Chose Evercore over GS & MS for Full Time - Did I make the right choice?

Pretty much self-explanatory title. I did my summer at Evercore as a summer MBA associate and accepted the full-time offer.

I know this may sound crazy given that I've already put much thought behind my banking options and talked to a lot of folks at pretty much all banks, but I've recently been questioned from my senior personal mentors in finance (40+ years old with who have been out of touch with recent banking trends) why I chose Evercore over Goldman (TMT) and Morgan Stanley (Generalist). Their logic simply is that the big banks are the way to go and because they are "top". I do see where they're coming from, but think their views may be seriously outdated... Also keep in mind that I am based in the US (my Evercore offer also NYC) while my mentors are from Europe and Asia Pacific. 

Bottom line, did I fxxx up with my choice? Almost every current banker on the street that I talk to in NYC tells me that it's almost a no-brainer to choose Evercore over these banks. The only ones that advocate over Evercore are 2 JPM bankers (I have 0 interest in JPM). 

For you folks working in IB and PE in NYC (or even London), what are your thoughts? Did I make the right call? I intend to stay in finance (and hopefully high finance) for a long time with no desire to exit to corporate development. I do love everything about Evercore, but am a little concerned with brand value outside the US. 

Comments (41)

 
Oct 28, 2020 - 10:43am

Don't look back. You're joining possibly the best platform any banker can join. Banking today isn't banking in 2000. Trust me when I say there are a boat full of bankers at GS MS who'd lateral to Evercore if given the offers. I know plenty who easily chose Evercore over the other banks. Congrats.

 
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 28, 2020 - 12:18pm

Keep in mind I'm a lot younger than you and probably don't know that much, but especially coming post-MBA where you're likely going to be there a long time, Evercore seems like a no-brainer. If you were just looking to exit after two years as an analyst and wanted a brand name that would be recognized outside finance, maybe GS or MS would be better, but if you're there for the long haul, I'd for sure go Evercore.

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 28, 2020 - 12:42pm

In Europe, boutiques are not as strong as they are in the US. In the US, I would pick a top boutique (pjt, evr, moe la, cvp, etc) over a BB any day of the week, for the typical reasons like comp, culture, and exits. Additionally, their brand recognition and reputation is strong there, especially in high finance but also in corp dev. If you intend to go to europe though, then yeah the prestige is nowhere near as good

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 28, 2020 - 1:42pm

Are you working in IB in London? I do recognize that the EBs aren't as strong in Europe as they are in the US, but are you aware of what the perception from PE investors in London is towards junior folks working for EBs in NYC? 

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 28, 2020 - 12:59pm

It's true that boutiques are viewed differently in Europe and Asia, since their presence in those regions are relatively small, so locals would not have as strong an impression of them. If you're planning on moving to those places in the future, then maybe their views matter somewhat, but if you're staying in the US, you're getting paid hella more at Evercore

 
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 29, 2020 - 3:31am

 

It's true that boutiques are viewed differently in Europe and Asia, since their presence in those regions are relatively small, so locals would not have as strong an impression of them. If you're planning on moving to those places in the future, then maybe their views matter somewhat, but if you're staying in the US, you're getting paid hella more at Evercore

Correct. 

 
Oct 28, 2020 - 1:15pm

I was post-MBA at MS M&A. Honestly, all great platforms. It won't make any incremental difference to your career. 

The only thing is that BB could provide more optionality internally career wise. I've known people to switch groups internally from M&A to coverage after they realized that M&A was not for them. I personally got pretty worn out by the hours and when I was planning my exit, I was able to explore internal options in our capital markets group (LevFin) and other divisions across the firm (investment management). You still need to be qualified to get the job, but it's a lot easier to get the job internally than coming from the outside. This is not a "selling point" that BBs make candidates aware of, for obvious reasons, but I think it's incredibly valuable and was ama big factor in my decision to go to MS.  

 
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Oct 28, 2020 - 2:47pm

May I ask the reasons why you chose Evercore over Goldman, MS? There are pros and cons to any of the three and I'm curious what your reasoning was.

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 28, 2020 - 3:29pm

Couple reasons. First, I wanted to be at the "best" bank - either the best BB or the best EB/ Independent Advisory, which would be GS or Evercore. I also wanted to be at a bank that does NOT distinguish product from coverage, and hence the easy elimination of MS on both regards.

Between GS and Evercore, it came down to prestige, exit at Associate level specifically, pay, and fit. I'll break them down briefly below for you.

Prestige: Seemed equal in the world of finance. GS is obviously more well known given its size and history, but I cared more about the sense of prestige from people in the professional services industry. But this was probably the single reason it was hard to turn GS down. 

Exit: Evercore especially at the Associate level... it seemed that being at an EB in general is more advantageous to exit to PE

Pay: At Associate 1, GS pays ~90k less. Some folks at GS say that Evercore pays more just to attract talent, but I think that's absurd, having talked to 30+ bankers. This is finance at the end of the day and your pay says a lot about your firm, your skill set, and your value. Why get paid 90k less to be at the same caliber firm? Obviously this gap widens as you progress.

