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    THE ESCAPED ANALYST: M&A vs. markets

    Trading is chaotic, M&A is cerebral

    A trading floor is an intense, noisy place. Work starts early (our first morning meeting was at 5.45AM) and you may not be able to leave your seat until the markets close. That’s a 12-hour stint, so bring a colostomy bag. It requires a level of focus not many people have. Personalities are colourful, sometimes even sociopathic. Don’t be surprised if the same trader who shouted and swore at you one day cracks a joke with you the next day.

    By contrast, the M&A floor can feel like a library. A friend of mine who switched to an analyst role on the fixed income floor after 3 years of M&A had a daily headache for the first three weeks. Work starts later (there’s no market open) but the novelty wears off after your first all-nighter. I found a client meeting room with a lockable door upstairs where I used to sleep after my bosses had left for their meetings. There are moments of high intensity and you can never switch off your Blackberry. I’ve been called into the office at 8.45AM on a Sunday (I didn’t go home until the next morning at 06.15) and have had my holidays cancelled less than a day in advance. But you’ll make the front pages of the papers if you work on a large deal.

    M&A gives you other options, trading doesn't

    Trading teaches you to understand market behaviour and flows, and can be very mathematically analytical. Sales will develop your interpersonal skills (but you’ll need to have some in the first place). Salespeople go on to manage important institutional relationships (think; I.R. at a large hedge fund). John Mack started out as a bond salesman. Traders can make the switch to asset managers and hedge funds, especially if they have a prop background. Beyond that, choices are limited, unless their roles involved financial modelling or fundamental valuation. Assuming that he hasn’t already made enough to retire on, a trader’s skillset is not transferrable.

    M&A involves women; trading generally doesn't


    I say ‘he’ because there are hardly ever female traders. I dated within the firm throughout my time in M&A; the trading floor was a dry patch.

    Trading allows you to justify your bonus; M&A doesn't

    Pay is greater and hierarchy is less in sales or trading. Having a P&L to point to at year end helps justify your bonus demands in a way that’s not possible in M&A. In advisory, your bosses hold the relationships – get ready to play the political game to point out your role in the transactions you’ve worked on. It’s not meritocratic.

    In summary...

    M&A analysts have more exit options. As long as you were mandated on meaningful transactions, you will have had a crash course on valuation, corporate finance and accounting, second only to a CFA or ACA qualification. And that is valuable to hedge funds (who do any kind of fundamental analysis), private equity, asset managers & sellside equity research and corporate strategy divisions of companies. And most of these firms look to be exempt from the super-tax, not posing a systemic risk to the economy (apart from the largest hedge funds) or having received bailouts.

    Advisory is a trade-off of broader career options over the higher pay and sooner accruing rewards of the trading floor. But think carefully about who you are before you make the decision. And discount your cashflows with a high cost of capital in each case.

    http://news.efinancialcareers.co.uk/...wsItemId-22938


    Any views, opinions, misguided aspersions on the article?
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    (Original post by uthinkilltellu)
    THE ESCAPED ANALYST: M&A vs. markets

    Trading is chaotic, M&A is cerebral

    A trading floor is an intense, noisy place. Work starts early (our first morning meeting was at 5.45AM) and you may not be able to leave your seat until the markets close. That’s a 12-hour stint, so bring a colostomy bag. It requires a level of focus not many people have. Personalities are colourful, sometimes even sociopathic. Don’t be surprised if the same trader who shouted and swore at you one day cracks a joke with you the next day.

    By contrast, the M&A floor can feel like a library.
    After 3 years of university, I'm sure we can agree, library's aren't exactly the most nostalgic of places.

    M&A gives you other options, trading doesn't

    Trading teaches you to understand market behaviour and flows, and can be very mathematically analytical. Sales will develop your interpersonal skills (but you’ll need to have some in the first place). Salespeople go on to manage important institutional relationships (think; I.R. at a large hedge fund). John Mack started out as a bond salesman. Traders can make the switch to asset managers and hedge funds, especially if they have a prop background. Beyond that, choices are limited, unless their roles involved financial modelling or fundamental valuation. Assuming that he hasn’t already made enough to retire on, a trader’s skillset is not transferrable.
    Too true.



