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Quit my job and headed to the buyside AMA Watch

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    (Original post by Sabster)
    How big is the fund?
    $50bn AUM. Just under $10bn allocated to credit strategies
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    (Original post by Dopesmoker)
    Again, thanks for taking the time.

    Is LBOs really the full extent of the technical knowledge you needed?

    I have been applying for PE. I was thinking of going for some debt funds, but was worried I would need knowledge specific to debt teams.
    Apologies, assumed you were talking about modelling - for which cash flow modelling / LBOs are all you'll be tested on. On the job you can expect to do model more complex structures (OpCo / HoldCo, liquidity lines etc) but you'll only be tested on an LBO most likely.

    In terms of technical knowledge more broadly it is useful to know some knowledge of documentation / commercially relevant legal structures. e.g. various types of covenants, prepayment structures and also the differences between the various products.

    Also in depth market knowledge is useful - pricing, OID, flex, leverage, equity cushions etc. You can get both of these by subscribing to LCDComps and reading their HY Bond and Leveraged Loan Primers.
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    (Original post by Breakingbank)
    1) is it true you move up to a 2nd year analyst after 6months?

    2) how did you maintain relationships outside of work e.g family and friends

    3) did seniors talk down on you?

    4) how tough was the training program/exams?

    5) did you often go out with colleagues?

    6) any misconceptions of entering the job?

    7) how much of your time on the job did you actually spend interacting with clients?
    1) At some shops, yes. Think they've moved cycles to Jan - Jan rather than Jul - Jul as it was before (and still is where I am). No one treats you like a 2nd year until someone comes in below you though.

    2) I wasn't great at it. Lucky that I've got good enough friends that if I don't see them for months on end we can still catch up. Most of my friends now are my classmates (which I actually quite like). Family always lived abroad, so made a special effort if they were in town / took holiday to see them. It does test relationships, but I've always thought if the relationship can't survive banking hours it probably won't survive anyway.

    3) No. Everyone is just trying to get their **** done. Never been shouted at by a VP or above. Got some unhelpful aggression from senior analysts / associates when I was working with them, but it was more because they didn't have their **** together.

    4) Training is the best. Enjoy it. Pay attention, and turn up and you'll be fine. So many people have never opened up excel before joining a bank so you have a headstart if you know how to write an IF function. Given the calibre of graduate banking analyst, it's not tough.

    5) Yeah, try and get out for a beer on a Thursday / Friday. This is the thing I'll miss most about banking probably - the social life you create around an analyst class is great.

    6) Probably the level of responsibility that you can actually get. I'm not at a BB so maybe that's part of it, but always thought I'd be a powerpoint jockey. There is definitely opportunity to influence decisions

    7) In my first 6 months, pretty much none. Month 6 - 10, went along to client meetings, probably spoke on calls when it was to do with logistics or technical points on the modelling. Month 10 onwards - expected to lead dialogues on certain work streams, calls with other advisers and leading conversations on modelling
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    (Original post by miml)
    Apologies, assumed you were talking about modelling - for which cash flow modelling / LBOs are all you'll be tested on. On the job you can expect to do model more complex structures (OpCo / HoldCo, liquidity lines etc) but you'll only be tested on an LBO most likely.

    In terms of technical knowledge more broadly it is useful to know some knowledge of documentation / commercially relevant legal structures. e.g. various types of covenants, prepayment structures and also the differences between the various products.

    Also in depth market knowledge is useful - pricing, OID, flex, leverage, equity cushions etc. You can get both of these by subscribing to LCDComps and reading their HY Bond and Leveraged Loan Primers.
    Yeah, that's what I was getting at. Thanks very much.
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    (Original post by President J)
    What factors, do you think, made you standout a great candidate?
    What novel things did you do to make yourself better at your role/during applications?
    What advice would you give to yourself when you was at my stage (A2 going to University)?
    What is you desk like?
    Are there any factors of life in IBD that makes you second guess your decision?
    From your mates in IBD that joined at the same time, what have their destinations been like?
    What is your opinion on "target uni"?

    Thanks
    1) Done a few complex financings. Work at an independent shop so clients only come to us if there is good reason - otherwise most BBs will be falling over themselves to get the fees associated with levfin. Also knowing more about the deals I've worked on other than the model / IM - e.g. understanding process, documentation etc. And finally just being plugged in to the market - it's helpful to have an opinion on where opportunities lie generally which requires knowledge of broader markets.

    2) Nothing novel. Just a standard CV with specificity on my role in the deals I'd worked on.

    3) Um, enjoy A2 and focus on getting into a decent university. Without wanting to sound old or dismissive, you shouldn't know what you want to do at your age.

