Transition from Corporate Finance into Investment Banking

Viable's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 25

Hello Monkeys, this is my first time posting on this forum, however, I have been lurking for quite some time! I am almost 3 years out of college and have been working in a Treasury group for a Fortune 500 Healthcare company - I have, up until recently, been working in the Capital Markets/Foreign Exchange back office team.

As with many Healthcare firms, there is a lot of M&A activity and my present role is very much involved in a multi-billion dollar deal. I have had the chance to participate in many of the activities required on the back-end to prepare the company for the transaction. In addition to those activities, I have had the chance to sit in on meetings with our banking partners. Long story short, I would like to see myself on the opposite side of the table.

I have researched and browsed many different forums related to banking and am fully aware and prepared for the lifestyle differences. Likewise, I also realize that I am fighting an uphill battle given my background (it is a battle that I very much want to win).

Steps I have taken so far: Completed WSP Accounting/Financial Modeling Courses, networked with internal Business Development, working through IB Rosenbaum & Pearl book, and trying to leverage my network for opportunities.

At the end of the day, I realize that a forum like this may have people from all walks of life. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions for someone like me who is trying to make that transition?

I have also included my resume for people to tear apart in the event you are interested!

TL&DR: Corporate Finance (Treasury) --> IB. Best ways to transition? Thoughts? Experience? Here is my resume!

AttachmentSize
PDF icon John_Doe_Resume.pdf283.07 KB

Comments (63)

Dec 31, 1969

Take the job and keep looking.

Dec 31, 1969

You'll really have to network hard, and I could be wrong here, but I imagine most part time programs don't allow students to participate in FT on campus recruiting. For banking this means it'll be incredibly tough to get an internship as OCR is critical to getting invited to the following events. PE is much more off campus network driven so you might have less road blocks there, but PE is much more difficult to crack into than banking, especially since you weren't an investment banking analyst.

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Dec 31, 1969

It's very hard to make the switch doing a PT MBA. Most places hire from their Summer Associate pool, but you won't be taking part in that. You might want to ask this on the IB forum - I think you're going to get pretty much the same response.

Dec 31, 1969

From what I know, very doable with a full time MBA. Does your school allow you to access OCR's? That would absolutely help. PE/VC seems to be quite a reach, but I know people from PT top 15~ish MBAs go into IB/Consulting from a engineering/finance background.

Dec 31, 1969

MBA

Dec 31, 1969

I'm not sure that this move really happens, as they are two distinct paths.

I've been in Corp fin just over 5 years now, I have seen people leave to almost every job imaginable except IB.

If IB is your goal I'd try something other than Corp Fin, but if CF is your only option I'd try to get into Corp Development (internal M&A). You'll likely still need an MBA.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Dec 31, 1969

Not as difficult as working in CF full time.

Dec 31, 1969

MBA to rebrand then start as an IB associate.

Dec 31, 1969
GoIllini:

MBA to rebrand then start as an IB associate.

why?! ib blows

Dec 31, 1969
Whiskey5:
GoIllini:

MBA to rebrand then start as an IB associate.

why?! ib blows

Well he sure as shit isn't going to make the jump to PE from corp fin without learning how to actually model and understand transactions.

Dec 31, 1969
Whiskey5:
GoIllini:

MBA to rebrand then start as an IB associate.

why?! ib blows

Did you even bother reading his question? It's not the path I took, it's just an example of a possible route to take. I have zero interest in IB personally.

Dec 31, 1969

Corp Dev to M&A/product groups, Treasury (potentially) to DCM or Lev Fin. MBA would help, but isn't entirely necessary if you play your cards right. Also, definitely depends on what f500 company it is.

Dec 31, 1969

Doing the exact same thing right now. Although not coming from insurance. The way I see it is you have nothing to loose because you already have a job. Just remember to keep applying. Good luck!

Dec 31, 1969

Doing the exact same thing right now. Although not coming from insurance. The way I see it is you have nothing to loose because you already have a job. Just remember to keep applying. Good luck!

Dec 31, 1969

Paul,

The problem is that I currently DON'T have a job (henced the full-time hunt). For the immediate short-term, I am open to anything to again start having a paycheck, but I do intend to continue searching for an IB role.

Dec 31, 1969

It's a tough time for people in investment banking to get investment banking jobs, so it is particularly challenging for career changers.

