by Brian DeChesare Comments (220)

All About Equity Capital Markets: How You Get In, What You Do, and What You Do Next


Ok, no more questions about Equity Capital Markets: this one interview with a reader should answer everything on your mind.

We cover how you get in, what the recruiting process is like, what you actually do in capital markets, the culture, and the exit opportunities.

Equity Capital Markets is sometimes labeled Structuring & Origination, and can involve more than just IPOs – for example, underwriting equity derivatives, convertible debt, and hybrid instruments may all fall under the ECM label.

The department also hosts teams for private placements and syndication.

Capital Markets Recruiting

Q: Can you tell us how you got started in ECM?

A: I started as a generalist in the Analyst pool and was eventually placed into the Equity Capital Markets group.

Like any other placement process, the choice was made on the firm’s need and what experience I could bring to the table (ex: investment banking summer internship).

Q: Ok, so you didn’t recruit specifically for ECM – but I’m guessing you’ve interviewed lots of people looking to get in. What’s the recruiting and interviewing process like for ECM?

A: It’s not much different from normal investment banking interviews.

You’ll still get the typical questions on accounting and valuation, but you need to show more of an interest in the markets : how indices are performing, previous issues in a sector you’re interested in, and if you’re interviewing for a convertible debt position you should know how calls, puts, and equity derivatives are used and why they’re used.

They’ll also focus on why ECM vs. other groups – you want to say that you like the markets but you’re still more of a banker than a trader.

Covering derivatives, you’ll get a chance to close hedging trades, and work with traders to see if a convertible could be done in the current market climate. Equity originators typically interact with the sales force and are focused more on the story of the deal (ex: use of proceeds).

A Day in the Life

Q: So what do you actually do in Equity Capital Markets? What does an Analyst there have to do each day?

A: First, note that working in equity origination is different from covering convertible offerings. Both are under the ECM department; other groups include Syndication and Private Placements as mentioned earlier.

On the equity side, most of your work consists of updating market slides, creating case studies on recent equity offerings, working on internal memos such as the sales team memo, and drafting up selling points for equity issues that are about to launch.

The “grunt work” consists of looking up stock ownership and analyzing the buying and selling history of stocks.

The convertibles team is significantly more technical because you’re working with derivatives and you need to develop valuations of convertibles and produce derivative structures suitable for the client.

Just like other types of financial modeling, the math isn’t “hard” but it is a lot different from what you learn in any training program – so there’s a learning curve when you first start.

Q: Ok, so there’s a mix of both qualitative work and quantitative work in ECM, and that the quantitative work with convertibles is a lot different from other types of financial modeling. What’s a day in the life of an ECM Analyst like?

A: The day usually starts at 7:30 AM – usually Syndication is the first group in the office.

The convertible team shows up around 8:00, and the staffer shows up around 7:45 – 8:00.

The actual workplace for ECM is very similar to a trading floor – each computer had Bloomberg, FactSet, and Capital IQ, and the floor is noisy because senior bankers are on the phone with clients and analysts are responding to requests.

After I finish up reading up on the markets and recent news, my Associate stops by around 8 AM with the work that we need to do for the day.

Usually I’m asked to update slides with market data needed for pitches, create case studies on recent equity offerings, make ownership diagrams (show how the composition of institutional investors in stocks changed over time), and create new slides based on the senior banker’s ideas.

Around 9 AM, I get my assignments on the convertible side – updating market summaries, case studies, and convertible valuations for upcoming pitches. Most pitch books have a market review slide to keep the client updated on current deals.

The rest of the day is taken up by these tasks, along with requests we get throughout the day – unlike M&A or industry groups, you do more “take 30 minutes to respond to this request”-type work in ECM. This is the case because you typically cover more than one industry vertical.

I usually leave around 7:30 or 8:00 PM, so the average day is around 12 hours – less than what the average banker works.

The convertible team works somewhat closer to “banking hours” more often and sometimes left at midnight or later, because the work is more quantitative and requires more frequent updates.

