Thoughts and culture of banks in Houston

Hello all, I am considering recruiting Houston and was wondering if I could get a brief summary of what really every bank is like working at. Could you also describe what their culture is like being for example, more fratty or full of NPC'S. Please list multiple banks if not all I would greatly appreciate your help. Have a great weekend!

 

tph is cool. people are nice but work super hard. def a sweatshop

 
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A few other recent threads on this. Would suggest doing a quick search.

Because I’m bored and from what I know about these banks from my interactions with each in the past:

Goldman: top bank in Houston, on two recent mega top 10 of the last 3 decade deals. Sweaty, intense culture but don't know much else about them because they don't give a fuck about dweebs like me

Bofa: one of the top banks, also currently on one mega deal. VP I met seemed like a chode and that maybe he had a crush on his 3rd year as so, other people seem decent, sweaty bc of workflow

MS: one of the top banks, good deal flow, sweaty, some people I’d rather have to talk to a brick wall, others seem decent

JPM: kind of a top bank? Idk anymore, people are doozies, work culture is ball buster

RBC: one of the better teams in RBC’s portfolio, people seem like they were nerds growing up and now think they're cool because they work at a bank but they aren't lol, sweaty

Jefferies: Good a&d deal flow, I think bankers are designated to specific basins (which is unique - but not sure, someone correct me if I'm wrong), one dude I know that works there was a little bitch growing up lol so I'm just gonna say full of little bitches, sweaty like all Jefferies groups

Evercore: decent workflow, people who think they are hot shit (tools) for working here even though they've been falling off the last 5ish years, sweaty

Moelis: decent work flow, bunch of nerdy but nice folks, sweaty (you should be seeing a trend here in terms of moisture)

HL: not the best, but pretty good during downturns because of RX (same for moelis), people pretty laid back but they ghosted me way back when so fuck em, decently sweaty

Guggenheim: up and coming, poached a bunch of Citi directors recently I believed so they should be making a splash in the next couple of years, people seem chill except for one guy who is a stupid science bitch, not sure about work culture

WF: not the strongest deal flow but took on a couple Goldman folks recently so may be up and coming, bunch of leftovers, decently sweaty

TPH: Good a&d I believe and on a decent amount of deals, some people suck and some are really cool and all think they're Cowboys (they're not lol), sweaty

Lazard: not the banks best group, don't know the people, don't care, not sure about culture

Greenhill: probably the weakest of the bunch, buncha dudes who are grateful to be in ib, assuming not the sweatiest

PJT: who? Just kidding. New office, some guys think they're Gordon Gekko, not sure about work culture, probably shouldn't have mentioned them tbh but I liked the bit about them thinking they're gekko

The rest of the banks (and some mentioned above) don't matter. Might have missed some banks I should have noted, but I also don't give a fuck

 
Funniest

Did you miss the part where I said I didn't give a fuck?

Because I'm a pushover:

Citi: top-ish, but ain't the same since trauber left, people are ok but get butthurt when left out of lists (^this guy), work culture leads to sweaty ball sacks

 

Thank you this is super helpful! I was wondering if you might have info on international banks (miz/socgen/smbc/others)? I know they aren't killing it on deals but they still have analyst opportunities which are better than nothing, hopefully.

 

I lateraled to Houston and after actually living and working here, I would recommend prospects to stay away from this place unless you have family here or you're dead set on pursuing Energy or Infrastructure IB/PE. I won't list out each bank and what I think but the general banking culture in Houston sucks (it's always been that way) and there's so many better places to spend your analyst years that will not only give you more fulfilling life experiences but give you access to much better exit opportunities. Trying not to give my full unsolicited rant on this place but will if anyone asks.  

EDIT:

*cracks knuckles* someone asked me to elaborate so here we go. Texas isn't necessarily a "bad" place to live but if you have lived in any other mature or up and coming cities, Houston/Dallas are some of the most isolating and depressing places to live and I'll explain why I think below. To save me some MS, I'm not intending to insult the state as a whole or anyone who grew up here and wants to stay in Texas.