    M&A involves women; trading generally doesn't


    I say ‘he’ because there are hardly ever female traders. I dated within the firm throughout my time in M&A; the trading floor was a dry patch.
    Have you seen some of the girls in sales?!

    --//--

    It's a different world.

    I'm one for enjoying the 'best years of my life' worrying about the Bank of England's next idiotic decision out drinking one night, rather than reminiscing about the "good ol' days at university" stuck in the office at 6 in the morning wondering why Red Bull doesn't come in litre bottle form.
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    So basically, trading is a sausagefest, if you want pussy do M&A.
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    (Original post by Zweihander)
    So basically, trading is a sausagefest, if you want pussy do M&A.
    Self evidently, true. :sexface:
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    (Original post by uthinkilltellu)
    A trading floor is an intense, noisy place. Work starts early (our first morning meeting was at 5.45AM) and you may not be able to leave your seat until the markets close. That’s a 12-hour stint, so bring a colostomy bag. It requires a level of focus not many people have. Personalities are colourful, sometimes even sociopathic. Don’t be surprised if the same trader who shouted and swore at you one day cracks a joke with you the next day.
    Not that I have any real experience of it, but that sounds fun to me.
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    (Original post by BetterThanHeaven)
    After 3 years of university, I'm sure we can agree, library's aren't exactly the most nostalgic of places.
    Ah, some of us treasure the few moments spent there like a fond meeting with a good old friend.
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    M&A is a means to an end. Markets are just banter.
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    (Original post by uthinkilltellu)
    Ah, some of us treasure the few moments spent there like a fond meeting with a good old friend.
    I can tell you now. The way things are shaping up to be this summer im looking at 14/15 hour library shifts starting in around March. Goody :yep:

    By all accounts, I would not want to just have an glorified extension of my revision period (albeit with different focusses) as firstly my internship and secondly my career.

    As for markets being banter. Can June 28th just hurry the hell up. Thanks.
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    get the best of both worlds: work in capital markets :ahee:
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    (Original post by Zweihander)
    So basically, trading is a sausagefest, if you want pussy do Marketing.
    Fixed that for you
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    Originally Posted by Zweihander
    So basically, trading is a sausagefest, if you want pussy do Marketing.

    (Original post by Will32G)
    Fixed that for you
    No you mean 'be a pussy'
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    (Original post by Teenage Pirate)
    get the best of both worlds: work in capital markets :ahee:
    Here's hoping...
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    (Original post by jjpp)
    No you mean 'be a pussy'
    Wanting pussy and being a pussy aren't technically mutually exclusive
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    (Original post by Will32G)
    Fixed that for you
    I'm working in Marketing for an Asset Management firm, and I'm basically just paid to suck off everyone else in the firm.
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    (Original post by Zweihander)
    I'm working in Marketing for an Asset Management firm, and I'm basically just paid to suck off everyone else in the firm.
    You're Andrew Tong?

    http://www.businessinsider.com/sac-c...ations-2009-12
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    (Original post by Teenage Pirate)
    get the best of both worlds: work in capital markets :ahee:
    E/DCM are the worst of both worlds. No jokes.


    I've long been of the opinion that unless you want to be an IB lifer, IBD is the way to go. But ultimately rejected it on a purely lifestyle basis. Loggins got it right with 'exit opps vs. banter'.
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    You don't have a lifestyle when doing IBD, that is the problem. I don't know anyone who actually likes it, while I do know many people who like working with the markets.
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    worst of both worlds? Can you please elaborate as to why you said that?
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    So traders just sit at their desk for 12 hours each day playing with phones and computer screens? That must be hellish.
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    (Original post by Antzlck)
    So traders just sit at their desk for 12 hours each day playing with phones and computer screens? That must be hellish.
    Your astuteness humbles me...
 
 
 
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