Chicago vs. NYC exit opportunities

I'm a rising junior at a college in Chicago and I'm staying here for the summer as well. As a result, for a couple firms I have much stronger connections in Chicago than in NYC. Throughout the recruiting process I've been fairly indifferent to location. However, recently I had a convo with an analyst in Chicago who said that it's impossible (his words) to go to NYC after working in Chicago. I know being in NYC offers an advantage for PE/HF recruiting, but I never knew the advantage was that substantial. I'd rather be in NYC post-graduation but I was thinking of hedging my bets and applying to the Chicago location for some firms, but now I'm kinda rethinking this. Can anyone shed some more light on how big the difference between the two cities really is in terms of exit ops?

Two quick additional notes:
1. The BB/elite boutique Chicago offices I've networked with aren't just support staff, they do deal execution so it seems the experience would be similar to their NYC offices.
2. I thought of negotiating with HR after getting an offer, but for some of these banks each location is a separate app so I don't think they would be very receptive to that.

Comments (4)

Aug 2, 2017

bump

Aug 2, 2017

BUMP - Also interested

Best Response
Aug 2, 2017

Regarding #1, it depends. Of course for a Chicago-based firm like BDT or William Blair, all of the action will happen in Chicago and the world will be your oyster. For others, it really depends. Some are more like regional offices that are coverage focused, others do more of the execution. However, certainly expect capital markets related activities to be handled in NY (think high yield offerings, IPOs, etc) and often M&A too. The responsibilities may be split between Chicago and NY, but you will likely get short-changed in my opinion. All things being equal, a PE fund in NY, particularly the larger ones, will take a NY analyst from the same bulge bracket over a Chicago based one. The bottom line is that generally speaking, you want to be at HQ over a regional office (or in the case of the Euro banks, their North American HQ).

Regarding #2, highly doubtful. Perhaps you can do it after your first year. However, there are often a lot of politics amongst senior folks between offices, so you may end up upsetting folks in the Chicago office for moving to NY. You may not either. Just depends on the situation, but I wouldn't bank on it.

With all of this being said, there are some wonderful PE shops in Chicago as well. Your money will go a lot farther. So if you are in college in Chicago, perhaps continue the streak.

    • 4
Aug 2, 2017
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