Moving from LOW middle market boutique IB/PE background to well known MM IB firm

I have an interview with a solid MM firm (Houlihan/Lazard/Harris) coming up. I have 3 years (post JD from top 7 law school) experience working in lower middle market PE (1.5 years) and then IB (1.5 years) in the midwest. Almost all of my deal experience (around 12-14ish) has been with deals in the $30 million - $100 million dollar range. While I am experienced enough to realize that deals are deals and the process is relatively the same, (if not slightly more difficult at times IMO in a small shop b/c of lack of resources) I have to believe that a larger MM shop in a major market is going to have reservations about my experience and the "jump" to larger deals.

Thus, I would appreciate if anyone could help me prepare for the types of reservations a MM firm could have and what they would want to see overcome in an interview.

Btw, the whole reason I want to make the move is because obviously I like what I do for a living, but want to do it on a larger scale, in a bigger market, and with more resources. When I got out of law school in 2011 I sort of fell into a lower mm position in a new PE firm ($50 million) that paid as much as law and seemed more exciting so I took it. I then switched to a sell side investment bank in the same town for a variety of reasons (which I can share if helpful). Thanks in advance.

Comments (5)

Nov 27, 2014

Doubt they are going to have reservations about the size of deals you've worked on. If anything, lower middle-market analysts tend to take on more responsibility and work on deals that can be just as complex as larger deals.

Nov 27, 2014

The more senior you are in the field, the more "deal/transaction experience" comes into play. As long as you're able to articulate the deals you've been involved with, I'm sure you'll be fine. The only way I can see it being a little tricky is if your IB/PE background was focused on industry-specific deals (i.e. industrials) and you're interviewing for a completely different coverage role (i.e. TMT). Then, you may get asked about that (why the industry switch, what do you know about the TMT industry, what are some of your favorite deals). But if thats not the case, deals are deals and from what I've read you have quite a bit of experience and you've got the graduate school box checked too. You may be over-thinking this.

Nov 27, 2014

Good to hear. in a similar position - wanting to move to a bigger bank next year, potentially going to do an MBA and try and land an associate role. If you focus on M&A and LBO in Tech & pharma (but i have previosu exp. in Energy M&A) would that be hard to slot into a product/ sector group (since I am in the middle ground between generalist, product group and coverage group) Thanks (sorry for any typos - been a long day)

Nov 27, 2014

PM me, need to clarify your story before I give you advice

Nov 27, 2014
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