There are so many threads on here about ranking banks and groups. Many people going into high powered, intense jobs tend to have status-oriented alpha personalities and it shouldn't be surprising that those on this board in IB want to argue over who's bank is more prestigious, and those not yet in banking want to make sure they've got the fantasy correct down to which firm is the most rarefied of the bunch. Everyone argues over everything, and the only thing anyone agrees on is that if you go to Goldman Sachs you still can salvage your career...if you're a resourceful person and don't get down on yourself, California is warmer than New York, and Pierce & Pierce...well it's got a good rep on the street but some of those guys get a little weird on the weekend.
Against better judgment I want to start a new (pointless) ranking thread. Or maybe not pointless because its purely utilitarian. This is to serve as a rough guide for all those looking for NYC summer analyst positions in IB (not capital markets, pwm, or s&t). The sole criterion is how valuable the firm is as a summer credential when trying to get FT offers the next fall. That is -- imagining for a moment everyone goes through the whole recruiting process again senior fall -- which summer internships looks best on your resume (lets cut it off at top 10 or 12 or something)?
HereaEU(tm)s whataEU(tm)s not relevant:
Group: It seems that none of the top banks slot you into a group until after you are actually there for the summer and have gone through training (let alone before you have to decide between offers), so other than the assumption that weaEU(tm)re talking NYC offices, groups are irrelevant. That is, CSaEU(tm)s strong Lev Fin might vault it over an otherwise identical bank (if one existed), but certainly not over a Goldman (even if there are many groups at goldman less impressive on a resume than CS Lev Fin) because you canaEU(tm)t know youaEU(tm)ll get placed into the group you want. Or you could think of it as the expected value of the group at a given firm -- that is, the strength of each group times the probability of getting placed into that group if you request it.
Size: DoesnaEU(tm)t matter if the firm is 10 partners or is Citi/JPM. Goldman can go up against Evercore, Citi can go up against Gleacher, etc., and the only thing that matters is which will be more helpful in the next round of recruiting in the fall.
FINAL ADDITION aEU" make a note if quality of life for analysts at any of the firms on your list is significantly disproportional to utility of the credential. For example (not saying this is true), make a note if you think Lehman has substantially better quality of life and hours than other firms close to it on your ranking, and make a note if JPM has substantially worse than even most banks above it on your list. We all have heard GoldmanaEU(tm)s a sweatshop but itaEU(tm)s worth it, and some lower MM firm that canaEU(tm)t get a deal to save its life wonaEU(tm)t have as bad hours.