Elite Boutique Investment Banks

bbgalr's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | banana points 67

I'm looking to get a better and more updated sense of the EB banks...looking for more info on pros/cons of each one, general trends, best groups, and recent PE/HF placements.

Interested in Evercore, Lazard, Centerview, Greenhill, Moelis

*excluding Blackstone because i dont think anyone really knows what will happen post-PJT

Overview of Elite Boutique Investment Banks

So who is the best? The term Elite Boutique encompasses several factors of a banks strengths. Some of the most important factors are pay, exit opportunities, and culture. All of these factors are firm specific. The firms that have the most to offer in these categories are termed Elite Boutiques. You may have good deal flow at Lazard but you would have to sacrifice the culture aspect of the firm (subjective). However, you could choose a more fledgling firm like PJT if you're into the supposed bro-like atmosphere but you might sacrifice deal flow. The nuances of these firms are still being debated. However, when it comes to top-tier firms, the same names are mentioned repeatedly. The following list is no particular order.

Best Boutique Investment Banks List

  • PJT
  • Evercore
  • Moelis
  • Lazard
  • Greenhill
  • Perella Weinberg
  • Houlihan Lokey
  • Piper Jaffray

These seven firms do not represent all elite boutique investment banks. However, we went ahead and ranked these boutiques by average pay, employee satisfaction, and opportunities for career advancement. The following is based on the 2017 Investment Banking Report. Percentiles include all banks in the industry report.

Top Boutique Investment Banks by Average Pay

These figures represent average base plus average bonus for 1st year analysts through November 2017 (see green button below to access updated IB salary and bonus figures).

  1. P.J.T: 166k
  2. Moelis: 154.7k
  3. Evercore: 139.8k
  4. Perella Weinberg: 128.8k
  5. Houlihan Lokey: 127.8k
  6. Lazard: 124.4k
  7. Piper Jaffray: 120.9k

Boutique Investment Banks Ranked by Employee Satisfaction

  • 90th to 98th Percentile: Lazard, Houlihan Lokey, Evercore
  • 70th to 90th Percentile: Moelis, PJT
  • 50th to 70th Percentile: Greenhill, Perilla Weinberg, Piper Jaffray

Top Tier Boutiques for Career Advancement

  • 90th to 98th Percentile: Houlihan Lokey, Evercore, Lazard,
  • 70th to 90th Percentile: Moelis,PJT
  • 50th to 70th Percentile: Piper Jaffary, Perala Weinberg

If you would like to know more information about these firms then take a look at the IB Industry report. This report is constantly updated and contains compensation by position, company statistics, lifestyle rankings, and more! Click the button below to access the report.

IB Industry Report

Comments (140)

Mar 23, 2015

Evercore --> TPG recent placement
all I know

The way Ah see it, is that it took a revolution f a bihllion people for your darn short to work out!

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Mar 23, 2015

Does anyone know what PE/HF placement was like at Lazard in the last couple of years? Seems like they've dropped off a bit from what I can see from funds' associate pages.

Mar 23, 2015

I know the TMT group placed pretty well. A friend from Lazard is at TPG special sits.

Mar 23, 2015

Search feature has this covered well.

Mar 23, 2015

Actually not really...there are no posts within the past 2 years that talk about Lazard and how they're doing. So it'd be great if I could get more recent info

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Mar 23, 2015

From looking around at the fund pages and linkedin it seems that EVR, GHL, and Moelis continue doing their thing in sending kids to top funds (I've seen Carlyle, KKR, Apollo, MDP, Golden Gate, Warburg, H&F, etc.).

I think even Centerview is putting (or allowing) kids into a couple MFs.

I just don't see that many Lazard analysts especially considering that the firm probably has as more than twice as many analysts as any of the other EBs. Am I just talking out of my ass here? In undergrad I remember people were saying that Lazard placed as well as GS and MS. Is it because the firm's hardcore sweatshop culture is turning away people with other options?

