I have 30 years' experience in Investment Banking and help graduates get a job AMA Watch

xyolox
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#21
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#21
Hi, thanks for doing this!

I've obviously heard working hours to be very long, but in your experience do you think it substantially gets easier over the years or not really?

Also are the exit options better in the Big 4 professional firms, doing Deal/Finance advisory as they make you do the ACA and a larger variety of projects? or as an investment banker doing M&A is an investment bank? after perhaps 5 years or so?
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Lancaster University
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#22
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(Original post by esaevp)
Thank you for your response! As a follow up question; what about exit ops in terms of the buy side, like asset management/investment funds, and do you not think LMM/MM PE could have direct entry or would it still be wise to go through traditional IB to get into that? As part of my programme I will have to study for the ACA – thought I'd include that in case it adds any value for your response. Thanks again!
I don't think IM/AM would be as open to you as ..at the end of the day...they don't do corporate financial advisory.Never say never around PE direct entry -and it only takes one person to say 'yes' -and networking is a route to consider for that - but hoping over to IB and then onto PE would be the most logical route.
Glad you mentioned ACA -MANY people get into IB from an accountancy background so I'd keep going with that
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Lancaster University
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#23
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(Original post by ltsmith)
are 80/100 hr weeks the norm in IB?
Depends on the business division.
Yes for IBD-Investment Banking Division focussing om corporate Mergers & Acquistions.
Also long hours in Risk Management with folks leaving for home 8-9PM.
No for trading/financial markets as the latter pretty much close at 5.30-6PM
IB is trying to offer a more balanced workplace.I don't think it will ever be truly 'balanced' but the move is in the right direction.
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Lancaster University
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#24
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#24
(Original post by xyolox)
Hi, thanks for doing this!

I've obviously heard working hours to be very long, but in your experience do you think it substantially gets easier over the years or not really?

Also are the exit options better in the Big 4 professional firms, doing Deal/Finance advisory as they make you do the ACA and a larger variety of projects? or as an investment banker doing M&A is an investment bank? after perhaps 5 years or so?
Hi..yes the hours get better the more you go on. So as a 1st or 2nd year Analyst you would likley face the hardest working year of your career but it depends which business stream. IBD = very long hours Risk Man=long Trading=not long (see other post).

Big 4 Deal Advisory would give you broader exit options...but if you're coming out of Citi IBD or JPM IBD you're going be in high demand.

Having an accountancy qualification under your belt is good.Lots move into IB from accountancy.
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KD11
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#25
Hello, so to keep it short I am interested in taking Law for university but I'm not 100 percent sure on my end goal yet. I'm debating whether I want to become a lawyer or do something else with my life. My first question is 1. Would learning Law help me in this sector and 2. If you have the time can you explain what type of area I can join with a law degree and what I would be doing.

Khalifa
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Lancaster University
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#26
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(Original post by KD11)
Hello, so to keep it short I am interested in taking Law for university but I'm not 100 percent sure on my end goal yet. I'm debating whether I want to become a lawyer or do something else with my life. My first question is 1. Would learning Law help me in this sector and 2. If you have the time can you explain what type of area I can join with a law degree and what I would be doing.

Khalifa
Hey Khalifa - Well learning Law is relevant for this sector. Although IBs of course have their own Legal Departments ...the main graduate relevance would be in Compliance - the latter implements the consider legal and regulatory burden on IBs and Asset Managers and also keeps and eye out for questionable trading as well a s amking sure employees stay within the rules. A number of large financial institutions run Compliance Internships and Grad Progrmmes..check out M&G Asset Management website to learn more about this option.Note:Compliance is a growth industry!.
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KD11
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(Original post by Lancaster University)
Hey Khalifa - Well learning Law is relevant for this sector. Although IBs of course have their own Legal Departments ...the main graduate relevance would be in Compliance - the latter implements the consider legal and regulatory burden on IBs and Asset Managers and also keeps and eye out for questionable trading as well a s amking sure employees stay within the rules. A number of large financial institutions run Compliance Internships and Grad Progrmmes..check out M&G Asset Management website to learn more about this option.Note:Compliance is a growth industry!.
Thank you, I will look into the website to see more.
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dcencima
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#28
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#28
Hey there! Thanks for doing this i just have a couple questions i would like you to answer
1) What type of A-level grades should i achieve to be considered in this industry
2) To what extent does the Uni matter if you have achieved good a levels and have at least a 2:1
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lurker7
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#29
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If you had grad/internship offers at an Elite Boutique such as Laz/Roths/Evercore, would you choose then over a large BB such as JP/Citi/BAML?

