Q&A: MD in M&A and Capital Markets with Bulge Bracket and Boutique experience

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Q&A

Looking to help those from intern to senior navigate this crazy world of bespoke suits, captoe oxfords, and midtown uniforms.

Mentoring

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Comments (123)

Feb 17, 2020

Appreciate your perspectives on the promotion from D to MD. With continued pressure on total comp, it seems as though senior MDs aren't rolling off the workforce. Consequently, a significant log jam has formed of Ds, even if proven to be worthy of promotion.

Did one of your lateral moves involve getting the nod to MD? Also, at that time of your promotion, were you in a product or coverage group?

Feb 17, 2020

How should Incoming IBD analysts think about whether they should stay in IB and try to climb the ladder to MD vs go to private equity and rise the ladder there?

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Feb 18, 2020

Promotion came via a move to another bank. Was told I would move up at year end, but decided to test my market price - ended up with another offer. Almost got bidded back to stay, but once you commit to moving you GOT to move. Was in a product group at the time.

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Feb 18, 2020

Really is a question of what you want to do long-term. IBD analyst skillset will set you up to do many things in finance and corporate life. Hell, even outside the world of finance. But going to PE, you'll learn a different skillset which supplements and specializes your banking skills. If you want to move to PE, need to realistically start thinking about it at the senior analyst / junior associate level. Otherwise, the next big move in would be at the senior level. Of course these are generalizations (to combat the trolls who will cite one example of someone moving in at mid-level), but for the most part are true / the trend.

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Most Helpful
Feb 17, 2020

I'm sure everyone is going to ask great questions but I'm gonna go ahead and ask the one everybody wants to know, MD Compensation.

I'm also sure this will sound stupid and immature but I don't care. It's rare that the opportunity presents itself to get this type of information and this is an anonymous forum with an "Ask Me Anything" so I'm gonna go for it.

Here are some things I keep hearing/reading:
"Average MD comp at BB is 1.5mil, some in a good year make 5+mil."
"EB MDs make less on average compared to BB MDs but can make a ton as they get fee split"
"MDs who don't produce get let go quick"

Please feel free to answer any of the following questions:

  1. What is the median MD salary and bonus at each investment bank you worked at?
  2. How does MD compensation differ at BBs vs. EBs?
  3. How much revenue does an MD need to bring in and how does it tie to compensation?
  4. I imagine bankers with good track records can negotiate guarantees, what are some of the common negotiating points in these contracts?
  5. What is the ratio of Rainmaking King Pins to other MDs?
  6. As bankers move past VP and begin the revenue generating process, what quality in your opinion most separates the future rainmakers from the paper pushers?
  7. MDs don't stay around forever obviously, what reasons make up why MDs leave? Is getting fired #1? Other opportunities or retirement?
  8. If you were to mentor an upcoming analyst or associate and they had the option to choose BB or EB and they wanted to do banking long term, what would you recommend and why?

Obviously this is a lot but some people on this forum are genuinely looking to be in banking for the long haul and I imagine this information could be helpful as well as excite the never gonna make it intern hopefuls like myself.

Thank you

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Feb 18, 2020

Hey, like the direct questions. That's why we're here.
Some direct, real answers for you:

1.) What is the median MD salary and bonus at each investment bank you worked at?

Can't give a precise median or range as different people get different packages, especially if you lateral in. But in general, 350-400 base for all MDs (junior, mid-level, senior). Range of bonus 750 and up, depends on performance and seniority. Under 750 total comp, you're probably gone at a BB. Remember, most of the bonus is shares, so when you actually crystalize the shares that comp number might be lower or higher than the day you are told it.
Of course, exceptions for superstars, but don't include yourself in that.

2.) How does MD compensation differ at BBs vs. EBs?

Generally, probably more upside at EBs. Smaller pool of people. And if the EB is not public, all cash on the bonus. BUT likely to have clawbacks etc. They ain't stupid.

3.) How much revenue does an MD need to bring in and how does it tie to compensation?

Depends on group, city, product, BB, EB, MM etc. No hard and fast standard across banks. You got to see when you go in what they are looking for. Have had approaches saying must be 5m annually, others saying 750K!

4.) I imagine bankers with good track records can negotiate guarantees, what are some of the common negotiating points in these contracts?

Common misconception. Guarantees are not a given no matter how good or bad you are. Really the only real negotiating point is that they want you and you don't want them. They need to offer you something worthwhile to leave your current place for the risk.

5.) What is the ratio of Rainmaking King Pins to other MDs?

Like 1 or 2 rainmakers. Big myth that each bank has several. Most will fit into the decent bucket. And a small tail of bad/just getting by bucket.

6.) As bankers move past VP and begin the revenue generating process, what quality in your opinion most separates the future rainmakers from the paper pushers?

