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Bulge Bracket vs. Middle Market

IronBanker's picture
Rank: Baboon | 126

I know I'll be working the same hours as a BB analyst based on what I was told at my interviews and will make roughly the same year-end pay. So what is the benefit of working for a BB? Is it just exit opps and resume boosting? and if its that, is it that big of a boost?

I just figure that getting into the industry is hard enough and which bank you work in really can't matter that much especially on the analyst level.

Bulge Bracket vs Middle Market

Client interactions and exposure to business. These are most common difference mentioned between bulge brackets and middle markets. The idea is that it is easier to understand the structure and operations of 500 million dollar company vs a multibillion dollar company.

Bulge brackets still win in terms of brand name. Exit opportunities... In most cases (not all) it easier to "trade down" then "trade up". The other consideration is that large banks have more resources and can outsource some their print, research and graphics work to their respective departments

If choosing between two offers the decision should probably be made on fit and then group. Both bulge brackets and middle markets will provide great exit opportunities.

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Comments (212)

Dec 5, 2006

bb will for sure get you futher in life, with the exception of a few boutiques: Greenhill, Evercore, Blackstone

    • 1
Dec 5, 2006

"bb will for sure get you futher in life"

wow...you know so little its sad

    • 1
Dec 5, 2006

"wow...you know so little its sad"

Ke18, You've described the majority of the posters on this board.

IronBanker, being a middle market bank just means that the bank typically executes smaller deals (anything under $500 Million). There are plenty of reasons why working at a middle market firm will "for sure get you far in life".

Although you're sacrificing "prestige" by not working for a BB, many middle market analysts will tell you they are able to play more meaningful roles on their deal teams.

In terms of pay scale, salary will typically be the same, but bonuses won't be as large in middle market banks as in their BB peers.

Best of luck.

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Dec 5, 2006

I don't buy the line that at a middle market or boutique the analysts get more "hands on" experience with modeling, client contact, etc. My friend works at Jefferies, gets staffed on doing the Kinkos print jobs, hasn't really done any modeling, and gets home at 6:00 every day. While a great quality of life, he hasn't really learned anything and will have worse exit ops than if he took his BB offer.

Dec 5, 2006
Patrick Bateman:

My friend works at Jefferies, gets staffed on doing the Kinkos print jobs, hasn't really done any modeling, and gets home at 6:00 every day.

I'm pretty sure that Jefferies analysts do not go home at 6 in the afternoon. Has your friend only been there for 3 weeks or something?

ironbanker:

I just find it hard to believe exit opps are worse

Well, the reason exit opps are limited is that the PE world is already tiny. It's not like for every single mediocre investment banking shop there is a PE fund waiting to snatch up young laterals.

Jun 17, 2016

Lol, maybe me meant 6:00 AM the next day. Jefferies was the only bank I did not pursue after an informal with two totally-tweaked-out-bloodshot-red-eyed-caffeine-and-speed-freaks who literally YELLED at me, "THE CULTURE AT JEFFERIES IS GREAT!"

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Dec 5, 2006

Exit ops and "prestige" aside, I would say the biggest difference between boutiques and BBs are resources. BBs have a lot more resources to allow you to concentrate on more important things.

For example, instead of having to 'google' or 'wikipedia' research materials, or hand-hold some high-school drop out at Kinkos on how to not screw up a book, BBs have research departments (outside of ER), dedicated 24/7 print shops, and graphics departments to handle time-consuming mundane work. People at BBs get to concentrate on modeling, talking to investors, making offering materials, and all the other bullshit that recruiters fed. That is what I think the biggest diffference is.

I agree with Bateman on the "hand-on" experience myth. If you look at any CIMs by Harris Williams, William Blair, HLHZ, whoever, you'll notice at least a half a dozen to a dozen deal team members on the inside cover. While GS, Citi, Lehman usually have 3 or 4.

Jun 17, 2016

i did 2 years at a mid-tiered BB but in a top industry group and now work in MM PE (to give you a sense of size, i see deals from Baird, blair, BB&T, SunTrust, HL, some smaller ones and some larger ones like JEF).

the main difference i see are the client interaction and exposure to the actual business. There's no way people can truly understand the operations of a multi billion dollar business (from PE perspective), but MM businesses? )$100-500m TEV), you can. analysts at BB will almost NEVER get direct client interaction. I'm not talking about where you can go present your model in a pitch. I mean actually in the trenches with PE associates and VPs.

i dont see why people prefer BB experience over MM except for brand name. bu t if you intend on staying in finance, Baird / blair, etc are all great names to be had on resume.

Jun 17, 2016

I don't have BB perspective but I once had lunch with someone very senior at a top BB and his thoughts on this matter centered around deal size. His (almost) exact words were 'If you work on the big deals, you can always go work on the smaller deals later in your career, nobody will question you can handle the smaller deals'. The reasoning being that the largest deals have the most complexities, thus you'll have more skills in your toolkit.

No clue if this is honestly true or how others in the industry see it though.

Jun 17, 2016

Appreciate both of your input - I think Whiskey5 offered something a little more in line with what I'm looking for. Was your BB stint an accurate indicator of the type of work you do on the buyside? Do you have any ex-MM colleagues that you've had this talk with? What is their take vs yours?

LBOsontheslopes, I think your source has a great point - but your response fuels my original question. I understand the general respect that comes with orchestrating multibillion dollar deals, but I'm asking what specifically it is about the BB experience that prepares you more for a career in sub $1b investments (i.e. 99.9% of portfolio companies). Your source is absolutely right that people assume you can handle it...I just wonder whether there's anything to back up that assumption.

