Structuring or management consulting


I've got an associate offer from a 2nd tier IB (RBS/bnpp/SocGen) in structuring in london and an analyst offer from a top consultancy (say McKinsey) in the asian emerging market country. The first position pays obviously more and seems to be more interesting, but I still can't figure out what exit opportunities it may have, and how being from a bad no-name bank may hurt my career in the long run.

What would be better to choose? What do u think about this dilemma?

Comments (8)

Aug 29, 2010

As far as i know in terms of structuring french banks are known to be some of the best, esp in equity derivs

Aug 29, 2010

I'd go with structuring personally since I don't have much interest in consultancy. For what product though? Lots of good info on structuring here:

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

Oct 2, 2010

From what I hear most structuring positions at these places are on exotic deriv S&T desks for equity, fixed income, commodities, or cross-asset.

i'm gonna bump this post cos i'm in a similar situation myself except that the consulting offer at mck is associate level which erases the (current) pay differential. both positions are NYC office.

Would love to hear any opinions and thanks much in advance!

Oct 3, 2010

In addition to the link that Jorge posted:

The product you're structuring definitely plays a big role - not all structuring desks are the same. If you're doing structured notes, the work environment is very different from more flow-based structuring (e.g. exotic/structured/customized derivatives). I've had experience on both types of structuring desks. If you want something more fast-paced, then definitely go for a flow-based structuring desk. If you're more biased towards working on projects that have extended timelines (relatively speaking, of course), then go for the structured notes desk.

On the structured notes desk, people usually finished between 7:00 to 8:00 PM everyday and were usually the last ones off the floor (with the exception of maybe DCM). The process of developing and issuing a structured note usually spans a week or two, depending on the complexity of the product you're trying to structure. Whereas on the flow-based structuring desk, people usually left anywhere between 4:00 to 5:00 PM (i.e. "typical" trading hours). This type of structuring desk more resembles your typical flow and agency trading desks.

Please keep the above in mind when you're making the decision between structuring and consulting. Best of luck in whichever road you choose! I'm sure a million people would kill to be in your shoes right now with multiple offers.

Oct 4, 2010

Hi JCI, other than the hours, what is the difference between the structured notes and flow-based structuring desk? Why the difference in pace and hours?

Thanks in advance!

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Oct 4, 2010

Hi JCI, other than the hours, what is the difference between the structured notes and flow-based structuring desk? Why the difference in pace and hours?

Thanks in advance!

Structured notes are often tailored for retail investors/channels. As a result, developing and issuing them is a much more tedious task, which causes a structured notes desk to be more project-oriented. A structured notes desk is similar to a DCM Desk, in the sense they both issue bonds. But a structured notes desk issues bonds, whose coupons are variable and can be based on anything (e.g. single-stock equities, indices, currencies, etc.).

A flow-based structuring desk can basically be characterized in the same bucket as any other exotic agency/flow desk, except a flow-based structuring desk deals with very complex derivative trades. Think of the more exotic option structures/strategies (e.g. Variable Rate Forwards, Knock-Out Forwards, KIKOs, Conditional Forwards, Range Bonus Accruals, Fade-In Forwards, Accumulating Forwards, etc.).

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Oct 4, 2010

Are you kidding? BNP and SocGen are no-name banks in structuring?

I am not sure which planet you live on, but you clearly have a lot of research to do to begin with.

Oct 6, 2010