Current IBankers: What would you do if a summer candidate reneged another offer to sign with your firm?

There was an earlier thread that mentioned more and more people felt that it was OK to renege an offer, especially in a recruiting timeline that's so butchered and prolonged (Apparently March - Present). Coming from an undergraduate student's POV, it seems that it would make sense to take an offer at a better firm. That being said, the only thing stopping many students in this position is the fear of losing both offers and the other bank finding out.

I wanted to ask any people in industry if they've ever experienced a situation where a summer analyst, FT analyst, or even associate reneged an offer at another bank to join your firm or vice versa. Were you aware that they had already signed an offer during the interview process? Did you feel that it was wrong of the candidate to do this? Was it the other bank that communicated with you? How did it play out?

Looking back, I can remember one defined situation where I was "that person" who called a colleague at another bank to inform them that a candidate reneged an offer from us to sign with them. Before I get attacked, here are the details: A student was interviewing with us for a summer analyst position in one of the more recent, early timelines, and he did really well through the interview process. After calling him to notify him of his offer, he requested to call numerous times to have any remaining questions answered. It was about 3 hours total in time spent on the phone, and he ended up signing on the last day of the exploding offer.

Three days later, he emailed me "Hello XXXX, I wanted to inform you that I have signed an offer with XXX firm. Due to personal circumstances, I will not be joining your firm next summer." No apology, no explanation, no response to my email when I asked him for more specifics. Even if we "don't care" because analysts are essentially replaceable, it's irking to invest so much time answering questions and even interviewing just for something like this to happen. I was always told to never renege and a contract is a contract, but it seems this has become less meaningful. Thus, I ended up calling a friend, who reported it to their HR, and the candidate was left with no offers on the table from either firm. I'm sure word broke out about this to other firms as I'm in a regional branch where we're all interconnected.

 

I'm not proud of it by any means, but I don't believe I'm in the wrong for it. At the end of the day, I wasn't the first person he reached out to, and in the end, it was only my choice to inform someone else. There had to be a cascade of effects for him to get reneged.

 

Before everyone calls the OP a jerk, keep in mind that by allowing that SA to enter the industry you're effectively blocking someone else out. There may have been a very good kid who just missed the cutoff because of this SA who stole his spot initially (before he lost both spots).

I mean do you want this SA working alongside you? I hate the recruitment timeline that's been implemented more than anyone, but this problem of mismatching offer dates has always existed and it didn't make reneging ok five years ago...

 

Sooo let me get this straight.... beating out another candidate for an offer = stealing their spot and breaking into an industry when others fall short = blocking someone out? Whole rebuttal seems half baked. The kid is obviously good enough to have a spot evidenced by receiving two offers. OP shouldn’t have stabbed a rando in the back for taking an offer at a better firm. OP should also not care so much about career decisions made by 20 y/os they barely know.

 

Yes, there are a limited number of spots... So if you give to one guy, someone else is effectively blocked out.

The SA was not acting with respect and arguably received what was coming to him.

Think about this in reverse. An MD gives you an offer to work as an analyst for him, then he reneges to offer to someone else with no explanation. That MD acted unethically In the same way that the SA did and I wouldn't hold it against someone for warning others about the MD.

Banks hire SA's to figure out who they want to take on full time. Would you want to take on this SA full time? He sounds disrespectful and deceitful (and dumb) to me. The OP probably helped her friends out by pointing out the flaws of the SA before they wasted a spot on a disrespectful candidate.

And yes, some other kid who was on the cusp probably just got into the industry. I hope it was a good kid.

 
Texan:
Before everyone calls the OP a jerk, keep in mind that by allowing that SA to enter the industry you're effectively blocking someone else out. There may have been a very good kid who just missed the cutoff because of this SA who stole his spot initially (before he lost both spots).

I mean do you want this SA working alongside you? I hate the recruitment timeline that's been implemented more than anyone, but this problem of mismatching offer dates has always existed and it didn't make reneging ok five years ago...

