MA Financial (Moelis)
New name, same game
MA Financial doesn’t really have that same ring to it, but it is still the same firm that was until last year, called Moelis Australia. Founded in 2009 in partnership with the US Moelis & Company as a joint venture and listing on the ASX in 2017, it has become something of a boutique powerhouse in its own right in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, Moelis & Company (the US arm) has just reduced its stake in MA Financial to 15% and its name is now no longer seen in the firm’s advertising materials. It seems to us that MA Financial is looking to carve a name for itself in its next stage of growth.
Despite all this dress up, we hope you won’t be too surprised to learn that the Moelis culture is still pervasive throughout the firm. Its reputation of “work hard, play hard” does not escape the bankers at MA Financial and you will be expected to put work first above all else. Yes, it may get a bit sweaty but you will be rewarded and recognised for your hard work. Just be sure not to mess around when you need to get sh*t done.
We have heard that a typical day at MA Financial (in investment banking) can be from 9am – 1am, so get used to burning the midnight oil. The pay you get though is on the higher end alongside competitive bonuses that match up to its big brother bulge brackets, despite the firm’s relatively smaller size.
MA Financial is a lean operator with only around 350 people working across its Sydney, Melbourne and Shanghai offices, so don’t expect too much by way of formal training. In fact, the firm is very deals focused (are you seeing a theme?), and we have heard that much of your learning will come from working on the job. However, if you’re the type that can figure things out, a quick learner, and flourish from learning by osmosis, then this may be the place for you.
Work-wise, do not fret. MA Financial is known for its expertise in the real estate sector, which essentially is its bread and butter. You will be given access to elite deals and accumulate great experience from here if a packed deal sheet is what you are looking for. For those looking ahead, exit opportunities to private equity or hedge funds are potential options – as long as you put in the hard yards…