Q: Wow, only 12 hours a day – are you sure that was investment banking?

You mentioned a few times that the work in convertibles is more quantitative – for those not familiar with it, can you describe what exactly you have to do?

A: As long as you’re advising clients on raising capital, it’s investment banking. The career path for more senior bankers starts off in coverage and moves to capital markets.

The main tasks for the convertibles team include valuing convertible bonds, creating convertible bond term sheets, and then creating payoff diagrams or schedules for investors. Here’s a representative sample of other products being pitched.

There are a couple of ways to value convertible bonds. A simple method involves looking at each component – the regular bond and the option feature. Inputs to the models include the volatility of the equity and the credit risk for the bond component. Another method is the binomial approach, examining the value of the bond if it were in debt form or equity form at various points.

The convertible bond term sheet simply states the key features of the bond – conversion scenarios, interest rates, maturity, anti-dilution provisions, covenants, and so on (sample term sheet).

The payoff diagram just shows the profit/loss to convertible bond investors at a range of share prices – it’s more complex for convertibles, but you can see a simple example for options right here.

Murders & Executions

Q: Ok, I know almost nothing about convertible bond math so let’s abruptly switch topics. You mentioned before that the equity side had a lot of qualitative work and that convertibles were more quantitative, but how much time do you spend on pitching vs. deal execution?

A: The breakout of my time is something like this:

  • Pitching: 60%
  • Processing Internal Memos: 10%
  • Deal Execution: 30%

Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to spend over 50% of your time pitching in investment banking, unless your group happens to be very busy with clients.

Q: Ok, so let’s say you’re working on an IPO. What type of work would you do and what would the industry coverage team do?

A: First, note that there are really 2 roles for banks in an IPO: book runner and co-manager.

Book runners do most of the work, get the majority of investors, and collect the largest fees, while the co-managers are proportionately less involved and get lower fees. At the book runner level, analysts will develop sales force memos that will highlight selling points and risks for the client’s security.

Most bulge bracket banks will only be involved with IPOs if they serve as book runners, while boutiques and middle market banks fulfill the co-manager role.

In terms of the IPO process itself, both ECM and Coverage are involved:

  • IPO Valuation Model: The industry coverage team begins the model with capital markets’ assumptions about the appropriate discount and how much can be issued.
  • Customer Due Diligence Calls: Mainly coverage.
  • Sales Force Memo: ECM is responsible for this one – we have to analyze and understand the company, and then summarize the key points for the sales force so they can properly pitch it to investors.
  • S-1: Initially the lawyers give us a template, then the industry group makes their additions, then ECM provides feedback, the lawyers weigh in, and this cycle repeats dozens of times until it’s done.
  • Road Show: The coverage bankers are responsible for the road show, but every once in a while ECM gets to see a sales force presentation.

Culture & Lifestyle

Q: So what’s the culture of the ECM group like? I’m guessing there are fewer “Patrick Batemans” if most people leave the office by 7:30 or 8:00.

A: Yeah, that’s accurate. The equity, syndication, and private placements teams are very casual and relaxed – most people play sports, have interests outside work, and everyone is easy-going and approachable.

There is no real “face time” on the equity side – if you’re done at 7 PM, you can go home and no one complains about it.

The convertibles team is more like traditional banking, and staying late / getting saddled with face time is more common.

You’ll get asked to stay late and help with more random tasks and projects in convertibles vs. the equity side.

Q: What about the pay? How do base salaries and bonuses in ECM compare to other groups?

A: Base salaries are standard across all investment banking groups, at least at large banks – so they were identical to what you’d get as an Analyst anywhere else.

Bonuses are dependent on group performance as well as how well the analyst ranks, so it’s hard to generalize there.

Exit Opportunities

Q: So what types of exit opportunities do you have access to if you’ve worked in ECM?

A: You have 3 options:

  1. Move to a coverage group.
  2. Move to a hedge fund in an ECM / markets-related capacity.
  3. Move to an investor relations firm.