Are you ever involved with recruitment/interview of any members of the management team at Portfolio Cos? Do you feel the same way when hiring for your PortCos?

 

I have not been involved in hiring for portfolio company management teams. However I think at the management team level, reneging on an offer would be a much more serious thing. Typically those contracts have non-compete provisions in them anyway, which isn't applicable at the Analyst/Associate level. If someone signed to join as CFO of a company I was managing, then cancelled to join a competitor, that would be a pretty major issue.

My comments were more oriented toward keeping everyone's thoughts in perspective about the net effect of what the OP did rather than just thinking about the SA in isolation while ignoring the benefit to the next person in line. I don't think I would interfere with someone who reneged because I'd just be creating an enemy who I couldn't do business with later. I likewise don't think what the OP did was prudent to be honest, but I don't think everyone calling her evil is fair either. At the management level, I'd expect people to be more professional than how the SA acted anyway.

Why do you ask about this in the context of management team hiring?

 

Whether or not people think OP was in the wrong or not, it's an important reminder about the dangers of reneging and I think people on this board are super quick to recommend 'take the offer, you can always renege later'. I've heard of kids from my school who end up in this situation where they lose both offers, and I know a kid who reneged, and, the first day at his 'better' bank, they informed him that he wouldn't be getting a return offer because he essentially got the SA position under a lie.

No matter who you think is in the wrong or how much you hate the recruiting process and its timeline, be very careful with reneging. You're scorning the bank who you're reneging on and hoping they don't decide to get revenge, and it's very easy for them to throw a wrench into your entire career.

 

If you do reneg, make sure you don't tell the first bank which bank you did sign with - just say personal reasons and shut the fuck up if they press you for details. Don't update your LinkedIn with "Incoming SA at Better Bank" either. If you're dumb enough to do either of those things you probably deserve to lose your offer.

 

One of the kids I know who lost both offers did make that mistake and told the bank he was reneging, but the kid who was told he wouldn't get a return offer on his first day didn't tell the bank he reneged upon.

He doesn't even know how the bank he reneged on found out where he was going- his theory is the career center (he thinks the bank he reneged on told the career center to keep an eye on him, they figured out where he was working somehow, and then told the bank), but it also could have been LinkedIn or something.

My point if you don't directly tell them where you are going, they can still probably figure it out.

 
Most Helpful

Understand it's frustrating to have invested time and effort into hiring an SA and potentially emotionally investing in them as well, but it seems a little vindictive to have subsequently gone out of your way to inform his / her new firm of that they reneged on a contract with your own firm. This is literally just a kid trying to maximise their career opportunities and you've single-handedly imposed a large obstacle in their likely well intentioned path.

Personally, if I was at firm X and knew firm Y had a better rep on the street, and a prospective SA reneged on an offer in order to move up the ladder, I wouldn't hold it against them at all - is exactly what I would do myself.

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde
 

Maybe you're not as effective as recruiting as you think you are?

I hope what you did makes you feel good about yourself. I doubt you understand how 'at will' employment really works. It's not a binding contract that forces you to work somewhere. One day when you get screwed over by a company and realize that they don't care about you, then maybe you'll start to understand.

 

So let me get this straight. Banks start doing this retarded acccelerated timeline where some banks wrap up by April and other banks keep recruiting and interviewing into next year January. Then banks complain that students, who are trying to maximize their own self-interest and careers, are reneging?

This is just going to lead to candidates not telling you which firm they've signed with - if this candidate was smart, he/she should have just told you "for personal reasons, I cannot work at your firm. Thanks, XXX." They even had the courtesy of telling you the reason they reneged and which bank they were signing with, and you used that information to potentially ruin his career.

So don't be surprised if your bank ends up getting more renegs with no information.

 

Damn dude he is a fucking a college student and you got so butthurt about it? You must be quite weak emotionally, like "cry when you get home because someone flipped you off in traffic and it ruined your day" level. Stuff like this happens. I honestly think this was really mean to do. Yeah, he reneged but like you know very little about him or his personal life, where he came from, how hard he worked, etc. You seriously might have just fucked up someones career just so you could feel "powerful" or "in control." Well did it work? He's a fucking kid, homie, no need to do stuff like this to someone.

