How is everybody on WSO top bucket

It seems like every post related to performance on WSO is about being a top bucket analyst. At my shop, about 70% of analysts are placed in the dead middle bucket, some exceptional performers get rated one step above that, and VERY few (maybe 5%) get the top rating. There is no way to be ranked top without the influence of politics or luck.

How is everybody on WSO an expert on being top bucket? Would being rated middle or upper-middle limit chances to get good lateral banking/exit opportunities? Looking to leave after bonuses hit and am concerned about optics if I get an average rating, despite multiple M&A / financing deals under my belt.

Comments (24)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 14, 2022 - 5:51pm

It's probably selection bias - the people who are most likely to post/talk about their ranking are top bucket (i.e. not a lot of people bragging about being a bottom bucket analyst).

I don't think it directly affects your opportunities in the sense of what ranking you get, but it is suggestive of your work quality/ability. As in the people who are top performers are probably going to have the best exit opportunities and are more likely to be mid/top bucket.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 16, 2022 - 12:53pm

Good point - we all need this reminder. If you're a top performer with good technical skills and good reps, you'll have exits opps even if you somehow land a middle bucket rating.

If you're a mediocre performer with no deal experience and no modeling abilities, you're not gonna be swimming in PE offers, even if you sneak a top rating.

May 17, 2022 - 3:02pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Reminds me of the net worth thread lol

Array

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 14, 2022 - 7:24pm

There's a lot of cappers on WSO also. I'm sure people lie all the time here but the comment written above also makes sense

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 15, 2022 - 1:19am

Top bucket analyst and PE associate to middling VP+, happens every time.

Don't think there is any correlation to being a good monkey to being a rainmaker.

May 18, 2022 - 1:54pm
PeRmAnEnTiNtErN, what's your opinion? Comment below:

From what I have seen, this site greatly overestimates the ability to be rainmaker without good banking fundamentals. If you want my honest opinion being a great analyst  gets you more opportunities, faster promotions, and a great reputation - which leads to more reps and becoming a better banker.  Better bankers become better MDs. Now are they probably stories of kids who struggled as an analyst and still are able to fail forward, Absolutely,  but do not confuse those people with the best and brightest.  

May 15, 2022 - 9:01am
reformed, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Groups also lie. 
they want to keep as many people motivated as possible so they tell analysts they were top bucket when they really weren't. 

Array
  • 2
May 21, 2022 - 11:56am
Jeff Skilling, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I mean....think about all the grinder / hardo senior associates you've worked with before. Yeah, their books will be done 5 days before the MD said he / she would look at it and the formatting will be flawless......buuuuut that doesn't really make these folks any more likeable to clients.

Hard to build client relationships when a VP is adding 20 - 30 rouge pages of math to a market update book (that will eventually get stuck in the appendix or immediately killed when the MD gets around to marking it up)

  • VP in IB - Gen
May 15, 2022 - 11:31am

Also just like how every WSO poster is 6'4 with a 4-plate squat and works a 110 hour average week while squeezing in quickies with instagram models on the weekends.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 15, 2022 - 2:48pm

When someone says top bucket I assume that just means top bucket bonus - which at my bank is ~30%. Getting the top rating is basically impossible but most of the "upper middle" rating group gets a top bucket bonus

May 15, 2022 - 9:58pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree with the initial reply of selection bias because no one brags about being the bottom. But I'll also offer up two more things:

  1. At some banks being below middle bucket also means you're on a corrective plan or at the very least you are ineligible for laterals and promotion. So those people tend to wash out and may move on to other industries (i.e. no longer post on WSO)
  2. There is also a form of selection bias because this is WSO and the audience here might be a little more "hardcore" when it comes to work. It's one thing to work, it's another to spend your off time also talking about work on a message board. 
*
  • 3
May 16, 2022 - 4:03pm
PlsFthx, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think a significant portion of WSO also assumes they are top bucket, when they actually aren't, but haven't explicitly been told so.  Everyone wants to think they work hard and do meaningful and quality work, but at the end of the day, only a small fraction of analysts are actually top bucket.

I could see the numbers on WSO being more than a random sample (e.g. 30% of WSO is top bucket, compared to 15% of analysts IRL), but I would imagine the reality is way less than 70%.

May 20, 2022 - 8:12am
elenoreweight05, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you want my honest opinion being a great analyst  gets you more opportunities, faster promotions, and a great reputation - which leads to more reps and becoming a better banker.

May 20, 2022 - 8:12am
elenoreweight05, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're a top performer with good technical skills and good reps, you'll have exits opps even if you somehow land a middle bucket rating.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 20, 2022 - 2:02pm

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May 21, 2022 - 12:03pm
Frieds, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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