Public Finance Exit Ops

Hi all, 

I'll be going to a BB full time for Public Finance in 2021 and was wondering if the exit ops were limited to only govt, non profit, etc type of roles. I know there isn't much overlap, but would roles like corporate strategy still be a possibility? Wondering if anyone can shed light on this. Thanks

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Comments (15)

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - PubFin
Oct 9, 2020 - 9:49am

I've seen people do a variety of things after public finance analyst stints:

  • Business School
  • Law School
  • Debt Capital Markets/Equity Capital Markets (ECM to a more limited extent)
  • M&A IB
  • Muni Bond Funds/Select Muni Hedge Funds
  • Private Equity (Limited, usually MM PE firms)
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Gov/Non-Profit

That said, a lot of opportunities open up not because you worked in public finance, but because you worked at a top-rated bank. Roles where public finance is additive include: DCM, muni funds, and gov/non-profit. I've seen plenty of examples of people who leave public finance for other parts of the bank and have really successful careers in other divisions as well. I also know of plenty of people who have stuck around public finance for their careers. Despite the warnings on WSO you won't really be pigeonholed (Esp if you work for a good firm), but that said you probs already struck out if you're trying to work at a MF/UMM PE form right out of your analyst stint. Groups within public finance that have the most interaction with non public finance entities: Healthcare/Public Private Partnerships/Transportation/Housing and Higher Ed (to an extent)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - PubFin
Oct 9, 2020 - 10:53am

Thanks for the response! I know a few ppl from my team (transpo) who went on to MM PE, but again it's focused on infra. Def reassured after learning about the other opportunities that are available. 
 

Are you planning on sticking it out in pubfin or making the jump elsewhere? 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - PubFin
Oct 9, 2020 - 12:21pm

Tbh I'm unsure! Im generally really interested in debt financing, so I think I'll try to do transition to corporate DCM stuff during my associate years! I think the potential issue with sticking it out in public finance for the long-term is that the profit margins on muni issues are just too tight and they're getting tighter over time. That said, certain muni bond issues in the healthcare and private activity bond space have enormous spreads relative to your typical GO issues and some deals in these spaces are super big (in the billions, attracting international investors and sometimes leading to international road shows).  

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Oct 9, 2020 - 11:20am

I'm a 2yr PF Analyst. When going through recruiting I spoke with a few people who previously worked PF. One guy got an MBA then went into healthcare strategy. I think you have better exit ops if you work in an infra, healthcare or public power group.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - PubFin
Oct 9, 2020 - 6:21pm

Thanks for the insight! I understand that healthcare teams work on M&A deals, but how would one make themselves competitive for Corp M&A if they're working on Transpo or P3 deals? 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - PubFin
Oct 11, 2020 - 12:24pm

Frankly not well given that you're not doing corporate finance modeling, such as DCFs, Comps, Precedents, etc, in public finance. That said I guess it would be a good part of a narrative if you did something like Pub Fin Analyst > IB Infra/IB Utilities/Project Finance Associate > Networking into Infra PE at a relatively more senior level than PE Associate 

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