Those you are actually meeting clients. It's not about doing execution 24/7 anymore. No one cares that the bullets are aligned or the colors are matching as much! Going to meetings with senior bankers, speaking at those meetings with good points or knowledge and content. Paper pushers will be great at ensuring all the books are tabbed properly and delivered to the right address. Forever VPs.

7.) MDs don't stay around forever obviously, what reasons make up why MDs leave? Is getting fired #1? Other opportunities or retirement?

No clear #1 reason. But money is in the lead pack. Once you feel you have enough of that, then getting bored. Getting fired as well. These days the older MDs sticking around for every last squeeze of the lemon. Some will be told that it's time to leave and a gentlemen's exit will be figured out (you know those great leaving emails from the CEO about that MD leaving to pursue other interests.) Others will make that decision themselves (or forced by their families), but this is rare.

8.) If you were to mentor an upcoming analyst or associate and they had the option to choose BB or EB and they wanted to do banking long term, what would you recommend and why?

BB. Get the skills and exposure to a variety of deals and people. Deal/see the politics, sharp elbows, the assholes, the greats. BB will have all of that. Then start moving to smaller shops where you can be the big fish in the pond.
Obviously EBs can provide more hands on experience, but less deals roll in and you might end up on one deal for a long period of time.

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Feb 18, 2020

I've been told by by friends in the director level that MDs do in fact get guarantees when switching banks, specifically if recruited away and this is actually a main driver for switching. So when you say there are no guarantees do you mean just for employees that aren't switching - ie once in system no guarantee? Because if you're saying MDs that switch don't get guarantees that goes against what I've be told.

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Feb 20, 2020

As you said in your answer to Q2, at a boutique, there is greater upside (especially if you are on a "direct drive" model and you leverage your own relationships, while at the BB, you can rely more on the bank's platform/brand

In your opinion, which is the better choice for aspiring bankers/which did you see greater success in?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 17, 2020

Thank you for offering to help. As an intern with limited experience in banking, I would be grateful if you could kindly share your insights into a few topics.

First of all, how is your experience in M&A compared to capital markets? Which one do you enjoy a bit more?

Secondly, how can an intern really stand out and win return offer? It seems like everyone would be working hard and networking around.

Finally, do intern's school, GPA, previous experience, etc. still factor into the return offer decision making?

Thank you again.

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Feb 18, 2020

Both are worth doing over time. But don't start off doing cap markets as a junior. You won't learn much in terms of hard skills. You can get good at "reading the market" (whatever that is), aka bullshitting.
Corporate finance, you'll learn valuation, industries etc. Great to use for later. Also, you can move into cap markets and having a good corp fin foundation is useful.

Standing out is a combination of things. First, do the work and do it well. Ask questions and don't presume. But the one I tell every intern is mingle with the people you will be working with - the analysts and associates. Sure say hi to the Ds/MDs etc, but don't blow your load on them. They will be polite and say hi, but most don't remember your name when it comes down to decision day. Trust me. Guilty as charged.

ANLs/ASOs will be spending their entire life with you, so they must trust you and like you. Hang out with them. Go to drinks / events etc (don't drink? Then drink and spit it into an empty bottle and pretend it's a chaser!). But do whatever bs work they give you. When they are senior ANLs and ASOs, they will be giving you this type of work, they must trust that you can do it well. No better time to start when an intern.

School, GPA etc don't matter much if you've got the internship. At this point, pretty much everyone is on equal ground (unless you a princeling, but you wouldn't be hanging with them anyway). What counts here is whether they like you and can you do the work.

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  • Intern in S&T - Other
Feb 20, 2020

Hey - thanks so much for doing this, especially considering how busy you must be. I've heard quite often "don't start in capital markets as a junior", which you reiterate. As someone who is about to start in a DCM group, albeit at a top 4 BB, I wonder what your advice would be. would you suggest I try to lateral in I. after 2 years? or stick it out and go b school? would be great to hear your thoughts. thank you.

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Feb 17, 2020

Did you go to business school? Do you think business school is a worthwhile endeavor if you want to work in banking long-term? Is there any downside to getting an MBA other than the cost (i.e. tuition and foregone salary), such as missing out on 2 years of deal experience?

Asking as someone currently in banking, interested in banking long-term, but has the desire to go to business school.

Feb 18, 2020

Didn't go to b-school. If you are an ANL and can keep going and want to stay in banking LT, then my rec is skip it.
However, it is a good hedge if you decide later that you want to get out of the industry. Lots of good networking there.
Really depends on your tolerance.
Also, no point in going unless you go to a top, name brand one. Unless you really do want to learn...

