Talent drain in S&T or more diverse recruiting pool?

I recently have started in my FT S&T training program at a BB and noticed that the majority of students are from top public/top-non Ivy League schools and non targets schools; while only a few of them went to Ivy League schools.Coming from a non target school this was a bit surprising to me. Most people that I've met seems smart/competent.

This led to me me rationalizing in two ways. First is that BBs actively want to take a more diverse set of candidates, some through diversity and some through the increasing willingness to interview non ivy candidates that meet a certain technical and "smartness" threshold.

The second is that due to the rise of tech companies, Prop MM and some hedge funds starting to recruit out of university.The BB's are losing out on talent and therefore having to widen their talent pool. In this scenario BB markets programs would see a drop off in the quality of candidates.

While I think my peers are mostly very smart, I haven't been around to compare if they were smarter 5-10 years ago where majority of these roles went to Ivy League graduates.For those of you that have been in the markets business for some time. Has there been a talent brain for fresh grads or is the pool more diverse but similar quality?

Comments (9)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Aug 2, 2022 - 6:26pm

Working for banks, and most financial institutions for that matter, sucks ass and is nowhere near what it used to be. The sooner you realize that the better. The comp is considerably worse, the hours and culture are extremely shitty, and the reality is top candidates no longer want to deal with it. Greener pastures man.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Aug 2, 2022 - 7:04pm

All my buddies in IBD hate it but most of my S&T buddies very much like their job/comp. I'm sure it was better before and of course there are greener pastures.

From the banking side do you think the quality of analysts are worse vs before

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  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
Aug 2, 2022 - 9:19pm

Back when I was in S&T (almost 10 years now), most of the Ivy kids with "quanty" majors (e.g math, computer science, etc) eventually went over to prop and MM.  Those roles offer higher pay - at least initially - and are more intellectually stimulating.   So those type of people have many more options these days compared to let's say 40 years ago.  Also, I don't think banks are hiring outside of Ivy just for "diversity" reasons.  There are many many intelligent candidates outside of the ivies who weren't able to get in for some reason or another.  And it's not like schools outside the Ivy are total crap.   

One thing about S&T is that there is a much higher rate of people with a hunger to win attitude from what I have seen.   For an area like S&T, it's extremely hard to judge someone's ability and ethic just based on if they went to an Ivy.  

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Aug 2, 2022 - 9:38pm

That's exactly my thoughts as well, some of the smartest kids in my class are from non ivies. The trading floor is an egalitarian place(politics aside), I wanted to put the question on people exactly like you who experienced the industry years ago. Thanks for the input.

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  • PM in HF - Other
Aug 3, 2022 - 11:09am

You got some answers, never bring this up again. Unless you want to go work in mid-office with the "phd pedigree folks". You are in a client facing role, sheer intelligence is just one quality.

Or you can go to your MD, and be like bro why you not at a MM or Tech...

  • PM in HF - Other
Aug 3, 2022 - 3:31pm

As the MS starts to come in...I will add one more note.

See the fallacy here is that people think "banks went to Ivy leagues to recruit the best and smartest". Yet if you read any books on guys like Dick Fuld or know people around the business. The reason they went to Ivy leagues had to do more with the community and connections of candidates. Then over the years everyone liked the story of the "non-target" who fought their way and did not have the connections. As they rose the ranks, they paid it forward by going back to their alma mater and overtime those connections/networks changed.

Again this is client facing business and today the "ivy degree" means less to clients than before. Even the network is invaluable. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2022 - 12:02pm

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