One important notice that you should take is that you shouldn’t assume investment banking exit opportunities to be all-and-end-all. Because the word “exit” may trigger a wrong sense about the situation, when you may think it as one-direction-movement, where you shift from investment banking to something else. However, the reality is not so rigid.
Many people actually “have a break”, when they decided to test various fields with an internship in university, or go a Master program, then go to investment banking. After that, they may think of returning to one of those fields.
If you have checked the best investment banking exit opportunities, then you know that the requirements for those opportunities are quite strict. Therefore, if you have decided to exit the industry, get yourself prepare with some criteria which help you pursue the best exit opportunities with the most prestigious and selective ones.
1. A Bulge-Bracket or Elite-Boutique Bank Work Experience
If you have work experience at one of these, you are gaining yourself the best chances of investment banking exit opportunities with mega-fund offers. However, bear in mind that the type of bank you work for has much more impact than a specific bank since it expresses your expertise field. Therefore, when you have a choice between two bulge brackets, your choice shouldn’t be based on the fame but the team and culture you prefer.
If you are at a smaller firm or middle-market, you can still win exits but with bigger effort. However, you’ll have to do a lot more work on your own and aim for smaller companies.
2. The Right Geography
Obviously, financial centers always contain a lot of financial services companies such as banks, insurance companies, asset management companies or hedge funds. Hence, places such as New York, London or Tokyo always possess far more prosperous exit opportunities for investment bankers than other cities in North America, Europe and Asia.
Furthermore, if you are working in the U.S., considering the differences regarding the lifestyle, cultures, etc. between the East Coast and West Coast, it may be a challenge for you to shift from one to another.
The consulting services of investment banking include two main areas:
- Underwriting – Investments bankers raise capital, usually via the IPO process (selling stocks or bonds to an investor) on behalf of corporations.
- Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) – Advisory roles for both buyers and sellers of businesses, managing the M&A process start to finish.
3. A top undergraduate institution and GPA
Not only investment banking but other exit opportunities in the finance industry also prioritizes this criterion in the recruiment process. In general, most people would say that anything below a 3.5 / 4.0 in the U.S. and anything below a 2:1 in the U.K. counts as “low”. Grades below those levels don’t necessarily mean that banks will reject you right away, but they do make it harder to win interviews through the normal process.
Low grades are more of a problem for the most “prestigious” front-office roles: Investment banking, private equity, etc. You could still win middle or back-office roles with a lower GPA, and you could also win non-IB-but-still-revenue-generating roles such as ones in commercial real estate or real estate lending.
4. suitable background & solid deal flow
The industry background matters quite tremendously to your exit opportunities after investment banking, since it influences your skills and expertise, and consequently affect your efficiency and adaptability to the new job. For example, if you work in a specialized company, such as a FIG investment banker, then it would be a challenge to shift into a more general team, a healthcare or consumer/retail-focused private equity fund for example.
Some exit opportunities, especially private equity or hedge fund sector, may require strong knowledge and experience about deals, from originating, creating and executing deals. Your knowledge about this field will be explored deeper in the interview part. Therefore, if you haven’t worked on any deal, then it may be a massive disadvantage.
5. The Right Preparation
The supreme criterion for every interview success. Yet amazingly, there are even ones from Ivy League schools at the top banks, walk into buy-side interviews without understanding a stock pitch or investment recommendation and without knowing their deals thoroughly.
Therefore, if you are aiming for the best exit opportunities after investment banking, it is essential that you walk into the interview room with solid understandings about the company, the industry, and yourself, as well.
Learn more about how to win an interview here.
6. Relevant Pre-Banking Experience
Ideally, you’ll have previous internships that are related to this exit opportunity. For example, if you are aiming for growth equity roles, then experience such as VC or PE internships would be a beautiful highlight.
Above is the list of what you need in order to gain the best chances of winning your exit opportunity. If you still wonder what are the best investment banking exit opportunities for you, check out “INVESTMENT BANKING – WHAT ARE THE BEST EXIT OPPORTUNITIES?”
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