Thoughts on CPPIB vs Traditional IBD (Canada)

Hi all,

I was wondering about how CPPIB stacks up against the globals in Toronto (Lazard, Evercore, BAML, Citi etc) in terms of comp, lifestyle, and exit opportunities.

I am personally leaning towards CPP because the work seems more interesting, and I really enjoyed the people I have met at the firm. The analyst program at CPP allows for 3 rotations across their active equities, principal credit investment, private equity, and real asset divisions. My concern is that I would be making a mistake not pursuing the traditional banking experience when trying to pursue exits down the road. I have also been warned that most buy-side shops look down on pension investors, so I will be limiting myself.

I was hoping that some Canadian monkeys would have be able to provide some insight on the firm and advice on what factors I should be considering


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Comments (4)

Sep 30, 2018 - 8:33am

CPP: lower comp, better to much better lifestyle, potentially more interesting work, very difficult exit opps (at least if we are talking buy-side finance). CPP is one of the top world's top 3 LP so practically every fund you would want to work for either already has CPP as a LP or is trying to get CPP to invest and very few funds are going to want to risk that relationship over an associate. Know a few kids who went through the rotational analyst program and they all had issues getting funds to talk to them, even though they were all really strong.

Personally, I would bit the bullet and do banking for 2 years. Although it's probably not going to be as interesting and you'll work harder (but you'll get paid more), I think it will bring long-lasting benefits and allow you to recruit for buy-side unencumbered by relationships.

Oct 1, 2018 - 3:30pm

The CPPIB analyst program has always been a mixed bag and the experience has always been group dependent. I'd argue the switch to the rotational program diluted the experience a bit, because instead of spending 1-2 years in a "strong" group, you're rotating through weaker or less relevant groups. For example, having 2 years of principal credit or direct PE experience is a lot more relevant to traditional PE funds than doing 0.5 years of direct PE, 0.5 years of funds/secondaries, 0.5 years of infra/RE etc.

Exit opps from CPPIB have always been challenging, but it is possible to exit if you are a strong analyst with good deal experience. Notable exits over the past few years include one guy going to Tiger Global Management in NY and another going to Apollo Global Management in NY.

The exit opps from the stronger global banks in Toronto have always been (and will always be) better than CPPIB. The analyst programs at GS, MS, BAML, CS etc (i wouldn't throw LAZ, EVR, or Citi in the same bucket) in Toronto will give you access to top MFs and MM funds in the US. Look at the recent track record of some of the BB toronto offices - TPG, H&F, Silver Lake, Warburg Pincus, Onex, Carlyle, Oaktree etc.

Oct 1, 2018 - 8:27pm

Removed from BB investment banking scene in Toronto / Canada in general... Seems like the exit opps for select BBs you mentioned are quite strong. But I would have thought they'd get less deal experience vs. the large Canadian banks given lower deal flow or dependency on less common big elephant cross border deals. Curious how they're getting attention from the recruiters (maybe I'm mistaken on the above?)

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