The ol' EB vs BB debate

I'm weighing two summer associate offers, one from Evercore (generalist M&A) and one from GS/JPM (industry coverage).

I have seen this question debated at nauseam on this forum, but mostly from an Analyst gig / strength of PE exits perspective. Wondering if people can weigh in with advice geared toward a post-mba planning a longer term tour of duty in banking. 

I'm leaning strongly toward Evercore but did want to tap the wisdom of this forum before making a decision. I also have a couple questions about the firm for those that would be kind enough. 

  • What WFH flexibility is there at Evercore? Is 3-4 days per week in office the norm or every day? 
  • I've seen some chatter on this forum about talent drain / general dilution in some areas of the firm. Is there any truth to this, and if so, is Evercore past its prime?
  • What are the top industry groups at Evercore in terms of deal flow and quality of mandates? How about from a culture and quality of life perspective?

All insights greatly appreciated, thanks!

Comments (30)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

Evercore isn't what it used to be. Go with JPM

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - CB

I work at JPM and have always had an affinity to the bank, but even I can't wholly agree with this lol

ddd1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're a post MBA im assuming you're gonna stay in ib long term? Go with wherever pay is higher -- go evercore

Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Since it's a long tour of duty you're considering, I think the top BB is the way to go. And once your make director or MD at Goldman, you can let one of the EBs poach you for a nice guarantee.

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reformed, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A few random thoughts.

BB pros

  • More well rounded experience (lead left on IPOs or even initial high yield offerings are fantastic learnings experiences and give you a ton of exposure to senior management very early on in your career). From a strategic standpoint, there is a lot of value to learning every relevant product if you're covering an industry and your knowledge base over time if you apply yourself and make an effort to learn will be greater 10 years down the line
  • More established path to MD (there's a very formal path of gradually learning to develop client relationships / learning the business development side). Having a wider product base gives you an opportunity to focus on business development at a more junior level (e.g., the treasurer will just be happy to be taken out to lunch to discuss their next high yield offering and won't mind that it's an associate that they're speaking to)
    • Would caveat this with the fact that Evercore specifically is pretty institutionalized, so you'll get a degree of this there as well
  • If you know which industry / vertical you want to focus on, you will advance much quicker (both from a knowledge base and from a political standpoint) if you place directly into that group. Smaller verticals are much more of a meritocracy as you have to take care of your people if you only have 1 or 2 associates in your vertical and you're working with the same people for each transaction. EBs have a generalist process purely because it's easier to manage headcount full stop, not because it's in any way your best interest
  • BB will have much more flexibility to adjust your experience based on how well you're doing. If you're struggling, they'll double staff you / put you with junior VPs and experienced analysts on transactions. If you're doing great, you can effectively play a VP role a year or two in.
    • Would caveat that this is much more relevant if you're struggling, vs. if you're at the top of your class. If you're at the top of your class, you'll get plenty of room to run things at both a BB or an EB

EVR pros

  • The name is top notch and has a ton of respect across the industry
  • Pay is substantially higher
  • They're pretty much strong across the board in every industry group
  • Better M&A execution experience early on as that's the primary focus

Hours will be bad at both (unless you're below average at a BB and no one wants to work with you). You'll get great experience at both as well. If you want to do this long term, you shouldn't be prioritizing flexibility to WFH - working from home will slow your development.

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen

"WFH will slow your development" - how about your WLB, being able to sleep 30mn to 1h more every day, being able to take a break without pretending to do bs work in the office when you have some free time, being able to take a nap, see your gf for lunch/dinner, etc ?

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs

Was an analyst at Evercore recently but worked closely with a lot of associates, not just in my group but also across other product groups and sector teams. I agree with all of reformed's points. Will add a few Evercore-specific points:

  • I generally got the impression from the firm that associates were much more important (rightfully so, you guys stay on for much longer usually and are more client-facing than we are). Not that analysts were not respected (I had a great experience while I was there), but generally VPs and MDs would look out for the associates from a career-building perspective, making sure they got the right staffings and experiences, even more so than they would for analysts. This makes up for a little bit of the disadvantage in joining a firm with a less clear path to MD as GS / JPM
  • There does not seem to be a "fast track" at Evercore. I've seen exceptional associates / VPs get turned down when they asked for early promotions (like the top 1-2 in their entire class, reputationally). You will likely be expected to put in your full 3.5 ASO years and 4 VP years to get a promotion (whereas I've seen Moelis promote earlier, for example)
  • If you choose Evercore, and you actually want to stay in banking long term, I would try and dedicate to an industry group as soon as possible. Most industry groups, particularly the more popular ones, will have early dedication processes. You get way more attention from seniors this way, and you'll get better analysts under you once you get close with your group-specific staffer
  • Another emphasis on pay is substantially higher. Won't be 2021 craziness but I heard my associates and VPs got PAID compared to my friends at BBs
  • 3
[email protected], what's your opinion? Comment below:

In regard to JPM all most of the groups hours are pretty bad, some groups are crazy however at JPM what you will notice is that the culture is relaxed now and people seem to be chiller. Bonus are Lower at JPM, imnt sure about exits at evercore but lots of people exited to MF PE / UMM from JPM and Corp dev as well

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A

EVR is generalist though. How would one go about feeling out a group in this scenario?

  • 1
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agree with everything above. Just what I'd add is that with EVR, you need to feel much more confidently about your ability as a salesperson to drive business without the full-service capability that a GS/JPM offers. Many MDs have built their chops selling lower-margin balance sheet-driven products over M&A at bulges and then pivoted to firms like EVR when they were confident in their ability to win solely higher-margin advisory business. It can totally be done outside of the bulge background but it's certainly more of a bet on yourself.

  • 3
finnari, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If helpful: What I was told as someone also just recruited for summer associate is that JPM doesn't have the best return offer rate for associates, even in good years (can depend on industry group). Evercore's is really high.

finnari, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Evercore is closer to 100% though.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov

Same sh*t to be honest, both solid. I would personally take EVR due to pay. 

Lockwood, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can give a directors perspective as someone who moved to IB and is making a long term career of it. 

I would honestly choose JPM

It's not just about shop, it's about product vs coverage. It's about the group.

I started in M&A generalist and moved to TMT coverage once I became a VP. 

The rainmakers are coverage. Not hating on product teams (as that's my origin) but coverage is where the money is brought in. Product guys are a commodity, sure there are different quality of people but the true value in a Big bank is the ability to bring in deal flow.

Focus on a career in coverage, choose a sector that will be hot forever (like TMT or business services) and find a niche that you like and would like to specialise in one day as a director / MD. I do video games as it's more interesting than SAP software for example. 

Evermore may pay you better and I think you'll be more important on deals but also depends on your experience. BBs are generally better learning grounds for MBA associates than EBs as they have bigger teams to absorb your lack of value at the start of your new career.

Hope that helps. 

Tech & Media M&A - London
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  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen

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hellskitchen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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