Banks with the BEST hours

I currently work for a 2nd tier boutique (think Sagent, Lincoln, Needham etc.) as a 2nd year analyst in the Midwest. The hours have gotten better as I am getting faster at my job, but I still pull 65-70 hours a week on average. Of course, when we're on a bakeoff or a live deal those go up to 100+ but that only happens a few times a month.

  • I was just wondering if this is as good as it gets for investment banking, or if there are shops where the average hours are closer to 55-60?

OP continued at bottom

IB Hours: Is This As Good As it Gets?

Everyone knows that hours are long in investment banking. However, hours/lifestyle/work-life balance and more vary by group, deal flow and firm. Reviewing stats in the Investment Banking Industry Report can give you a better idea which firms generally work longer hours.

According to 2018 data, the following firms worked the most hours a week:

Most WSO users in this thread commented that 60-70 hours is fairly decent for investment banking jobs and that any professional services job at a certain level is going to require more than the 40-hour work week.

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Continuation of OP
The reason I ask is because I am actually considering a career in investment banking (Not ECM or DCM) and just wanted to get a feel for what hours at some other shops were.

tl;dr: hours at current shop are 65-70 hours a week for analysts. 60-65 a week for associates. Do better hours exist at other "reputable" shops? Looking to stay on as a career banker without killing myself

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Comments (105)

Sep 26, 2015

I can't imagine less hours anywhere else.

Sep 26, 2015

65 hours is good... Even in non banking finance roles you can put that in a lot of the time.

Sep 28, 2015

What are some other banks with with good hours? I've heard Centerview, Baird were known for decent hours as well?

Sep 28, 2015

Yeah that really is not bad at all. I cannot imagine it going much lower for IB at an analyst level

Sep 28, 2015

It is entirely group dependent. My bank, for example, has certain groups that work 90 hours every week and others that work 60. It just depends on how hot the industry or product that your group covers is.

That being said, 65 to 70 is very good compared to other banks, especially if you are making street. All professional services - law, medicine, finance - will required some level of commitment over the standard 40 hours.

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Sep 28, 2015

Doesn't get better than that unless you are getting crap for experience at a dead shop.

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Sep 28, 2015

60-65 hrs is probably the best available. Comparatively, anyone trying to start a career in any industry will be working around the same amount. If you move to a smaller boutique you may get better hours in between deals - but you will have much less in terms of resources to lean on and possibly lower overall comp.

Apr 2, 2018

Agree with this. Not sure where you could possibly beat 60 - 65

Sep 28, 2015

Certain coverage groups at the BB have nice hours. Lots of ECM/DCM groups have decent hours. Some boutiques like Evercore, Greenhill, BX/PJT have very sustainable hours. Lots of the MM are sell-side sweat shops but I've heard very good things about Baird and Lincolns' hours.

Apr 2, 2018
RoleTied:

Certain coverage groups at the BB have nice hours.

What industry groups are these exactly???

Jul 12, 2018

Certain coverage groups at the BB have nice hours.

Which are these likely to be?

Feb 9, 2019

Anyone?

Sep 29, 2015

6-6 lifestyle

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Sep 29, 2015

Banking analysts complain about 100 hour weeks but that rarely happens in reality. Your hours are common among NYC bulge brackets. Pick any 4 random NYC bulge bracket groups and 2 will probably have comparable hours.

Sep 29, 2015

I had this discussion with a friend the other day. We agreed that if you're a certain kind of guy, you'll always work 60-70 hours per week. Doesn't matter what you do: banking, consulting, HF/PE/VC, own firm, management in some firm, corp. dev., moving to your parents' business, whatever. If you go for the supercompetitive jobs, 60-70 actually marks a lower boundary for the hours you'll work.

Yes, I have read about the 4-hour work week also, but if you think about it, the implied "spending the other 66 hours per week by the pool" may not really be appealing for a longer period. Actually, a lot of the more senior people I work with now are financially independent, but still work hard, for reasons other than compensation.

