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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.

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
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 - 8:38pm

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 - 10:39pm

I am not the one to answer this question. I'll defer to Bullet-Tooth Tony.

My take is that active deals are continuing at a slower pace with some falling apart, naturally. There will obviously be a huge drop in Q2 activity, but I imagine there will be a backlog to work through once we get through the back-end of this crisis. We won't get there until testing is scaled significantly.

  • 1
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2020 - 10:59pm

Yep, that pesky testing... cannot imagine why this country cannot ramp that up faster. It's beyond me. But just hope these firms hang onto their analysts/associates until that backlog is ready to be executed.

Apr 23, 2020 - 11:37pm

Analysts will be fine. I don't suspect anyone is truly "at risk" at a sound platform if this is compressed to a 3-6 month phenomenon. Will the economy take longer to recover in terms of employment? Yes, but I think deals that are on the proverbial back burner will resume once some semblance of stability and competency is restored.

Chicago marketplace tends to run tight on banking talent. I don't get the impression there is a lot of excess ripe for trimming at the moment.

  • 2
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
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.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 25, 2020 - 1:53pm

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