Thus, you are right that formal hiring and recruitment channels probably aren't the right way in and that you will have to depend on networking. I suggest reaching out to alumni in the industry and be relatively aggressive about it. Use your alumni directory and LinkedIn to identify contacts and e-mail them for phone chats and informational meetings.

I have no idea whether this sort of move is possible, but if it is, be prepared for a very, very long and trying wait. A year and up. You'll just need to continue networking until you land an interview.

Dec 31, 1969

Depending on what your corp fin role was, either play up your FP&A involvement or your industry involvement.

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Dec 31, 1969

It's a tough switch, because even if it's not true, people will assume you didn't get a return offer from your IB internship, and couldn't secure a FT offer elsewhere so you went to corp. fin.

Dec 31, 1969

it's hard to spin corporate finance into IB because they are so different. As Nefarious mentioned, you're best off focusing on FP&A/other highly analytical roles.

  • BeenPrepping
  •  Dec 31, 1969

Im still a Junior so I'm trying to gun for IB FT

Dec 31, 1969

you wanted to try ibanking, you wanted to try corporate strategy you liked Ibanking more...? if these are all internships its not hard to convince a recruiter of really anything and I don't think many will care

Dec 31, 1969

C'mon bro, use the search function.

You went to a target school and you have a relevant background, you should be able to get interviews. If I were you (obviously I don't anything about you) I would go back for an MBA and then try to go straight to a HF or something. You have a good technical background.

Good luck.

Dec 31, 1969

If Tarzan want IBD, he need work on grammar.

YES, it's possible.

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Dec 31, 1969
UFOinsider:

If Tarzan want IBD, he need work on grammar.

YES, it's possible.

How should I approach this? What is the best way to make the switch?

Thanks.

Dec 31, 1969

First, do a search, this topic is covered multiple times here. The biggest thing is NETWORKING, and you also need to do a really good job. I know several guys that networked over from corpfin to IBD, and they both
* met people, constantly
* were REALLY good at their job

Dec 31, 1969
UFOinsider:

First, do a search, this topic is covered multiple times here. The biggest thing is NETWORKING, and you also need to do a really good job. I know several guys that networked over from corpfin to IBD, and they both
* met people, constantly
* were REALLY good at their job

But how do I bring up to them that I want to switch? And what should I type in the search engine to find topics related to this?

Thank you.

Dec 31, 1969

Same situation - corporate finance in a bank trying to switch to IBD. Interested in this as well

Dec 31, 1969

Everyone that I know who made the jump switched firms.....

Dec 31, 1969

Depends.... Wake Forest doesn't have a large presence in IBD from what I've seen. I've seen guys come over from similar programs like the microsoft one where you do internal audit/treasury and stuff.

But yea you would probobly come in as a first year at a bulge, but could get some respect at a lower name shop like a Thomas Weisel, they made a retail banker a 2nd year.

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Dec 31, 1969
jackrabbit82:

Graduated from Wake Forest in 04 with a degree in Analytical Finance, but went to GE's FMP (rotational corporate finance) program, instead. Focused on financial planning and analysis and commercial finance (top-line growth/analysis) for 4 different business units over 2 years, and later spent 6 months on a divestiture and corporate restructuring in one of the industrial businesses...moved over to NBC for 5 months for restructuring, then back to help close a divestiture...and somehow in the process, got SOLD with the deal. Don't really see a future in the NewCo and want to transfer the strong operational finance background over to IB/PE...but where do I fit in? I don't really want to go in as a 1st year, but understand why I'd not be considered for 3rd year...or am I discounting the corp finance background too much? Thoughts? BB an option, or suffice for MM until B-school...The GE resume should be enough to overshadow joining a MM for the experience, just not ready for B school yet.

There have been cases of top F500 Corpfin --> banking. GE's FMP is the gold standard as far as those programs go- you may be able to network your way in. In all likelihood you'd be a first year analyst. There is no reason to start you anywhere else since you have no banking experience. That being said, it won't be easy.....start reaching out to alums.

Dec 31, 1969

No - you should quit immediately. This will be just plain awful on your resume. Ding City, here you come.

But actually, this will look very good. Try to get exposure to accounting where you can, and be proactive about finding other tasks that will translate to banking - modeling, power point, research, etc. If your firm is running any acquisitions, do whatever you can to get on those teams.

Dec 31, 1969

Sandhurst thank you for your advice very much appreciated!!