The skill set in ECM is more niche: the modeling and analysis is similar to what an analyst in a coverage team would do, but you look at the financial statements in different levels of depth. For example, the valuation of a convertible bond has little to do with the company’s “story.”

You do need to understand those concepts in ECM, but you don’t actually create the models yourself – so it’s more difficult to get into private equity or groups that require a lot of modeling. If you are placed in ECM, you should still review how trading comps are put together, how transaction comps are done, and learn how to walk through an operating model to see how each part fits together.

Q: That makes sense, but what about on the convertibles side? You said it was more technical – so do you have better exit opportunities there?

A: Theoretically, yes, you should have better exit opportunities and you should be able to go to hedge funds that do convertible bond investing.

It’s still difficult to move into PE or anything that requires coverage modeling because your skill set – though it’s more technical – is still different from what’s required in those fields.

Q: So what advice do you have for someone placed into ECM who wants to move elsewhere?

A: Many people sign up for ECM after they complete their investment banking years – it’s an easier schedule, though you can still be on call when the client has a question or request.

As an analyst, it’s very important to know how the valuations are done and how the client’s operating model works.

When preparing to transfer to another group, focus on what’s transferable (hint: making case studies, market slides, working on internal memos) and be sure to hone in on how the groups are similar rather than their differences.

M&I - Brian

About the Author

Brian DeChesare

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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  1. Great article as usual. If anyone can provide some advice regarding summer internships in ECM that would be very much appreciated:

    I have secured a summer internship at MS ECM in the convertibles / equity derivatives group (I must admit I’m no expert with derivatives at all, I have very weak foundational knowledge). A few questions have thus came about:

    1. How might I prepare (on a technical front or otherwise) for my internship to maximize my chances of getting a return offer?

    2. In the article it mentions the group has valuation related work. What resources might I look at to practice this type of valuation – with LBO / M&A etc guides are readily available, ECM / convertible valuation seems to be much more rare.

    3. Any other general advice for a junior with zero experience entering the convertible / equity derivatives area would be much appreciated.

    4. I also hold BB Equity research, BB Asset M and non-bb (standard chartered) ibd offer, if anyone has advice on which offer might make sense for me to take, please let me know. I don’t have much interest to do buy-side (I have no clue what I want to do tbh, but I like ECM for the fact that it seems sustainable – it seems like I can do this for multiple years instead of dying within 2 years in ibd).

    Thank you so so much.

    1. We don’t specialize in that type of group, so I can’t give you detailed advice, but the usual topics (accounting, valuation, Excel, PowerPoint) will still come up, so you should maximize your knowledge of those. We do cover some convertible bond analysis in Module 15 of the Excel & Fundamentals course offered on BIWS. My general advice would be to focus more on networking and less on the technical side because you need people to like you to receive a return offer – but you don’t need super-advanced knowledge of derivatives.

      The best offer really depends on what you want to do long term. ER and ECM set you up to work at the same bank or move to public markets buy-side roles (and same for asset management). An IBD offer would give you broader options but limit you to smaller firms since it’s a non-BB firm.

  2. It’s feh-nance

    Is it possible to work in treasury at a F500 after working in ECM after a couple years?

  3. I’m based in HK and try to break in REPE. Then I found almost all the major funds based in the city are primarily focusing on mainland China. And almost everyone on the deal side (acquisition/investment roles) are local (rule out all the super western mega funds as I don’t have previous IB experience so don’t think I have a slim chance at all). Though I’m a native Chinese, I seriously dislike the local work culture. I’m well aware my perception is limited or maybe wrong, but at the moment I just wanna join a western firm. So do you think I’m after some conflicting things —– western culture Vs. local team & local business?? I don’t wanna find out myself stuck with the wrong things after all the efforts and time devoted. Would really appreciate your ideas. A little background of me: local developer acquisition (2 yrs) and international real estate consultancy (2 yrs) experience; focus on mid-market/niche market REPE.

    1. If you do not want to deal with funds/companies related to mainland China, you pretty much have to leave HK and think about Europe or the U.S. The best way to get there is to work at a bigger company that can sponsor work visas and then push for a transfer to a different location.