Edit: From your original post, it seemed more like you really led the charge on this, which as someone in an analyst position, I would see as a bad thing to do. From your follow-up comment below, I see that is clearly not entirely the case, and apologize for calling you out so harshly--having gone through recruiting from a non-target, I always think back to what a struggle it was and if someone went out of their way to fuck me over, I'd hate them for it. However, I still do think you had a role, but not worth how harshly you are attacked for on here (attacks from myself included)--I do get that you were just doing your job. I still see it as a bad thing to have done (any role you play) knowing the consequences on the kid. Idk, don't listen to me, I'm just some dude on a forum. To each their own.

Dayman?
 

a) it was stupid of this kid to tell you where he was going..hopefully lesson learned b) you are an ass for ruining his career c) you can always goto candidates 3, 4, 5, 6...so no other candidates were "blocked" because this kid found a better offer.

if you don't want people to reneg...then you should try becoming a better firm...where people don't want to reneg...and also, don't give exploding offers that block your candidates from exploring other options...this makes YOU the asshole.

just google it...you're welcome
 

100% agree with this. You and your friend are both an absolute POS for ruining the start of this kids' career. This kid wasn't an idiot... he was being as honest and genuine with you as he could and you went around him to screw him over.

This stuff happens all the time - especially at the higher levels. You just screwed over some naive undergrad because you lack normal social awareness and wanted to feel "powerful".

I hope karma comes back your way, asshole.

 

Eh in this case it was kind of a dick move, but one I wouldn't hold against you, because the kid deserved it. I'm firmly on the side that banks will fuck you over if it benefits them, and reneging is just turning the tables. I think reneging is a shitty thing to do, but I wouldn't fault someone for it. but this kid was an idiot. If you renege, you don't inform the firm you're reneging on of the firm you're going to. You say it was personal reasons or something like that, and you don't update your LinkedIn until you get a return offer at the end of your SA gig. On top of that, this kid blatantly wasted time. He's too much of an idiot to belong in this industry. And rather than filter him out through interviews, he was filtered out through this.

 
Controversial

First of all since I'm getting so much shit for this, let me clear things up:

I think the first thing to note was that I wasn't the first person to take action at my firm. There's no direct cause/effect relationship in what I did, and HR was the first to know and subsequently one of the analysts, and they were the first to reach out to both the student's new firm and the college campus. The university's career center has always wanted to be transparent with us since it's an innate pipeline built into the region, and they always request for any information like this. When I had gone through recruiting myself, the punishments for reneging were always severe to the point of being blocked from OCR.

To address the comment about early recruiting timelines, it was early relative to when we used to recruit. Our area has historically been on the latter half of the timeline, recruiting in the fall. That year, we only accelerated by 1 month or so because we're one of the firms that "If you really want to land a spot with us, you'll wait for us" and were one of the last firms to have recruited. To have an exploding offer at the end doesn't make it much of an exploding offer - there were only so few firms left on the table.

I think people don't understand the nature of the region I'm in. Many of the comments here are saying it was a "power" or "control" move. Nowhere did I explicitly say I told my friend to relay the information to anyone; I purely informed him that someone at our firm signed with his after signing with us. Furthermore, our HR's are all interconnected across the region, and it's common practice that students that renege an offer end up penalized - either through rescinding an offer or return.

I don't believe that you're allowed to say "I fucked up his entire career" because no one has that power. In the end of the day, I wasn't the once who chose to rescind his other offer - it was HR. Our HR has rescinds multiple offers for reneging, and that's a common practice among all firms in our area, EB or BB. Furthermore, HR and even some of the analysts will always ask "Are you currently in the process with other firms?" It's purely informational in nature to ensure that a candidate hears back in the fastest time possible, so there's no point in lying about it.

