Chicago versus New York

phantombanker's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 733

So I know the top shops in New York and Chicago, but at what point are experiences in NY and Chicago equivalent? Ex: UBS-Chicago versus Bear Stearns-NY, or JP Morgan-Chicago versus BofA-NY.

Also, for those that have worked in both Chicago and New York, can you talk about the major pros and cons of each.

Region: 
United States - Midwest
United States - Northeast

Comments (219)

Apr 22, 2011

As a native New Yorker, I like it a lot but Chicago has less tourists which is awesome. I hate tourists.

Apr 22, 2011

As a native Chicagoan, I like Chicago a lot but New York City has so much more opportunity and culture. If you live in Chicago you will notice that 90% of the people you are surrounded by (assuming you're on the north side) will be your typical Midwestern suburban student who went to a Big 10 College. The City itself is very racially segregated and you really have to reach out to befriend people who are different from yourself (whether it be from a different race, age group, or socio economic class). Also, one can easily fall into a slump of stagnate behavior with the freezing Winters and the monotony of day-to-day life. There are a lot of great things about Chicago but this is just my CON list.

If you go to New York it truly is an international city where you get the chance to sit next to a woman on the subway from Pakistan who just finished her MBA at Wharton and wants to meet up for drinks later. Or you go to the MET and talk with a group that works as consultants for projects the UN funds/organizes. Maybe my attitude is just better when I am out there but seems like a lot more diversity and opportunity. Hell even when I was hungover as sht I still found myself getting out of bed at 7am and walking around/stopping in bars and shooting the sht. Although you have to realize that being on the go 24/7 in NYC will cost you an arm and a leg. If you don't have the pay days to keep up it can be hell on earth.

Apr 22, 2011

NYC > LA > SF > London > Paris > HK > Rome > Toronto > Boston > Chicago > DC

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Apr 22, 2011
megafundguy:

NYC > LA > SF > London > Paris > HK > Rome > Toronto > Boston > Chicago > DC

Move Boston 8 spots to the left and I'll agree with you.

Apr 22, 2011

Real estate is far more affordable in Chicago.

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Apr 22, 2011

Chicago = MM

Apr 22, 2011

From a Director at a BB, paraphrasing: It's easier to get recognition/promoted if you at least start out in NYC as the higher ups/head of your department will know you better from your stint in NYC. If you start in a satellite and you aren't getting much facetime with them it puts you at a disadvantage.

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Apr 22, 2011

Guap**

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago is comprised of MM firms and EBs, and BB coverage teams (I don't think any BBs have M&A/Lev Fin in Chicago could be wrong though.) Cost of living is much more reasonable in Chicago and the winter is worse. Pay is the same. Exits in NYC are better/more broad, due to likely being at a BB/EB and it's much easier to recruit in your geographic area.

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago is headquarters to only 2 relatively solid firms - Blair and Lincoln.

The rest are satellite offices and lower MM and boutiques that take a back seat to NYC.

Apr 22, 2011

Didn't mean to misleading, only meant that MM firms have a greater presence, not necessarily their HQ though.

Apr 22, 2011

That's probably be true as far as HQ's for the overall firms, but BMO US for IB is based out of Chicago, and I think Baird's largest IB office is in Chicago.

Apr 22, 2011
rpc:

Chicago is comprised of MM firms and EBs, and BB coverage teams (I don't think any BBs have M&A/Lev Fin in Chicago could be wrong though.) Cost of living is much more reasonable in Chicago and the winter is worse. Pay is the same. Exits in NYC are better/more broad, due to likely being at a BB/EB and it's much easier to recruit in your geographic area.

Winter is worse, but summer is better. You don't have that stench and trash everywhere.

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Apr 22, 2011

Citi has M&A in Chicago

Apr 22, 2011

See avatar.

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago is seen as a tier below NYC from a prestige level but you're still doing the same work as the analysts/associates in NYC and being paid the same. Coverage groups are typically consumer and industrials although this is bank specific. Cruncharoo makes a good point that there is less visibility to the head people who traditionally reside in NYC (not always true though, hank Paulson came up through Goldman in the Chicago office and was even running it as CEO from Chicago for a bit). But housing is much cheaper with better summers and worse winters.

Apr 22, 2011

Ditto Byron Trott

Best Response
Apr 22, 2011

Some of the posts here have been very misleading. I go to school in the Midwest and had super days/interviews with quite a few BBs/EBs in Chicago (GS,MS,JPM, Citi, Barclays,Lazard,Greenhill) though I'll be working in another region for the fall.

Every BB that I've spoken with at least claims to execute most of their deals from the Chicago office, especially as it pertains to industrials (JPM and Citi have both done large deals with CAT in their Chicago office). Other popular coverage areas are consumer and FIG.

Goldman has a strong presence in both FIG and Industrials, little bit of consumer in Chicago. JPM is much of the same, albeit more focused on Industrials. MS is a tinier shop, only 4 analysts per class, but they've had great exits (analyst that interviewed me was going to KKR). Citi has an incredibly strong Chicago office, head of North American M&A (former global head of M&A at UBS) stationed there, as well as head of Auto and a great industrials team, definitely not a satellite office.

Lazard was also very strong, with their head of restructuring based off there (and that's what they're known for), and a decent presence in Industrials.