1) The culture. Texas is infamous for having the big country BBQ stereotype and culture but that's mostly a myth if you're in Houston or Dallas. The reality is that "Texans" are some of the most boring people I have met in my life. Because the weather sucks most of the year and the state/cities have made no effort to make it an enjoyable place to live outside of no income taxes, people here have zero hobbies outside of pursuing corporate prestige and collecting a paycheck. There isn't anything to do besides go to work, eat and drink at restaurants, and go home. Consequently, that hole is filled with work, which is why the culture here sucks so much. No one makes an effort to leave the office to go to the gym (obesity) or do anything else. They'd rather stay in the office late everyday to avoid traffic.

Stemming from the above culture issues, Texans have the most bizarre self hating attitudes but still have a sense of pride about it. If you talk to them about how they got here or why they stayed, you'll find that the majority of them don't actually want to live here but have to stay because of family or they pigeonholed themselves into the Energy industry. If you ask them what about Houston is so great, they'll say the food is better than anywhere else (which is wrong imo, it's just mostly mexican food and BBQ) and it "has everything you could want". Ask them to elaborate and their answer will involve driving in traffic on a 5+ lane highway 45 minutes away from Houston for "fun things to do". They joke about how much the place sucks but get hostile and snobby if you don't like Houston and want to leave. 

2) The work and subsequent exit opportunities. It's O&G. It's boring and very technical. There's only so much to learn about drilling and pipelines. Because of the very specific skillset you acquire from O&G, many buyside shops won't even interview Energy candidates. I've had headhunters straight up tell me "I think you're great and have good experience but my client doesn't like to interview Energy people because they don't have the skillsets to pass their LBO tests". Despite what anyone else tells you, you'll get pigeonholed very quickly if you can't get out after two years. Buyside recruiting will be objectively harder for you than any other vertical. The analysts who willingly choose Houston and stay afterwards typically grew up here and just live with their parents during their analyst stint and buy a house in the suburbs somewhere. There's not really a vibrant young professional community here that brings fun energy to go out and live life. Those types get out of Houston ASAP.

3) Endless urban sprawl and traffic. Paired with both of the points above, living here is just depressing imo. Without zoning, the city just builds shit anywhere and everywhere without considering how it would contribute to quality of life. Since most people don't actually want to live here, the city is treated like trash and there is no sense of community. Angry people are everywhere on the roads and driving anywhere in traffic is just exhausting. Not to mention the crime.

Again, it's not a horrible place to work and live. However, Houston is only appealing to a specific subset of people and that's why I don't recommend moving here. 

 

+1 to this, and OP if you do a search you will see much of the same sentiment. Houston is very sweaty with generally awful culture... the average Houston analyst somehow works much more than the average NY analyst, and while you make more on a net basis thanks to low COL/no taxes, you have lower exit opportunities (typically limited to energy, infra, or TX-related opps; NYC generalist PE is very hard to do). There are mixed opinions on the future of O&G, but even from the most optimistic lens, there are simply fewer and fewer large PE firms willing to work with you every year. Some because of ESG, but even more that have lost their shirt financially on energy investments in the previous cycles. 

If you are from Texas and want to stay there, go for it. But if you want to be in NY, just bust your balls and do it now. 

 

An LBO is a piece of cake if you can actually cook as an analyst in Energy.

Energy is technical and it doesn't broadly apply to other things, but if you can figure out how to model upstream / midstream, everything else is much easier.

 

Steer clear of Bank of America energy. I talked with a 2nd year analyst during my WM internship who told me that it was his 15th week in a row working over 100 hours a week. In the same sentence he told me, "I'm f***ing waxing this place as soon as I get a PE offer."

According to linkedin he has not gotten that PE offer, yet. 

The group has a bad culture and consists of very weird people. One of the VP's laughed at me when I said I was interested in investment banking (okay maybe this was because I was in WM, fair enough) but he connected with me on linkedin after I walked his associate through an LBO. Anyone else that I talked to was in a really bad mood. 

Also on a general note: unless you have a family do not move to Houston. Houston is not as cracked up as you think it is; there is nothing to do besides drinking and working, the main benefit is a lower COL. It's pretty boring and brutally hot during the summertime, no wonder everyone is in a bad mood there.

 

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