Out of everyone in the picture, it was career services that took the most action, and this had nothing to do with me. Our standard procedure is to inform the college campus that someone from their campus has signed an offer with us for alumni recruiting and firm events- it makes sense that we also have to inform them when a candidate chooses not to come. After our HR called the university, career services sent each of us interviewers an individualized apology and then detailed us a list of actions/precautions they are taking, including notifying the other firm. Furthermore, it explicitly stated that "Students are informed of the consequences of reneging an offer during the OCR process. We've strictly adhered to these policies as we have incidents every year." The candidate was obviously informed about policies so regardless if I said anything or not, he would have faced some form of consequence from both his career services and firm

Everyone also says that "firm X has a better rep than firm Y" or improve your firm. We've come top 3 in league tables for probably the last decade, and we've always had 90% placement into top funds for those that are interested in buy side. Even if you were to renege from a Tier 4 to a Tier 1 firm, it wouldn't be "fine". I don't think anyone here can argue that our firm is "worse," and we still get hundreds of applicants from the school. Prestige has little to do with this.

I understood that I would get a lot of backlash, but at least provide some insight into personal experiences lol. I know for a fact that many people have been in this situation, and I was asking for other personal experiences. We have long held steadfast to our own reneging policies - we do not extend offers to people who've signed, and firms have always gone out of their way to notify us as well. It's not the first, and it's not the last.

I don't think anyone here disagrees that there are "consequences" to reneging, and this is probably the nightmare scenario for any SA. As mentioned above, why even mention the other firm's name? I agree that I'm more "emotional" relative to men in the business, but it was more so for respect. If you don't even bother responding to a follow up email, it comes off as rude, and it wasn't respecting the time I invested. It could've been a combination of the downturn work environment and other things as well, but I don't feel proud nor bad for what I did. It would've happened regardless just due to the natural landscape of the industry here. Also, what's the point of extending offers if reneging exists? I might as well recommend every student to continue interviewing "for fun" after they've signed.

 

I've been in your previous threads, and you're super informative so I can't imagine you're intentionally trying to hurt someone - but, I think that you're at least 10% to blame if not more. Sure, you had the "power" to inform HR, but you didn't have to... you could've let someone else handle it but you were one of the people who did reach out.

I'm not even in a position where I can renege because I have no offers. But, I have heard the endless lectures on how you can lose offers and recruiting opportunities. I've even heard that all banks would be notified, but I think it's a bluff. How much "power" or "control" do you honestly have since you seem to know the process well?/ I've never spent more than 20 minutes on a call so 3 hours means you're either stupidly generous or you're the head recruiter or something

 

To many people's disheartening on this thread, I was the campus recruiter for associates and co-campus recruiter for analysts. We'd come to campus with an HR representative who would vet resumes, but we'd do most of the selections for calls and supers. It's also why I'm so closely tied with campus recruiting and honors programs. If you're recruiting from my alma mater, chances are we've had a run in at least once.

Once again, I'm not trying to say I didn't play a role since I obviously took some action, but I think it's more common than people think. I also think it's viewed differently when you're an analyst versus you're approaching senior levels. Clearly from some of the reactions above, there are people that were in a similar position or have done something similar.

 

THIS

s.kang12:
If a bank can rescind an offer for any reason, a candidate should be able to reneg an offer for any reason. It's as simple as that in my books.

1) You started a chain reaction of events that could ONLY cause harm. 2) You were not injured in any way...recruiting is part of your job, you can extend an offer to the next person on the list, and they are indeed all replaceable. 3) the chain of events caused by your action probably resulted in this kid getting blacklisted. Are you happy about that? 4) the reason you provide justifications is because you don't want to feel bad about hurting another person. that makes you a lousy person.

you felt justified in taking an action that could only cause harm. If instead you just extended an offer to the next kid in the list, everybody would have ended up happy. Instead, you chose poor judgement.

Hopefully, you will learn from this and have more empathy for other people next time around.

just google it...you're welcome
 

Also my takeaway from this is that if you do reneg, tell no one. Don't tell your career center, don't tell the other bank, don't tell anyone you know in finance. Just show up day 1 and you'll be good.