Dec 31, 1969

Congrats on getting an internship in CF as a sophomore. You should be absolutely fine when it comes to Junior year recruiting. Keep on networking and learn as much as you can in your internship. Ask around if someone can put in you in contact for a brief informational interview with someone from Corp Dev. It may make some good talking points in an ib interview.

Dec 31, 1969

STorIB thank you, I will ask around to set up an informational interview. I am also going to apply to some trading firms will corp fin still be relevant?

Dec 31, 1969

I landed a PWM my sophomore year, an F500 my junior summer, then landed the IB FT position. It is a very plausible route, but you must stay consistently proactive with taking on new projects with more responsibility and ABN! (always be networking)

Best of luck!

Dec 31, 1969
THE PsYcHoLoGy:

I landed a PWM my sophomore year, an F500 my junior summer, then landed the IB FT position. It is a very plausible route, but you must stay consistently proactive with taking on new projects with more responsibility and ABN! (always be networking)

Best of luck!

This is good to know. Specifically what F500 company? PM if you want.

Here to learn and hopefully pass on some knowledge as well. SB if I helped.

Dec 31, 1969

Thank you everyone for you help. Congrats on you ft offer the psychology

Dec 31, 1969

If your in a city that has a thriving investment banking scene, I would suggest trying to intern at a small boutique sometime throughout your junior year, preferably fall. That way in the winter, you might be able to leverage that into a offer at a bigger/better firm.

Just a suggestion, but I think corp fin at f500 is great for your soph summer.

Dec 31, 1969

I want to thank everyone for their help. I was wondering, how could possibly spin this summer internship into a S&T for next summer also?

Dec 31, 1969

How can you leverage a degree in meteorology for a job in commodities?

Also, what is meteorological consulting?

I'm asking because I'm genuinely curious. This is new to me!

Best of luck,
+Hammy

Dec 31, 1969

Hammy,

There are a wide variety of commodities impacted by weather and there has been considerable improvement in the skill of long range numerical models, particularly in forecasting general atmospheric circulations and large scale features. Most meteorologists, particularly those forecasting for trading clients, use a variety of tools and analysis; statistical/climatological data, dynamic numerical models, and of course, pure experience and intuition :-)

Take wheat for example, May wheat climbed over 20 cents after the severe cold snap across much of the interior U.S. in early April. The effects of the hard freeze as well as drought conditions in Australia continue to drive wheat higher. The USDA's crop progress report on Monday said 56% of the winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, down sharply from 71% the week before the freeze. May wheat is up about 60 cents from where it was in early April.

Grains as a whole should feel a squeeze this summer, with the developing La Nina episode in the equatorial Pacific (widespread cooling of the waters which impacts large scale circulation patterns across North America). La Nina tends to result in a dryer summer for the central U.S. La Nina also has a high correlation with above average hurricane activity in the Atlantic, which, depending upon the track and severity of any storms, can impact a host of commodities, particularly the energy markets, but also other commodities...orange juice, steel, lumber, etc.

As for meteorological consulting, I provide specific tropical forecasts to a client in the Caribbean who is concerned with the threat of a landfalling tropical cyclone and uses the information to decide whether they need to execute a fairly extensive evacuation plan they have in place in the event of a landfall threat.

Dec 31, 1969
theHam1:

How can you leverage a degree in meteorology for a job in commodities?

Best of luck,
+Hammy

hmm...
"Leverage" one of the most abused jargon by finance types

Dec 31, 1969

commodities traders and firms use advanced weather forecasts when it comes to trading a lot of the different products. For example, a meteoroligist would give an oil trader his view on potential hurricanes or extreme weather that could damage infrastructure slow the flow of oil. It also applies to a lot of different commodities other than oil. corn, wheat, etc. I am sure skipper could add a lot more to this, but these are some of the basics.

Dec 31, 1969

It's possible, but not probable. I have gotten boutique interviews with almost no networking. I'm currently trying to move into ER but I'm certain with the right amount of alumni networking I could. But I also have an alumni network that has a good amount of people in IB. Some of it will depend on your UG background.

Dec 31, 1969

Where are you located at? I am in the same situation corp fin for FT200. I used InMails from linkedin and its helped me network. Only problem is there are no openings where I am geographically = cant leverage network yet. Informational coffees seem to work best.

Dec 31, 1969

I am located in Dallas Texas. How have you been using Linked In to network? Are you cold messaging people in the industry?

Dec 31, 1969

Cold emails for informational interviews. If they respond, I will get atleast a phone chat.

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Dec 31, 1969
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