I think 60-70 is sustainable for the long haul. That may not be in line with western mainstream views currently, but who cares.

Jul 12, 2018

To be fair, you can't exactly apply the 4 hour work week to investment banking. A lot of that is predicated on using virtual assistants and if you send everything to India (banking's version of VAs) you'll quickly find yourself also looking for contractual work

Sep 29, 2015

I've pulled 60 hours some weeks, 90 others. Just depends on deal flow and group culture. You have it pretty good, but if you wanted to move to a bigger shop you could certainly find a group that won't work you to death (I definitely know of places where no one works less than 80)

Sep 29, 2015

KeyBanc and Wells Fargo Securities I hear are pretty good for hours

Sep 30, 2015
eggplantpower:

The hours have gotten better as I am getting faster at my job, but I still pull 65-70 hours a week on average (get in at 930am leave at 9PM M-F, and a few hours on either Sat. or Sun).

So that isn't "65-70 hours a week," You're staying for 11.5 hours on the weekdays, but unless you count the time you spend bullshitting, taking a shit and eating, you're probably doing around 10 hours of actual work (optimistic). So a few hours on EITHER Saturday OR Sunday means you're working maybe 55 hours a week. That's inline with any real job in finance. Not sure how much lower you expect to go.

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Oct 1, 2015

So since you work this range, 65 hours ish a week. What is your compensation like?

.

Oct 2, 2015

$115k all in comp for first years this year, which is definitely below street. Can't really complain because the hours are substantially better

Oct 3, 2015

Not bad, how does recruiting go for these type of shops? Lately I seen a few apps on indeed.com

Oct 3, 2015

The issue isn't really the average hours - the issue is 1) the ratio of hours spent / hours actually needed (ie facetime) 2) the predictability of the hours 3) the lumpiness of the hours

Being in the office for 65 hours when there's no deal flow feels almost as bad as working 90 'necessary' hours, in my personal opinion.

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Oct 11, 2015

So Baird and Lincoln have decent hours? Did we miss any other shops?

Apr 3, 2018

Aside from very busy periods where many deals are running almost parallel in the sales process, I typically work 9-7 (lunch hour not included). My team will likely end up closing 10-15 deals this year, and I will have significant touches (e.g., creating entire CIMs) on approximately 1/3 of them; will likely have slightly less significant touches on another 1/3.

Hours worked doesn't necessarily mean much after a certain point. Most success in closing deals comes down to maximizing efficiency and team cohesiveness, two elements which are unfortunately lost upon many banks, it seems.

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Apr 3, 2018

You should look at S&T and ER, both have less hours, but same money at the junior level.

Apr 3, 2018
newfirstyear:

You should look at S&T and ER, both have less hours, but same money at the junior level.

They do no have the same comp at the junior level at all.

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Apr 3, 2018
theworks9:
newfirstyear:

You should look at S&T and ER, both have less hours, but same money at the junior level.

They do no have the same comp at the junior level at all.

newfirstyear is inaccurate

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Apr 3, 2018

.

Apr 3, 2018
theworks9:
newfirstyear:

You should look at S&T and ER, both have less hours, but same money at the junior level.

They do no have the same comp at the junior level at all.

True. ER bonuses tend to be much lower.

Apr 3, 2018
turtles:
theworks9:
newfirstyear:

You should look at S&T and ER, both have less hours, but same money at the junior level.

They do no have the same comp at the junior level at all.

True. ER bonuses tend to be much lower.

Yeah apart from that's total BS. Take it from someone who has actually worked for a BB in IBD, and now works in ER. I make more now, than I did in banking.

Apr 3, 2018
newfirstyear:
turtles:
theworks9:
newfirstyear:

You should look at S&T and ER, both have less hours, but same money at the junior level.

They do no have the same comp at the junior level at all.

