SF Tech Banking Updated Ranking 2023

Seen a lot of threads about GS/Q/MS dominating tech banking followed by LAZ/EVR/JPM but what about the rest? Is it still worth it to be in tech banking at those other places vs a generalist program at NY? Now that CS is out want to see what the next few years for tech banking might look like

How does deal flow and exits to MF/UMM PE look at those other places, is it still possible?

BofA PA/SF: how does this look after a lot of seniors left to CVP/Gugg? any updates on recent exits?

Citi Tech SF: saw on another thread that it's been rising and recent exits to MF? How does this compare to the other groups in this forum?

Barclays Menlo: seems like solid group but what about exits to UMM/MF?

Gugg Menlo: newer group but how does this compare to the other ones

Jeff SF: seems like mostly MM but does it punch above its weight to compete with some of the mid-tier BBs? What about exits to UMM/MF?

Blair SF: 

RBC SF:

Greenhill SF: small team but how does exits and deal flow compare?

LionTree SF: on the nicher side with gaming/tech? How do exits compare with the traditional BB/MMs?

PWP Tech SF: weaker group of the firm but has it been on the rise?

UBS/DB SF: how are those groups doing in terms of exits?

 

Be on the lookout for SF Raine with the Code Advisors acquisition. 

 

Not sure if LAZ SF is up there with JPM and EVR; ppl have said they're a glorified extension of a big tech corp dev team. Seems like exits aren't as strong as the others in the top tier as well.

Also heard that BAML PA is gutted and has become less selective (at least for this year).

Gugg MP is new and exciting but heard things are unstructured still and hours are terrible. They're strong in infrastructure software and will be interesting to see how it grows.

Piper seems to have a bright future as well since they just acquired DBO Partners.

Not sure abt the rest

 

From what I know and from what ppl say on here, BAML PA usually only takes a few kids every year. Just in my school there were a handful who got offers from the team this year. (Unless they've suddenly began to aggressively expand the PA office which I havent heard abt)

 

UBS SF is a shell of its former glory. After the loss of their rainmakers to SVB, the current skeleton crew they put together barely generates.

 

Curious to hear if you think the CS acquisition could turn things around for UBS and the SF team

 

I went to a tech bank for my junior summer before leaving for a UMM/MF PE shop for FT. These are my thoughts on which offices to target to maximize PE exits (coming from someone who went to a target on the West Coast – if you're East Coast this list looks a little different...).

Bay Area:

Q / GS / MS / EVR / JPM (go SF M&A, not Tech) / CVP (SF has a generalist team and is just much stronger in terms of exits and deal flow in comparison to PA) / LionTree (exits are pretty much the same caliber across both offices, but SF covers a lot more tech instead of media)

New York (I am assuming there's at least one alum at or going to one of these shops, if not then just go for their tech teams in the Bay):

LAZ (if you're really, really interested in tech you could go for their SF team but NY is just objectively better for PE exits) / PWP / BofA / Citi / Gugg / UBS / Jeff / Blair / RBC / Greenhill / DB

Los Angeles:

Moelis / Barclays (their sponsors group in LA has dummy good PE exits)

I didn't really touch on PE exits, but with all honesty, aside from the first six banks in the Bay Area section, I don't think there are really any other SF tech banks that exit well to UMM/MF PE (LAZ SF is actually also okay). This is pretty broad, so feel free to PM me if you want more specifics.

 

I thought Laz didn’t have a tech team in NYC and that theirs on east coast was based out of Boston?

 

I think this is fairly accurate. Q/MS/GS will dominate most large and prominent deals above >$1B

If you are looking for more middle market deals (sub $1B mark- and that's also a great area to operate in) - EVR / JPM / MOE / LAZ / CVP / CITI will all get you to those places. I would have ranked MOE slightly lower, but they did recently hired Rick (the MS banker who leads TSLA as key account) - would be interesting to see how they do. CITI lost Herb Yeh to EVR and have been rebuilding. The culture at EVR has changed a lot over last 4 years - with senior and middle layer leaving and them having to build the teams out again, starting with Herb.

The experience at LAZ is more of a consulting/corporate finance approach. They are very tight knit team, but heard it can be sweaty at times. CVP used to be very much a strategic finance outfit too, but that has changed since Handler & Co left to form Tidal. Most of CVP now is ex- BOA people and they seem to have a more M&A/ cap raising focus than in the past. Will see how they do, although they havn't recently featured on anything prominent that I've come across so far.

I would not rank PWP as a decent outfit for tech - their main team that has done anything of substance in the past has been based out of NY (the FinTech team led by Michael Grace that does most of his work with PYPL). Their exits leave much to be desired but culture wise probably a better shop. I've never seen them in any of the meaningful processes or prominent deals (large or middle market).

Barclays is known for great culture in MP and SF - not sure about the deal quality since most of the people there I knew left slowly to work in tech / corporate development.

GUGG recently hired the ex-head of software from GS - and it would be interesting to see how they perform, although yet to see them on anything meaningful now.

 
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Should be noted that Handler & Co at CVP also brought in a number of their larger deals, especially in hardware/semiconductors, so would say that CVP took an overall hit with them leaving.

