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Comments (94)

May 4, 2020 - 12:39pm

Are you guys mostly doing back end work for front office teams in Nyc?

How is the culture? Is it cut throat competitive or toxic?

What's the typical route? Both for analyst and associate?

I heard that in India it's very typical to do an MBA right after undergrad so if you go that route do you join as an associate directly?

May 5, 2020 - 2:28pm
  1. At the BB's? Definitely. But most of the manpower goes to operational support as opposed to front office & live deal support (Think FP&A reporting, market research, Payroll management etc). That being said, most large firms do have a very small M&A team, but from my contacts I hear they got no deal flow (either disinterest due to small ticket sizes, or the boutiques swipe em away). Goldman is the size king though. Does 2-3 deals a year, collectively larger than the entire league table (with the exception of other BB's)

2/3/4. Culture is definitely extremely competitive. Small market, hence very little FO positions. To just be an analyst, you need your MBA and grad from extremely competitive schools (schools with 99% cutoff in a country as big as India). So no, you cant join as an associate directly (or its extremely rare). My own path is probably the most unconventional, because I made analyst and even associate, without an MBA. More than cut throat its more common kissing your bosses ass. You make associate after the standard 3 years (Boutiques however have no rules).

IB is kinda sad in India all in all, but the buy side is a different story!

May 21, 2020 - 1:17pm

The most active foreign banks in India are MS (especially for tech/internet) and CS. Moelis has decent deal flow too. The rest (GS/JPM/UBS/Barclays etc) don't matter and might do a deal every now and then.

The reason is because most of the deals are PEs and VCs essentially private placements), and not M&A deals as India is still in the 'growth stage' where firms can grow organically and don't need necessarily need M&A to grow, unlike in the mature economies of the West. These financing deals require a different mindset and are smaller ticket size which many BBs don't want to do for aforementioned reasons.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 5, 2020 - 3:16pm

I have a couple of questions :

  • For the buyside, do people recruit on cycle or is it less strucuted ?

  • What is the comp structure ?

  • How often do people leave IB? Given the smaller market it seems as though they would be less turnover.

May 5, 2020 - 4:31pm
  1. Less structured. But like everywhere, offers/interviews are very hard to come by. Rarely know anyone who got approached by a headhunter. Im talking about decent firms off course. Small shops post jobs on LinkedIn all the time.

  2. Comparable to BB comps, at the lower levels. leaps and bounds above any boutique would ever pay

  3. All the time. Given the small market, the deals and consequentially, bonuses are sparse. People move to corp dev roles/ buy side roles at bigger firms. At Smaller firms, they just join the back office at the Big 4 accounting firms.

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
May 5, 2020 - 6:29pm

Not likely ever going to work in IBD in India but this is a very informative thread. Was always quite curious how IB works there. My dad and relatives live in Bangalore although I've personally never lived there.

May 21, 2020 - 12:38pm

Disagree. Apart from Mumbai, no other city in India is even remotely good for finance jobs - by which I mean IB/PE/VC/Funds, and not corporate finance. Bangalore has VC firms and a couple of investment banks (DCS Advisory being the top) but it's a definite distant second to Mumbai. Cities like Hyderabad just don't count. NCR has a few VC funds as well. But if you want to be someone in finance in India you need to be in Mumbai.

My credentials to comment: I went to one of the top 3 IIMs and worked for 3 years in FO at one of the top banks mentioned in the thread.

May 21, 2020 - 1:16pm

Hey man,
Appreciate the the time you're taking out.

So I am currently a UG interning at a boutique (FO).
Networked ALOTT for this.

Nowadays, have been networking to get into a BB post my UG, next year.
Have been actively networking with MDs/VPs at BBs. The role will be BO(support for NYC/LDN) or supporting the FO team in India.

In your opinion, what would be better the BO role at the BB or a FO role at boutique (considering I want to get into an M7 later and recruit for IB Assoc / Buy side depending upon long term plans).

At this stage I am pretty certain I'll get a good a boutique role, given the relationships I have built. Still working on the BB relationships though.