  4. Hi there,
    I am a rising 3rd year in college at a small liberal arts college. I’m a business and finance double major and have had a recent interest in capital markets. My question is what extra steps you recommend taking to try to secure a capital markets internship for the summer after my 3rd year. What would be the best way to prepare? Thanks!

    1. Also, how easy is it to break in to ECM if I start doing either S&T or FP&A? Any help would be great!

      1. FP&A would be tough. S&T to ECM is more plausible.

    2. You’re late to recruiting since it now starts a year or more in advance, so get started networking ASAP. You may have to target smaller banks at this stage since large banks hire interns quickly. Learn about the markets, accounting/valuation, and recent ECM deals, but focus on networking like a fiend.

      1. Hey Brian,
        So I had my phone interview with BNP Paribas to do global capital markets and am hoping to get offered a super day interview. If I am what topics should I focus on the most/how should I prepare?

        1. Standard technical questions, find a few recent ECM deals, and be ready to discuss current market trends. This site is good for IPO news:

  5. Hi there ! So I am 3rd year UG at IIT Kharagpur. I am interested in getting into Markets but I have a good opportunity for interning in the Corporate Finance division. I wanted to know your opinion if I should go for it. I am afraid it would affect my long term goal of getting into Equity Capital Markets.

    1. Also I wanted to know whether Equity Research or Corporate Finance is the better option to enter into I banking in future .

      1. M&I - Nicole

        I think both are useful, but if I had to choose I may choose equity research instead because it is industry-focused, on the sell-side, and utilises similar valuation skills/methods.

    2. M&I - Nicole

      I’d say the markets division because you deal with the markets in ECM.

      1. Thank you Mam.

  6. Hi,

    I have a tough dilemma. I was extended an summer internship offer in ECM at UBS but I also have offers at Citi and Barclays both in Sales. All are in london.

    Ideally, I really love markets so I would like to do Sales for a couple of years. But I am scared of getting bored on the longer run so I was thinking of switching to ECM afterwards (I find ECM very interesting but the working hours in the first years put me off…). And I have to admit I find the future of the Sales job more uncertain…

    So I have several questions:
    1) Is it common to switch from Sales to ECM?
    2) Could you please explain the major differences between equity sales and ECM in junior years? development? exit opportunities? People say there is more intellectual challenge in ECM (and IBD in general) than Sales, what’s your view?
    3) Based on league tables, I believe UBS are very strong in ECM (EMEA 2nd to GS) so I find it a great opportunity. What do you think of UBS? Would I be crazy to decline their offer?
    4) I think Citi and Barclays are strong in fixed income but weak in equities. So I would probably join a fixed income desk, would this mean that I could then switch to DCM (not ECM)?
    5) Overall, what would you advise?

    Thanks for your help! It is really a tough choice for me so any comment would be appreciated!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Congratulations on your offers! On your questions:
      1) Not common, but people have done so
      2) Hours are a lot longer in ECM, and you’ll probably be doing a lot more grunt work like perfecting pitch books etc in ECM. In sales you’re likely to have a way better work life balance and get to attend more meetings and meet more people. Yes in ECM you’re probably doing a lot of grunt work and it can be intellectually challenging
      3) No I don’t think it’d be crazy – entirely up to you on what you decide
      4) Yes you can potentially move to DCM
      5) I’d probably go with a sales role, but this is just my personal opinion

  7. incoming ecm analyst… are there any things i should focus on in preparation? aside from following the equity markets regularly… ill be in the standard ibd training with the rest of the ibd candidates…. it seems as though ill learn most of what i need to know once i actually start on the desk.

    also what is the industry breakdown like per ecm team? it seems as those analysts may work for 1-2 different industries. it seems like good exposure. is the breakdown 1 md/svp, 2 associates, 1-2 analysts… per industry group?

    1. Yes, standard accounting and valuation applies… it’s worth becoming proficient with PowerPoint since you’ll use it a lot in ECM. Also maybe gain some familiarity with the IPO pricing and/or other equity follow-on pricing process.