Jun 17, 2016

Having worked at both a MM and a top BB, I can't say I agree with your "HR spiel" at all. My deal sizes at the MM were $250MM - $3Bn, however as the analyst I found my role was almost exclusively processing information. I was never giving a deal or pitchbook any original thought. It was all filtered (heavily) by an associate and ultimately completely rewritten by a VP / Director. End of the day, the only product of mine that made it into any materials was a chart or model output. As far as execution, I was involved with both buy and sell side processes, however it was clear the bank I was working at lacked significant process experience (which was somewhat concerning as an analyst) and made it a bit harder to navigate live deals that weren't capital markets. I found the deal team at the MM to be larger than BB (it was fairly common to see 2 analysts on a live deal).

At the top BB (deal sizes from $200MM - $30Bn), analysts were expected to think on their own and have opinions on a deal or proposed transaction. Analyst work consistently made it into the final materials and it was usually better put together than that of the MM. Deal teams were as lean (if not leaner) than at the MM. Analysts had more autonomy and I found skill sets developed a lot quicker given there was more ownership for the work (and a different mentality between the two places). Client exposure was about the same on live deals.

I'm not saying its standard experience, but at top BBs I've seen analysts craft better investment theses and stronger stories (as it seemed a more common practice than at the MM firm). As for buyside recruiting, I think a major player is just buy side comfort with the sell side firm and candidates from that firm. I.e. if PE fund X regularly takes Barcap analysts, they know they can expect a certain level of ability. With a MM firm who hasn't placed at that fund, its a little more of a risk (given there's no standard for quality). Firm connections can help too, in the event a Principal at a fund calls an associate, VP or MD at the bank to ask "hey, we're looking into possibly hiring analyst X, is he any good?"

These may not be industry wide standards, I'm sure it varies, but that's just what I've seen.

    • 1
Dec 5, 2006

how are associate's lives at CIBC? same as most middle market banks, where analyst and associates are pretty much interchangeable? i.e. either an associate OR analyst will be staffed on a deal team, rather than both?

Jun 17, 2016

Why did you have to go and start another one of these threads... And BB don't even pay the most.

    • 1
Jun 17, 2016

What prestige are you referring to exactly...

Jun 17, 2016

Don't live other people's lifestyle, decide on what you think is the best. From your other unnecessary posts, knowing you're a target student, stop sounding so dependent and think for yourself for once.

    • 1
Jun 17, 2016

Thanks for the laughs..

Jun 17, 2016

I thought about laying into you, but it'd be too easy, you have a public linkedin, I know what school you go to (good school by the way), etc.

here's some serious advice.

1. read every single thread that's on the first page of the top threads all time (http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/hot-topics/all-time)
2. read the WSO FAQs (http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/frequently-asked-qu...)
3. take time to think about what questions you STILL have, because as you can see we don't take kindly to someone who posts 5 threads asking questions that have been answered before
4. post 1 thread at a time, and mention what you don't understand (possibly referencing prior threads)

let this be your first lesson in finance: you are not special, no one will treat you any differently than someone else because you have the gall to ask questions that have already been answered, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and only superficial dickheads really care about prestige & fashion to the tune of picking their firm based on that (great comment about it in this thread: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/young-money-pe...).

best of luck, and WA HOO WA!

Dec 5, 2006

Sorry i don't start until July 2007.

Is the bonus really lower than BB. I can definitely see that since the deals aren't as large. But there are less people to pay. I've just heard and read that MM bonuses can be just as high as BB (45-65k).

I just can't believe that working for a BB can provide significantly better exit opps. Better yes, but not significant. I-banking is I-banking.

Perhaps its just wishful thinking since I'll be in a MM. But I'm also going what I've read elsewhere.

And in terms of resources, CIBC is a huge bank in Canada with just a smaller MM arm in the U.S. So the resources and research are probably just as good as a BB. But then again, CIBC isn't a boutique. Hence the MM vs. BB comparison.

Dec 5, 2006
IronBanker:

Is the bonus really lower than BB. I can definitely see that since the deals aren't as large. But there are less people to pay. I've just heard and read that MM bonuses can be just as high as BB (45-65k).

FYI, 45-65 is not street average for BBs, it's more like 70-80.

IronBanker:

I just can't believe that working for a BB can provide significantly better exit opps. Better yes, but not significant. I-banking is I-banking.

I would almost call it significant. The big difference is that your top shops have better contacts within all the top hedge funds and sponsors. Second is that most BBs are pretty active in helping analysts out by sending around internal-only job postings and having HR people dedicated to analyst exit ops.

You're signed up already, I'm not sure why you need validation from anyone else. Just go there and work your ass off, and things will fall into place on their own.

Jun 17, 2016

The hours are pretty much the same on average, the BB analysts pull a few more all nighters though I'm guessing.

But on the whole, if you're expecting a different experience at an MM.....don't count on it. Hours will be 100+/week, and pay will be Street for the most part.

Jun 17, 2016

I find it unusual that any banker average 100+ hours a week...mean is probably more like 85

Jun 17, 2016

I am curious as to how much variance there is between working in NYC and other locations. I've been told that there is a difference, albeit marginal, in the amount of hours worked by Associates in NYC vs being out of NYC. Can anyone comment on this?

