Was very curious on people's thoughts on CS in comparison to UBS. While I realize CS has been a stronger brand in the last few years, I have seen UBS has made a rebound with its focus on pure advisory whereas CS has really struggled. Recently I have been reading that CS is getting hammered as there in no deal flow and their Investment Banking division has really suffered which can be seen in the league table rankings. In the meantime, UBS is 6 in the M&A rankings while CS is at 8 and UBS has $20 billion more in value from M&A.

What are people's thoughts on this? Is working at UBS at this time better than being at CS?

Comments (44)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 30, 2020 - 1:35am

One UBS "on the rise thread" and now ppl really think UBS is better than CS as an IB franchise (for juniors) give me a break

Edit: the fact that this is controversial smh

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 30, 2020 - 8:29am

I'd take CS over UBS any day. According to financial times league tables CS is still in top 10 for M&A, loans, bonds and ipos (where UBS only makes the cut for ipos). Also CS is well know on the street for having a great sponsors and levfin group while UBS is more known for its wealth management brand imo.

Jul 30, 2020 - 8:33am

Get this UBS propaganda out of here. CS is top 3 IPO underwriter, DCM and leading SPAC underwriter. M&A down during a pandemic year big whoop. You sir are fake news


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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 30, 2020 - 8:36am

As a former CS analyst joining PE within the next month, it pains me to say that neither CS nor UBS are the smartest choices if you want to look at the long term. Barclays stands out to me as the remaining euro franchise that has a chance at growing in IB. However, as of today all are great choices.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jul 30, 2020 - 8:59am

Took a Barclays offer partly because of this long-term outlook. Will be interesting to see who takes over once Jes is gone.

  • Analyst 1 in 
Jul 31, 2020 - 3:38am

If you mind me asking, what group were you in at CS? I'll be interning there next year and am currently networking for group placement

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 30, 2020 - 9:13am

Former CS banker, now at a MF (about to leave though). I would 100% take CS over UBS, Barclays, or Citi (and probably even BAML) as a junior banker looking for PE exits. The Sponsors team is probably the single strongest non top-tier BB group for PE recruiting, while M&A, TMT, and Industrials also place very well. Other generalist coverage groups should also give you looks at most MMs and some MFs. The brand of CS is still very strong, as it was easily the strongest of the mid-tier BBs in the 2000s and early 10s, which serves the juniors well today (CS alum at top firms, recruiters look at CS, older PE folks still look at CS as CSFB). Long-term trajectory shouldn't matter unless it is a very sudden and drastic fall ala DB. Maybe in a few years CS will be materially weaker in IB and in reputation but it hasn't happened yet for rep, which is what matters for recruiting. Nothing bad to say about Barc and BAML from what I know of them -- great banks (don't know anything about Citi IB except their M&A, media, and industrials teams are strong) with fairly strong cultures. Between Barc / CS / BAML I would pick more based on group -- if you could get P&U at Barc, M&A / LevFin at BAML, or Sponsors at CS 100% go for that bank, otherwise the top 3-4 coverage groups at any of those three will get great looks at MM and some MFs

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020 - 11:15am

Not if you're looking to go somewhere as an analyst. Strong brand name, strong exits to PE / HFs, and pay will be the same as BAML / Citi. If you are looking to build a career, go to Citi / BAML (especially with more senior stock based compensation) but for your first 2-3 years CS is very strong

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 30, 2020 - 9:48am

CS just reported strong earnings today.

CS is a much stronger brand and has been restructuring over the past few years, but is now positioned for a renewed focus on IB growth.

Also, the standout groups at CS are truly standouts across the street. Still #1 in Levfin and top 3 in sponsors (as they have been for over a decade). Can't be said for UBS

CS is also consistently in the top 2-3 of proportion of its analyst class that places into PE across the street (according to internal HH reports)

UBS don't have any groups that carry the same weight

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 30, 2020 - 10:37am

Agreed, just saw earnings. Also, CS is a much smaller IB than BAML, Citi, and Barclays (I believe it might have the fewest investment bankers among the BBs) and still does as well as it does. Relatively leaner teams combined with strong PE placement makes for a great junior place

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 31, 2020 - 2:08pm

Is this even a question? Look at the deals CS is working and you'll know

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jul 31, 2020 - 2:41pm

Both banks are good, but CS is a league ahead of UBS. Its top groups are some of the most elite on the Street, and CS has some of the best PE exits of any bank.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 31, 2020 - 3:59pm

Friend at CS in IB told me his group is going to start fizzling out and no longer hire any more full-times. Seniors are jumping ship and encouraging analysts to look elsewhere as they will not be promoting anyone else in their group A2A etc... I'd be careful with CS.

A little confused about the comment who said CS over BAML/Barc/Citi, I am at JP/MS/GS and if would have to choose between those CS would be my last pick. I like how my firm in-houses M&A within coverage groups and the only other BB that follows this model is Barc.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 31, 2020 - 4:04pm

Currently as CS and this could not be less factual

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020 - 7:31pm

Purely from PE exits perspective. CS Sponsors and M&A, along with BAML LevFin and M&A, will give you a great shot at MFs and some UMMs, and even HFs. Stronger coverage groups (CS TMT / Ind, BAML C&R and Healthcare) will give you the same opps

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020 - 8:42pm

Sponsors at CS does the majority of the LBO modeling, LFO&R doesn't really do too much (but they do energy LevFin work). Because a large chunk of CS deal flow is sponsor related the group does a ton of work, hence why its so highly regarded. Generally the model is driven by either sponsors or a coverage group (most often TMT / Industrials since those are the two biggest groups in terms of headcount. Same goes for M&A, who handle a lot of the non-TMT / Industrials / Energy / FIG modeling). LFO&R is still a solid group but would easily take sponsors, M&A, or one of the stronger groups over them

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020 - 8:54pm

"LFO&R doesn't do much"....What??

