What is the difference between cap markets, M&A, etc.?

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What is the difference between cap markets, M&A, etc.?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:50 pm

I'm a first-year corporate generalist at a small firm. I did litigation for my SA. I never really understood the differences between the different corporate sub-practices, and I don't think I'll learn them via practice because at my firm, all corporate lawyers dip their toes in everything, and obviously no one labels anything.

I know this is a very stupid question, but I'm not sure how to find the answer other than experience, and I'm not confident I'll get it there any time soon.

Finance, PE, cap markets, M&A, emerging companies, securities...

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Re: What is the difference between cap markets, M&A, etc.?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a first-year corporate generalist at a small firm. I did litigation for my SA. I never really understood the differences between the different corporate sub-practices, and I don't think I'll learn them via practice because at my firm, all corporate lawyers dip their toes in everything, and obviously no one labels anything.

I know this is a very stupid question, but I'm not sure how to find the answer other than experience, and I'm not confident I'll get it there any time soon.

Finance, PE, cap markets, M&A, emerging companies, securities...


Read a Vault guide. Look at larger firms' websites--they explain what those things mean. Check out Latham & Watkins' books of jargon, which are online glossaries.

Short answer:
Finance - usually means debt finance or bank loans, often secured loans (like secured transactions + commercial lending).
PE - this can mean representing the funds that invest or private-equity backed companies. Private equity is equity (stock) ownership that is not traded on an exchange. Usually these firms are levered (loaded with debt which is sold to other investors) by the private equity firms at the time the PE firms invest in the equity. This helps them generate outsized returns before they sell these companies off a few years after investing, once they have streamlined the companies' operations to be leaner and more profitable.
Capital Markets - this involves the actual issuance of debt or equity securities (raising capital) for companies (so issuing stock or bonds). In some firms, this can also mean very complex instruments as well, like dealing with derivatives, securitized instruments or hybrid securities.
M&A - this stands for mergers and acquisitions. Pretty self explanatory--buying, selling and merging companies.
Emerging Companies - this generally means startups, or companies that have sold equity securities to angel investors, friends and family or venture capital firms.
Securities - Closely related to capital markets, but this generally involves companies that have listed securities (stocks that trade on an exchange, like Nasdaq or NYSE) or bonds. Securities law can also involve compliance with securities laws by private companies that have issued securities that are not listed.

Hope this helps. If you haven't taken corporations, you should.

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Re: What is the difference between cap markets, M&A, etc.?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:17 pm

Synopsis above is dead on. Also will throw in Investment Funds (“funds group” or “funds work” more colloquially). Those guys do the formation and structuring of new PE etc. funds. You’ll see all of these groups interplaying with each other pretty frequently if you’re involved with private equity clients. The PE firms use your M&A lawyers to do a deal, use your finance lawyers to get the financing worked out to fund those deals, they’ll use your tax guys, will use your CapM guys to issue debt for a deal or spin off a portfolio publicly etc. All of these can run together frequently.

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Re: What is the difference between cap markets, M&A, etc.?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:39 pm

Thanks for the helpful replies!



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