Bulge Bracket TMT vs. Qatalyst Partners

If you had an offer from GS or MS TMT group and Qatalyst Partners for an analyst position, which would you take?

I'm honestly having a hard time with this. Since starting in 2008 Qatalyst has done $70B in TMT advisory and has truly set itself apart as an best in breed boutique. On the flip side, I feel the perhaps GS/MS would have a better alumni network, a broader set of deals (as opposed to primarily M&A), a more defined analyst program,ect...

How would you compare the two? What would you weight more? Most importantly, who would you choose?

Comments (52)

 
Jun 5, 2013 - 8:59am

Angus Macgyver:

A broader set of deals?

Why would you want a broader set of deals...?

On exit form a bank, a lot of shops like to see you have similar deals in your history to what you would be doing at their firm. So if all you have is large M&A transactions as opposed the various coverage such as equity, debt, M&A, IPO, ect. it could be problematic.

"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."
 
Jun 5, 2013 - 9:57am

TheBigBambino:

Angus Macgyver:

A broader set of deals?
Why would you want a broader set of deals...?

On exit form a bank, a lot of shops like to see you have similar deals in your history to what you would be doing at their firm. So if all you have is large M&A transactions as opposed the various coverage such as equity, debt, M&A, IPO, ect. it could be problematic.

Well, yes. Given that so many people here want to go into PE, though...

wso_user:

Stop listening to these college students, go GS or MS. The elite boutiques are overrated on this forum. If you look at where GS or MS TMT has placed it's not a question to go to then over Qatalyst. And yes, they'll be plenty of shops who will turn someone down because they weren't at GS, MS or BX. Look at Silver lake or hellman and friedman website bios

Just from H&F's website:

http://www.hf.com/team/Team.aspx?membercode=jDiCola

http://www.hf.com/team/Team.aspx?membercode=rPalluch

Of the 15 Associates listed, we have 1 each from Greenhill and Moelis. ~8 or so are from GS/MS/JPM. A ratio of 1:4 doesn't seem too shabby, given how many GHL/Moelis take in versus GS/MS/JPM.

 
Jun 5, 2013 - 12:48pm

TheBigBambino:

Angus Macgyver:

A broader set of deals?
Why would you want a broader set of deals...?

On exit form a bank, a lot of shops like to see you have similar deals in your history to what you would be doing at their firm. So if all you have is large M&A transactions as opposed the various coverage such as equity, debt, M&A, IPO, ect. it could be problematic.

Think about what you just wrote. He isn't going to look at lateraling from a top TMT group. He's going PE.

 
Jun 5, 2013 - 9:02am

Stop listening to these college students, go GS or MS. The elite boutiques are overrated on this forum. If you look at where GS or MS TMT has placed it's not a question to go to then over Qatalyst. And yes, they'll be plenty of shops who will turn someone down because they weren't at GS, MS or BX. Look at Silver lake or hellman and friedman website bios

Array
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Jun 5, 2013 - 9:08am

Also, the quality of life could be slightly better at MS and GS since you have some support function that can help you (also during the night) with information research and presentation drafting.

I'm grateful that I have two middle fingers, I only wish I had more.
 
Jun 5, 2013 - 10:37am

Qatalyst has been on a lot of interesting deals, but their exit opps are definitely not as good as GS/MS. It's probably because of location or the smaller class size, but they don't place as well as boutiques like evercore/bx

 
Best Response
Jun 6, 2013 - 5:33pm

It really depends. Qatalyst is killing it in tech, and it's fantastic if you want to stay in banking long term or you want to do VC/tech related stuff post-banking. If you're dead set on doing the whole 2 year IB --> 2 year PE --> H/S/W MBA path, it might make more sense to go to a GS or MS.

Other than that it comes down to the classic elite boutique vs. bulge bracket argument. On one hand, the GS/MS brands are very strong and hold much more weight than Q outside of tech & finance. On the other hand, because Qatalyst is so small, you get a lot of exposure to legendary senior bankers like Frank Quattrone/George Boutros and they do bat for you during buy-side recruiting. Other things to think about are the differences in compensation and working on M&A only vs. different products.

Out of the two people I know that got offers at all three, one guy chose Q and the other chose GS. At the end of the day they're all incredible firms and it really comes down to your own preference and career path. Personally, I would choose Qatalyst but that's just me.

 
Jun 10, 2013 - 7:50am

The fact that people are referring to MS as having a TMT practice shows a lot. MS splits Tech off from Media/Comms; the latter is based in NYC, and Michael Grimes runs Tech out of Menlo Park. There is a very small East Coast team for Tech, but it isn't dominant. The Menlo Park office places very well with MF PE on both coasts, and Media/Comms is one of the top groups in the main office.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:28pm

Qatalyst vs Bulge Brackets? (Originally Posted: 09/22/2011)

Curious what people's thoughts are on Qatalyst vs Deutsche Bank or Barclays Capital. Both BBs would be in New York for IB while Qatalyst would be in San Francisco.