 

Fully fleshing out the context doesn't negate the fact that you took the kid who tried to do the right thing out of the running for something he certainly put countless hours of effort into. By the same token, you did what you thought was the right thing - simply put: like his actions had consequences, so do yours. It is on you to accept those, but don't go rationalizing away the reality of the outcome.

 
BBEGal:
There's no direct cause/effect relationship in what I did

You're equivocating. You're the guy in the firing squad who says "my bullet probably wasn't the cause of death." You wouldn't have made the call if you didn't want any consequences for the analyst. Do you stand by making the call or not?

 

Complete dick move. Who cares if he reneges on your offer, you likely have 900 other candidates to choose from and I am guessing they are all pretty close in skill set.

At the same time, screw that other bank for dumping the kid because he cancelled your offer. He basically said "I like you more than them" and he got dumped for it. People like you and them are one of the main reason this industry is cra to work in. "I think I am the greatest and if you hint that I am not I am going to throw a fit and burn your house down".

It's crazy to me. In a profession where you ask to perform a service for someone up to 200 times and hope to win 5-10 times at most, you get upset because one college kid does you dirty. You must be one of the lucky ones that doesn't have to worry about where their next nut comes from if you have time to waste on this..... along with taking the time to post something as dumb as this

It almost seems impossible..... but unfortunately its likely true in this field.

Hope that kid is a big CEO some day and just throws it down your throat on a big deal.

But yes, likely natural selection if the kid was green enough to state which bank he was going to.....

 

I don't think there's an actual argument that says what she did was out of the way in terms of time spent. It probably took her 1 or 2 minutes to call her friend and send a short email - could've done it on the toilet for all we know.

I think as @s.kang12 mentioned, just don't tell the firm you're reneging, and even be cautious telling your close friends. Offers from great firms travel like wildfire on campuses so chances are it's going to slip. Everyone knows people renege offers- if you're the one to get dinged for it, then you're either an idiot or super unlucky. For every person that does get punished like this, there are at least 10 that live perfectly fine. In his case, the dude got the worst combination of idiocy and unluckiness - he got an offer from a great firm (tier 1 EB or BB) based on what I've seen, but he probably was splitting hairs and overthought the decision. he also happened to piss off the wrong person that runs the whole damn show. Was just unfortunate.

The other big takeaway from this is just how many different personalities are in banking. So many people here are so quick to dumpster her, but they forget she's clearly in a position to do whatever she wants to - this thread might've led her to just dump every resume on the desk because she's emotional, with no consequence. There's another version of her at very bank on the street so it's just best to be cautious. I think this also goes to show how much the culture varies in each group. If she's working in a group like Evercore or GS and formally runs recruiting, then you're about to be boned when it comes to non-work stuff. I'm sure she's a great career banker, but you would never want to hang outside of work.

 

I'm surprised people are so angry about a bank/banker reacting to getting reneged on- as a college kid going through the process, it's easy to empathize with the kid in this scenario, but try to understand the firm's side of things. They spend hours interviewing/recruiting you, they give you an offer, you accept, everyone is happy. From a practical point of view, they stop recruiting for that spot (and likely reject whoever was in line behind you to get the offer), and move on. This throws a wrench in things when you subsequently renege, and they now need to go to a kid they rejected and be like 'hey you still interested?'

Banks aren't going to give you an offer, see a kid with a GPA that is .1 higher, and then pull your offer to give to that kid. Why should the inverse not be the same? Accepting an offer means you should be done recruiting. It's one thing to try to negotiate out your offer deadline or be transparent about interviewing at another firm you are interested in, but to me it seems scummy to accept their offer but not actually value that.

 

a good question is also was he transparent with the other firm as well? I know many firms would not interview a candidate if he had told them that he already signed an offer. I've heard that signing an offer implies that you're done - if you respond to an interview notif with "I signed an offer with this firm", they're probably gonna reply with ty and move on to the next person. Nowhere is it implied that you're going to continue recruiting when you've signed already.