True. ER bonuses tend to be much lower.

Yeah apart from that's total BS. Take it from someone who has actually worked for a BB in IBD, and now works in ER. I make more now, than I did in banking.

Seems fishy that you went from IBD to ER and you sound pretty sour about it

Apr 3, 2018
adapt or die:
newfirstyear:
turtles:
theworks9:
newfirstyear:

You should look at S&T and ER, both have less hours, but same money at the junior level.

They do no have the same comp at the junior level at all.

True. ER bonuses tend to be much lower.

Yeah apart from that's total BS. Take it from someone who has actually worked for a BB in IBD, and now works in ER. I make more now, than I did in banking.

Seems fishy that you went from IBD to ER and you sound pretty sour about it

There's pretty much nothing fishy about it. I'd expect you'd know that were you not some hopeless college student who's never even set foot in a bank.

Apr 3, 2018
newfirstyear:
adapt or die:
newfirstyear:
turtles:
theworks9:
newfirstyear:

You should look at S&T and ER, both have less hours, but same money at the junior level.

They do no have the same comp at the junior level at all.

True. ER bonuses tend to be much lower.

Yeah apart from that's total BS. Take it from someone who has actually worked for a BB in IBD, and now works in ER. I make more now, than I did in banking.

Seems fishy that you went from IBD to ER and you sound pretty sour about it

There's pretty much nothing fishy about it. I'd expect you'd know that were you not some hopeless college student who's never even set foot in a bank.

Just curious, why didnt your consider a role at a L/S HF or deep value HF after banking?

Apr 3, 2018

also interested.

I know some MM banks and boutiques are better. as well as places like DB Jax and a few non-NYC BB offices (maybe midwest?)

Apr 3, 2018

Well at this point, probably UBS.

Apr 3, 2018
triplectz:

Well at this point, probably UBS.

haha. This. Deal flow is what will drive hours. Go to a shop with really poor deal flow (although pitching still takes time) or look at something other than IB.

Apr 3, 2018
Won Jun:

hey guys, i'm kind of at the stage of deciding my dream and the working hour of IB comes to me as the hardest obstacle to me (well it might be same to others but) and i'm wondering if there's kind of banks with less salary but with less working hours and better working conditions. I thought the European banks would be the answer but found out to be wrong. I'll really appreciate if you help.

Check out the CorpFin groups at Accounting firms (Big 4 and other large CPA/Consulting groups). There is a thread on it if you want more detail, but you will make less (still decent) and work less (50-65 hrs/wk). Many required previous IB experience though.

Apr 3, 2018

thx for u guys answering me

Apr 3, 2018

You don't want to join an investment banking job with low extremely low hours. That's means no deals which means no resume which means less exits.

IB is about 75-80 hours
ER is about 60 hours
S&T is about 55 hours

Apr 3, 2018
WallStreetPlayboys:

You don't want to join an investment banking job with low extremely low hours. That's means no deals which means no resume which means less exits.

IB is about 75-80 hours

You wish..

Apr 3, 2018

^Hahahahah you don't know what you're talking about at all.

Apr 3, 2018

@ Snapple - I assume you mean "exceptions to the rules" the comment above was **general**.

Exceptions to the rules are as follows.

Exceptions - lean toward IB
1. Crappy economy so you're still grinding doing useless work never winning any deals (recession periods)
2. Your group is a natural sweat shop (you got screwed)
3. You're bad with politics and are unable to play the "office games" and find ways to lower your working hours.

Exceptions - lean towards ER
1. If you work for a psycho analyst or your group/office tends to be insane
2. You cover an insane amount of stocks

Sales and Trading - ???????????
1. You really got royally screwed times 10 billion. Have no idea how you're going to be clearing 80+ hours when the job is primarily market hours and there is really no weekend work

Hope that clears things up.

Apr 3, 2018

Try DCM/ECM at the BBs. For corp. fin. roles, look at the regional players like SunTrust, PNC, and WF (although they're getting more serious recently) that will have a better work/life balance.