Barclays and Greenhill seemed less strong in my opinion, though Barclays works on cool stuff, including Industrials, Fin. Sponsors (head of their group is located in chicago i believe), and Education.

Didn't get a chance to interview with CS, though I've heard they're decent. Also, would stay away from Deutsche as they're almost nonexistent, and UBS is also not doing too well after Citi poached all of their top guys. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe BAML even has an operation there.

Anyways, hope this helps.

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Apr 22, 2011

BAML does have a Chicago office. Which group at GS/JPM is strongest (is it FIG or Industrials or something else?)

Apr 22, 2011

A BB can say they execute most deal in Chicago, because they are much smaller deals. That doesn't necessarily mean the Chicago office brings in more fees.

Apr 22, 2011

BAML certainly does have a presence in Chicago. Industrials/consumer and PubFin.

Apr 22, 2011

Are they pretty strong in Chicago?

Apr 22, 2011

I don't even think they have specific groups in Chicago. It's all one catch-all "coverage" group for the region.

Apr 22, 2011

I can confirm that at most banks in Chicago, this is the case. A few notable exceptions though: I know GS is actually split up between Industrials and FIG, and Lazard is split up between M&A and Restructuring. Analysts at Citi are part of both M&A and Industrials, with most of the M&A deals in Consumer, Health Care, and of course Industrials.

Apr 22, 2011

i don't know if crime/safety is a major consideration for you, but chicago is still slightly more dangerous

Apr 22, 2011

GMAFB, you aren't commuting through Auburn Gresham to get to your IB job.

Apr 22, 2011

Yeah, a lot of crime walking or 1 or 2 L stops from River north to the Loop.

This is just a stupid, misinformed post.

Chicago definitely has it's issues, but when you can live in a very nice, safe area 1 mile from the office for $1500/month that certainly has some appeal.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Apr 22, 2011
Harvard 2plus2:

i don't know if crime/safety is a major consideration for you, but chicago is still slightly more dangerous

I love when idiots spew out nonsense about things they know nothing about. Congrats on being one of those.

Apr 22, 2011

Unless you're kicking it at 80th and Stony Island to save a grand on rent this is a pretty ridiculous statement. I work in the loop and live in Lincoln Park and unless you go out of your way somewhere in between to look for trouble you aren't going to find much crime north of South Loop and east of 94

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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Apr 28, 2018

Chicago is safe. Violence is in a completely different region than where anyone you know lives.

Array
Apr 22, 2011

The other consideration is where are your family/friends and where do you want to be long term? If you want to be doing PE in the Midwest afterwards and be there long term than Chicago can be a better bet.

Apr 22, 2011

NYC has this one really nice chicken and rice food cart. Look for the yellow shirts.

Just some...food for thought.

Apr 22, 2011
Going Concern:

NYC has this one really nice chicken and rice food cart. Look for the yellow shirts.

Just some...food for thought.

the lamb and rice is better, its all about the yogurt sauce.

Apr 22, 2011

Will be doing an intern in chicago this summer. but will strive to go to NYC for intern next year

Apr 22, 2011

Halal Guys...

Apr 22, 2011
bootsnapper:

Halal Guys...

That too. That shit is legit and it's like $6.

Apr 22, 2011

NYC

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Apr 22, 2011

The "hard-working, intellectually curious, mentally quick" spiel is pretty much bullshit. If you don't have a technical major or at least a technical skillset coming out of school, you're pretty much boned for many of the big name shops in Chicago as well as NYC. Sure applicant A may have a great hardworking spirit, but applicants B,C,D...etc all have 3.7+ GPAs coming out of top 15 schools with great internship experience and killer course loads.

Apr 22, 2011

Good points.

However, people I speak with who are on trading desks at BBs (entry level) are people who came out with finance degrees, certainly not the engineering types. Like you say, internship experience is huge however.

Of course it totally depends on what you want to do. Obviously a sales guy in S&T doesn't need to be a math major. But no matter what, there is most definitely a prestige/experience barrier. And this is what I'm trying to figure out how to get around. I know networking helps, although it can only take you so far.

Even ops roles seem harder to find in Chicago since the operations they support are shrinking/going away. S&T mostly seems to be dying everywhere except NYC, and it's certainly not booming there either.

Picked the wrong time to go into this industry for sure.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Apr 22, 2011

For what it's worth, I think CAPM was talking more about the prop trading side of things - S&T takes in non quanty types for sure but then tangibles like pedigree and GPA begin to matter even more.

Apr 22, 2011

The networking line and other platitudes about spirit or intangibles are bullshit. Anyone in charge of hiring is looking for those qualities from their cream of the crop candidates. The industry outlook isn't great so you've chosen a bad time to enter those fields. It sounds like you need to refocus your energy and plan to come back with an MBA.

Apr 22, 2011
ArcherVice:

The networking line and other platitudes about spirit or intangibles are bullshit. Anyone in charge of hiring is looking for those qualities from their cream of the crop candidates. The industry outlook isn't great so you've chosen a bad time to enter those fields. It sounds like you need to refocus your energy and plan to come back with an MBA.

