MBA Finance Career

Advice and resources for MBAs looking for careers in corporate finance

Why an MBA won’t get you the banking job you want. And what you can do about this...

Do you aspire to a job in an investment bank in order to recoup the tens of thousands you’ve spent on your MBA? Before you hit “submit” on your application, here are a few things you should bear in mind about looking for a job in investment banking in Europe with an MBA. Before the financial crisis, investment banks were some of the biggest recruiters of MBAs. I was one of the people recruiting MBAs on their behalf. In 2008, Lehman Brothers was one of the top 5 hirers of MBAs globally. Merrill Lynch, where I’d also worked, was one of the top employers too. Eight years on, and banks have fallen away. Instead, the consulting firms are the biggest recruiters of MBAs from top schools. For example, London Business School’s most recent MBA employment report, for 2014, shows that the biggest hirers of its MBAs were McKinsey & Co, the Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Co and A.T. Kearney. Collectively, these firms hired 71 students. By comparison, the biggest banking hirers (Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Nomura) hired just 25 people. Banks generally hire MBAs into a far narrower range of roles than previously. Ten years ago, banks often hired MBA associates into IBD (M&A and corporate finance) sales and trading, equity research, private banking and wealth management. Now, most MBAs are hired into IBD. A few are hired into wealth management and commercial banking roles, but not many. Trading floors tend to focus on students from financial masters programmes and undergrads. Although banks are looking for relatively small numbers of MBAs, you don’t necessarily need to have worked in banking prior to the MBA. However, banks behave as most employers would...

MBA Degrees Are Best Route To Coveted Senior Banking Ranks...

A business school education is still one of the best routes to senior roles in the financial services industry, according to a new analysis of London-based bankers. An MBA improves bankers’ chances of reaching the top, with 21% of banks’ managing directors – typically the top rank at banks apart from Goldman Sachs – having obtained the degree. The figures were compiled based on analysis of data from 1,650 finance employees in front office positions at London banks by Emolument.com, a salary benchmarking website. “MBAs are a hot topic in tough economic times,” said Thomas Drewry, CEO at Emolument. It will be welcome news for business students, who have entered the financial sector in fewer numbers as banks have faced reputational challenges, and increased regulation since the crisis. At London Business School in 2007, 46% of MBA students got jobs in finance, but in 2013 only 28% did. At Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the number of students landing jobs in investment banking fell from 30% in 2007 to just 16% last year…Read full story:...

When’s the perfect time to take an MBA to advance your finance career?...

s there a sweet spot in your finance career when taking a few years out for an MBA is most beneficial? No, insist business schools, which say they accept old and young students alike. Yes, suggest the statistics and – privately at least – graduate recruiters in investment banks. The theory is that undertaking an MBA is pointless, or at least of minimal benefit, if you have little to no work experience in the real world. Equally, it seems an odd decision to start at a business school with decades of experience under your belt. The most recent classes of top business schools suggest that the optimal level of experience is five years, and the perfect age for starting an MBA is 28 Share on twitter. The class of 2016 at London Business School has an average age of 29 and mean work experience of 5.5 years – the youngest person is 23 and the oldest 38. At Columbia, the average work experience is 5 years, and the oldest person is just 30 Share on twitter, while at Insead the average age is 29 with six years’ of experience. At New York Stern University, where 27% have a background in banking or finance, the average amount of work experience is 4.3 years…Read full story:...

Meet eight new MBA recruits at Morgan Stanley. How did they get the job?...

Getting a job as a newly-minted MBA in an investment banking associate programme in London is no easy task these days. While banks in the US continue to hire the best and brightest business school graduates, European firms are tending to bring in more analysts through graduate programmes for in-house training Share on twitter, or are simply laterally recruiting MBAs rather than indulging in formal associate programmes. Two banks that remain active on campus in Europe, according to the MBA careers officers we speak to, are Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. The latter has just registered its new associate class on the Financial Conduct Authority website. What do these recruits tell us about what investment banks look for in their MBA recruits? 1. Arturo Rueda Ávila Arturo is an associate in Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division, and graduated this year from a two-year course at Columbia Business School. Interestingly, despite studying in the US, his summer internship was at J.P. Morgan in London and this follows seven years’ work experience in Spain and Panama. This is not financial services related, however. Having spent a brief stint working for holiday company Butlins, most Arturo’s professional experience was gained at Spanish construction firm Sacyr Vallehermoso, where he was latterly a quantity surveyor. His Masters in Civil Engineering from Universidad de Granada no doubt also helped bolster his credentials with financial services companies. 2. Raphael Bihler Raphael is a graduate from INSEAD in France/Singapore and has just joined Morgan Stanley’s IBD. He worked for Morgan Stanley for two years before undertaken his MBA last year and rejoining as an associate, suggesting that the bank could have taken the now unusual step of funding his degree. Raphael also has numerous internships under his...

Stanford MBAs: tech is out, finance is in

Lured by some of the most exorbitant pay packages ever given to MBAs, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business made finance once again the industry of choice this year. Nearly three of every 10 MBA graduates at Stanford, or 29% of the class of 2014, accepted job offers in finance, up from 26% last year. So much for all those reports suggesting that finance is out of favor. The increase, largely due to more acceptances in private equity, investment banking and investment management, came at the expense of the technology industry and consulting. Last year 32% of Stanford’s graduating MBAs rushed into tech. This year, the percentage fell to just 24%. Consulting fell to 16%, down three full percentage points from the 19% who chose to become consultants last year. For the consulting industry, it’s one of the lowest draws out of the Stanford pool ever. Only five years ago, in 2009, 32% of the class headed into the field. Finance was able to reclaim its number one position at Stanford because of some extraordinary pay packages it dangled in front of the newly minted MBAs. Graduates who accepted jobs in private equity—12% of the entire class—pulled down median base starting salaries of $170,000, 36% higher than the $125,000 median for the entire class and $20,000 higher than last year’s $150,000 median in private equity. The PE crowd also grabbed some of the highest signing bonuses and guaranteed other compensation. The average sign-on bonus in private equity was $46,250, highest of any sector, while the guaranteed other first-year comp $166,250. Even the median numbers were eye-popping: $40,000 for signing bonuses and $175,000 for guaranteed. For an MBA who collected all three pieces of the pie—salary, sign-on and year-end guaranteed...

The Finance MBA: Life Beyond Wall Street

finance programs aren’t likely to change much in response to the Wall Street collapse; what will change the most are graduates’ expectations For years, finance ” and more specifically, investment banking ” has been the single most popular career track for MBAs. In fact, top schools like University of Pennsylvania and New York University typically send at least 45 percent of graduates to financial services and investment banking firms each year, with Wall Street absorbing the vast majority of those MBAs. That was then. This year, the sector is wheezing from the collapse of at least five major financial institutions and the loss of more than 200,000 jobs ” 60,000 in New York alone. Business-school professors and their career advisers say their finance programs aren’t likely to change much in response to the Wall Street collapse; what will change the most are graduates’ expectations. Investment banks that handle M&As, for instance, will still need qualified new hires. But be warned, says Ed Fredericks, a professor and career adviser at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management: “The jobs aren’t going to be as lucrative, exciting, or crazy as they were before.”Read full...