Comments (117)

 
Oct 6, 2011 - 2:28am

Absolutely it would. Here's why:

-M&A focused, so you don't have to deal with all those shitty capital raises.
-Pay is above street.
-Excellent culture.
-They're still a private partnership, so management isn't tied to stupid fucking shareholder concerns. (Admittedly, this last one is just a personal preference.)

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
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Jun 7, 2012 - 5:29pm

Exit Ops are good, but the people at centerview look to hire people for the long term
that said, few people wind up leaving, and even if you do, you might have problems getting a reference letter

my friend who left centerview a year ago now attends m7- he said that it has a pretty good rep everywhere since the analyst intake is only a handful of people each year (5-10)

I'm not concerned with the very poor -Mitt Romney
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Jun 7, 2012 - 5:30pm

Know a guy who did a year there before moving to a top buy-side fund. Centerview is well regarded, but they do have less of a 2 year and out culture, and whatever consequences come with that.

Jun 7, 2012 - 5:33pm

Most of this information is so wrong. Centerview has ~15 analysts/class. They don't make $200k in their first year, unless you include their massive signing bonus. If you include the signing bonus in first year comp, pay barely increases in the 2nd and 3rd years. That said, comp is still excellent, and is definitely top of the Street. They usually come in ~$20k (or more) above BX, which is #2 on the Street.

Sweatshop reputation is true. However, analysts are usually assigned to accounts, so if the account is quiet, the lifestyle can actually be quite good.

It's still too early to know about the exit opps. The analyst program is 3 years. One guy went to KKR, but that was the year the megafunds went after the middle market shops -- so a bunch of people who would have never gone to megafunds under normal circumstances wound up with offers.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 5:34pm

Not sure why you wouldn't include the signing bonus. It's still real money. Happy to take it off your hands if you disagree. Secondly, how is BX top of the street when they pay 70/10? Their bonus surely isn't in the 100 range.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 5:37pm

So other than their ridiculous signing bonus, they pay about ~150k all in? I would have figured they paid more, considering how selective they are...

Heard both gugg and evr paid ~150k all in for first years while laz paid around ~140k, which doesn't really seem different from CV other than their signing bonus (which doesn't seem as significant once you take into consideration that you have to stay for 3 years at CV unless you want a 35k clawback).

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 5:43pm

So much terrible information going on in here it is ridiculous.

Centerview has a signing bonus of 50k- as was said. If you leave before year 3 you have to return a good chunk of that 50k. Base is 80k and bonus has been 100% of bonus the ,last few years- that puts all in year 1 at around 210k if you put the signing all in year 1. If your average BB analyst is making 15k sign, 70k base, and 50k bonus (maybe high), then that is 135 v. 210 - pretty big difference (obviously this lessens after year 1, but is still in the 30-50k range)

It may be a sweatshop, but there is not a single place where you should "expect 100-105 hours a week," so that is just absolute nonsense. This has been reiterated on here time and time again, but no banker in any group is working an average of 100+ hours- it just doesn't happen. 100 hour weeks happen, but they are not the norm in any group I have ever heard of. On the contrary, I've heard the culture is fairly decent for banking, so not sure if the sweatshop rumors are even true.

Exits are still too early to say. The people I know there are either 1. still there or 2. have gone on to top business schools after 3 years with the firm. Yes, they sent one to KKR- there were also special circumstances surrounding this placement, so I wouldn't look at it as a good example of CV's placement. Generally speaking, they have expanded the analyst class each year, so there have not really been a ton of analysts to start at CV and now leave looking for PE exits. If I had to say (and this is a lot of speculation), the exits would be fine but not currently as strong as their counterparts (Moelis, Evercore, Greenhill, etc.). I would think that this would change as they send more into the recruiting cycle, but it is difficult to say.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 5:44pm

Black Jack:

So much terrible information going on in here it is ridiculous.