Been thinking about this. My only worry is getting into a decent MBA program with no work experience...not to mention getting a job once getting out. I've heard that this is something to be avoided...but I might be wrong. I guess it really depends who you ask. I've been told especially for trading or S&T especially they might look down on you for this and you might be no better off. Is there any truth to this?

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Apr 22, 2011

The market for S&T recruiting is just way too hard to limit yourself to Chicago. To be perfectly blunt, if you really want a shot at becoming a trader, you need to be willing to relocate anywhere. As far as NYC and 'networking' goes, my suggestion would be start looking for stuff there and be ready to drop the bucks it takes to make a few trips there. I'm not saying making trips every week but you need to be willing to spend a couple hundred bucks for every interview you get out there.

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Apr 22, 2011
GoodBread:

The market for S&T recruiting is just way too hard to limit yourself to Chicago. To be perfectly blunt, if you really want a shot at becoming a trader, you need to be willing to relocate anywhere. As far as NYC and 'networking' goes, my suggestion would be start looking for stuff there and be ready to drop the bucks it takes to make a few trips there. I'm not saying making trips every week but you need to be willing to spend a couple hundred bucks for every interview you get out there.

Good advice. Problem isn't really not being willing to spend money...I simply don't have it. Literally has not been possible. Trust me I'd have done it already if I could have. That's mostly why I've focused on Chicago. But you're right...that doesn't really cut it in this market.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Apr 22, 2011
EvanM:

In addition, while there are openings to be had, they are seemingly out of my league. I feel that despite the impression that you're given of "being hard-working, willing to learn, intellectually curious, and mentally quick" being enough, that's rarely the case.

VS.

EvanM:

My only worry is that I certainly cannot afford to travel to NYC right now, and it's pretty hard to network with people who are 900 miles away, or more. Just trying to figure out the best way forward.

Which is it bud? See what I did there.

Apr 22, 2011
marcellus_wallace:
EvanM:

In addition, while there are openings to be had, they are seemingly out of my league. I feel that despite the impression that you're given of "being hard-working, willing to learn, intellectually curious, and mentally quick" being enough, that's rarely the case.

VS.

EvanM:

My only worry is that I certainly cannot afford to travel to NYC right now, and it's pretty hard to network with people who are 900 miles away, or more. Just trying to figure out the best way forward.

Which is it bud? See what I did there.

I don't actually, care to explain?

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Apr 22, 2011

IMO this is the best time to get into trading (SnT and prop/HF).

SnT doesn't care for quant types, know too many History and English majors in the industry to think otherwise. Getting a MBA won't be a great route BC that recruiting ave is all but dead. Do MBAs get in? Sure, but here and there.

Start small and get into OPs at a BB or HF. You seem young so you have time to work your way up onto a desk.

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Apr 22, 2011
IvyLeagueVet:

IMO this is the best time to get into trading (SnT and prop/HF).

SnT doesn't care for quant types, know too many History and English majors in the industry to think otherwise. Getting a MBA won't be a great route BC that recruiting ave is all but dead. Do MBAs get in? Sure, but here and there.

Start small and get into OPs at a BB or HF. You seem young so you have time to work your way up onto a desk.

I am, so I have that going for me. In fact I've heard that point about MBA recruiting from others before and that's another thing that pushed me away from it.

Will definitely continue to look towards ops. Appreciate the advice very much.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago is better for people who aren't in FO.

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Apr 22, 2011

Like Byron Trott and Hank Paulson?
Just off the top of my head, currently in Chicago there are Citi's Head of M&A, Lazard's Head of RX, and Goldman's Co Head of IBD.

Chicago is not New York, that is obvious, and the work is much more focused on certain industries at the BB level, but people want to be there for different reasons than people want to be in NYC. Having worked and paid rent in NYC, Chicago's cheaper housing, midwest culture, and 3% flat rate Illinois state income tax hold a certain appeal.

Array

Apr 22, 2011

.

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Apr 22, 2011

Chicago is great. It's much sleepier though, and you don't have nearly the same kind of electricity that embodies New York. New York is very exciting, there is almost something to do, etc. I think a big thing to touch on aside of the usual factors (money, culture, etc.) is the actual layout of the cities. New York is very condensed while Chicago is spread out - there aren't even allies in New York so most trash is on the side of the street which isn't the case in Chicago.

If you want to go buyside, you will have a much, much harder time out of Chicago. Yes, there is a handful of kids each year that do ok, but even the good firms in the city like GTCR and MDP hire 90%+from New York (and some years exclusively from New York).

Apr 22, 2011

I'm holding constant job opportunities and the like -- I'm trying to get a feel for pros and cons of each as just cities themselves.

"I did it for me...I liked it...I was good at it. And I was really... I was alive."

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago pros: Cleaner. "down to earth" people if you're into that. Affordable for what amounts to be the closest city to NYC in the US (anyone with a decent job can afford to live in a new construction condo)
Chicago cons: Long and brutal winters. People settle down early (could be a pro depending on your perspective) - if you're single in your 30s, people will probably think there's something wrong with you. There are a few exceptions in high finance, but generally comp is lower than in NY/LA/SF.

