Compare/Contrast the culture of the following investment banks: GS, JPM, Morgan Stanley, BAML, Citi, Barclays, and UBS?

scorpio20's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 154

What are your thoughts on the following banks in terms of company culture: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Barclays, and UBS? How is the culture of their investment banking divisions in particular?

Comments (19)

Jun 21, 2017

overall prestige is not the same after chase merger.
JPMC is a little better looking brother of BOA

Jun 21, 2017

Wouldn't mention it in the same breath with BofA are you kidding? BofA's hardly a bulge bracket. JPM is in the same league as Citi, ML, and Lehman, but would put it ahead of CS by all accounts.

Jun 21, 2017

noob123 is an imbecile

Jun 21, 2017

do you pop your collar at JPMC?
please don't hate because I compared your employer as the "better looking brother of BOA". BOA is a great company and I was saying JPMC is better than BOA.
So why the insult? imbecile? stop being so childish.
stop being so emotional =(...

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Jun 21, 2017

BofA and JPM have nothing in common. JPM's IB is leaps and bounds ahead of BofA's.

Jun 21, 2017

If you're going by absolute prestige, I'd have GS, MS, Leh, ML/JPM/Citi all for a 3rd place tie.
JPM is leaps and bounds above BoA.

This is not taking into account the more "prestigous" MM and boutiques, such as PWP, Lazard, MoCo, Greenhill, etc.

Jun 21, 2017

how do mediocre coverage groups compare

Jun 21, 2017

jpm prestige when they have a commerical bank attached but ml isnt that impressive either

id still go

GS
MS
leh
ML
JPM
Citi

  • justanotherbanker
  •  Jun 21, 2017

Purely my opinion: JPM sits somewhere in your 5+ category if you're talking about recognition within the IB community.

Some bankers consider JPM's levfin dominance to have a dilutive effect on the significance of their (very solid) 3 or 4 spot in the US M&A league tables (e.g. "they're only on that deal for their balance sheet").

Think about scenarios such as the TXU buyout. You had GS, CS, JPM, MS, CS and LEH all acting as buy-side advisors and financers and all picking up $40B+ of league table credit. (LAZ and CS were the sell side advisors). Here's an old WSJ article about Lazard making out like bandits (http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2007/07/26/fee-watch-la...)
First off, no single deal actually needs six buy-side advisors (six banks to finance, fine). So two questions come up: First, which bank(s) is consistently looked to for the highest-level advice and which bank(s) is taken most seriously? Let's call these banks the ones that are central to a deal. Second, in huge deals like TXU, to what extent are sponsors like KKR doling out league table credit as favors to bankers?

My impression has been that JPM's "centrality", in a pure advisory sense, has to be compared to a group of banks that includes GS, LEH, MER, MS, UBS, CS. You couldn't just shove it up there right with GS/MS. (Do not read that list like a prestige ranking, it's just a landscape).

If you want to characterize this "central" role in strategic M&A as opposed to sponsor-related M&A, the ABN Amro deal is a good example. There is no question that Merrill dominated this deal. Andrea Orcel from MER is credited with putting together the buy-side consortium that beat out Barclays and MER will reap a $100m+ fee windfall. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119153284655649375...)
In conclusion, if you want to see how any bank "stands" against other banks, you'll have to look at how much real substance there is to the deal credit they pick up. Are the MDs ultra-tight with the best clients. Are they originating the best ideas and stategies AND being listened to? Do they win? Are the bank's securities offerings successful? My subjective opinion is that JPM is mid-pack with the bulge firms when it comes to substance. I'd be thrilled if someone else would post a similar assessment rather than just throw up a list of ten bank names in order of perceived "prestige".

Hope this helps.

Jun 21, 2017

Is being at a top JPM group like say levfin just as good as being at a top group at a "more prestigious" bank like Goldman TMT?

Also, Justanotherbanker, what exactly are you saying about JPM M&A? You said "My impression has been that JPM's "centrality", in a pure advisory sense, has to be compared to a group of banks that includes GS, LEH, MER, MS, UBS, CS." Do you mean that it has to be compared to them to get a good feel for its actual worth, or are you saying that it IS comparable, meaning its in their league? Overall, where are you placing JPM M&A?

  • justanotherbanker
  •  Jun 21, 2017

Being at JPM Levfin or M&A is not the same as being at GS TMT. I have friends at JPM M&A and M&A and they love it and get tons of attention from employers etc. However, there is the GS cache to consider as well as the ballerness of being a generalist analyst in a GS program (especially in the sector with the arguably the highest concentration of HUGE M&A deals). The GS alumni network is also markedly stronger.

Regarding your second question:
'Also, Justanotherbanker, what exactly are you saying about JPM M&A? You said "My impression has been that JPM's "centrality", in a pure advisory sense, has to be compared to a group of banks that includes GS, LEH, MER, MS, UBS, CS." Do you mean that it has to be compared to them to get a good feel for its actual worth, or are you saying that it IS comparable, meaning its in their league? Overall, where are you placing JPM M&A?'

My post had nothing to do with specific groups at these banks. I was talking about the banks' overall prowess. The M&A group only has work because a sector coverage guy brought in the business. The sector coverage guy very likely brings in equity/debt deals the same clients who need M&A and so on and so on. The overall system is so much bigger than is going to be captured in a question like "should I go to JPM M&A or MS M&A?" For example, MS/CS ran Google's IPO, I'd imagine that they enjoy a pretty nice coverage relationship with GOOG. My post had more to do with which banks have (subjectively) the strongest client relationships, the strongest origination histories, and have bankers who are taken the most seriously.

I think it's counterproductive to throw up 'prestige' rankings. This is where the "GS, LEH, MER, MS, UBS, CS" list comes in. My way of characterizing JPMs power as a bank (not its prestige -- which I really don't concern myself with) is to say that you can't definitively place JPM (as an entire bank) above the above mentioned list of banks. To give you an idea of what I mean, you COULD definitively say that GS is more powerful than DB.

Hopefully this clarifies my post for you managinganalyst. Either way, I expect this thread to turn into another bickering session about "prestige", then probably digress into school rankings. You can PM me if you want.

Jun 21, 2017

I understand where you're going now. I think what you're saying makes a lot of sense. And I also share your distaste for the prestige and school ranking threads haha. Thanks for your clarification.

Jun 21, 2017

if i go to a top target. got an offer with jpm, and like the people i met, but also have final rounds with gs ms and cs. what should i do. i have cancelled the cs, but gs and ms. jp wants me to sign soon and i dont want to piss them off for marginal differences

Jun 21, 2017

MS and GS interviews (assuming this is all for IBD), and then make a decision. If you go to a top target, your school's career center has pretty strict rules pertaining to exploding offers, etc. You shouldn't be forced to make a decision until end of November/December sometime.

It's always nice to see what's out there, esp. since MS and GS are top shops.

Jun 21, 2017

I'd say top 5 dead or alive and that's just off one LP

Either you sling crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot

Jun 21, 2017

"JPM
Submitted by BSD123 on October 19, 2007 - 7:11pm.

I'd say top 5 dead or alive and that's just off one LP"

HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHHA I wonder if anyone on this will get the joke but that was hilarious.

Jun 21, 2017

jadakiss...haha hilarious :\

Jun 21, 2017