What is ECM like lifestyle/work/culture

     I am beginning to start narrowing down what division to recruit for SA 2023 and ECM has piqued my interest. I wanted to ask y'all what it is really like before I start making some networking calls. So I'll just throw some bullet points down of the things i'm curious about.

  • Why did you choose ECM? 
  • Is the work as an analyst rewarding, i.e. do you feel some sense of victory after closing a placement or an IPO?
  • In your experience, what is the culture like in the ECM division? Is it comparable to the stereotypical IB/M&A crowd?
  • Is it worth doing ECM anywhere but NYC? 
  • What exit opportunities are most common besides IR? 
  • Best book to read for ECM?

     I appreciate anything y'all have to offer and would love to hear back. 

Comments (4)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 30, 2021 - 5:13pm

Spent my summer in tech ECM at a BB, here are my two cents. 

Culture tends to be better and more jovial than banking. This is a generalization but the people who self select into ECM tend to be nicer, less sharp elbows. 

lifestyle can be just as much as banking depending on the group and vertical. Tech and healthcare are always slammed especially at top shops in those verticals - not uncommon to work 7am-9pm 5 days a week plus work on Sunday.

I would only go outside of NY ECM for tech roles which can be in SF. Usually banks with SF ECM teams also have a team in NY so the SF team is usually smaller, more intimate, better exposure to software and internet. 

the actual work flow is much more transactional and fast paced than coverage. Instead of working on a few projects over a span of months, you'll be multi tasking on a larger number of projects all day. On IPOs, ECM is less involved than IB so you don't really get super hands on until the end of the process - since you're less involved, you feel less ownership over the deal and it's a smaller victory when things close because things close all the time (it's an execution group). 

in ECM more analysts stay on as associate than coverage. I think this is a combination of enjoying the role and the team, complacency with good pay, and limited exits. Many people try to move to coverage before or during their associate years. Other exits are usually to investor relations roles or startups. 

welcome to any follow ups

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 30, 2021 - 5:37pm

ECM is a solid place to be if you're interested in staying in banking - decent hours and the pay is street. That said, your work is pretty niche (making powerpoints and general IPO paperwork/materials) and as an analyst you'll be making a lot of identical pages for different clients, instead of building the whole book like coverage would.

You'll do very limited to no modeling, so private equity is a pretty rare exit. Many analysts stay in the group, IR is a cushy job if you want a better WLB later on, or corp dev at a pre-IPO firm could also be possible. 

Most banks keep ECM entirely in NYC, maybe 5-10 people in SF but NYC should be your strong focus.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 1, 2021 - 1:45am

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