Apr 3, 2018
mountainvalley:

Try DCM/ECM at the BBs

Wrong

Apr 3, 2018

ECM/DCM = general same hours above poster is correct.

ER/IB pay change is "it depends" **generally** IB will pay more. If you work for a top analyst in ER you get paid well and taken care of.

Arguing about who "always" gets paid more is a big waste of time though. Glad newfirstyear is getting paid more.

Apr 3, 2018

^^ Cleared this comment up above.

1. Working for sweat shop
2. Your **group** has next to no deal flow and you're getting murdered on many pitches, trying to stay afloat
3. You're in M&A and getting crushed all the time

People who say they "average" 100+hours a week are generally straight up lying. If you're getting reamed like that in IB as a 2nd year (1st years always get killed because they are slow regarding all the excel, ppt and word stuff) might be smart to switch banks unless you're getting serious deal experience.

Eg. 80 hours a week and a few deals when you leave is fine
However, would trade for 100 hours a week if all your deals were mega deals
Would not do 100 hours a week for 2 years at any firm if it was 100% pitching

There are certainly weeks you work 120 hours but again, if you average it across maybe that should be edited to 75-85.

Finally 75-85 includes ALL banks, if we're simply talking about only hard core banks sure the average is going to be higher, but we're just getting into a pissing match at that point which i doubt either of us want to do.

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Apr 3, 2018

If they exist, I would imagine they would be located in the South. Couldn't name any off the top of my head though

Apr 3, 2018

I'm also open to other positions (than IB analyst) but it has to be similar work (i.e. i don't want s&t)

Apr 3, 2018

The middle east - in Ramadan you'll work 9-1.

Apr 3, 2018
CNB90:

The middle east - in Ramadan you'll work 9-1.

Uhhh...Ramadan is not a location...it's a muslim holy month...

Did you mean during Ramadan?

Apr 3, 2018
YostDisciple09:
CNB90:

The middle east - in Ramadan you'll work 9-1.

Uhhh...Ramadan is not a location...it's a muslim holy month...

Did you mean during Ramadan?

Pretty sure we all understood he was talking about the holy month...

Apr 3, 2018
YostDisciple09:
CNB90:

The middle east - in Ramadan you'll work 9-1.

Uhhh...Ramadan is not a location...it's a muslim holy month...

Did you mean during Ramadan?

-_-

Apr 3, 2018

I don't think I'll be able to learn fluent Arabic that fast - isn't that a requirement at most banks?

Apr 3, 2018

Consulting may be a good idea then, the hours are less.

There's also Money or asset management.

All decent paying jobs, but with less hours than IB or even S&T

Apr 3, 2018

Risk management is another option - the work in credit RM is similar to that in IB, though you won't get the same depth of experience.

Apr 3, 2018

Go look at local boutiques. Granted that you won't be paying 100+, but you will be working 70-80 tops.

Apr 3, 2018
eric1025:

Go look at local boutiques. Granted that you won't be paying 100+, but you will be working 70-80 tops.

Is this really true? Most local boutiques only work 70-80?
Can someone confirm?

Apr 3, 2018
qweretyq:
eric1025:

Go look at local boutiques. Granted that you won't be paying 100+, but you will be working 70-80 tops.

Is this really true? Most local boutiques only work 70-80?
Can someone confirm?

Yes, in a boutique with four-ish offices or less, you will work 70 to 80. Sometimes, it drops to 60. Your base is about 45 to 50K. Your bonus will be around 30K for your first year.

Apr 3, 2018

Any French firm

Apr 3, 2018

so next question... how do we get recruited by them? Looking for more than the few small boutiques that do that on campus
cold calling only solution?

Apr 3, 2018

Heard BMO has good hours and for some reason pays above street.

"Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America."

