S&T is shit - IB is king


Few years ago I had to choose between S&T and Banking. I picked Banking: thanks god. S&T has no future, wtf is happening there? Every year many people in S&T are being fired, and banks don't hire as much as before. S&T was good before 2008, now it sucks. Trading algorithms are replacing traders a bit more every year (even if most traders won't admit it). Traders are going to disappear, if you want to make money in S&T you have to be the genius coding the algorithm: good luck.

Comments (39)

Sep 15, 2020 - 10:28am

Lmao. It seems like daily a new thread comes up of someone bashing S&T. S&T people don't even think about IB.


Are you that unhappy with your job? Can't imagine how working 100 hour weeks formatting logos would make you unhappy. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 15, 2020 - 11:44am

Dude - I feel a lot of frustration in your comment. In IB you align logos for 3 years. Then you're an associate and you do more. Then you become a VP and it is even more interesting. However, in S&T, you do exactly the same thing during your entire career (from day 1 to retirement, only the exposure/risks change a bit). It must be so boring, so boring.

Most Helpful
Sep 15, 2020 - 10:34am

a bifurcation has developed within S&T....yes, there are the algos and the quants who build them....then you have the other people...


-sales is still a human relationship building business that won't be automated

-manual trading for large size trades that are too big for an algo to handle


These are the superstars in S&T, where the big money is made....but only a small % of people are capable of doing these roles well...hence, "superstar"


IB is good for the average person...you don't need to be a rockstar alpha to do well in IB.

You MUST be a rockstar alpha to do well in S&T


However, if you are a rockstar, the S&T is the better place to be...better pay...better hours...better quality of life


if you are mediocre, then yes, goto IB.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:04pm

former equity sales guy turned IB analyst. I feel like i got the last helicopter out of Vietnam. Anyone who says it isn't that bad hasn't seen the bloodbath unfolding since 2015. The pandemic and associated volatility saved a lot of desks this year from utter calamity, but that only sets up harder comps to lap next year. If you're thinking anywhere outside the very top BB's - GS / MS / JPM, stay very very far away.

  • Prospect in S&T - Other
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:07pm

How was the transition? Are you still at the same bank? And also was the product you were selling liquid cash or a complex one? Thanks for this!

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:37pm

Yes since 2008 for sure, but the wheels really came off after 2015 from what I saw. Just my experience, but:

2015 was the last year before buyside clients began implementing Mifid II compliant policies for unbundling trading and research commission. The old world was that buyside hedge funds and long-onlys paid sellside brokers with their client's money - you're a PM at Wellington and business was booming and you didn't care how much you paid your buddy at Morgan Stanley because it wasn't your money, and by the way if you pay him what he wants, he'll take you to the Super Bowl and golfing at Pebble Beach. Enter Mifid II - Now suddenly the Wellington's of the world were having to tell their investor clients exactly how much of their money they were spending on sellside research - millions of dollars, all the while they were underperforming passive ETFs. It's a hard sell telling CALPERS you should manage their money and also they should give you millions of dollars to spend on sellside research - if you're so smart Mr. Wellington PM, why do you need to pay so much for a sellside guy's opinion? Can't you pick the best stocks on your own? It's a catch 22, and the smaller research shops have no leverage - what are you going to do, not let Wellington read your research? They still pay you $5mm per year, they're your 3rd biggest client - but they used to pay you $10mm per year. And now every one of your clients is doing the same thing.


Then on the trading side, cash commission spreads have come down significantly as electronic trading has made trading much cheaper and more efficient. In both cases, less money in the door for sellside brokers. 

Sep 15, 2020 - 3:28pm

I mean I really wish I did S&T tbh. My friends in it love their job (they're in like FX, FI, and commodities) and make basically what I do +/-$10k. Plus they go home at like 5/6pm and they can actually relax and not have to constantly worry about being on call. I know the industry is shrinking a bit but if you're good at it, it is a good career imo

Sep 15, 2020 - 4:33pm

I wanna move from m&a at a bb to s&t.  IB sucks.  Deal processes suck.  

Am I a complete idiot for considering? What desks would be best?  


Just want to get yucky with the boys and work hard play hard during trading hours (not till 2am like in IB).

Sep 15, 2020 - 5:47pm

I have a good number of friends and they would gladly switch with you. I think the biggest question is how valuable is optionality and work life balance

You get paid pretty well ( 110k An1 135k-170k An2, As0 base starts off 125k for my bb)

Hours are 6am to 6pm give or take +/- hour early or later depending on the product and usually no weekends

if you want to stay in markets that’s great .... room to grow inside the firm to MD and exits to hedge funds (maybe) , IR and start ups

For some of my friends they want the optionality to move over to PE or stay in banking but do it from a tier 2 city where their dollar goes a lot farther than NY, Chicago or London

If you don’t like those cities good luck finding a markets a seat somewhere else. Also, remember if headcount is slowly decreasing that means when your flame out as a sales person or blow up your book as a trader there are only so many seats open at another bank that houses that particular product. Just because you get fired from trading rates at one BB doesn’t mean you can automatically jump ship to another BB

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 15, 2020 - 8:29pm

"S&T people get fired everyday"

Ah, I had no idea that banking analysts never get laid off!

Oh wait, you guys hate your jobs so much that you leave before you stay long enough to even get laid off LMAO

Sep 16, 2020 - 11:16am

The best MD's in Banking think like Traders.  The best MD's in Trading think like bankers.

Namaste. D.O.U.G.
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