    4) Desk is lean, but the culture is good. Decent VP bench helps and proactive senior bankers. This will vary so much from place to place so the main thing is making sure you get on with your bosses boss (that's the person your boss wants to impress)

    5) Second guess my decision to go to the buyside? I'll certainly miss the culture and the people, but overall the right move at the right time

    6) One of the first few to jump and only the second guy to go to the buyside (other went to PE). The people who hate it get fired / quit around this time as well so whilst our class has shrunk only 2 of us are actually moving on within finance. By the end of the year expect a few more to PE and maybe one to VC / startup

    7) Oxbridge, LSE, UCL, Warwick. Don't think it matters too much which one of these, but banks have definitely expanded where they are looking for talent since 10 years ago.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Absolutely fantastic response! Thank you so much for all of the insight - especially into the buyside recruitment process.

    Touching back on your time at Warwick. What would your advice be to someone starting this October? (a.k.a myself). What are some of the must-dos whilst at Warwick (both personally and to set oneself up professionally)?
    I was actually quite lazy at Warwick and probably didn't take advantage of everything that was on offer. The best thing I did at Warwick was to leave Warwick for my year abroad, so I'm really not the best person to ask about this.

    Certainly WFS is a good society to join, but I found the people a bit cliquey. I couldn't stand networking but went for the free booze.

    Joined a couple societies where I could get an exec position easily - these are really about popularity / public speaking then actually being competent. When you think how many societies there are, it's pretty easy to be exec on one of them. It's a good talking point at interviews.
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    (Original post by miml)
    It was 2 years ago, but does feel like yesterday.

    Needed a change, you can actually get pretty comfortable at the analyst 2/3 level and it's a year before things change and you become associate. Problem is banks are too hierarchal to be meritocratic and so there's probably 6-18 months of coasting at each level - which some people actually like, you can get paid really well, for not doing an awful lot.

    No regrets. As I said above, I wouldn't do it again, but I certainly don't regret doing it.
    hmm. wrt degrees, anyone you know with less than a 2.1 still given a ft contract or does noone care enough to talk about that stuff anymore?
    you sound like you were able to manage life inside/outside ibd well, but would you say you have to become slightly more emotionally detached from family/friends in order to be able to fully concentrate at work, or is that something that naturally happened anyway with the hours? and is that worth the money if so?
    what do you think of consulting as a grad scheme instead of ibd? would you have been interested in that?
    do you plan on coming back to cov for one day for some banter?
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    (Original post by welcometoib)
    hmm. wrt degrees, anyone you know with less than a 2.1 still given a ft contract or does noone care enough to talk about that stuff anymore?
    you sound like you were able to manage life inside/outside ibd well, but would you say you have to become slightly more emotionally detached from family/friends in order to be able to fully concentrate at work, or is that something that naturally happened anyway with the hours? and is that worth the money if so?
    what do you think of consulting as a grad scheme instead of ibd? would you have been interested in that?
    do you plan on coming back to cov for one day for some banter?

    1) You need a 2.1, don't know anyone in banking without one. I also wouldn't ask because the assumption is everyone got a 2.1

    2) I think I've always been emotionally detached to family / friends a little bit. I wouldn't say my relationship with them has changed. I get a little annoyed if I have to miss a friends thing, but I always make time for the important stuff. You'll get used to not being able to go to every house party or dinner, but it makes you appreciate the times you are able to make events. I would say you lose the opportunity to make new friends, so if you move to London and don't have friends also in London then I can imagine weekends will be lonely. Weekdays are fine because you can hang out with other analysts, but people like to do their own thing on the weekend and it's difficult to meet people if you're only going to see them for a few hours a month. This is why a girlfriend is pretty much impossible (unless she's a banker).

    3) As much money as we get paid, I don't know anyone who's actually happy about the pay. The job certainly isn't worth it for the base, and when bonuses come around everyone is unhappy. You either think you deserve top rank, or if you're top ranked you wonder why the other guy next to you is top ranked when he left at 7 every day.

    4) I don't know what consultants do apart from producing DD reports. Whilst those things are interesting to read, I'm not envious of anyone putting them together. Banking is essentially the sales role, whereas consultancy is set up more to support that from what I've experienced. I didn't know this as a graduate and was probably ignorant about consultancy purely because it's so difficult to get into a top shop (working at a big 4 never appealed).

    5) overdue a Smack tuesday.
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    (Original post by miml)
    1) You need a 2.1, don't know anyone in banking without one. I also wouldn't ask because the assumption is everyone got a 2.1

    2) I think I've always been emotionally detached to family / friends a little bit. I wouldn't say my relationship with them has changed. I get a little annoyed if I have to miss a friends thing, but I always make time for the important stuff. You'll get used to not being able to go to every house party or dinner, but it makes you appreciate the times you are able to make events. I would say you lose the opportunity to make new friends, so if you move to London and don't have friends also in London then I can imagine weekends will be lonely. Weekdays are fine because you can hang out with other analysts, but people like to do their own thing on the weekend and it's difficult to meet people if you're only going to see them for a few hours a month. This is why a girlfriend is pretty much impossible (unless she's a banker).

    3) As much money as we get paid, I don't know anyone who's actually happy about the pay. The job certainly isn't worth it for the base, and when bonuses come around everyone is unhappy. You either think you deserve top rank, or if you're top ranked you wonder why the other guy next to you is top ranked when he left at 7 every day.

