Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

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Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:41 pm

For a M&A associate with 2 years experience (and some finance/accounting ability), are there opportunities for corporate development positions? What about investment bank associate positions? Has anyone received inbound calls from recruiters for said positions? Historically this has seemed to vary with the economy, so input given the 2015 environment would be very interesting.

Any experienced insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks all.

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:39 am

Bump

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:20 am

Very rare. Youre a lawyer, not a businessman. You see the jump to IB associate occaisionally from firms that do a lot of work for advisors, but at my firm with its dozens-strong M&A practice, I think I've seen that move once in 6 years.

There are plenty of folks who join legal side in house and work closely with business development - someone needs to manage the outside lawyers and translate things for the business guys - and sometimes that job can evolve into pure business development after a few years in house. But it's very rare, virtually unheard of to start in a pure business role.

It's worth repeating: the best way to not be a lawyer is to not go to law school, and then not to work as a lawyer thereafter. Legal training trains you to be a lawyer and folks hire accordingly. All decent transactional lawyers have some accounting and finance chops, but thats not remotely enough to get you a place on the finance track unless you demonstrate some sort of singular skill that you're unlikely to have.

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:29 am

I would guess its rare, but that is not because its exceedingly hard to do, mostly because the people that want investment banking probably tried to get it in college rather than going to law school. I know a few people that went from law to investment banking, they had prior finance experience and a grasp of excel (which most lawyers dont). If you are looking to make the switch, you may want to take level 1 of the CFA to demonstrate you have the basic quant skills needed and then network with people that either went to your law school or undergrad.

I doubt recruiters will call you for IBD or corp. development roles though, you have to go out and get those.

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:50 pm

OP here. Thanks for the responses. To clarify, the caveat in the original post was meant to indicate that the applicant did have a substantial finance/accounting background (e.g. top b-school undergrad, CFA, etc.). It is assumed that those without will find the switch extraordinarily difficult (without relationships at a more senior level).

Also, this post was inspired by the thread below. The OP therein is a 3-5 year M&A associate who received an inbound call from a headhunter concerning an opening in a F500 corporate development/M&A department. Said OP does mention he has a strong finance/M&A background pre-law school. Again, the caveat in the original post was intended to limit the question to those with a relevant background.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=244377&p=8421956#p8421956

Any other input?

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:59 pm

midlevel at v10 here. received one call from headhunter about IB position. I wasn't interested, but few months later someone from my firm left for IB - I assume it was for the same position. this is probably an outlier. most of these positions are probably hustled into but who knows. other people in my firm left for IB as well but no clue how they got it. some definitively did come from target undergrads

ill also add youll need more than two years. probably 3-5 is more standard from the people I've seen leave. banks take lawyers because they have a solid knowledge of deal mechanics. you just don't get that as second year.

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:00 pm

just curious, if you're leaving biglaw to join a bank at around year 3-4, are you coming in as an associate or a VP?

if you're going in as an associate...why would you make that transition? wouldn't you be making the same (or possibly less) for slightly more hours and another learning curve to deal with? I guess I understand if you'll make VP where at least you'd earn significantly more than almost all biglaw associates, but isn't making VP far from a guarantee? Or am I missing something (maybe substance of work is more enjoyable...but somehow I greatly doubt that)?

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the responses. To clarify, the caveat in the original post was meant to indicate that the applicant did have a substantial finance/accounting background (e.g. top b-school undergrad, CFA, etc.). It is assumed that those without will find the switch extraordinarily difficult (without relationships at a more senior level).

Also, this post was inspired by the thread below. The OP therein is a 3-5 year M&A associate who received an inbound call from a headhunter concerning an opening in a F500 corporate development/M&A department. Said OP does mention he has a strong finance/M&A background pre-law school. Again, the caveat in the original post was intended to limit the question to those with a relevant background.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=244377&p=8421956#p8421956

Any other input?


Guarantee you its a mixed legal/business side. I get those calls with some frequency.