LFO&R touches more diverse and much more complex processes than sponsors does. In fact they do everything sponsors does, but more, but it's with a large universe of non-IG corporations as opposed to just select sponsors. Sponsors is a great group, but also gets a bad rep for lack of technical skills because much of what they do is templated and their clients don't need much advice.

They run a model on almost every process they work on. Very lean team where analysts carry a lot of the work. Probably one of the most technical/high deal flow experiences you can find at the analyst level. They place very well into PE/HF, but small analyst classes so you don't hear about it as much

Also - not sure why you said they just do energy LevFin? It's literally CS' LevFin Group.. they touch all industries

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 31, 2020 - 9:10pm

Also very confused by this comment.

Current intern at CS at can confirm that most of the candidates I talked to were gunning for LFO&R and Sponsors list year. Next most popular was probably tech and then maybe M&A

Also have an alum mentor who is a VP in one of the banking groups at CS who said he'd strongly recommend LFO&R if interested in PE and trying to develop a technical skillset.

Common sentiment amongst my class and the full-times we networked with was that FSG/LFO&R > Tech > M&A > the rest

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020 - 9:41pm

Again, CS is famous for sponsor work and a large percentage of their deals is through Sponsors, who run point on the model. LevFin barely touches any of the LBO work sponsors does. Also not sure what the tech group is (unless its SF or CS split up T and M&T). When I was at CS the LevFin group was not considered a desired group relative to a few other groups. And when I said LevFin does energy I meant they will do all energy LevFin modeling, including for sponsors

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020 - 9:58pm

CS Tech is now it's own group in NY.

I'm confused why you're only equating LBO modeling to valuable banking experience. If that were the case then m&a, tmt, and all the rest would also "not do too much."

Couple of important points here
1) modeling is modeling. Including LBO outputs is not impressive. At CS, the models that the m&a and LFO&R guys are doing are far more complex than the FSG models. I know firsthand that modeling in FSG is a cakewalk. That's part of the reason why the group has such a great lifestyle. The technical work is not very technical and the conceptual work is already done because that's what Apollo, BX, etc do. So while you point out that LFO&R only does LBO modeling for energy, that's an irrelevant point because they are building models for every deal/industry.

2) CS is a top 2 player in both non-sponsor backed LevFin and sponsor-backer levfin. Have been since they absorbed the Levfin pioneers, DLJ. Both groups have the strongest deal flow of the bank and combine to generate the vast majority of revenue at CS.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 31, 2020 - 10:15pm

Solid points here. Sounds similar to BAML. Levfin is just like a more challenging, less clear cut version of sponsors.
However, both place very well. Sponsors is also helpful because you just get a lot of exposure to sponsor-back deals. Levfin at these banks and a couple others, however, will provide the more in-depth and technical experience.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 1, 2020 - 5:13am

In your opinion, would it be better to be in one of CS TMT / Ind, BAML C&R and Healthcare than LFO&R then?

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 1, 2020 - 10:24am

I personally was interested in running the full gamut of products and learning about an industry, so I would generally take those coverage groups over CS LFO&R (CS sponsors is too strong a group to pass up so I would take them over any). Between those coverage I think BAML C&R is probably the strongest, then CS TMT / Ind, then BAML Healthcare but again my info could be dated from when I was recruiting

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 31, 2020 - 4:08pm

Not at CS but do me a favor and go look at deal flow. CS advised on the biggest M&A transaction of the year, was lead left on the first post COVID IPO and leads the SPAC market. UBS is not in the same ball park as CS in many way. Much weaker brand reputation in the US across PE exits. Don't take a bunch of wannabes on this site as the truth there are a lot of salty college kids pretending to be full time bankers on here who write absolute nonsense that almost no one on the street agrees with

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jul 31, 2020 - 4:24pm

If you look at yesterdays earnings report any of the comments here about CS falling apart seem laughable. It was a monster quarter for CS - IBCM fees up 61% YoY, debt underwriting fees up 83%, profit margin of nearly 30% in the IBCM unit. Highest net income in a decade. Overall, seems like a positive outlook for banking at CS as a whole. Still ranked first on Bloomberg's LBO Loans league table by a longshot. Also worth noting that CS's M&A revenues increased 13% while Barclays, Deutsche, and UBS fell 32%, 39%, and 23% respectively.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 1, 2020 - 1:52am

Really citing LBO loans as a good league table stat? CS is a great bank, no need to cite capital markets prowess. Focus on M&A.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Jul 31, 2020 - 4:45pm

Both banks are really good. Obviously, everyone wants to believe they are in the best bank, instead of affirming that by putting other institutions down, we should be hyping each other up. Landing IB is so hard, it sucks that you can accomplish something so monumental and then have people still talk down once you get a spot somewhere...

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