ss55's picture
Rank: Monkey | 38

Have offers from BAML and BMO for 2018 IBD SA positions. Having trouble comparing the two. Some thoughts:

  • Obviously BAML has a better brand name, but I'm one of BMO's top candidates and likely could get placed into their healthcare group (top group for them and of interest to me).
  • BMO is also making a push to gain market share in the US and thus is trying to invest in and keep talent so as to compete -- they claim to have a decent work life balance and to not give you unnecessary work/manage time efficiently, which probably wouldn't happen at BAML (might not happen at BMO either, but they say they're making that push).
  • I believe BMO's pay is also higher. I'm sure that would vary by group and whatnot, but just a thought.
  • Not sure on return offer rates, but that's also a factor.
  • I didn't network with BAML so I don't know their culture, but I definitely fit well with the people at BMO.

Basically, my gut tells me I'd enjoy BMO, but I'm unsure what to think because my perception of their culture could be wrong, and I don't know BAML's culture or how invested they'd be in me. I have this image in my head of just getting beaten down at BAML...and maybe less so at BMO? I'd obviously make that sacrifice if necessary but I'm also unsure just how important having that name brand on my resume is. The two are clearly not in the same league, but I'm wary because when I was deciding on university I almost went with an Ivy I perceived to be better than my current school based on what I knew then (misinformed) about the brand, but I went with the "non name brand" school and couldn't be happier. Don't want to make that mistake now, but also don't want to kick myself 2, 3, 4 years down the line trying to get other positions or into b-school and wishing I went BAML, since I probably don't want to be in banking forever. Any opinions on this would be great, thanks in advance.

Comments (8)

Oct 6, 2017

BMO go with your gut.

Oct 6, 2017

How long do you have to make a decision? Try to meet some people at BAML, especially the healthcare group if that's what you want to get a sense of the culture.

Try to figure out where analysts from BMO end up/what their placement is in PE or whatever else you want to do.

If you can get where you want to from BMO and it seems like a better fit, definitely do it, but keep in mind that it's just 2 years and BAML will likely open more doors in a general sense.

Oct 6, 2017

Thanks, yeah agreed with the 2 years comment. I just accepted BAML, don't want to kick myself down the line for not getting that name on my resume.

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Best Response
Oct 6, 2017

take BAML in a heartbeat what are you doing....never thought BMO's culture was particularly positive (i've heard their "protected staturdays" are pretty much bs) and I imagine your future options will be far more limited than they would be at BAML.

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Oct 6, 2017

I chose a less prestigious bank over BAML for the summer analyst position because BAML's return rates are so low, but in the case of BMO vs. BAML, I agree with the above poster to take BAML. If you dont like it, then lateral.

Oct 6, 2017

Thanks, yeah I just accepted BAML. Banking is definitely not long term for me so you;re absolutely right

Oct 6, 2017

I agree that brand name should be a secondary consideration, and I'd usually say trust your gut, but it sounds like more information about BAML might be helpful in this case. As with any bank, a lot of the pros/cons are group dependent. As tds2006 said, it's be ideal if you can talk to more people there to get a better sense of their culture.

While culture/people is one of the most consequential parts of what your experience is like, don't sell yourself short with the perception that you'll get "beaten down" at BAML (esp. w/ limited info). On the flip side, I wouldn't read much into how much BMO seems to be invested in you. You may have been a particularly strong candidate during the recruiting process but frankly once you start, you're not getting any bonus points for that.

Just as an FYI, BAML has also been working to improve lifestyle/culture (obviously mileage will vary by group, and it's still banking after all). I have/had a few friends in the HC group there and they're fun people, for what it's worth.

Oct 6, 2017