Jun 17, 2016

Admo, there's a guy in my group who averages (yes, averages) around 115. He has been known to work 130s-140s, though.

There are also groups who average 85. It's all a matter of where you end up.

Jun 17, 2016

given there is a general "face time" culture in every company, like Mis Ind said, it's all about the group you fall in.

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Jun 17, 2016

I agree with that, but if you take out all the outliers and throw in an average, 100+, in my opinion is way too high across all groups and banks. However, my roomate, now at a hedge fund, worked at Goldman FIG = DEATH, and he was much higher than myself, he was prob 100+

Jun 17, 2016

especially if there are more transactions. so, if you work for MM, chances are that your group will be small, hence you work a lot more hours.

Jun 17, 2016

my individual experience has been not 100 regularily..but more often 90+ for my team and other product groups.

Jun 17, 2016

Is there any difference in hours between NYC and another city? Such as SF? Or does it all just depend on who u work for?

Jun 17, 2016

more hours = more deal flow;
more deal flow = better experience;
better experience = better exit ops, b-school, etc.

Banking is not a lifestyle business. If hours are that much of a consideration for you, go into consulting. As an analyst, I would be worried about working with any group that doesn't average 90+.

Dec 5, 2006

I-banking is I-banking, but if your experience involves doing the mundane activities that a BB sources to internal print/research/graphics departments then you don't get as much exposure to modeling etc. and will not be able to contend for the best exit ops.

Jun 17, 2016

not 100% sure but ive heard a lot of people say wait at least a year before attempting to lateral

Jun 17, 2016

Yeah. It's always a good sign if you spend at least 24 months at your first company. You can do an internal transfer after 12 months, but stick with the same company for at least 2 years. And it's always nice to get that bonus.

If you leave after less than 18 months, your managers usually have lost money on you. So think long and hard before you do that- your manager placed a very expensive bet on you by hiring you, and you owe it to him to let that bet pay off.

Caveat: I tend to track a little more to the conservative/loyal side than a lot of folks when it comes to careers.

Jun 17, 2016
IlliniProgrammer:

Yeah. It's always a good sign if you spend at least 24 months at your first company. You can do an internal transfer after 12 months, but stick with the same company for at least 2 years. And it's always nice to get that bonus.

If you leave after less than 18 months, your managers usually have lost money on you. So think long and hard before you do that- your manager placed a very expensive bet on you by hiring you, and you owe it to him to let that bet pay off.

Caveat: I tend to track a little more to the conservative/loyal side than a lot of folks when it comes to careers.

You don't owe anyone anything, period. If you want to go join another firm, then do it; just be professional how you go about it. People leave for better jobs all the time....

Companies aren't loyal to you so you don't owe them loyalty back.

Jun 17, 2016

Lateralling aside, what about the initial question of middle market vs BB... will there be opportunities at BBs in the future if I stay with the MM?

Jun 17, 2016
quiksilver13a:

Lateralling aside, what about the initial question of middle market vs BB... will there be opportunities at BBs in the future if I stay with the MM?

Stick it out two years at the MM. Learn as much as you can. Get into a great business school (HBS, UChicago, Wharton, etc. etc.) in the geographic area you are trying to establish your next professional network. Then apply to all the BBs.

After you get the MBA, coupled with your 2/3 years IB experience...you shouldn't have a problem getting into a BB if you get your foot in the door. Make lots of friends in business school so you can leverage their network into your BB job.

If banking is already your decided long-term career, then why are you worried about BB vs MM as exit ops don't matter to you? You may find you really like the MM...or...you hate banking all together.

Dec 5, 2006

yes exit ops at BB are better than MM, the point is you are still far aheard of your peer group simply by doing banking. exit ops may not be better than BB but they are far and away better than any other job one can get, with the exception of top consulting gigs

Jun 17, 2016

And before anyone freaks out about not using the search function, I haven't found a very good recent thread for this

    • 2
Jun 17, 2016

I would take Jefferies over UBS any day of the week.

Jun 17, 2016

Overall, JEF > HL

But in LA, HL > JEF

Jun 17, 2016

Lazard/Rothschild/Moelis over anything except JPM and GS.

Jun 17, 2016
NormanLF:

Lazard/Rothschild/Moelis over anything except JPM and GS.

lol

Jun 17, 2016
NormanLF:

Lazard/Rothschild/Moelis over anything except JPM and GS.

You do realize that these are not MM banks? Lazard and Moelis advise on many of the largest M&A transactions.

    • 1
Jun 17, 2016
NormanLF:

Lazard/Rothschild/Moelis over anything except JPM and GS.

Really? Those are MM groups now?

Jun 17, 2016
NormanLF:

Lazard/Rothschild/Moelis over anything except JPM and GS.

I may agree with this (not 100%, and would definitely include MS), but I don't think that this is the answer to the question asked.

Jun 17, 2016

Would take HL and Rothschild restructuring offers over a lot of the BBs for exits into distressed debt funds. Other than that, I wouldn't take any MM m&a over any BB (in either their HQ or a strong regional office). Pretty sure even UBS provides better exit ops vs. any MM.

Jun 17, 2016
levered.arb:

I think the idea of taking a MM over a BB isn't too farfetched, if you actually want to work in MM going forward. This applies whether P/E or banking.

If you don't want to work in the MM space, then UBS (or insert any other "low tier" BB) would still be better due to more relevant transaction work.

Same with distressed: If you want to be in a distressed HF or PE firm, take a rx gig at any of the top boutiques.

