What banker careers really look like: schools and promotion rates
Hi guys. Answering your questions on career path to start with; also giving some initial generalities about what undergrad schools I'm seeing. The full cut of undergrad/b-school and exit opps data is on the way. Reminder: this is longitudinal career data from a sample set of several hundred bankers inat all levels.
First, just eyeballing it, here are the surprises in terms of undergrad schools:
Yale and Princeton each place more analysts than Harvard. And where the fuck is Stanford? I see almost no Stanford undergrads. Maybe they don't know thatexists... or maybe are a turnoff when they've got so much VC around the corner.
Near the head of the pack are Penn/Wharton (no surprise), NYU (small surprise) and Georgetown (slightly odd, but not a huge surprise)
Michigan, Northwestern, Columbia, Dartmouth killing it, no surprises.
Canada also killing it. Yes, I lumped all Canadian schools together specifically in the hopes of being as offensive and US-centric as possible. If you don't like it, go gather your own data and crunch it Canadian-style, eh?
Slight surprise: Vanderbilt, Illinois, Texas, Boston College, UCLA represented more strongly than I would have thought.
Also, random state schools are all very small by themselves, but added together they make up more than 20% of the sample.
And now some data on longitudinal career paths based on where you start:
Career path of an associate starting in:
~75% make it to VP in
That 75% breaks down as follows: ~60% make it to VP at the same firm; the remaining ~15% exit to another before making VP
That 75% also breaks down as follows: roughly 65% stay , roughly 10% jump to some sort of or similar at the same general comp/prestige level. That 10% is split pretty evenly between same firm and different firm.
Roughly a third of those who make it to VP in churn out before director.
~25% make it to VP at a smaller firm or in a role not at the same level of comp/prestige.
Roughly half of these churn out before director.
My takeaway: 75% ofassociates make it, and the remainder go somewhere else and try to reinvent themselves.
Career path of a VP in:
~60% make it to director in
That 60% breaks down as follows: a little more than 50% make it to MD while the remaining 10% churn out before MD.
~10% make it to director level at either a smaller IB firm or in some other role, likeand consulting. Data's not perfect on how many of them make it to MD because there are too many blanks, but just eyeballing it, it looks like half to me.
~30% don't make it to director level anywhere. Qualitative note: this is by far the most depressing chunk of the whole data set. These poor bastards are too old to relaunch their careers and too young to have made their fuck-you money yet. The stories are not pretty. Percent that open muffin and/or cupcake shops: 0% (in this sample)
My takeaway: 60% ofVPs make it. As for the rest, the floor's the limit.
Career path of a director in:
~70% make it to MD in
~10% make it to the MD level in some new function or role. Roughly half of these exit the firm and roughly half stay at the same firm.
~20% churn out (or somehow stay in one place for quite a few years) without making it to MD.
My takeaway: 70% ofdirectors make it. Those who don't still do pretty well.
Career path of an MD in:
Looks like roughly a 7.7% churnout rate per year
Average age of those who churn: 48 (WTF? This does not match my experience.)
Average age of those who stay: 45
My takeaway: Stop believing this game ends at 65, regardless of how many 60-year-old MDs you know. You see them because they're still here; you don't see the ones that didn't make the cut. You, personally, are lucky if you make it to 50.
Total exits in 2008 were 3x the total exits in 2006, and 5x the total exits in 2010.
Those who exited to roles I'd call equal tended to do so either before the financial crisis, or in 2010 and later. Fewer moved fromto in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Those who churned out tended to do so before or during the crisis. Churnout rates are much lower from 2010 onwards. In some cases, they're even lower than pre-crisis churnout rates.
What the fuck is a churnout?
When someone doesn't make the cut in banking, it's not an instantaneous process. They take a succession of roles (often at progressively smaller or worse firms, or in less "intense" functions) without seeing much (if any) career progression. This process can take years, and in some cases can be reversed. And of course, it's possible that these people actually planned to do this: that their career plan all along was to start in and then gradually go to smaller places with less dealflow while never getting any promotions, even though they could have started at the smaller places if that had been their goal. I'm not judging. All I'm saying is, I had to call this kind of exit something, and churnout sounded better than flameout.
Does the VP set include or exclude the associates that made it to VP?
It excludes them. This is longitudinal, so those that entered the data set at VP are treated as a different population from those that entered the data set at associate.
I have a question about how you collected/crunched the data. Feel free to shoot me questions about methodology, but understand that there are some details I can't give. The methodology isn't perfectly random, but you'll have to take my word that it's strong enough to support the conclusions I'm drawing.
To my knowledge this is the first time a data set of this size and quality has ever been put out there, and I'm doing it for two reasons:
First, to give back a little.
Second, and more importantly, to replace the usual WSO conjecture with real data, hopefully saving working professionals some time so we can get back to talking about ass and titties.