Anyone have insight on pros and cons on bulge bracket vs this elite boutique? (more $1bn M&A tech deals than any bank except for MS and GS and with much less people.)

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:29pm

I'd personally take Qatalyst hands down for many reasons.

They get paid more than BB analysts, and have access to a lot more senior management. and the BBs you mentioned are not top. I think Qatalyst vs. GS/MS/JPM would be a tougher call.

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:30pm

Pros of both options:

At Qatalyst:
-You will make significantly more money
-You will get much higher-profile deal experience
-You will have more involvement per-deal
-You will interact with more accomplished senior bankers than at those BBs and with much greater frequency

At the BBs:
-You can be in NY instead of SF (some would argue this is not a positive)
-You can stay generalist or go into an industry group other than tech

Personally, I wouldn't even hesitate.

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:36pm

What about Qatalyst vs. GS/MS ?

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:37pm

I would definitely take GS/MS

If this is a 2 year stint for you, I would go with the bigger name. I think it gives you more flexibility down the road. I can't imagine many people outside of banking have heard of Qatalyst.

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:39pm

What about in terms of exit opps though? Qatalyst is pulling amazing deals at the moment, but they've only had a handful of analysts go through.

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:43pm

I know a few of the analysts at Qatalyst...they're not that legit. Yes the firm is doing well, but as an analyst you're going to be doing the same work you would at other banks. Unless you plan on working there long term, I would go with MS/GS if you have an offer since their exit ops will be just as good or better. Also, as a poster above me said, nobody outside banking knows what Qatalyst is.

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:45pm

q is the best at what they do - mega tech m&a transactions. You will get paid a lot and learn a lot from the senior guys. That being said, they are kinda like the centerview or perella in that they won't be 100% of you leaving (they will respect your decision of course) to a buyside shop and this could be a disadvantage.

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:47pm

Qatalyst is the way to go.No other firm has more clout as far as tech right now. And who wouldn't want to work with Quattrone??

The dragon dozes off in the spirit which is its dwelling.
 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:48pm

I love Quattrone, partly because he went to my highschool. There is an entire chapter basically about him in the book The Accidental Investment Banker. Here is some background on him:

Frank Quattrone was born in 1956, the son of an Italian immigrant who worked in a clothing factory and lived in South Philadelphia, that lower-class neighborhood made famous by the film Rocky. According to childhood friend Rosario "Rusty" Lamberto, Frank Quattrone stayed off the mean streets of South Philly because he did not want to be trapped there. Says Lamberto: "Even in grade school, Frank had the foresight to know he wanted to be something special" (Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2001). In parochial school, it is said, Quattrone read four grade levels above his own. And the story is told how, when taking Latin from a teacher who was known to flunk the entire class on the first exam, Frank Quattrone got a grade of 105. In 1973, Quattrone received a scholarship to the undergraduate program of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude in 1977.

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:49pm

adapt or die:
I love Quattrone, partly because he went to my highschool. There is an entire chapter basically about him in the book The Accidental Investment Banker. Here is some background on him:

Frank Quattrone was born in 1956, the son of an Italian immigrant who worked in a clothing factory and lived in South Philadelphia, that lower-class neighborhood made famous by the film Rocky. According to childhood friend Rosario "Rusty" Lamberto, Frank Quattrone stayed off the mean streets of South Philly because he did not want to be trapped there. Says Lamberto: "Even in grade school, Frank had the foresight to know he wanted to be something special" (Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2001). In parochial school, it is said, Quattrone read four grade levels above his own. And the story is told how, when taking Latin from a teacher who was known to flunk the entire class on the first exam, Frank Quattrone got a grade of 105. In 1973, Quattrone received a scholarship to the undergraduate program of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude in 1977.

That is such a bad ass story. I didn't have to avoid the mean streets but I couldn't avoid Nintendo as a youngster. Childhood motivation FAIL.

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:50pm

I would probably take Qatalyst over DB, but not MS/JPM/GS. I think if you're just graduating from college, going to a bigger and more well-known company just gives you more options down that road since I doubt anyone outside of banking has ever heard of Qatalyst. Just my two cents

 
Aug 11, 2014 - 9:52pm

not sure what the comments from outside of banking are getting at. if you do banking to later on work outside of banking your insane. just start outside of banking to begin with.

(banking defined as world of finance in general)

 
Nov 11, 2017 - 2:41pm

Depends on what you want afterwards, read earlier convo from '13, still relevant to you. Perhaps I'd take Qatalyst since its an internship and you could still go to a BB as a graduate if you decided you would prefer that.

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