Just my two cents

You realize UBS IBD won't exist in two years right?

    • 1
Jun 17, 2016

I think the idea of taking a MM over a BB isn't too farfetched, if you actually want to work in MM going forward. This applies whether P/E or banking.

If you don't want to work in the MM space, then UBS (or insert any other "low tier" BB) would still be better due to more relevant transaction work.

Same with distressed: If you want to be in a distressed HF or PE firm, take a rx gig at any of the top boutiques.

Just my two cents

    • 1
Jun 17, 2016
levered.arb:

I think the idea of taking a MM over a BB isn't too farfetched, if you actually want to work in MM going forward. This applies whether P/E or banking.

If you don't want to work in the MM space, then UBS (or insert any other "low tier" BB) would still be better due to more relevant transaction work.

Same with distressed: If you want to be in a distressed HF or PE firm, take a rx gig at any of the top boutiques.

Just my two cents

This is sound.

Jun 17, 2016
levered.arb:

I think the idea of taking a MM over a BB isn't too farfetched, if you actually want to work in MM going forward. This applies whether P/E or banking.

If you don't want to work in the MM space, then UBS (or insert any other "low tier" BB) would still be better due to more relevant transaction work.

Same with distressed: If you want to be in a distressed HF or PE firm, take a rx gig at any of the top boutiques.

Just my two cents

I agree, there are certainly strong MM banks with good dealflow that would tempt kids away from a weaker group at a BB (particularly if the end goal is MM PE).

Also,isn't this thread really just a "rank the banks" thread in disguise? i.e. "I'd pick XYZ MM banks over ABC BB's, but not CDE MM banks."

Maybe a better/more interesting question would be: Would you take a regional BB offer over a MM offer in HQ? Again, very group dependent and generalized, but then again, these questions always are.

Jun 17, 2016

thanks for the input so far!

Jun 17, 2016

Moelis & Co. is really good. They'll never be a bulge bracket because Ken wouldn't allow it. But the things they've done in five and a half years goes to show how much of investment banking is based on relationships and long-term client focus. The way that shop is run and with the resources they have, the bankers from every other firm, I would consider it 5th or 6th on a list of banks.

Jun 17, 2016

Depends entirely on office. GS, CS, MS, and JPM west coast offices are, in many cases, equal or better than the NYC offices for PE exits. Many regional offices are extremely weak though.

Jun 17, 2016
distressedmergers:

Depends entirely on office. GS, CS, MS, and JPM west coast offices are, in many cases, equal or better than the NYC offices for PE exits. Many regional offices are extremely weak though.

My understanding is that different offices are only better for very specific industries (i.e. houston-energy or chicago-industrials) across banks. However, for the most part, a good rule of thumb is that a firm's HQ city is the most reputable (which is why NYC is so sought).

So although there are small variances amongst offices, I feel that shouldn't affect the big picture.

Jun 17, 2016
black mamba22:
distressedmergers:

Depends entirely on office. GS, CS, MS, and JPM west coast offices are, in many cases, equal or better than the NYC offices for PE exits. Many regional offices are extremely weak though.

My understanding is that different offices are only better for very specific industries (i.e. houston-energy or chicago-industrials) across banks. However, for the most part, a good rule of thumb is that a firm's HQ city is the most reputable (which is why NYC is so sought).

So although there are small variances amongst offices, I feel that shouldn't affect the big picture.

Confused by your comment. Yes, the regional offices are almost exclusively coverage.

Houston: O&G
San Francisco: Technology/Healthcare
Chicago: Industrials

Coincidence or no, those groups are some of the best at GS/CS/MS/JPM, and place really well. Not really relevant that they're 'regional.' I don't think the GS TMT guy gives a shit that he's not working in 500 West when he gets his Silver Lake offer and watches his NY buddies all competing for the same 5 megafund spots at H&F.

Jun 17, 2016

I like the blue MMs the best, the classic milk chocolate taste in every bite. But given the choice between a bag of button-shaped candies and a thick chunky candy bar, I'll just take the Snickers.

    • 1
Jun 17, 2016

What about the regional middle market banks like Harris Williams, janney, Baird, etc.? are these names more in line with what the op was asking?

Jun 17, 2016

I think most people would consider Lazard, Evercore, Greenhill, and Moelis along with any BB offer seeing as how they offer just as much in the way of compensation/exit opps

Jun 17, 2016
nardar:

I think most people would consider Lazard, Evercore, Greenhill, and Moelis along with any BB offer seeing as how they offer just as much in the way of compensation/exit opps

Again, none of the banks listed here are MM boutiques.

Jun 17, 2016
nardar:

I think most people would consider Lazard, Evercore, Greenhill, and Moelis along with any BB offer seeing as how they offer just as much in the way of compensation/exit opps

ughhh

Jun 17, 2016

Interesting- I know someone who took top MM offer - think HLHZ, Blair, Baird over BB offer - CS, BAML due to interest in MM PE. What do you think about that? What about if he wanted HF? Would mid to lower tier BB be better than top MM?

Jun 17, 2016
AsianMonky:

Interesting- I know someone who took top MM offer - think HLHZ, Blair, Baird over BB offer - CS, BAML due to interest in MM PE. What do you think about that? What about if he wanted HF? Would mid to lower tier BB be better than top MM?

CS and BAML have tons of exits to MM PE, so I don't think that MM PE exits would be a relevant concern. Look, there are definitely exits from both, and if you have a strong preference for the team / work environment at a MM IB, by all means, go for it! However, as a practical matter, even low-tier BBs generally have more exits than MM banks. RX is an exception.