      Yes, that industry breakdown is probably reasonable but it depends a lot on the bank and the location.

      1. do you have insight to the series 79 “investment banking” exam?

        1. No, I seem to remember cramming for a bunch of the Series exams and somehow passing… I don’t think it was that difficult, just requires good memorization skills.

  8. Jana Sonthes

    How possible is it to move from ECM/DCM at for example Berenberg to equity research?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      It really depends on the individual to be honest. I can’t comment on your chances here but if you’ve had some experience valuing companies yes that is possible

  9. Hi,
    I interned with the ECM group at a large bank this summer and received a full-time offer. However, I am looking to apply elsewhere for full-time, focusing on coverage groups rather than product. As capital markets groups typically involve less modelling, how should I structure my resume bullets to let recruiters know that I have the aptitude for the technical work / modelling skills?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      Ben, I’d talk about the deals you’ve done at ECM and the quantitative work you did. Talk about the public comp analyses you’ve done. And also talk about pitch books etc you’ve worked on.

  10. Hello,
    First I want to say that your website is great and very useful.
    I am still an undergrad in Finance, and I interned at two audit firms and one bank. I am graduating next year but I am discovering that I have an interest in M&A and ECM. Although I don’t have a IB experience, I would like to know how can I break in M&A or ECM ? Should I find a graduate program or a placement program ? Thank you for your response

    1. M&I - Nicole

      If you’re graduating next year, you’re a 4th year student. This means you should be looking for graduate schemes.

  11. Crayshawn Smith III

    Thanks for all the useful information on this website. Extremely, extremely helpful. I was wondering if you guys can do a Private Placements article and interview.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Great suggestion. I’ll keep that in mind.

  12. Anonymous

    In terms of exit opps; what are the possibilities to transition into a corporate strategy team at a f100? I’d imagine the face time with clients, industry exposure would help with the networking, but in terms of being a logical step, is it possible? Or its as outlandish as attempting to get into P.E. after doing operations? Thank you!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      If you want to get into PE after operations, I think its best to get a target MBA:

      1. Anonymous

        Nicole – thank you so much for your response. I may have misdirected you with that analogy regarding operations and P.E. My question actually is related to ECM; what are the possibilities of moving into corporate strategy at a F500 after an ECM stint at an investment bank? Thank you again!

        1. M&I - Nicole

          If you don’t have any experience dealing with investors or the capital markets, it can be challenging.

  13. Hi,

    I am wondering what is the private placement’s role in the ECM team. What exactly do they do? and where can I get more information about equity private placements and prepare for an interview? thanks!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Private placement is a private offering (not public), offered to small number of chosen investors. Sellers approach banks when they want to sell off their non public shares and banks will put together a club deal and help them find investors. In terms of what they do, the process can be somewhat similar to what other ECM bankers do, though it really depends on the role and the size of the deal too. There are not too many information on private placements available online because such information is usually more private (no need to disclose to public since it is not a public security). You may want to check out DealBook, WSJ, FT for recent private placements news. is also useful.

  14. Hi, I recently got placed in ECM at a BB for summer internship. The interview above mentions that one of the exit opportunities would be to move to a hedge fund in an ECM/markets-related capacity. What types of hedge funds are these exactly in terms of their strategies? I am presuming event-driven (eg: flipping IPOs) or convertibles investing?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes. There are roles in HFs that correspond with ECM desks. They work with bankers when they’re doing a block and selling off their holdings. Bankers also network with them quite often to understand what’s going on and their appetite for deals. This is a relatively niche area though i.e. there are not that many roles like that available.

  15. Yifei Yang

    Hi Nicole, a quick question.

    So if the interviewer asked me to walk through a recent deal, what kind of deal should I talk about.
    If the interviewer is from say CMO, shall I only talk about IPO or bond-related deal, or M&A is still a choice. Besides, is it a good idea to talk about deals that the bank advised on? I am a bit hesitate on this since it will risk being grilled on with lots of follow-up questions if it is the deal that the interviewer works on.


