Centerview vs. Goldman vs. JP Morgan NYC?

I know there have been a few related forums before, but most of them are not CVP/GS/JS specific, and the one that is closest is from about a decade ago. 

I have outstanding offers from these three firms, and I was wondering if anyone has advice on which to take. Most people have said to take CVP if I want to be a career banker, but I am not sure if I want to be yet, since I've never done an IB internship in the past, and I have to sign before my internship this summer. I like the idea of being an advisor for life, but I'm not sure if I'd truly enjoy the day to day of IB until I do it. TLDR; I'm open to all options right now.

CVP seems to have the best culture and compensation by far, but the other two have global brand names and resources and 2-year analyst programs. 

Any thoughts on this decision? Anything would be extremely helpful. 

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Comments (21)

Jun 25, 2021 - 9:13am

Truly depends on what you're looking for. CVP may have better culture and pay but having Goldman or JPM on your resume is also worth the investment because career prospects can look better for you if you choose to exit banking in the future. Brand names on your resume can take you very far but if you want to stay in banking long term or want to completely exit finance after a couple of years then CVP is the way to go. I'd try to build out a career path for yourself and then make the decision.

Jun 25, 2021 - 9:43am

JPM does group placement right before the internship starts so there's a risk that you could end up in a bad group.

If you have a group specific offer from GS it is worth considering. Regardless, I'd still choose CVP any day of the week. If you want to exit to anything finance related, the difference in brand name is negligible while the difference is comp is not.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jun 25, 2021 - 2:36pm

Besides ECM/DCM, what groups at JPM would be considered bad? Feel like they're top 5 or higher in almost every industry and top 3 in M&A.

Considering whether or not to try to lateral for FT from a very good group at a mid BB and would appreciate any color you (or anyone) could add.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 11:35am

Centerview, no question for me. GS isn't what it used to be and Centerview has the same prestige / exit opps within any finance circle + best culture and compensation + generalist 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 12:44pm

What do you mean GS isn't what it used to be…? They're still #1 in league tables every year. Also GS TMT (specifically tech) is head and shoulders above any competitor when it comes to fees generated. Pick any high profile tech IPO or M&A deal, and there's a 90% chance GS TMT was lead left on the IPO or lead advisor on one of the two sides of the m&a deal. Yes, their comp absolutely sucks but the GS brand / reputation is still #1 on the street and it's not even close

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 25, 2021 - 2:27pm

Not to say that you should choose GS/Centerview/JPM, but as someone who works at a bank that regularly competes with GS, I want nothing more than to watch GS burn down and everyone to fall to their knees contemplating why they attached themselves to a dumpster fire of a bank...

...but the truth is that despite their issues and turnover, they're still a go-to bank. If the issues happening at GS happened to CS/WF/RBC, CS/WF/RBC would be as edible as burnt toast. But GS can weather their issues and still come out ahead. In fact, they've been pulling their crap for years but they come out ahead. That shows you the power of a good brand. And people will always be tempted to work for them because despite the pay and lifestyle, you get reputation and the benefit of the doubt. And clients have to consider GS since they represent a sizeable portion of the market, so hard to not pick up their calls. It's that simple.

But if they ever materially slip down the rankings and miss out on deals, I'll be on the sidelines heckling them on their way down. But as they say, hope springs eternal...

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 3:01pm

No doubt GS is still a great brand, but the analyst position at GS has lost a lot of its competitive advantages. Comp is ass, culture (group dependent ofc) is broadly lacking, benefits are bare bones and league tables don't mean shit to juniors (also a function of headcount). 

Reason why I say it's not what it used to be is because you can get the same exit opps, better transaction experience, more responsibility, much higher comp, and better culture at a variety of other banks - with Centerview at the top of that list. 

I say this as an ex-GS analyst. Lateraled out and haven't looked back. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 26, 2021 - 12:09am

Hate to break it to you, but diversity students at my non-target have had GS since March.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 25, 2021 - 3:09pm

I strongly prefer EBs, so I would definitely go with CVP, but I see GS TMT and FIG being just as good. JPM M&A as a close next. Overall though, unless you get a top group at the BBs, go with CVP no question

Jun 25, 2021 - 4:19pm

Imho, one way to think about it is if you want to move to CVP later from GS TMT (assuming that's where your offer is) and decide banking is what you want long-term, the opportunity will be there. Not so sure if the other way around.

Jun 26, 2021 - 8:48am

I think that makes sense in a specific context (trying to lateral to CVP from your average BB as an Analyst, without any relationship with the firm, in today's environment).

However, the context I was describing was making a move from GS TMT later on in the OPs career (beyond his/her Analyst years). The OP also already has an offer/relationship with CV. And if we're talking about leaving banking in 2-3 years as an analyst, the argument between GS, CV, and even JPM feels like a bit of a wash so I don't see why an analyst would lateral to CV at that point anyway.

Also, from what I've heard, CV will open a spot for a lateral if they like the candidate, and I would assume they will only need more bodies as the firm grows. This on top of needing to replace people in general. My understanding is that turnover is low, but people do leave.

I think the issue of high turnover you're describing now at places like GS/JP are more a function of the times today. Maybe this environment continues forever, but I would be hesitant to make that call.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 25, 2021 - 4:47pm

CVP > GS (sans FIG, TMT) > JPM. OP you should know that any recruiter at MBB, and overwhelming majority of other prestigious roles will acknowledge how great CVP is. You might be SOL if you become a FAANG software engineer, but pretty much everywhere else CVP is well respected (among pedigreed circles). 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 26, 2021 - 1:17pm

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