    4) I don't know what consultants do apart from producing DD reports. Whilst those things are interesting to read, I'm not envious of anyone putting them together. Banking is essentially the sales role, whereas consultancy is set up more to support that from what I've experienced. I didn't know this as a graduate and was probably ignorant about consultancy purely because it's so difficult to get into a top shop (working at a big 4 never appealed).

    5) overdue a Smack tuesday.
    You said Year 13 was too early to decide what career you want to go into, but don't you have to apply to Spring Weeks virtually as soon as you arrive at uni?

    Did you get lots of advice and guidance at uni for applying to Spring Weeks and internships? I'm heading to LSE this year and I honestly don't know much about IB, will I have the opportunity to learn a lot when I arrive?

    Also, do you prefer Colly Mondays or Smack Tuesdays?
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    You said Year 13 was too early to decide what career you want to go into, but don't you have to apply to Spring Weeks virtually as soon as you arrive at uni?

    Did you get lots of advice and guidance at uni for applying to Spring Weeks and internships? I'm heading to LSE this year and I honestly don't know much about IB, will I have the opportunity to learn a lot when I arrive?

    Also, do you prefer Colly Mondays or Smack Tuesdays?
    1) You do. But I still didn't think about SWs at school. I understand all of this is changing quickly, and people get in sooner and sooner every year. I

    2) I know there are a lot of resources - I probably didn't take advantage of them. Finance societies, alumni networking, CV workshops etc. LSE is a breeding ground for bankers so you shouldn't have any problem meeting like minded people and getting access to the right resources.

    I got one interview and one offer for SWs and a smattering of interviews for summer analyst positions. Only stepped up my game for FT recruitment.
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    (Original post by miml)
    1) You need a 2.1, don't know anyone in banking without one. I also wouldn't ask because the assumption is everyone got a 2.1

    2) I think I've always been emotionally detached to family / friends a little bit. I wouldn't say my relationship with them has changed. I get a little annoyed if I have to miss a friends thing, but I always make time for the important stuff. You'll get used to not being able to go to every house party or dinner, but it makes you appreciate the times you are able to make events. I would say you lose the opportunity to make new friends, so if you move to London and don't have friends also in London then I can imagine weekends will be lonely. Weekdays are fine because you can hang out with other analysts, but people like to do their own thing on the weekend and it's difficult to meet people if you're only going to see them for a few hours a month. This is why a girlfriend is pretty much impossible (unless she's a banker).

    3) As much money as we get paid, I don't know anyone who's actually happy about the pay. The job certainly isn't worth it for the base, and when bonuses come around everyone is unhappy. You either think you deserve top rank, or if you're top ranked you wonder why the other guy next to you is top ranked when he left at 7 every day.

    4) I don't know what consultants do apart from producing DD reports. Whilst those things are interesting to read, I'm not envious of anyone putting them together. Banking is essentially the sales role, whereas consultancy is set up more to support that from what I've experienced. I didn't know this as a graduate and was probably ignorant about consultancy purely because it's so difficult to get into a top shop (working at a big 4 never appealed).

    5) overdue a Smack tuesday.
    so you wouldst recommend entering ibd if you care predominantly about the financial rewards? seen many people leave once they realise they cant handle it?
    idk man, it seems that you get those days where you sit down and start wondering what is it that you exactly want from life? if people are upset about their bonus level then what was the actual point of entering the industry? have to be really strong willed.

    relationship wise how many of your colleagues had one with a partner outside ibd/finance? it seems that it kind of needs to be someone with a similar schedule as you said but literally no other job has the unpredictability and hours combined like you do...

    craziest play hard story lol? did someone bust out the coke at a party after 5 constant weeks of working on a big ass project

    smack tuesdays fam, get on ittt, let me knows when you come back to the stomping grounds, construction work everywhere so campus looks **** a bit but whatever. miss warwick?
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    (Original post by miml)
    When you think how many societies there are, it's pretty easy to be exec on one of them. It's a good talking point at interviews.
    lol yh like the Cheese & Chocolate Society at Warwick.

    (Original post by miml)
    3) As much money as we get paid, I don't know anyone who's actually happy about the pay. The job certainly isn't worth it for the base, and when bonuses come around everyone is unhappy. You either think you deserve top rank, or if you're top ranked you wonder why the other guy next to you is top ranked when he left at 7 every day..
    This 110%. In my case, he left at 8pm every day :/
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    (Original post by miml)
    1) You need a 2.1, don't know anyone in banking without one. I also wouldn't ask because the assumption is everyone got a 2.1
    oh and that reminded me, general age of first year analysts? you did a 4 year course, but are most 21, or older? when people talk abut earning x wage at y age out of uni they generally assume the person is 21, so maybe a bit annoying if earning the exact same as someone who is 21 when you may be 23-25 for instance.
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    (Original post by Dopesmoker)
    lol yh like the Cheese & Chocolate Society at Warwick.

    This 110%. In my case, he left at 8pm every day :/
    why you dissing that soc buddy, never attended but it sounds like great banter
 
 
 
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