Mar 25, 2015

Lazard analyst class in NYC is ~18 analysts... that is not many at all.. Moelis hired ~25 this year and Evercore ~30
The real overhype is Guggenheim, which hired 30+

Mar 24, 2015

Centerview, Moelis, Evercore, Guggenheim, Lazard, Greenhill, and Perella would be the Elite Boutiques if I were to list them. I would never rank them, just categorize them differently

Bankety Bank Banks (Places you go to bank and die): Centerview and Perella

PE Stepping Stones: Evercore and Moelis

OddBalls: Lazard, Greenhill, and Gugg

Lazard is a long-time powerhouse and is still on huge deals, but on a % basis its analyst classes don't place like EVR or MoCo, still a quality bank though

Greenhill... Out of left field. Still on the league tables and doing well despite losing a shit ton of people, not sure what is going on there or how that will affect how they recruit/place

Gugg.. Up and comer. TBD on if it will become a Centerview or a Moelis in terms of recruiting bankers and trying to keep people in the firm or encouraging recruiting and turn out almost full analyst classes to the buyside year-in-year-out.

Mar 23, 2015

http://fn.dealogic.com/fn/MARank.htm

League tables are interesting right now. Lazard is doing its usual thing of being the top EB because they aren't a boutique and have tons more staff and relationship guys than the average boutique.

Centerview is doing it's thing being on megadeals and cleaning up. Blair Effron has some sort of all-star team going on over at CV.

Greenhill looks revived essp. in the US. Dunno if they've been losing a "ton" of people but there has been some hemorrhaging for sure. I think these things are cyclical though or they're just losing people they don't want to keep.

MoCo makes an appearance around where GHL is, both US and globally. They seem to do a lot of smaller, sponsors related deals as opposed to Evercore/GHL/LAZ/CV which seems more focused on strategic deals.

Rothschild is doing very well in Europe but not so much in the US.

BX makes a rare appearance. One quick note is Taubman's fire all in telecoms? Cause that's all I see PJT doing.

Evercore is missing. Probably will make an appearance by year's end though. Just haven't announced any huge mandates yet. They also lost their consumers team so that must hurt.

PWP is missing. Probably will also make an appearance by year's end. Not M&A related but losing your restructuring heads to defection is not helping their rep.

Guggs had that huge healthcare deal earlier in the year. Def strong in that space, we'll see how they progress.

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Mar 23, 2015

Also if I was choosing which shops to join as analyst I'm thinking about this (not going to include BX/PJT but it probably is included in all these catagories except dealflow):

Culture Shops (hours, respect that seniors have for you/your time, facetime, etc.):
Evercore, Greenhill, Centerview, PWP
I frankly think it's all pretty similar at these places. Evercore and GHL have reps about having the "best" culture but I can't imagine CV and PWP are that different.
MoCo: Sweatshop, long hours are all true. But I heard Ken Moelis actually takes like an interest in the analysts so that's pretty cool.
LAZ: lol

Placement to buyside(I know people at all of these shops except CV, PWP, and Laz):
Evercore, MoCo: Places as well as they always have on an absolute basis but the % has dropped off as they ballooned they analyst classes a bit in the last few years. Still great MF placement (I'm guessing MoCo might have an edge though because they amount of work they do with sponsors). Have heard of KKR, TPG, Apollo, Carlyle, BX, etc.
GHL: Analyst class size hasn't changed much. Still places into MF and top MM PE (Apollo, Carlyle, MDP, H&F, Golden Gate, Providence, TPG, GS PIA, etc.). I think I saw that Vettery report that says GHL put 93% of their analysts into the buyside last year.
CV/PWP: Rep is that they aren't going to support buyside stuff but it's still possible. CV placed into Carlyle and KKR I think.
Lazard: No fricken clue.

Dealflow:
Pretty much all these places are decent.The only is that I don't think MoCo does a lot of megadeals compared to rest if you're into that

Honestly, I can't think of any other major criteria that I would use to evaluate banks as an analyst. No idea about Gug for any of these.

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Mar 23, 2015

This is definitely helpful to know!

