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Comments (60)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2020 - 6:45pm

As far as chi goes, I'd take Baird/Blair > Citi > CS > Piper > UBS. Baird/Blair b/c Chicago is their IB hub. Really depends on what sector you want for these two. Baird has robust Industrials group and WB used to have great tech group, but recently, two rainmaker MDs left to start Gugg Chi. Citi has a large presence compared to other BBs. CS rainmaker MDs left and went to GS. Piper if it's okay the Sandler group (believe they're still in different offices) and your interested in FIG. UBS' group there is like 5 people.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2020 - 8:18pm

Yeah apparently the UBS office doubled their intern class for this summer and hired a couple laterals.

Apr 24, 2020 - 12:54am

Spoke with the MD running the Chi office, they are overly staffed. During the conversation, the lateral analyst haven't start yet, and he's thinking about cutting him b/c they are over staffed. They also over hired SA, so not everyone going to convert. As per conversation that took place few months ago, they aren't going to hire for at least 2-3 years on the analyst level.

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  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2020 - 6:55pm

Congrats! My take:

Culture: Baird and Blair are known for their culture. Nice people, generous pay, structured work/life balance within reason. Citi Chicago has a solid, pretty fun group as well. Not enough intel on CS/UBS. Heard mixed reviews on Piper (more group dependent, less support).

Deal quality: Mixed--the Chicago BBs can at times play more like MMs. But, the upside is higher, so the chance to work on larger, more complex deals is there. Deal flow on the other hand will probably be stronger at Baird/Blair, depending on group.

Exit Opps: I would argue Citi would have the best. Analyst exits, the edge is usually to BBs but with these other names potentially group dependent, a bit lower for Piper. As you probably know, BB name recognition helps in PE recruiting (especially NY) as there can be a MM bias, albeit perhaps slightly less so at these MMs--and certainly less so for Chicago recruiting.

Do you have a group preference? Do you for sure want to go PE? If you have any interest in A2A, both Blair and Baird offer that much more often.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 23, 2020 - 7:06pm

I think this is pretty accurate. I know a couple of the analysts at Chicago BBs have gotten MF offers, while Blair/Baird will basically only send to MM PE. So if you're looking to maximize your exit opportunities, probably Citi > CS > Blair/Baird > UBS > Piper.

Apr 23, 2020 - 8:46pm

OP here! Thank you for that information, it's definitely helping me make a decision. I don't have a group preference, but industrials is an easy option since it's Chicago and I have a background interning at manufacturing firms so I've always found it interesting. I don't for sure want to go PE since I'm still exploring my options, and I have the time to do so, but if I had to pick today where I'd be in 5 years, PE sounds like a safe bet. In that case, it sounds like the BB is the better choice?

Most Helpful
Apr 23, 2020 - 7:30pm

This is a damn train wreck in here. Citi will have your "best" exit opportunities given their presence and commitment to Chicago as well as the fact that their Co-Head of Global M&A, Cary Kochman, sits in Chicago. UBS is a shell of its former Chicago self, and CS is a large group of Chicago Booth associates and senior bankers that are pleasant enough. If forced to decide between these three platforms, you should take Citi and never look back. For others lurking online, Barclays and J.P. Morgan have very built out Chicago presences as well.

Baird and Blair in Chicago will be group dependent although both firms will give you plenty of deal experience during your analyst stint. Yes, Guggenheim began a middle market practice in Chicago with two ex-Blair senior bankers and one ex-Lazard senior banker. Guggenheim will play in certain niche technology spaces. As others have mentioned, Piper is quite strong outside of Chicago, especially in Minneapolis. Baird and Blair will continue to lead the Chicago banking scene, especially in the middle market.

  • 12
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2020 - 7:50pm

Any opinion regarding the smaller Chicago offices of NY places, like Greenhill vs. Guggenheim vs. PWP?

Apr 23, 2020 - 8:02pm

Guggenheim appears to be beginning an effort to expand upon their Chicago banking presence. Greenhill has had some semblance of a Chicago presence for quite some time; everyone in this office seems pleasant as well. PWP is probably one of the smallest boutiques in the Chicagoland area with the exception of Evercore.

