IB or AM?

Would you rather be an analyst for a smaller (10B) institutional investor or be an Analyst for one of the big banks? The IBanking job would be in a nicer city.

AM for sure

Intersting @itreracom why AM for sure? I work for an asset manager and i have always thought IB pays better plus you get a chance to really zone in in a particular sector on the sell side and become a true expert.

Well obviously it’s a personal prefererence and there are good/bad to each. But banking is essentially transaction driven, so if that dries out, you’re dead in the water praying for something -anything.

Well, IB pays better when you are junior, so if that’s all you care about, then go for it. If you are any good at AM, you can do very well at senior levels. I figured you were thinking about more than just that, since $$ is a decision you should be able to make without having to ask a forum. Sell side hours are often killer, so be sure you are willing to pay that price (in sleep or cocaine). IB also has a variety of exit opportunities to AM and private equity. But if you are already in AM then it seems pointless to switch to IB just so you can get back to AM one day. If you want to do PE, then maybe banking makes sense, but it’s no guarantee. If you actually care about the quality of what you do and trying to understand what’s going on with a company (as opposed to inventing a plausible story to support the numbers you produced at 2am because your manager

If you are young, I would recommend the investment banking job. In the short term, the hours will probably be worse than AM, but you will have more exit opportunities and the pay will probably be better. I’m a bit skeptical that AM expected compensation is better than IB at higher levels. Maybe the payout in AM is more skewed, but I bet the average 40-year-old IB person (who has survived that long) gets paid pretty good money.

You may be right, ohai. Senior IB people definitely make good money, but there are relatively few who survive that long, and what it takes to get there is brutal. There are more AM people, and the top hedge fund managers and people like Bill Gross and Mohammed El-Arian and Jeremy Grantham and Soros are doing pretty well. It’s true that those are some of the most successful funds (even if not always the highest returning ones) and maybe not fully representative of AM, but there are a lot of other AM positions for experienced people and not so many IB ones because the number of investment banks are smaller (I believe) than the number of AM firms.

I’d say the hours are pretty guaranteed much worse than AM. Sell side is like that though, just like in ER sell side where you have to pitch dozens of clients, make nice pretty marketing presentation, etc… and there’s no guarantee you’ll make money. In ER buy side, you only have to pitch your small team or PM. I agree with bchad that it’s easy to look at senior bankers and say ‘oh look at the crazy money he makes’ but then think about the craziness and luck he needed to get there, and the hundreds of talented poeple that don’t get there because the right opportunity didn’t happen, the deal team they were on went through a rough patch, the economy went bad and transactions died, or the firm had to lay off across the board.

Thanks for the advice fellows; I’ve read all of the vault guides etc., but it’s always better to ask real people. No offer in hand but have been interviewing so I have been thinking about this quite a bit. Both sides are very attractive so its definitely a tough thought experiment. Maybe I am getting a head of myself - I’ll update you guys if I get the offer.

Spoke way too soon - two rejections in one day.

Sorry dude, don’t take it too hard. There is a ton of competition out there, especially for IB and AM jobs

PJC has been blowing up my mobile about IB jobs. Check out their website if you don’t mind Middle Market.

Done both. AM >> IB.

Thanks for the support guys. I was quite disappointed because I felt the interviews went really well. But that’s life I guess.

IB and the sell-side in general is boring if you are an intellectually curious person. Creating pitch books is exciting for the first two days and then you quickly begin thinking about exit options.

Your long term and short term goals don’t need to be the same. You can go into IB for the short term, since it looks good on your resume, but intend to do something else later.

Clearly, you don’t know much about the sell-side to make this ignorant comment.

I started my career on the sell-side and was there for three years before fortunately transitioning to the buy-side.

Clearly my opinion had some subjectivity and bias, but there is a reason that the majority of finance professionals strive to transition from the sell-side to the buy-side, rather than the opposite.

Are you currently on the sell-side? What do you enjoy about it?

^ Dem iz fighting words. Never bash sellside on AF!!! Let the big lie of M 'n A’in on the Sell Side Modelz Bottles making it rain at Cain live!

If the world only knew what really goes on…