Also PWP SF doesn't really get on a lot of deals, but they do get on a number of MM-mid cap enterprise software transactions as well as some decently sized transactions, often as co-advisor (VMWare's $11B dividend, KKR/Cloudera, Blackberry/Cylance). Overall their tech team tends to be very focused on enterprise software and would agree that they're not on the same level as Lazard/CVP. Heard culture is great and exits actually seem solid (recent exits include Sixth Street and EQT).

 

How come there arent that many Q exits to TB, Silerlake, Providence? Would have thought to be more well placed at these top tech funds. Any insights on placement? 

 

They have like 5-7 analysts per class, so the absolute number of placements is always going to be lower. In the past 2 years, off the top of my head I know they have sent someone to Silver Lake and Warburg. It seems like the rest would rather do VC, crossovers, or HF (and based on LinkedIn search they consistently place into IVP, NEA, KP, Coatue, Dragoneer, Citadel, etc.)

 

is citi really above bofa and barclays? how does it comapre to jeff? would you say citi is there on par with LAZ/CVP because of the recent growth?

 

how would you say citi compares to the others like MOE/LAZ/CVP? know that its made some key hires from the other competitors. Is it above BAML and Barclays now? HOw does it comapre to JEFF? any potential for exits to also catch up to MOE/LAZ/CVP?

 

Can someone provide more context on DB SF in terms of culture and exits?

 

Dawg they're less than a year old. They're irrelevant for now, but have great potential.

 

Great MM tech team, really rode the tech deal flow pre-2022 to do well in MM-mid cap sponsor deals, but also has declined in culture. Should note that Blair's Tech team staffs across offices, and a consequence of that is that a lot of the juniors and mid-level people who made the SF office good culturally relocated/left and now the SF office's culture sucks. Still has solid exits across Tech buyout and Growth (mostly MM with some UMM), but you could get the same exits from Chicago Tech with the added bonus of better culture.

 

blair is better, HL focused more on LMM side; blair has really good UMM software deals that go up to $1-2B starting from 300-400m so you get really good experience. Not sure how it is after Blair's recent layoffs tho

 

London Blair layoffs, especially tech were brutal.. 

One of my mates told me there was a teams call invite going around, and once the call started an MD said "Congratulations you made it.." everyone not invited got cut

 

Although LA is their main west coast office, you're missing Moelis SF on this list, which I would argue is on the same level as EVR/LAZ/JPM (one tier below GS/MS/Q).

Have a close friend working there and have heard that culture is pretty good (unlike other Moelis offices) and deal flow is solid (primarily UMM/MM tech with a couple $1B+ here and there with a focus on hardware, communication technology and software), but the office cross-staffs with the LA team on tech deals which adds a lot to the experience. Exits are also very strong because headhunters largely treat SF analysts as part of the Moelis WC team along with LA because they know SF and LA cross-staff, so analysts get looks from buyout and growth groups at almost all of the MF/UMM shops and a few TMT groups at hedge funds (recent exit to Citadel NY). Most of the senior people are from BBs who were rainmakers and brought their clients over.

Should be an interesting shop to be at over the next few years too given the fact that they hired Rick P. (MS banker who leads TSLA as key account) and poached pretty much all of SVB tech. They hired at least seven senior MDs from SVB, which is apparently one of the largest poachings of an IB team in recent years. Deal flow has been improving with bigger clients / deals and office has been quickly growing and attracting stronger candidates every year.

 

A little late to the game but thought I'd give my $0.02 since there's a lot of misinformation and ego bias.

Tier 1: Q / GS / MS

Pretty obvious stuff. No one's beating these guys when it comes to winning the largest deals.

Tier 2a: EVR / JPM

Consistent UMM deals and a fair share of $1B+ deals. Not sure why some people are putting JPM low; they're still one of the best in the industry and their M&A team has great exits.

Tier 2b: LAZ / MOE / CVP PA

Generally similar deal experiences as the two above but there is a noticeable difference in their reputation. There also have been recent changes to these firms so things could certainly be different in a year or so.

Tier 3: LT / BAML / PWP / CITI / WB / Barclays

Moving deeper into the MM area with these firms. Still a good amount of deal flow within their niches. Becomes pretty hard to distinguish/compare these firms at this point.

Tier 4: UBS / DB / RBC

These firms have overall either never been the best in tech or have taken a big hit recently.

Didn't list firms that are either too new to tell or I don't really know much about (Gugg, Tidal, Jeff, etc.). Hope this helps.

 

Sorry if it’s a dumb question but will be interning this summer at a bank that’s not even on the list (one of RBC/Lincoln/WF) in SF and wanted to ask if it’s even possible to try and lateral/recruit for FT at any of the Tier 1-3 type banks in the hope of improving exit options or if those groups/firms mostly just hire from the weaker banks below them. I know it’s probably got an obvious answer but my firm exits terribly out here and I haven’t really seen anyone from my bank at these places so just wanted to get more color if possible 

 

probably wont be thinking of tier 1-2 but still decent shot at tier 3 and like a jefferies. Jefferies has even taken laterals before from BGL