Stuck in Corporate Banking - Fighting Complacency

B2Banker's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,157

Monkeys - WSO has always been good to me and I've done my best to give back via useful advice. Hoping to call on you all once again for some much needed advice.

Background:

Junior credit VP at a large regional bank, ~4 years industry experience + 2yrs non-finance experience, ~125k all-in comp, t20 private, 3.9 gpa, good work-life balance 45h on average.

In a nutshell, I feel stuck and vastly underutilized in my current role in which I have been for the last 18 months. My job primarily entails underwriting & structuring bank loans to large corporate clients. Bulk of the job is financial statement & cap structure analysis, financial modeling (operating model & cash flow), and credit memo writing in support of the transaction. Most interesting parts of the job are pitching new credit structures / facilities to clients at the lower end of the risk spectrum but given I'm not at a bulge bracket, we are either not winning mandates or deal won't fit within our risk appetite.

I've been at this job & company for 18 months, previously have done the same thing at a BB and also another regional bank. Bulge bracket was fun as we were leading lots of deals and financing large corporate M&A. Had to give that job up and move back home to help care for a sick family member. Took the other job while in transition and left in a year due to things not working out from a fit perspective. Now married and settled down in same city, which is a secondary finance market. No kids.

Having done this type of work for last 4+ years and also quality/sophistication of work was higher at the BB level (as well as more lead deals), I can do the current job with my eyes closed and learning curve have completely flattened out. Right now all banks are focused on cost cutting so career opportunities are limited with very few new positions being created (especially in my market).

The pros are, outside of IB/consulting, I am my compensation compared to peers is above average, if typically takes longer to break this range in this line of work. Although clients are large corporates, I do not roll up into corporate & investment banking as compared to my BB so comp is lower.

Interests:

Strategic finance, cap structure, capital markets, acquisitions, and other analytical finance roles. Right now goals are still broad, basically want to work with smart motivated people and keep developing. Mid term goal of making finance manager or continue down the corporate banking path but in a more challenging group.

Challenges:

Industry facing headwinds relative to hiring and comp, prefer to stay in current market as we own a house here and wife is happy, might be open to move but not to NYC, worked at 3 different firms in past 4.5 years (some may call that job hopping but I had a clear & well thought out reason for each move), jobs outside of banking might require a pay cut at this stage - I'm not sure if I can come in at Manager level for a corporate client with current experience as it takes much longer to hit Manager at the client side, and SFA comp is wastly below my all-in.

Would appreciate any advice you guys have as now is not a good place to be stuck and any industry suggestions as I am very open to doing something new after having done the same role these past years. I wouldn't sign up for pure IBD but would be very interested in syndications or capital markets given genuine interest, better lifestyle vs other groups, and better comp. Only issue is there is only 1-2 firms with such groups in my city and hiring is down.

I considered an MBA but the only way for it to make ROI work is to land into a better paying job, which is primarily IBD. I feel that I shouldn't need an MBA to transition to syndications or DCM given my experience is very relevant. Also considering some extracurricular development activities to keep learning (I.e. CFA, non-MBA masters online from a school like UNC/Georgetown).