    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes perhaps a debt-related deal is more useful. Yes if you have solid understanding of the deals the bank advised on I’d suggest you talk about that, though you’re likely to be grilled with lots of follow-up questions, as you’ve said.

      1. Yifei Yang

        Thanks Nicole,
        Could you tell me how to walk through a bond-related deal? I know how to do M&A and IPO, but with regard to bond I have no idea…

  16. Hi Nicole, Brian,

    I recently got a second round interview with Lazard’s convertible securities group. They sent me a case study and a modeling test beforehand. The case study gave me 5 convertible deals and told me to describe them with data and the modeling test is asking me to convert convertible bonds. I have no idea how to do this because I have no modeling experience. Do you have any suggestions on how I can ace this interview? What other questions do you think I will be asked? Thanks

    1. M&I - Nicole

      We don’t have case studies on CB yet though you may find the below links useful:

      I’d suggest you to understand the basics of CBs:

  17. I am a PhD graduate in telecommunications with perfect GPA and some math modelling experience. I do not have much marketing or financial knowledge at the moment. I wonder whether it is better to apply ECM graduate scheme as a analyst level? Or is it better for me to learn by myself and then apply quant? I noticed ECM graduate scheme last 3 years, but heard about it usually hire people with degree in finance.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes it does. I’d invite you to take the to gain more insights on which area fits you best. If you’re more interested in quant, you may want to pursue that instead of ECM. You won’t be able to use much of your quant skills in ECM and it is very relationship driven. At the junior level though you’ll be doing lots of pitch books and the work can be relatively “menial” if you’re used to complex math models

  18. Nicole,
    I am currently considering a career in ECM because I view it as a perfect hybrid between traditional investment banking and S&T. However, I am concerned about the exit ops of ECM and I don’t want to get stuck in the industry if I don’t like it. I know it would be extremely hard to go into PE from ECM, but I’m not even sure I can think that far ahead in my career and if PE is really “the holy grail” for me. Can you go to hedge fund or at least high level asset management from ECM?

    Thanks so much.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Unless you’re going for a relationship management role (or IR role) it can be tough to move from ECM to HF/AM (especially roles that are more quantitative). You can try to move from ECM back to IB (you need the valuation/transaction experience to move to PE/HF) or even Sales (you need experience following the markets to move to HF/AM). And then go from IB/Sales to HF/AM.

  19. I have an asset management background but like to get into banking after my mba. How could i possibly leverage my experience at AM to get into IB – to have a natural connection of dots to tell my story, if any? Looking through the different groups of IB, looks like ECM might be something that’s somewhat related?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      You can say something like you want to contribute to transactions and execute deals rather than just looking at investments. You may also want to cite an example/story that details your “spark” – why you like prefer IB to AM. ECM maybe closer to the markets so it may be somewhat more relevant but it isn’t too analytical so you wouldn’t be using your AM skills (analyzing companies) in ECM

  20. Okay thank you. I was confused because in this article Brian will occasionally refer to the m&a group as just investment bankers, but in reality m&a is one group. This makes much more sense now. Great website!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      yes M&A is a group, financing (i.e. capital markets) is a group, and there are also other industry groups.

  21. So I’m trying to understand the basics of this ipo underwriting. So pitchbooks are made and the eventually the investment bank gets the business. So at this stage I thought the core investment bankers do what you just described the ECM guys do. So what do the core investment bankers do? Maybe if I had a better understanding of the process this would make more sense to me. Also, at boutique firms I’m guess they don’t generally have a seperated ECM team and instead the main bankers at that firm just do the ECM work as well?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      In M&A, bankers provide mergers and acquisitions advice and services to their clients on some of their most complex strategic decisions and transactions (this may not involve the public markets). However, when it comes to financing decisions (i.e. IPOs, secondary offerings, debt issuance, derivative transactions), ECM/DCM is involved because bankers are trying to help companies raise capital from the public markets. There may be exceptions of course. In terms of day-to-day work, it varies a/c to the banks. The level of modeling you do in ECM generally isn’t as in-depth as the level of modeling in M&A, and you’ll be closer to the markets in capital markets.

