Exploding Offer - CS (Tech) NY vs. Harris Williams (Generalist) VA
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Depends what you want in life. Interns on here will tell you CS or you're crazy but I think both have merits -
Do you see yourself as a career banker? A MM like HW is a great place to be in the long run (all cash, pay at or above street from what I've heard) and banker salary in Richmond goes a long long way if you want to raise a family and aren't an NYC person.
If you want NYC finance scene obviously go CS. If you care about exits outside of finance, CS is a better name brand and still will be IMO after the split.
Hits the nail on the head. Do you want to be in NYC or do you want to be in Richmond? Very different lifestyles.
Wouldn't you agree that it is nearly impossible as a 23 year old first-year analyst to say, "I want to be a career banker" without having any idea if you will be successful in banking long-term? I think most would also agree that going from CS NYC to HW Richmond is an easier path than vice versa. With both of those being said, maximizing career optionality by keeping as many doors open as possible would lead you to choose CS NYC. You can still become that career banker if you decide that's what you want to do, and also if you want to get the hell out of banking, you have an nyc CS stamp on your resume which IMO looks better than HW Richmond (not that different though)
Have to go Harris. Will save you two years of constant anxiety.
Would personally choose HW. Will get more live deal experience, higher comp, better QOL, and 90% less like to be laid off. CS is an absolute mess right now. There's no guarantee that things will be better there in 2 years and there is a strong likelihood return offers for SASOs will be historically low leaving you to recruit in a brutal FT environment.
Go with HW as an associate. If you were an undergrad set on PE in NYC the answer might be different.
Like others who have responded so far have alluded to, a bit more color on your career goals are needed here for more refined advice. But like others, unless you have a specific reason to be NYC or bust, I would also lean towards HW and Richmond.
HW ASOs are not logging off at 5-7pm lol
I think he meant log off between 5-7pm and then log back on for the rest of the night.
What are hours like at HW?
Why not give your best at CS, get a return offer and shop it around? Tough to go from HW to Corp Dev or Strategy Lead at an early-stage startup or MATANA in the West Coast
You should go with HW and leverage for something full time if your goal has anything to do with working at corp dev / strategy at large cap tech.
HW is a great bank but it is largely a middle market sponsor to sponsor shop. You won't have exposure to public company m&a.
You will be missing alot of reps on complex public to public transactions and understanding how large cap corporate think about M&A.
Buffett famously acquires companies with limited due diligence with publicly available information only and that is actually how alot of large cap corporate conduct M&A as well. Although they spend months / years studying their targets from the outside in. That skill set is something alot of large cap tech corp dev look for when hiring ex. bankers.
To me it's what market do you want to be in. If NY, do CS and shop offer around for full-time. Network after your summer. I'm the interim, keep the HW relation warm. If you don't care about that and want the suburban lifestyle, consider HW. Apples and oranges
I would go to HW. Lateral is an option at some point if you need NYC, a more prestigious platform (although HW is really well respected in that space from what I've gathered), and exits more likely to better brand names if that stuff is important. Caveat being who knows what CS's exits will be in two years. And as others have mentioned it sounds like a mess right now, so your learning experience will definitely suffer, you'll have to worry about being laid off the whole time in addition to standard banking stress, which sounds awful honestly. Even when things were going well always kind of had that feeling in back of mind that could be laid off, which apparently is common to instill in juniors, but wouldn't want to be somewhere where those fears could actually be substantiated, makes everything even worse.
Exactly -- regardless of what senior management told you, the firm is not done with layoffs. They've publicly announced they will cut 9,000 jobs over the next few years. There's also the risk you join a group that has slow deal flow next summer and then you don't get a return offer because of the bank's continuing struggles or for other reasons out of your control. Longer term, you accept the offer and return back to school with the lingering fear your offer may get pulled as the bank continues to do layoffs. Not to mention, bonuses will likely be low for the foreseeable future. You're signing up for additional stress on top of an already stressful job. Though, your decision is complicated because of the different lifestyles by living and working in Virginia vs. NYC
Just going to add on. I would be skeptical of what the senior bankers say. They might not even be at the platform by the time you roll around. They will say whatever they need to to check the recruiting responsibilities box, but come on. I think CS is on round whatever of "one and done restructuring layoffs." Plus, even if they mean it, these guys don't have a crystal ball. They have no idea what the group's business will look like in a few years. Hard enough to predict in normal conditions, let alone the market we're in plus CS undergoing a transformation and turmoil.
Would take CS here
Hahah I like this whole deliberation. Pretty much comes down to risk aversion but seems that the route you're picking is safety and less optionality… I have spent time in Richmond and honestly think it's a neat place. But keep this decision for what you want your life to be at and outside the office. What type of people you will be surrounded and connections you will make. If Richmond is a long term destination - it would make sense. Otherwise seems like you'd be cutting down your optionality.
Think it's a little more complicated than that. I don't see taking CS in its current state as providing more optionality
By the time you're around the groups will be culled and you'll be on teams that will be out there to prove their worth to be around Klein. Your primary concern for offer should be delivering and performance. Cuts across the board, you shouldn't count on 100% automatic return anywhere. putting eggs in HW basket would make little sense reading your responses
Respect your choice and hope it works out. But you've gotta admit this is one of the least rational answers.
That being said I like the f*** it let's just pick attitude, no point in spending an eternity picking. Sounded like your gut wanted CS and the NYC part played a big role there, so probably the right call for you. Richmond VA not for everyone and something to be said for NYC experience in general and then NYC finance
This was an absolutely huge mistake. If you can change your mind, please do
Would agree. As a current associate in the group actively looking to lateral out, I'd highly suggest reconsidering. The only long term member of the group who is an MD (1st year MD which should give a sense of the state of the group) is actively looking for his exit. He's the one giving you advice. The other newly joined MDs are objectively awful.
There are going to be more layoffs, and I wouldn't be shocked if return offers were non-existent. In that case, you'll have spent your summer pitching and losing with nothing to show for it and re-recruiting at the worst possible time.
Also, you are easily identifiable as we have only given 1 offer (non-core) and core interviews happen next week. I'd consider deleting this.
Plus how prestigious is CS going to be in a few years? Marginally more so than HW? Is that worth the stress?
Real upside seems to come from being in NY. Career wise idk how much of a difference that is. can't answer how important it is from lifestyle standpoint
i had to choose between DB and another bank a few years back. All the senior bankers made all the assurances in the world - 1 year later entire groups dissolved and return offers rescinded.
im glad I listened to my gut and went to a different shop.
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