Why Lateral Twice at the Analyst Level? Can it be worth it?

If you're at a mid-market bank (think Piper/William Blair/RBC/HL/Leerink/MTS...etc) trying to recruit for MF PE firms, it's unlikely you will get a look given the avg. transaction size difference. 

Moving to a BB will certainly improve your chances but what if you end up at a second-tier BB (so not GS, MS, JPM)? 

Is it possible to wait for a year then make another jump to EBs or top groups in BBs (M&A and top industry groups at GS/MS/JPM)?

Let's be honest, chances will be much higher in each of these two moves than at a mid-market firm. I've heard it's also unlikely to make a move from MM PE to MF PE esp. that pretty much all MF now have their own analyst program. 

What do you all think? I'm currently approaching the end of my first year in banking as an analyst. 

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Comments (10)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 11, 2021 - 1:10am

I'm going to approach this from another angle: Why are you trying to work for a megafund?

Another way to phrase it-how many mm PE associates think they want to leave and go to a megafund/ why would a person do that, from your perspective?

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 11, 2021 - 1:43am

No you moron, I'm trying to help him understand why you don't see this play out in real life.

Jun 11, 2021 - 1:33am

I think it would maximize my options; easier to move downstream than upstream in future. To me, it's similar to the idea of smaller vs. larger transactions in banking at the analyst/associate level. I do think working on larger deals (with more exposure to publics markets) is more exciting.

Just curious how people would perceive it if I decide to lateral twice. I feel like it's hard to move straight to one of the top banking groups (from where I currently sit) in one step. I'm at a good middle market shop but there many candidates in the lateral market who work at more well known MM banking shops and Tier 2 BBs trying to make the move to EBs and Tier 1 BBs; think those candidates, due to better brand/perception, may have a better shot at getting looks/getting hired.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 11, 2021 - 1:52am

So, your goal of working for a megafund is maximizing your options? What options are you maximizing? 

I'm not trying to be an ass, I'm trying to get you to understand why you don't see this exit. Again, put another way how many doors do you think are open to an associate at Apollo versus a mm PE fund associate. And what are those exits? Also, by that point most people will be at least 27 years old-do you think most great jobs at that point are still recruiter based or network based? Also, how might your goals change as a 27 year old?

I'd argue for many pe associates their exits are either bschool, trying to be on a partner track somewhere, gaining experience so they eventually can start their own fund, or starting a company. Of these, a do you think it rationally makes sense for most people to do 2 years or a year working in mm pe to do another 2 years in large buyouts so they can just further their optionality? If optionally is really your goal, I would argue killing the gmat and going to an elite MBA would give you more options than a 2 year PE stint. 

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  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jun 11, 2021 - 4:22pm

Are you solely doing this to work at a MF? Unless you have a top GPA from a target MF is difficult. You're already going to be extremely off cycle fighting for MAYBE ~10 offcycle spots across all MFs.

Getting to MF from UMM/MM PE later on as a senior associate or VP is much easier than being at 3 different jobs as an analyst - which is a red flag on its own.

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