I think from a target campus perspective, this is the general order of which banks are more desirable for students going through the recruiting process. Some of my comments may be wrong but this is what I've noticed firsthand. Take this with a grain of salt as most college kids have no real experience with any of these banks (myself included)

First and foremost, the absolute top kids at targets go straight into megafund PE or top HF...usually your typical 3.9+ with strong work experience. The next tier of kids go to banking/MBB and this is the general preferences:

1. Blackstone - for obvious reasons
2. Evercore - I've seen a lot of the top kids who end up here...firm also had a ridiculous offer acceptance rate (think 15/16 of offered interns are returning), they're definitely doing something right
3. Lazard/Centerview - CV largely for the compensation, LAZ for its reputation on the street...the kids that go to these two are usually top-talent kids
[BIG gap]
4. Perella - very small presence on campus...most people ("I don't know if I want to do banking") don't know about them and the top kids usually end up going elsewhere. similar to Centerview without the compensation incentive
5. Greenhill/Moelis - These two are definitely lower on the list. Haven't really seen too many kids going to Greenhill now that I think about it, but kids think highly of the culture there. Moelis definitely takes more for summer interns, but return rate isn't great
6. Guggenheim - no comments

4 and 5 could even be grouped together, but PWP takes so few kids that it's hard to tell

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Mar 23, 2015

I'm surprised that GHL and MoCo are so low and that there's a "big gap". Especially when they place into the buyside as well as Evercore and Lazard. I think BX/EVR/GHL were in top demand beause of their culture and buyside placement. MoCo/Laz are usually lumped together as having great buyside placement but shitty lifestyles.

CV/PWP were wildcards because of their non-buyside policy (have heard that's changing a tiny bit at both shops).

I think PWP and GHL had the least presence on campus. They're small firms with tiny analyst classes compared to the rest and only took like 1 from my target school.

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Mar 24, 2015

Having gone through the whole PE rigamarole (from what people would consider an elite boutique). I have seen that Moelis and Blackstone do best. Evercore/Greenhill/Lazard are next. All other boutiques are usually not considered elite and tend to have a tougher time getting looks. That being said, Centerview makes bank (and bankers).

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Best Response
Mar 25, 2015

The amount of complete shit in this thread is shocking. As someone that just went through PE recruitment and accepted a PE job, I'll add a word. I'm at GS/MS/JPM so this is all from talking with peers during recruitment - I don't have first hand experience at an EB.

BX obviously does very well.

Evercore obviously does very well.

Moelis LA smashes it. Moelis NY less so, but they still do well and have a couple MF placements each year (usually a girl or a rock star analyst that MDs call their friends for).

GHL does extremely well. Especially at the top prestigious MM funds. Less MF placement, but it certainly exists and due to their small analyst class sizes, you're actually probably better off here on a percentage basis.

Lazard I will agree is tricky. Super prestigious bank that attracts a lot of top tier talent. They have one off placements that are really good, but it's not half the feeder the Moelis LA or Evercore are for some reason. They all still can land interviews with ease though and that's what matters.

PWP is not great for buyside recruitment. I've said in previous threads that a couple of my buddies really struggled through the recruitment there and they're actually now taking a third year to improve their chances.

I do not know enough about CV to post with certainty, so I won't post anything about it. Isn't that a novel concept, refraining from speaking when you don't know what you're talking about. Huh.

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Mar 23, 2015

Agree, this is typically what I saw as well.

Mar 23, 2015

Can you elaborate on which posts are shit in this thread?

Mar 25, 2015

CVP doesn't have the extensive history of other EBs so it's hard to observe trends. However, lots of folks stick within CVP and seem to want to go for their analyst -> associate track. This makes it a little more difficult to distinguish exactly what the placement is like because a lot of their competent folks don't actively hunt for the MF / HF roles .People are pushed towards a 3 year analyst program and the culture there is very much focused on staying for the long-term; seniors will traditionally frown up analysts who imply that they want to leave. That being said, they've still placed people at KKR, H&F and other MFs. Another thing about the 3 year program is that not everyone recruits for PE in their first year and some opt to wait for the second year. Also, people at CVP seem very, very sharp - lots of smart people in that firm.