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Feb 18, 2020

Would you be so kind as to elaborate on your definition of a "top brand MBA" as it relates to IB recruiting? Would be helpful to hear specific names and if these lists have evolved over the years. Also, do you think ethnicity and English accent plays a role in one's success as an investment banker? I am dead-serious, so please don't think I am trying to stir up controversy by asking you this.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Feb 21, 2020

I'm currently an Associate at a MM firm (think Blair, Baird, Houlihan, etc.) working on my MBA at night, it's rough but doable if you know how to manage your time. It's not a target or "name brand" school but a number of individuals from my undergrad class (b-school same as undergrad) went on to MM firms in the realm that I mentioned earlier and have subsequently gone on to PE or BB (Goldman, Citi, etc.) so we place decently in IB. I'm finishing up my program this year and will most likely make a move to PE. Even though I didn't go to a name brand school I'm curious how you think someone or even you might view the fact that I got my MBA while I was still working successfully as a banker and consistently ranked as a top performer at my firm.

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Feb 17, 2020

do you have any advice for junior- to mid-level bankers on how to hone the client skills necessary for bringing in new business? not just the presentation/negotiation tools used in a client meeting, but also those required to get the client in the room with you in the first place.

i appreciate that that is more of a D/MD level role, so less-senior team members may have less or little opportunity to develop and demonstrate these competencies.

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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Feb 18, 2020

Spend time talking to people. What does that mean? Not talking about cold-calling CEOs right now. But spend time speaking to your peers who have gone into corporates. They will rise in parallel with you as you go through the ranks. Have drinks, socialize, organize group dinners etc. Also, network like crazy. See a friend who has a friend who works in RE and you work in RE?
Asked to be introduced and have a topic to discuss with that person. You never know how these convos turn out.
Also, have thick skin. Majority of encounters will be worthless, but every time you meet or reach out to someone you are learning and picking up soft skills.

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Feb 18, 2020

excellent - i have already begun doing this. thanks for the advice.

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.

Feb 17, 2020

At what point did you realize you wanted to make banking a career long decision? I have this theory that no one ever sets out to become an MD from the onset, but that the remaining group represents a subset that was 1) successful across all the levels and 2) it financially made more sense than pursuing some other 'passion'

I ask because I tend to find if I talk to other Associates/VPs, rarely (if ever) do any of them say they are gunning for an MD role one day. Did you find this was true with your friends/colleagues or is this a younger generation thing?

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Feb 18, 2020

You are correct in that for me it wasn't a day one decision. It was an evolution. Also circumstances and lucky breaks. Was going to leave as a senior associate, but VP got fired and got promoted early, so kept going. Once hit D level, thought am pretty close and will go for it, but also open to listening to all new opportunities. Good to know what's outside this insular world.

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Feb 17, 2020

In your career, which group do you think was most resistant to a recession? Also, what does it take to become a MD? How difficult (or easy) was it for you to climb up the ladder?

Feb 18, 2020

Restructuring. Lots of companies get distressed and need help. That group was working their asses off in 2008/9.

Sorry to say no magic formula. It's a bit of luck, persistence, networking. The climb was easy up to D level. Then it got tough. More politics and marketing myself internally and externally. Had to wait a couple of years and deal with broken promises. Kept at it. Also looked at other banks to foster competition. But this only works if you're actually good!

Feb 17, 2020

What would you recommend for someone to do when they haven't gotten a job immediately after graduating. Not exclusive to IB but investments in general. How would you go upon networking and leveraging resources other than school careers.

Feb 18, 2020

Get on LinkedIn and start reaching out to friends working in those industries or have connections in those industries to get warm intros. Good starting point, but not the only thing to do. Cold intros are almost always a dead end. If you got time, then sure send some out, but hold your expectations low on returns.

Feb 18, 2020

What do you think is the most efficient way than?

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Feb 17, 2020

What are your thoughts on the future of IB?

Array

Feb 18, 2020

I don't want to be like the people sitting in their high castle, saying it's dead, don't waste your time, find something better etc. That's like the trader who made billions saying it's not a good life etc. Easy for you to say when you're sitting pretty.

It's definitely changed and you're probably not going to see the excess of the 80s again. But can you make some decent money? Yes. Can you learn a valuable hard and soft skill set? Yes. Will it be tough, boring, and down right painful at times? Yes, but depending on your personality, that's what makes it exciting. Will you meet interesting personalities (good and bad) / good contacts / build a network? Yes.

So I do think it's evolving. More of the back office functions will be automated. But the core relationship business will still exist. At least in my lifetime.

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Feb 18, 2020

Thank you

Array

Feb 17, 2020

Are you faithful to your wife?

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

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Feb 17, 2020

*Wives?

Feb 18, 2020

Hence proved, all MDs are secretly Muslamic

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Feb 18, 2020

A good banker exercises discretion verbally and in written responses. duh

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Feb 18, 2020

Do you have the power to hire anyone you want? Despite their skills and any barriers from fellow colleagues / HR?

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

Feb 18, 2020

Nope. A myth. You can push for candidates and HR / colleagues will listen, but there is no guarantee. You need to be sure how much political capital you want to use, if you do though.