NYC pros: Things you don't give a fuq about that some may value in life. Better going out scene. Better female talent (on avg). Better female ratio. Better restaurant scene (on avg and in sheer quantum). You can be single and crush the scene well into your 30s and no one would care - In fact people would probably judge you if you were 24 and married (again, this could be a con depending on your perspective)

NYC cons: dirty. shitty smelling (esp in summer). Rent is very expensive. High taxes. Loud af (sirens everywhere all the time 24/7). Subway system is convenient but sorta shitty at the same time, with rats. More homeless people than Chi.

I'm sure i'm leaving some stuff out but that's the gist of it.

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Apr 22, 2011

Where is that Brady dude its his time to shine

Array

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Apr 22, 2011

I love both of these cities, and you really can't go wrong IMO.

Midtown did a great job of breaking down the differences between the cities themselves. Something that may also interest you, since you're from the NY area, is that the Chicago area is very different in terms of proximity to other places.

NY is right in the heart of the east coast, so you've got access to other big cities like DC, philly and Boston. You can also go to the jersey shore, hamptons, and the Appalachian mountains for nearby vacation spots.

Chicago isn't really the same in this regard. The closest big city to Chicago is Milwaukee, which is two hours away. St. Louis and Minneapolis are 5 and 6 hours away respectively. Indy and Detroit are about four hours away as well. These are fine cities, but it's just a very different vibe than the DC to Boston corridor that NY offers. I'd say that most Chicagoans only visit these cities to see their sports team play or because their friends/family live there. Your group of friends won't really plan a random trip to Indianapolis in the same way NY people plan a random trip to Boston.

In terms of vacation, there are some wonderful towns on Lake Michigan (in Wisconsin and Michigan) for a get-away but the winters are no joke and you're looking at 5 hours or so to get to the really good places. Downstate Illinois is mostly prairie, and there is really nothing in the immediate vicinity that's close to the Appalachian / Catskill area in upstate NY.

With that said, the city of Chicago is a wonderful place to live. Lake Michigan is beautiful in the summer and living in the interior of the country is a great experience. I'm from the Great Lakes region and will always have a special appreciation for the people and places there.

Apr 22, 2011

wait for the anti-NYC trollers to come.

So what do you do?
-I work for an investment banking firm.
Oh okay; you are like my brother, he works for Edward Jones.
-No, a college degree is required in my profession

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Apr 22, 2011

It isn't like their aren't rainmakers in Chicago and somehow you are going to be marginalized in a crap "regional office". The point is go wherever you feel fits you best and wants you, don't get caught up the nonsense of which office is best.

Apr 22, 2011

People like Corzine, Dougan and Paulson made it to the very top from Chicago offices, I believe.

Apr 22, 2011
taylorman_23:

People like Corzine, Dougan and Paulson made it to the very top from Chicago offices, I believe.

I know Paulson did for sure, and obviously Ken Griffin hasn't had a problem being based out of Chicago

Apr 22, 2011

Jesus... what a stupid thread. Yes, Ken Griffin hasn't had a problem - you too can start your own mega-fund!

To the OP, in NYC, every single banking analyst lives in a roach-infested hovel. They scrounge on the street for quarters to pay the electricity bill

Apr 22, 2011
ideating:

Jesus... what a stupid thread. Yes, Ken Griffin hasn't had a problem - you too can start your own mega-fund!

To the OP, in NYC, every single banking analyst lives in a roach-infested hovel. They scrounge on the street for quarters to pay the electricity bill

Don't be a douche, everyone knows it is difficult to start a huge fund the point is Chicago won't hold you back.

Apr 22, 2011

Nuf Said

Apr 22, 2011

I lived in both cities - New York is definitely a more fun, energetic place to be. But Chicago is nearly just as fun (granted finance isn't as big, and neither are the exit opps), but it's a lot cheaper.

I'd say ultimately it is in your best interest to be in one of the top groups in your bank, and if one of them is located in Chicago, then it's a no brainer.

Apr 22, 2011

I'm from Chicago (and live in New York) and can tell you that your cost figures are skewed - shoot for around $1500 per person in New York ($1500-2000 if you live alone). You'll be able easily to afford New York on your salary; cost shouldn't even be a consideration. I'm talking Manhattan, Upper East Side (for instance) or elsewhere.

In terms of the banking itself, a senior banker friend of mine in Chicago has expressed some regret at not starting his career in New York. Unless you work at William Blair in Chicago (does Baird have offices there too?), it seems you'll be working in a satellite office, whatever problems are associated with that.

I do agree with you that your place would be nicer in Chicago; I have several friends there working menial jobs (think waitress) who live in relative palaces. That said, I'm quite happy with my place here in New York. If you want more detailed financial/neighborhood information, PM me.

http://ibankinglife.blogspot.com

Apr 22, 2011

There are no real IB roles in Chicago...Trading - only options. Sales - yes - the same.

Apr 22, 2011

You are joking right?
If you are serious please leave and never come again.

Apr 22, 2011

I have a bunch of friend who do i-banking in Chicago. And I do know Chicago houses the Board of Options and the Board of Trade... but what about CME? They deal with other products too.

Apr 22, 2011

that was directed towards skiloa

Apr 22, 2011

I have a friend working at a BB in Chicago and he said the bonus is comparable, if not the same, to NY. However, he said his group gets a lot of deal flow and does a lot of execution whereas some of the other IBD at BBs in Chicago don't, so their pay differs from NY (he didn't mention by how much though).

