PWM -> IB

Was hoping for some insight as to what my next move should be to transition from my current job at a MM PWM to IB.

For a little color:
NYC non-target public university undergrad, economics major w/ focus in finance, 3.95-3.99 GPA, Summa Cum Laude (among other graduation honors), still based in greater NYC area

1.25 years in PWM at a MM -post graduation

Despite my academic achievements, I don't think I had much of an idea as to what I wanted to do with my life when I was in school. In freshman and sophomore year I worked full time at a law firm out of necessity to support myself and take some burden off my family. I moved up the ranks quite well, but when I declared my major in junior year, I quit the law firm to focus on school. I took classes all throughout Winter and Summer, and never really had the guidance or knowledge as to how vital banking internships are. I foolishly studied abroad (albeit on full scholarship) during bank recruiting season of my senior year. When I came back for my final semester of school, I did a brief internship in credit risk. When I graduated I was able to get some full time interviews (none in IB).. among the notable ones: AM at a BB, trade support at a top-tier HF, and a jack of all trades-type role at a family office.. and of course my current job. All the other jobs struck me as deep back office, so I went with the MM PWM, with the mindset that I would continue to explore options while building up my resume however I could. The PWM role is more on the analytical side.. I don't have my own book of business, I manage fixed income portfolios, screen mutual funds and do one-off research projects for our high net worth clients who are opposed to being in mutual funds. I do a bit of macro-based regression modeling and build structured products here and there too.. I know none of this really translates to IB. I am also taking the CFA I in December, I'm scoring in the mid 80s on practice exams with 20+ days left till the exam.. overall feel very well prepared. Despite the CFA not carrying much weight, I thought it may help me stand out a bit more and demonstrate some skill when it comes to financial statements. Also have my series 7 and 66. These are my current thoughts as to where to go from here and I welcome all critiques and your own suggestions:

  1. After CFA I, get going on resumes and cold emails. Sign up for CIBA and/or CFA II (if I pass).. or do a Wall Street Prep certification to add to my resume and sign up for CFA II? Would all 3 (CIBA CFA II and Wall Street Prep) be overkill? I definitely want to stay busy during the 60 days from the level 1 exam and the latest I can expect my results.
  2. Once my lease on my apartment is close to up (mid 2018), move back home and offer/seek unpaid opportunities in IB.. not ideal.
  3. GMAT and business school or MSF -> be more proactive about finding internships while in school this time around.
  4. Use my next vacation to spend a week or two with the IBD at my current bank and try to leverage off of that (definitely doable but it might be difficult to turn it into an opportunity because our IBD is in a different state).
  5. I heard that you can buy internships now? (not a joke)

Again, any input greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Comments (56)

Nov 9, 2017

be more concise, IBD recruiters want to know you wont waste time typing long memos people dont read

shorted canada goose and bought swaps on treasury ponds
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Nov 12, 2017

bump

Array
Nov 12, 2017

Why do you want to do IB?

Nov 12, 2017

Forget the CFA exams if you want IB, study for the GMAT, go to Top 10 MBA ------------> IB

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 12, 2017

Think average SAT scores hovering around a 1200 roughly.

Yikes.

Nov 12, 2017

I generally agree with you, but there are and will always be exceptions. Obviously it would be a lot harder to make such a transition if you did a PWM internship your last summer, but for a freshman or possibly even a sophomore I think it is a great way to get in finance.

Operations is a bit different because internships in Operations are harder to get than PWM in most cases and they are looking for future FT'ers, whereas an FA in PWM doesn't generally think of the long term. It is easier to get in PWM in your freshman or soph year vs Operations.

I go to a non-target for IB (target for Operations) NYC uni and know about 6 people who went from PWM to BB IB and 3-4 from Operations to BB IB and S&T. The PWM did their internships during the school year (I think NYU and Columbia don't give credit for internships and some places like ML require interns to get credit so we a prime candidates) and networked their way into meeting with IB people in their firm.

Operations -> IB/S&T's had their operations internship the summer after their sophomore year and leveraged that via networking for interviews for front office and eventually got SA positions which led to FT in front office.

I wouldn't suggest Operations but PWM isn't bad at all.

*Also, one person doesn't confirm any thing.

Nov 12, 2017

*Also, one person doesn't confirm any thing.

I'll also say that I know a guy who worked in asset management for a year, and lateraled to GS IB as a second year from a different firm. He's now at a top PE shop. However, this kind of movement, from IM to IB, is definitely the exception.

Nov 12, 2017

CONFIRMED: Everyone knows.

Nov 12, 2017

LOL

in it 2 win it
Nov 12, 2017

It depends on the company. If the bank has a PB / Asset management group they will look to hire people from that area when skills shortages come up. Like it or lump it people in asset management / private bank do the same types of work people in S&T do but on a smaller scale.

These sorts of posts are pointless and irrevelvant. You simply cannot pigeon hole everyone into 1 group it just doesnt work that way.

