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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2020 - 11:43am

here's the real and unbiased (i promise) breakdown:

Pay: All EBs pay roughly the same. The outlier being CVP which pays more, and LAZ which pays less.

Reputation: This is splitting hairs. More or less the same reputation, despite what people say. LAZ, EVR, PWP, PJT, & MOE all have good RX franchises (EVR is very strong but a much smaller platform, PWP is weaker and smaller but still good tbh, CVP does RX but not that many). All have strong M&A franchises.

Exits: You'll get the same interviews regardless of where you work, at any of these banks. It ultimately just comes down to the caliber of the analyst and the strength of resume. Talking to friends, and what I've heard, your exits are "more compromised" at CVP. Current buddy in the NYC office told me that upper leadership told analysts straight up that they'd be fired if they tried to recruit for PE first year. Even as a second year I've heard rumblings that CVP tries to make recruiting difficult. I'd only go to CVP if you want to be in banking long-term and be willing to ride out a 3 year analyst stint. You'll be compensated well for this trade-off.

For HF exits btw I've noticed my older friends who have had RX exposure have tended to do better. Obviously there's a little self selction going on (credit funds, distressed, special sits, event driven etc.) but that may be something to keep in mind. In general, as i said before, i don't think you'll be limited coming from any one of these shops.

Culture: You'll be working rough hours where ever you go. Moelis/LAZ rumoured to be rough EVR/PJT rumoured to be better, but honestly I think it's this same everywhere. A bakeoff is going to take XX hours no matter what bank youre at.

Things to note: I think that PJT M&A, PWP, and MOE provide industry agnostic experience (MOE is also a blended experience with RX i think too), so keep that in mind if you would like optionality. While I truly do not believe it matters what bank you go to, WSO community loves really loves to hype up PJT RX and MOE LA, can't speak to whether or not this hype is warranted but just wanted to throw it out there.

Last Thought: IF you get an offer from one of these take it, and don't think back on it. You'll be fine...none of these banks will hold you back. Last thing I'd say is also be cognizant of analyst class sizes. It's something that's super underrated and doesn't get talked about a lot on WSO. I am super impressed by the PJT and MOE (i'd throw CVP in here too) analysts in particular. iThose guys are absolute units, and I think that it's the result of a leaner class size leading to a better learning experience. By virtue of class size, people also get blinded by what they hear...you might hear "EVR placed X people into MFs this year" but know that the number is diluted when you take into account a larger class size. To this point, I'd wager that all exits are more or less in line no matter where you go.

  • Business School in IB - Gen
Aug 3, 2020 - 1:56pm

Fantastic breakdown - thanks for this. Any thoughts from the perspective of a post-MBA level gig? For longer term stints in banking, are certain EBs better/worse than others?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2020 - 2:21pm

Same poster as above and slow day, so I'll take a stab at this. Obviously I'd like to caveat this by saying I'm an analyst but I do think I know enough to speak intelligently about the associate ranks. Again, I'll try to be as objective as possible.

For post-mba associates the distinction between EBs becomes more blurred, because there's less optionality when it comes to exits. This makes the intangibles (i.e. fit, group, city) and the one noticeable tangible (comp) much more important. At the associate level I think you either verticalize or begin to verticalize, and by the end of your associate stint there's virtually no chance you'll be in a generalist role. In reality, if youre going for a traditional EB, you'll likely be deciding between LAZ, MOE, EVR, and PWP because PJT/CVP dont really have a post-mba pipeline as far as i know. Comp range i think is something like MOE/EVR/PWP > LAZ (though maybe LAZ is more generous at the associate level, don't think so though).

I think every EB is generally internal promote friendly. To my knowledge, I don't think one bank is better than another at the post-mba level. The factors that would promote/inhibit promotion have to do more with headcount (i.e. you're covering industrials and they're bloated at the VP level or you're covering HC and they're having a good run and relatively lean in the middle). The thinking when you're hired as an associate is that you'll get promoted, of course banks hire with the mindset that there will be attrition.

Because there's a lot less distinction between individual EBs, I think the main question you have to ask yourself in a post-mba position is BB vs. EB. Obviously a whole different conversation, but my 2 cents are that EBs provide the better route simply because the BB name isn't really helpful because exits are limited, thus the branding less helpful, so you might as well go to an EB and get paid. Might be a little biased here, but that's the way I see it.