Apr 22, 2011

Yeah, little offended over here skiloa. I am in IB in Chicago. Not sure what constitutes a "real IB job", but there is plenty of the same investment banking going on in Chicago (and several other US cities, I might add) as is going on in NYC. Think I do alright for myself as well. At least with numbers being thrown around this forum.

I personally think Chicago is a much better quality of life than NYC and certainly prefer it here. That's another forum, though. Another forum that's been beaten to death, so don't go starting it again, that is.

Apr 22, 2011

Though there are definite opportunities elsewhere, NYC is where it unfortunately is at. If you are into trading etc you may look to Chicago but for IBD you are better off in NYC.

Trust me, this comes from a person who HATES this place and would give anything for my BB to move HQ to maybe Boston or Chicago. The city is dirty, people are terribly rude, civic infrastructure sucks (not even in third world countries do steam pipes blow up under people and people fall through weak metal grills on streets), you are taxed to death, quality of living is pathetic - you pay unbelievable rent to live in sh*tty ghetto-like rectangular rooms euphemistically called apartments (more like prison cells) and even though the whole freaking place and 80% of its people draw their livelihood from you working your ass off, the bloody communists hate you and want to suck more of your blood (ie taxes, exorbitant tips etc.)

I have lived and worked in other cities and you can potentially still put up with other stuff but at least the people in general should be nice. Here everyone starting from the cafeteria people to the cabbies to almost all people on the streets have large cactii stuck up their *ss.

Phew. That was my part of the venting today. So take it, get to NYC if you want to at least get a great start. You can always make a move later on. Let me now go and dream about the golden offer from a HF in CT :)

Apr 22, 2011
jc_nyc:

but at least the people in general should be nice. Here everyone starting from the cafeteria people to the cabbies to almost all people on the streets have large cactii stuck up their *ss.

New Yorkers are nice, unless you're standing in the way. And someone's always standing in the way. Get out of the way! See - and out-of-towners think that's rude. Actually, the doofus standing in the way is the rude one.

Sorry, off topic. And I agree with you. NYC is where it is. But you have to pay the toll.

Apr 22, 2011
jc_nyc:

Though there are definite opportunities elsewhere, NYC is where it unfortunately is at. If you are into trading etc you may look to Chicago but for IBD you are better off in NYC.....

So you go on to bash NYC, but do not state why it is the place to be. When comparing similar jobs, Chicago gives you just as many opportunities.

Apr 22, 2011

This is something I also wonder about. I don't want to get into the Chicago vs. NY night life argument, but for low level positions (analyst, associate) what is so much better about NY? If you work at a BB in Chicago you still go through the same training in NY as your fellow NY analysts. I understand how long term NYC might be better, but if you are only going to be there 2 years why is NYC so much better? Will a B-school seriously view a BB analyst stint in NYC superior to a BB analyst stint in Chicago, LA, or San Fran (all of which seem like superior places to live in my opinion)?

Apr 22, 2011

Chi-town is cool. Frighteningly clean, and the bums even follow you for blocks on end saying words like "please" and "thank you" whereas in New York you're left with a moral overhang.

*Unless you want a "Real Nice Life" don't start in Chi-Town - I've been there once and ran through the town in half a day. IT'S THE FUCKING MIDWEST!! Nothing is open past 2AM and they practically have a restriction on decibel levels for conversation.

Most importantly you WILL NOT meet nearly as many influential and significant people there as you would in New York - Shops are built in NYC - Franchised in Chicago.

You may be a banker in Chicago, but you won't be banking like you would in NYC.

Apr 22, 2011

Bums do follow you saying "thank you" and "God bless" fairly often. However, I will say that outside of the loop, things stay open past 2AM. Go to Lincoln Park or Wrigleyville, things are definitely open past 2.

As for Chicago being clean, yes it is quite clean compared to NYC, but in reality it's still pretty dirty. Do people forget what it's like to hit the mountains or go a nice beach in the bahamas? Fresh air is found in places like the aforementioned, not Chicago or NYC. The fact that you have to be walking by Lake Michigan to actually enjoy breathing in the air, is actually one of my biggest dislikes of Chicago (and the fact that it's freezing balls all the time).

In summary, Chicago is much cleaner than NYC and some other comparable cities in the US, but it's still a nasty city that leaves you wishing you were in a place where the air was actually enjoyable to breathe in.

Apr 22, 2011

London

Apr 22, 2011

How about sales & trading in Chicago. That's really my interest, and I'd love to stay here after I graduate. How do the s&t internships compare to those in NY (same BBs)?

Apr 22, 2011

Have been to chicago and NYC after starting school here in the states.... and my choice for working after graduation is NYC because the moment i had a view of this city, i thought "This is it, THE PLACE " .... i don't know, but there was something about the city that tells you that if you work your ass off, this is the city where all dreams can come true .... just my personal opinion ofcourse

Apr 22, 2011

bump...
interested as well

Apr 22, 2011

Your exit opps. in Chicago with megafund PE shops will be nonexistent, but are still quite strong if you're interested in middle market PE and hedge funds. Most places will just discount the fact that you're in Chicago and won't get the same deal flow that as NYC. However, my friends that work there said senior bankers aren't as much of assholes and culture is better. Since offices are small, everyone knows each other and just more "relaxed". The top banks are: 1) UBS 2) GS 3) CS

After that, there's a big drop for all the BB's including MS, Lehman, and Citi. The 1st 3 banks execute out of the office and you'll get on a variety of deals with different products.

