Q&A: ER Analyst at Top BB (Plus About ER & General Advice)

Long-time WSO user, created a new account for this Q&A. I got a lot of help from this forum during my recruiting process and I owe a lot to WSO. Wanted to try and give back by offering some insight into equity research, recruiting, exit opps and general life at a BB think (JPM/MS/GS/BAML). Background: Ivy, 3.75 GPA, some work experience and leadership in extracurriculars but no finance experience before junior summer. Story: Knew I wanted to be involved in the public markets and finance and eventually become an investor. Knew I wanted to work hard but not go sleep deprived and gain the 15 pounds in a hate my life kinda job in IB. So I pursued ER at top BBs and ended up with a few offers in my junior summer. Got a return offer after 10 weeks and that is how I ended up in my current job.

About ER: Very team specific, but in general you're doing a lot of modeling (~40%), writing reports (~30%), speaking to sales force and buy-side clients (20%), and other misc stuff for the team (10%- attending conferences, organizing primary surveys, etc etc). Again, this is highly team specific. This break-up will change as you progress through the ranks (higher you get, more you'll be on the phone). But in general, you're getting a lot more client interaction first year in ER than in IB. The lead analyst will often refer clients to you when its about a specific piece of analysis that you did so you can walk them through it. Lifestyle: Very very team specific. Generally need to get to the desk by 7-7:30, before morning meeting or morning call with sales force. Leave generally by 6:30-7:30pm and during earnings season hours will be 6/7am- 10/11pm or later. Lifestyle is shitty compared to a 9-5 job but for finance and for how much money you're pulling in it's definitely a perk of the job. You can easily make the gym 4-5x/week, happy hour friday and Knicks/Yankees games when you're able to cop tickets. Limited weekend work, maybe few hours on Sunday but I don't think that happens every weekend for the average team. People might also log in from home. Taking time off is also a lot more chill in ER, no ongoing deals that might blow up so the unpredictability that everyone hates in IB isn't as much of a factor in ER. People definitely can take time off in a more flexible way and it's not very likely you leave the office at 7, take your girl for a nice dinner and get called back to the office in the middle. Knock on wood, but I don't think that's as much of a problem in ER from my experience. Obviously there will still be exceptions and general stress/timelines especially during earnings. Comp: First year at my firm will look like 85 base, 10 signing/relocation 30-50k bonus= 130-140k. Obviously this has changed just this year and I also I can't be certain since bonus season isn't here yet. Can't speculate how this will develop given the changes in comp on the street, 85 base is confirmed though. Exit Opps: Most popular exits are HFs (Surveyor, SAC, etc) or top AM shop (T Rowe, Capital, Neuberger, etc). Other buy-side opps will be start-up HFs that most other people won't have the opportunity to interview for. I was surprised by how many people jump to industry- Investor Relations or Biz Dev roles in their sector. Top MBA is also a decently popular exit- I don't think I can name a person that went the MBA route go to less than a top 5 ranked school. Hopefully this continues though, and note I have a very limited sample size. Hope that helps, feel free to ask anything else I didn't cover and I'll try to get back and answer questions whenever I can.

Career Advancement Opportunities

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company 02 99.4%
  • Goldman Sachs 19 98.8%
  • Lazard Freres 01 98.3%
  • JPMorgan Chase 05 97.7%
  • Perella Weinberg Partners (++) 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

February 2024 Investment Banking

  • Harris Williams & Co. 28 99.4%
  • JPMorgan Chase 11 98.8%
  • Lazard Freres 05 98.3%
  • Morgan Stanley 07 97.7%
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Professional Growth Opportunities

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  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.8%
  • Goldman Sachs 17 98.3%
  • Moelis & Company 06 97.7%
  • Lincoln International 04 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

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  • Associates (81) $263
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (12) $184
  • Intern/Summer Associate (32) $172
  • 2nd Year Analyst (60) $169
  • 1st Year Analyst (193) $159
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (140) $101
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