How should one mate that decision,

Thanks.
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Lancaster University
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#30
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(Original post by dcencima)
Hey there! Thanks for doing this i just have a couple questions i would like you to answer
1) What type of A-level grades should i achieve to be considered in this industry
2) To what extent does the Uni matter if you have achieved good a levels and have at least a 2:1
Hi...
1) To get into the more glamourous Front Office roles e.g. Trading, Research, Corporate Finance I'd say AAB is needed.
If you ended up with ABB/BBB you could still apply for IB Operations or sectors close to IB but not IB e.g. Wealth Management, Vendors like Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters. Below BBB you would need to consider something else.
2) As long as you are at a UK Top 20 university...if you have good A levels and the motivation...then it is all open to you.We send plenty from Lancaster (UK 'Top 10'). Yes if you go to LSE, Warwick, Imperial you will find things easier but most people do not get into these unis and many have successful IB/financial services careers.
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Lancaster University
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#31
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(Original post by lurker7)
If you had grad/internship offers at an Elite Boutique such as Laz/Roths/Evercore, would you choose then over a large BB such as JP/Citi/BAML?

How should one mate that decision,

Thanks.
Well that would be a heck of a nice situation to be in. I think it would depend on your career goals. If you were able to discover that corporate finance/corporate advisory/IBD is for you then the former would probably offer you a more accelerated career path.It is only BB that of course additionally offer Research/Sales & Trading/Risk Management.So if your not sure on your career path the latter would offer you broader options even though (as I am sure you know) you need to specialise straight away in your application.
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orangegoat
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#32
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Is it easy to break into F/O from Operations? Have an offer from JPMorgan for their CADP Summer Program, whilst study at an RG University.
(Degree Predicted: 2:1/1st, A Levels: 3A*, 1A)
Last edited by orangegoat; 10 months ago
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username31459
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#33
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Hi,

I am a physics first year at a target uni. I've applied to all spring weeks at BB's and EB and also some accountancy firms including the big four, I have received around 10 rejections already. I have applied for IBD roles. Are spring weeks just very competitive and or am I doing something wrong???
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Lancaster University
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#34
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#34
(Original post by orangegoat)
Is it easy to break into F/O from Operations? Have an offer from JPMorgan for their CADP Summer Program, whilst study at an RG University.
(Degree Predicted: 2:1/1st, A Levels: 3A*, 1A)
Well maybe not want you want to hear.It is very hard these days to make that move - 25 years ago no problem.So I think you need to consider it on the basis it will not take you to Front Office.However, no doubt a very good career could be built there PLUS who knows what career oportunities will exist in 10+ years time e.g. there must be a combined 40,000 + people working in the two sectors of electronic trading and compliance.Neither sector existed 15/20 years ago. Once you in a firm there will be many migration options.
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Lancaster University
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#35
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(Original post by username31459)
Hi,

