Branch Banking

Hi all, I have an offer for the position of a branch manager in the largest bank in India. I understand that this will be a rural/semi-urban branch. I am currently working in Corporate Finance (Treasury/Working Capital Finance) in a large manufacturing organization for the past one year. I have an MBA from a decent local institute and am L2 candidate. Not sure whether to take up this opportunity to get into the bank (The hike in salary will be about 30%) or to wait a little longer where I am. I have just completed my one-year here. My wish is to get into Private Equity but have not been able to make a breakthrough and to be honest there is not much learning in my current role and I am kind of feeling stuck. Thanks for all your valuable advice.

I can’t speak to India, but in the U.S. a job as a branch manager is not likely to land you a job in private equity unless this large bank has a private equity division. In that case you might be able to get a shoe in the door and get some type of internal candidate preference as you apply for positions within the private equity division. If you have a strong accounting background maybe you can land yourself a job working with a large accounting firm that performs valuations of private companies. You might be able to parlay that into a private equity position. I don’t know if a position as a branch manager would count towards your required experience in getting your CFA charter.

In the US, this is not a good position given your background. In the US, this is very retail, ie opening college students checking accounts. Large accounts are handled by relationship managers, and credit decisions are handled externally. You won’t gain any valuable experience. Even at a large bank with PE/ capital markets, being a branch manager will not help you get in the door, and you will have little to no interaction with those parts of the company. Banking can be ok, but it needs to be at the wholesale level, ie commercial banking. Retail banking is the wrong road to get on.

I think your current role gives you better exit opportunities by way of the industry knowledge you should be obtaining. I’d probably stick it out - particularly because of the ‘branch manager’ duties/skills/opportunities in the US - if it’s different there that might change the answer. If you’re talking 30% of 100k I’d maybe do it, but if you’re talking 30% of 40-50k I’d sit tight for sure (at least domestically in the US).

Thank you so much all. In fact my gut feeling is that I should continue where I am but somehow I am feeling stuck in Working Capital Finance and Treasury and I do not see PE players responding to my CV. Also, this bank has a good brand and that got me a little confused. I have around 15 days more to take a decision and your inputs will help a lot. Many thanks again. Any further advice/thought is most welcome.

@jcole21 - its 30% of less than $10k and I am working for peanuts. :slight_smile:

Anupamjain, I also wouldn’t give into retail banking, there isn’t future there. Your current experience could be relevant for things like turn-around advisory or Big4 advisory, which both might give you a shot at PE in boom years I hear…