Best Chicago IB Offices-Updated

I know this topic has been discussed before but that was when Lehman was still around. I was wondering if ppl familiar with the area/banks would mind discussing which BB's (for IBD) in chicago are the best? Additional info about how big the offices are/hours/whether or not they execute from the office would be helpful too.

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Comments (36)

Jun 7, 2011

bump

Jun 8, 2011

Best: GS, MS, JPM, GHL, Moelis

Good: BAML, Citi

Shitty: Barcap, UBS, CS, Lazard

None of the above are in any specific order within the groupings.

Jun 8, 2011

^ UBS and CS shitty? I've always been under the impression that they were strong in Chicago; Citi, too. I know UBS has lost a lot of talent over the last few years in the U.S., but is that true for the Chicago office?

Jun 8, 2011

cs is defninitely not "shitty" in chicago

ubs used to be one of the top chicago offices a couple years back but has lost a lot of talent

baml does not have a major presence in chicago, and anyone who puts them above cs clearly doesn't know the region

Jun 8, 2011

I've heard second hand that MS and JPM are tops in Chicago... I know for a fact JPM has great people in the city -- meaning their high level guys/leadership.

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Jun 8, 2011

Anyone know the size of the chicago offices of these firms?

Jun 8, 2011

baml has a good sized shop in chicago

Jun 7, 2011

didnt barcap steal a lot of the good cs ppl?

Jun 9, 2011

william blair is a top shop in chicago. as for the sizes, they are nowhere near the size of new york and maybe not the same as san fran as san fran has the whole tech presence, but they are decent sized. its a bit different in chicago than say new york, but the work life balance is a tad bit better...a tad bit. but you will most likely have better deal flows in nyc than anywhere else, that is what matters.

Jun 7, 2011

what is the average chicago firm size?

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Jun 7, 2011

also would just appreciate second opinions on the BBs in chicago.

Jun 9, 2011

No need for a second opinion, you need a first one because almost everything in this thread is completely wrong.

Historically, there are 3 BB powerhouses in Chicago: GS, CS and UBS. All three have seen key people leave in the past year or so - BDT from GS, AN from CS, CK and JG from UBS. Given the slew of defections, UBS is in pretty bad shape, they have been bleeding people for a while. GS and CS are still tops in Chitown, been doing pretty big deals. They both went into the downturn strong and didn't fire as many people, held onto a lot of bodies. Positioned them well when things came back. GS does industrials, paper & packaging, etc. CS does a lot of services, less industrials, some international stuff. UBS does a lot of the heavy industrials, diversifieds, typical midwestern names that you would expect to be covered out of Chicago.

Culturally, GS and CS are both pretty midwestern and laid back. When BDT left GS, he bought everyone in the office (including admins) a Cartier or IWC watch. That should tell you that they care about their people. I heard that CS did great at placement this year.

UBS has more of the old DLJ culture because they soaked up a lot of those people back in 03/04 when they split off from CSFB. MDs that own clubs, directors doing blow, things of that nature. People have the swagger, but they've been dipping out. Hours are pretty bad.

JPM gutted their office in the downturn. Haven't heard much about it since. Citi has been doing pretty well, they were trying to poach people from boutiques, the analysts there have been getting absolutely destroyed. They do a lot of metals and mining which is hot right now. BAML is mostly a pitching outpost, they have some consumer and industrials, couple other people scattered around. The old Lehman Chicago office was tiny, something like 10 heads, now Barclays is trying to build a practice off that. They hired some people that got canned at CS in the downturn, trying to build up a practice in education. MS had a mass exodus of analysts and associates, when that happens, that says something. DB is a pretty small office, heard they were down to one analyst at some point.

In terms of bodies, BMO might be the biggest in Chicago (even bigger than the BBs). Probably around 100 bodies or maybe more. Blair is pretty sizable too. Both are pretty good places to work, although exit ops are definitely weaker than BBs. Baird is similar too, a bit smaller. I would consider the three as comparable but Blair as the best. Lazard does auto, kind of a weird office, works a lot. Don't know much about Greenhill. Moelis was a tiny outpost the last time I heard anything, but it probably has been somewhat more populated by now.

Jun 20, 2011
endlessrain:

No need for a second opinion, you need a first one because almost everything in this thread is completely wrong.

