Comments (60)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 31, 2020 - 2:42pm

Wouldn't take a MM over a top BB, but I accepted a top MM SA over a lower BB due to group selection (got a group specific offer at the MM vs unknown at BB) and I liked MM culture better. Comp is similar, if anything a place like Blair will pay more than BB but less than EB.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 31, 2020 - 4:28pm

I'd say the top MM are probably Blair/HL/Baird, though different groups are best at each. HW, Lincoln, Piper are probably the next best group, though again very group dependent.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 2, 2020 - 2:46pm

I think looking back to recruiting season I thought the culture at top MM's was better than some BB's. Senior people seemed to have come over from BB's and people seemed a bit more relaxed (they did want you to be probably more so technically savy though).

I agree with the above and would take a top MM over UBS/CS/DB

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 5, 2020 - 9:00am

I definitely agree that MM can lead to amazing opportunities. I'm just curious, because I've seen this in a few places, is CS really comparable to UBS and DB. I know they have had bumps in the past, but I've always considered them more in line with Tier 2 BBs like Citi and Barclays. Interested to hear your thoughts...

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 1, 2020 - 12:05pm

Places like Blair and PJ Solomon are certainly great places to go - wouldn't take them over a top BB unless you really have a very strong group preference but I know they pay above street (less than some EBs but more than the BBs) and tend to really emphasize their cultures

Most Helpful
Aug 4, 2020 - 11:20pm

Short answer: if by "top mm" you mean Blair/Baird then the pay is comparable to BBs or higher and its all cash.

Long answer about choosing a MM: Really depends if you are talking analyst only or post MBA/looking to be a career banker.

At the analyst level, I totally get the BB obsession for mega fund looks. While these top MM firms still place strongly in PE, its an uphill battle for the largest funds, however that's probably true even at most BBs.

Post-MBA and/or with an eye toward climbing the ladder at a bank, the considerations are totally different. Top candidates at my program consistently self-selected toward the Bairds/Blairs of the world. I personally know more than one individual who turned down mid/top BB groups because they could genuinely see themselves at the culture of a top MM long term. I also personally know people who didn't get interviews with Baird/Blair who ended up at Citi/UBS/CS/RBC/Wells.

^ Put another way...if you think strong candidates at Booth and Kellogg end up at Baird/Blair because they couldn't get a BB're dead wrong.

I had another post recently but the MM term is pretty silly given that deals stretch from 20 million dollar mom and pop shops (regional boutiques) to 200m-1b+ substantial businesses (top MMs). The top MMs do strong work and you could argue make up for lower dollar values with higher volume (would you rather have three 500m sell-sides under your belt or one 2 billion deal? differences of opinion obviously).

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 4, 2020 - 11:42pm

Interned at Blair/Baird and if I think it would be an awesome place to be a career banker.

  • private partnership, so all the firms earnings are distributed to partners. Most EBs and all BBs are public, so there's a way worse distribution of the earnings pool. Along with this comes cash bonuses, which is really to not have lots of money tied up in stock, don't need to worry about vesting schedules.

  • better culture. People are just less douchey and cutthroat. Obviously there's exceptions and I'm sure there's some good cultural groups at BBs, but my bank literally everyone was super nice, way better than people I interviewed/networked with at BBs.

  • more internal promotion. My firm has multiple MDs that started as analysts and made MD by their early 30s. You then have a good 20-30 years as an MD making millions a year. It's just a way more direct route to the top then a BBs where there seems to be a huge bottleneck at a few promotion points.

  • easier, more consistent deal flow. I'm sure being an MD at GS is incredibly stressful because a single deal can make or break you career and there's insane pressure to bring in huge deals. With MM deals, it's a lot easier to find companies looking to sell and, from my understanding, it's a lot easier to source deals from a top MM. if you're a BB MD, you're often competing against a whole cohort of BBs and EBs for a deal. With MMs, if you're at one of Blair/Baird/HL you are already one of the clear leaders in the space. At my firm, my group rarely pitched and typically just fielded inbounds, and we often turned down mandates because the MDs were constantly at capacity.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 6, 2020 - 12:04am

Several people have said that Blair/Baird/HL pay the same or better than BBs. How do firms like Piper/HW stack up as far as comp?

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 24, 2021 - 12:37am

No clawback on any bonus from the middle markets, Jefferies is the only firm psycho enough to pull that.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 4, 2020 - 11:53pm

In regards to the BB vs. MM debate, there's a way to spin every consideration into a "pro" for MM if you really want. At the end of the day, be very clear about what you want long term. You should understand that most people who start in IB as Analyst don't stay at the firm past even Associate.

Take the offer that will give you the best learning experience and exit opportunities. Small differences in "culture" and compensation for a few years shouldn't sway you one way or another.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 5, 2020 - 5:02am

The top MM banks (Blair/Baird/HL) pay the same, if not higher than the BBs. Everything said on this thread is true about deal volume, type of people and general culture at MM banks that you don't seem to find at BBs. I personally know a handful of people who have turned down top BB offers to join top MM banks where it becomes easier to spend your career in banking

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 22, 2021 - 8:52am

Prior to the base changes by some banks, Blair would pay more than pretty much all non EB banks over a 2 year analyst program. This is due to the two 35k stubs in addition to the full year bonus which is almost always 100% of base. Will have to wait and see how bonus numbers look for base bumped competitors (HL, roth, piper)

  • Works at Robert W. Baird & Co.
Jun 23, 2021 - 1:56pm

Baird is about to raise comp. Based on the year we've had (firm has set an annual revenue record in some groups, and it's only June), people have very high expectations.

Honestly, Baird is doing a lot of things right lately. The last thread here went to leadership and they've been making some big changes as a result. (1) Protected weekends now start earlier on Fridays and go later on Sundays; (2) there are mandatory 4 day off weekends with "fun" bonuses so we can get away; (3) the retention bonuses are about to hit in a week;(4) along with covering dinner, Baird is now covering lunch for everyone in the office; (5) and the go-forward hybrid model is only three days in office, the rest of the week is WFH. Plus they've been cracking down on poor behavior, Baird just fired that VP who sent that e-mail that went viral lately. 

The head of IB has been pushing hard to improve the junior banker experience. It's early, but it seems sincere. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 23, 2021 - 8:34pm

Did they say they were going to raise comp? Current analysts make 95 base throughout their analyst stint right

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 23, 2021 - 8:37pm

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  • Works at Robert W. Baird & Co.
Jun 23, 2021 - 9:06pm

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