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Feb 18, 2020

The mentor button is displaying terms with a reverse lehman engagement structure. Price per hour ascending as more time is spent, shouldn't that be the opposite?

Thx

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

Feb 18, 2020

Seems to be showing price/hr descending as # of hrs increases when I check.
A good analyst would have gotten that right...

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Feb 18, 2020

How were you able to avoid burnout in banking and make it a long-term career? What exits have you seen VP/D/MDs make into the corporate world (CorpDev, Strategy, etc.)?

Feb 18, 2020

Really taking your vacations, especially during the slower times of the year. August, late Dec. Got to put your foot down and go. Obviously easier to do the more senior you are and also how much goodwill you have internally. Also, spend time doing things you like whatever that may be...

Exits include Corp Dev a lot. Also IR. VP - Finance, CFO roles where the focus is on a strategy person instead of a beancounter. COOs roles as well. And this is for a variety of company sizes. Small to large-cap.

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Feb 18, 2020

What are your typical hours, and how have they changed as you've become more and more senior?

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Feb 18, 2020

7/8am to about 6/7pm. Solid 12 hrs Mon to Thurs. Fris can sneak in a little later and leave earlier or "work from home"...

Hours don't necessarily get significantly better as you become more senior, but you definitely aren't working to midnight / past midnight (unless big deal going on). The key benefit is you get more control on your time, so you can actually make dinner with your significant other or friends etc.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 18, 2020

How much traveling do you do? (days/month)

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Feb 18, 2020

For someone who's dream is to genuinely become an MD some day, what advice would you have for a current first year analyst at a BB trying to achieve that?

Feb 18, 2020

Don't think about it. Focus on what you're doing now. At most, focus on the level above you at ASO and trying to develop those skills first. No one likes the MD-analyst. I remember tons in my class when I was an ANL. Almost all got weeded out primarily due to personality.

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Feb 18, 2020

Who actually informs you that your gonna be a MD? Is it another MD or a partner of the firm, or someone else?

    • 1
Feb 18, 2020

Depends on the firm. GS used to have good ole Lloyd call you. Generally it's the head of your group. But sometimes, if you have a little birdie within HR or senior person, you might get a subtle text...

Feb 18, 2020

What was your first recession like leading up to it, while being in it, and after? How quickly did it recover?

Feb 18, 2020

Not too bad. Was a mid-level guy, so wasn't too worried about my job or life at that time. Generally, junior folks will survive, if you're good. But if you don't a bunch of you will be let go, so you won't feel too bad - misery loves company as they say.
In it was a great experience. Lots of distress work to do and being able to see unique deals, which you wouldn't see much of during good times. Great skill set to learn.
Started recovering in about 2yrs time... fully recovered in about 4. But didn't really notice. This is me just thinking about it now to answer your question.

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Feb 18, 2020

What advice would you give to a junior banker wanting to strengthen their people skills as this is a crucial skill for climbing up the ladder? More specifically, what can junior bankers do (during or after office) to truly imrpove their people skills ( think presenting, conversing, persuading etc.)

Thanks!

Feb 18, 2020

Start actually exercising those skills. Lots of people give the advice to present, talk etc, but lots of people don't do it citing lack of time, prep etc.
Start small. Present to your ASO (informally at the desk of course or they'll think you're weird) why the numbers are this or that, the sector update, the good acquisition targets.
Have a team meeting? Present a topic if the occasion arises.

Outside the office. Network like crazy. I posted a reply above how you can go about doing that.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 18, 2020

Can you walk us through your rise through the ranks? What made you stand out and what was the actual process like at each step? (Performance reviews, discussions, and the actual promotion to Associate -> VP -> D -> MD)

Feb 18, 2020

ANL to ASO was a straightforward process. Filled out a form saying why I wanted to be an ASO. Pretty standard, generic responses etc. Reviews obviously go into it. Also, speak to people you work with to ensure they are thinking the same and would support you.

ASO to VP got promoted early. Reviews of course. But what made it stand out was that I started to act like a VP when I was a mid-level ASO. Wasn't trying to be a know it all, but started seeing what my VP did and replicated the good and made the bad into good. Big thing was to anticipate what people wanted - analysis etc.

VP to D for me at least was pretty straight forward again. Reviews and filling out a form as to why I thought I am a D now. This required more thought and focus on client skills, not all execution like in the earlier promotions.

D to MD, all about clients. Who you know. Who you meet. etc. Feel this one had the most back-channeling involved. Need to be political and make sure in your D years you are speaking to other senior folk who will support you. Also, try and do work with them so they can see it in the wild.

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Feb 18, 2020

Thanks for doing this.

What is your view, as a hiring manager on analysts from no-name boutiques, and how would you advise to best position themselves when wanting to lateral to bigger banks?

