Superstar Bankers - How to Make MD before 30?

Older article here, but I've seen many similar examples of rising superstar bankers. For those in the VP / Director / MD stage, what does it take to make MD early on? What political positioning / business development / other things that must be done?

There's been some great material on WSO about superstar analysts / associates. Obviously its much harder to identify steps at the higher levels, but I think many would welcome big picture advice for their careers.

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Comments (34)

May 9, 2018 - 12:09pm

This is exactly right. I have seen several guys move up the ladder to VP and even Director fairly quickly, but making that final jump to MD takes some significant deal experience, and not just being on deals, but leading deals. The guys who tend to make it the fastest, following the the path from Associate - VP - Director - MD tend to be the ones who took the initiative to start leading certain parts of the deal process while still Associates and earned the trust of their MD early on. They slowly take more and more off of their Director's and MD's plates and get comfortable working through all aspects of deals and pitches.

May 11, 2018 - 5:17pm

Has there been ex-CEOs or very well-connected networkers that make a career move into IB as an MD? I can easily imagine a c-suite exec or a well known SVP doing well as an MD if they have contacts in the industry inside and out

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May 11, 2018 - 5:19pm

1. Bring in an IBD client that pays out 100s of millions of dollars in fees
2. Be on the other side of a trade that sinks an entire bank and make a couple billion off of it.

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May 11, 2018 - 5:20pm

Be in a bank were middle and senior management get canned / be a trader who rocks

"After you work on Wall Street it’s a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side.” - David Tepper
May 11, 2018 - 5:23pm

x.:

make MD before 30 if you graduate from Harvard undergrad, Harvard MBA, work at GS then choose to transfer to a lesser bank

Your chances of making MD at GS before 30 are higher than some small bank unless it is contractually stated. Small banks have lower turn over thus slower advancement the title MD is useless if you don't have the responsibility it comes with.

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  • 1
May 11, 2018 - 5:41pm

x.:

make MD before 30 if you graduate from Harvard undergrad, Harvard MBA, work at GS then choose to transfer to a lesser bank

going to a top school increases the chances of getting in, but once u join a bank, what matters from then one is your performance and not your alma mater

May 11, 2018 - 5:28pm

Not waste time on WSO

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May 11, 2018 - 5:40pm

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