Jun 17, 2016
AsianMonky:

Interesting- I know someone who took top MM offer - think HLHZ, Blair, Baird over BB offer - CS, BAML due to interest in MM PE. What do you think about that? What about if he wanted HF? Would mid to lower tier BB be better than top MM?

I did the same thing. And i wanted peace of mind that i would be getting a bonus and not worry about being laid off. Call me stupid but im happy and thts what matters.

Jun 17, 2016

RX being an exception

Jun 17, 2016

I'm pretty sure HLHZ Rx places really well into distressed hf. I'm not too sure about Baird or Blair in regards to HF opportunities.

Jun 17, 2016
levered.arb:

I'm pretty sure HLHZ Rx places really well into distressed hf. I'm not too sure about Baird or Blair in regards to HF opportunities.

True, im from LA and know ppl in HL RX. HL FAS/Corp fin is pretty shitty, its sub most other MMs and only gets their name out their because its the same name as the RX arm...but yea if you're in HL RX specifically you'll get shots at HF, distressed funds and Mega Fund. An analyst in my superday specifically said he was interviewing at Carlyle lol

Jun 17, 2016

My friend chose Moelis over UBS / Credit Suisse IB.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

Jun 17, 2016
Ambani:

My friend chose Moelis over UBS / Credit Suisse IB.

Again, Moelis is not a MM bank.

Jun 17, 2016

Maybe we need to create a thread reminding what MM banks are? That really escalated quickly...

Jun 17, 2016

It really depends on the city. In Toronto for example, I would much rather work at a Canadian MM an a bulge bracket. RBC, CIBC, BMO > GS,CS, MS, BAML >>>> UBS

Dec 5, 2006

You got an extraordinarily tough job to get. CIBC is very solid. Don't get caught up in masturbating to BB or MM as many on this site and in college do. Just get there and perform. The money will come in and the opportunities will follow. But for right now, just feel blessed to be set already and have a damn good job.

And be sure to crack open a beer as well, nothing like partying on a Tuesday night when you've got a job already.

"To Know Me Is To Love Me"-Jebus Price

Jun 17, 2016

Can I be an engineer if I went to college for engineering?

Yus.

Dec 5, 2006

I'm drinkin one now

Jun 17, 2016

only if ur in ecm

how about top MM vs lower bb?

Jun 17, 2016

to clarify, mm is m&a and bb is coverage ibd (#1 on league table). problem is i like ppl from both groups and there are difft selling points:

mm
-only m&a, stronger dealflow per employee
-strong placement into mm pe

bb
-pitching, pitching pitching
-ohter products (some ECM/DCM)
-strong dealflow
-big big group

Jun 17, 2016

people is a huge factor. I'm guessing the top MM is WB? anyways I think having people who like you and will stick their neck out for you is a big factor, definitely makes the analyst life style less painful.

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Jun 17, 2016

jimbojones96, William Blair is definitely a well respected shop in the middle market.

To the original poster -- decide whether you're interested in working on large cap deals or MM deals and then go from there.

Jun 17, 2016

well jimbo if WB is not top, which firms are top?

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Jun 17, 2016

I chose BB but it's up to the person. It seems like op is already decided on mm though based on his pro and con list.

Jun 17, 2016

what are the top MM? Harris Williams, HLHZ, etc?

Jun 17, 2016

It seems to me that you might tend to get a little more involved in a deal at a MM firm than at a BB, but I could be completely wrong. First year analysts at my bank and a comparable MM firms are brought to every pitch (and actually asked to speak fairly often), they handle ALL of the modeling, they are actually able to voice their ideas for the main themes in marketing materials, they attend all management presentations, they are on the phone with potential buyers, etc.

For those of you at a BB, are you getting the same level of involvement?

Jun 17, 2016

thanks for the opinions guys.

in response to compbanker, i think all else equal, no one would choose midcap deals over large cap deals. i think the main selling point of the mm is the more comprehensive analyst experience (some of what longshot listed).

i was hoping that a bb analyst in a group that handles its own modelling could comment on the type of experience they got.

the reason i'm partial to the mm is cuz i think the numbers/models are all generally bullshit.

Dec 5, 2006

Don't worry about the pay CIBC pays street.

Exit opps are quite different, but who cares... don't get caught up in exit opps unless u don't like banking 12 months in. I am rounding out a third year thought I'd stay to associate, but decided to head for opps

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Jun 17, 2016

Are MM boutique banks easier to get offers at versus a big name NYC bank?

Jun 17, 2016

the boutique bank she got an offer in recruits in only 3-4 schools, so it's harder to get in if you arent a target. some people go there because they couldn't get BB, some just like it

  • movetofinance
  •  Jun 17, 2016

ive seen a couple of posts from you. seems like you have a lot of friends who have a lot of decisions about banking/finance who come to you. interesting.

Jun 17, 2016

Yea, my friends talk about stuff like this a lot - generally we're not really happy about our internships. Thought it would be easier to ask a question instead of everyone sign up for accounts. Your thoughts on the offers?

Jun 17, 2016

Capital Markets, period. IB sucks bizalls. Even with the promise of POSSIBLY making it rain cash working in PE, IB still sucks. S&T all day every day.

Jun 17, 2016

question: if you intern at say a top bb/respected MM bank your junior year, and say realize you dont want to do IB, do you have the option/feasibility of getting into S&T, and more specifically a sales desk?