Moelis LA =/= Moelis NY for sure

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Apr 16, 2015

n/a

Mar 24, 2015

LA is just a different animal since the "street" in LA is so small. Its really just Moelis and HL RX. Maybe a solid BB coverage group is out there but thats basically it. So there is less competition which means MoCo kids there do better in recruiting. IMO there is no real competition for them outside san fran and NY bankers looking to jump coasts. I think I saw CV opened an LA office?

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Mar 25, 2015

LAZ analyst class each year has ~46 members (let's be honest they aren't bankers, they are trying out to be bankers). I don't where all this misinformation comes from.

As for Los Angeles qn above the following teams are in Los Angeles: Moelis, MS, Laz (share a building), Greenhill (small), CS, Citi, BaML, GS, JPM, CV, HLHZ. All of them recruit fine.

Mar 24, 2015
Kobayashi:

LAZ analyst class each year has ~46 members (let's be honest they aren't bankers, they are trying out to be bankers). I don't where all this misinformation comes from.

As for Los Angeles qn above the following teams are in Los Angeles: Moelis, MS, Laz (share a building), Greenhill (small), CS, Citi, BaML, GS, JPM, CV, HLHZ. All of them recruit fine.

Googling and seeing they "have offices" does not put them on parity with Moelis LA or Houlihan LA. Please direct me to the placements out of Laz, CV, and Greenhill LA. The others are still BBs so yes you can recruit out of them, but are they going to top Moelis? No. LA is a satellite market for everyone you listed OUTSIDE Moelis and Houlihan

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Mar 27, 2015

I work in one of the above offices (not Moelis or Houlihan and not BB). We have 18 bankers consisting of 3 MDs, 2 Directors, 3 VPs, 3 Associates, and 5 Analysts. We cover gaming and aerospace which makes sitting in Los Angeles very advantageous logistically (LV and Wichita are frequent for site visits). We pitch against Moelis and HLHZ quite often and have pretty high success rates in the sectors we cover, including long-term engagements that also allow for good buyside experience. Not trying to make comparisons but I think your perspective is a little off-base. Recent placement and offers from Ares, Apollo LA, BlueMountain, Sun Capital, HIG, etc. Interviews at every top firm.

FWIW, placement depends on your ability to perform in an interview, not where you work (with some minimum threshold kept in mind). The firms listed above all pass muster and if you can speak to your experiences and demonstrate an understanding of the technicals you'll get a good job.

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Mar 27, 2015

Lazard's current first year analyst class consists of appr. 50 analysts across the NY, SF, LA, Chicago, Houston and LA offices. I can't speak for all groups, but can say the Rx and HC analysts consistently place very well. Not all analysts have their eyes set on traditional megafunds, which is partly due to some of the more complex types of modeling and analyses analysts regularly come across at Lazard. For instance, the entire class of first year Rx analysts has already lined up solid buyside jobs, but they are all going to highly regarded distressed debt type shops. I have heard that the M&T guys who sit in NY's TMT group also do really pretty well with recruiting.

When it comes to competing against "feeder" banks like MoCo (especially in LA), I can say from experience it is very possible. Sure some other candidates may be inherently "teed up" better to shops than others due to relationships and track records of taking analysts from certain banks, but that doesn't mean you are out of the running.

Lazard's rank and reputation varies a bit from industry to industry. For instance, it's HC group is a top-notch practice that has had a phenomenal track record the past three years. That being said, it's one of the toughest groups to work for in terms of hours and finding time to balance work with outside life and recruiting efforts.

Happy to discuss more of this via PM.

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Mar 27, 2015

This is an accurate post. Keep in mind many first years flame out and opt to avoid PE recruiting altogether. I recall a member of my analyst class was obsessed with landing a job at Apollo during training until 7 months in dropped out to work at a well-known tech firm. This is/was very common.

FWIW megafund work can be very very similar to IB at 2x the pay rate (the compelling part of the offer). After 9 months into your first year the realization that you'll still be working 80-90 hours a week / weekends essentially turning internal memos / decks well into your mid-late 20s can push you in a different direction very quickly.

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May 26, 2015

.

