1st year analyst - Uncertain about moving from the NYC office to the SF office


I just got offered by the group head to move to the San Francisco office from the New York office within my group. I am a first year analyst in TMT. If the group head asks, do you go?

I think an ideal career path would be at a VC or Growth Equity fund following my 2 years, but I am open to lateraling in NYC (only if M&A, generalist or TMT). The SF office is known to have better MDs, as the MDs in the NY office are petty and unreasonable and don't really bring in deals. Is this something you would do if the group head personally gave you a call? I am conflicted as I really like NY and would like to stay here, but want to do something that will also set me up for success in the future. Please help me out!

NY Pros:
1. Location
2. Opportunity to lateral

SF Pros:
1. More likely better 2nd year experience with better MDs
2. More exposure to key members of the group (Group head)
3. Proximity to VCs and Growth Equity funds?

United States - West
United States - Northeast

Comments (14)

Jun 6, 2018

yes. even if a group head asks you to sell your left nut, you do it

Jun 6, 2018

Even if I'm not happy where I am and am interested in lateraling? got my 1st year review and I am middle bucket right now

Jun 6, 2018

then i guess its best to discuss with your group head. I am assuming you have access to him/her since he/she asked you to do it.

Jun 6, 2018

If you don't hate TMT and want to do growth equity / VC or next, SF will give you just as good (or better) recruiting opportunities for those types of roles. In general your lifestyle in banking will be a bit better in SF than NY (YMMV based on specific group of course). If I were you I'd absolutely go for it but I have the bias of 7 years in the Bay Area so take my thoughts with a tiny grain of salt.

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Jun 6, 2018

Would love to see a thread by you about SF banking. People's perspective about SF has changed on this forum a lot in the last couple months.

How would you say that the lifestyle in banking is better in SF than in NYC?

Jun 7, 2018

So, I'd be happy to but I think there are probably better people on these forums to address the topic - my banking experience is pretty dated at this point (finished ~5 years ago). I'd happily weigh in if I saw a thread asking about it.

In my experience, SF banking was better than my counterparts' experiences in NY due to 2 main factors:
1. The culture of the Bay Area is pretty laid back. This doesn't mean that IBD in SF is laid back by any means - it is still extremely intense - but I do think the cultural differences peek their head through slightly and you get fewer just straight up aggro dickheads than you do in NY.
2. A lot of SF offices (including mine) have 1 or 2 industry and product groups - so ~50 heads instead of several hundred. This let me get to know the MDs in my office and my other bosses on a bit more personal level than my peers in NY did - for example our whole group would get invited to big parties / events, our MDs would very occasionally pop into happy hours, etc. Again, this is a subtle difference, but there's at least a hint of them realizing analysts are human beings when they've interacted with you more on a personal level and outside of work.

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Most Helpful
Jun 6, 2018

I'd give some serious thought before uprooting your life to move across the country, even if the pros of being in the SF office of your shop are what you described. I understand the difficult position that the group head put you in and if you want to stay at your firm it seems like a good opportunity for exposure/show you're "the guy". But definitely do your diligence by reaching out to other analysts in the group, and finding out what the associates and VPs are like, because ultimately those are the guys who are going to determine your quality of life.

Im not sure if it's the best move if you are already considering a lateral move, and especially if all of your friends, family, life etc is near NYC area. Have you ever been to SF? Everyone has their own opinion and personally, I can't stand the culture there (see San Francisco sucks thread).
Banking is brutal to begin with and you don't realize the value of being able to see your friends on the weekends or being able to see your family with a 1 hour flight or 3 hour train ride has until you don't have it. Just my 2 cents.

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Jun 6, 2018

Want to reiterate everything ^he said. Also, if you do decide to make the move to SF from NY you need to make your firm and boss believe that you're doing them a favor so you have leverage to negotiate a better pay structure once you move or immediately after the move to the SF desk.

Jun 6, 2018


Absolutely let your group head know that relocating will come at a serious personal and financial expense to you, even if it wont.

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Jun 6, 2018