Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:05 pm

I'll be heading to a V10 in the fall after graduating this May. Last summer I rotated through several groups and enjoyed my time in capital markets and M&A the most. What will the work be like as a young associate in each group? How will my responsibilities or substantive work assignments change through the years (that I'm able to stick it out)? Does one area offer higher associate satisfaction?

Basically, which group would be the smarter choice for my career?

desertlaw
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:03 pm

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby desertlaw » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:33 pm

Is it not possible for you to do both for the first year? I would recommend getting experience in both if possible, at least for the first year or two.

Here's the difference in my opinion, after doing a year at V10 with about 40% cap markets, 60% M&A (so I won't speak about long-term). YMMV as this is only with 1 year of perspectivce (other threads on the "what's your typical day" do a better job explaining some of these concepts in detail):

M&A diligence is not enjoyable as you're reviewing thousands of documents for red-flags and creating (or reviewing) disclosure schedules. That isn't very fun, but I suppose you could see it as somewhat interesting in that you're learning about how a business is run. M&A from a higher level can get pretty creative, especially private M&A, when it comes to certain provisions and deal structure. It seems like higher-level M&A work is pretty interesting and you get to work with and advise the clients/business-decision makers.

Capital markets diligence as a junior is not as difficult in my opinion, especially underwriter's side. Capital markets is very much form-driven and you're often just duping out a previous deal. Further, you could do probably 20 capital markets deals in one year as a junior associate and quickly build up experience in these deals, whereas you can probably only do maybe 8-10 M&A deals in one year (assuming you're taking on a role that is 40+ hours per week). The preceding two sentences are for non-IPO cap markets work. IPO work is a bit different but haven't had much experience in that.

For timing/QOL, capital markets is predictable after it starts: launching, signing, closing are all pretty much set once things get moving. Once you start, you usually have a very solid idea when the pain will be done. However, capital markets deals can come out of nowhere on a Friday afternoon and your weekend is ruined. M&A deals rarely have a structured schedule and they never sign/close when originally planned (these deals can just drag on for weeks/months). I had a deal start in September that we were supposed to sign/close in early October. It ruined my Thanksgiving and almost my Christmas. In terms of being surprised by a deal coming, while a partner can still hit you up on a Friday afternoon to start diligence for a M&A deal, it rarely is mission critical to have done by Monday.

Because of M&A's dragging schedule, you can learn a lot and there is usually time to sit with a senior associate to have them explain concepts. In cap markets deals, in my experience, things are going so fast that you have no idea what happened until it is all done.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:29 pm

OP here. Thanks for the response. I really appreciate it. Lots of things to think about going forward, but I think I'm leaning toward cap markets.


Anonymous User
Posts: 273491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:14 am

Does anyone have a sense of which of these practices has better/more numerous exit options, especially for in-house?

User avatar
rickgrimes69
Posts: 1107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby rickgrimes69 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:09 pm

Relevant to my interests. If anybody has experience with fund management, specifically hedge/mutual funds, I would be interesting in hearing their experiences as well.

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6384
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby 5ky » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:35 am

rickgrimes69 wrote:Relevant to my interests. If anybody has experience with fund management, specifically hedge/mutual funds, I would be interesting in hearing their experiences as well.


i found junior work in fund formation to be terribly boring and painful. it looked like it would get a little better as you moved up, but ugh

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6384
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby 5ky » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:43 am

desertlaw wrote:Is it not possible for you to do both for the first year? I would recommend getting experience in both if possible, at least for the first year or two.

Here's the difference in my opinion, after doing a year at V10 with about 40% cap markets, 60% M&A (so I won't speak about long-term). YMMV as this is only with 1 year of perspectivce (other threads on the "what's your typical day" do a better job explaining some of these concepts in detail):

M&A diligence is not enjoyable as you're reviewing thousands of documents for red-flags and creating (or reviewing) disclosure schedules. That isn't very fun, but I suppose you could see it as somewhat interesting in that you're learning about how a business is run. M&A from a higher level can get pretty creative, especially private M&A, when it comes to certain provisions and deal structure. It seems like higher-level M&A work is pretty interesting and you get to work with and advise the clients/business-decision makers.

