What would be the best experience to break into this group? Would corporate banking experience be beneficial?
Not really, no. Corporate banking is usually bunched together with commercial banking for hiring purposes. That should answer your second question. Most LevFin people I know came from DCM and industry groups within IBD. This depends if DCM is differentiated from LevFin at the Bank as LevFin is usually a product group and not part of the capital markets groups (DCM/ECM). They also take post-MBA associates with a prior analyst stint. LevFin is a great group to go for. Hours are less than general product and industry groups but have great prospects with respect to PE/distressed investing shops. Really, your best bet is an analyst stint. It’s hard to break in even from a trading position (BO/MO/other acronyms are hopeless) because of the heavy modeling involved. Try to go for one of those and prove your worth.
Here are the requirements for an Associate role at CIBC Requirements: KNOWLEDGE/SKILL REQUIREMENTS: . MBA with 2+ years of relevant working experience in a commercial credit and/or equity investment environment. . Other financial designations considered an asset (i.e. CA, CBV, CMA, CFA etc.) . Knowledge of leveraged finance (i.e., capital structures, capital markets, public and private debt and equity markets). . Knowledge of leveraged finance products (i.e., structured/acquisition financings, project financings, loan syndication) and other CIBC products and services. . Knowledge of the business, accounting, legal, tax, banking and regulatory framework affecting customers. . Good lending and analytical skills - knowledge of lending policies, procedures and practices, asset-security valuation, industry and competitive analysis. . Selling, presentation and interpersonal skills - strong written and verbal communication skills. . Strong financial modeling skills. . Strong research skills. . Attention to detail. . Ability to perform analytical work accurately, often under time pressure.
I think it depends on the complexity and type of leveraged stuff you are working on. I work in a group that does middle market leveraged finance with a fairly large but more ‘superregional’ bank. I moved into the role as an analyst after some time in the commercial/corporate banking segment of the bank so what muffin said isn’t always true. That being said most of the associates and up in the group were hired out of MBA programs for the most part. As the bank gets bigger and more prestigious (like Credit Suisse), I am sure the process is more formal and harder to break into in a less traditional sense. I also don’t think its super easy to break into PE just from working in the leveraged space. If you work at one of the top shops like Credit Suisse, yes, but I still think investment banking is the path for 90% of people that get into a PE shop…