ASAP - Input on Houston Banking Offers

Here's the situation - I've been fortunate enough to receive offers for Summer Associate positions at Evercore, TPH, and Simmons & Co. Will have discussions with employees at each over the next few days, but looking for any industry input / information I might not feel comfortable asking them for that you monkeys can provide.

In particular, I am looking for compensation numbers and work / life insight (both as specific as possible). My general thought is that Evercore will work the most, then TPH, then Simmons and that compensation will fall in that order as well, but I don't know the range at all. There's a $25,000 difference in annualized base between EVR and TPH/Simmons for what that's worth, but no idea what target bonuses are at each.

Simmons obviously has an OFS focus, TPH upstream, and Evercore touches a little bit of everything. I would be happy working in any of those verticals, so the specialization of each is less of a concern for me. Culturally, I would say I feel best about Simmons, then TPH, then Evercore, though all are good. Simmons and TPH I can see myself doing banking for more than 3-4 years, Evercore is less certain in that regard.

I am well aware that this topic has been covered in the past, though at best most of those threads are a few years old, and some of the most helpful are now eight years old. Looking for a 2018+ view.

Any input on the above, plus relative strength and reputation, exit ops, outlook of each, etc. would be great!

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Comments (5)

Jan 7, 2018 - 10:22pm

First off - congrats! I spent the summer at an EB in Houston. All firms are very respectable in the Houston area so you can't go wrong there. If you want to move somewhere else long-term, Evercore is definitely the more recognizable name - that being said they are known to grind their juniors. Speaking with a buddy from Simmons, it's a much more laid back culture and more relaxed hours. For me, that was a turnoff as I don't see banking as a long term play so I would rather grind it out now. Can't speak a ton on TPH culture but the firm is very respectable.

Best Response
Jan 7, 2018 - 10:54pm

I know guys who've been at all three recently and have worked opposite them too.

Evercore is probably the top midstream shop right now and they catch some pretty big OFS mandates. I know they're trying to build out their E&P advisory too but I think it's been a bit of a grind. Speaking of grind, I've heard that it's pretty rough at the junior level and at least at the analyst level, they know they're going to leave (even if they say they want to keep them). That could've changed more recently but that was my read when talking with some of their guys in the last year.

Simmons has a pretty manageable lifestyle but the PJ merger has definitely diluted their value. They're pretty traditional in that they've been doing things the Simmons way for a long time and it works so they keep doing the same thing. What I'm getting at is that I've heard that their mandates can be a bit repetitive. I've also heard some legit concerns around their ability to retain talent going forward, there's a possibility for turnover when their lockup with PJ ends in 2018. If you're fine with OFS then it's definitely a great place to be.

TPH still leans heavily on E&P but they're definitely building out their midstream practice and they're working on OFS. They've got some interesting initiatives around O&G tech moving forward too. As far as culture goes, they grind their junior guys but they're much more concerned with making the work gets done as opposed to how the work gets done. For the most part, not much face time required. Conversely to Simmons, their merger with PWP has really only been a positive as PWP has always seen TPH as a partner more than an addition. I probably like their guys the best of the three tbh.

Jan 8, 2018 - 12:00pm

Congrats on getting three top level offers, must have been a busy super-week! Looks like you have done your homework - having gone through the process the other year I would agree with your assessment. Here is the problem, Evercore pays their associates above street (more than $25k+ Piper/TPH for an A1 and potentially greater farther out) but those are bankers who never questioned work-life balance or if the culture was right for them. They are the special forces of banking who want to grind hard and win. Simmons is a solid platform, albeit more for sponsor/small cap work but you will have generally more time, especially on the weekends and after midnight for the blogs and debating pros/cons of things.

So if you think you can handle the non-stop grind, sign up for Evercore and get the deal flow. If not, would take Simmons, or consider a more chill corporate finance 9-5 role. Good luck.

Jan 9, 2018 - 4:22pm

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