Aug 3, 2020 - 2:35pm

FYI, PJT's associate class is essentially the same size as PWP. Both are much smaller than Evercore, Moelis or Lazard.
Historically, CVP did not hire post MBA associates. That is also starting to change, but more slowly than PJT.

Array
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Aug 3, 2020 - 2:33pm

A few factors that impact MBA recruiting that aren't as applicable to analysts.

  • Generalist vs. group specific placement. If you have a specific industry you know you want to work in, places like PJT and Evercore are generalist and largely not accommodative of those with specific interests. On the other hand, if you do not have experience in a specific area and are undecided, places like Lazard and PWP will be tough.

  • Size: Centerview has historically had a very small summer associate class (1 person). I think this is starting to change, but I feel like you're missing out on part of the experience if you don't have a class of people your year.
    Along the same lines, there are certain groups (primarily within PWP and PJT) that are so small, that one or two people leaving can materially impact the group's deal flow. If you're in something like technology or healthcare, obviously this is less applicable.

  • Culture: There are very meaningful differences in terms of their recruiting approaches (e.g., Evercore tends to focus overwhelmingly on technical questions and has less contact with candidates, PJT, MOE tend to focus a lot more on personality/soft skills). Some (Evercore comes to mind) had a significantly higher percentage of diversity candidates, but they may just be ahead of the curve in this regard.
    Banking's largely self selecting though, so not sure how much of an impact either actually has, if any, on the Associate class dynamics.

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  • 3
  • Business School in IB - Gen
Aug 3, 2020 - 9:45pm

Super helpful! Was not aware of those nuances in culture (i.e. EVR being more technical-focused vs. PJT/MoCo's skew towards personality and fit). Thanks for that - sent you a PM

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Aug 3, 2020 - 2:20pm

Source: am analyst at one of these banks, have friends at the rest.

Pay: Centerview, PJT, Evercore all pay the same in base + bonus (~180k), but Centerview has a thick 50k first year signing bonus (others are ~20k) that pushes first year comp higher. Pay also scales faster at centerview. Pwp all in pay is usually similar if not a tad lower (165-175k) but tbh that will depend on the year. Moelis is p much the only EB to actually bucket and analyst pay can vary significantly (140-190) based on which bucket you're in, but if you're doing well you'll be in line with the other EBs. Lazard has always been known to pay the worst of all the EBs, and more in line with the BBs (140-150k all in).

Exits: If you're an analyst at one of these banks there will be very few roles that you won't be able to interview for if you want. Performance is more up to the individual than the firm brand. That said, some firms/groups have built up a reputation for impressive exits year over year. Evercore M&A, and Moelis LA are often called out for their exits, and PJT RSSG is pretty much regarded as the best banking group there is for analyst exits. Again, the group itself likely won't change the exit of any given analyst, but some groups have a tendency to consistently attract the best analysts in the first place. It's worth noting that Centerview and PWP heavily push analyst retention while other firms have a much more open and supportive culture of recruiting (PJT analysts get the week of on-cycle off to focus on recruiting). For hedge funds in particular, Rx analysts tend to do well, the trade-off being the growth, vc, and corp dev opportunities their M&A counterparts get.

Hours/Culture: Banking sucks. Everyone gets grinded one week or another. Moelis has developed a reputation of being the worst though, and even though they try to say they're not a sweatshop anymore, my roommate works for Moelis and he has the worst hours of any of my friends at any bank. Evercore is usually noted for (relatively) decent hours, and pre-covid hours at PJT Rx were supposed to be good as well.

All in all, all of these are good offers and anyone would (and should) take any of them if they get one, especially in this climate. That said, most people's top choice heading into recruiting are Evercore M&A or PJT RSSG -- unsurprising, seeing that they have top pay, decent hours, and great exits.

  • Business School in PE - LBOs
Aug 3, 2020 - 3:41pm
Analyst 2 in IB - Gen:

Source: am analyst at one of these banks, have friends at the rest.

Pay: Centerview, PJT, Evercore all pay the same in base + bonus (~180k), but Centerview has a thick 50k first year signing bonus (others are ~20k) that pushes first year comp higher. Pay also scales faster at centerview. Pwp all in pay is usually similar if not a tad lower (165-175k) but tbh that will depend on the year. Moelis is p much the only EB to actually bucket and analyst pay can vary significantly (140-190) based on which bucket you're in, but if you're doing well you'll be in line with the other EBs. Lazard has always been known to pay the worst of all the EBs, and more in line with the BBs (140-150k all in).