Centerview has a signing bonus of 50k- as was said. If you leave before year 3 you have to return a good chunk of that 50k. Base is 80k and bonus has been 100% of bonus the ,last few years- that puts all in year 1 at around 210k if you put the signing all in year 1. If your average BB analyst is making 15k sign, 70k base, and 50k bonus (maybe high), then that is 135 v. 210 - pretty big difference (obviously this lessens after year 1, but is still in the 30-50k range)

It may be a sweatshop, but there is not a single place where you should "expect 100-105 hours a week," so that is just absolute nonsense. This has been reiterated on here time and time again, but no banker in any group is working an average of 100+ hours- it just doesn't happen. 100 hour weeks happen, but they are not the norm in any group I have ever heard of. On the contrary, I've heard the culture is fairly decent for banking, so not sure if the sweatshop rumors are even true.

Exits are still too early to say. The people I know there are either 1. still there or 2. have gone on to top business schools after 3 years with the firm. Yes, they sent one to KKR- there were also special circumstances surrounding this placement, so I wouldn't look at it as a good example of CV's placement. Generally speaking, they have expanded the analyst class each year, so there have not really been a ton of analysts to start at CV and now leave looking for PE exits. If I had to say (and this is a lot of speculation), the exits would be fine but not currently as strong as their counterparts (Moelis, Evercore, Greenhill, etc.). I would think that this would change as they send more into the recruiting cycle, but it is difficult to say.

Surprised by your claim that "No banker in any group averages 100+ hours a week."

9am-1am M-Th is 16 hours a day x 4 days, = 64 hours
Friday 9-10, = 13 hours
Sat 10am-9pm, = 11 hours
Sunday, 12pm-12am, = 12 hours

That's 100 hours right there, and I would consider this a very solid M-F (no all-nighters!), kinda shitty Saturday, and average Sunday.

When do your friends get off work? Genuinely curious.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 5:46pm

Those weekend hours are more than "kinda shitty" IMO

Obviously this stuff is all subjective, and we have our own experience and know people with their own experiences, but this is what I would view as an average week

9am-12am M-Th- = 60 hours
Friday 9am-9pm= 12 hours (both here and the above are a bit nitpicky)
Saturday- 11am-5pm = 6 hours
Sunday - 11am-8pm= 9 hours

This is not looking at my own schedule, FWIW.

Puts you mid 80s, which is what I would consider to be pretty standard across most banks and groups that I am familiar with. Those are very loose 9am start times as well

@kidflash- you are taking a 10 week sample size, and additionally a 10 week sample size where you are without a doubt putting in extra hours for the sake of securing an offer. Wouldn't generalize SA hours too often to FT (sometimes much better and sometimes worse). Mine for example were significantly better than FT.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 5:51pm

If you are in college please stop posting about hours. 100 hour weeks are entirely possible. It's very hard to tell the mean/median. Some people are consistently leaving the office at 2 AM and working weekends, and some are leaving at 11 PM and working one weekend day. It all depends.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 5:54pm

Is Centerview the best Investment Bank? (Originally Posted: 02/25/2016)

Hello WSO community,

Hoping for someone to explain how Centerview Partners does so well. I was looking over their transactions list and it seems like over half of all mega-deals have Centerview Partners involved which is crazy considering they only have around 100 bankers. Is it fair to say they are the best performing investment bank in the industry? Their transactions list even make Lazard and Evercore look average...any info about the firm would be much appreciated!

Thanks for the help!

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:00pm

I interviewed there for an Associate+ role. Great place, but kids in school need to stop masturbating over it.

  • They are retainer on big clients, and do big deals, but those deals are staffed extremely lean (1 analyst, 1 associate, etc). I talked to plenty of people there who said they haven't done a deal in over a year. On the big deals they are co-advisor and sometimes am reduced to a relationship role.

  • If youre not on the Pfizer, Kraft, etc account, could literally be pitching for two years. Which isnt a terrible thing given the "smart" level of pitches and deep dives they do, and you learn a TON about corp fin, but I rather have closed deal exp.

  • Pay isnt so far above EB median, signing bonus for analysts is larger, but its not like youre going to be balling over your other EB, or BB, banking buddies. EB pay > BB pay.

  • They have a lot of structural issues the younger or recently spun-off EBs (PWP, Guggenheim, PJT) have.

  • Exit opps are good.

