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Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)

#1 Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
06/09/2006 11:54

Jay to deleted (#0)

Hi all. Wondering if anyone can offer advice on making the move from bond trading at an investment bank to consultancy. I am increasingly frustrated by the repetitiveness, lack of social interaction and generally unfriendly environment I work in.

My research is bringing up some interesting opportunities in consulting (e.g. financial/economic strategy), but I have no contacts in the industry to quiz as a starting point. I have no consulting experience, but hope I can offer many traits a firm may be looking for - e.g. decisiveness, analytical skills etc. (and law degree, MSc finance).

I may just call up a number of firms to discuss any prospective opportunities, but do you think (m)any groups would be interested in a profile such as mine?

In addition, I hope to make the move to Sydney in the next couple of years - so lots to work on. Are there many opportunities in the this market?

Many thanks.

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#2 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
06/09/2006 15:16

SM to Jay (#1)

How many years experience do you have and what sort of remuneration are you after? Essentially there are groups that would take you on but likely to mean a salary drop initially.

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#3 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
06/09/2006 16:03

Jay to SM (#2)

I have 3 years experience so still fairly junior. I really don't have a salary limit to move - the decision will encompass a lot more than just money (although not all bankers earn half as much as you think - esp in last few years with margins diminishing).

I would consider starting from near the bottom or in a structured 'associate' role for a good firm that offers a challenge, real training and development, welcomes an inquisitive mind with lots of questions and maybe overseas opportunties (all things that have been lacking up to now).

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#4 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
06/09/2006 18:12

Elizabeth to Jay (#3)

PA, Deloitte and Accenture would all be interested- McKinsey's depending on your academic background. And lack of consulting experience won't matter if you can prove you have the right 'skills'- building trust, communication etc etc

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#5 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
06/09/2006 19:31

Jay to Elizabeth (#4)

Thanks Elizabeth - I think my next step has to be a great deal more research into firms and their respective strengths/weaknessess (e.g. I'm guessing from your comment that McKinsey may consider itself elitist?) and career opportunities (trying to utilise financial experience or a more general path)

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#6 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
07/09/2006 14:46

JC to Jay (#1)

Jay, interesting points you mention about banking. I work in consulting and I'm considering a move the other way. I'm increasingly fustrated by its unstructured natured (jack of all trades - master of none). Also my firm isn't really a meritocracy and wont support me through industry recognised certification.

Banking appeals because of stability, salary, location, and the opportunity to get professional qualifications.

Am I being niave?



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#7 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
07/09/2006 15:37

Jay to JC (#6)

Not naive at all - but aside from your comment about 'jack of all trades...' feel I could have written that message myself. Having read through a number of posts, the grass just seems greener on the other side. Possibly like you I'm doing ok, just becoming increasingly frustrated (I do have a very low boredom threshold) and worried about what actual transferable skills I am acquiring in the long run.

I truly think the days of silly money in baking are quickly becoming history. It's true that there is a lot of money being made, but it's always in 'another field'. I'm happy to answer any questions youmay have, although I can only speak from trading (rather than corporate finance) perspective.

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#8 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
07/09/2006 16:13

John P to Jay (#7)

Hi Jay,

Are you seriously saying there is no serious money to be made in trading especially bonus-wise?

Do you work for a bulge-bracket IB or one of the other big international IBs or one of the medium sized IBs?

What is the salary range for someone like you with 3 years experience in your firm? You don't need to be specific, jus the range. And what is the percentage bonus range?


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#9 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
07/09/2006 16:15

anon to Jay (#7)

Spectrum is starting up an office in Sydney. They'd love you.

Remember, you didn't hear it from me!

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#10 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
07/09/2006 19:16

Jay to anon (#9)

anon - is that spectrum strategy as they already appear to have an office in sydney? but thanks I'll take a look

John - Firstly I should say that I spent 1.5yrs after graduation at a smaller firm (after completing a summer internship there) so time in my current firm is 2yrs. Range is 40-60k basic + bonus of prob 50%-100%+ dependent on whether you're running own book, overall desk profits, overall firm profits etc...I work for a specialist house within a very large, foreign group (not bulge bracket) that I think pay the average (some banks pay a lot more!)

Check out:

The problem is not that there is no money to be made, but being given the opportunity to make it - so much is dependent on internal politics and progression determined by whether your boss leaves or dies! I don't think I'm being arrogant in saying that I think I'm quite good at my job - although certainly still learning - and progressing better than my peers, but ultimately I'm bored - in an industry where I never expected this to be the case.