  • 2
Apr 23, 2020 - 8:12pm
Prospect in IB-M&A:

Cool, thanks. Switching gears a bit, are there a decent number of PE shops in Chicago?
And can you offer the names of what supposedly are the best ones?

"Best" is a dangerous word to use, especially on these forums. MDP, GTCR, Linden, CIVC, Thoma, and Pritzker are some staples. There are plenty of funds in Chicago.

  • 3
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2020 - 8:20pm

Ha, thanks for etiquette tip (I'm being serious). Yeah, I probably should have said "most well known." Thanks!

Apr 23, 2020 - 8:23pm

I don't intend to be a hard ass. You'll find that everyone weights certain factors differently. Some want to optimize exit opportunities while others are looking for an experience that doesn't mirror the stereotypical misery of an analyst stint, especially if there is an opportunity to stay as an associate.

  • 3
Apr 23, 2020 - 9:07pm

I'm not sure why WSO is posting multiple times here. I meant to edit my previous post for a typo.

  • 1
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2020 - 9:11pm

Wow, you're a well of information... two more questions, if that's okay:

(1) Have you remained in IB vs. going to PE? If so, can you tell us why?

(2) I didn't know Evercore has such a small Chicago office. It has such a stellar reputation in NYC... would working there in Chicago still give you very attractive NYC exit opps? Or not so much because its office in Chicago is so small?

Apr 23, 2020 - 9:40pm

With respect to staying in banking, you'll find that certain junior bankers stay because they've built serious clout with senior bankers, which affords these individuals greater flexibility with respect to their schedule and personal lives. Some junior bankers don't want to leave the safe and secure environment of their stable platforms, especially when the buy side might pose the challenge of two years + MBA.

I may have misspoke earlier. PWP is smaller than Evercore in Chicago. Evercore has 6-7 senior bankers in Chicago-a handful came from Barclays. I believe they even have a restructuring senior banker in Chicago.

  • 2
Apr 23, 2020 - 8:38pm

Solid point. They're a strong group in Chicago as well. Industrials presence with some focus on the middle market too. Significant Indiana Hoosier presence.

  • 1
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2020 - 10:35pm

What's you take on these smaller advisory firms during this disaster of a time when there's no M&A work? Do you have any idea how they're doing, or if they can shift on the fly to RX work?

Apr 23, 2020 - 10:36pm

Yes. Apologies. I do realize the post above may read a bit vague. I presume he is covering the same verticals on the Guggenheim platform.

Apr 24, 2020 - 9:18am

Citi's Global Head of Industrials, and their head of Automotive also sit in Chicago.

  • 2
  • Prospect in 
Apr 23, 2020 - 9:23pm

CS is very good in Chicago, underrated on WSO. Had exits to GTCR, KKR in the past few years.

Citi is solid in Chicago, can't go wrong there but something to be said about a satellite office vs HQ for a major US bank like that.

Blair is really good, great culture and major hub is Chicago. Baird UBS and Piper below these three.

I'd go CS/Blair>Citi>Others (dependent on fit of course)

Apr 23, 2020 - 9:45pm

Valid concerns regarding American BB satellite offices; however, two managing directors in Chicago began their banking careers with Citi in Chicago. Outside of the Global Head of M&A sitting in Chicago, I believe Chicago is also one of their Global Industrial hubs.

  • 2
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 23, 2020 - 11:07pm

Are u two taking into account CS lost two big shot MDs in business services to Macquarie a year or two ago?

Apr 23, 2020 - 11:32pm

I haven't heard much of MCQ, but that doesn't mean they aren't keeping busy.

  • Incoming Analyst in PE - Other
Apr 23, 2020 - 10:59pm

I think beyond what @Perfunctory" has already said about Citi Chicago (incredibly comprehensive), the office operates in a generalist model (M&A modeling because of Cary and traditional coverage). Effectively Midwestern coverage-- Industrials, metals & mining, consumer, a little healthcare.

I'd qualify it as a boutique experience in a bulge bracket setting.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 24, 2020 - 6:23pm

Goldman Chi is pretty good, 1 or 2 groups with about 25 employees. Similar to other BB satellites in Chi. HL Chi is a sweatshop, but has great deal flow and one of the top Food & Bev groups in the country.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 24, 2020 - 7:45pm

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May 28, 2020 - 7:38pm

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