Jun 17, 2016

yes waltersobchek you can. now don't hijack my thread :)

Jun 17, 2016

also, i heard GCM at MS allows ppl to move from GCM to IBD if they want (or vice versa).

Which is better for exit opps?

Jun 17, 2016

markets are cooling. take the top BB offer.

if the market hits the floor the big guys' mds will pitch against the boutique's mds.

if you ran a firm and you're ipo'ing. do you want GS or Thomas Weisel left lead. even though it costs more, you want GS.

hedge yourself.

plus the weaker market means better hours if your group is legit.

Jun 17, 2016

dude, boutique's are gaining big market share in invesmtment banking...dont underestimate them

Jun 17, 2016

I would say if you have both options, you should go to a BB. You can never go wrong going to a BB in my opinion. I did an internship with a MM before. I observed analysts getting to run the deals by himself...

However, deal sizes are smaller, and the training at BB is top class, compared to a MM.

Jun 17, 2016

BB, especially if you can get into one of the BB's strong regional offices. In such a case, you're guaranteed good deal flow and you get to avoid the frat rush-esque process of New York group selection and risk ending up in a crappy group. By "crappy group," I mean one that will not open doors for PE (assuming that's your goal).

MMs are a crapshoot. If you're talking about Jefferies, Baird, certain groups in Piper, and the like, you'll have some decent exit opps. Bear in mind, however, that PE shops, even MM ones, go after the BBs first.

You could end up at a bank that claims to be MM on its website, but is actually quite shitty and won't give you good experience.

Jun 17, 2016

if you are comparing something between DB,WF,etc to jef,Baird,hw,. It will really depend on which group you will be placed in because they have the same rep to PE guys' eyes.

As whateveritatakes stated, if you are in a good regional group (say...db tech, Barclays NRG), then by all means take the BB. But if you in a good MM group (jef tech, jef healthcare, jef lefin or hw richmond, Baird chicago) compared to a crapshoot to some nyc group, i would take the MM spot

Jun 17, 2016

It seems the group is very important and there are some MMs that will give you more experience than a BB but you'll sacrifice on training. Good question though!

Jun 17, 2016

You all kidding right? I talked with a number of ex-BB analysts who lateraled to boutiques (both MM and elite). They all say that the experience at boutiques blows BB experience out of water. That being said, you cannot go wrong with a brand name.

There is literally no difference between a $25MM M&A deal and a $1BB M&A deal.

whateverittakes has no idea wtf he is talking about.

Jun 17, 2016

No, I do. I'm at a BB, and in a good group.

You're not always guaranteed superior experience at a MM.

Literally no difference between a small and a large M&A deal? Based on the sheer amount of components of a larger company's operating model (e.g. more stores, more unique business units, etc.), I'd argue differently.

No need for the hyperbole.

Jun 17, 2016

To be honest you're putting the cart before the horse here. The job market is tough right now and no undergrad student is in a position to be excluding a company from their job/interview search because it might put them at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for an MBA at least three years from now. Being unemployed kills your MBA chances, not working at a MM vs. a BB.

When you have offers from both is when you think about stuff like this, and yes more often than not people will go with the BB because of stronger name recognition/network. Right now you should be focusing on putting as many high quality applications out there as possible, studying hard for finals, and practicing your interviews.

Jun 17, 2016
SECfinance:

When you have offers from both is when you think about stuff like this, and yes more often than not people will go with the BB because of stronger name recognition/network. Right now you should be focusing on putting as many high quality applications out there as possible, studying hard for finals, and practicing your interviews.

Definitely agreed with the above. I know more than a few people (all from semi-target undergrads) who did stints at well-known MM shops and have gone on to HBS and then respectable PE stints. Much of it has to do with the quality of the work experience you get, your undergraduate background, what organizations/activities you devote your time to outside of work, and the GMAT.

Jun 17, 2016

Thanks for the advice. I was actually asking because I have been fortunate enough to land an offer at a well known MM where I loved the culture and the people. I just wanted to know if taking an internship and hopefully job there would seriously hurt my chances of making it to at a top tier business school. Thanks again.

Jun 17, 2016

how would a top MM firm like HW/Jefferies fare in terms of MBA chances vs a lower tier BB? this is very broad base question so assume all else equal, only difference would be name on resume.

Jun 17, 2016

It's tough to say. If your ultimate goal is PE, both paths will give you the opportunity to get there. Choose the one you're most interested in or like the people the most. Also, in the current environment, you may want to place a heavy emphasis on job security and surviving your two years.

I work at a middle market M&A shop and our placement into PE was nearly 100% until recently as a lot of PE shops love M&A bankers.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

Jun 17, 2016

I interned for a pretty good sized PE fund last summer when they where raising a round of funding & looking for junior people. I helped the admin sort the resumes (we got a flood of them): m&a/referenced on one pile & pretty much everything else into the not getting a phone interview pile. We then sorted them into deal size worked on & educational background. If you can get down range on some good deals at this shop go for it.

Jun 17, 2016

westfald, just out of curiosity, how did you sort them based on educational bg? what were the groupings like?

Jun 17, 2016

Thanks for your responses - pretty sure I'm going to go with M&A.

Jun 17, 2016

I'd say go with the M&A shop, unless the industry group has a lot of deal flow and is a strong player in the PE space(strong player in the industry on a bank ranking basis and has a PE presence in terms of reputation and past deal exposure), you plan to stay for 2-3 years, and you would have the opportunity to transfer groups if you are not getting enough modeling experience, to the M&A group/Lev Fin, after 1-2 years. Realistically, the M&A shop is probably a better fit, although it could be interesting to know what the exit opportunities have been, historically, from the boutique.

