non-target UK

what would you say is the best way for a complete non target with a comparatively comepetitive profile to break into IB in LDN given that networking is not so much applicanble here. Also any idea on how best to utilise this summer to increase my chances.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (30)

Mar 22, 2020 - 5:54am

perhaps big 4 graduate scheme (e.g. audit) , lateral to firm's corp fin/ts/m&a practice, then to IB. could do masters at a target as well but that's quite expensive (£50k).

Mar 22, 2020 - 8:25am

big 4 > BO because you'll pick up the relevant skills! best of luck

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Apr 9, 2020 - 1:31pm

This is what I did, so I'd recommend trying this route. I went non-target -> CB internship -> (master's) -> FT BB IB

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Apr 9, 2020 - 1:32pm

This is what I did, so I'd recommend trying this route. I went non-target -> CB internship -> (master's) -> FT BB IB

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Mar 22, 2020 - 7:59am

There are many people at Big4 that want to go for IB, so the thing is to have something different than the rest, in terms of languages, skills, networking, work experience, education....

At my bank there are a few coming from Big4, and most of them left around 3-4 years after starting their jobs there.

Mar 22, 2020 - 9:46am

In order in my opinion:
1) Get a frist, good GMAT, some work exp in finance/accounting related fields and get into a target masters.

2) Big 4, M&A>TAS>Audit but any of these should be fine, look to move after 3 years having qualified for your accountant qualification, and you'll lateral as senior Analyst usually.

3) Good grades, Good GMAT, Good work exp and then MBA, much longer road, much more expensive and you're joining as an associate so you'll have less exit opps.

Mar 22, 2020 - 10:18am

yeah the master is actually the preffered route but also thinking long term. kinda of bit scared to get in a master and graduate in a recession, would be a lot of money lost.

what would you say is a good GMAT over 700 or would over 650 be acceptable as the average for LBS MiM is 680

Any other advice to get noticed for next summer as I am getting some relevant experience this summer think CB/ER/Credit risk at a respected shop. just looking for ways to increase the number of interviews, for this coming recruitment cycle

Mar 23, 2020 - 4:28pm

I think that this summer/2021 FT will be hit the hardest. And by the looks of your post I would guess that you'd finish your masters in 2022, so you should be fine.

For the GMAT, 700+ is recommended, the higher the better its as simple as that.

And any work experience will be valued tbh, as long as you can spin it as somewhat relevant and explain wy that lead you to want to do IB - ie ER-> IB wanted to gain a better understanding of Valuation and transactions.

  • Associate 2 in Acct - Other
Apr 8, 2020 - 7:27am

Not to hijack this fellow's thread, but how much of an advantage is M&A/TAS over audit? I'm in the latter, 2 years in. Tried going to M&A at my firm but it's a dead end I fear. How much value would there be in moving firms to M&A/TAS for a year before qualifying for the CA and trying for an analyst role in IB?

Apr 8, 2020 - 7:41am

First it makes your story a bit smoother and logical, ie did Large Corporates audit allowed me to gain understanding of financial statements, then wanted to understand valuations, did M&A or understand DD/impact of transactions on the financial statements did TAS and now I want to do larger deals if M&A, or want to understand who's driving the deal if you did TAS.

Secondly you'll likely gain skills that will build upon you auditor skillset that will be relevant for IB. If you work in TAS you'll surely work on some of the small booklets for the Quality of Earnings, Dirty to clean EBITDA Adjustments etc. And wel if you do MidCap M&A it should be self explanatory why it's better than Audit for large cap M&A.

Most Helpful
Apr 8, 2020 - 6:25pm

I'll add to this as someone who's done audit to M&A/TAS, but then did MBA and Asset Management. It makes a big difference to be in either M&A/TAS, not only for the skills, but for the jobs HH reach out for.

In audit (not sure if you see the same jobs these days), you would get hit constantly with finance roles at corporates or BO/MO roles at banks. A few people took the MO roles as it was more money, and most of those hated it (not sure if more than audit though).

In M&A/TAS, you're much more marketable for an FO role at a bank, sometimes straight to PE. They won't recruit you for the bottom, but you would typically go down a year or two in experience. A few years back, you could join at most levels at a BB up to VP. Most that I've seen were 4-5 year Senior Associate or Assistant Manager going as 3rd year Analyst or Manager going in as Associate.

I'll caveat this with, all these moves are never easy, they are doable. There's always more people wanting to leave audit for advisory and advisory for banking.

Mar 23, 2020 - 4:14pm

Are you in your first, penultimate or final year? Advice would alter slightly depending on your answer.

It is tricky to get into IB from a non-target university, but it is not as impossible as some people on this site make it out to be. For early career programmes (spring weeks and summer internships) there are a refreshing number of candidates that come from 'non-targets'. There are a few things that most of them had in common:

  • Deep interest in finance.

  • Involvement in extra-curricular (lots had some kind of leadership experience at university).

  • Proactivity to seek out work experience opportunities and placements at lesser known firms - often the product of lots of cold emails.

I recommend that you use LinkedIn to find alumni from your university who now works in finance or IB; connect with them and see if they can offer any specific advice about recruiting from your university. If they like you they may even vouch for you come application time. If you do all of the above, keep on top of what's going on, learn the basic technical knowledge for interviews and come across as a likeable individual, I think you should stand a chance.

All the best.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

April 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (188) $234
  • 2nd Year Analyst (107) $150
  • Intern/Summer Associate (96) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (26) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (392) $132
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (323) $82