Biggest gripe in IB: people with no balls

I don't know how else to phrase this, but I think one of my biggest gripes with IB is the number of ball-less men and women in the industry. A strike will never happen in IB, not because it is not possible, but because the risk-averse personalities IB attracts. "Oh, it'll never work since..." "The thing is... " "What analysts these days don't understand is... " 

The industry is built on recruiting target school-educated people, ambitious enough to want to make more money than most of their peers, but without the true conviction to be willing to take any risk. It's no surprise, then, that after a decade of kissing ass climbing up the ranks, MDs are unable to push-back on even the most unreasonable client requests. 

I know none of this is revolutionary, but I've been doing some thinking lately. I honestly dislike the people in IB even more than the work itself. My colleagues are some of the most talented, yet least inspiring people I have ever met.

I'm not sure what's next or implications for exit opportunities, but I'm quickly arriving at the conclusion that life is too short to follow a linear path of 2 years IB, 2 years PE, hedge fund. Maybe I'm just spiraling though. It's been 3 years and counting... 

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Totally agree with you. Aside from the boomer MDs from the 80s and 90s and some frat guys / ex-athletes, IB is full of people who are basically autistic or very close to it. So many guys who worked hard all their life, but have no ability to take risks or deviate from their routines to enact real change or leave to do something on their own.

Ask yourself how many soulless, socially inept people work at your bank. I’d venture to say it’s a lot. Fuck, after 3 years of this shit I probably fall into that category too. Banking sucks, plain and simple.


What makes you believe that these frat guys are any less risk-averse than the non-frat guys? If anything, those who join Greek Life take the least possible social risk and are even more on the beaten path. At the end of the day, finance is the safest path to the upper middle class (or beyond). That’s why we’re all here. If we had more risk tolerance, we’d be elsewhere.

People in tech make just as much starting out with MUCH better WLB, and there are paths to just as much upside…but job security isn’t great, and these paths to upside involve significantly more risk.

Finance selects for the risk-averse, and striking is not a risk-averse activity. Simple as.


Totally agree with you. Aside from the boomer MDs from the 80s and 90s and some frat guys / ex-athletes, IB is full of people who are basically autistic or very close to it. So many guys who worked hard all their life, but have no ability to take risks or deviate from their routines to enact real change or leave to do something on their own.

Ask yourself how many soulless, socially inept people work at your bank. I’d venture to say it’s a lot. Fuck, after 3 years of this shit I probably fall into that category too. Banking sucks, plain and simple.

Being a frat guy or a sorority chick is epitome of being a risk averse person who follows the crowd  


Yes, IB is a risk averse profession. But, I would caution you about your view of how things work in other areas. I worked outside of IB first and while the circumstances are different, the customer demands and pressures are still similar. You are always catering to your customer and suckling at the money tit.

There are some total bores in IB, but if you think PE partners or corporate mid-level managers are inspiring, you are in for a surprise.


A lot of losers in ib nowadays. Lifeless bums who sat and studied all their childhood. Sucks to see. Only reason why diversity recruiting ain’t that bad-at least they’re not another liberal ivy kid with no personality.


doesn't that mean their lack of balls is even greater if they can't even be honest about what they think


Ironically I feel this way about all the new people coming in, and my MDs are super lame. Wish I was in a fun group, I don't mind working 100 hours if my MD is cool and knows how to have fun

"I did it for me...I liked it...I was good at it. And I was really... I was alive."

The reason for IB being such a bad environment overall is that no one wants to stay. At least on the analyst level, there is no benefit to the individual to fight for a better culture/wlb/treatment because everyone has their eye on the door.

Now, it's a bit of a chicken or egg problem because the environment is causing bankers to leave. The onus isn't on the analyst to better conditions, it's the firm, but firms don't care about analysts because we are replaceable which makes me worried that these problems will persist.

I'd say to those interested in IB to look for firms who want to have their interns become MDs. (Not firms who just say this, but who actually follow up with culture and pay) Anecdotal examples from friends seem to be cultures like CVP or Baird who put effort into having juniors stay on. Both of these shops are top in their respective fields, large cap and MM, so the model works from a business perspective.

Just some thoughts, not sure what the solution is, but for juniors there are at least some firms who try to do better (not perfect obviously and still a way to go for even the best cultures)


I work at a bank similar to the ones you mentioned that try to retain talent, and I see it somewhat differently. The problem is, even though you have certain banks trying to promote internal growth, the industry-wide culture of juniors leaving still persists and many of my peers view things like stock plans with vesting periods or “promote loans” with cliff vesting as restrictive and burdensome. If anything, these banks’ initiatives make them LESS attractive if you are not dead set on banking because it makes them so hard to leave.

In my opinion, the only real way you get people to stay is to actually pay them well (in cash). CVP does a great job at this, but inflation adjusted banking pay as a whole has continued to decline so there is no legitimate incentive to stay as juniors.


Yeah, I see the point on cash pay being much more beneficial. Honestly I feel that I'm sometimes part of problem because I am happy to sacrifice for higher pay (why I'm here in the first place) which just reinforces the cycle of not being able to give better benefits because there's always someone willing to work these hours for street pay.

I don't really have any input on pay as I'm new to the industry, but it seems like the pay bumps a few years ago were pretty historic and that pay doesn't rise all too often. I will say this is the first time I've ever actually considered what I'm putting myself through an if it's worth it.


Care about yourself and those you care about professionally. Rest is white noise. Grow up. 


Fresh grads show up on their doorstep everyday begging on their knees to get in

There is no incentive to change because it makes it harder to push people out later on as well

If everyone stayed and had a great time, number of new hires would go down and make recruiting infinitely more chaotic. Fish in a wide pond and you might catch a hardo who goes on and becomes an MD as well


Every time I see these posts I feel like they must be from a upper middle class background.

The average person would be stupid to give up so much money and a career path over the working hour conditions or tell their VP/Staffer/MD to fuck off.

The GS pay increase thing only happened as one of the key figures was related to TPG's Chairman. Your average IB analyst/associate does not have this back up. It's a rare opportunity. 

This is why people go to such extreme lengths to break in and retain the job, as sad as it is to admit.

Since you clearly have uranium density massive balls, try lead a revolution publicly. We will support you. Or quit now and create the next unicorn to inspire your uninspirational colleagues.


The success of a strike in large part depends on the supply and demand of the jobs against which the labour pool is striking. What are your odds in IB?


Everyone focusing on the strike part of this is so confusing to me 

So the highest calling in life is to have 0 ideas and work your entire life away for a salary? it’s totally fine for the smartest and hardest working people out of universities to create nothing new for society and just facilitate transactions? 

guess ib really is for losers 

and before anyone says it , yeah I’m a loser wage cuck still stuck in ib grinding it out till the next bonus. Wonderful life is great 


Totally agree.  And it manifests in how they are perpetually unconfident and freaking out over tiny mistakes.  I'm working with a totally ball less dweeb MD at the moment.  We misspelled a CEOs name in a document on an appendix page.  He had a total meltdown over it.

Other more chad Bankers I work with 1) don't even look at appendix pages 2)are so above something like spelling errors it doesn't even register in their mind to care or think about 1 minute after it's fixed


Classic ‘grass is always greener’ fallacy. Go work for a CPG company, a business software company, or a facility services company and report back on how cool and inspiring the people are. 


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