Apr 22, 2011

So are you telling me banks like ML & JPM don't execute many deals out of Chicago office?

Apr 22, 2011

that's correct

Apr 22, 2011

Scott,
Where do you get this info from? Please back up that ML & JPM don't execute many deals with some sort of proof.

I find it pretty doubtful.

Apr 22, 2011

You wouldn't consider MDP to be a megafund?

Apr 22, 2011

Shocking Merrills can't broke big deals in Lombard Illinois.

Apr 22, 2011

most banks will execute out of Chicago, but will work with product bankers in NYC such as lev fin as needed.

Apr 22, 2011

Only UBS/GS/CS are solid in Chicago, and they execute all their deals. The others may execute a few deals, but they also send some to NY.

Chicago analysts place mostly into smaller PE shops, but also place into MDP/GTCR/Code Hennessey.

They get interviews at all the megafunds (KKR, Carlyle, etc), if that says anything.

Apr 22, 2011
WizardofOz:

They get interviews at all the megafunds (KKR, Carlyle, etc), if that says anything.

So they get interviews at the mega-funds, but usually don't make the final cut because the funds prefer NYC analysts, or because the analysts want to work for smaller shops?

Apr 22, 2011

They get cut.

Apr 22, 2011

chicago is going to have more regional exit opps. Lifestyle should be better and pay should be on par with NYC.

Apr 22, 2011

better lifestyle isnt necessarily true. this was a couple years ago, but when I spoke with analysts at JPM chicago they claimed to actually work harder than many of the new york groups.

Apr 22, 2011
twilightgirl:

better lifestyle isnt necessarily true. this was a couple years ago, but when I spoke with analysts at JPM chicago they claimed to actually work harder than many of the new york groups.

Lifestyle in Chicago is much better for analysts; it's not even close. First, the pay is about the same as NYC, but the cost of living is much lower. You could get a pretty nice studio apartment in a luxury rental building in chicago for like $1000-1200/month. In NYC most first-year analysts will live in shitty places like stuy town, financial district, or murray hill, and share a 1-bedroom with a roommate.

If you have lots of money NYC is awesome. But for analysts you will enjoy life much more in Chicago.

Apr 22, 2011

what about exit opps in NY from Chicago? Also, what if you go to business school on the east coast after being in Chicago, would business school exit opps be different?

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago analysts definitely work less hours. This mainly stems from culture - MDs there are more modest and less sadistic. The quality of the experience (deals) depends on the specific office, there are a select few that are comparable to strong NYC groups.

Apr 22, 2011
macro:

Chicago analysts definitely work less hours. This mainly stems from culture - MDs there are more modest and less sadistic. The quality of the experience (deals) depends on the specific office, there are a select few that are comparable to strong NYC groups.

Which banks make the cut for the "select few"

Thanks

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago is prop trading. For banking it's only middle market and some industrials.

Apr 22, 2011
boutiquebank4life:

Chicago is prop trading. For banking it's only middle market and some industrials.

+1

if you are in industrials then it's all good...

Apr 22, 2011

If you happen to have grown up on the East Coast (perhaps in a Connecticut suburb) and then graduated early from a prestigious, Midwestern private university after a summer investment banking internship in a leading bulge bracket IB's Chicago office, then I think Chicago will end up being a great fit for you. After all, it's a two year program and you'll have plenty of deal exposure and opportunity to work with your product partners in NYC who can also serve as networking resources in that market. Of course, if you also happen to have an established personal network in the financial services industry in the NY area, you've already got a head start whether you decide to start your career in NYC or Des Moines.........

Apr 22, 2011

i vote NYC - financial capital of the world

Apr 22, 2011

What about Houston?

Apr 22, 2011

Know of two individuals who worked in IBD-NY (one at a BB and one at an elite boutique) and both moved to MM PE firms in Chicago after their 2 year stint. It's as simple as letting the recruiter know your preference.

Apr 22, 2011
mountainvalley:

Know of two individuals who worked in IBD-NY (one at a BB and one at an elite boutique) and both moved to MM PE firms in Chicago
after their 2 year stint. It's as simple as letting the recruiter know your preference.

Thanks. So do NYC bankers get more access to PE recruiters compared to chi/sf then I'm guessing regardless of where you want to end up after?

Apr 22, 2011

depends more on the firm rather than location.

Apr 22, 2011
OMS:

depends more on the firm rather than location.

Could you please elaborate? From what I've read NYC bankers have an advantage because they can schedule PE interviews during their lunch break, because of the big Finance presence in nyc. Is that advantage mainly for NYC PE firms however?

Apr 22, 2011

Yes, if NYC is where the actual deal work gets done.

Apr 22, 2011

Half my analyst class in NYC BB got offers in PE and most of them were in other cities. Only a few in my class stayed in NYC for PE.

However, our Chicago office didn't do so well. Usually only about 1/3 get PE and the rest quit, go to bschool, do corp dev, stay on as bankers, etc.

