Did I Make the Right Choice (Moelis v PJT)

Some background: I'm an econ major at a target school, went through OCR last month, and was fortunate enough to land offers from Moelis NY and PJT NY (RSSG).

I felt I made stronger connections at Moelis. Additionally, I and am not positive if I 1000% want to do distressed in the future, so I figured that Moelis being a mixed M&A and restructuring analyst program provided greater flexibility. I ended up signing with Moelis.

Over the past few weeks I've seen lots of post on this site hyping up PJT, and RSSG in particular, and was curious for people's thoughts on my decision, or if anyone else faced a similar decision and could say how things turned out for them.

Comments (21)

Best Response
Oct 14, 2017

i'm going to take a different approach to this answer.

lets go over what we know for certain:
1. you can't go back in time
2. you got/accepted an offer from a fantastic bank with great exits

theres no going wrong with 2 banks of that standard, despite what some ppl on here will say, and being honest, going in with any kind of 'what if' attitude will just mess you up

the star analyst from PJT and Moelis will both place extremely well- why even bother with what might have happened? your stronger connections at Moelis will help you become that rockstar analyst

all im trying to say is that people love generalizing the difference between options without understanding that in the grand scheme of things, your initial choice doesn't matter- what you do over the next 2 years will

if you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful

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Oct 14, 2017

Thanks, you're absolutely right!

Oct 14, 2017

No problem! Best of luck

if you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful

Oct 14, 2017

I can comment on this because I made a similar decision between two EBs and went with the slightly less "hyped" firm (really only by this site). The basis for my decision was similar to yours -I felt I had more inroads with both senior level people and junior level as well. Further, I liked the firms analyst program more (more generalist M&A as opposed to being siloed). After summering there I couldn't be happier with my decision and I felt my expectations were beyond satisfied. As the poster above commented, having stronger connections will help you become the star / top-bucket analyst, and I certainly felt that effect during my summer. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here and boast about being the strongest intern, but in general because I had a strong network within the firm, particularly with alumni, it enabled me to get the top summer staffings, better quality work (more modeling), and even further expand my network at the partner-level.

So now coming into full-time, I've built a strong reputation and have tight connections with MDs and Partners, who I can feel comfortable relying on during recruiting which is only 6 months after my FT stint starts. I think it's crucial that early-on, even during your internship, you are able to demonstrate you value and ability to be a star analyst, and having close relationships within the firm will be of tremendous help towards the goal.

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Oct 14, 2017

@Edward Snowden, I enjoy WSO and feel like this website has benefited me tremendously, but you have to remember that the vast majority of posters on here are college students who tend to fall victim to the herd mentality. Both Moelis and PJT are excellent banks. Your reasoning for choosing Moelis instead is very sound, and if you trust your gut like that in the future, you will tend to make the right choices. Good luck and congrats on breaking into IB.

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Oct 14, 2017

Congrats! It's a great feat but honestly comes down to what you want to do. I personally am going to Evercore (from a target too) but was hoping to get a SA job at PJT RSSG because did not want to even touch M&A because it's so bland in conjunction with the fact that everyone in PJT RSSG places lights out because everyone is a "top analyst" whereas at other EBs/BBs you have to be so called "top bucket", hoping to make a switch to PJT for FT, maybe our paths will cross! If you like the generalist approach then you should definitely stay at Moelis.

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Oct 14, 2017

you screwed up by not taking an offer at Nomura !!!!

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Oct 14, 2017

Excellent choice. Trust me, looking back on your life, it will not make one ounce of a difference. Moelis will get you where you want to go.

Oct 15, 2017

You managed to win offers from 2 top places so obviously you have what it takes. I think you made the right choice as well, with solid reasoning not grounded on something stupid like prestige or comps. Tremendous value in the generalist program to do both M&A and restructuring.

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Jun 7, 2018

Your reasoning was solid and mature. As everyone above has been saying, you're going to be fine.

I don't know much about PJT RSSG, but think that a lot of people signing with Moelis are overlooking its (really concerning) cultural issues. From what I understand, there are a ton of summers that got returns who don't want to go back because they got worked to the bone.

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Oct 15, 2017

Yeah this is right - though some people apparently were fine with the workload. It is a great experience, but I agree people should be aware of how crazy the hours are. I didn't think there was a "real" difference between the better banks/groups...until I saw a guy work at Moelis.

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May 3, 2018

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Oct 15, 2017

If you can't be happy with the offer you accepted then it isn't a matter of your circumstance but rather a function of your own grass-is-greener attitude. Congrats on landing a great job.

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Oct 15, 2017

was in a similar position, took PJT M&A over EVR primarily because of fit. still feel unsure when i see vault rankings / people on here but trust me, you're never going to regret your decision if you're picking for cultural reasons. All EBs place very well, the difference is marginal as long as you do your job well. what's more important is how you like your time there, which seems like you'll enjoy more at Moelis.

Although, I will add that I've had a few very close friends summer at Moelis and the long hours are not a myth. That being said, all of them would have / did sign back which speaks to the culture of the firm

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Oct 15, 2017

Something I've always been curious about: What is the value of doing restructuring in addition to M&A to your professional development as a banker / PE investor?

Being able to do both M&A and restructuring does seem very appealing from a junior level's perspective, as you get the ultimate generalist experience in keeping all doors open. But besides the option of keeping both traditional and distressed PE, does having experience in both help you do your job as a banker better?

Oct 15, 2017

My thought process was that at a junior level you have the widest range of exit options, and that you can tell from experience which process you actually enjoy working on most.

If you end up staying in banking, the MDs at Moelis I spoke with who specialized in M&A and restructuring said that the ability to advise a client through good and bad times was actually a significant value add to both winning business, and retaining those relationships in the future.

If you end up going the corporate route then I'm sure having a thorough understanding of restructuring can be helpful as well.

Lastly, thank you to everyone for the input and encouragement!

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Oct 16, 2017

Have a couple of friends who summered at Moelis. They received offers but decided to reject them... tells you something about the culture/rigor.

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Oct 17, 2017
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