May 23, 2020 - 4:10pm

First of all, I'm curious, what school are you in?

Coming to your question, well both have their pros and cons.
FO Boutique won't exactly give you the skills (training program? wtf is that?), but you'll definitely be at the forefront and kinda learn on the job. Accompanying the MD to big boy meetings is a guarantee (BB, Big Law counterparts)

BO roles in India don't really go far in Internation BB IB hiring, but the name will still be on your resume so I guess that's something.

Id go with FO Boutique. (You can always learn the technicals on your own)

Also, how exactly are you going to find work after your M7 MBA (I'm assuming you want to work in the US)? Good luck with that H1B fam. I was in the same situation, had to turn down a 60% scholarship MBA (semi-target) in NYC cos jobs and then the H1B are impossible to come by in 11 months (Unless you do a STEM MBA, then the story is different). So I got into a target in Canada, 2021 intake. I know, it sucks.

If I was you Id apply to Ox-Bridge, LBS, LSE, and try to get hired in London. They extended their post-study work visa to 2 years. pretty reasonable. (Unfortunately for me this happened when all MBA schools were at round 4 & 5 of admissions)

May 23, 2020 - 9:08pm

Appreciate the advice. Thanks.

So, I am from a Mid Tier Delhi Uni College (SGTB/GGS/KMC).

I had been weighing in the Canada option for long now. And the UK part too. Ox-Bridge/LBS was plausible for me. I also read about the 2 year rule and how all internationals, will now be on the same level playing field. So that's a plus.

Again, I am yet to calculate the pros and cons, of all the options. But, what I am certain about is that I'd be recruiting for IB/PE post my MBA, and thus would need relevant experience right now, to have a chance then.

Really appreciate the thread. Needed this.
May I PM you?

Aug 9, 2020 - 3:06pm

I Have Been Fighting This Battle In My Head If I Shall Go To Canada Or Us For Ib. Pls Pls Share Everything You Can On This. Will Be Of Great Help. Also, All Caps Some Issue With This Comment Box Can't Type properly

May 21, 2020 - 7:08pm

If I do my undergrad in the US, then go back to recruit in India, how does that look? For context, I'm an Indian citizen growing up in the US without green card because of the lengthy system. If I don't get any offers here or if something goes wrong with H1-B, I'll be looking for IB jobs in India. How is a US undergrad degree perceived by Indian firms?

May 22, 2020 - 2:40pm

this is an incredible thread, have been looking for one since forever. I'm currently an undergrad in Uk, although based in India. It's very easy to break into IBD and consulting in Uk straight after bachelors. However, as far as I've heard most of the big companies don't consider anyone without a MBA, wondering if this is true.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - DCM
May 24, 2020 - 11:50am

Does anyone know how exactly the IB structure works? Ie BBs Vs EBs vs Boutique vs Big 4. heard fees are tight and banks do left led deals for just the position on the tombstone. find that hard to believe but sounds like too many cooks for a small pie.
lastly, how strong are PE firms in India? In US, PE firms are huge and banks are usually bending over backwards to win deals. Heard PE hasn't developed too much in India cause businesses are still family owned. trying to understand the landscape there.

May 30, 2020 - 2:46pm

Fees for EB's are pretty decent. (Saw a few 5% term sheets). Not sure how that compares worldwide but yea, your pie analogy is quite apt.

In India, the large PE cats are there but they're not really involved in the developing sectors. Other mid to small level PE's are usually filling in the role of large VC's in the west. The hot sector has definitely been online education for a while now.

May 31, 2020 - 7:55am

India is an over-banked market. Too many banks chasing too few deals driving down the fees and increasing the stress levels for senior bankers.

Interestingly, PE in India is also an "over-invested" market. As you mentioned most of the companies are founder/family driven (or "promoter driven" in Indian parlance) and most of them have huge corporate governance issues. Therefore there are not too many 'investible' companies in India which drives the multiples up for the few that are. Hence a PE fund needs to overpay to win deals.