Array
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Jun 7, 2012 - 6:01pm

It's getting hard to differentiate the shitposts and the posts by people who just are unfamiliar with finance. I interviewed with them for SA, on-campus, but exited the process because I accepted an offer with another firm. I know 6 analyst-level people there and another 5 who left in the last 3-4 years.

Centerview is a very good firm and gets good deal flow because they have partners with strong connections in certain spaces (Consumer & HC come to mind, although I'm sure there are others), many of whom were poached from BBs since 2011 or so- maybe even earlier.

For analysts you're staffed on accounts as other people have said, which can be good or bad depending on which accounts you are staffed on. Exits are good but they have a 3 year program, and God help you if you choose to leave before those 3 years are up, a la GS. I know two guys at BX PE who did their 3 years and a few others at other MF/top MM PE firms, so they can obviously place just fine.

I think when you compare them to Lazard, Evercore, Moelis, (PJT?), etc. they stack up closely but ultimately aren't as good. It's a very strong shop, but they definitely don't make the other EBs "look average".

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:05pm

I think what really makes CVP stand out and able to take on these big deals is the trust and relationships they have with clients. CVP doesn't have other peripheral services that might be a conflict of interest, they have a HUGE focus on confidentiality, and they really focus on long term client management. The senior bankers all have fantastic connections in the business world. At Centerview, the client comes first in every way, shape or form and that is the most underrated thing in a world that is becoming increasingly distrustful of banks.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:04pm

I know someone there who is literally a slave. Would never join that place no matter the pay prestige or exits

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Best Response
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:13pm

Compete against these guys often and have plenty of friends that have gone through the program. Can vouch for the sentiment that in terms of deal size, CVP is the anti-MOE. Think average deal size of ~$1-2B which is absurd. Their existing relationships in Consumer and HC are fantastic; poaching Pfizer from Laz was pretty sweet.

In terms of financial analysis, they really don't consider themselves spreadsheet monkeys and think of themselves as strategic advisers with some finance chops. Every bank says they're willing to tell a client a deal is bad but I've seen these guys (and the best LAZ/BX-PJT) people actually do it. That approach (I think the poster who talked about "smart pitches" alluded to it) endears them to management and helps keep big-name clients who can do their own Excel stuff coming back. In the consumer space, their top guys in terms of pure advisory are really ahead of the curve in terms of seeing where industries are going and creating value; probably only Laz, GS, and maybe some MS top people have as good of a rep on the quality of the advice given in the Cons and HC spaces.

Obviously that can be both good and bad from an analyst perspective. The client list on the resume, the deal size, the complexity, the closeness of the analyst to the deal dynamics, etc. are all good things and great for learning, but don't make for rapid-fire closing time. Then again, MOE prioritizes volume and closing and their analysts (even w/ great placement) come out of there like zombies because of the lifestyle impact. Pick what's best for you. The CVP flow is really due to, again, the need to map things out strategically and do the deep dives that are their trademark, and some of that non-transaction experience that's being done on retainer can be pretty interesting. I don't think the "staffing analysts to accounts" thing is that much of a factor because honestly who doesn't do that? Maybe it's different at BB's but every boutique is pretty loath to take analysts off company "assignments" just because a particular deliverable is done or the process has reached a different stage.

From what my friends have said, the 3-year commitment is pretty hard, so some have joked that the ridiculous signing bonus (the rumored number you hear is probably true) and slightly above-street pay (the rumored number here is probably not true) is a bribe to take a year of your life. Once you've done a year, the place is pretty open to you recruiting to leave after your third year; LinkedIn and conversations both tell me that exits for those who choose this route are pretty fantastic and, understandably, more PE-oriented than HF.

Those who drink the strategic adviser Kool-Aid probably stay on at the bank more than similar programs at other firms (can't confirm whether it's direct or through Biz school) and you'll see some top-flight exits to CFO-type roles at startups or BusDevs at pretty cool places as well.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:14pm

What does MOE stand for? Thanks for the info tho, that was great.

"I did it for me...I liked it...I was good at it. And I was really... I was alive."
 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:20pm

I don't know much, other than they lifted Marc Puntus and Sam Green from Miller Buckfire to start the group a few years ago. I think more MB MDs have left to join the Centerview team, so I'm sure it's pretty strong.

