Q&A: From LevFin Analyst to Tennis Pro

About

I previously spent 4 years with J.P. Morgan. The last two years were spent as a Leveraged Finance analyst in the Investment Bank, working primarily on LBOs and Acquisition Financing for the General Industries team (Healthcare, Consumer Staples, Industrials, Auto, and more sectors).

Graduated with a BA in Finance and a minor in Computer Science. Played Division 1 tennis all 4 years and co-captain senior year.

Ask me anything about my background or current occupation.

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WSO Podcast

In this episode, Maxwell Peara, former leverage finance analyst at JP Morgan talks about how he broke into JP Morgan initially as a credit analyst coming out of Fordham. How he managed to transition to the front office in leveraged finance and why he left to pursue his dream of playing tennis professionally.

Comments (48)

Jan 15, 2020

What kind of compensation range and hours per week can a tennis pro expect?

How have you adjusted to the sudden drop in income?

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Jan 18, 2020

Hours is an easier question to answer. Pre-injury, my training schedule was 4-6 hours on the court 6x a week and 2-3 hours in the gym (weights, stretching, prehab, etc) on certain days so roughly 40 hours a week of active work (exc. travel, film, stringing racquets). Changes when its tournament schedule or when injured, which is my current status unfortunately

As for money, it depends on what your ranking is. Most pro tennis players (like golfers) are paid with prize money or sponsorship deals. For people just starting the journey both of those options are poor. Prize money is minimal with low rank tournaments paying out below a $750-1,000 for the winner. Also, keep in mind you have to travel for most tournaments so unless you win every tournament, you're going to be losing money every time. Getting a sponsor is more challenging as you need a good pro ranking to show proof of quality (very good college / junior career will help). From other tennis buddies, I've heard that most don't breakeven over a year until they reach about 300ish in the world.

Lol I've got 4 or 5 part-time jobs and always looking for alternative ways of getting paid more on the side (challenge has been flexibility of work around tennis) and budgeting like crazy to preserve my war chest, but simply said it bloody sucks

Jan 15, 2020

Exit ops?

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Jan 18, 2020

Ideally none as tennis would be my future career, but I do have years in banking to fall back on if need be. My directors as i left all were supportive and said they'd be happy to have me back

Jan 18, 2020

Beast

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Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 15, 2020

I looked up this guy's dad. He went to Chicago booth for his mba. Must have made some serious dough for him to finance his son's dreams which politely are ambition-life at best. I mean seriously your goal is go to top 300 in 3 years...is that ambitious enough? He's already planning his exit when he says oh I'll reassess after a few years...second, this confidence seems dumbfounded....you've already played tennis at a competitive level in college and before and in your own words weren't the champion material...I don't know why you think that suddenly now you'll become one. Take a break man and do some serious thinking - you seem to be thinking with your penis

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  • Senior VP in HF - Other
Jan 15, 2020

How much time did you waste listening to this podcast / doing diligence...salty much

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 15, 2020

I did waste some time, but I posted some unique insights for wso. You seem like a natural hater

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  • Analyst 2 in PE - Other
Jan 15, 2020

Edit cause I was wrong

Jan 15, 2020

he was able to lateral internally from credit (MO) to levfin (FO)... so no, not adding to any fire.

Jan 18, 2020

Soooo i get everything your saying, but how in the world am i thinking with my dick.

I'm literally making negative money and training in Florida (aka the senior capital of the world). I've severely reduced both my chances to find anyone and my means of doing anything with them if i met them. Being honest here, my dick probably hates my decision.

Also, looking up my dad really lol

Jan 19, 2020

Max. I don't want to be a hater but deep down you too know that you are not a top 50 type player and your chances of breaking into that category are minimal to none. Your injuries will keep on getting in the way and no tennis / squash player peaks in their late 20s (you're already 26!) The fact that you're still persisting with your tennis career is unfathomable to me. I honestly suggest that you stick with this tennis path for now, and apply for a top mba in a year's time. Good luck to you!

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Jan 15, 2020

How well did your friends/colleagues place in credit/PE funds?

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2020

Why don't you add him on LinkedIn and find this out yourself

Jan 17, 2020

You guys add these guys on LinkedIn randomly and they accept?

But who's to say what's fair to say and what not to say? Let's ask Dr. Dre
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Jan 31, 2020

Pretty much my whole year class, plus the year above and below, left to credit / distressed funds. I believe only a few went the private equity route. I don't remember all the shops, but I believe these were a few that people went to: KKR, Silver Point, Golden Gate Capital, and Park Square Capital

Funniest
Jan 15, 2020

congrats on the career change. i guess you're now spending less time dealing with other dude's balls these days. commendable.

hope that helps.

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Investment Banking Full-time Analyst Programme (London) at JPMorgan Chase. After a thorough review of your application, we regret to inform you that we are unable to move forward with your candidacy at this time.

