Capital Markets Associate - Realistic lifecycle?

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Capital Markets Associate - Realistic lifecycle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:06 pm

Looking to join a firm(s) with a market leading Capital Markets practice.

What is the realistic lifecycle here for an associate? And what are the possible exit-opps in the debt or equity capital markets space?

v5junior

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Re: Capital Markets Associate - Realistic lifecycle?

Postby v5junior » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Looking to join a firm(s) with a market leading Capital Markets practice.

What is the realistic lifecycle here for an associate? And what are the possible exit-opps in the debt or equity capital markets space?


Expand on what you mean by lifecycle?

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Re: Capital Markets Associate - Realistic lifecycle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:18 pm

OP here.

Lifecycle as in how long I can expect to last and what my exit options would be either in-house or laterally.

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Re: Capital Markets Associate - Realistic lifecycle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Lifecycle as in how long I can expect to last and what my exit options would be either in-house or laterally.


Well how long you can expect to last is probably too personal of a question for anyone to be able to tell you, but I can tell you some of the factors that typically influence how long people last.

People tend to find the work a little less interesting than M&A because docs are less heavily negotiated (b/c disclosure isn't usually zero-sum like the terms of an M&A agreement tend to be) and the deals tend to be less important milestones in the life cycle of a company (though obvs not always the case, e.g. an IPO or a major debt restructuring vs. some of the random stuff that gets picked up by M&A groups). On the other hand, the work is a little more "lawyerly" if you're into that--more researching laws/regulations, less process management (scheduling calls, holding the hand of business people at the client who don't do this all the time, corralling hordes of specialist teams--"quarterbacking the deal," as an M&A zealot might refer to it). Hours tend to be about the same as M&A, but they also tend to be much more predictable--you can more or less plan a life around a cap markets deal in a way that just doesn't work in M&A. Hours are also going to vary a lot firm-to-firm just based on how leanly the group is staffed and how much work is coming in--and those things might not be consistent from year to year or even from class year to class year within the same firm (e.g., if 4 out of 12 mid-level associates leave over the course of a year and the firm is slow to replace them).

As for exit ops, it'll depend whether you do issuer-side work or underwriter-side work.

If you are doing exclusively underwriter-side work, your in-house options are probably going to be limited to working at a big bank making 120k-150k with good but not great hours, because your work experience will exclusively consist of helping banks navigate securities offerings, which is not particularly transferable. Laterally, it's going to be pretty dependent on the state of the market, but generally my sense is that it's very easy to find a job if you're willing to stay in NYC forever. Very little securities work is done elsewhere.

If you are representing issuers, in-house exit ops will be a lot better. Any company that's registered for purposes of the '34 act will have a constant flow of work for a cap markets lawyer--depending on the type of company, more than they'd have for an m&a lawyer. Also, just by virtue of the relationship that issuer clients and their outside counsel have, you'll get some generalist experience along the way, which can make you more valuable for an in-house position. Of course, strategics have extremely variable comp structures and work expectations, but it probably helps that registered companies are going to be bigger, and size usually has a positive correlation with in-house salaries.



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