Working in IB for 10+ years

ThinkorSwim2015's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,236

How likely are you to work in IB from the analyst level all the way to VP/MD 10+ years at the same bank? Haven't worked in IB before but hoping to work at least 10 years when I get into IB. I'm just curious as to how possible this is given that IB seems to be quite brutal. I'm not interested in PE. I had a superday a while back and one of the MDs asked me where I see myself in 10 years. I told him I'd like to be at their firm. He laughed and asked me why in the world I would want to do that. I still got the offer but this gave me the sense that working there for such a long time is very unlikely.

Comments (42)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 12, 2019

Why tf would you want to do that

    • 1
Dec 13, 2019

The money bro

    • 2
Dec 13, 2019

No way you will go up by staying on the same bank. On paper sound like a plan but in real life it just doesn't happen. Its just like in Tech, if you want big salaries as a swe the only way to get it its to consistently change companies. Also why i earth would you want to stay in the same place for 10 years.

Cocky millionaire

Dec 13, 2019

I give it a week when you start full time; you'll change your mind real quick lol

    • 3
Dec 13, 2019

But aren't you motivated by the possibility of one day earning $400k+?

    • 3
Dec 13, 2019

That is the day when the carry hits your bank account when working in PE.

Jokes aside: IB is one way to earn that amount of money. However, the workload will still be large, even higher up in the ranks when you have to attend client dinners etc. When working in PE you can earn more money doing less work or even more money doing the same amount of work (depends what kind of funds you are going to).

The money you can earn in IB is very attractive, but you can earn that amount of money doing less work.

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    • 1
  • Analyst 2 in CorpDev
Dec 15, 2019

Lol if it takes you 10+ years to be making that much from a good bank you're doing it wrong.

Dec 16, 2019

LOL! You don't need to slave away in IB to make over $400k bud...

Funniest
Dec 13, 2019

Incoming 2029 MD

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 13, 2019

People might disagree, but I don't think it's that crazy of an idea. Everyone's collectively decided the smart thing to do is bail after a couple years, but then the vast majority of ex-bankers end up getting kicked out of PE after 2 years anyways (and then being lost/going to business school), doing tech and making way less money than they would if they had just stayed at the bank, or moving into operational roles that don't have nearly the same likelihood of resulting in consistent 7-figure income as climbing to MD does. Of course, the actual decision would depend on a ton of factors (including group, timing, managers, role availability, etc.), but following the herd is usually the wrong decision, and I think there are cases where it makes sense to stick it out at the bank. Also, if you end up deciding you're intersted in PE, then there's a growing trend of MDs making the move directly into senior-level buyside positions post-IB associates have basically no chance at.

    • 5
Dec 16, 2019

What about Post MBA associates at IB? how long does it typically take them to make MD?

  • Investment Manager in AM - Equities
Dec 16, 2019

6-15 years

Dec 13, 2019

I think the real question you should be asking yourself is if you love the work enough to do it for 10+ years.

No matter if you stick with IB or go PE/HF...you can't truly "succeed" at doing any of those long-term unless you're genuinely passionate about the work.

Dec 13, 2019

This - 100%. OP seems like a student so I get the obsession with money but after a few years, it starts to become numb and you realize money is one part of the equation. Working with people you like (and not just tolerate) and having an impact (whether that's in IB and orchestrating M&A, in PE helping portco's or building the next new app) are far more important - at least to me.

    • 3
Dec 13, 2019

Yes, working with people you like and doing work you can take pride in is very important IMO. That's what keeps work fresh & fun.

There's also no difference between making $400k and $600k in terms of quality of life FYI OP. Hell, my life did not really change much when I went from $300k-ish to $1M+.

Most Helpful
  • VP in IB-M&A
Dec 13, 2019

I had a similar mindset when I started out as an analyst - i went into an BB IBD analyst program with an open mind, not dead set on a structured 2+2 path, and decided to take it day-by-day. The great thing about IB is that it provides a lot of optionality with respect to exit options, including the potential to stay in banking should you choose. I knew pretty early on that the buyside wasn't for me - frankly speaking I am not "passionate" about investing and conducting granular buyside diligence. I actually enjoy the transaction structuring and idea generation process and having a strategic dialogue with management teams

Almost a decade later, I am still in banking, now as a VP in M&A at an EB (I lateralled from a BB as an analyst). I never sought out this path as a student, but the key guiding principles for me were (i) a working environment which consistently challenges you and (ii) a team with people I genuinely get along with and enjoy working with. IB can definitely be tough and you see a lot of burnout, but a lot of it is firm dependent. I lucked out in that my team is great from a quality perspective (one of the top at my EB) but the culture is more chill/laidback, and the lifestyle is actually palatable/sustainable even for analysts

Am I am happy about how my career has progressed? Absolutely. Do I regret not exploring something else? Not at all

    • 16
Dec 13, 2019

Did you see any Post MBA Associates that stayed 10+ years? What do they say?

  • Analyst 2 in CorpDev
Dec 15, 2019

Obviously you don't have to name your group specifically, but I'd be interested in hearing the names of a few groups that have similar laid back cultures to what you've described if you know any others. Care to comment?

Dec 15, 2019

Or Banks

Dec 13, 2019

Personality matters as well . Do you want to be a kiss up to clients for the rest of your life? Imagine this . You are planning a Christmas vacation with your wife and the night before you get a call that the client wants you in his city the same time of the vacation. If you don't go it makes you look bad and he'll probably go to another bank. So you are forced to cancel your plans to do this. And this is not just a one time thing. It's a routine occurrence . If you are a true finance alpha hardo remaining in investment banking is the worst thing you could do. Obviously every stable career has bosses but in IBD each client is essentially your master.

Dec 13, 2019

I honestly think this is just part of the job - what other job are you not kissing up to someone? Unless you own the company

Dec 13, 2019

There are plenty of jobs where you don't have to cancel plans constantly and are given flexibility. Talked to a previous BB MD who switched to AM (he's a PM now) and mentioned this . He's moved out of NYC (closer to the coast now ) and said he can do his work whatever he wants to be and it doesn't matter . He's not forced to be in a city at last minutes notice .

Dec 15, 2019

Everyone has a boss. But if you've worked at all in client-facing IB you've seen how, in addition to having bosses demanding they are pulling in fees, MDs and Directors (full grown men and women) are at the beck and call of their clients. That level of responsiveness to someone who's not your boss just doesn't exist outside of the world of professional services.

    • 1
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Dec 13, 2019

That's the stereotype but in reality really depends on the MD
I've seen MDs in similar situations who literally said something like "nope, sorry not free"

Dec 13, 2019

Yeah and then the client backs out. It definitely depends on the bank. It becomes difficult in top groups / divisions since often the revenue numbers placed on the MDs is higher. In truth if OP wants to stay in IBD a regional firm is probably the move. Then clients will be sleeping my midnight and actually celebrate Christmas / 4th of July , etc. Firms where there's a higher international presence is where the problem comes . But then again if you are an alpha hardo who wants to settle for a small bank? It takes some humility

Dec 16, 2019
Comment

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

    • 1
Dec 16, 2019