Mar 27, 2015

Can someone talk about the pay at these shops? For instance, Lazard ($6.9b market cap / $2.3bn revenue) , Evercore ($1.9bn market cap / $900m revenue), Moelis ($600m market cap / $500m revenue) and Greenhill ($1.1bn market cap / $275m revenue) are all public companies. Perella and Centerview are still private, Centerview in particular paying extremely well and doing great stuff in biotech (the Qatalyst of healthcare?). Obviously the public guys, while still somewhat small (except for Lazard), pay quite a bit on stock.

Would be interesting to compare rev / employee as well I guess.

Mar 27, 2015

Nobody at the analyst / junior associate level is getting paid in stock. Comp changes quite a bit once the firm goes public given investors want to see comp ratios, SG&A margins, etc. LAZ has generally underpaid Moelis but I'm not sure how Moelis comp will change with the IPO. My guess is it comes down over time, how quickly I don't know.

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Mar 28, 2015
rionexpa:

Nobody at the analyst / junior associate level is getting paid in stock. Comp changes quite a bit once the firm goes public given investors want to see comp ratios, SG&A margins, etc. LAZ has generally underpaid Moelis but I'm not sure how Moelis comp will change with the IPO. My guess is it comes down over time, how quickly I don't know.

I'm at one of the public firms whose name is thrown around in this topic and I can confirm that we receive RSUs on top of the regular comp.

Mar 27, 2015

Per rionex's comment, as a senior analyst or first year associate you've usually built up some goodwill at your firm. you may even get an analyst under you and should get first dibs on interesting projects. Many 2nd/3rd years who to PE have to go through realization that they're (again) the most junior kids at the new firm. Granted they throw some work to banks, but not all of it. Internal memos, comps, basic dumb research are all expected with little help. Plus for every target your PE firm is thinking about buying, they kick the tires on 5-10 others, and they kick pretty deep. % deal completion is similar to banking. Work is more meaningful though.

Mar 27, 2015

so according to filings Evercore employs like 1300 people (70 MDs but also a bunch of research folks), Greenhill employs 300 (75 MDs), Moelis employs 400 people (100 MDs), and Lazard (1000 employees, 140 MDs).

Mar 28, 2015

how would you rank EBs in terms of exit ops?

Mar 23, 2015

It's pretty stupid to ask for a hard ranking of the EBs when that topic has been explored in so much depth in previous posts. Seriously, if you're choosing between Evercore and Lazard and decide based on what somebody tells you in a simple ranking on WSO, that's dumb as hell.

Mar 23, 2015

This is secondhand info but apparently Lazard placement was very strong last year. For what it's worth, placements had multiple people going to megafunds including (but not limited to) Apollo, KKR, TPG and CD&R. It was a lot better than the past few years where they had limited MF placements.

I have no idea as to why they weren't doing so well before, or why they did well last year.

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May 26, 2015

.

Mar 27, 2015

Here is what I am saying:

Year 1 Banking: $130 - 140k
Year 2 Banking: $150k - 160k

Contract expires June 30...move to MF as...

1st Year Associate: $250 - $300k

So upper bound of next year over lower bound of current year is 2x. What leads you to believe this is made up? Ares, Oaktree, etc. are paying their first year associates $250 - $300k...

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May 26, 2015

.

May 26, 2015

.

Mar 27, 2015

My original statement was: "FWIW megafund work can be very very similar to IB at 2x the pay rate (the compelling part of the offer). After 9 months into your first year the realization that you'll still be working 80-90 hours a week / weekends...." Given the above math in the context of this statement the point is that despite making up to 2x as much (using the math provided and assuming MF - which again was assumed in the original statement) you will still be working similar hours and doing similar work. How is this made up? Like I said before, this isn't some controversial statement.

May 26, 2015

bliat

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

May 26, 2015

Evercore / Perella / Greenhill

BX / Lazard / Centerview / Qatalyst / Moelis

May 26, 2015

Allen and co.

May 26, 2015

Who cares

They're all basically the same from an analysts perspective

Seriously, rank is stupid

May 26, 2015

Agreed. Do y'all really think that working at Greenhill vs. Lazard is going to make a difference? All of these banks get deals. You will get experience. It is what you make of it, no matter where you go. Do well and you'll have exit ops. Suck and you won't.