Apr 3, 2018

it seems you are more desperate for the lack of hours rather than the I-Bank job itself. Focus on whats important :)

Apr 3, 2018

Morgan Joseph

Apr 3, 2018

Joseph Morgan

if you ain't first, you last

Apr 3, 2018

Look at regional middle market banks. You might have to put in the occasional long week, but in general the hours will be better.

Apr 3, 2018

Jorgan Moseph

Apr 3, 2018

Lazard NYC office IBD

    • 1
Apr 3, 2018

why don't we just rename this thread "investment banks in Italy and Spain"

Apr 3, 2018

What is investment banking if you can't work long hours and make tons of money?

  • vanillathunder12
  •  Apr 3, 2018

Public accounting? ^

Apr 3, 2018

Yes. Every firm's hours vary depending on group, too. There's info in other threads here about UBS LA, GS & MS TMT, and some other allegedly notorious ultra hard working groups.

Apr 3, 2018

Not only can hours between firms vary, but hours between groups within the same firm can be night and day.

Apr 3, 2018

...........

Apr 3, 2018

Definitely true. It's crazy how much group culture can vary w/in the same firm at the same office.

Jul 12, 2018

Satellite office, and downtime (August) slowest possible is still probably 55 hours...on a standalone basis. Average I would say is still min. 60, circa 65

"If you have a difficult task, give it to a lazy person; they will find an easier way to do it." - Hlade's Law

Jul 12, 2018

Wat

Most Helpful
Jul 12, 2018

Moelis LA or Lazard HC NYC

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Jul 12, 2018

lol you dick

Jul 12, 2018

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Jul 12, 2018
short_round:

Moelis LA or Lazard HC NYC

ROFL

Jul 12, 2018

Lol, a bschool friend of mine went to HSBC post MBA for exactly this reason and so far, it's been very good for him. Slight discount on pay, but world of difference with regards to hours and culture.

    • 1
Jul 12, 2018

slight discount? glassdoor has HSBC associates making 160k all in. Throw in instability of the firm too...

Jul 12, 2018

is $160K low for a first year associate?

Jul 12, 2018

1st year analysts at BBs last year (top bucket) made something like 145-165k all in, so yeah it's pretty low

Jul 12, 2018

You are comparing top bucket analyst v bottom associate... respectively, it usually works out to 120 - 220 for middle bucket

Jul 12, 2018

The other guy didn't specify what bucket the 160k for associate at HSBC was, so I just used top bucket as an example. But yeah analysts shouldn't be making close to what associates do

Jul 12, 2018

Troll post. Look at his header.

To OP: Do a better job trolling. If you're making fun of someone it's more effective if you provide enough information that we can figure out who/what you're making fun of.

    • 1
Jul 12, 2018

You can't trust what's on glassdoor anyway. buddy is in London and the glassdoor total comp range for associate is PS35K - PS125K.... Of course HSBC doesn't pay as well as some of the BBs, but the difference isn't that big (at least at the associate level) and my buddy consistently works 50-55 hours a week vs. 90+ for my other bschool classmates that ended up at BBs / EBs. I am in no way advocating going to work with HSBC or any other global balance sheet banks (at the end of the day, you pretty much only get mandates because you are a lenders so it's not the most exciting work environment), but just pointing out that it's a great place lifestyle place if that's what you are into.

Jul 12, 2018

Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Merryl Lynch, L.F. Rothschild, Salomon Brothers, etc

Jul 12, 2018
CRE:

Merryl Lynch

Take a lap

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Jul 12, 2018

Womp.

laces them up

    • 1
Jul 12, 2018

The trolling that happens on WSO isn't even funny anymore.

    • 1
Jul 12, 2018

Unfortunately there's only one word to describe you and I'm gonna spell it out for you. S-A-W-F-T

    • 1
Jul 12, 2018

Bada Boom. Realest guy in the room right here!

Jul 12, 2018
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Jul 12, 2018
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Feb 10, 2019