I am a physics first year at a target uni. I've applied to all spring weeks at BB's and EB and also some accountancy firms including the big four, I have received around 10 rejections already. I have applied for IBD roles. Are spring weeks just very competitive and or am I doing something wrong???
Hi...Spring Weeks are just very competitive. On the IB and Asset Management firm there are only about 20 firms that offer a SW...this is a small number. Compare that to financial market/investment 2nd year internships where there are at least 120 firms offering programmes.The latter is still a very competitive process. I would view your SW applications as a 'dummy run' for next year where you have learnt what a good CV and Cover Letter looks like. Next year apply early and make 25+ applications by Oct 31st.
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pereira325
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#36
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Hi Paul,
A quick bit about me- 2nd year econ student at QMUL
I would like to ask how significant is obtaining spring week and/or a summer internship experience in getting 3rd year graduate offers from these employers? Not necessarily IB only, as you've mentioned many other divisions.
I'm asking because I'm not the most organised individual nor most hard-core in terms of these applications. I mean I'm generally surprised at the high level of comprehension of people on TSR when they talk about these spring weeks and internship applications as they use a lot of jargon I don't know (despite being an econ student!) - i.e. BB, EB! Is that considered normal, and the general level of candidates who are 'successful' in their applications, from your experience?
I am kind of worried because like another person has said, I've applied for maybe 15 summer internship places and had a few interviews/tests etc. but not been successful. So I have to consider it a high likelihood I will end up with no summer internship. I do have other work experience but those are more about soft skills rather than direct "bank" experience.
I know you've said the banks just want to see 2.1 minimum but I think there is a good chance (as I take my work seriously) I will end up with a 1st class. Do you think that might raise my chances for 3rd year or do the banks not really care about 2.1 or a 1st?
Finally, I really don't want to end up in Accounting, so I'm wondering what you would recommend someone who is a graduate with 2.1 or higher in a relevant degree should be doing if they wish to enter "the industry"? Is the best move just to attempt to build up work experience and keep applying ?
Thanks!
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Lancaster University
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#37
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(Original post by pereira325)
Hi Paul,
A quick bit about me- 2nd year econ student at QMUL
I would like to ask how significant is obtaining spring week and/or a summer internship experience in getting 3rd year graduate offers from these employers? Not necessarily IB only, as you've mentioned many other divisions.
I'm asking because I'm not the most organised individual nor most hard-core in terms of these applications. I mean I'm generally surprised at the high level of comprehension of people on TSR when they talk about these spring weeks and internship applications as they use a lot of jargon I don't know (despite being an econ student!) - i.e. BB, EB! Is that considered normal, and the general level of candidates who are 'successful' in their applications, from your experience?
I am kind of worried because like another person has said, I've applied for maybe 15 summer internship places and had a few interviews/tests etc. but not been successful. So I have to consider it a high likelihood I will end up with no summer internship. I do have other work experience but those are more about soft skills rather than direct "bank" experience.
I know you've said the banks just want to see 2.1 minimum but I think there is a good chance (as I take my work seriously) I will end up with a 1st class. Do you think that might raise my chances for 3rd year or do the banks not really care about 2.1 or a 1st?
Finally, I really don't want to end up in Accounting, so I'm wondering what you would recommend someone who is a graduate with 2.1 or higher in a relevant degree should be doing if they wish to enter "the industry"? Is the best move just to attempt to build up work experience and keep applying ?
Thanks!
Lets get the bad news out if the way. You can't get a Front Office (Sales & Trading, Corporate Finance etc..) graduate programme without securing a 2nd year summer internship. Indeed many BB (Bulge Bracket/Top) banks hire 50-70% of their grads directly off their intern programme.

The good news is that Investment Banking only accounts for about 15% of all jobs to do with financial markets and investments.Many of the other sectors you could apply directly to as a 3rd year without that 2nd year internship (although make sure you do something useful this summer).These sectors incluse financial consultancy e.g. KPMG, investment consultancy e.g. Willis Towers Watson, Wealth Management e.g. St James Place, Retail & Commercial Banks e.g. RBS (much more interesting careers than 10 years ago), Vendors e.g. Thomson Reuters (plus 150 other Vendors), credit rating agencies e.g. Moodys.

Ironically these other sectors would probably value a first more than IB

If you don't want to end up in accounting...for goodness sake don't!
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Qwertyuser123
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do you have a lambo
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itxarinix
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[QUOTE=Lancaster University;81060648]Students are very drawn to Investment Banking careers due to the perceived 'glamour' and high salaries. Having worked as a Bond Trader for Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Barclays I get that! Apart from the fact that IB is extremely competitive, what students often don't realise until someone tells them (!) is that IB is only one sector of about 10 sectors associated with Financial Markets which offers interesting and high paid careers. Other sectors to consider include: Investment Management, Wealth Management, Credit Rating Agencies, Vendors, Retail
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Lancaster University
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#40
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(Original post by Qwertyuser123)
do you have a lambo
No but I had a Porsche at 26 but I kinda grew out of all that !
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