RANKED: The Best US Cities For Wall Street Hotshots

Not everywhere in the world is suited to Wall Streeters. They have specific needs that are all governed by one truth -- bankers have money, but no time. Still with the little time they have, bankers need to travel, feed themselves, dress the part, impress their clients and try to have a little fun once in a while.

Business Insider decided to try to figure out the truth about the best place to do all that.

We took 16 of the most important financial hubs in the U.S. and ranked them by their suitability for the banker life.

The Banker Livability Index has five components - length of commute (time is money), flight times to NYC, London, and Hong Kong (for getting to important meetings), services to make a banker's life easier (gyms, late night delivery, maid services, and laundry/dry cleaners), places to take clients and network (high end restaurants, high end bars, and, for special clients, strip clubs), and proximity to various luxury clothing stores.

Lets see if anyone reconsiders some of their life choices after this one.

16. Detroit

What's there: Detroit is synonymous with the auto industry, home of General Motors and a number of other auto manufacturers.

Banker Livability Index: 66

Why the rank: Detroit, tragically, lacks most of the amenities a banker needs. Motown received the lowest scores of any of the cities in the subindexes for services and for places to go out.

15. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

What's there: A ton of Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Minneapolis, including Target, U.S. Bancorp, General Mills, and Ameriprise Financial.

Banker Livability Index: 78

Why the rank: Minneapolis bankers enjoy a slightly shorter commute than many of their peers in other cities, but a dearth of expensive restaurants and bars holds the Twin Cities back.

14. Charlotte

What's there: Bank of America, a monolith of the financial industry.

Banker Livability Index: 81

Why the rank: Charlotte has a similar BLI profile to Minneapolis - a fairly short commute and okay services, but without too many high end bars or restaurants.

See the rest of the cities here

How We Made The Banker Livability Index:

To rank cities based on how banker-friendly they are, we followed a pretty similar method as with the Shiftless Millennial City Index. The Banker Livability Index is a weighted average of five component sub-indexes, as follows:

Length of commute: Bankers are important people, and they cannot afford to waste too much time getting around. For each city, we found the average lengths of peoples' trips to work from the Selected Economic Characteristics table in the U.S. Census' 2012 American Community Survey. Length of commute makes up 20% of the full index.

Length of flight times to key cities: Bankers often have to travel to hubs like New York, London, and Hong Kong. For each city, we went to expedia.com and found the shortest flight available to those hub cities, and took the average of the three times. We made a minor exception for Stamford, and used the travel time for a Metro North train to Grand Central instead of a flight time. This measure is 15% of the full index.

Services: Bankers need access to various amenities to maintain their busy lives. We estimated the number of gyms (bankers need to stay in shape), maid services, late-night delivery places, and laundry/dry cleaning services by going to yelp.com and counting up the number of reviewed businesses of each type in each city. We took that number and divided by the city's population, to adjust for size. Services make up 25% of the full index.

Nightlife: Bankers need good places to take clients, and to unwind and blow off some steam. Again using yelp.com, we found the number of high end restaurants and bars (taking advantage of the cost filter and only counting the most expensive establishments), and the number of strip clubs in each city. As with services, we adjusted by the size of the city. Nightlife makes up 25% of the index.

High End Retail: Bankers need to dress the part, and so they need access to top of the line clothing. We chose eight high end clothing retailers -- Brooks Brothers, Allen Edmonds, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermes, J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Hugo Boss -- and, using the store locators on the retailers' websites, counted up the number of stores near each city. Retail makes up the final 15% of the index.

We converted each of the components into an index by dividing each city's value by the average over all the cities studied and multiplying by 100. For example, Chicago had 26 of the high-end retail stores, compared to an average value of 19.5 among all 16 cities, so Chicago's retail score was 100 x (26/19.5) = 133. This represents the measure as a percentage of the average, so Chicago's score tells us that it had 33% more of the high end retail stores than the average among the cities. These index scores are convenient because they allow us to more easily compare and combine the different components.

For the commute times and the flight times, we instead use the reciprocal of the above relationship, dividing the average by the value for each city. For example, Omaha had the shortest commute at 18.2 minutes, compared to the average of 27.6. So, Omaha's commute score was 100 x (27.6/18.2) = 152. This allows us to reward cities that have shorter commutes, and punish cities that have longer commutes.

The final step is to put the components together, taking a weighted average of the sub-indexes using the weights indicated above, giving us the complete Banker Livability Index.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-we-made-the-ban...

Comments (47)

Nov 13, 2013

I'm surprised St. Louis or KC didn't make the list.

