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Comments (27)

Jul 11, 2019 - 2:27am

Would say that given the accelerated 2 yr promotion schedule from A2A, and what is a pretty standard 3-3.5 year track Associate length, that this is definitely not unrealistic. You might not hit VP at the bank you're climbing at as a junior, but you would land VP somewhere.

Graduating college @ 22/23, that's VP around 28/29 which looks right to me

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Jul 11, 2019 - 7:23am

Based simply on math - if you are A2A and not a VP by 30 then something went wrong.

Bigger questions around the daily grind, skill level, client facing abilities, etc.

VP promotion isn't typically a level people get weeded out at - that typically happens at director level. It's more about taking the pain and punishment over 5-6 years until you're up for promotion.

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Jul 11, 2019 - 8:47am

Yeah, agreed with the comments above - achieving VP by 30y/o shouldn't be that much of an ask.

The impressive people are the ones that make MD by 30y/o. Eric Mindich is possibly the most renowned alumnus of this class: worked at GS in his summers while at high school and college, graduated with a degree in Economics from Harvard, joined GS as a full-time employee in 1988, became the firm's youngest ever partner at 27y/o in 1994...

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde
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Jul 11, 2019 - 5:56pm

Yeah, agree that it used to be a lot more common / less structured, but I have seen it happen in recent times. Knew a rates trades at a BB who was an MD, and he was 29y/o. Guess it's one of the few advantaged S&T has over IBD: if you're excellent, it's easier to move up the scale (mainly because you can begin to generate meaningful revenue at an earlier stage).

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde
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Jul 11, 2019 - 11:23am

We're talking about IBD though, where making MD in IBD before 30 is almost unheard of at any legitimate shop given the structured/linear nature of the business

In the Securities division, accelerated promotions based on merit and ability are much more common - i.e. Eric Mindich. Ashok Varadhan, the current head of GS Securities Division also made Partner MD before 30

To answer OP's question - every A2A will make VP before 30 if they are good

Jul 11, 2019 - 6:01pm

Agreed, a good question would be is director by 30 possible? I would think that most people hit director around 33-35.

I've only seen one guy at my firm who is a 2-3rd year director and is around 32/33. Think he graduated from HYP law and came in as a VP after 2-3 years of working M&A law (partner brought him in) and then after 3 years hit director by the age of 30(ish)

Jul 16, 2019 - 12:09pm

It's absolutely possible to become a VP by 30 from what i've seen. I'm at a boutique for my internship so it might be different than an EB or BB, but both VPs i'm working under and another one who just moved over to the PE side just before my stint started are all under 30. They all started at BBs or EBs then moved into the boutique as VPs, so that may have had an effect. I believe they all went A2A at their first banks then moved into a VP promotion

Jul 17, 2019 - 12:20pm

To echo some of the other comments here, I literally can't conceive of a scenario where you wouldn't be a VP by the time you're 30. They don't even fire people below VP unless your bank sucks. You literally just have to exist and not have a mental breakdown and quit to make VP by 30.

Jul 17, 2019 - 2:05pm

Ok so humor me. Analyst at 21. 3 years to Associate places you at 24. 3 Years to VP places you at 27. No "drive" involved.

Even with some sort of unexplained wiggle room built in here, anybody who hasn't quit is a VP by 30. It's not like they're forcing people to be 4th year Analysts and Associates. Even the bump from VP to Director is built-in. It's Director and beyond where you actually get screened based on your ability at most banks.

Someone is going to have to explain to me how this is even a question.

Jul 17, 2019 - 2:43pm

You're assuming a steady economy and no layoffs in this scenario.

No promotion is guaranteed by simply "being around" as last man standing or existing as a mouth-breather.

I know somebody who was the only 3rd-year associate and staffer at a bank. He didn't get the VP promote even after his entire associate class (or most) had left for other banks & opportunities.

Jul 17, 2019 - 3:25pm

When I was a banker (pre-crisis), no analyst in my class who had the intellectual horsepower or curiosity to stay in finance stayed for a 3rd year in the instances where they got one. I'm sure this outcome will vary based on where we are in the business cycle. I hear that analysts are getting hit up by recruiters earlier and earlier now so simply assuming that those who actually have the intellectual drive to apply what they learned in school (take risk and invest) will actually do so.

Jul 17, 2019 - 4:48pm
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