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Jun 17, 2016

M&A, though if you want to do Mega-funds it depends on which BB it is. MM M&A will usually place you in MM PE.

Jun 17, 2016

In an M&A group you'll get experience across a broad range of industries. If you get good deal flow, you will have something to offer regardless of what industries the fund focuses in.

Jun 17, 2016

...is the M&A shop a total chop shop or is it a legit MM bank? Also, is it general M&A or M&A within an industry? You want to make sure you'll have actual deals to work on or else your experience will be dog shit. I work at a MM bank, and I've gotten to work on a lot of deals and have some good stuff on my resume (buyside and sellside experience), but I still can see how a BB name goes a long way.

Jun 17, 2016

k2, They placed more emphasis on Ivy backgrounds & good targets (they interviewed four guys from UT & A&M's finance programs one engineer, & considered a couple guys from Berkley, Mich, Virginia) but long as they we're from one of those schools & had the smarts (SAT scores, grades not too huge a deal, they didn't even ask for transcripts for guys who came from any recognizable firms). Deal experience and recommendation from people they new was pretty much number one. Also this fund was by no means a megafund, but they still had a pretty intense portfolio & their LP's were some big players, so team dynamic was really important & they want to brag to their LPs their guys from top schools. They ended up taking an associate & at first 2 analysts but just went with one. The associate actually had his Masters from Stanford in Financial Math & worked at a S&T energy/commodities (the firm was/is niched primarily in energy & this guy knows the market inside & out) fundamental hedge fund up in Canada & New York but had two years at BB M&A. The analyst they took actually beat out a bunch of Ivy guys w/ good deal experience & he was from Rutger's but he completely smashed the GMAT, worked on a huge natural gas deal I guess in NJ (the deal I mean) and got a big recommendation from one of our GP's former colleagues who oversaw the deal on the buy-side.

Jun 17, 2016

So the analyst's gmat score was a factor in the evaluation even though it was a pre-MBA hire?

Jun 17, 2016

Really only because he had taken it right after undergrad. Maybe his SAT's weren't so hot, because he had that instead of his SAT's.

Jun 17, 2016

a) SF is not going to be some kind of bizarre environment if you're coming from new england - people there are educated, they're not trashy like they are in SoCal. The finance industry out there is full of the fratty types you will find anywhere else.

b) Go with a bulge-bracket firm. You can always move to Boston later. It wouldn't be much fun to start in Boston and then have to watch your Boston exit opps get snatched up by former BB analysts.

[edit: for some reason, because I edited this, it sent it to the very bottom of the thread]

Jun 17, 2016

As far as Jefco goes, would I get a look in a few years from New England PE shops like Bain, Berkshire, Thomas H. Lee, Providence Equity, etc? And since I'd be working in San Fran, will working on the left coast hurt my chances of getting a PE job in Boston, despite having better name recognition than Jefferies? Ultimately I want to work in Boston or Providence so I figure maybe being closer geographically could play in my favor at Jefferies vs. at CS.

Jun 17, 2016

SoCal = trashy? Perhaps you've been spending a bit too much time in the inland empire...

Jun 17, 2016

smuguy: No. I'm also referring to trashy LA county and trashy Orange county.

Jun 17, 2016

I am from New England as well, so what you leave your safe zone for a little, it will be okay. Also, from the sound of your post it seems as if you have sold yourself on Jefferies and looking for someone to either confirm this sell or give you a reason to reconsider CS. Go with your gut/heart Boston seems the one right for you.

Jun 17, 2016

Actually I'm kind of leaning towards CS because I want to try something new, it's just a big change and like I said, Jefferies would be the safe choice. Good place, good guys, good location, but CS could be a great place, good guys, good location (for the short term at least). Just trying to get a better feel about the culture esp. at CS as well as exit opps at both places.

Jun 17, 2016

To each his own I suppose, though I would put both NY and SF in an equivalently trashy category.

Jun 17, 2016

smuguy, Manhattan is one of the classiest places in the country, but I wouldn't expect someone who went to SMU to get this. Let's just say there is a reason the Rockefellers, duPonts, etc have a place on the upper east side but don't have a place in southern California.

LA is full of a) uneducated douchebags who worship anyone with even a minor connection to "Hollywood status" while scoffing at everyone else, and b) uneducated douchebags who could barely afford the bus ride to get there so that they could "make it in LA."

Jun 17, 2016

Ok, all trashiness aside, anybody have a feel for the lifestyle/culture at CS San Fran? Deal flow is good from what I can gather, but how about the hours? And exit opps? Any help would be a huge plus.

Jun 17, 2016

It's smug, not SMU. Although in retrospect I should have gone with something more clever, like inserting an "MD" into my name.

Not that itaEUs important, but I live in classy Manhattan.

Jun 17, 2016

smuguy, with regard to your comment about the "MD" in my name, perhaps you aren't familiar with my reputation and the fact that I am a psychiatrist and went to med school at SUNY Downstate. See http://www.drmarkklein.blogspot.com/

Jun 17, 2016

bump-

deadline is approaching and I'm really unsure of this. anyone have ideas about the opportunities coming out of jefferies? if i can get a chance to work at a solid p/e shop coming out of jefferies vs. cs i'd take jefferies because it's close to home and i really like the guys working there, while i have nobody i know in san fran and do not know the people at cs sf well.

its hard to pass up any bb offer, much less one of the 3-4 best tech firms, but quality of life is important to me. i'm not driven to try to get into kkr or bain at all costs like some, but i do want to find a good place to work coming out of my two years in banking. is working at jefferies bounding me to mediocrity in the future (ie- low chance of getting into a very good b-school or p/e shop)?