Also, when do you think is the best time to try and lateral, and the best way to approach? I.e., resume drop, cold linkedin message/ email?

Feb 18, 2020

Focus on the deals and the skills you learned on those deals. Once you're in the work world, school etc have somewhat of an impact, but people really care about who can do the work well. If they haven't had the experience, are they smart enough to learn to do it. We all want to go home early. Would rather do that than have to stay late b/c some IVY kid was too busy perusing where in the Hamptons he wants to stay this summer.

Depends on level. At analyst level, resume drops and looking at boards (e.g., LinkedIn, company websites). If you have a warm intro to HR at a particular bank (check LinkedIn again), always better to use that. No hard and fast rule about best times, but generally usually in the new year when budgets are refreshed and ANLs play musical chairs.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 18, 2020

[delete comment]

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 18, 2020

Lol you all got baited so hard he ain't responding.

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Funniest
Feb 18, 2020

Chill man. Doing deals.

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Feb 18, 2020

How to get your bananas up in one post^^^

Feb 18, 2020

To piggyback on one of the above questions on MD comp: how do you determine the dollar value of revenue you bring in?

Almost every M&A deal I've worked on has had multiple MDs from different groups - especially larger deals in the $10bn+ zip code. So if you were one of say 3 key MDs on a $15 million fee deal, what do you book as revenue? $15 or $5?

Array

    • 1
Feb 18, 2020

Real answer - no hard and fast rule.
Some BBs will take the total rev and split it evenly among all those MDs attached to the deal. Like in your example.
Others will give each MD the same $ amt credit. So $15 each.
Smaller shops much easier to see who brought in what and credit is apportioned by contribution.
This is gray area at each bank, so need to get in first to see how they do it.

    • 1
Feb 19, 2020

Thanks, appreciate the answer and you taking the time to do this!

Array

Feb 18, 2020

Thanks for doing this!

How would you say the culture/work opportunities compare at Jefferies vs CS/GS? I know its a MM bank so different set of clients etc but for someone that's just starting out and looking to exit to PE/Corp Dev which groups would you recommend there? Would you also recommend trying to lateral to a BB/EB for FT/as 2nd year analyst?

Feb 19, 2020

CS solid. Good array of deals and good experience.

GS is GS. You see everything. Great deal flow and experience.

Jefferies. Mixed bag. This is where you have to hustle to get deals. They don't get handed to you. Best groups are probably healthcare, levfin, and energy.

Yes, if you can get to a BB/EB, then do so. But not the end of the world if you don't. But having said this, if you got good political capital and are top ranked at Jefco, could make sense to remain for a bit too.

Feb 18, 2020

Hey MD, thanks for all the advice, its great. Im currently a sophomore applying for a NY IB summer analyst position (2021) at xyz bank.
Imagine a CEO from a Latin American country at the xyz bank I am applying to, is referring/ pushing for me, do you think I have a high chance of getting in? Or is there nothing a CEO can do either? (since you said an MD can't guarantee hire anyone he wishes).

Thanks.

Array

Feb 19, 2020

Depends on how strong the LATAM divison is within that bank. Big pull = big power. Regardless, you should use him. How close are you to him? If close, perhaps ask for him to follow up with HR etc so that your resume doesn't get lost in the pile. He is still a senior banker and if he's really pushing (instead of saying he is, but internally all he does is forward your resume), then you have a good shot. But all he can do is get you an interview. After that, you're on your own to impress.

Feb 19, 2020

He is one of my dads close friends (my dad was s&t MD at BB for 15+years). He is 100% pushing for me. Already put me in contact (direct phone calls) with Directors and Associates within the team I am applying to.

But mainly, my question is this: If I land a superday, even if I don't do a "great" job during the interview, and he decides to call one of the MD's, does he have the power to get me in regardless?

Array

  • Director in IB - Gen
Feb 18, 2020

First year D here that has no interest in shooting for MD. I'd love to work for a sponsor-backed portfolio company, but find that it's tough to network with my "clients" and thus out that I'm looking to leave the industry. Any suggestions on how to navigate the job search? Any recruiters who you've seen place strong operating roles?

    • 1
Feb 19, 2020

If you're close to any of your clients and can trust them, then think about approaching them through personal email or a call to have a coffee to explore new opportunities. But you need to ensure you're close, not just you know them / it's superficial etc. They got to like you to want to help you. I did that when I explored other opportunities outside of banking in the past.

Otherwise, the next best thing is to check out those company websites and see if any roles are available. But at the senior levels, warm intros are best, so if you know a connect or a friend of a friend use that if you can.

Recruiters are a mixed bag. Remember they live by placing people. Most of the time they are worthless unless you're a direct fit. They are like monkeys with a checklist. If you're not a fit, they ignore you, so have thick skin when dealing with them. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but go in cautious.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 19, 2020

I ended up at a top Mid-Market Boutique (1st year analyst).
The pay and culture is sincerely top-tier, but I'm "worried" about the brand/mid-market stigma for exit ops etc.
I don't think I want to climb the M&A corporate ladder and I don't want to feel ""inferior"" to BB analysts.

