Public Finance Q's

BD12's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 73

Hey everyone! I've been going through PF recruiting but haven't heard much from the Bulge Brackets and Boutiques. I see a lot of monkeys already have superdays and offers for various IBD related groups. Anyone have updates on Public Finance recruiting? Are firms done, can anyone share some light on if they know of people with Public Finance offers? Is it competitive?

Also is Public Finance worth getting into? I'm still considering other options, wanted to hear some feedback on it.

Comments (48)

Oct 16, 2017

Bump

Oct 16, 2017

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Oct 16, 2017

Wow, PF recruitment is already over?? So if my application to the various BBs are still pending I'm assuming it means I got dinged? Also, care to share some light on how big PF teams are, and their general recruiting class size?

Also to confirm you went through SA recruiting right?

Oct 16, 2017

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Oct 20, 2017

B

Oct 22, 2017

Bump

Oct 23, 2017

Went through a bb superday over a week ago but haven't heard back. Assuming offers were given out.

Array
Oct 23, 2017

All my friends who got a PF role at a BB want to exit into public policy or dual MBA/MPA programs. Public finance is very niche and as a result the candidates that get the offers tend to be extremely committed to the role; usually carry some sort of public policy experience.

Idk if it's even possible to move to another group within IBD? I wouldn't risk going into PF if your long term goal isn't public policy or MD within public finance. Idk why people think that investment banking is the worthy job straight out of college. It'd help if you listed all the other options youre considering to put things into perspective

Oct 23, 2017

As a PF analyst, I can say things definitely move at a slower pace than corporate finance. Whether or not it's worth getting into, only you can decide. My recruiting process, at a regional bank, was very different than listed above. It was a little more traditional, Only two interviews and no superday. No terribly difficult technical questions. For my bank, analysts are hired year-round out of necessity. So if this is something you still want to pursue, I would branch outside of BB and keep your eyes open for opportunities at the regional level.

Oct 23, 2017

you should do an AMA bc its a very niche industry

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Oct 23, 2017

Feel free to ask me about it if you have any specific questions, I spent 2 years as an associate in pub fin before going to corporate banking covering another industry (think TMT, healthcare).

Oct 23, 2017

Went through recruiting last year with a MM firm (think Baird, Stifel, Raymond James) in a major city on the west coast (think LA and SF). Applied in January and had 2 phone interviews that each lasted about an hour and a half with no super day. Standard walk me through your resume and behavioral questions. Got a few technicals but they pale in comparison to CIB and I'd consider them more general knowledge questions. I got asked to explain what LIBOR is and basic questions on bonds (if x happens the rate on bond y will increase/decrease). Process lasted about 2-2.5 months and I didn't end up getting an offer at one of the major offices.

However, I got along well with the VP who interviewed me and he offered to help me land an SA Job at another bank or at a regional office of the firm. Got referred to a regional office (think Den, PHX) and went through one interview where I just had to go through my resume and have a conversation with an MD. Got the offer shortly after and accepted it. With that being said I'll lay out my experience interning this past summer and going through recruiting.

  1. You need to have a good reason for why Public Finance instead of CIB. A lot of people see the words investment banking in the job description without understanding where it's positioned in the bank and what type of work analysts do. There isn't a lot of information out there on Public Finance and I mostly relied on Google. WSO has a few good threads that helped me out and I found a recruiting presentation from Raymond James from around 2006 that was helpful. I'll see if I can find it and attach the link.
  2. There isn't a lot of modeling involved instead you use a program called DBC which does a lot of that work for you. You'll look a lot at official statements, which show you the debt schedules and financial information of the issuer.
  3. You'll work better hours with the trade off being your base pay and bonus are less than people in CIB. However, you can still make a good amount of money if you stick with it.
  4. From what I've read exit opportunities are slim with many people going into public policy or another role within the government if they choose to leave. People tend to struggle to make the switch to CIB because a lot of the work they do is vastly different from CIB analysts. For example, many Public Finance analysts don't do a lot of modeling or deal with financial statements which are essential on the corporate side. With that being said if your ultimate goal is CIB than I'd focus on landing there and revisit Public Finance later. If you do want Public Finance long term it's a great place to be you just won't have as many exit ops.

If you end up in Public Finance for a summer and want to be in CIB it's not the end of the world. Since CIB is where I want to end up I went to work at a boutique bank to strengthen my modeling skills. When I interviewed I got asked a lot of questions about Public Finance and the guys found the work to be really interesting.