Exits in India are also not that great - the M&A eco-system in underdeveloped coupled with the fact that because of the above, the asking price is far too high. Therefore you can exit mainly through IPOs in bull-runs, which obviously don't happen on a consistent basis.

Hence Indian PE as an asset class hasn't performed too well, apart from a few firms that stand out and are able to raise new funds consistently.

May 31, 2020 - 9:36am

Just one more thing to add - PE in India, even the larger deals, are mostly growth equity deals given that the economy is still in a growth stage and far from maturity. US style classic LBOs are not allowed in India due to certain regulations (can't use debt to buy out equity). Buyouts do happen, but generally the fund puts up all the money and it's not "leveraged" typically.

Jun 9, 2020 - 6:34am

I am working in a small boutique in India working mostly on small growth capital raise or small M&A deals.
I am really confused between WSO Elite and BIWS Premium to enhance my modelling skills. Do you guys have any suggestions? Or would any India based course help.

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 24, 2020 - 12:40pm

I really appreciate the fact that you are taking out the time to help people out. But honestly, most of what you have shared here is factually inaccurate. I don't mean to demean you in anyway, but please stick to advising people on boutiques and not comment on things like BB recruiting and salaries because it doesn't seem like you know what you're talking about. Saying stuff like Oxbridge or NUS grads get great opportunities in India because their degrees are relatively valued higher is absolute shit. The only foreign University grads who are truly given priority in India come from top tier US universities. The folks who can afford such expensive education generally have better connections with senior bankers and that's why you see the occasionally NUS/Oxford grad pop up here and there.

Boutiques in India are also varied in nature. There are quite a few decent ones in Bombay and 1 or 2 in Delhi, and they generally focus on hiring CAs. The ones who go beyond hiring from SRCC/NMIMS/Christ are generally absolute shit and aren't worth looking at. Besides this, I have idea how could you even compare Bombay and Bangalore for finance (?????). I can't think of a single non-vc firm that even has a front office in Bangalore besides the super tiny GS team (like 5 odd people).

GS is nowhere near the top of the table in India and barely wins any business here. They also don't do the biggest deals or anything of that sort. The do a cross border m&a deals once in a while and it's generally sourced from their international offices.

US salaries are nowhere near 5x of what they are at Indian banks. The higher up you climb in the quality of banks, less is the difference. Banks such as Citi and MS pay about 60 lakhs on average to first year analyst. Besides that, I noticed you said going from Indian m&a to US MF PE is possible. This is partially true. There are a few MBAs from M5 schools who definitely get in, but all those jobs are in growth equity. Indian m&a, even at MS and Citi, don't really train you for LBOs since they aren't legal in India. PE firms such as KKR generally have to focus on Controlled buy outs in India. Because of this, no banker with m&a experience in India has been able to break into MF PE for LBOs atleast for the past 5 years even from M5 schools.

The ass kissing part to get promoted is only valid for BO jobs/ jobs at shit banks. Having received a full time offer from a top tier boutique in India, that's really not the case at places like Avendus, Citi, MS, JPM, Kotak, Moelis, and Axis to say least.

It's definitely okay to have a difference in opinion, but please get your basic facts checked before misguiding folks on the internet. Best of luck.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 24, 2020 - 12:53pm

1000000 % agree with this guy.

The OP doesn't know shit lol.

A few other guys on the thread like @irspb know their shit.

Don't blindly follow anything OP said.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 4, 2020 - 1:44am

Bumping this - How is Morgan Stanley India viewed? Do they run lean? and are analysts generalist or work on specific sectors?

Oct 2, 2020 - 2:24pm

Couple of questions:

- Is an IIM ABC / FMS / XLRI credential an absolute requirment for a Top-tier M&A role (with eventual plan to move in to Buy Side)?

- How often do undergrads make A2A shift? (Stick around or go for an MBA?)

Background: Bachelor's from top tier undergrad B-School (think: SSCBS/NMIMS/Christ); IB Internship at FO Botique (no offer due to headcount issue & preference given to MBAs)

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