Moving to investment banking, right timing?

Hi all, just needed some career advice and Im sure there are a lot of ppl that can help me here and I would appreciate that. My issue: I have been working with a Big 4 Transaction Services for 1 year and a half. I have been offered a job by one of the best investment banks in the world for an analyst position. I have been offered differring opinions by peers, friends and family. Besides the positives of taking this job, many people (including my co-workers) are saying it’s too early for such a move and you need to boost your accounting skills before you move to a bank. Their logic is that investment banks prefer people with strong accounting skills or law skills, and I would find it hard to move up the ranks there due to my inexperience in those 2 fields. I am not sure about this statement. Is it really hard for me to develop technical skills once in an investment bank. I have worked on several valuations, due diligences, etc and I passed level 2 of CFA. Please help!

At the analyst level you will be learn these skills. Do you think undergrads that enter as analysts have any accounting skills? The answer is a resounding no in most cases. You just need to be smart, work extremely hard, and jump through their hoops and you will do fine.

i don’t think there is anybody who will tell you you need certain “skills” outside of good work ethic to make it in the analyst role. the hardest part about the job is getting it and working 100 hours. or so that is what I’ve been told.

I don’t know if you’re in Europe, America, or where, but I don’t think your friends and/or family members have the slightest clue what they’re talking about (if you’re talking North American investment banking). Not only do you not need “accounting” skills to be a good analyst, you really don’t even need any training in–well, anything. Check a few analyst bios and see how many have any kind of legitimate credential outside of an internship or a B.A. (not even a B.S.!) from a good school. After all, most top banks do their recruiting at schools that don’t even offer degrees in accounting or finance. Finally, most IBDs fully expect analysts to leave after their first 2 years to go onto other things or to get an MBA. Only the truly exceptional stay on to become associates and VPs. But it’s cool because after working for JPMorgan as an analyst, there is pretty much no job in finance (outside of maybe quantitative finance) that you couldn’t get.

kkent, the idea is that for high positions (associate, VP), banks are likely to higher from outside. My concern is not about my possible success as an analyst, but its about my future in the bank and the ability to rise to associate level once i am in.

Top investment banks in the world put up huge sums of money in analyst training programs. You’ll be taught everything you need to know to successfully perform your position well. I was put through a 9 week analyst training program (with specialization in fixed income), and here is an overview of what we were taught: 1.) Macroeconomics 2.) Financial statement analysis 3.) EVERYTHING about fixed income 4.) Equities 5.) Primary and secondary markets 6.) Financial modeling 7.) Basics in derivatives 8.) Some corporate finance 9.) Some gov’t accounting And my company was a garbage firm, and our program, compared to a friend’s at JPM, was absolute garbage. Our typical senior consultants and managing directors had BAs coming out of college with no real background in anything. You’re fine. Take the job. You probably won’t become a VP anyway, statistically speaking. If you still have concerns, ask away at People there are complete bastards, but at least many of them currently work with top IBDs and can put some force behind telling you you’re fine.

Thanks kkent and everyone. Im definitely taking the job.

Your co-workers and friends are lying to you. If it is one of the best in the world as you say, thats BB or boutique like lazard/greenhill/evergreen you should jump on it. The overall skill set you will learn is 100x better than TAS. I think everyone is just jealous of your oppurtunity and they are scared if it was their choice they would fail. But you got the offer because you most likely have the confidence and work ethic to succed.

dezert, but your concern is whether or not you can receive an internal promotion from third year analyst to associate though, right? Without the usual BB analyst to MBA to BB associate track? I’m not in investment banking, but I think its pretty well known that very few people get the heads up and direct promotion from analyst to associate. You’ll have to been in the top of the bonus bucket to get promoted without going back for your MBA after a three year term. Just out of curiosity, how did you apply and get the BB analyst position?

As for your coworkers, I’m guessing their opinions about BB analyst is like that, right? Not “jealousy” or anything silly like that. In any event, even if you fail to get an associate promotion after a three year analyst tour, you’ll still have three years of analyst $$$ , the legendary “exit ops”, and premature aging to boot…

Well i dont want to keep switching jobs, but I guess I might be forced into an MBA or a different career if it is that hard to move up to associate. It is not a BB, but one of the top 5 investment banks. I sent my cv and I got a call. Just to clarify things, I’m not in the US and this bank just opened up in my region recently.

dezert, just an FYI, but it’s not seen as “moving around” if you do a 2-3 year stint in an IB as an analyst. That’s 150% expected from within the industry and you won’t at all be adversely impacted by leaving because it looks like you are moving around a lot. It’s entirely expected. Congrats.

in terms of career wise, it’s def good if you can get into an analyst training program… but i say I BANKING SUX! WHY DID I DO IT!

dezert Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > kkent, the idea is that for high positions > (associate, VP), banks are likely to higher from > outside. My concern is not about my possible > success as an analyst, but its about my future in > the bank and the ability to rise to associate > level once i am in. Dezert - I don’t want to have a pernicious pop at you, and I realise this is an internet forum and I’m always making typos … but … there is a howler in your post above. And it is my experience of being an analyst for a top IB that attention to detail is absolutely everything for your credibility and advancement. I don’t know whether you will be involved in writing research, crunching numbers or preparing pitches but make a single absent-minded error in front of clients, the sales desk or IB’ers and in that shark-pool environment that is like a bucket of chum for incredibly focused sarcasm machines … And all the “reviews” I had were a case remembering minor issues in order to keep talented young individuals ‘in their box’ so that they do not have to promote these drones and train-up some FNG. But Best of British with the new job.

I was thought it was poetic. For low positions in IB and certainly in most positions in other fields, employees are “hired”. However, in in high positions in IB you are “highered”. Kinda like ascending on a pillar of doves…

Ahh … I see. I sit a bit like the Ascension of JC, or the Assumption of M (MoG) ?

I was using the word high and I dont recall how I wrote “higher” instead of hire. Btw I pay a lot of attention to detail, sometimes too much, but im currently under a lot of stress this week with this decision. So easy on me Loxley.

anyone in the industry knows that, for most, these type of positions are very highly coveted. you’d be crazy to pass it up now, because you never know if you can get into it later. a bird in the hand…

i say you should just go for it. ibanking is one of the best places to start. i mean, where else would you be able to get 100 hours of finance work experience and lots of money? some people would say that there are better places to begin ones career, but i would have to say ibanking is one of the best. it certainly beats working in a call centre. go for it man and worry about what comes 2 years later.

def take the role If you find the hours too long, just move to another area like Corporate Coverage or a Cap Mkts type role (DCM, LAF). The Bonus will be slighly smaller, but you will probably have to only work about 60-70% of the hours that you would in IBD. Are you going into M&A? I interned at M&A at university and enjoyed it (US mid cap firm so less hours) Good luck