Which groups should you avoid at all costs?

Can we list the worst groups at various banks in NYC to AVOID AT ALL COSTS? Criteria being a combination of bad culture/hours (mostly culture). If you can briefly elaborate as well, that will be helpful. Hopefully, this will be helpful for summer interns and those who just received offers for next year. 

Definitely not, the group has incredible growth prospects and culture at the top firms (pjt & evercore at least) is great

Not "avoid" but know what you're getting yourself into.

Major discrepancies between PJT RSSG and Park Hill, for example...

Better modeling reps, exits, and bonuses in most other groups vs PCA at EB's

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The biggest contributor to bad culture / bad hours is likely going to be the size of the deals done. This becomes even more important during the later portion of your career but you realize that the amount of effort required to close a 100mm deal is very similar to closing a 10B dollar deal but the 10B dollar deal generates substantially more revenue for the bank. For this reason, firms that focus on MM deals (Jefferies & Moelis) but still end up neck and neck on the league tables with groups that do larger deals tend to be sweatier. Industrials groups at most banks also tend to be very sweaty for the same reason. 

There are exceptions to this, however. Certain groups that are highly desirable have an atrocious culture because everyone wants to work there (GS TMT / Evercore Tech / MS M&A / GS FIG / GS Healthcare / etc. ).

MS FIG is notorious for hours & culture. You can find threads that mention MDs screaming on the floor.

As mentioned above, GS HC split from CRG a few years back & has had a sweaty culture + walkout. Partly due to dealflow, but also MDs skipping the 2nd yr send offs, 25-75k bonus for associates etc.

Have to laugh at this. GS pays a meaningful premium to MS/JPM. If you're quitting because you only got a slight premium to your peers and are upset because your MD skipped drinks, I think it speaks a lot more to your maturity than any issue with the group. Sounds to me like they were a bad fit and the problem corrected itself. 

If an associate is getting a full year bonus of 25-75k, it's not the norm and likely someone expected to be pushed out. 

Cantor Fitzgerald is about the worst combination of toxic culture, shit hours, non-lead engagements, trigger-happy layoffs and bad deal flow you could possibly imagine. Normally groups that toxic at least have good deal flow and that's why they're all on edge (ie, Jefferies). My roommate used to work there as an An1 and in his words it's like the workflow and dickishness of Jefferies with the exception that exits suck and you're somehow working until the AM every night despite only doing ~$50M co-mgr deals. The prospect of getting shit on by an asshole MD while working until 2:00AM.....for a small-time co-mgr engagement with a few hundred K of fee potential? That's gonna be a no for me.  

I know the backstory. As a general best practice I don't drop people's specific names on here, seeing as I'm posting behind the veil of anonymity. I don't mind naming specific groups that as a whole treat people poorly, but I draw the line at naming names because I wouldn't be comfortable doing that with my name and face behind it so I won't do it just because I'm anon. 

Were they not the guys who paid like $400K bonuses to their associates in '21? Things change fast lol. 

Any group can be extremely toxic when you’re not making money. Just join a group that makes money, easy bro

PSC HC at the associate level felt very toxic to me. Met a few of their Charlotte bankers in the Business Services team too, got weird vibes from a few of their mid-level / senior bankers.

EDIT: Clearly a PSC hardo threw me MS.

At BofA, FIG is the worst, specifically their “Banks” team. I interned there so can speak well to it.

In general, I think the FIG team is decent. The group has about 5 verticals (banks, specialty finance, fintech, asset management, and insurance). The problem is that you’re placed into a vertical a few months after you join (full time, as an intern you’re a generalist). It sounded like most people don’t want to do banks/specialty finance but someone must do it and so they are forced there. Fintech is the one vertical everyone tries to get but it also has its challenges.

The banks team doesn’t do any deals. 99.9% of the work the juniors do is pitch work. Most have never been on an actual deal process. Somehow, they still manage to work insane hours with a lot of weekend work thrown in there. Seniors give very tight deadlines and make a lot of last-minute changes (dropping in new pages, asking for some analysis 30 minutes before the meeting, changing everything, etc.). Mind you, this is for just regular pitches, but the pitches are treated like live deals/bake-offs (usually 40 page decks with some kind of a model). So, you get no deal experience, work insane hours, are always stressed, and can’t get traditional banking exits due to the niche nature of the work. Emails still fly in from seniors late on Friday night which is pretty sad if you’re a junior with a social life. Sunday morning is brutal too (we didn’t have to work on Sundays as interns so would only come Monday morning to find 30+ emails from Sunday alone). Of course, this would probably be the case at any other bank but it doesn’t make sense for non-live deal work. I don’t think it makes sense for your career to pigeonhole yourself early on in an area where you won’t get any technical experience and traditional banking exits are non-existent.

BofA FIG is fine if you can avoid the banks vertical, but I don’t think this is guaranteed. If you’re really intent on doing FIG, GS FIG seems to be the best in the space (not siloed to one vertical, they do a lot of deals, and exits are some of the best on the street). Otherwise, the rest of the people on the BofA FIG team are pretty nice and very knowledgeable. 

Why are GS FIG exits so much better than BofA? It's the same type of work

The kids that recruited into GS FIG are among the best of the best. The kids that ended up at BofA FIG squandered group placement.


On the buyside - whichever bank first decided 200+ tab renewables models were worth the effort should go kill themselves

Fucking this. I hated that shit as a banker and still hate that shit as a PE Associate. Not like any of us can realistically predict 50 tabs worth of theoretical math and dozens of assumptions each with any level of true accuracy, it's pure mental masturbation and "hey guys look how hard we worked on this".  

Power, utilities, renewables, infra related groups are usually the worst unless you like the sector. 

I've personally never worked in a P&U group but just from observation and talking to those that have: the analysis is highly technical, models are stupidly big (Excel freezes or crashes often), massive amounts of data (RIP when a VDR opens), and clients are usually very sophisticated (more requests).

The craziest deal sprints (e.g. 80 - 100 hour weeks for multiple weeks) seems to always happen in a P&U group or someone in M&A working on a P&U file. 

I agree and i’m working in one. However, you get a shitload of model experience, which i think it’s quite important at a junior level. Can always lateral to another group after your first/second year


Seniors are constantly reprimanded by IBD Management for violently screaming on the floor and making us do Saturday BD work 

VPs and EDs are self selecting psychopaths who are willing to put up with the aforementioned MDs

ASOs are neurotic East Asian types who were previously in accounting and have no life outside the office 

Source: Analyst leaving in 3 weeks (ignore title)

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