Nov 13, 2013

NYC, San Fran, LA, Miami, Chi-town, Boston, DC ... there's your top 7

Philadelphia did not make the list (damn you banker livability index). But Detroit did (Huron Capital Partners exit ops?)

Nov 13, 2013

"One area where Atlanta is lacking is in its nightlife"

Hilarious - whoever wrote this article doesn't have a clue.

Nov 16, 2013
Nefarious-:

"One area where Atlanta is lacking is in its nightlife"

Hilarious - whoever wrote this article doesn't have a clue.

No doubt I'm a bit biased, but the worst thing Atlanta has going for it is actual commuting traffic. The bar, club and restaurant scene is really, really good. Of course, white flight continues to unfold...as evidenced by the Braves' plans to move...but it will be many years before Atlanta become Detroit.

-Regards

Nov 18, 2013

The city's white population actually increased 16.5% from 2000 to 2010.

Nov 13, 2013

God, sometimes rankings just suck, no matter how carefully the creator puts them together. There's no variable factored in for common sense. Omaha? Jesus Christ.

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Nov 13, 2013

lol at Philly not being on this list, I wonder if the author has ever been to Omaha, Minneapolis, Detroit

Atlanta and CLT are pretty overrated as well unless you like being married at 22 and playing golf during your free time.

Nov 13, 2013

This stuff's more interesting from BI

http://read.bi/H1SrmM

"The Defitive Guide to Drinking like a Wall Streeter"

"Sit the first round out and order a club soda with lime".
"No wine until dinner ?"

"Ladies choice" -Wrong !

"If you can't drink, don't."- That makes sense.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/drink-like-a-wall-s...

Nov 13, 2013

good one, ill get this up

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Nov 13, 2013
BatMasterson:

"Ladies choice" -Wrong !

What do you mean that it's wrong? As in you will NOT be the hero or you can't get away w/ drinking whatever you want?

I'm asking because I recently skipped out an opportunity to drink w/ the big boys (think boss, boss's boss, and boss's boss's ... you get the idea ) in the last 2 rounds.. when they busted out the scotch after several rounds of beer.

I skipped because I wanted to get into work the next day. And did not want to risk acting stupid in case those two were Not the last 2 drinks.

Nov 13, 2013

I'd be impressed with a woman that drinks scotch. Don't take this the wrong way, but I have yet to meet a woman who actually has good "taste" in alcohol.

Typically: white wine (boring), beer=Blue Moon, sometimes tequila/vodka... am I missing any?

Nov 13, 2013

Going get shit for this but key upscale suburbs need to be included when there is a substantial finance presence there (i.e. Detroit has Birmingham/Southfield, Atlanta has Buckhead, DC has Fairfax/Bethesda, Boston has Cambridge and arguably most importantly Silicon Valley is ignored the SF ranking and not ranked on its own).

Nov 13, 2013
meabric:

Going get shit for this but key upscale suburbs need to be included when there is a substantial finance presence there (i.e. Detroit has Birmingham/Southfield, Atlanta has Buckhead, DC has Fairfax/Bethesda, Boston has Cambridge and arguably most importantly Silicon Valley is ignored the SF ranking and not ranked on its own).

The suburbs was why I thought STL and KC would make it.

KC has Leawood, and STL has Town & Country, Chesterfield, Ladue, Huntleigh, and St. Alban's all within 30min of the city.

Nov 13, 2013
Stryfe:
meabric:

Going get shit for this but key upscale suburbs need to be included when there is a substantial finance presence there (i.e. Detroit has Birmingham/Southfield, Atlanta has Buckhead, DC has Fairfax/Bethesda, Boston has Cambridge and arguably most importantly Silicon Valley is ignored the SF ranking and not ranked on its own).

The suburbs was why I thought STL and KC would make it.

KC has Leawood, and STL has Town & Country, Chesterfield, Ladue, Huntleigh, and St. Alban's all within 30min of the city.

I64 is such a shitty drive though. Why do people in STL drive in the left lanes when they're doing 60mph? Anyways, Clayton ftw.

Nov 13, 2013
meabric:

Going get shit for this but key upscale suburbs need to be included when there is a substantial finance presence there (i.e. Detroit has Birmingham/Southfield, Atlanta has Buckhead, DC has Fairfax/Bethesda, Boston has Cambridge and arguably most importantly Silicon Valley is ignored the SF ranking and not ranked on its own).

Buckhead is uptown, not the suburbs. Alpharetta/Roswell/Duluth are the suburbs as well as surrounding areas like brookhaven and vinings/smyrna.

Nov 13, 2013

How was Philadelphia not even mentioned?