Definitely go to NYC no matter where you want to end up for PE. One of our superstars in NYC got a megafund offer in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our west coast analysts didn't even get an interview!

This is for a BB though, might be different with elite boutiques where it might be better to be in a certain group like the old Moelis LA.

Apr 22, 2011
SanityCheck:

Half my analyst class in NYC BB got offers in PE and most of them were in other cities. Only a few in my class stayed in NYC for PE.

However, our Chicago office didn't do so well. Usually only about 1/3 get PE and the rest quit, go to bschool, do corp dev, stay on as bankers, etc.

Definitely go to NYC no matter where you want to end up for PE. One of our superstars in NYC got a megafund offer in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our west coast analysts didn't even get an interview!

This is for a BB though, might be different with elite boutiques where it might be better to be in a certain group like the old Moelis LA.

Thanks so much for the info. Do you know why that's the case? Do recruiters target NYC bankers first?

Apr 22, 2011

There are multiple reasons.

First, there are more analysts in NYC and almost all HH are based there. So a lot of HH will reach out to NYC analysts first and try to establish a connection. On the west coast I hear it's more about being proactive and probably the same goes with Chicago.

Also, some firms see NYC as the place with the most top analysts. This may not be factually accurate but at least some firms, including mine, it's seen as a badge of respect to be able to "steal" away the New Yorkers away from NYC. Some of the weaker firms can't do this and can only hire regionally. LP's don't want to see you having all guys from Chicago, even if the kids are all from BBs. It's better to have a mix and especially a bunch of NYC associates in there to prove to their LPs they have kids with a traditional hq-type experience.

Since all PE is competitive, being from NYC will never close any doors and you can always spin having more deal experience.

That brings me to another point. My BB's west coast office has horrible deal flow. Experience is key and if you close a big M&A transaction in NYC, you'll be at a huge advantage over a regional office. This goes hand in hand with the fact that a lot of people know that regionals source deals and NYC closes.

I kinda feel bad for our Chicago office in particular. I remember they worked this analyst to death in chicago and then when one deal was about to close after half a year, they kicked it to NYC to execute and take over.

Finally, it depends on the group and rainmakers. For a lot of the BB, the best groups and biggest rainmakers that make the calls are all in NYC.

Apr 22, 2011
SanityCheck:

There are multiple reasons.

First, there are more analysts in NYC and almost all HH are based there. So a lot of HH will reach out to NYC analysts first and try to establish a connection. On the west coast I hear it's more about being proactive and probably the same goes with Chicago.

Also, some firms see NYC as the place with the most top analysts. This may not be factually accurate but at least some firms, including mine, it's seen as a badge of respect to be able to "steal" away the New Yorkers away from NYC. Some of the weaker firms can't do this and can only hire regionally. LP's don't want to see you having all guys from Chicago, even if the kids are all from BBs. It's better to have a mix and especially a bunch of NYC associates in there to prove to their LPs they have kids with a traditional hq-type experience.

Since all PE is competitive, being from NYC will never close any doors and you can always spin having more deal experience.

That brings me to another point. My BB's west coast office has horrible deal flow. Experience is key and if you close a big M&A transaction in NYC, you'll be at a huge advantage over a regional office. This goes hand in hand with the fact that a lot of people know that regionals source deals and NYC closes.

I kinda feel bad for our Chicago office in particular. I remember they worked this analyst to death in chicago and then when one deal was about to close after half a year, they kicked it to NYC to execute and take over.

Finally, it depends on the group and rainmakers. For a lot of the BB, the best groups and biggest rainmakers that make the calls are all in NYC.

Is there any subtle way during the interview process to find out if deals do get closed in the Chicago office?

Apr 22, 2011

^^^ That question is probably best asked after you get the offer.

Apr 22, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

^^^ That question is probably best asked after you get the offer.

Fair enough.

Apr 22, 2011

As pretty much everyone else has pointed out, all things being equal, go with NYC. Chances are the deals will originate and close there more frequently than in Chicago. With that said, you almost always pick the better firm over the better location...after all, your analyst stint is 'only' two years.

In most cases, NYC experience will provide more opportunities, so it's generally the safer bet.

Regards

Apr 22, 2011

Both. Plus the freezing cold. Upside is that chicago is a much more liveable, nicer city, with nicer ppl.

I was offered a job there once, but the cold was just too much for me so I declined.

Apr 22, 2011

ny is that much warmer?

Apr 22, 2011

and what bbs and what types of desks are in chicago?

Apr 22, 2011

hasnt this been asked before?

Apr 22, 2011

I asked this in the Trader forum; I wanted to see if it was any different for IBD.

Apr 22, 2011

go back a few pages there was just a long thread on the ib forum about this last week or so

Apr 22, 2011

read the commentary in the latest leveragedsellout.com there is a allout war over this question

livin large in miami

Apr 22, 2011

This forum needs an "edit" button for messages already posted. I meant to write "what is the pay in Chicago at BB versus the pay in NY for associates?"

Apr 22, 2011
patents555:

This forum needs an "edit" button for messages already posted. I meant to write "what is the pay in Chicago at BB versus the pay in NY for associates?"

The bonuses are not smaller. It is the same. And there IS a fucking edit button.