      Smaller boutiques may only focus on M&A or capital markets, though larger boutiques like Moelis have a separate capital markets division It isn’t uncommon that M&A & ECM bankers have overlapping work at times

  22. I am slightly confused by the function of the ECM in an investment bank. How is the ipo underwriting that ECM does any different than what traditional investment bankers do?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      ECM is closer to the markets. ECM guys interact with syndicate team members who interact with sales & trading guys. Sometimes ECM guys just interact with S&T guys directly. They are more interested in executing the deal i.e. arranging investor relations & roadshows, getting pricing right, dealing with markets and gauging investor interest. M&A bankers usually aren’t that close to markets

  23. Kenneth

    Dear Brian,

    I have an interview for an associate position in a ECM capacity, in a couple of days. I would like to know which topics I should focus on in the financial modeling courses.


    1. M&I - Nicole

      Hi Kenneth, there are some ECM-related questions in the interview guide, such as the trade-offs between equity vs. debt and topics like that, so you may want to review those questions. We do not really cover ECM explicitly in the modeling courses because there is not much to many of the deal types (in an IPO or follow-on offering, the company issues new shares… Equity and Cash both increase to balance each other out).

      1. Kenneth Lai

        Cool. I just had the interview earlier and one of the question posed was how can we calculate the total equity funding a company requires for an IPO. I couldn’t figure out a solution, ie the kind of financial model that we can use based on the models in BIWS (Basic and Advanced).


  24. Nandan. K

    Dear Brian,

    I work at an mid-market investment bank in India in the ECM dept for around 2 and a half years as an Analyst. Sadly, I just found out about your site a few months back. Even sadder on M&I there is nothing except this article remotely referring to ECM. Making a resume with my profile is hell of a job but taking professional help for $400 for it in India is an impossible task too.

    Warm Regards,

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Thank you for visiting our site. We have another article on equity syndicate which you may find useful

      1. Thanks for that Nicole! But any tips on how with an vanilla ecm background like mine can make a favorable resume not only for MBA college but also to move elsewhere in IB or buy-side?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          I understand your concern. Try to have a mix of “high-profile” or larger deals that catch recruiters’ attention and deals where you contributed something more substantial. Focus on modeling or valuation work if possible. Try to link anything qualitative to how it was used in the transaction.

  25. sonia karkar


    This is not quite related to this topic, but I wasn’t sure where to ask this. I’m in the M&A team of a Big 4, and I recently worked on a Project Finance transaction. The topic interests me, could you cover some more information on the topic? Opportunities, and the future?

    Many thanks,

    1. Yes, Project Finance is on the list. We want to cover it soon.

  26. John Smith

    Sorry I have a somewhat unrelated question, but which school would be a higher target for New York. Boston College, Villanova, or Notre Dame? Also could you rate them 123.

    1. Maybe about the same? None of those is a true “target school.”

    2. Notre Dame is definitely a target school. All the major banks recruited from GCM, IBD, and S&T there.

  27. hi

    i want to know that,how to enter in nse capital market as a employee. which course is for this field.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Not sure how NSE recruits but I’d try to visit NSE, give the office a call and network with people there to break in. Readers who have worked in India may give you better insights

  28. Needsomeanswers


    What other exit ops exist? ECM is housed within I-banking and while I understand you do not run the model, you have alot of exposure to models as well as an deep understanding of the markets and what drives successful IPO’s, how companies in your sector trade, etc, is this fair? If you have a background in modeling (say former PE or HF experience) is it relatively common to get looks from investment firms?

    Just looking for more clarity on the exit ops thing, worry ECM is unfairly stigmatized as it is considered ‘banking light’…any thoughts? It is a pretty high profile position within any reputable I-bank I would think?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes this is fair.

