiques, etc. A bank doesn't randomly decide to move some into compliance and leave the rest in banking. Whether they are right or wrong in their choices, the fact that you were chosen is not the best of signs, and once moved, it will be harder to move back, especially since you've just started and probably haven't built up a strong network of bankers there yet. I would put the feelers out and make the move.

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Nov 28, 2009

get out.

Nov 28, 2009

That's insane. I haven't heard of any BB's doing that. You should really tell us so people can avoid that bank. Sorry to hear that. Best of luck.

Nov 28, 2009
masterg:

That's insane. I haven't heard of any BB's doing that. You should really tell us so people can avoid that bank. Sorry to hear that. Best of luck.

Dude... This time last year, many BB did something similar or even worse...

Nov 28, 2009
Ukon:
masterg:

That's insane. I haven't heard of any BB's doing that. You should really tell us so people can avoid that bank. Sorry to hear that. Best of luck.

Dude... This time last year, many BB did something similar or even worse...

Exactly. How does this still surprise people?

Nov 28, 2009

I can't remember which bank, but I know I've heard of this happening before. Essentially, you are told that they need you in this back office role (overhiring, not enough cpacity, etc, in banking) and you can either take it, or walk away with your sign on. I can't remember which bank though....I have an idea of which one, but there are a few that stick out in my head and I can't remember which did it last year.

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Nov 28, 2009

goldman

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES

Nov 28, 2009

Goldman put IBD first years into HR last year. Same offer structure as BankonBanking outlines. While I've only heard this one particular case, I'm sure any BB would act just like that if drastic 'capacity management' is required.

Nov 28, 2009

@m2: I didn't hear about IBDers going into HR, but a friend from GS did confirm the S&T first years being moved to back/middle office. Supposedly, it was temporary and they have been moved back since. Was this the case for IBD as well or are they stuck in HR limbo for all time?

Nov 28, 2009

A friend of mine in their merchant banking arm confirmed it was from IBD into HR. This was outside of the US though. Also not sure if this was permanent or temporary (we've never followed up on this).

Nov 28, 2009

IT'S A TRAP!

Nov 28, 2009

Imagine how the kids that were supposed to start at Bear felt? That sucks though man, I would hang with it for a little while and if it seems like you will be in back office for an extended period get out. Start reaching out to contacts now.

Nov 28, 2009

I thought this was common practice. I know a few people from GS and JPM who got transferred to back/mid office positions being offered the same paycheck and chance to switch back into IBD.

It seriously might not be too bad. If you do well in backoffice work and stick it out a few years, you can make it to business school and then switch back.

I say enjoy your new short hours and paycheck.

Nov 28, 2009

You're going to die by the time you're a hundred, you've already used up twenty of those years, and you're seriously considering NOT leaving this job?

Nov 28, 2009

Back office probably isn't too bad- if you're aspiring to trade derivatives, especially in fixed income, there is a complicated settlement process and booking trades/verifying prices and running P/L require a lot of operations type work for the traders. Derivatives risk controllers/valuation staff know a lot about the product and would be on the inside track to getting a trading job when they are available.

Nov 28, 2009

Perhaps having good 'product knowledge' is nice but not so sure how that's perceived in the front office compared to straight FO experience. But maybe things are different in S&T. For IBD, back office experience (especially in compliance) won't be useful and detrimental to your career I reckon. OP, if they haven't guaranteed you to move back soon then, by all means, look for a new job.

Nov 28, 2009

It's unbelievable that this is how some banks treat its employees (and clients for that matter) yet people still want to jump aboard. Talking about rational human beings.

Nov 28, 2009

It is rational behaviour. Exepected utility of a front-office job still is high, even if you control for the risks involved (although I wonder if the risk-return profile of IBD isn't nicer than S&T -- isn't there quite a bit of luck involved in becoming a 'star trader' or being recognized as such?).

Nov 28, 2009

This is a huge insult and you have been wronged so badly.

Think of it from this perspective.

For most of your life you probably worked so hard just to get into a pricey target school, and then put so much effort into getting a FO job.

Now the bank just screwed u over and sent you to the back office.. You are now stuck with all the people that went to a cheap state school and didnt try as hard as you did to get into that same position..

Your first job out of undergrad is now in the back office, this will completely pigeon hole you no matter how you spin it unless you quit it right away. You only get one shot at this, and instead of going to a FO position and moving up from there, you were forced to move WAY back and work your way up from there hoping you can one day get into FO after MBA

Nov 28, 2009
Guest1655:

This is a huge insult and you have been wronged so badly.

Think of it from this perspective.

For most of your life you probably worked so hard just to get into a pricey target school, and then put so much effort into getting a FO job.

Now the bank just screwed u over and sent you to the back office.. You are now stuck with all the people that went to a cheap state school and didnt try as hard as you did to get into that same position..

Your first job out of undergrad is now in the back office, this will completely pigeon hole you no matter how you spin it unless you quit it right away. You only get one shot at this, and instead of going to a FO position and moving up from there, you were forced to move WAY back and work your way up from there hoping you can one day get into FO after MBA

Awwww poor ivey kid...boo hoo, it's just not fair. It was his destiny to be a banker, right? And those awful state school kids, ugh! What business do they have in IB? I'm afraid arithmetic it is just plain impossible without a harvard degree, so forget about banking, state schoolers.

Nov 28, 2009
Nov 28, 2009
Nov 28, 2009