  1. Another important thing to note is at my bank at least there was no 2 year analyst program and promotion structure where after you work x amount of years and are successful you become an associate or VP. I'm not sure if this is standard across Public Finance but it's something else to consider.

This is what I've gathered from my summer working in Public Finance and I'm sure someone with more experience could shed more light on the topic. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions and good luck with the rest of recruiting season.

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Oct 23, 2017

One thing I forgot to mention is if the group your in does a lot of healthcare work and raising money for hospitals then moving to Healthcare IB shouldn't be too difficult from what I've heard.

Oct 23, 2017

This is the link to the presentation.

https://warrington.ufl.edu/graduate/academics/msf/...

Oct 24, 2017

Why do you say that Healthcare IB and raising money for hospitals is easy? Can you clarify?

Oct 23, 2017

super interesting! did you end up lateraling to another group successfully after a summer in pubfin?

Oct 24, 2017

I did I went to a boutique firm in the city where I go to school and am working with mezzanine debt. Currently trying to land in a capital markets role somewhere this summer in a larger city (NYC, LA, SF).

Oct 23, 2017

If you go to non-target there are still recruiting being done. I'm doing a couple first rounds for IBD coverage this week.

Dec 10, 2017

Nobody knows nothin' huh

Dec 10, 2017

It's tough from b-school, most of the Associates in PubFin are A to A promotes (either in-house or they jump ship to new firms and get promo'ed). That said, BAML definitely hires some MBAs and MS hires MBAs occasionally (rare)...Having your MPA will certainly help you make inroads. Outside of BAML and MS it will likely be less of a structured recruiting process and you'll need to network your way in.

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Dec 10, 2017
IBDinMPD:

It's tough from b-school, most of the Associates in PubFin are A to A promotes (either in-house or they jump ship to new firms and get promo'ed). That said, BAML definitely hires some MBAs and MS hires MBAs occasionally (rare)...Having your MPA will certainly help you make inroads. Outside of BAML and MS it will likely be less of a structured recruiting process and you'll need to network your way in.

Thanks for the info. Is it so rare of a path out of an MBA program that it's not even a realistic goal?

Dec 10, 2017

eh not really its just that public finance is so niche that theres limited associate positions and most are analyst promotions

Dec 10, 2017

MM - not BB by the way....

Dec 10, 2017

What is the company's name? It doesn't happen to be De La Rosa does it?

Dec 10, 2017

No...think more commercial bank...wachovia, WFC, etc etc...

Dec 10, 2017

bump

Dec 10, 2017

I have some knowledge, but I don't specifically work in PubFin.

Gettting into PubFin at a BB is just as hard as getting into anygroup at a BB. The PubFin group is a combination of traders and bankers. At my bank the traders are on the floor, while the bankers were in a large glass room next to them. If your doing banking I would assume an MBA is wanted more than the CFA. I have spoken and PubFin bankers do a fair amount of traveling, especially at the more senior levels. I am not sure how regional it is, but I think that the bank has "hubs" NY,Chi, SF--so a few major cities.

Dec 10, 2017

youre sure pubfin is really where you want to be? why?

Dec 10, 2017

General market questions, the different types of muni bonds, why public finance AND why public finance is important. I would also read up and be very well versed in the developing muni crisis--if anything you can ask the bank questions about how they are protecting themselves from it and make yourself look well informed.

Dec 10, 2017

I had a public finance interview a while back and I found this link to be helpful in becoming familar with all the terms. I am not saying you need to memorize everything, but it wouldn't hurt to become familar with terms you may not already know.

http://www.emuni.com/glossary.html

Dec 10, 2017

You'll get fit questions coupled with a discussion of the muni market.

Know what a municipal security is and the different types (general obligation, tax-backed, revenue-backed).
Know what an underwriter does (issuing, refunding).
Know what's going on with the whole muni crisis and what build america bonds are.

Here is a little nugget of gold: try to find some of the specific projects the bank has recently worked on.

Lastly, come up with a sincere story about why you want Public, specifically.

Dec 10, 2017

Most are filled with SA already but there are experienced positions available. I would pay attention in like a month or two to see if anything pops up in case some SA's find other opportunities

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Dec 10, 2017

Where should I be paying attention?

Dec 10, 2017

Online postings? I mean you're way too late but you never know

Dec 10, 2017
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Dec 10, 2017