Ex-banker (Moelis & Co), Ask me anything

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ttt_mmm
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#1
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#1
Hi everyone,

I used this forum a lot when I was younger under a different account, and it was incredibly useful at the time. I wanted to do this to give a little bit back to the community now that I can come from a slightly more experienced angle.

- I studied Economics at UCL, graduating in 2015
- I did a summer internship at Moelis & Company, then worked there for just over 2 years after graduating
- Since I left Moelis I worked for 18 months at a fast growing startup, and have recently left to start full time on a business in the careers space

Happy to answer anything and everything, from applying to investment banking, what it was like at Moelis, how banking compares to working at a startup etc.

Looking forward to the questions!
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StarLinyx
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#2
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#2
Could you please tell the kids on TSR that university rankings do not matter to these employers, and that going to a decent uni, along with a successful academic profile, and some leadership experience, is mainly what is needed to be in with a chance of getting into these type of firms?
(Original post by ttt_mmm)
Hi everyone,

I used this forum a lot when I was younger under a different account, and it was incredibly useful at the time. I wanted to do this to give a little bit back to the community now that I can come from a slightly more experienced angle.

- I studied Economics at UCL, graduating in 2015
- I did a summer internship at Moelis & Company, then worked there for just over 2 years after graduating
- Since I left Moelis I worked for 18 months at a fast growing startup, and have recently left to start full time on a business in the careers space

Happy to answer anything and everything, from applying to investment banking, what it was like at Moelis, how banking compares to working at a startup etc.

Looking forward to the questions!
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HoldThisL
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#3
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#3
hiko are you kidding me?

edit
op: does AMA
also: doesn't answer
Last edited by HoldThisL; 2 years ago
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gr8wizard10
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#4
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#4
fellow ib - turned startup here

why did you decide to leave the startup?
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xtrembob
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#5
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#5
How was the deal flow - split between M&A/RX? Hours as terrible as in the US?
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username4797846
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#6
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#6
(Original post by ttt_mmm)
Hi everyone,

I used this forum a lot when I was younger under a different account, and it was incredibly useful at the time. I wanted to do this to give a little bit back to the community now that I can come from a slightly more experienced angle.

- I studied Economics at UCL, graduating in 2015
- I did a summer internship at Moelis & Company, then worked there for just over 2 years after graduating
- Since I left Moelis I worked for 18 months at a fast growing startup, and have recently left to start full time on a business in the careers space

Happy to answer anything and everything, from applying to investment banking, what it was like at Moelis, how banking compares to working at a startup etc.

Looking forward to the questions!
hey, thanks for answering our questions. I'm a first year studying at LSE and I am really interested in M&A summer internships specifically at boutiques like Moelis:

1. what is an attractive CV to an EB like Moelis? is there something a boutique cares more about than what a BB would? what is a strong investment banking CV?
2. should one be expected to be 'grilled' more in terms of valuation/accounting relative to BBs?
3. in-house at Moelis how are applications reviewed?
4. what was deal exposure like for you? what is Moelis' sector specialism? was deal volume quite high?
5. is there an Oxbridge bias at Moelis?
6. 3 skills you think are needed to be a successful investment banker?
7. why the move to the startup? were the hours tough at Moelis?
8. what was your role at the startup? i'm assuming corporate dev?
9. compared to other EBs, why pick Moelis?
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uxa595
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#7
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#7
(Original post by gr8wizard10)
fellow ib - turned startup here

why did you decide to leave the startup?
How did you find the transition from FT IB to a start-up environment?
I am doing the same. Left a BB IBD role in April and starting my own business now.

So daunting yet so exciting.
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gr8wizard10
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#8
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#8
(Original post by uxa595)
How did you find the transition from FT IB to a start-up environment?
I am doing the same. Left a BB IBD role in April and starting my own business now.

So daunting yet so exciting.
different atmosphere - a lot more / chill relaxed

a lot more responsibility but it's fun and interesting.
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ttt_mmm
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#9
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#9
Sounds about right to me.
(Original post by StarLinyx)
Could you please tell the kids on TSR that university rankings do not matter to these employers, and that going to a decent uni, along with a successful academic profile, and some leadership experience, is mainly what is needed to be in with a chance of getting into these type of firms?
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ttt_mmm
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Narcis)
Hello, thank you for giving the opportunity to ask questions. I am curious how competitive, getting into a high tier firm is and the academic background required. Also the obvious, what was the salary like :3
This gives an accurate review of the compensation for junior IB roles at the top firms: https://www.arkesden.com/compensatio...s#.XP4ksNNKi3U

