Credit Suisse - honest assessment

Posting anon since I'm actively recruiting right now for an IB position. I "clicked" well networking with the Houston group in Credit Suisse as far as the culture and fit, and straight up got told "you WILL get a first round interview at least."

That said, Credit Suisse has been in the news lately for not the most spectacular reasons. I'm not sure the Houston team will be affected or not but it's now something that enough professionals and mentors brought up that I wanted to ask the question. Is this something to be concerned about? Devil's advocate, early 2010s Goldman and Jefferies were in the spotlight and that blew over eventually. Wanted people's honest opinions.

Comments (24)

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Nov 26, 2021 - 2:53pm

CS analyst here - I'm biased of course but things are pretty good here the last few months. We're currently hiring like crazy at the MD level. Senior management has rolled out a big splashy plan to bolster M&A platform, already signed a bunch of heavy hitters from other BB's and the likes of Centerview. The firmwide strategic review was a big overhang for retaining and hiring senior talent - everything was on the table and the fate of the investment bank was definitely uncertain, that finally concluded and they re-affirmed their commitment to remaining a strong BB franchise, re-investing in the business etc. Seem to be regaining momentum after many months of crappy headlines and uncertainty. FWIW, I think the culture here is better than what I hear from any of my friends at other shops. Most groups WFH 2 days a week, lots of people leave at 5-6pm and log back on from home etc. They're also cutting the analyst program to just 2 years before associate promo, our bonuses this past summer were unaffected by Archegos and very in line w the other BBs ex-GS. That's all to say - I think you should go in with an open mind and if you like the team, take the gig with confidence.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 26, 2021 - 4:22pm

I'm very curious to see how this all plays out for sure. The Centerview MD, who I actually networked with this summer lol, built his rolodex while at CS previously before leaving to CVP at the Principal/VP level.

He's a growing name in the HC world and I would absolutely expect him to keep the Carlyle, etc relationship strong but I do wonder if he will struggle to protect or expand his influence as he's worked on stuff with some solid firms like PPD, etc.

Shot in the dark but would love to hear other's thoughts on this. Jumping from BB to CVP (in HC nonetheless) then getting the bag to go back to BB is a very interesting career path. Albeit one that obviously requires him to be talented (which I think he is)

Nov 26, 2021 - 3:57pm

Beyond the fact that CS is actually looking to expand their M&A presence (while downsizing S&T / prime services), the overall state of the bank you work at doesn't matter at all at the analyst level. Look at how Greenhill is still a UMM / MF factory while strong MMs with insane dealflow still struggle to place a single analyst to MF in an analyst class. 

  • Works at Credit Suisse
Nov 26, 2021 - 5:06pm

A few groups got hit hard with departures (like FIG) but I still think it's a great spot to end up at, especially with potential upward trajectory when Archegos blows over. They are particularly strong in Houston so if you like them I would stick it out. There was another analysis here on MF placements and CS placed almost as well as Citi BofA and Barclays despite being a lot smaller in terms of headcount.

Nov 28, 2021 - 4:20am

I think the bank is still solid but I certainly have questions surrounding the mass departures at the senior level across so many groups and verticals. Many of the people who are now group heads or lead coverage for certain sectors are those who were appointed as replacements in the wake of other folks who left. This isn't to say they won't do a good job but I would definitely question whether they are as effective or as connected as their departed colleague. I would think that pure advisory work not involving any kind of capital markets activity would be affected more heavily by this given the pure advisory work is generally more relationship-driven (again, generally speaking). Will be interesting to see how the investment bank fares post all the departures and how management treats IBCM going forward - keep in mind Greensill and Archegos were just this year so there could be more change in store we haven't seen.

  • 4
  • Analyst 1 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 28, 2021 - 11:32am

Specifically addressing your question around joining the Energy & Infrastructure Group in Houston - yes I would be concerned. There's a few articles that have detailed the level of departures and the fact that both group heads left should be a red flag. I believe 2 renewables bankers left for Evercore and a few other top guys left for MS or RBC; IMO this might be a tough situation to overcome. I would advise you to spend some time digging into recent deals and try and understand if they're driven by coverage/product MDs or if they were likely a function of the group heads' relationships as this will be a crucial factor in the group's ability to rebound.

Nov 29, 2021 - 9:30am

Yea no one cares about these things and every few years some bank does something stupid. When you're young the work experience is your priority, so just get in anywhere and then it's easier to lateral around. CS you ant going anywhere, it's just not a top place currently, but still better than most other small shops.

Dec 18, 2021 - 8:22pm

CS Houston group is one of the strongest and has been part of the biggest O&G deals in the last five years. Bad headlines are bad headlines and no one will care/remember about those issues in a couple of years. CS has a very strong culture. Some senior people have left but this happens in all firms don't let the noise distract you. Top leadership is still in place and relationships are fine. One of the largest banks in the world, if you get the privilege to get an offer at CS you should seriously consider taking it. Great deals, better culture, and work-life balance, and you are getting the CS BB name brand.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Dec 18, 2021 - 8:44pm

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Dec 23, 2021 - 7:57pm

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