• Sharebar

I summered in a GS coverage group this summer (not FIG or TMT) and did not like my experience (loved the work but didn't like my coverage industry and wasn't crazy about my intern class or the people in my group). I go to an ivy that is not Harvard or Wharton and is very common on the street.

My goal is to do PE after my two years in banking. This last week I began receiving calls from places that I got offers from and turned down at the beginning of the summer. It seems as though the following groups are willing to offer me a chance to switch there FT and I wanted the opinion of some of the older people on here in regards to the reputation of these groups and how they'd be viewed by various exit opps:

Lazard (generalist offer but 95% would be in restructuring)
JPM (FIG)
MS (FIG)
Citi (M&A)

I also am trying to interview with BX restructuring (speaking with contact on Saturday), but didn't interview with them coming into summer so far less connections there.

I wanted to do FIG coming into the summer and Laz was my favorite firm (mainly picked GS for name) so I think my top choices right now are Laz and JPM (assuming BX doesn't pan out). Both firms have told me they have spots and are bringing me in within the next week to interview, so any insight differentiating between those two specifically would be very helpful. Also if anyone knows of people/had specific experiences with or in either group that would be great as well.

Thanks in advance.

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Comments (31)

  • Knowledge Kick's picture

    Damn.

    http://DollarDrip.com Username: Knowledge Kick

  • FernandoTorres9's picture

    1. BX R&R
    2. Lazard
    3. MS FIG / Citi M&A
    4. JPM FIG

    MS FIG is much stronger than JPM FIG, and has comparable exits to a group like Citi M&A. Lazard outpaces all three of those, and obviously BX R&R is top of the street alongside GS TMT.

  • FormerHornetDriver's picture

    An M&A or Restructuring group would be a little more applicable to a PE transition than a FIG group. I am not a PE guy, but I have never heard of any FIG-type LBOs. Any PE guys, please feel free to chime in to correct me.

    Interesting that you did not like GS. I was recruited by them for FT Associate role in IBD and was totally turned off by everyone I met. I actually turned down a follow-up interview after super day because I knew I did not want to work there. I would be interested to hear more about your experiences there.....

  • gordo's picture

    How the hell did you manage to get yourself into the most enviable dilemma of all time?

  • FutureWaller's picture

    Am I jealous of your situation?

    Does a bear shit in the woods?

  • seville's picture

    What an awesome position you are in.

  • tchekm845's picture

    Seems like you know what you want and you're just seeking validation/somewhat showing off.

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  • In reply to blastoise
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    blastoise:
    Go with barclays

    UBS maybe?

    adapt or die:
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  • animalz's picture

    personally, i would go with either
    1. Laz
    2. Citi

    However, should you receive an offer from BX - its the name with strongest options (dont know anyone there so can't really say)
    If you get your chance there, but no R&R offer - their M&A is not too popular, but def a great name as well

    Also, would it be possible to convert MS/JPM to better groups?

  • fuzzieWuzzie's picture

    I work in PE and worked at BX. I would say if you can't land a BX offer Laz would be great. Still, they are all seriously great opps.

    Honesty is the best policy...If there is money in it- Mark Twain

  • Ricqles's picture

    lazard or bx, but bx for exits.

  • dabears432's picture

    I have many friends who worked at GS. You should not have formally found out about an offer there yet since they tell you within a few days of ending. Do you think you have an offer at GS, even if it does not interest you?

    Go ahead and interview at all of those places, land offers, and then discuss. I know you might have a good shot, but right now all you're doing is speculating. All those groups are good and worth interviewing with.

  • Asatar's picture

    You having this problem and asking on the WSO board is equivalent to a normal American family asking an Ethiopian child for advice on the best bottled mineral water.

  • kaiden's picture

    Didn't think this would be a consideration, but to anyone referencing that I am trolling/seeking validation, that is certainly not the case and I apologize sincerely if I came off that way. I consider myself to be very lucky and blessed for the opportunities I have and in no way meant to mock anyone else; I legitimately was looking to seek the experience of older members on this board as clearly I do not know how these groups are perceived externally and am still very undecided about what to do. I feel a bit torn because I feel like I can't really get an honest answer from people at these firms because everyone tries to spin the story in a way that makes them sound like they're the next GS TMT.

    In terms of how realistic these offers are, I haven't been guaranteed GS since we haven't gotten offers yet, but I'm pretty sure they told every SA in my group who wasn't on track to get an offer had been notified before this week. I have no reason to think that I wouldn't get an offer back from the group. As for the others, I know it's "speculation" but I have pretty good reason to believe that Lazard restructuring, JPM FIG, and Citi M&A would have a spot for me if I wanted to come full time. Not as strong of a guarantee with MS FIG and as I said earlier nothing close with BX.