There's been plenty written elsewhere (including on this forum) on how competitive it is and the academic background required.
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ttt_mmm
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#11
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#11
I only went to the startup to learn from a successful founder how to run a fast-growing business, so I always planned to leave and do my own thing. Growth at the startup stagnated a bit, which made the decision to leave and do my own thing easier.
(Original post by gr8wizard10)
fellow ib - turned startup here

why did you decide to leave the startup?
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chieula2301
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#12
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#12
I think it’s hard to say that considering the fact that he graduated from UCL with an Economics degree. That’s a target uni with a respectable degree...
(Original post by StarLinyx)
Could you please tell the kids on TSR that university rankings do not matter to these employers, and that going to a decent uni, along with a successful academic profile, and some leadership experience, is mainly what is needed to be in with a chance of getting into these type of firms?
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ttt_mmm
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#13
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#13
About 70/30 when I was there but it changes a lot. Hours are long (most people worked 10-12 hour days as standard, 14-15 hour days when super busy), but the US is worse. Weekend work wasn't as bad as I expected, but even working half days on the weekend doesn't feel good.
(Original post by xtrembob)
How was the deal flow - split between M&A/RX? Hours as terrible as in the US?
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ttt_mmm
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#14
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#14
1. No different to BBs
2. No
3. By the HR team
4. I got a lot of exposure, but it really does depend a bit on luck and how busy the firm is. I worked on ~6 live deals in 2 years. Most people in my year closed at least 2 deals in the first 2 years. No sector specialism, Moelis analysts are generalists
5. No
6. Plenty you can find on this through researching online. Hard working, attention to detail, good at politics
7. See above posts
8. I worked in ops/corp. finance and strategy, no corporate development
9. They were the one that gave me the offer first. Pay is higher and you get more exposure to deals + senior team members
(Original post by arsenal_10)
hey, thanks for answering our questions. I'm a first year studying at LSE and I am really interested in M&A summer internships specifically at boutiques like Moelis:

1. what is an attractive CV to an EB like Moelis? is there something a boutique cares more about than what a BB would? what is a strong investment banking CV?
2. should one be expected to be 'grilled' more in terms of valuation/accounting relative to BBs?
3. in-house at Moelis how are applications reviewed?
4. what was deal exposure like for you? what is Moelis' sector specialism? was deal volume quite high?
5. is there an Oxbridge bias at Moelis?
6. 3 skills you think are needed to be a successful investment banker?
7. why the move to the startup? were the hours tough at Moelis?
8. what was your role at the startup? i'm assuming corporate dev?
9. compared to other EBs, why pick Moelis?
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natninja
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#15
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#15
Ever see any ex-B4 ACAs working in FO roles?
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ttt_mmm
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#16
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#16
Yes. Moelis has hired quite a few people out of Big 4 firms. It's always worth having a look on LinkedIn to see people's backgrounds at firms you're interested in. Typically, banks like to hire from the more technical teams (e.g. PwC's financial modelling team), but I'm sure you can get in from other departments if you demonstrate enough keenness.
(Original post by natninja)
Ever see any ex-B4 ACAs working in FO roles?
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natninja
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#17
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#17
(Original post by ttt_mmm)
Yes. Moelis has hired quite a few people out of Big 4 firms. It's always worth having a look on LinkedIn to see people's backgrounds at firms you're interested in. Typically, banks like to hire from the more technical teams (e.g. PwC's financial modelling team), but I'm sure you can get in from other departments if you demonstrate enough keenness.
Always good to hear. Are the hours really as good as you say? (10-12hrs as standard and more in peak times? I’d have expected them to be worse than audit rather than better as I know “can you hack the hours?” Is allegedly often an objection for ex auditors! Does sound pretty good compared to what you normally hear about in IB)
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E3student
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#18
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#18
(Original post by ttt_mmm)
Hi everyone,

I used this forum a lot when I was younger under a different account, and it was incredibly useful at the time. I wanted to do this to give a little bit back to the community now that I can come from a slightly more experienced angle.

- I studied Economics at UCL, graduating in 2015
- I did a summer internship at Moelis & Company, then worked there for just over 2 years after graduating
- Since I left Moelis I worked for 18 months at a fast growing startup, and have recently left to start full time on a business in the careers space

Happy to answer anything and everything, from applying to investment banking, what it was like at Moelis, how banking compares to working at a startup etc.

Looking forward to the questions!
What was the internship like and how did you get onto it? What would be the best degree type to get into finance/ banking? Would it be better to do a straight economics degree or a joint degree I.e economics and management?
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ttt_mmm
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#19
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#19
(Original post by natninja)
Always good to hear. Are the hours really as good as you say? (10-12hrs as standard and more in peak times? I’d have expected them to be worse than audit rather than better as I know “can you hack the hours?” Is allegedly often an objection for ex auditors! Does sound pretty good compared to what you normally hear about in IB)
It really does depend a lot on the project. At my peak I worked for 10 weeks without a day off and there was a 6 month period where I was getting into the office at 8am and leaving past midnight 4/5 weekdays
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ttt_mmm
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#20
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#20
(Original post by E3student)
What was the internship like and how did you get onto it? What would be the best degree type to get into finance/ banking? Would it be better to do a straight economics degree or a joint degree I.e economics and management?
I just applied through the normal channels, but it was super competitive. I think they said they got 200 applications for each place. Getting in was pure luck (I applied to 50 internships, it's a numbers game).

There's no 'best degree type', they want smart, hardworking people. The easiest way for them to find those kind of people is to recruit from the hardest degrees at the hardest schools, which is why you see lots of people from Oxbridge, UCL, LSE, Warwick, Imperial etc. If you're good, and you work hard to demonstrate you're good then there's no reason you can't get in from other universities (Moelis had people with history, english and science degrees).

It doesn't make any difference whether you do a joint degree or not. I'd recommend trying for the straight economics degree just because it keeps your options open (you can pick the management modules as your optional modules when you're at the university and it'll end up being the same as doing economics & management).
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