What are your thoughts on career progression for me?

  • Prospect in Other
Feb 19, 2020

What are some top MM boutiques?

Feb 19, 2020

If it's true top tier, then not much to worry about. You just need to be good at marketing yourself and the work/ deals you've done if/when you decide to move. The other option is to just stay where you are if things are going well.

You need to stop feeling inferior or all this other bs versus BB analysts. It's skill set once you're in a bank. Ultimately as you progress in your career you won't care where you work that much as long as you get paid...

    • 1
Feb 19, 2020

Great thread! Thanks for doing this and giving these kids a dose of reality. Lot of hype on this site represented by people who think they know (but don't have the experience).

Overall summary from what I've read is, like any other industry, to move up to senior levels they're really looking for leaders with business / social acumen. Ultimately it comes down to being able to source deals. If you can't, you can't, and will never make MD (or stay MD).

The lower level functions/ technical skills are taught / acquired on the job and therefore replaceable. In fact, are replaced every yr as AN / ASO leave. Hence the recruiting pipeline.

At the end of the day, they need to know you. like you, trust you. Not really any different than achieving Partner at a professional services firm, senior exec in F500, etc. Soft skills become very important as you climb the ladder as no one wants to work with a jerk.

Cheers!

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Feb 19, 2020

Thanks! Yeah, lots of hype and just plan ole bs from people who read Monkey Business but never spent time in the trenches.

Your summary is correct and applicable not just to banking, but most careers.

Junior - get your technical skills down

Mid-Level - start sharpening your soft skills and maintain tech skills

Senior - shift to soft skills. Clients aren't going to hire you because you can color code a model well. They got to like you and trust you can give good advice. And you never get asked how to calculate WACC in an interview (and most seniors probably forgot anyway).

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 19, 2020

What do you look for when interviewing summer candidates?

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    • 1
Feb 19, 2020

Generally, good personality and ability/ sharpness to learn. It's already assumed that if you got an interview you're smart. One quick glance at the resume will confirm this.
Ain't gonna sit there asking you for your GPA and brain teasers.

But will ask you what's going on in the market? What deals / trends / companies excite you? Worry you? Thoughts on perhaps the main business news of the day/week.

And what do you do for fun? Need to know you're just not a robot.

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Feb 19, 2020

Thanks for doing this.

You mentioned that you spent a couple years in London. How does working in London as a senior banker compare to New York in terms of sourcing deals and meeting clients? Was there a general cultural difference in the workplace between the two cities?

Feb 19, 2020

Definitely an ole boys network in London in most industries. Tech probably more comparable to US, where younger management teams and just looking for bankers are smart and they like. London life revolved on drinking, less PC, and more relaxed. You worked hard, but also enjoyed your vacations. Not unheard of taking 2 week vacations in August with no one saying anything. Juniors could get away with one week easily. Over Xmas, pretty much everyone is gone, but available on email.

Feb 19, 2020

Thanks for the AMA. I left a boutique M&A shop--and banking in general--in early 2016 after almost a decade in the space. Completely clean exit just wanted to try something different. Went over to economic consulting at a notable--however notable consulting firms can really be--in New York. Basically we just do pre/post deal market analysis, and poke holes in internal & external analyses (e.g. banking pitchbooks or--sometimes--models). Team is mainly comprised of former bankers, CFA Charterholders, and some lifer consultants.

To my question, I'm looking to go back to sell-side (ideally M&A, but would go the DCM/ECM route as well). I've been going through my network and headhunters, but it seems they only focus on my current role and say it could be a non-starter. This theme is pretty consistant at bulge bracket to elite boutique shops. I see their point as they want a latteral hire (as I'd be shooting for VP-1 or 2. After being a VP for a bit before I left the industry), but not sure why the immediate cold-shoulder even though my experience, deal history, etc. all lines up to what they're looking for on paper.

In short, am I effectively 'screwed' from ever going back into industry?

Thanks for your time.

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Feb 19, 2020

Nope not screwed at all.

Odd that you're running into this push back. Is it from headhunters or your contacts? I can understand if from headhunters. Remember most of those recruiting at the VP level and below are usually very green and sometimes fresh out of college, and they are just work according to a job spec.

I would have thought your contacts could provide that extra color to banks about you. Since you've experienced the pushback from banks, perhaps explain to them so they an anticipate any pushback and have a response about why you are a good candidate.

Have you tried to highlight your consulting experience on your resume with banking terms? Sometimes it's about massaging the language and then creating a narrative about what you're currently doing and how that skillset is relevant to banking. Talk about how you sourced clients for the projects, went through models etc. Talk about consulting projects like deals.
Highlight your past deals again.