    Going back to being oblivious, is JPM FIG really regarded that poorly? I had been told by first year analysts at the firm who I know from school that aside from M&A it was the strongest ranked group in terms of deal flow and prestige. I was very interested to hear that Citi M&A was considered stronger than JPM FIG. When picking for summer analyst offers, people had told me that JPM coverage was much stronger than Citi M&A--is this mainly because of FIG specifically or was I just misled the first time around? Going into this process I was actually leaning very strongly towards JPM FIG because I had been interested in the industry and had thought they were considered the strongest on the street, but it seems like the overwhelming response here is that Lazard is the best option.

    To animalz: I highly doubt it, at this point. The reason I have opportunities with these groups specifically is because when I had my sell days after getting summer offers these are the groups I met with extensively, and I did a pretty good job of maintaining relations with each even after I signed with GS. Laz is the only firm that hires for FT into the generalist pool but the other 3 hire laterals directly into groups. I don't think I have the network to reach out to other coverage groups at JPM or MS and I don't think I'm in a position to ask the FIG people to hook me up either, haha. Out of pure curiosity, what would you say the elite coverage groups are at both firms?

    Thank you to everyone who provided insights and feedback, I really appreciate it.

  • kaiden's picture

    Also, a big reason that I am asking now is because I would like to rule out some of interviews before the fact. Because I already attended sell days for these groups for the summer, I would rather not interview for a FT spot and then turn them down again, as at that point I could be burning bridges for what might be very important relationships down the line.

    Since Laz is also technically a generalist offer and there is no guarantee of group selection, could people comment on the value of the firm in the off-chance that I accepted there and wasn't placed in restructuring? How do Laz coverage M&A groups stack up to JPM and MS coverage?

  • In reply to Asatar
    Flake's picture

    Asatar:
    You having this problem and asking on the WSO board is equivalent to a normal American family asking an Ethiopian child for advice on the best bottled mineral water.

    Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

  • firefighter's picture

    Why fig if you go to MS or JPM? there's unfortunately a pretty big stigma against fig bankers for PE (less so for HF, and sometimes even a positive) recruiting if you want to leave banking in 2 years, yes you'll have JC flowers available but a lot of headhunters have an immediate large bias against FIG. In addition, the work tends to be much more specialized and you might not be able to get the same broad business exposure you get in other groups.

    Why not leverage for a top group at MS or JPM (assume M&A, TMT at MS, M&A, levfin or Nat Res at JPM) instead? Heard Citi M&A is very strong as well, maybe not as strong as a GS coverage group, but if you like the culture more you will still do well out of there

  • kaiden's picture

    I'm talking to MS about the possibility of interviewing for M&A but was told not to keep my hopes up. As for JPM M&A doesn't have a spot and an ED from my school's recruiting team told me there's an internal transfer whose at the top of the list if one of the summer's doesn't return.

    As I said earlier, when I networked with groups before selecting a summer offer I mainly spoke to FIG at MS and JPM because that was where I had a strong interest, so those were the people who reached out during this last week.

    Do you think the bias against FIG is that strong? In speaking to the groups both definitely told me of analysts in the past two years that have gone to TPG, Carlyle, Cerberus, and TH Lee (among others), in addition to the normal JC Flowers options and all of that. Not trying to defend the group but just playing devil's advocate--were the people who got those offers absolutely stellar who would've done even better in another scenario or do the other people in FIG just not know how sell themselves in an interview?

  • WACCjob's picture

    Did my internship with a BB FIG group. I will say that the stigma, while not make-or-break, per se, does exist and is something you'll have to overcome going to PE. Since you know you want to do PE, I would recommend against FIG. (In reality, if you can model complex financial institutions, why the hell wouldn't you be able to do a more traditional cash flow LBO model, or DCF, or other valuation techniques? But it is harder for FIG analysts to go out for PE, as the skill set is deemed to be different, and PE shops dont usually LBO banks or insurance companies for a lot of reasons).

  • kaiden's picture

    So it seems like everyone thinks BX is the sure fire #1 and I think if I got that offer I would almost certainly take it, but as I said that's the one offer that I'm the least certain about.

    I am interested in hearing more on people between the Laz/JPM difference since that is what my original decision was at the beginning of this week (I am pretty set on not going back to my GS coverage group).

    Could anyone give more insight onto the perception of FIG (especially in terms of PE recruiting/relative to other groups on the street)? How does FIG rank among groups at JPM? Also for Lazard, is restructuring the best group in terms of exit opps? How do some of the other groups fair in terms of placement, but also culture/lifestyle?

    I know that most people are going to say why don't you just ask people at the firm, but again I've found it very difficult to get honest answers from any of those people. Everyone is very quick to say that their group has the best exit opportunities, the best work-life balance, and the best people, so I'm trying to get a more unbiased viewpoint. Thanks again to everyone whose given input.

  • In reply to kaiden
    SirTradesaLot's picture

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