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby lacrossebrother » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:just curious, if you're leaving biglaw to join a bank at around year 3-4, are you coming in as an associate or a VP?

if you're going in as an associate...why would you make that transition? wouldn't you be making the same (or possibly less) for slightly more hours and another learning curve to deal with? I guess I understand if you'll make VP where at least you'd earn significantly more than almost all biglaw associates, but isn't making VP far from a guarantee? Or am I missing something (maybe substance of work is more enjoyable...but somehow I greatly doubt that)?

I would have guessed you went in as an analyst

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby cookiejar1 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:36 am

You'll get better information at WSO - see, for example, this thread and other related ones: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b ... g-thoughts

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:just curious, if you're leaving biglaw to join a bank at around year 3-4, are you coming in as an associate or a VP?

if you're going in as an associate...why would you make that transition? wouldn't you be making the same (or possibly less) for slightly more hours and another learning curve to deal with? I guess I understand if you'll make VP where at least you'd earn significantly more than almost all biglaw associates, but isn't making VP far from a guarantee? Or am I missing something (maybe substance of work is more enjoyable...but somehow I greatly doubt that)?


As a big law associate, the level you enter ranges from a first year associate to VP (with several levels of associate in between), depending on your experience, your client relationships, the bank's needs, etc.

Making the switch from biglaw to IB is done for a number of reasons, including: different work substance; personal interest in finance over legal matters; being involved in deal origination; higher ceiling on compensation for the given level, in most instances; different exit opportunities; among others. Hours will usually be the same or worse, and there will likely be a significant learning curve. It is more of a personal choice rather than an "objectively" better position, etc.

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:54 pm

OP here. Thanks for the responses everyone. Anyone else have any *recent* anecdotes/data points to share?

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:12 am

everyone drools over IB here but probably not all its cracked up to be. an anecdote that sticks out was we have a very senior associate (v50) go to IB at the VP level. he was there for 1.5 yrs then came back. he hated it. there was no training whatsoever and it was a totally different pace and he just couldn't adjust. I assume he was making more money there but clearly that's one person who thought it wasn't worth it

also, if you want IB for the exit ops (think PE or HF),know a lot of the really good exit ops go to the analyst who are the ones running the models/spreadsheets and learn really good valuation skills. the associates are there to supervise the analysts and liason between analysts and higher-ups as the analyst may not have such a good grasp on bigger picture. VP is even more removed from the gritty nitty of the numbers. im sure you can still get in from associate level its just a bigger hurdle is all. although I imagine a person who spent a few years as a corporate lawyer, then a few years as a banker, would be a pretty good catch for most PE firms, maybe less so HFs

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Re: Biglaw --> Corporate Development/IBD in the 2015 Economy

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:everyone drools over IB here but probably not all its cracked up to be. an anecdote that sticks out was we have a very senior associate (v50) go to IB at the VP level. he was there for 1.5 yrs then came back. he hated it. there was no training whatsoever and it was a totally different pace and he just couldn't adjust. I assume he was making more money there but clearly that's one person who thought it wasn't worth it

also, if you want IB for the exit ops (think PE or HF),know a lot of the really good exit ops go to the analyst who are the ones running the models/spreadsheets and learn really good valuation skills. the associates are there to supervise the analysts and liason between analysts and higher-ups as the analyst may not have such a good grasp on bigger picture. VP is even more removed from the gritty nitty of the numbers. im sure you can still get in from associate level its just a bigger hurdle is all. although I imagine a person who spent a few years as a corporate lawyer, then a few years as a banker, would be a pretty good catch for most PE firms, maybe less so HFs


Thanks for this post, Anon - that is a helpful anecdote. Perhaps it was unnerving for the senior associate to have such little guidance, particularly given that he/she was probably quite comfortable and highly regarded in the V50 position. Having to undergo a steep learning curve after becoming used to that level of expertise would likely be challenging.




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