How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

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How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:32 pm

Would be moving to NYC (currently in a satellite office of an NYC firm in secondary market). T14 law school if that still matters. Ton of great experience in finance (i.e., lots of experience drafting operative docs and as lead associate dealrunner on some big deals) and great reputation at current firm, but don't want to get stuck doing that forever (I didn't get to pick my practice group). Willing to take a class year cut or two.

Will this be a tough move?

ETA: Currently at a ~V50 if that factors in.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:27 am

I switched practice groups as a 4th year from a specialty group (think tax, exec comp, benefits) in NYC to general M&A/corporate in a large secondary market. I moved firms to do it because my V15 firm dragged their feet in moving groups due to internal politics. My current firm is better ranked and a much better cultural fit for me, so it worked out in the end. I took a two class year cut. I initially regretted taking the cut because the pay drop really sucked, but now with Covid and thinking about taking parental leave/family planning, I'm okay with it. FWIW I am hoping to make partner at my current firm and want as long of a runway as possible to get experience and client contact.

Finance to corporate would probably only need a 1 year cut. Lots of similar work and similar skills needed. Good luck with everything.

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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:27 am
I switched practice groups as a 4th year from a specialty group (think tax, exec comp, benefits) in NYC to general M&A/corporate in a large secondary market. I moved firms to do it because my V15 firm dragged their feet in moving groups due to internal politics. My current firm is better ranked and a much better cultural fit for me, so it worked out in the end. I took a two class year cut. I initially regretted taking the cut because the pay drop really sucked, but now with Covid and thinking about taking parental leave/family planning, I'm okay with it. FWIW I am hoping to make partner at my current firm and want as long of a runway as possible to get experience and client contact.

Finance to corporate would probably only need a 1 year cut. Lots of similar work and similar skills needed. Good luck with everything.
OP here. That's great to hear, thanks for sharing. I'd totally be willing to take a 2 year cut (like, I'd rather have an extra couple years to get my footing than make that extra 30k or whatever but be expected to be 100% on point as a true mid-level right out of the gate). At the end of the day, it's all a lot of money anyway.

How far into the interview process did it take for the class year cut to come up? Did you offer it up pre-callback or did they make it a condition of the offer? Not really sure how it works.

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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:57 pm

I made the switch as a 4th year and took no class cut, though the firm was in a non-major market and definitely needed someone. Also, I think everyone selectively forgot that I was new to M&A and had me doing high-level stuff right away, to the point where I never really learned proper due diligence. I think this wouldn't have happened if I came in as a 2nd year instead. If anything I'd recommend not being upset about class year drop or encourage it. It gives you longer leeway and way less expectations earlier on.

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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Gorges » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:27 am
I switched practice groups as a 4th year from a specialty group (think tax, exec comp, benefits) in NYC to general M&A/corporate in a large secondary market. I moved firms to do it because my V15 firm dragged their feet in moving groups due to internal politics. My current firm is better ranked and a much better cultural fit for me, so it worked out in the end. I took a two class year cut. I initially regretted taking the cut because the pay drop really sucked, but now with Covid and thinking about taking parental leave/family planning, I'm okay with it. FWIW I am hoping to make partner at my current firm and want as long of a runway as possible to get experience and client contact.

Finance to corporate would probably only need a 1 year cut. Lots of similar work and similar skills needed. Good luck with everything.
OP here. That's great to hear, thanks for sharing. I'd totally be willing to take a 2 year cut (like, I'd rather have an extra couple years to get my footing than make that extra 30k or whatever but be expected to be 100% on point as a true mid-level right out of the gate). At the end of the day, it's all a lot of money anyway.

How far into the interview process did it take for the class year cut to come up? Did you offer it up pre-callback or did they make it a condition of the offer? Not really sure how it works.
Anon here. I had a close relationship with one of the partners in the new group from a prior job who recruited me and brought me into my new firm. That partner called me to talk to me about my "proper" year prior to coming into my initial interview. FWIW, I got a job offer the day of my initial interview (which was a callback-style). Offer letter given to me had the info regarding my class year in it. Kind of an unusual situation, sorry if not helpful in your situation.

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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:32 am

I’m interested in this question as well. I’m in my fourth year in the finance group at a V50. But I’m completely burnt out at this point and am considering switching to m&a, private equity or venture capital.

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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:32 am
I’m interested in this question as well. I’m in my fourth year in the finance group at a V50. But I’m completely burnt out at this point and am considering switching to m&a, private equity or venture capital.
Well, think twice if you just want a better work life balance. Because PE/M&A is even more miserable as far as I know.

Anonymous User
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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:23 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:32 am
I’m interested in this question as well. I’m in my fourth year in the finance group at a V50. But I’m completely burnt out at this point and am considering switching to m&a, private equity or venture capital.
Well, think twice if you just want a better work life balance. Because PE/M&A is even more miserable as far as I know.
OP. If above anon’s experience has been anything like mine, with how finance has been the last few years, it couldn’t possibly be worse. Nonstop crushing workload punctuated by insane fire drills. Only gotten worse lately as more workouts have started happening.

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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:23 am

OP here. Bumping for any other thoughts. Expecting to get a list of target firms from my recruiter today.

I initially talked to the recruiter about helping me look for in-house jobs. She said finance associates were basically DOA, that it wasn’t something she could help with and that if I were an corporate/M&A associate she could get me a sweet in-house job easy. I came back a couple days later and said hey let’s just have me lateral instead to make me into that corporate/M&A associate you described since I want to go in-house down the line. Recruiter incentives immediately flipped and she starts talking up how some finance jobs are great for going in-house and asking if it was okay to include finance positions on the target list (i.e., the easiest job to lateral me into and get that fee). Oh recruiters. So painfully transparent.

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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by RedGiant » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:23 am
OP here. Bumping for any other thoughts. Expecting to get a list of target firms from my recruiter today.

I initially talked to the recruiter about helping me look for in-house jobs. She said finance associates were basically DOA, that it wasn’t something she could help with and that if I were an corporate/M&A associate she could get me a sweet in-house job easy. I came back a couple days later and said hey let’s just have me lateral instead to make me into that corporate/M&A associate you described since I want to go in-house down the line. Recruiter incentives immediately flipped and she starts talking up how some finance jobs are great for going in-house and asking if it was okay to include finance positions on the target list (i.e., the easiest job to lateral me into and get that fee). Oh recruiters. So painfully transparent.
Based on this, I would not use this recruiter--you want someone whose advice you can trust.

Anonymous User
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Re: How hard is it to switch groups as a rising 5th year (finance to general corporate/M&A)?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:40 pm

RedGiant wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:40 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:23 am
OP here. Bumping for any other thoughts. Expecting to get a list of target firms from my recruiter today.

I initially talked to the recruiter about helping me look for in-house jobs. She said finance associates were basically DOA, that it wasn’t something she could help with and that if I were an corporate/M&A associate she could get me a sweet in-house job easy. I came back a couple days later and said hey let’s just have me lateral instead to make me into that corporate/M&A associate you described since I want to go in-house down the line. Recruiter incentives immediately flipped and she starts talking up how some finance jobs are great for going in-house and asking if it was okay to include finance positions on the target list (i.e., the easiest job to lateral me into and get that fee). Oh recruiters. So painfully transparent.
Based on this, I would not use this recruiter--you want someone whose advice you can trust.
Yeah actually you're probably right. It did lower my opinion a good bit when she did the flip that quick. I should probably be working with more than one in any case.

Anybody have recs for NYC recruiters (particularly ones that have navigated a practice group switch like the one I'm doing)?

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