I can think of countless people moving from different areas into front office and vice versa. Hell I know a VP in regulatory who moved into Eq Deriv's as a structer as a VP

Nov 12, 2017

I don't understand how having an internship in PWM or operations in your freshman or sophomore summers would do anything but help you get a front office SA position after your junior year. Aren't the only two alternatives a rotational program that is very hard to get into and nothing? Maybe if you are at a non-target and you have to do something spectacular to get your foot in the door I could understand this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Nov 12, 2017

everybody knows this already

Nov 12, 2017

Interested in monkeyintrain's comment.

I thought having a PWM during your freshman summer would help you in getting into i-banking...?

Nov 12, 2017

I think the OP was talking about FT positions in operations and PWM....not internships

Nov 12, 2017

These conversations are constantly being rehashed. There seems to be no one "set way" to get into IB. Sure, there are beaten down paths and then there are those that are less common. To each their own.

http://www.tripsync.com"We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to t

http://www.tripsync.com

"We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to t

Nov 12, 2017

think about what you're writing and use logic before misguiding the rest of the board.

i worked in private wealth and i got into investment banking later on. I'm no outlier because hardly anyone is capable (except losers who get them through connection) of obtaining an investment banking internship before their junior year and doing a PW will do anything but hurt you from getting a IBD interview later on because it shows interest and relevant experience.

save your older colleague from his ignorance and go ask someone who knows what's going on.

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Nov 12, 2017
monkeyderivative:

think about what you're writing and use logic before misguiding the rest of the board.

i worked in private wealth and i got into investment banking later on. I'm no outlier because hardly anyone is capable (except losers who get them through connection) of obtaining an investment banking internship before their junior year and doing a PW will do anything but hurt you from getting a IBD interview later on because it shows interest and relevant experience.

save your older colleague from his ignorance and go ask someone who knows what's going on.

True that

Nov 12, 2017

Why would you want to move from back office to PE?

Nov 12, 2017

I think OP's post has merits. If you want to eventually break into IB, and after college your options are to work in corporate development at a F500 company or asset management at a BB, personally I would strongly recommend the corp dev position.

Here's why.

I'm coming from the perspective of someone working at a top group in a NYC BB. We went on a bit of a lateral hiring spree in Q1 due to an uptick in deal volume, which has since slowed down. Lateral hires are mainly for associate and junior VP positions, with some analysts coming in as second or third-years. My sample is based on the group of candidates we interviewed, made offers to, and eventually hired during this process. When I say experience in PWM, it's not referring to an internship, but rather someone who worked there FT for a few years.

The hierarchy of lateral hiring preferences my group used is as follows

1. Internal, top bucket candidates within the BB in other regional or foreign offices in the same group - ie. TMT HK transferring to TMT New York (hypothetical)

Rationale: We were all overstaffed and badly needed someone who could walk into the office on day 1 and start taking on projects.

2. Internal, top bucket candidates from other groups - ie. LevFin transferring into CnR

Rationale: Even though they may not have the sector specific knowledge, they were vetted internally by other groups and exhibited good work ethic. In other words, we know they could get crushed and be able to handle it. Bonus: they already have a grasp of our bank's formatting best practices, which takes up 70% of the time anyway.

We stopped looking at internal IBD candidates at this point. I think it's because there were enough people wanting to to be in my group that we didn't feel the need to look at anyone not in the top bucket. Other groups can't afford to be too picky and will look a bit further down the internal totem pole.

3. External, top bucket BB/boutique IBD analysts, associates, and VPs - Other groups in my bank picked up a handful of associates looking to jump ship after what recently happened at some investment banks

4. Corporate development associates and BigLaw associates - ie. the big F500s that are our clients and associates from V5 firms who worked on transactional law. A lot of these candidates made it to the final round.

Rationale: Corp dev candidates are highly valued because they understand the sector their former employer operated in. We don't need to teach someone from say, Walmart, how to project the financial statements of a low cost retailer or how to model their growth prospects. They spent their former days swimming in the company model and looking at acquisition opportunities. While they can't disclose what their former employer was up to, they already understand 50%+ of the IBD job, having been a counterparty on the deals before. This is even true for people at non-finance jobs at a Corporate, like drillings engineer or software program manager. We will take them because we value their industry insight. Similarly, BigLaw associates in M&A have experiences handling transaction processes and due diligence. They were in a similar "client transaction advisory" role so know what's expected of them. We grill BigLaw folks really hard on technicals because the impression is that they are weaker in accounting. They are valued for their ability to write well, which is important as they climb the ranks and need to draft bid letters, financing memos, and pitchbooks. It also helps that long hours are not a surprise for them.

5. Big 4/consulting candidates who worked in M&A advisory

Rationale: Same as above. Previous deal experience. Quantitative background. Bankers see consultants and Big 4 advisory people as ancillary to the deals, which is why I ranked them fifth.