Exits: If you're an analyst at one of these banks there will be very few roles that you won't be able to interview for if you want. Performance is more up to the individual than the firm brand. That said, some firms/groups have built up a reputation for impressive exits year over year. Evercore M&A, and Moelis LA are often called out for their exits, and PJT RSSG is pretty much regarded as the best banking group there is for analyst exits. Again, the group itself likely won't change the exit of any given analyst, but some groups have a tendency to consistently attract the best analysts in the first place. It's worth noting that Centerview and PWP heavily push analyst retention while other firms have a much more open and supportive culture of recruiting (PJT analysts get the week of on-cycle off to focus on recruiting). For hedge funds in particular, Rx analysts tend to do well, the trade-off being the growth, vc, and corp dev opportunities their M&A counterparts get.

Hours/Culture: Banking sucks. Everyone gets grinded one week or another. Moelis has developed a reputation of being the worst though, and even though they try to say they're not a sweatshop anymore, my roommate works for Moelis and he has the worst hours of any of my friends at any bank. Evercore is usually noted for (relatively) decent hours, and pre-covid hours at PJT Rx were supposed to be good as well.

All in all, all of these are good offers and anyone would (and should) take any of them if they get one, especially in this climate. That said, most people's top choice heading into recruiting are Evercore M&A or PJT RSSG -- unsurprising, seeing that they have top pay, decent hours, and great exits.


Your figures for CVP are incorrect. The 50k signing figure is right, but you've grossly understated the bonus numbers, which drive total analyst comp significantly higher than EVR and PJT (and the 180k you mentioned).
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Aug 3, 2020 - 3:52pm

Bonuses depend on the year and how the firm does. Obviously there will be some variance but in good years, all the firms pay more, not just centerview. Precovid, first year analyst bonuses at pjt and evercore were north of 95k and all in first years could hit 200. Centerview isn't paying first year analysts more than 105k in year end bonus -- I have friends that work there currently. At most, the variance is 10kish for first years. As I mentioned in my comment though, pay accelerates faster at centerview so second and third year analysts make a more significant difference from other EB peers.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 4, 2020 - 9:21pm

I've also heard it's better, but I don't think it's WSO average hours list only put Evercore at like 0.5 hours less than Moelis weekly... is that what constitutes relatively decent lol? I'm also curious and want to know if there's a substantive difference between banks

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 3, 2020 - 11:18pm

Lazard had historically paid less than the others but they bumped up analyst comp last year. First year bonuses were $65k - $95k. All in comp of $150k - $180k (excluding ~$15k signing bonus). Second year bonuses were $85k - $105k ($95k base, $180k - $200k all in).

Note that this was pre-COVID.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Aug 3, 2020 - 5:08pm

Was at PWP, then PE, now at H/S/W

PWP - top of line pay, made calls for us in terms of recruiting, was generalist -> going towards groups, experience (deals/culture) varies wildly based on group

edit: stop stressing over a few grand of comp at analyst level. recruitment outcomes matter way way more imo

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 3, 2020 - 11:03pm

HC is definitely very strong at PWP. Friends in the space saying that they've been growing the team out.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2020 - 9:56pm

Not at an EB but just curious- is greenhill really not on the same tier as the rest of the EBs or is that just idiot sophomores on this site pushing that narrative? A few friends interviewed there and seemed to like it, but don't know anyone working there so wondering what the deal is.

  • Prospect in IB - DCM
Aug 3, 2020 - 10:38pm

Not what if used to be a decade ago (considered a top "EB"/independent advisory shop in line w GS/MS). But still rigorous analyst program with small class size and quality experience

Aug 3, 2020 - 11:44pm

Dealflow is way down but I don't think Greenhill is a bad place to be. Culture is apparently great and they hire small classes so I'm sure per capita exposure is fine. Plus there's legacy prestige--10 years ago Greenhill was the place to be, arguably above Evercore or Moelis.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 4, 2020 - 10:50pm

Opposite end to Greenhill, new and has been growing fast so "wso prestige" has yet to catch on. Solid dealflow and some really outstanding groups (TMT, Medtech, Biopharma).

