Fed up with life in investment banking? There is an alternative: consultants are hiring. McKinsey & Co., the strategy consulting incarnation of Goldman Sachs, was recently seen soliciting financial services consultants in The Economist, and recruiters in the field assure us there are opportunities aplenty – providing you have the requisite top class degree and big name bank on your CV.
A quick perusal of McKinsey’s own website shows it’s looking for corporate finance associates (minimum two years’ strategy, corporate finance, M&A or valuation experience in a consulting firm, investment bank, accounting firm or major corporation), and corporate finance analysts (AKA graduate trainees).
A spokesman for the firm declined to comment on whether the recruitment drive is down to a) a rush of business, or b) an effort to capitalise on investment banker dissatisfaction, leaving us to assume that it has something to do with both.
Miles Kennedy, a partner in the risk management consultancy arm at PricewaterhouseCoopers, says financial services consulting is “volatile and patchy”, although risk management is still a hot area.
In view of the latter, Kennedy says PwC is accelerating the growth of its risk consulting team.
“Quality of candidates has been the issue in the past,” says Kennedy. “But that’s changing as people, including risk management specialists from investment banks, increasingly appreciate the challenge and variety that consulting offers.”
Rakesh Pabbi, of recruiters Consulting Point, says smaller consulting firms are willing to pick up people with investment banking experience. The pay isn’t great, though: “If you’ve got a top degree and have spent four years working in M&A in an investment bank, you’ll come in on 50k-70k, plus a 10-15% bonus.”