Non- Finance Career to Banking Path

sosa18's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 11

Is it possible to be competitive for Associate/VP level positions without being an analyst, assuming a person has a lot of contacts to company owners?

Comments (3)

Jan 11, 2018

Depending on the group / firm the Analyst skillset can be pretty different to that of an Associtae / VP so being an Analyst is not necessarily a pre-requisite to being a good Associate. There is certainly a bigger learning curve for a green Associate but it's less of a disadvantage at a small or middle-market M&A firm where deal complexity is lower and relationships are the most important factor to a senior exec's success.

Apart from Analyst to Associate promotions, almost all Associates are hired out of business school and often do not have prior IB experience, so it's not unusual at all. Frankly IBs would prefer to hire former Analysts but so many are recruited away by PE or burn out that there typically aren't many in the recruiting process.

All that being said, I think it will be hard for someone without prior IB experience to get a role other than as a 1st year Associate. Most hiring happens for 1st year Associates happens through campus recruiting, and lateral hiring is typically reserved for experienced Analysts or experienced Associates / VPs. Lateral recruiting is also very competative since there are so few spots in comparison to campus.

If you're really serious about IB, I think your best bet would be to either (1) focus on small / boutique firms where there is less competition and or (2) consider business school.

    • 1
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Jan 11, 2018

Agree with everything said above, only thing I might add is sometimes at the senior level (MD) you could see someone make a lateral from a related career because of his or her expertise in a certain area/connections (Have personally heard of a specialized M&A Law partner move to M&A MD)

Definitely not common or regularly heard of - so I would not plan on being able to do it yourself. More of a one off thing than a "Path"

    • 1
Best Response
Jan 11, 2018

1-Click to Unlock All Comments - 100% FREE

Why do I need to be signed in?
WSO is a knowledge-sharing community that depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something.
+ Bonus: 6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons with 1-Click Signup ($199 value)
    • 2