      Yes. You might want to demonstrate your knowledge of the markets and experience of analyzing stocks if you want to work for investment firms, because you might not necessarily gain such knowledge in ECM

      Yes ECM is a high profile position in banking, but you will have to spin your pitch a bit if you want to move from ECM to the buy-side because you don’t necessarily gain the modeling/market skills buy-side look for and the clients you deal with are corporates, not institutional investors. Its easier to move to the buy-side if your work is more related to the public markets i.e. Equity Research, S&T and allows you to deal with institutional investors

  29. Hi, I have an interview with a large boutique in their convertible securities group. What kind of general technical questions do you think they would ask me in the interview? I’m a little worried because I don’t have any prior experience/training in ECM. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      You might get questions like What is a CB, how do you price a CB. Readers may have some input too. Check out

  30. confusedguy

    Suppose you get a BB ECM internship. Is it possible to move over to a coverage group (for full-time) or the M&A group? Is it also possible to swap teams during the internship to get a flavour of the other divisions (I know one of my friends was in a converge group and had a week in ECM).

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes it is, but you’ll have to network a lot! Do it sooner than later. Maybe? It depends on your bank and your group. If your group has a lot of work for you, it might not be possible but I doubt it.

  31. confusedguy

    The article also mentions this:

    how indices are performing, previous issues in a sector you’re interested in, and if you’re interviewing for a convertible debt position you should know how calls, puts, and equity derivatives are used and why they’re used.

    Sector – can you pick anything like TMT etc?
    Indices – which ones? How do I check?

    1. Yes, pick any sector. Don’t worry about advanced math for convertibles, not going to come up in interviews. Indices – the main ones in your country, so in the US the S&P 500, DJIA, and NASDAQ… in Japan, the Nikkei, and so on.

      1. confusedguy

        Okay so I need to know whats happened to them like up/down and why? Over the past day, week or year?

  32. confusedguy

    I have a BB ECM interview coming up (they specified ECM). I have BIWS but its said above that the modelling is different? Will I still be grilled on technicals (I study finance and have previous IB internships.)

    I did a couple of equity/debt raising pitchbooks during my previous internship. How should I present them in the best light so I sound employable?

    Do I need to know about derivatives and how to value them etc? I need to know how to value options, etc also? They haven’t said if Ill be on the convertibles team or the other ECM team (which is called?) so idk how technical the interviews will be.

    Any other pointers for prep? I really want to get this internship! :)

    1. Technical questions are similar, they may ask about something like an IPO valuation (use public comps but no DCF or precedent transactions). Equity/debt pitch books – explain the process, the steps needed to complete the financing and cite specifically what you know. Don’t need to know about derivatives or options valuation. Be able to talk about solid recent IPOs and stocks you would invest in.

      1. confusedguy

        Is there more info about ECM technical ques somewhere. I never knew public comps are used but no DCF or precedent transactions… :S
        Pitchbooks – again is there anything that discusses this in detail?
        Got it on the options etc and stocks. How do i ‘pitch’ the stock? Just say what price it was trading at and why i think its a good stock? Are there examples out there?

  33. In some banks, coverage is responsible for sales force memo and ECM gives feedback.

  34. Hi,

    In the article, it is suggested that converts might have better exit opportunities than vanilla ecm, with the interviewee going so far as to suggest convertible arb hedge funds.

    Is there anyone here that can give us a full spectrum of exit opps? I am curious as this field seens really specialised and the exits do not seem as obvious as in M&A.

    Can one get into something like corporate development after? (if I am not wrong, it was mentioned in this site that corp dev just cares about deals)

    Thanks much

    1. M&I - Nicole

      This field is more specialized and I think its harder to break into corp development after

  35. Is Rotschild easier to break in than GS or MS? Also will the exit opps in Rotschild be comparable to GS or MS exit opps?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      It really depends on you and the interviewer. I can’t say. Exit opportunities – depends on what your role is and how you perform & interview

  36. You mention how to talk about M&A transaction experince in the interview guide but how should I talk about Capital market transactions (that is all I did in my internship at a small bank), I didn’t do anything quantative either.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Talk about what you did there, your level of involvement in raising capital, presentations/models you’ve done

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