Corporate lateral as a 2nd year for better exit options

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Corporate lateral as a 2nd year for better exit options

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:09 pm

In corporate finance group at a big NY firm. Get 5 headhunter calls a day, each of them tells me if I want to do in-house (which I guess is what I want to do because I don't think I can keep up this pace for much longer than a few years) I should try to do M&A -- or if not that, Cap Markets -- or try to find a smaller firm now where I can get general corporate experience. Basically saying that more finance experience will be a waste of time unless I want to do finance work the rest of my life or exit to a bank.

I am skeptical of headhunters as they obviously would prefer I make a move now, but it seems like most of the non-firm openings want M&A experience or some type of experience with SEC disclosure. I have a good reputation and relationships at the firm; not sure how valuable those might be long-term if I'm not trying to make partner.

Headhunter also said lifestyle at smaller generalist firm will be significantly better, and lifestyle at another NYC biglaw firm that is not quite as active as mine will be a smidge better (I think my group may be one of the busier groups in the city, we average over 150 hours more per lawyer than M&A in same firm). Also not sure if this matters but just by virtue of working so damn much I think I am beyond my peers in the other groups - could that be valuable down the line?

Basically it feels like wrong time to make a move since I've settled in well here and they say sweet spot is years 3-5, but maybe that doesn't matter if I'm not getting closer to a desirable exit from Biglaw.


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Re: Corporate lateral as a 2nd year for better exit options

Postby v5junior » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:46 pm

If you don't want to work at a bank or other financial institution, definitely move now. Much easier to retool as a junior, and there is no question that corporate finance is going make it harder for you to exit to something other than a bank or other financial institution.

ETA: revised to be a little less strong--agree with the other comments in this thread.
Last edited by v5junior on Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Corporate lateral as a 2nd year for better exit options

Postby takeseven » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:46 pm

I made the same exact move from corporate finance to M&A when I was a second year because I definitely did not want to work at a bank or fund. I recently moved in house to a company so it worked out for me. If its what you want to do, you should make the move soon while firms are still willing to re-tool you without setting you back.


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Re: Corporate lateral as a 2nd year for better exit options

Postby BlueParrot » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:24 pm

I never trust recruiters who cold call (or any recruiters for that matter), but their advice isn't necessarily wrong here. I know finance people who have taken general in-house jobs at some pretty cool companies (not finance or bank related), but people generally seem to think the jump is easier if you are in M&A. So, it's not impossible to get the job you want if you stay in finance, but possibly easier if you get some M&A experience.

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Re: Corporate lateral as a 2nd year for better exit options

Postby dailygrind » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:40 pm

I mean, a friend of mine in structured finance just made the jump to go in-house at an asset manager, and he was hired to do 40 Act stuff. You can leave big law to do a wide variety of things, not all of which have to be directly related to what you were doing in big law. It's definitely easier if there's a clear link between your big law gig and your exit option, though.

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