Blair Tech vs PWP SF

Thoughts on these two groups? Seems like Blair has been knocking it out of the park with like 40+ tech sell side M&A transactions in 2021, and multiple $1B+ deals with some pretty interesting clients. PWP Telecom, Media, Tech and Fintech Transactions on the other hand have been lack luster from what I can tell. I know that PWP is generally considered more "prestigious" and does larger deals, but is the experience there more or less useful than Blair if I eventually want to go into tech growth equity or to a cross-over type hedge fund? Also, what have you all heard about culture/hours at these places? Thanks for the insights!

Comments (12)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
May 4, 2022 - 1:05am

As someone in tech PE, it's actually not as easy a question as people here might think. Really depends what you're solving for.

If you want true sell-side M&A software experience, there is no better place than WB. They touch almost everything ranging from $200M-$2Bish and do more deals than probably anyone else. Obviously GSTMT, MS, EVR, etc all preferable vs WB, but WB beats the non-tech heavy EB/BB.

That being said, if you care about exit opps (either more MF focus or generalist) go to PWP. If you want tech focused MM or UMM PE or GE, WB puts you in a good spot, but you certainly have a better shot landing at KKR from PWP

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 4, 2022 - 3:34am

Have heard that PWP SF has been picking up the pace recently and has had an upward trend, would prob take that over WB

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 4, 2022 - 6:18am

It's clear that none of you remotely have any idea what the tech banking landscape looks like and are simply telling him to choose the firm that you think is more prestigious. I'm at GS/MS/Q in the Bay Area, and can tell you for a fact that WB SF > PWP SF. PWP SF is incredibly weak, neither me or any of my friends at the other 2 firms have  seen them on deals we do, while WB is crushing it in all below $1B sell side M&A deals. This isn't even much of a question, go to Blair. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 4, 2022 - 8:53am

I'm sure WB does better than PWP but when it comes to exits, which most people on this forum and in banking care about, it still comes down to brand name which PWP wins by far. Have personally seen a guy from PWP SF exit to Mf while it's unheard of from Blair. It's dumb that it's like this but it's the reality of the situation

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
May 4, 2022 - 8:44pm

People here are getting confused between which is the "better group" and which is the better analyst program. The Blair Tech team is legitimately one of the best banking groups in America -- they fucking own the middle market sell side M&A niche and are respected more than any other name in the space. They are much better at their job than the PWP SF office is at theirs. Their senior people get paid a lot more than the PWP SF seniors do. This doesn't, however, necessarily mean their analyst program is "better." The things most analysts care about: branding, pay, and exits are all better at PWP. Ultimately, you spend your analyst years developing commoditized skills -- modelling, attention to detail, etc. Where you develop those skills sends a signal to future employers, and the EB brand will beat out the MM brand.  

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
May 4, 2022 - 10:49pm

Would maybe disagree as far as experience alone (certainly agree on brand, pay is probably closer than people here might think). As an analyst, live deal reps trump everything. The model for a $1B sellside isn't that different from a $5B+ sellside, and you'll certainly close more deals (and thus build more models and such) at Blair. Every analyst I know there has an absolute ton of closed deals

May 5, 2022 - 2:16am
lightningmcqueen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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