Apr 22, 2011

pay is the same

Apr 22, 2011

there is an edit button

Apr 22, 2011

Thanks for the info.

Apr 22, 2011

this is good info thanks

Apr 22, 2011

I'm not a banker, so this is a mixture of observation and conjecture...

NYC: bigger deals and more opportunities to go to the very top. Cachet. You get to roll with the badasses.

Chicago: Lower COL, fewer hours, and overall better quality of life if you don't mind the cold.

Apr 22, 2011

pay scale is very similar to ny with fewer hours and lower cost of living.

Culture is very different. NY is designed for banker's bankers. Chicago has boutique culture within BB (smaller office size)

Apr 22, 2011

What about finance jobs in CT?

Apr 22, 2011

What about DC?

Apr 22, 2011

I thought CT had more hedge funds than investment banks.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Apr 22, 2011

CT = alot of hedgefunds. DC has nothing. More like Aero/defense, consulting, accounting, government type of nonsense.

Many banks don't even have a local office in DC - popular banking offices are Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, LA, SF, Houston, Charlotte (more like HQ's for Wacho and BofA), and etc like maybe Phily. DC has a few boutiques I heard. What do they have? Friedman Billings Ramsey - which currently has problems umm and Legg Mason whose Capital Markets division got obsorbed by some crappy muni house in St Lou & I forgot its name.

Apr 22, 2011

Thank you Back!

Apr 22, 2011

DC has Carlyle, so I wouldn't say its totally devoid of finance.

  •  Apr 22, 2011

Who has offices in atlanta? I know UBS does, does anyone else? And what would comp be like there?

Apr 22, 2011

Thanks easy. I was looking for something local.

Apr 22, 2011

So do Chicago offices like do their own hiring? Or do you have to ask to be assigned to the Chicago office after you're offered a position?

Is it hard to do the 2-3 years as an analyst at Chicago, go to business school in NY or New England then move to a New York office (internally or externally)?

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Apr 22, 2011

Atlanta has SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Houlihan Lokey, and a bunch of boutiques. Comp is 5-10 less than Street for salary, 50% of Street bonus, which makes for a hellaciously good lifestyle. If you work in IB in Atlanta, you will live like a king. Unfortunately, you will probably never move up in your career.

Apr 22, 2011

My firm does all the DC aero/defense stuff out of NYC, by the way.

  •  Apr 22, 2011

Can you name few boutiques? Also, how do you guys view SunTrust? Do they only do debt offerings or any m&a as well?

  •  Apr 22, 2011

Can you name few boutiques? Also, how do you guys view SunTrust? Do they only do debt offerings or any m&a as well?

Apr 22, 2011

SunTrust does really small M&A and debt offerings. We don't really think much of them, but for Atlanta, they're fine.

Can't really name any Atlanta boutiques off the top of my head. Maybe Lenox Group?

  •  Apr 22, 2011

Aside for the reasons listed above, banking in NYC has additional advantages. If your bank is HQ'ed in NY, you often times have speaker series from different parts of the bank, business school and sometimes even PE firms. You also have the advantage of the "street knowledge" of upcoming big cattle calls when it comes to buyside interviews (whether it be through your network, etc.).

Chicago pay is equal to NYC if you're at a satellite office. Culture is a little more laid back. Some offices, like UBS and CS, operate pretty autonomously and hire on their own. Some, like GS Chicago, only accept 2nd years (1st years must be in NY).

Exit options in terms of B-school then NYC is good. If you're at a reputable Chicago shop, and you're a top ranked analyst you can go to bn+ PE shops or HF, as well. B-schools don't care if you were at a satellite office or not. Transferring to NYC after B-school is probably easier through bankweek recruiting, but very possible.

Also, Blackstone has an office in Atlanta.

Apr 22, 2011
  •  Apr 22, 2011

If you want to work in Chicago, you want to be at following places:

1) GS
2) UBS/CS

The other banks have only satellite offices. Even though MS/Leh are better banks in terms of prestige and deal flow, their Chicago offices are tiny and have very little deal flow.

Apr 22, 2011

UBS/CS over GS. UBS and CS have the largest offices in terms of personnel and execute in-house. GS defers a few of their deals to NY if their staff doesn't have capacity (I'd also say its fair to say that GS Chicago is a lean satellite office, while UBS/CS is fully staffed). But GS gives you the brand name and Byron Trott takes care of that office, so I guess its a wash. However, UBS and CS are widely considered the top 2 shops in Chicago.

Apr 22, 2011

Do you have any insight as to the hours for associates and vp's in Chicago? Is it similar to New York or can you discount 10% because of facetime issues.

Apr 22, 2011

It is all about the exit opportunities

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago sucks for ibanking.. no good career advancement

Apr 22, 2011

Chicago is no NY or SF when it comes to banking, but it's still a great place to advance your career should you be interested in living in the Midwest and strong passion in Industrials. I know many associates, vp, and md's that started in NY, but moved to Chicago for a better (still banking though) lifestyle. Some even went to small investment firms or pe shops (100-500 MM) afterwards.

Apr 22, 2011

Blackstone's Atlanta office is made up of like 3 bankers. Atlanta pretty much sucks for IB, take my word for it. Charlotte is much better.

Apr 22, 2011
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"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

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