Wells Fargo vs. UBS

not trying to start a rankings thread but just asking - would you rather take an offer at the strongest groups at UBS or Wells Fargo? For exit opps as well as dealflow.

Comments (58)

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 16, 2020 - 8:22pm

dude i commented the same exact thing as you and we have the same anon title wtf

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 16, 2020 - 8:25pm

LOL we on the same page. Might disagree about DB if it's one of the strong WF groups in NYC.

Feb 18, 2021 - 3:47am
TREBITDA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You guys should kiss


  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 16, 2020 - 8:21pm

Wells Fargo hands down, growing franchise vs UBS which is downsizing in IB. I would take DB over both, which may be an unpopular opinion on this forum.

  • 4
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 16, 2020 - 8:48pm

UBS brought in over 20 MDs earlier this year. Although it's a shitty stat, they're #4 on YTD league tables for US M&A. Maybe they're growing now?

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Apr 16, 2020 - 9:42pm

According to WSO, this is like comparing a garbage can to a recycling bin.

Most Helpful
  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Apr 16, 2020 - 9:52pm

Very surprised with the answers here. I'd personally go with UBS. Has a much stronger reputation in IB compared to Wells Fargo, which is pretty much legacy Wachovia which was more of a MM focused investment bank. For exits/prestige, I would be hard pressed to go with WF.

For exits, UBS will often send analysts to MF and UMM PE funds, which is extremely rare for a Wells Fargo analyst to get. Majority of WF analyst end up at lower-MM/MM PE funds, or will typically lateral to a stronger bank for exits.

Plus, the vast majority of WF analysts are located in Charlotte, NC, which makes recruiting more difficult for NYC PE funds, and is seen as less prestigious compared to working in NYC.

I will say that overall WF likely has better group culture and work/life balance, and the pay is overall the same as other BB/MM firms, which can be extremely enticing as analysts end up making significantly more than counterparts in NYC adjusted for cost of living in Charlotte.

And yes, WF seems to be on the rise (aside from the scandal and asset cap) whereas UBS is trending downward into more of a focus in wealth management, but that doesn't do much for you in the now, especially if you are looking to exit after two years. However if you are looking to be a career banker, WF seems like the better choice.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 16, 2020 - 9:59pm

ubs often sending to MF is a stretch, and wfs is shifting more to NYC with hudson yards. I see analysts at both firms trying to move to real BB or EB for better exits.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Apr 16, 2020 - 10:08pm

Agreed that sending to MFs might not be often, but does happen. WF getting the hudson yards space is a good signal of its intent on building out its securities business in NYC, however there is still pushback from groups in Charlotte in sending people to NYC as senior banker roots are in Charlotte. M&A however seems to be the main group feeding junior bankers from Charlotte to NYC.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 1:33am

Just want to respond and say that 50-some SAs ended up in NYC and in the low 60s in CLT at wells last year. Pretty much an even split with the few extras not in NYC in SF, Houston and in their regional IB offices.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Apr 16, 2020 - 10:03pm

I'm going to have to say WFS. UBS is a sinking ship and has really had some trouble in getting deals these past few years. WFS capital markets has been competing with even mid-tier BBs. Their m&a has room to grow, but still is way head of UBS now. There's also a lot of concern within UBS about cuts in the IB business.

Apr 16, 2020 - 10:44pm
Nightman Cometh, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly I'd say UBS hands down but clearly I'm in the minority.

Just adding onto this now that this post is growing--I think UBS is still a stronger platform that is just underperforming, but some strong hires that bring substantial connections over to the UBS side could turn things around quickly. UBS had many very top tier bankers in the past, and adding new high profile guys could really respark the place. As things stand now, I'd still go there.

  • 7
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 16, 2020 - 10:50pm

WFS is just stronger in the majority of groups and has strong potential for growth given their lending capabilities and Charlie's liking for investment banking revenue.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 17, 2020 - 6:01am

Outside of the Hudson Yards building, what makes you think Scharf is trying to grow the advisory business?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 10:42am

My 2 cents here, i work at WFS. so this is a fair question, the skepticism is warranted but the change in tone and behavior from the top has been night and day since Scharf took over. The former head of global IB was a commercial banker and paid no attention to advisory. tons of red tape to getting anything done, and we never had support from the higher-ups when it came to getting things across the finish line. I've been seeing group heads come out of meetings with grins on their faces like school children since Scharf took over. They created a new management structure where advisory reports directly to the CEO now - used to be a few layers between. That's all to say, Scharf seems serious about building out the practice. I agree with what's been said here before however - which is how much does that all really matter if you're going for the 2 and out? It's a good Q.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 16, 2020 - 11:55pm

OP here - the results seem super mixed. I'd join either in 2022 and stay for 2 years so my specific question would be what would have better exit opps right after. don't really care wether the bank is growing or not - hopefully bank brand won't last my entire career.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 17, 2020 - 1:37am

historically UBS has placed better in PE, but wells has essentially caught up for this year's on cycle and will be doing much better by 2022. be warned that the top groups at wells will work you pretty hard - the top groups at UBS may work less, but this is because of fewer deals recently.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 1:22am