 
Oct 6, 2011 - 11:52am

I had no idea.. how much exactly? Just curious.

At the end of my interview they told me to save the date for Superday, but ultimately I wasn't invited!!

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:22pm

Centerview Partners career or Megafund? (Originally Posted: 01/29/2013)

Hey all,

I am a long time spectator of this website and am very thankful for all of the valuable information that has been posted. I am currently a senior in college and will be starting a full time career as an IB analyst at a 2nd tier firm, think: (RBS, WF, Jef, UBS, Roths, RBS). I am very excited to start my career. I know I should not try to plan too far ahead but like most of you I am a type A target school guy that can't help but to try and plan ahead or atleast inform myself going forward.

I am curious to know how comp and lifestyle compares for one who plans to be a career banker at a top boutique like Centerview that encourages their employees to stay or a top megafund that recruits from the best (MS/GS). Not just starting salary but as you are promoted up to the MD spot. Can anyone lay that out? I think a lot of us younger guys would love to know the differences.

Ideally I would like to take one of two routes:

1) Lateral over to a Centerview type place and make a career out of IB

2) Lateral over to a top BB and go thru PE recruiting to attempt to land a spot at a top Megafund (KKR, TPG, BX)

I truly understand how difficult either of these routes are but who goes through life as a finance guy shooting for anything but the stars?

Again I realize I have a long way to go I am just very curious to udnerstand differences in comp and lifestyle between these two routes. And I am sure other inexperienced guys and gals are wondering the same.

Thank you!

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:23pm

Because many fewer people want to stay in banking, I don't think a lateral would be all that difficult- look at the bios of some of the associates at Centerview- many of them came from significantly lesser firms (HSBC for example). I'm assuming you are at WF, UBS, or RBS (the other 2 are better firms and if I were at either of them I wouldn't lump them with WF/RBS)- I'm sure you could still lateral to a GS/MS but you would likely miss MF recruiting, and it wouldn't be worth it. A top boutique lateral- Centerview, Greenhill, Evercore- would be the easier path is my bet. Interested to hear what other people have to say.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:25pm

Most analysts at BBs will never get either of the opportunities you discussed, and it's not for lack of trying. What you should be asking is, "How difficult is it to lateral?" not, "How can I choose between to absolute-best-case-scenario-opportunities?" I'm not saying you'll never get these chances, but engaging in hypotheticals like the one you posted isn't necessarily constructive for you.

Anyway, it sounds like the lack of 'preftige' at your future job is freaking you out. If it's UBS, I think you have reason to worry (LAYOFFS!). But if it's not, and I were in your shoes, I'd relax, and spend this semester drinking. You have a great job. Stop trying to find a new one before you start your current one. You might love it there and decide lateraling isn't for you. And for the record, I've heard WF will absolutely make a 3rd year/associate promote available if you're good, if that's your bank.

 
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Jun 7, 2012 - 6:31pm

Those who have heard of Centerview (or any of the partners) take them (VERY) seriously but I get the impression that quite a few people don't know who they are. I have heard (from a Centerview second-year) that the hours are way better than BB and the culture is pretty chill (small shop, personal feel).

Here's a snippet from a CNNMoney article earlier this year:

"Perhaps the most relevant comparison is to Centerview Partners, another new boutique whose name partners include Robert Pruzan, once president of Wasserstein Perella, and Stephen Crawford, who was briefly co-president of Morgan Stanley until his boss and supporter, Philip Purcell, was pushed out (Perella quit the firm two weeks after Crawford's promotion). Open for business a month after Perella, but with a lot less fanfare, Centerview has done just four deals, but one of them is the $46 billion spinoff of Kraft (Charts) by Altria, and that's gotten them plenty of attention with a lot smaller overhead - just four partners and 30 professionals.

"We're having a blast," says Crawford. "The advisory business could not be stronger. It was a fortuitous time to start a boutique." So one would think."

http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/24/news/companies/perellaweinberg.fortune/…

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:34pm

Comp: 1st Year Analyst Base is $85k, I don't have stats on bonuses. Signing bonus if you sign as a summer analyst is $50k which is slightly insane.