Capital markets diligence as a junior is not as difficult in my opinion, especially underwriter's side. Capital markets is very much form-driven and you're often just duping out a previous deal. Further, you could do probably 20 capital markets deals in one year as a junior associate and quickly build up experience in these deals, whereas you can probably only do maybe 8-10 M&A deals in one year (assuming you're taking on a role that is 40+ hours per week). The preceding two sentences are for non-IPO cap markets work. IPO work is a bit different but haven't had much experience in that.

For timing/QOL, capital markets is predictable after it starts: launching, signing, closing are all pretty much set once things get moving. Once you start, you usually have a very solid idea when the pain will be done. However, capital markets deals can come out of nowhere on a Friday afternoon and your weekend is ruined. M&A deals rarely have a structured schedule and they never sign/close when originally planned (these deals can just drag on for weeks/months). I had a deal start in September that we were supposed to sign/close in early October. It ruined my Thanksgiving and almost my Christmas. In terms of being surprised by a deal coming, while a partner can still hit you up on a Friday afternoon to start diligence for a M&A deal, it rarely is mission critical to have done by Monday.

Because of M&A's dragging schedule, you can learn a lot and there is usually time to sit with a senior associate to have them explain concepts. In cap markets deals, in my experience, things are going so fast that you have no idea what happened until it is all done.


good post. IPO work, especially issuer-side, is a totally different game than follow ons, there's much more work. however, i found it fairly interesting and felt more like practicing "real" law, because you were the ones who were taking all of the procedural steps to turn them into a public company, etc.

User avatar
rickgrimes69
Posts: 1107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:08 pm

5ky wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:Relevant to my interests. If anybody has experience with fund management, specifically hedge/mutual funds, I would be interesting in hearing their experiences as well.


i found junior work in fund formation to be terribly boring and painful. it looked like it would get a little better as you moved up, but ugh


Is filling out N-1As really that much worse than drafting OMs and S-1s?

Can you also comment on the work/life balance? I've heard workflow in fund formation is marginally more predictable than Cap M or M&A

TheColonel
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby TheColonel » Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:25 pm

Can anyone speak to the different sort of exit options available for mid-levels, assuming the firm is in the V10 range?

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6384
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby 5ky » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:43 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
5ky wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:Relevant to my interests. If anybody has experience with fund management, specifically hedge/mutual funds, I would be interesting in hearing their experiences as well.


i found junior work in fund formation to be terribly boring and painful. it looked like it would get a little better as you moved up, but ugh


Is filling out N-1As really that much worse than drafting OMs and S-1s?

Can you also comment on the work/life balance? I've heard workflow in fund formation is marginally more predictable than Cap M or M&A


i dont think the fund formation work i did has done anything with an n-1a yet. it was just endless months of turning changes in LPA/sub docs/side letters and then bs corporate formation documents

fund formation isn't supposed to be as bad as m&a/cap markets for work life, but the 3+ months of a project i was on was pretty bad.

desertlaw
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:03 pm

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby desertlaw » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:45 pm

Mid-level exit options that I've seen in the past few years are usually in-house at a large (usually public) company, ranging from General Counsel to being one of many in-house attorneys in a large in-house legal department.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:51 am

desertlaw wrote:Mid-level exit options that I've seen in the past few years are usually in-house at a large (usually public) company, ranging from General Counsel to being one of many in-house attorneys in a large in-house legal department.

Is this for cap markets or M&A? Or both? Do exit options appear to be equally desirable and plentiful for both groups?

desertlaw
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:03 pm

Re: Short- and long-term differences b/w Capital Markets and M&A

Postby desertlaw » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
desertlaw wrote:Mid-level exit options that I've seen in the past few years are usually in-house at a large (usually public) company, ranging from General Counsel to being one of many in-house attorneys in a large in-house legal department.

Is this for cap markets or M&A? Or both? Do exit options appear to be equally desirable and plentiful for both groups?


Was for a department where people did both types of work but specialized as they got more senior, so it's hard to say based on my sample. M&A maybe slightly better.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.