Wells Fargo Financial Analyst Program- Commerical Banking

Lufty's picture
Rank: Monkey | 54

Hello WSO,

I wanted to give back a little bit by talking about the recruiting process I went through and the interview questions I answered.

First Round

I got an interview via OCR. Spoke with one associate level person in the tech banking group. Questions were mainly behavioral. Asked about group work mostly. On the technical side of things she asked about what I would consider when lending to a company. (Free cash flow, strength of financials, strength of business, management team etc). Afterwards I asked what she thought about increasing cash burn rates in many tech companies as well as speaking to her about the economy and the Fed.

Second round

super day at their local headquarters. 4x 30 minute interviews with people from a variety of lending backgrounds. Non technicals included "why commercial banking" "why Wells Fargo" and a bunch more relating to group work, both my role in groups and stories from difficult groups. Technicals included what criteria would you consider when deciding to underwrite a building, if you are a CFO and had to raise capital what would you do/consider and strangely what would a increase in the price of oil mean for Disney's profits? ( I mentioned people choosing to skip movies, not traveling to theme parks, increased freight costs across the board, and possibly plastic merchandise being more expensive) There were also some basic questions about the 3 statements, EBITDA, and free cash flow.

Recruiter got back to me 5 business days later with an offer, pay and benefits felt pretty good

I would also like to hear from other monkeys about commercial banking as a career. I've used the search function and it seems like WSO has a pretty mixed opinion on lending. I'll be talking to people with experience in the field over the next few days and will update the thread with what I hear. As of right now my questions are:

1) What is life like at the associate level ( or relationship manager) in terms of work/pay/hours?
2) Do people move around inside the bank to other divisions from these analyst training programs? Is it an uphill battle?
3) How is the MBA placement/ do they help pay for it?
4) Outside of commercial/ corporate lending what sort of roles do people end up in?

If anyone as any insight on these questions or if people have questions of their own please speak up.

Comments (12)

Oct 28, 2014

Great post. I am interviewing with them next month and this definitely helped me out. I haven't decided on a group specifically, so I don't know how industry specific my questions will be. That being said, I think this is due to the fact that I am applying to the summer FAP, which is an intership for Juniors. A few weeks ago I made a post asking some semi-similar questions, and I got some good responses. I will be following this thread closely as I am very interested in WF as well. Once again, great post.

Oct 29, 2014

You probably won't "pick" a group until the last round and at that point the group interested in you will be the one doing the interviews. You're better off expressing a strong preference for geography and group (Commercial/RE/CorpBanking) early and often. People move around geographically all the time but rarely outside of their sector.

PM for specific questions that are not exit-opps related.

Oct 29, 2014

You should be able to find a decent amount on commercial banking pay, hours, etc from other threads on this site.

As far as paying for an MBA, Wells doesn't do this on the commercial banking side. If you are a full time employee, they will provide tuition reimbursement up to $5k / year.

After the FAP program, you should have good options to move around the bank. Typically, you would move from FAP to a 6 month credit training program in San Francisco; after which, you would post for jobs throughout the bank.

Exit opps depend on the relationships you develop within the bank as well as externally with clients, etc. Typical path within the bank would be to an RM role. Externally, I've seen people move to Finance positions at client companies, positions at local, smaller private equity firms and family offices, and similar roles.

Oct 29, 2014

To follow up, "Commercial banking career" and "Commercial Banking - salary progression" are threads on WSO that I found very informative.

Nov 4, 2014

Following up, I spoke with some current employees and they all corroborate what Banker 21 has said. Also worth mentioning that hours stay pretty constant as your rise up. After the credit training program you can move around the bank into other divisions assuming you are a top performer and have connections, nothing terribly unusual there. If anyone has questions feel free to PM me and if possible ill give you a more specific answer.

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Nov 5, 2014

Was this for the Commercial Real Estate Group at WF?

Nov 5, 2014

Commercial banking is quite extremely different from i-banking and consulting. It's more like maintaining checkings/savings accounts for companies and people - doesn't really entail doing the same type of analyses or using the same types of skills as bankings/consultants.

    • 4
Nov 5, 2014

Commercial banking is quite extremely different from i-banking and consulting. It's more like maintaining checkings/savings accounts for companies and people - doesn't really entail doing the same type of analyses or using the same types of skills as bankings/consultants.

What you described is not commerical/corporate banking. I think you are confusing commercial/corporate banking with *retail" banking.

Commercial/corporate banking is all about analyzing the credit worthiness (risk) of companies in order to determine what kind of loan structure and rate is best for their financing needs. In general, commerical banks work with smaller firms while corporate banks work with larger firms. The latter tend to do a lot of syndiate loans, which are fairly complex.

Don't discount this career path. Credit training programs that you get in commerical/corporate banks will provide you with a very good understanding of how to read finanical statements and spread financials.

Nov 5, 2014

Hrm. Thanks for the feedback. I'm just trying to find some kind of internship that will give me some experience that I can market for full time recruiting during the fall. Ack. I guess Corporate/Commercial banking isn't too related. I'll keep doing research.

Nov 5, 2014