Bankers are simple minded people - you got to spoon feed the stuff they are familiar with. If they hear terms outside their comfort zone, most will just shy away and use the haggard excuse that it's not a fit.

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Feb 21, 2020

Thank you very much! Great advice.

Also, you hiring? Kidding, thanks again!

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 19, 2020

Could you speak to how junior bankers (especially post-mba associates) are determined to be top bucket / mid bucket / bottom bucket? What is the relationship between politics and ones relationship with certain seniors vs. geniunely good work, insofar as it determines your bonus / status?

Feb 19, 2020

Good work is important - a given.
But you can't get by just on that alone. If anything, maybe at the analyst level.

If you're a post-MBA ASO, they will start to think forward about whether you can be a good VP. So that means you got to start doing VP tasks. Emulate the good ones. If there are inefficiencies, try to remedy them yourself in what you do. Try to get on smaller deal teams where you get to work for a D or MD directly to demonstrate what you can do. Also, learn to anticipate next steps. 90% of the time, it's the same shit and procedure, so once you've done it once, you can anticipate it coming again. Set up preliminary structures or whatever and let people know you've already started the process during or after a meeting. Simply put - start acting the next level, but don't over do it.

Feb 19, 2020

What chance does an MD have to move up even higher? Do only the rainmakers get to move up further? What would the path from MD to the C suite look like? Assuming the MD stays in banking and does not go to a regular company.

Feb 19, 2020

This is hard to predict or say. Sure there is a chance whether you're good or bad. I think at that point a lot of it will depend on luck and politics. Got to pick the right pony to support. I've seen some real dumbasses follow the guy who was eventually appointed Head or CEO and he then gets a nice promotion. I've also seen great bankers follow the wrong guy and they end up being pushed out. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it especially at this level... (and I'm presuming you're not some stud rainmaker on these boards...)

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Feb 19, 2020

Thanks for doing this, it's greatly appreciated.

Another MM question. My daughter is doing an IB M&A internship at a MM bank in Chicago this summer. It's a smaller office (I think about 20 bankers) of a larger (though not BB) NY-based firm. Assuming her internship goes well and she gets FT offer... how hard do you think she should recruit to be in NY full time, as opposed to staying in Chicago office? Right now, she wants to go the PE route, but I'm concerned she might not get that many opportunities coming out of a Chicago firm. I'm also concerned that remaining in Chicago will prevent her from landing PE job in NY at all.

And finally, if she gets FT offer for MM bank, do you think she's better off trying for FT job at NY firm in ECM? Again, I'm just worried about networking, prestige, etc.

Thanks again!

Feb 20, 2020

In general, best to go the NYC route as you're almost always at HQ for a bank. It's optics really. People just assume you get better exposure to deals/people/experience. Debatable is that's true or not.

So if she does get a FT offer in Chicago, yes push for NYC. But not the end of the world if she remains in Chicago. Can still do PE, but likely easier friction to get an offer in Chicago.
Can still do PE in NYC, but will have the hurdle of not being physically present in NYC.

If PE is her goal, then would not recommend taking a FT offer in ECM. Tough to transition to PE from ECM skill set as not rigorous at junior level. She won't be doing valuations, building full operating models, etc. Any modeling will be quite basic and very equity focused. Better to do M&A in Chicago to develop that skill set.

    • 1
Feb 20, 2020

Thanks so much, greatly appreciated!

Feb 20, 2020

And a quick follow-up:

Let's say she does get FT offer for Chicago office. How risky do you think it would be for her to let Chicago MD know that she accepts the offer... but would prefer to work as FT analyst in their New York office and then ask for a recommendation there? Do you think that would poison her relationship with Chicago MD? And perhaps even prompt the Chicago MD to rescind her offer?

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 20, 2020

We see a lot of posts on here about compensation and honestly the vast majority seem too good to be true (i.e. Associate 1's getting ~$200K bonuses at a BB). Could you give us a realistic view on what mid-bucket BB coverage group bonuses look like for associates & VP's nowadays?

Feb 20, 2020

Can't pinpoint an exact number, but can give you rough ranges.

ASOs 1,2,3 total comp bet 250 and 400. ASO 0 will be lower, but they'll get a stub of 20/25K

VPs 1,2,3 total comp bet 450 and 650.

Obviously will have outliers above and below, but these bands pretty good range.