Oct 20, 2020 - 7:19pm

Don't mean to hijack the thread but have a question in terms of career banking. Many have told me that career banking is much more feasible at a BB then a EB(excluding CVP). Is this true? What makes people say that career banking is better at a BB then a EB? And I don't know if anyone has any info on this but what does the senior position comp and tenure look like at a EB, say at the VP/ED/MD level?

Oct 20, 2020 - 7:19pm

Don't mean to hijack the thread but have a question in terms of career banking. Many have told me that career banking is much more feasible at a BB then a EB(excluding CVP). Is this true? What makes people say that career banking is better at a BB then a EB? And I don't know if anyone has any info on this but what does the senior position comp and tenure look like at a EB, say at the VP/ED/MD level?

Oct 20, 2020 - 7:56pm

Maybe if you prefer to do KYC on the reg BB is a better option. I guess it would be nice to be senior at say JPM where you have captive clients due to your B/S. I have worked at both BB and "EB" and prefer boutique for many reasons. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 20, 2020 - 8:37pm

This thread surprisingly has some decent comments. I do agree with most of what's said on the first comment, but I think it's equally important to actually make some distinctions among the EBs. Yes, most EBs are roughly the same on pay and working hours. As someone who's been in the industry for a while with experience at a few banks (both BB and EB) and a MF, I do think there are some discernable differences within the world of independent advisory/ EBs

Reputation: I think geographic reputation is an important way to look at this. I'd argue that Evercore M&A (and also its RX) and PJT (mainly its RX franchise) are seen as the 'top' amongst the EBs in the Americas. In Europe, Lazard holds a strong brand name given its presence and history.

Prestige: Some people will say you're splitting hairs (and I do agree to a large extent). But if you have actually gone through recruiting at these banks, received offers, actually WORKED on the street for several years, and helped recruiting for analysts and associates, I hope you agree with me that the general sense of prestige and priority are definitely higher for Evercore M&A and PJT RX. I have consistently seen priority of recruiting choices from both undergrads and MBAs at Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, MIT, Darden, Stern, Booth, Cornell, and Kellogg. I have seen so many prospective bankers choosing Evercore and PJT over GS/ MS ALL the time from these schools, but typically not for Moelis and Lazard. For Moelis, I've only really seen its LA office remotely being in contention of choice. While Lazard is an amazing franchise, it just doesn't hold up in the selection priority compared to Evercore and PJT. For CVP, I typically find kids who are extremely focused on CVP and CVP only (usually due to their strength in consumer & retail) and therefore don't really consider other banks as much. Lastly from the perspective of relatively junior investment professionals at private equity funds, we do typically think of Evercore as the top brand for M&A and PJT/Moelis/Lazard as top brands for RX (HL is strong in RX only, but not an EB). 

Market Strength: In the M&A space in terms of advisory revenue and market share, there's no doubt that Evercore completely blows all other EBs out of the water. Fact is that Evercore had $450B+ Global Deal Value in 06LTM 2020, which is much more than the second place of Lazard at ~$200B, then PJT, Rothschild, Centerview, and so on. Moelis was less than $100B. Of course, it is important to look at other relevant metrics such as per capita, but the fact of the matter is that all of these firms compete in the same space of independent advisory/ EBs ecosystem and there's just no arguing that Evercore's deal flow is unmatched by the other banks recently. 

Growth: You can't talk about EBs without talking about growth of the firm. You can do a quick search on the web and look at M&A league tables to see the recent 3 to 5 years ranking to see which firms are consistently in the top 10 and also grow. 

Pay: All relatively the same with CVP paying a little more and Laz paying less at the same level as BBs

Exits: Depends on what you want to exit into. Assuming it's plain vanilla PEs, you will have a fair shot as an analyst at Evercore, PJT and Moelis. I would argue that exits are a little worse at CVP. But this really comes down to your background (i.e. Undergrad/ MBA, other credentials) and desire to actually make the jump. All EBs routinely place candidates into mega funds, but I've seen the most from Evercore and PJT. For distressed funds, you will get the same looks from any EB RX franchise. 

Bottom line is that ALL of these shops are fantastic. Having experienced both EB and BB, I'd always recommend to incoming prospectives to choose EB over BB if you can. Most of my comments are more applicable if you actually receive offers between, for ex, Evercore, PJT, and CVP.

Oct 20, 2020 - 11:32pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 20, 2020 - 11:42pm

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