Fit: This could be controversial, but bankers at Evercore came across as so much sharper and brighter than those at GS. I did meet quality, sharp bankers at GS too, but the quality just was so inconsistent. I felt more intellectually stimulated when talking to folks at Evercore and that's the kind of environment I wanted to be in. Besides, the smaller class is a plus. 

 
Oct 28, 2020 - 3:01pm

Pay is higher at Evercore, culture is generally great, you might as well get paid as much as possible for slaving away, especially if the name of the firm is as great and maybe even better than some BBs. There is a high demand for working at PJT/Evercore because of pay/culture/learning and exit opportunities. 

Worst case scenario, you can easily lateral to another firm but if you like your group there is no reason to do so imo.

Congrats!

Array
  • 3
 
Oct 28, 2020 - 5:18pm

Don't see taking EVR over GS as controversial these days, especially at the post-MBA level. Brand is very strong in US and should continue to strengthen globally. Steady flow of top senior bankers moving to the firm. Congrats

 
  • Executive Director in AM - Equities
Oct 28, 2020 - 7:54pm

If you are staying in finance EVR is a no-brainer. Much smaller yet better for your personal development in IB than MS and GS. The pay gap is there because EVR is a no-BS culture, and the Goldman discount is still a thing for some reason (even when MS is better diversified, killing Menlo Park game, and no huge fines/scandals). From my experience, you will also be able to utilize EVR alumni much easier for MF PE as the levels of connections are tighter. Right now with DJ D-Sol behind the deck I'd even take MS over GS for the long run.

IB and PE is looking to capitalize on the more recent financial engineering since IPOs are probably down until 2024; like SPACs (although not that new and probably won't stay as hot for long). GS was killing it along with Citi, CS, and even DB. Evercore just made a good senior hiring there, and I think that it's an example where EVR can also switch gears quickly. You might bubble up quicker to get that exposure at EVR than at GS, where at senior levels stuff can get political.

 
  • Executive Director in AM - Equities
Oct 30, 2020 - 5:59pm

Nah, mostly because they are more involved in politics and that's not helping their sales pitch. Most fees will be made in RX right now, which is something BBs cannot do. After that it's TMT, and I think that MS is killing sales there rn. Don't get me wrong, numbers still prove GS and JPM are IB kings, but I do think that MS is nailing the IB-AM transition while not getting involved in consumer banking at all.

For the same $6B that GS is about to pay in fines, MS added $500B+ in assets via acquisition. The no-BS hardcore cold culture that built Wall St isn't really at GS anymore. Much tighter corp. governance there might be needed. MS fired 34-year vet traders over using Whatsapp, GS can't even find them.

 
Oct 29, 2020 - 7:19am

I think a lot of career banker's only argument for the bulges you mentioned would be that you'd be able to become a better MD with the option not only to provide M&A advice but also financing advice which could later turn into an M&A client. That being said, with the shift of many rainmakers at bulges to boutiques like Evercore or CV, I think the narrative may have shifted a little in terms of which one provides a better career opportunity given you'll be able to work on their deals and network/get close with their clients. So I think evercore was definitely the right choice from both a skillset perspective but also the potential to grow, which I would think is either on par with a bulge now or getting closer by the year

 
  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Oct 29, 2020 - 9:37am

I am a former Evercore M&A in a "top" group from a deal flow perspective. Be prepared that the quality of talent, deal flow and culture will vary dramatically group to group at Evercore, which is understandable given how quickly the firm is growing. If you want to have a career in banking, you should be prepared / willing to dedicate your time to a group that does well and pushes you. When I worked across or alongside bankers at GS/MS on deals, it was obvious that their associate / VP level folks were a cut above most of the laymen at my firm.

 
  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Oct 29, 2020 - 10:29am

EVR has (or had) a generalist starting program so everyone worked across the firm before dedicating. You could see a real discrepancy in talent in how sharp, intuitive and experienced some bankers were in certain groups, and how much others were not. On average perhaps Evercore talent is higher (more likely at the analyst level vs the associate level), but the discrepancy is very wide. Maybe this is not noticeable as an intern / first year analyst or associate, but it becomes very, very obvious once you get in some reps.

I have worked across people in GS/MS (not to mention have a dozen friends still in banking at both firms) and my personal view is that their talent is >>> the bottom half of Evercore. Again, not sure I would have made this statement when I was an intern but certainly became apparent 6-mos into the job.

Let me know if you want further color.

 
Oct 30, 2020 - 3:06pm

As a general piece of advice, early in your career you should always go for the most well know, well regarded place....  There is a value of having it on your resume.  The easiest reason is because most people do not last or want to stay in banking and a "top notch" bank helps.  It's just the truth. 

That said, you should be nuanced enough to really focus on the group culture and the specific people you'll work with.  You're not going to be successful if you go somewhere you don't feel a connection and the people interact with you in a lackluster way, but hey it's GS TMT when you can go to JPM (just an example).  You need to be able to identify where YOU think you'll end up being most successful and crush it there rather than reading this forum and getting reassurance from a bunch of strangers.  Life is so much more than this bullshit about GS/JPM/MS to PE to MBA to PE to Partner.  It really is immature and self destructive.

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