Nov 13, 2013
Wilson1823:

How was Philadelphia not even mentioned?

Apparently Omaha is better.

Nov 13, 2013

I hate, hate, hate the fucking proliferation of all these damn lists!!

And this is so stupid. Why is Detroit even on the list? Fucking high school kids creating these worthless lists.

Nov 13, 2013

lol

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Nov 13, 2013

Haha, it looks like they threw darts at a board, chose the closest cities to said darts, and then ranked them relatively from the pool.

Nov 13, 2013

Best Cities for Finance

1) NYC
a) Boston
b) Philly
c) DC

2) Chicago
a) Minneapolis
b) Milwaukee
c) Cleveland

3) Houston
a) Dallas
b) Austin
c) San Antonio

4) Los Angelis
a) San Fran
b) San Diego

5) The South

Charlotte, Atlanta, Florida, Nashville

This isn't in order and this isn't absolute, but lets get real. You have 4 or 5 regional hubs (major keystone cities) and smaller peripheral cities. Places with actual finance jobs.Business Insider hires people who have no fucking clue about business. I hate that shit site almost as much as I hate fucking Buzzfeed.

Facebook is inundated with this trash. I literally unfollow and/or block 2-3 people a day for posting endless drivel.

Nov 16, 2013

nice list.

Nov 13, 2013

Omaha... I can picture Warren Buffett sitting at his desk reading this article he sponsored giggling with his PB&J and cherry coke.

Nov 13, 2013

how did detroit even make this damn list?

"Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them."

Nov 14, 2013

Interesting post

Nov 16, 2013

I thought Wall Street was in NYC?

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Nov 17, 2013

Thank GOD for this list. And here I had been going around telling everyone Detroit and Omaha were THE places to be. Who would've thought NYC and SF were the top cities for finance? Thanks for setting me straight BI.

Nov 17, 2013

Thanks for sharing! This is great.

Nov 17, 2013

Miami and Houston are underrated

Nov 17, 2013

This ranking is complete bullshit. Charlotte is the second biggest banking center in the USA, but you rank it #14 because it lacks fancy restaurants and bars. How do you even determine how fancy a venue is? Do you physically go to each one and check if they have an Ace of Spades on the menu, if it costs more than $1000 for 750 ml, and if Jay-Z is sitting at the adjacent table? It is nonsensical to rank Miami #4, when it does not have any substantial investment banking going on. Maybe Miami is a good place to go to Ultra Music Festival, but definitely not to do any type of finance. And then why are the cities rated on some weird-ass scale from 1 to 161? Most rankings are from 1 to 100. Just make NYC equal to 100 and scale down all the rest by a factor of 1.61 (for instance Detroit shifts from 66 to 66/1.61=41). In this way it would be much easier to compare between cities once you have an insightfuly chosen reference point (i,e, NYC, 100). Finally, city size has absolutely nothing to do with how much finance gets done at that place. Westport, Connecticut is the hub for many hedge funds that control trillions of dollars, although its population is below 50,000. The only thing that the ranking is accomplishing is to throw sand into the eyes of college freshmen by making them think that bullshit places like Detroit, Omaha and Miami have anything to do with finance.

"No man is poor who can do what he likes to do once in a while! And I like to dive around in my money like a porpoise! And burrow through it like a gopher! And toss it up and let it him me on the head!"
~ Scrooge McDuck

Nov 18, 2013

What a joke. Miami as number 4 is ridiculous on many levels, but because of this?:

"Miami also has a relatively low number of maid services, laundry services, and other banker-friendly amenities."

If I were to name one of the 20 most populous metro areas in the US where you would have absolutely no problem securing maid services, it would be Miami. It would just be off the books. This can not be something Miami can be dinged for. The complete lack of banking, however, could be.

Source: DickFuld.

Nov 18, 2013
DickFuld:

"Miami also has a relatively low number of maid services, laundry services, and other banker-friendly amenities."

I was thinking the same thing. It's such an absurd comment, I almost think the author wrote it as a joke to troll us.

Mar 7, 2015

Detroit was ranked. This has to be a joke, the city itself has like 1 shop and the Bloomfield area has maybe 4.

Mar 7, 2015

Another ranking-boy clown, nice

Mar 7, 2015

Money no object I would rate them as:
BOS (Never run out of cool places to see)
CHI
DAL
HOU
LA
ATL (Buckhead area only)
CLT
MIA
NY
SF

"He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man." -- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Mar 7, 2015

I'm guessing this is only US cities? Don't think I'd choose a gig in Seattle or Atlanta or LA over London, Tokyo, HK, Singapore, etc.

Mar 7, 2015
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Mar 7, 2015
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