What about the Average Joe?

I'm currently in my first year of ibanking and in my limited free time I often think about--as I'm sure many other do--getting a top bucket bonus, going on to an elite buyside firm, then to HSW, partner at a PE firm, yada yada yada. Now while if everyone on this forum could make partner at KKR by 30, everything would be fine and dandy. But the reality is that that's just not in the cards for everyone (or barely anyone, really), and while it was difficult to get to where I am now, the difficulty of actually fulfilling that path is 50x harder.

My question is how does the average guy/girl fare in this industry coming from 2-3 years of banking? Let's fast forward 15 years after they finish their analyst stint. What are some good-not-great positions for a 35-40 year old in this industry? CFO at a small, private company? VP at a PE firm?

Appreciate any insight from those who have gone down similar paths or personally know some who have.

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Comments (7)

Dec 14, 2014 - 2:54pm

Yes, you're right. Because of the pyramid structure, you figure that there will be perhaps 1 or 2 md's/partners per every 10-15 analysts that are starting out. Despite this, I think that a plausible route for a 35 year old in industry could be VP/Director level within Investment banking, VP at PE (still pretty tough, but having a vp gig at a MM PE firm is a very attractive job for the long run), and then finally senior mgmt (vp at F100; CFO at midsized company; corp dev/strat management).

As someone who's going to be in your shoes in 6 months, I personally think that its much more likely that the optimal route of GS/MS/JPM--> KKR/--> HBS--> Upper level PE is a ridiculously difficult path, and one that very few people, even within banking, can attain over a lifetime. I personally see myself doing corp dev back at the place i interned at a few years ago after banking, so I guess the best path is really up to you and your preferences.

There's a closer meaning to my user name. Try reading it quickly. Perhaps you will then understand ;P
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Dec 14, 2014 - 2:57pm

There are tons of firms, smaller banks, etc that people go to if they stay in finance. People usually start a family which involves leaving nyc. Maybe you go into F500. Maybe you start your own business. Depends. Plenty of money to be made at plenty of different firms.

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Dec 20, 2014 - 5:53pm

One person I've witnessed.

MD at BB--> laid off and unemployed for 2 years--> CFO of dogshit company--> MD at boutique PE shop.

I find it pretty ironic how being successful as an analyst and being successful as an MD really have nothing to do with one another. Being a good excel monkey does not really in any way correlate to your ability to source deals.

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