6. Everyone else.

During the hiring process, no one I know will ever say, "Oh gee, let's look at the talent pipeline in our back office and PWM division to see if there are candidates there." It's sounds a little harsh, but people in my group believe PWM people just don't have the relevant deal experience we're looking for in this job. To break in, you have to want it badly enough and take a lot of initiative to network and show the hiring committee that you are as competent as someone who spent 4 years modeling and buying companies for Walmart.

I think it's important to hear from the IBD hiring side as opposed to the one miracle story that made it to IBD from PWM or the anecdotes of the people who were shot down. Note that this is one experience at one particular bank and doesn't speak to the entire Street. This is not related to undergraduate PWM internships.

Hope that helps. Happy to answer any follow-ups.

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Nov 12, 2017
JambaMan:

In my group, we have analysts from not so great schools. Think average SAT scores hovering around a 1200 roughly.

How do you even get an interview with a score that low?

Nov 12, 2017

This may be the first time that "1200 SAT" and "number crunching" have been mentioned in the same breath.

Nov 12, 2017

No really? I've always thought that moving from back-office to front-office was easier then moving from front-office to back-office *sarcasm

Nov 13, 2017

way to revive a 6 year old thread for 'lol.'

also there's enough douche in this thread to clean kardashian's vag spotless

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Nov 13, 2017
JambaMan:

No shit Sherlock

Nov 13, 2017

PWM are just idiots who are good at sucking up.

Nov 13, 2017

yes but still make more than u :)

"so i herd u liek mudkipz" - sum kid
"I'd watergun the **** outta that." - Kassad

Nov 13, 2017

That's right. I'm just their client after all

Nov 13, 2017

Good to know.

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Nov 13, 2017

Bump. Looking for real help here!

Nov 13, 2017

Bump. Please guys

Nov 13, 2017

Bump

Nov 13, 2017

Interested as well. Have done a small boutique IB internship and will be doing a PE internship this summer. Curious as to how you network coming from a non-target (literally no alum in banking) , but having experience to apply for FT.

Nov 13, 2017

Consulting recruitment is approaching.
Network extensively, if you're a fun and interesting person.
An MBA is always an option, but costly.

    • 1
Nov 13, 2017

Thank you! I will give the MBBs and other consulting firms a try.

Networking is my next plan, this might help me land a off-cycle position.

I think the MBA is worth more for someone like me coming from a non-target with not a lot of relevant experience compared to someone from target who already has connections with IBD. Only problem is getting into M7 or other similar programs without having good work experience. Can only go so far with PWM.

Nov 13, 2017

Regarding Shanghai - I've seen comments in the past that I can paraphrase for you. Specifically for IBD, if you are not 120% fluent in Chinese, getting in as an analyst is most likely out of the picture. S&T would be a different conversation, but absolute fluency is the bare minimum for most finance roles in Asia.

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Nov 13, 2017

Thank you for the insight Yasuke.

I think the fact that I don't know technical terms in Chinese would screw me if I had gotten to the interview stage. I will be applying for US positions now to hedge my bets.

Nov 13, 2017

Why not Hong Kong though? The required proficiency in Chinese is probably lower there

Nov 13, 2017

@starboy, moving from BB PWM to BB IB is like a sales guy at SAP moving to internal audit at SAP. Sure, the sales guy works for SAP, as does the internal auditing team, but they are completely different functions with completely different skill set requirements.

Are you trying to get a BB IB SA spot next summer? Or are you trying to effectively say "Hey, BB, you gave me this PWM offer. Can I turn that into an IB offer?" The latter will not happen, and you might even lose the PWM offer because it will become apparent to HR that you have no interest in PWM.

    • 1
Nov 13, 2017

I am doing a PWM internship from January-March and hoping I can potentially do internal recruiting for an IB position this summer(2017). I am a junior with no industry experience, so I am starting very late in the game. Thank you for the feedback, though! I can also just network like crazy and wait until full-time recruitment comes around?

Nov 13, 2017

Next summer will be the summer between your junior and senior year, right? If so, just start networking. The formula for IB SA offers tends to be finance experience+high GPA+networking. You're working on the first part of that equation, so get working on the next two.

Nov 13, 2017

Thank you for this!

Best Response
Nov 13, 2017

PWM? They sound bottom tier to me. Do they even have a house on campus? What type of frats do these internet losers join nowadays lol.

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Nov 13, 2017

Anyone with a serious response? lol

Nov 13, 2017

bump again

Nov 13, 2017

i heard they absolutely hate people that come from private wealth. especially for 1-2 years, thats a joke and won't teach you anything. do your life over again and come back.

Nov 13, 2017

I haven't gone down that path yet, and that's why I'm asking the question asshole, so I don't have to "do my life over". Thanks though.

Nov 13, 2017

just don't go down that path. that's all i'm trying to say. just don't do it.

Nov 13, 2017

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Nov 13, 2017