I'm really surprised by the responses here. At the top groups, ubs places significantly better than wells. If you're leaving after two years anyway, the downsizing likely wouldn't impact you

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 1:54am

Notice all the older guys trying to claim that UBS is a better pick because of the legacy "brand name" or whatever when not only is this not true anymore and will only become less true in the next two years but is also dangerously bad advice to give summers. These are the same people that last summer told kids to take DB over other strong banks because of again the legacy "brand" completely ignoring the serious difficulty the bank was having. Well look, now you have a bunch of incoming summers currently shitting bricks on the DB thread because they don't know if they're going to have a role at all this summer. If they do, returns are likely to be very low and they are rightfully-so panicking now. Many of them gave up offers from places like JEF because idiotic analysts were telling them to pick DB instead.

Go look at the threads yourselves, I was thrown a bunch of MS for telling them to take JEF. Amazing how that works.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 1:57am

UBS definitely has the better brand name. While you can argue UBS is falling and Wells is growing, they're not really in the same league to begin with. Wells Fargo will always be a commercial bank first while UBS has always been focused on advisory in NA.

May get shit for this but in terms of general reputation, UBS had way more kids recruiting for it in my target school (Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth) than Wells Fargo. Let me know if your experience was different but this was just my two cents. (I don't work for either of these banks btw)

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 2:07am

UBS has specifically decided to shift away from advisory in north america in favor of PWM. PWM offers more stable revenue, so smart decision on their part, but not helpful for students interested in M&A. Wells has been investing a ton into advisory. While they won't be competing with mid-upper BBs anytime soon, still think its smarter to go with WFS.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 2:53am

I think that's fair if you're considering long term at a bank. Wells if you genuinely have a passion for banking and want to climb the ranks, I'd go with Wells. But most analysts I know just want to do the two year stint and leave, and if that's the case, UBS will still have better exit ops and brand name than Wells for the next two years. Plus most people still have the negative association of Wells as a commercial bank/scandal

  • Intern in _none
Apr 17, 2020 - 3:15am

What are the best groups at Wells? Regal? Industrials? Energy? I would like to hear from people on the street and not interns chiming in.

Apr 17, 2020 - 10:25am
ebitda-d, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Depends on what you're looking for. If you just want 2 years and out to PE, take UBS hands down. WF primarily exits to LMMs and more occasionally MMs. Whereas UBS the typical exit is a MM with a handful going to UMMs, doubtful anyone is getting a MF.

If you're looking for a long term career in banking, I'm still hesitant to say WF, but I'll talk about the pros and cons of both. If I were in your shoes I'd take UBS because it's guaranteed NY, and I'd either lateral after my SA or after a year as an analyst. You'd be in NY so networking would be a lot easier. I'm ride or die NY and very open to lateraling so that's why I'd choose UBS.

However, with WF you can stay at one firm and work your way up. WF is a growing platform, as opposed to UBS which is shrinking (hence why I said to lateral). Since it's growing it will be a lot easier getting promoted as there's much more room for growth. There's a lot of upward mobility at WF and a lot of people who have started as an analyst there and have worked there way up to MD.

Biggest warning I can give is a link to a thread below. With WF group placement is very iffy. You can end up in a group that really shouldn't be lumped together with IB and unless you get priority placement (woman/diversity), you'll most likely end up in Charlotte, which makes it harder to get to NY (and personally I wouldn't want to live there).


Apr 17, 2020 - 2:10pm
ebitda-d, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Even regardless of placement I still think UBS is the better option if you want to do PE or are willing to lateral

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 17, 2020 - 10:33am

Just a data point for OP. My friend and I were BOTH faced with this same decision. He chose one and I chose the other. Ultimately, at the end of the summer, we both wanted to jump ship and both of us landed at the same Top BB. Either will provide opportunity to recruit FT and move up the food chain if it's of interest.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Apr 17, 2020 - 3:53pm

people saying "ubs is better for pe" are plain wrong, wells fargo did much better in on cycle recruiting for analysts who started in 2019. really no reason to choose ubs, especially since they have no standout groups

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Apr 17, 2020 - 5:38pm

FSLF at UBS is good but yes, 2-3 at WFS that are still better

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 4:30pm

UBS if you get a top group, hands down. Have a friend in the FSLF group and who got interviews at quite a few MFs and accepted an offer at one. People out of that group have always placed well. Think TMT and maybe industrials get looks from decent funds as well.

You're not going to get similar exists from WF.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Gen
Apr 17, 2020 - 5:22pm

personally know someone from wells going to a top MF this summer, I don't think its as black and white anymore as wells fargo has gotten better with exits over time and UBS has faced some structural issues

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 17, 2020 - 6:42pm

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Feb 18, 2021 - 1:11am
No-Nothing, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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