I do believe you make your own luck and I don't expect to be handed gifts, but the truly meritocratic system I expected is non-existent. I had hoped that with a combination of experience, my own hard work & company tools and training I would have the chance to make (or break) it, but it's not that straightforward. My point is simply that on reading through these posts, there are common dissatisfaction across industries.

One caveat with all this is that there are always particulars / nuances with any firm (mine included) that may not be the norm - so perhaps I've just been unlucky?

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#11 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
08/09/2006 09:52

londonkiddo to Jay (#10)

Jay, might be reading too much into your last response, but if you hope to find a more meritocratic environemnt in consulting, think again. At least in trading your numbers pretty much dictate your bonus - that is a form of meritocracy which only appears at senior levels in consulting, based on sales figures. Before then, we try to be as fair and even-handed as we can. Inevitably though, we can't get 100% meritocracy - bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. Just a note of caution - don't let it deter you from becoming a consultant thoguh. Your skills would be an asset to the industry.

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#12 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
11/09/2006 07:45

Jay to londonkiddo (#11)

Thank you all for feedback to date. I have lots to consider, but appreciate if anybody could answer a simple question:

Which exactly of my skills/experience are so appealing to a prospective consultancy? I don't mean to sound naive (as I have my own ideas), but be great to have a better understanding of how perceived from the 'other side'. Although I feel I have strong analytical, decision-making skills etc. I had always assumed a role such as mine may have been looked upon as too specific?

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#13 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
11/09/2006 09:20

londonkiddo to deleted (#0)

The transferable skills you mention (analytical...etc) are all goodness, of course. But don't forget also that you will have a much deeper understanding of the bond markets than 99% of those grads who entered consultancy straight from uni 3 years ago. Other skills might include: client focus/relationship, work under high pressure, financial acumen...

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#14 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
11/09/2006 09:49

Jay to londonkiddo (#13)

True, but I guess that's my point - specifically, I trade interest rate derivatives. I wonder how exactly I would utilise this knowledge/experience as it is very different from a more general (I just mean this to differentiate - not demean) corporate finance/accountancy outlook and application?

i.e. Why would a bank employ a consultancy firm to advise on anything relating to interest rate derivatives/trading, when it will have it's own team of traders/quants with their own opinions - or am I assessing this too specifically?

...apologies if I'm being an ignoramus, just trying to gauge exactly what consultancies do (and hence what I would/could be involved in)


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#15 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
11/10/2006 16:09

Franco to Jay (#14)

Jay, what about join an MBA and then apply for a consultant position? Btw i think your salary of 40k-60k +50/100% is surely higher of waht u can expect with a consulting firm (and wherever you wish to go outside banking).

PS: I want to be a tarder too.. I'm going to finish university in a couple of months and then i hope to take a one way fly for the City..

correct me if i'm wrong, but trading isn't one of the few job that let you have a life after work and earn a lot of money at the same time? Coroporate finance and consulting are too time demanding (and consulting also pay less).

Btw good luck for your future!

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#16 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
12/10/2006 07:27

Jay to Franco (#15)

Franco - good luck to you too- my advice - put in the hours at uni now to get into one of the best firms in what you want to trade - you'll be glad you did.

I already have a law degree and Msc in finance - only so many qualifications one needs! Any further study would more likely be professionally focused for better overall skills base (e.g. accountancy) as personally I see little real educational value from an MBA and I'm not the type to study for mere prestige value (although maybe overseas - japan - for language/cultural benefit).

Re. your question - it's not quite that straightforward. There is a 'life atfer work', but to give you my example I'm up at 4.15, start work at 6 (finish around 5.30-6) and trust me the markets and your positions are always on your mind. You need to ask yourself is can deal with taking home those stresses to family/friends and not letting it get to you/others. On the other hand, yes the upside earnig potential can be great. Futher advice to you is forget wanting to do it for the intellectual challenge/because you 'find the markets fascinating' etc (although this is important too) - you need to money motivated above all else!

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#17 RE: Banking to Consultancy (And UK to Australia)
12/10/2006 14:01

Boxershorts to londonkiddo (#11)

Why are so many of the threads/cmments here about MC bonuses and these being based on sales figures. This will inevitably lead to a behaviour focused on sales, not on client service/client satisfaction, which is what consulting should be about.


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