Best and Worst Cultures on the Street

Prefacing this with a please do not let this become a prestige ranking thread.

With the GS survey coming out last week I think it would be interesting to see some of the best and worst cultures on the street. Note that worst doesn't always mean longest hours and best doesn't always mean more lifestyle friendly. 

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Comments (125)

Most Helpful
Mar 23, 2021 - 9:31pm

The sad truth is, the best culture is probably at a total no-name shop. Someone is going to bring that up, and then they will get bullied for getting paid way below street and having terrible exits. 

  • Summer Associate in IB - Cov
Mar 23, 2021 - 10:13pm

I've heard Truist has really good WLB for banking. Might not be sexy but might be a good place to be a career banker. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 23, 2021 - 10:39pm

Can confirm. Truist lacks the career advancement at the analyst level for this reason, but plenty of senior bankers come from more sweaty shops to become career bankers at Truist. They made a ton of moves recently in poaching from WF and other banks, which is kind of surprising.

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May 5, 2021 - 8:41pm

Truist culture seems to be very dependent upon the group/division and city. I can confirm that their ER division in NY was full of chill people and a few of their analysts are some of the top rated in their industries. Comp is on par with the Street and exit opps were the same as other MM firms, at least for ER NYC office.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Mar 30, 2021 - 3:52pm

Yep, worked at Truist and can confirm. LevFin and TMT have awful cultures. Rude personalities and they're weirdly arrogant despite being a mediocre investment bank

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Mar 29, 2021 - 10:34pm

Sadly, this isn't completely true. Some groups have better culture, but LevFin, TMT, and probably healthcare have shit cultures

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 24, 2021 - 12:17am

Not UBS... read recent shit about analysts dying similar to GS... :( I thought they seemed super friendly too

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 24, 2021 - 1:02am

ubs was pretty nice before covid.  srs

lower bonuses but lower hours so was a fair trade off - didnt want to lateral at all (despite offers)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 24, 2021 - 1:29pm

Depends on the group. Culture =/= hours worked. Some groups with older legacy MDs are rough some are great. UBS pays well 160k all in 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 24, 2021 - 9:25pm

ubs was pretty nice before covid.  srs

lower bonuses but lower hours so was a fair trade off - didnt want to lateral at all (despite offers)

I got a good bonus from UBS last year as mid bucket... at least 10k~ higher on average than a few other friends at BBs

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 24, 2021 - 1:05am

SGCIB has a good WLB. Networked with the Natural Resources team back in college. Part of the reason is that the program is rotational, and analysts do stuff like trade & commodity finance etc.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 24, 2021 - 3:05pm

Can also echo SGCIB. Good hours, 26 vacation days that are encouraged to be used. Comp not much below the BBs

Mar 24, 2021 - 11:29am

French banks have good culture for the most part, very laid back and European (which has its cons). My friend at BNP has 28 vacation days and he's encouraged to use at least half of them. 

Also concur about southern banks - Raymond James is another bank that has good culture, even in sweatshop groups like Tech & Services. 

Insert mandatory WSO banana bait about Evercore culture. 

  • Summer Associate in IB - Cov
Mar 24, 2021 - 2:03pm

Wells only has one protected weekend a month and I've heard many don't take it. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 24, 2021 - 3:38pm

wf IB here - deal flow picked up ~apr 2020 and hasn't slowed down. hours are bad. would not recommend. no meals expensed. abusive senior bankers tolerated and awful mba associates given free passes. 

  • Analyst 2 in AM - FI
Mar 24, 2021 - 7:22pm

Bro just expense the meals anyway. No way would they ever catch that and if they did it's not like you would be caught and have your reputation tarnished.

  • Intern in IB - CB
Mar 24, 2021 - 2:01pm

Very satisfied with culture at SMBC New York...not the sweaty Japanese bank environment you would expect, my team is close knit and senior bankers are generally pretty respectful of our time. 

May 5, 2021 - 8:44pm

I interviewed with SMBC and one of their MDs said that they've only had 2 IB analysts leave in the past 3 years. Definitely says a lot about their culture, as many seem to be career bankers, but also gives some insight into the potential lack of exit opportunities

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 29, 2021 - 2:38pm

Compared to other coverage groups at Key, definitely on the sweatier side. But good people from what my friend says who currently works there. 

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other
Mar 24, 2021 - 10:01pm

haha sick bruh. Another Tobin & Co joke!! I bet you thought it was going to get you SB's from anonymous sophomores attending UMass Amherst. Well guess what pal, it didn't. 