Historically, there are 3 BB powerhouses in Chicago: GS, CS and UBS. All three have seen key people leave in the past year or so - BDT from GS, AN from CS, CK and JG from UBS. Given the slew of defections, UBS is in pretty bad shape, they have been bleeding people for a while. GS and CS are still tops in Chitown, been doing pretty big deals. They both went into the downturn strong and didn't fire as many people, held onto a lot of bodies. Positioned them well when things came back. GS does industrials, paper & packaging, etc. CS does a lot of services, less industrials, some international stuff. UBS does a lot of the heavy industrials, diversifieds, typical midwestern names that you would expect to be covered out of Chicago.

Culturally, GS and CS are both pretty midwestern and laid back. When BDT left GS, he bought everyone in the office (including admins) a Cartier or IWC watch. That should tell you that they care about their people. I heard that CS did great at placement this year.

UBS has more of the old DLJ culture because they soaked up a lot of those people back in 03/04 when they split off from CSFB. MDs that own clubs, directors doing blow, things of that nature. People have the swagger, but they've been dipping out. Hours are pretty bad.

JPM gutted their office in the downturn. Haven't heard much about it since. Citi has been doing pretty well, they were trying to poach people from boutiques, the analysts there have been getting absolutely destroyed. They do a lot of metals and mining which is hot right now. BAML is mostly a pitching outpost, they have some consumer and industrials, couple other people scattered around. The old Lehman Chicago office was tiny, something like 10 heads, now Barclays is trying to build a practice off that. They hired some people that got canned at CS in the downturn, trying to build up a practice in education. MS had a mass exodus of analysts and associates, when that happens, that says something. DB is a pretty small office, heard they were down to one analyst at some point.

In terms of bodies, BMO might be the biggest in Chicago (even bigger than the BBs). Probably around 100 bodies or maybe more. Blair is pretty sizable too. Both are pretty good places to work, although exit ops are definitely weaker than BBs. Baird is similar too, a bit smaller. I would consider the three as comparable but Blair as the best. Lazard does auto, kind of a weird office, works a lot. Don't know much about Greenhill. Moelis was a tiny outpost the last time I heard anything, but it probably has been somewhat more populated by now.

Some great information in this post. I have interviewed at a few Chicago groups, but ended up taking an offer in NY.

GS- Was an awesome place. Heard great things about their dealflow there and they fully execute out of there. They told me recently where thier analysts placed and I was impressed. Some top megafunds as well as MM PE.
MS- Didnt interview here but Ive been hearing of a ton of analysts/associates leaving for w/e reason.
Citi- Interviewed here and heard that their Industrials group is here, one of Citi's top groups. Nice guys. Analysts placed well in megafunds and HF. Didnt hear too much of KKR/Blackstone, but more along the lines of TPG, THL etc.

Ultimately took a GS, MS, JPM offer in NY but heavily considered JPM, GS, and Citi. The chicago people were so much nicer than their counterparts in NY.

Jul 2, 2011
1styearanalyst1:

GS- Was an awesome place. Heard great things about their dealflow there and they fully execute out of there. They told me recently where thier analysts placed and I was impressed. Some top megafunds as well as MM PE.
MS- Didnt interview here but Ive been hearing of a ton of analysts/associates leaving for w/e reason.
Citi- Interviewed here and heard that their Industrials group is here, one of Citi's top groups. Nice guys. Analysts placed well in megafunds and HF. Didnt hear too much of KKR/Blackstone, but more along the lines of TPG, THL etc.

Ultimately took a GS, MS, JPM offer in NY but heavily considered JPM, GS, and Citi. The chicago people were so much nicer than their counterparts in NY.

So does GS take first year analysts? I've heard a lot that they require analysts to do a year in NY and then a year in Chicago?

Anyone have more info on that?

Jun 10, 2011

Good post endlessrain. One additional note... Greenhill's Chicago office was essentially formed when Lehman went through the crisis. GT (the long time head of Lehman's Chicago office, although he wasn't technically the office head the last couple of years), DJ, and CR left Lehman for Greenhill and took a handfull of VPs, associates, and analysts with them.

Jun 7, 2011

thanks so much! anyone know the average size of a chicago BB like goldman or ms?

Jul 11, 2011
vintagelemon:

thanks so much! anyone know the average size of a chicago BB like goldman or ms?

