Part Two: IB & Corporate

This time, we follow an investment banker who moved to an in-house Corporate role and has since returned to IB:

1. Can you recall what made you choose a move to an in-house Corporate role in the first place?
I had been considering moving to the corporate side for the prior few years of my IB career but could not find a role that I thought offered enough variety and challenge. Ultimately, the move back to Australia from London provided the catalyst to intensify my search and I ended up securing a role in one of the most respected corporate development teams in Australia. The desire to move to corporate side was driven by the fact that I always felt one step removed from the actual operations of my clients’ businesses – I wanted to get into the detail of how these businesses ran and to also follow investments through beyond just signing the deal.

2. How did you find the transition? Any advice for those seeking such a move ? What are the pros and cons of an in-house role?
It definitely took a decent while to adjust to the lower intensity of the role (this is not necessarily a bad thing!) – but I then began to really appreciate the work/life balance I had.
I also found the variety of work quite overwhelming initially – I felt very comfortable in my prior banking role and that I ‘knew’ what I was doing when given a task. The work on corporate side was often very ambiguous which took some adjusting.

3. What were the reasons for a move back into advisory?
I really missed the intensity of banking and the drive and motivation of those around me. The advisory role I have moved into is also a unique proposition – I don’t think I could go back into bulge bracket banking and all the red tape that comes with that.

4. How has the transition gone? Happy with your decision?
It is still early days but going well so far. I am loving being back around the banking buzz!

5. Do you think you make a better advisor having spent time on the client side? As a sort of poacher turned gamekeeper turned poacher again?
100%. I was on corporate side for less than 2 years, but I am amazed at how much I learnt during that time. I was lucky in that I worked across several businesses when on the corporate side and not a day goes by where I don’t draw on some experience from that time. Clients are also very receptive to the different experience I have and due to the overlap of my corporate role and banking coverage, it has been incredibly insightful in client meetings.

6. Did the move to the corporate side affect the level you were able to move back into advisory or did it not matter at all?
No, but I moved across to corporate side when I already had more than 10 years banking experience.

Any other points you’d like to add?
If considering the move to the corporate side, take your time to find the right role. You want to ensure that you are actually doing proper thinking and not just project management. The corporate that I worked at barely ever engaged advisors on M&A which meant I got great, hands-on experience.

By Jon Michel
Any comments please email jmichel@jmichel.com.au