Thursday, August 26, 2010

Investment Banking Career Advice: Where to Get It?

The other day a younger investment banking hopeful sent me a website,, and asked me if I had ever heard of it. Honestly, I have been receiving numerous questions from people looking for career advice. Though I may know some answers, I could not afford to reply to everything since I'm just too busy or too lazy to respond (Hey, you're not paying me to do that job!). Besides, if you want the best advice, you should get it from professionals who knows ALL the ins and outs of the business. Well, finally, there is this website that I can recommend for some sound advice regarding your investment banking career questions.

From what I could learn through the website, the company offers connections to investment banking executives for career advice, job search help, interview prep, etc. Seemed interesting, but I wanted to find out more, so I reached out to the guy who runs the site to find out more. It turns out that the site’s founder, Chris Carey, is a young guy who used to work as an investment banking analyst, and he was able to put me in touch with a recent customer of his company.

He connected me to Matt, a 25-year old former hedge fund analyst that is hoping to snag an M&A or Equity Research position at a bulge-bracket investment bank in New York. You can read what Matt wrote me about Blue Chip Career below:

Investment Banking Monkey: Why did you decide to try Blue Chip Career?

After a few false starts on Wall Street due to the recession and bad luck, I found myself with an incoherent resume and having not gotten the bulge-bracket experience I have long sought. In searching for investment banking career counselors, I came across Blue Chip Career. Because Chris runs a third-party service, Blue Chip Career can tailor your consultations according to your needs and objectives. You aren’t talking to a solo practitioner who might claim their expertise is well-rounded when it is not. With Blue Chip Career, Chris has brought together a group of advisors with experience in every corner of Wall Street.

Which advisors did you speak with?

I met with three advisors, Patrice Green, Ozgur Demirial, and Pierre (PJ). I chose these advisors, because they had backgrounds at both bulge bracket investment banks and hedge funds.

What was the consultation experience like with these advisors?

I saw PJ first, and we met at a Starbucks. Because he is launching a hedge fund and will be looking to hire, PJ has the perspective of a potential employer. For example, when I mentioned that I am planning to get an MBA in a few years, he immediately cut me off and said he would be more likely to hire me if I have a CFA, and that is a sign of things to come on Wall Street. His straightforwardness and experience in both Equity Research and Investment Banking combine for a well-rounded perspective. Additionally, he was quick to point out a few kinks and inconsistencies in my resume.

I met Ozgur a week later. As a CFA who has worked in both Investment Banking and Hedge Funds, he has a different perspective from many on Wall Street who say that the CFA does not provide many marketable skills within the investment banking sector. As he is now working in Asset Management/Hedge Funds, that constituted the bulk of our conversation. He immediately jumped on my resume as soon as I handed it to him, pointing out a few things that could be revised.

My last meeting was with Patrice. She had worked under a few of the most powerful people in Wall Street history, so as we discussed the history of Wall Street since the 1980’s she gave me a very interesting perspective on the evolution of the investment banking business. As she runs a fund, she was very up to date with the employment market and what bulge bracket firms are really looking for. She also reminded me that getting a job involves a great amount of politics, as does advancing within a firm once you are working there. As PJ and Ozgur did, she gave me a number of pointers on my resume.

Would you recommend this service to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. It can be scheduled at your convenience, a very customer-is-right feature. It is geared toward people my age whose career path may have been thrown off by the recession, and the advice is from people who have years of high-level experience on Wall Street.

I was definitely hesitant at first to pay for career advice, but I’m glad that I decided to schedule my consultations, as they were a great help and value to my career. In fact, I plan on using Blue Chip Career again as my career progresses.