Not sure about average size, but during recruiting last year at Booth CS said they're the largest BB in the city (there are Chicago-based MM that tend to be larger, think Blair, BMO, etc) and they have around 45-50 people. I would think GS, UBS, JPM, and MS are in the ~40 range. Barcap might be a bit smaller as they're still trying to build up. BAML and Citi don't have a big presence.

I know it's not quite BB (but considered on the same level), but Lazard has a strong restruturing practice based out of Chicago, and if you include acquisitions (lazardmm.com), it's def a strong player in the city.

Jun 20, 2011
sonibubu:
vintagelemon:

thanks so much! anyone know the average size of a chicago BB like goldman or ms?

Not sure about average size, but during recruiting last year at Booth CS said they're the largest BB in the city (there are Chicago-based MM that tend to be larger, think Blair, BMO, etc) and they have around 45-50 people. I would think GS, UBS, JPM, and MS are in the ~40 range. Barcap might be a bit smaller as they're still trying to build up. BAML and Citi don't have a big presence.

I know it's not quite BB (but considered on the same level), but Lazard has a strong restruturing practice based out of Chicago, and if you include acquisitions (lazardmm.com), it's def a strong player in the city.

Friend said that 3 ex UBS big hitters came to Citi in Chicago and their office is extremely solid with kids going to TPG, THL, etc afterwards. Another buddy works at CS in the same building, extremely solid exit opps as well.

Feb 12, 2013
1styearanalyst1:
sonibubu:
vintagelemon:

thanks so much! anyone know the average size of a chicago BB like goldman or ms?

Not sure about average size, but during recruiting last year at Booth CS said they're the largest BB in the city (there are Chicago-based MM that tend to be larger, think Blair, BMO, etc) and they have around 45-50 people. I would think GS, UBS, JPM, and MS are in the ~40 range. Barcap might be a bit smaller as they're still trying to build up. BAML and Citi don't have a big presence.

I know it's not quite BB (but considered on the same level), but Lazard has a strong restruturing practice based out of Chicago, and if you include acquisitions (lazardmm.com), it's def a strong player in the city.

Friend said that 3 ex UBS big hitters came to Citi in Chicago and their office is extremely solid with kids going to TPG, THL, etc afterwards. Another buddy works at CS in the same building, extremely solid exit opps as well.

This is why UBS Chicago went to shit.

Jun 7, 2011

1styearanalyst, PM-ed you! would love your feedback

Feb 12, 2013

Goldman and UBS

Feb 12, 2013

Thanks for the info.

Feb 12, 2013

i've also heard UBS is pretty strong in chi-town

Feb 12, 2013

Blair is considered to be a very strong i-bank w/ top notch talent. In terms of compensation, it's considered to be on par with NY bulge brackets. This is a big deal since going to a BB in Chicago typically means a pay cut in year end bonuses.

On top of that, Chicago is obviously a much cheaper city, where you could get a nice 1 bedroom that is five blocks away from work for $1300.

Jun 20, 2011

Nice post!

Feb 12, 2013

UBS and GS have the best presence in Chicago and both execute from their offices.

Feb 12, 2013

CS and UBS have the largest offices in numbers in the Chicago area and therefore command the most absolute deal flow. GS is strong but it's a much leaner office. Per banker I think GS has just as much deal flow as the other two, but GS does defer a few of their deals to NY. In addition, all analysts in the GS office are 2nd year or above, so many of them bring deals they were staffed on from NY to the Chicago office when they move. CS and UBS operate pretty autonomously and source, staff and execute their own deals.

Jun 21, 2011

agreed

Jun 21, 2011

UBS in Chicago, like UBS everywhere else, is experiencing a lot of turnover right now. Two of their top guys left for Citi earlier in the month:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/citi-hires-...
BMO CM has a big office in Chicago, at least 150-200 S&T and IBD people.

Jun 7, 2011

yeah i would like to know more about the gs chicago-ny thing as well. do you still apply through the chi office or the ny one?

also does anybody know about which banks in chi do the fully monty (pitching and executing) vs. just being a pitching post?

Jul 8, 2011

JPM in Chi does pitching and executing. DI is the biggest by a long shot, StrucFin, SLF, and PubFin have groups as well.

Jun 7, 2011

is BAML good or not in Chi? endlessrain mentioned that it's mostly a pitching post and random bankers together, but i read elsewhere on wall street oasis (from older posts though) that BAML is really strong in chi, esp. in consumer/retail? Anybody else have any experience/thoughts on this?

Jun 7, 2011
Sep 13, 2011