Banking in Chicago vs NY

I'm headed to Chicago next summer and have been thinking about the future. I've been trying to make sense of what I want to do long-term as well as if I am going to recruit for FT. Below I've listed some of my considerations:

  • PE Exits - I think I would like to make a move to PE. Although I'm headed to a relatively strong group I'm unsure of what exits will look like. Does it make sense to move to a very strong group for FT? Does living in NY help with recruiting if I don't want to end up in NYC long-term?
  • Location - Although I don't particularly care where I end up for the first few years out of school I think it is very unlikely I end up in NYC long-term. Don't have an opinion on Chicago yet but I think living there long-term is much more likely. How much should this factor into my decision?
  • COL - Obviously, Chi is much cheaper than NYC and I should be able to save a bigger chunk of my income. Again, how much should this matter?
  • Industry - The bank focuses primarily on a sector I have 0 interest in. I have an interest in M&A/FIG/Sponsors/Consumer/maybe industrials. When thinking about FT where should I rank this?
  • Group - Haven't worked with my group yet but going through recruiting I really enjoyed them and the group seemed like they actually care for you as an analyst. 

Would love to hear thoughts from some other monkeys on Chicago vs NYC and how I should think about FT recruiting.

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Comments (3)

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 23, 2021 - 11:57am

Chicago, great town with great social life. No, not same hustle and bustle as NYC, but very active bar/sports/social scene if you're willing to put yourself out there. Tons of people who grew up in Chicago/suburbs stay there, so it's got kind of an intimate feel for a big town. 

Regarding PE opps, obviously will be more of those in NYC, as there's simply more firms that do that in NYC. However, if you don't necessarily want to do PE in NYC, there are plenty of good PE firms in Chicago, so recruiting into those would be good from Chicago... but overall, just not nearly the same amount PE firms in any other city as there are in NYC

Jul 23, 2021 - 12:06pm

Having done both, I've determined that I'd rather do my analyst/associate years in NY and move to the Chicago suburbs as a more senior banker if the opportunity was afforded. Maybe if I went to a Big 10 school I'd have a different perspective.

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  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Jul 23, 2021 - 12:11pm

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