Feb 20, 2020

Hello! I had a couple questions which I hope you can answer since my situation is pirobably not as straight forward as the others;

  1. I would like to enter IB post MBA, however as an international candidate what would that look like in the states especially given the H1B issues. Do IB's consider international candidates especially those without direct finance experience?
  2. I also read int his thread that you spent some time in London, similar to my first questions I am not limiting myself to only the states and would be open to working in IB in London. However, in previous threads I have read that London has a very Analayst to Associate culture and doesn't actively recruit post MBA associates, have you found this to be true?
  3. This is perhaps not the most PC questions but generally when I look into IB I see that it is quite a caucasian culture, so my question is are there many brown lads or the few that are there how are they treated socially/culturally? I guess I am just worried that I may not fit in even though I grew up in the west.
  4. Lastly, as a post MBA IB candidate how can I set myself apart to stand the greatest chance of landing an offer at BB? Are there any excel/finance courses you would recommend?

Thanks in advance,

Feb 20, 2020

Hello and thanks for doing this!

What are your thoughts on the Consumer & Retail Group? What about Industrials?

I'll be joining JP morgan this summer as an intern and have to submit preferences in March.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 20, 2020

How does recruiting to the buy-side work for junior bankers?
- Do people reach out to the buy-side directly?
- Do they get contacted by headhunters?

I'd like to know if you have some intel on this!

Thanks for the post in general.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 20, 2020

Thank you for taking the time to do this and I appreciate and enjoy reading your answers to everyone's questions.

I would love to hear your thoughts about candidates with low GPAs (close to or around 3.0). I graduated from a target school almost 3 years ago and have work experience working at no name boutique banks. I hope to eventually move to a middle market bank. How much does GPA matter once you have experience?

Feb 20, 2020

I am very interested in understanding how senior bankers (or PE professionals for that matter) go about sourcing high quality deals.

After 15+ years, have you worked out any methodical approach on deal sourcing? Specifically, what channels/connections have worked well by feeding proprietary information that could yield potential deal flows? I can imagine it would involve developing tight relationships not just with potential clients, but also many other stakeholders. The approach might be different for tech/FIG, but how do you allocate your time to invest in these channels/connections with that in mind? What advice would you give to your VPs for a smooth transition from an execution banker to a deal sourcing role?

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  • Prospect in IB - Ind
Feb 20, 2020

Thanks for doing this! I had a couple of questions regarding your experience at Jeff, CS, and GS.

1) At a BB do you feel more pressured to chase the bigger deals whereas at Jeff you could chase your average mid-sized deal but also swing for the larger ones?

2) Is it easier to build political capital at a MM whereas at a BB you have much more competition? Can that translate to a better lifestyle and even better comp packages?

3) Do you believe that being an MD at a BB over an EB makes more sense just given the fact that you're a part of a full-service platform? Doesn't that make it easier to win clients and sustain relationships?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Feb 21, 2020

PM'd you

    • 3
Feb 21, 2020

At what levels did you switch between coverage, M&A, and capital markets? How did you make the moves? How did comp differ across the groups?

Feb 21, 2020

Thanks for doing this AMA and providing the depth/quality of answers you are while I'm sure also being quite busy.

I was hoping you could provide some perspective on how you accomplished the range of different advisory services/coverage areas that you have. I've been reading a book called "Range" by Epstein which argues for the benefits of being a professional with a broad skillset in an increasingly specialized world (or one which values deep specialization). Can you talk about how you were able to gather the experience you have across multiple product and coverage areas? Was this all achieved once you hit the D/MD level, or did you move while rising through the ranks?

As someone who enjoys banking, but also just wants to be "a banker" with a wide toolkit that can add value in a wide variety of situations vs. THE X/Y/Z guy, I'd appreciate any insights into how I can potentially set myself up for a career with variety without appearing indecisive/taking steps backward to learn something (which may be inevitable, but ideally not). To this point I've really focused on building a strong technical knowledge base to serve as a platform for my career to do anything/go anywhere, but am getting to a senior associate level where tactical advice on how to get broader exposure to different situations/types of deals would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Feb 22, 2020

Range is a great book. I'm in the middle of it too. I would also recommend Hannibal and Me by Andreas Kluth. He used to be a banker in London before leaving to write for The Economist. Explores the concepts of success and failure and he talks about his banking career in the context of the life of Hannibal Barca.

Feb 24, 2020

Seems interesting - thanks for the recommendation. A banker comparing his life to Hannibal?! Of course...how very "MBA". I do love the Hannibal story.

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  • Prospect in Other
Feb 21, 2020

Do you go there?

Feb 21, 2020

Hi,

Thank you very much for doing this, very interesting.

To which extent having a good brandname is important when looking at originating / moving to the senior ranks?

I am a mid-level in the top team of a T2/3 bank which has been very successful (lots of deal , great momentum, deals becoming larger and larger, decent work-life balance, etc.) but I am wondering if it is worth joining a BB / EB to become a D / MD.

  • Analyst 1 in ER
Feb 21, 2020

Hi,

Thanks so much for doing this.

What is your thought process on moving from ER to IB after 1-2 years in ER? Is this generally a possibility, and if so, what kind of framework would you lay out for someone that wants to pursue this change?

Feb 21, 2020
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