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Jan 15, 2020

haha

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2020

Max - I don't think this forum has any questions. I suggest you continue working on your game.

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Jan 16, 2020

Let me give some insights on the tennis world. For reference, I grew up in Europe, got a full ride to play college tennis D1 and was ranked top 100 in the country D1 out of 3,000+ players. My sibling was top 30 in the country in singles and top 5 in doubles, played in the ACC. Actually real tennis players.

This guy went to IMG for high school, about $60k a year all in (thanks mom and dad). Went to a very weak tennis program which is embarrassing coming from IMG and spending probably a quarter million alone between tuition and traveling for his high school years alone.

Don't understand why WSO would promote this guy, he's clearly burning his parent's cash to travel around the world, and fuck around playing amateur level tournaments.

Plot twist in 3 years >>> Instagram full of pics from traveling around the globe, calling daddy to find him a job back on Wall Street, annoying every single co-workers lying about having been a professional tennis players when in fact he was just dicking around.

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2020

He said he was homeschooled. Where did you get img from?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 16, 2020

Google his name, he definitely went to IMG.

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  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Jan 16, 2020

bravo

Jan 18, 2020

For the record, went to IMG for 1 year and left (wasn't worth it). Didn't go to college for tennis, but for academics. Our tennis conference was terrible haha I'll be the first to admit it. Never said I was this amazing tennis player. I am a solid player. My parents aren't funding me, I am with my savings from banking.

Also, dead serious, good for you and your brother for playing at that level that's awesome, but instead of hating with assumptions and misinformation, ask questions first.

Now that you've got more info, please feel free to hate more.

Jan 28, 2020

Have already come across a few folks on WS that have lied about their sports history/ability, there are many real athletes on WS to be sure

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2020

Yeah this guy definitely didn't mention he went to a top boarding school for tennis in this video. This is clear misrepresentation and I think we should sue him (LOL). Anyhow, i think the verdict is pretty clear on this. Thanks to Max though for letting WSO and by association its users know he is quitting finance. I thin that's the only takeaway
@WallStreetOasis.com if you host folks like this, then people may stop taking this new ama service seriously

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2020

Max it'll be tough for you to get any love on this thread. Wso is a nasty place. People are bashing this user @BillAckmanOfficial on the other thread for being homeless LOL

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2020

Tagged the wrong @Bill Ackman

Jan 16, 2020

Calm your tits anon. Nobody's bashing me for coming from the gutter. Man went through something that you and your dad together couldn't go through. Calm your titties

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die

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Jan 18, 2020

Lol you don't say

Jan 16, 2020

Is he guilty of being born in a privileged position? I think he doesn't deserve the hate.

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Jan 16, 2020

Congrats on the career change Max. Truly inspiring.

add your name to the list:
https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/jonny-kim-i...

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Jan 16, 2020

Yeah, that's true, but people is bashing him like if he has done something terrible. I mean I get that ppl doesn't like how he sells his story but I think that we are going too far.. we are acting like if he is guilty of smt terrible, whereas he is only living the life that his privileged position allows him to live.

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Jan 16, 2020

Some of you guys are so salty... He did wso a favor by coming on the pod and sharing his story. Just because he has the balls to put himself out there and not hide behind an anonymous message board doesn't mean you should rip on him. I really enjoyed my conversation with him and his transition from MO to FO was actually really insightful.

I learned a lot, not sure why a few users are harping on his background.

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Jan 16, 2020

.

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2020

If the kid can't handle the heat on a forum. How can he handle the pressure of a pro game

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Jan 17, 2020

Where did he respond to you? I don't see any responses.

Jan 16, 2020

.

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Jan 17, 2020

How did you transition into tennis? Didi you play in college?
NVM,found the answer on your mentor profile.

But who's to say what's fair to say and what not to say? Let's ask Dr. Dre
Jan 17, 2020

JPM being a very broad organization,
1) how open are they to movement between departments for high-performing employees (e.g. you have some relevant experience and wish to pivot to a different area within the bank), and
2) is it a positive environment that is generally supportive of employees?

Jan 31, 2020

1) From my own experience and those of my friends, JPM was supportive or, more specifically, my specific team was. With that being said, I think it really comes down to the culture of the team you're leaving from as well as the firms internal policy. As an example, I know that JPM has been separating its credit risk department further and further from the investment bank so if i attempted that same transition today even if my team was supportive it would be a lot tougher of a move. Additionally, right before I left credit risk someone else from my team left to the same job at LevFin that I would eventually join. After that my team wasn't very supportive of people transitioning anymore.

2) Again, this is really a question of individual team cultures rather than JPM as a whole. My credit risk team was a lot worse than my LevFin team when it came to supporting employees.

Hope that helps

Feb 4, 2020

Thanks, great information! Appreciated.

Jan 20, 2020
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