Jun 17, 2016

CS SF office is very good. You'll get great opportunities there and even if the market is bad, they are so tight-knit that if you do good work your MD's will get you contacts with great firms. Very good placement out of that office. One thing I've noticed in buyside recruiting is that brand name and MD reccommendations are the two biggest factors (next to personal performance during interviews) in getting hired.

Jun 17, 2016

jefferies in boston is very strong in tech M&A. they've done some very solid MM deals over the last 6 months ($1.8B lbo of Kronos, $800MM lbo of Vertrue and various others of this caliber). if your offer with CS-SF is in their M&A group, you will obviously have the opportunity to work on plenty of large-scale, landmark deals within the technology industry and your phone will be ringing off the hook with calls from head hunters recruiting for bulge bracket pe shops by the end of your first year. however, if your offer is in their corp fin group and you spend most of your time doing IPOs (which is considered much less relevant for the buyside), your chances of landing a top tier PE job will probably be less than if you worked at the boston office of jefferies (assuming you do a good job and have earned the respect of your MDs).

since it seems like you are leaning towards jefferies boston office, i'll reassure you that your exit options will be plentiful as long as you're a strong analyst and build a strong relationship with the MDs. however, if your offer is within CS-SF's M&A side and your ultimate goal is to get into a bulge PE, you'd be foolish to pass up the opportunity.

Jun 17, 2016

Thanks for the help guys, I ended up taking the CS SF job for a new opportunity away from home and the exit opps/office lifestyle. Probably going to work in M&A but we haven't picked yet so I'm not 100% certain.

Jun 17, 2016

congrats! really good group, had an opportunity to interview with them last year and they seemed genuinely nice guys

Jun 17, 2016

This isn't meant to be an insult, but it's likely because we haven't heard of them before. You are most aware of your direct competition (ie who are you fighting for a share of the pie) and the names that come up as your counterparties.

Jun 17, 2016

Go for the BB, much better network and opportunities if u wanna pursue them elsewhere. Go big or go home.

Jun 17, 2016

Everyone knows MS, GS, and so on but people outside of energy most likely wouldn't know Simmons. Simmons is unique in that it places very well into natural resource PE and business school so in that situation the BB really only provides a bigger name. However, most boutiques/MMs excluding the elite boutiques don't place as well in PE and business school.

Jun 17, 2016

What about other boutiques that are energy focused

Scotia Waterous, Tudor Pickering, others in Houston, ect.

do places like these place into nat. resource PE

Jun 17, 2016

I have heard Scotia and Tudor are both great groups. I havent seen people from those groups at First Reserve, Riverstone, NGP, and Quantum though. Maybe they place well at smaller funds that I dont know about.

Jun 17, 2016

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Jun 17, 2016

Deutsche Bank has a big energy presence in Houston.

Jun 17, 2016

-

Jun 17, 2016

what are your hours like at a MM?

Jun 17, 2016

It depends on the MM and dealflow

Jun 17, 2016

My hours at MM (aka regional boutique) are roughly 9AM - 11PM.

Jun 17, 2016

.

Jun 17, 2016

TXU type deals, and any other major deal in the billions are not going to happen. Advanced modelling for the next 2 years will not exist as major buyout/M&A will be rare, IMO... Alot of the modelling even at BB will focus on large mid-market deals... A balance sheet links to a CF statement the same for a large buyout as it does for a mid-market one... the real difference comes in the degree of line items you stick in there... You should take any job that even has exposure to modelling because the detailed stuff you'll learn at higher levels anyway or later at a PE shop...

as for training, well it's either they give you an overview of how it all links up or you learn it on the job... it's a question of when you learn it, not whether you learn it... And btw, you'll forget half the stuff from training and relearn it when you try it yourself..

Jun 17, 2016

Modeling is pretty standard across the board...the major difference is the quality, comprehensiveness (or complete absence) of analyst training programs at various MMs

Jun 17, 2016

Depends on the MM shop. Some of the more established MM shops do touch deals involving public clients, some of the smaller MM shops do not. You have to realize that even the BB's do many many "middle market" deals (500mm to 1.5bn in TEV). In fact, most of the deals you do will be in that range, even in a bull market. There simply aren't enough elephant sized deals out there (and the ones that are there are sought after by every BB anyways).

So I'd say that on the whole, while you may get very complex modeling experience at a reputable and established MM, you're more likely to get exposure to complex products and situations when you're dealing with transactions involving public companies at a BB.

Jun 17, 2016

take IB at an MM over finance at a BB. Finance is back (middle?) office and you will not learn that much. you will learn a task and will repeat it over and over without gaining much knowledge or insight.

Jun 17, 2016

My offer is for middle office. The Finance position I am talking about is going to be mostly reporting work, budgeting, maybe some forecasting. Depending on the bank, the Finance Division has management groups (eg IB Management) control, tax, strategy and planning etc.

One other thing: location is kind of important for me. Most of the MM are not located in NYC just because of the nature of their clients, and I kinna want to go to NYC.

Jun 17, 2016
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