Culture: Fantastic. The culture is very friendly - everyone goes out together, drinks together, eats lunch together. Associates and principals included sometimes! They want career bankers so they only hire people with personalities who are confident - no weird pure number crunchers. Very fun bank to work. The founders/CEO's know everyone's names, even the interns.

Lifestyle: Its banking, the hours are bad, but it also depends what deals you are on. If you get one of the multi billion dollar giants, you are going to be grinding. CVP is different from other banks in that it is account based and a lot of these accounts are advisory, not pure M&A. If the accounts you are staffed on are slow, your work is going to be slow for a couple of weeks until they pick up or until you get staffed on another account. So it really depends on what accounts you are on. The best analysts get the biggest, busiest deals.

I think the best testament to the culture is that every single NY SA accepted and didn't even shop around and half of last year's 3rd year analyst class stayed to be associates. Those numbers are unheard of.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:38pm

One thing I would point out re: bonus, is that at you have to pay back the gross number if you leave before the 3-year analyst program ends. The account-based model is definitely unique to Centerview and I have heard a similar description from analysts who I know work there about hours being dependent on their individual accounts.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:40pm

Centerview Exit Opps (Originally Posted: 03/06/2010)

Obvs a great boutique, people put it right up there with EVR, GHL, BX M&A, PWP etc. Has Centerview graduated its first analyst class yet? I know its a three year program as opposed to the original two years, but anyone have any insight into where they've placed (PE/HFs)? Seems like a teeny, tiny class too a la GHL.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:41pm

I believe their analyst classes are smaller than Greenhill's actually. Their 08 entry class had 3 people. 09 had 6 or 7. Not positive about PE/HF exit ops, which I'm sure are great considering the caliber of their partners (wouldn't be surprised if people landed consumer/general industrials related mega fund gigs), but they did send 2 kids to HBS directly last year (Source: Associate there now who moved over from Merrill Lynch). Keep in mind though that they only recruit from HYPW, so the HBS stat could just be attributed to the caliber of the individuals themselves, not necessarily the firm.

I think Centerview is pretty unique in how they are expanding. It seems like they really want to keep everything tight knit. They have not hired nearly as many people as a Perella or Moelis but the hirings they have made have been quality. I think Alan Schwartz almost went there before going to Guggenheim. The Healthcare team from Merrill (Alan Hartman) and Tech team from UBS LA (David St. Jean who was part of the golden era with Raich, Webber, Stewart and the bunch) are also excellent additions.

If anyone could shed some light on how the graduating analyst class is doing, that would be great.

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:43pm

bunkerbanker:
jimbojones you are a fucking moron. can one of the mods ban him please.

I second that.

-------------------------------------------------- "Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, I do NOT do that thing." -Dwight Schrute, "The Office"-
 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:44pm

bump, can anyone shed any light on this subject??

or do most analysts just get promoted to associates and stay within the firm?

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:53pm

Centerview LA (Originally Posted: 08/30/2013)

any info? I know they have century city office but is it a good office? I've never heard anything about it until my VP brought them up in passing.

(deals? group? size?)

thanks

I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG
 
Jan 10, 2012 - 4:35am

AstonMartin:
exiting from there must be a bitch though. I'd imagine they expect you to stay 3+ years?

Did you pay attention? Why would you want to leave? They have their own PE fund.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."
 
Jun 7, 2012 - 6:57pm

Centerview featured in Dealbook (Originally Posted: 02/29/2008)

Haven't heard many people on this board inquiring about this boutique, but Dealbook has a feature on Effron and Centerview that seems pretty comprehensive. While I may interject that I am not a big Andrew Ross Sorkin fan (or most financial journalists who seem to form opinions before facts, for that matter), and also mention that Effron/Centerview ran a sellside for us a year or two ago and apparently we came away much less than impressed and haven't considered them since..

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/29/centerview-a-hot-boutique-…

 
Jun 7, 2012 - 7:03pm

The deals that they get are awesome from the people that I've talked to. One banker I talked to was so busy, he was willing to talk but we had to stop the call while we were talking cuz he had fire-drills to take care of at the last moment.

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