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 24, 2021 - 8:14pm

I think it's entirely group dependent at BBs. People at EVR and PJT seem to really like it - believe the turnover has been minimal this year - think PJT just implemented protected saturdays too. Moelis LA, as a non-analyst, actually sounds great too - know guys who surf before work and if you're the right culture-fit, you do really well. They did lose people like everyone else though.

Goldman sounds terrible, even now that they have wfh meals, it's still made so now you don't even want to do it. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 24, 2021 - 9:15pm

lol GS does not have WFH meals and very unlikely for that to change given Solomon wants our asses back at 200 West. Solomon did tell us the below in a voice recording on Sunday:

"Just remember: if we all go an extra mile for our client, even when we feel that we're reaching our limit, it can really make a difference in our performance."

Honestly I needed that pep talk. Totally feel motivated to work harder for our clients after hearing that!

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Mar 26, 2021 - 8:06pm

When things are quiet, some people do surf.

If you are actually staffed up with the revenue generators in that office, you will certainly not be surfing. Their VPs and even EDs work analyst/associate hours. Associates work as much or more than analysts. 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 25, 2021 - 10:01am

Heard conflicting things about them. Chicago or Mil office? Saw in a thread that they had enforced protected friday nights/saturdays.

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Mar 28, 2021 - 1:05pm

They protect sure, but can be overridden. Both MKE and Chi are absolute sweatshops. It's insane that people think they have a good culture. It's like propaganda or something lol. Talk to nearly any analyst / associate and you'll see.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2021 - 1:33pm

I've been communicating with an alum that is in a solid group there and the vibe I get is that they're being worked to the bone, but the seniors are actually chill/understanding. FWIW I wonder how much has to do with the CEO that took over a few years back. It's hard currently to see what the difference is between banks due to covid conditions and what normal culture is like. 

Mar 24, 2021 - 11:53pm

Heard TD has a very strong culture... apparently one of the best ones on the street 

Lol. The grand facade of Canadian banks. From what I hear culture might be great in Canada itself but as far as US is concerned it's typical as any other US banks because the senior bankers are usually laterals from other banks and bring their own culture with them 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 25, 2021 - 9:49pm

Do not recommend. sweatshop across most groups right now that are seeing active dealflow. no meals either

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Mar 25, 2021 - 12:35am

Surprised Centerview hasn't been mentioned here yet. Seems like the best combination of compensation, competent senior people who don't make you want to blow your brains out with their requests, and chill junior people. 

Also Houlihan RX NYC office is pretty solid actually. Work hard but people are chill. 

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Mar 25, 2021 - 1:05am

Raymond James has been doing very well in terms of culture. Pay is street avg as well.

Mar 26, 2021 - 8:29am

Group specific or all groups?

MM banks are night and day with deal flow for top groups vs. the average or others. Typically one or 2 groups carry the torch for the firm. 

baird = industrials has always been bread and butter

blair = tech


I really doubt exit options and the experience are as strong in the weaker deal flow groups (sure maybe WLB is a bit better but pick and choose)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 25, 2021 - 6:36pm

lmao, there's a bracket going around one of the insta finmeme pages about the worst groups for WLB:

brackets for Worst Group

These views are not mine just thought it would be interesting to share it here.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2021 - 2:40pm


Is this true for New York only or would recon tbis is also true for Houston?

Among the longest hours in Houston but generally good people. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 29, 2021 - 9:18pm

Heard not so great things bout citi FIG and I know an assoc in UBS FIG getting slammed... on top of that he mentioned pretty hardo culture in that group which is surprising for UBS 

  • Summer Associate in IB - Cov
Mar 31, 2021 - 8:14pm

What's comp like at the associate and VP level? Is it mostly capital markets work or m&a as well?

  • Works at SVB Leerink
Apr 1, 2021 - 7:57am

To be honest, I am in research in a hot sub-sector, and my pay is roughly comparable to banking analysts amazingly. I would expect the bankers to be paid above the street though. Some M&A, mostly cap markets, but I expect M&A to grow in the coming years. Firm crushed it in 2020 like many others and obviously the healthcare space, especially biotech, is still hot.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2021 - 8:20pm

Citi FIG has a bad culture and is very sweaty. Citi Industrials on the other hand is probably one of the best groups at Citi in terms of culture. I actually know someone who did his SA stint in FIG and then switched over to Industrials.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 31, 2021 - 8:32pm

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 6, 2021 - 12:25am

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  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 11, 2021 - 1:28pm

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