May 26, 2015

Drexel Burnham Lambert

May 26, 2015
JohnnyCage:

Drexel Burnham Lambert

Guys, please rank these firms, or split them into tiers, thanks.

May 26, 2015

just wondering, all the BB's are always ranked.

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

May 26, 2015

I have to say... there may not be a difference in terms of pay or future opps in finance straight out of banking... but I REALLY do believe that Lazard has a substantial advantage over the other boutiques in terms of getting into business school. Good business schools respect the name Lazard - it's been around for a while and they've been making people work 120 hours a week since like the 1800's and shit... if you got through an analyst program there you can pull your weight and even people outside the industry (like admissions people) seem to know that.

i never worked at lazard or any other elite boutique, but I have looked at a shit-ton of resume books from harvard, stanford, wharton, INSEAD, LSE, etc... and lazard shows up a lot amongst the people at these schools where as you don't run into the others as much (Blackstone, but not as much the bankers as the PE guys - who obviously got to harvard etc. with regularity)

May 26, 2015

Good business schools barely give a damn where you worked (MBB might be the lone exception). They care what you did, what your essays say, and how you carry yourself.

And even if they did, Evercore is stronger than Lazard.

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May 26, 2015
Cartwright:

Good business schools barely give a damn where you worked (MBB might be the lone exception). They care what you did, what your essays say, and how you carry yourself.

And even if they did, Evercore is stronger than Lazard.

I'd agree with a lot of this. Certainly the bit about essays being more important and all that... perhaps people at Lazard generally write good essays (could be traced back to the specific undergrad schools they choose from and all that).

I can't agree with you on the Evercore thing. If I asked a bunch of businessman in high positions throughout the country (not in banking/finance), I bet only 60-70% would know Evercore... 99.9% Lazard.

May 26, 2015

What are these places being ranked on? This is why ranking threads suck.

Pay? Private equity exit opportunities? Business school exit opportunities? Corporate development exit opportunities? Hedge fund exit opportunities? The overall experience? Work/life balance? Culture?

Each person has their own mix of preferences from the above. Hell, they might care how the office looks too.

If you compound all of the above stuff, I think my preferences would be as follows:

  1. Blackstone (top prestige, high involvement in large transactions, staffing on restructuring and real estate deals and access to world-class PE professionals)
  2. Lazard (strong history, great league table presence for smaller firm, M&A/Restructuring but you have to focus on an industry, like the people but hours suck)
  3. Perella (very prestigious, incredible people to work with, staffing on all kinds of things and probably the best HBS/Wharton/Stanford placement of the lot)
    4a. Greenhill (not too many deals, but exposure to all industries and M&A/restructuring mix)
    4b. Centerview (little consumer products/retail heavy focus, but great work environment)
    4c. Evercore (tremendous in M&A/restructuring and established presence)
  4. Moelis (up and coming, doing well but utterly terrible work hours and too much sell-side M&A in the mix)
  5. Qatalyst (too up and coming)

Seriously, though, people should try to reserve ranking threads for after they have offers and when they can articulate all of the things they want to consider as they make their decision.

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May 26, 2015

Tell your mother that Lloyd and I say the same.

May 26, 2015

beef in LA much?...relax boys, both of you have large cocks.

May 26, 2015

What is the point of this thread? Are you considering offers?

May 26, 2015

As someone who superday'd at almost all of those places (and works at one of these firms), I would say that there is definitely a consensus view on the "prestige" of those places. However, I think you guys are also considering work environment/hours, which I don't think really affect prestige.

From a pure "prestige" (which I understand is subjective) point of view

Tier
1: BX, Lazard (about equal in restructuring, but the top M&A groups at Lazard > BX M&A)
2. GHL, EVR (both these firms have great cultures and analysts don't get killed, so its not uncommon to see people go to these places over BX/Laz), Moelis LA (west coast lifestyle, lower cost of living, awesome MDs)
3. Qatalyst (if you're set on tech, this and MoLA are probably in tier 1 for you), Moelis NY, PWP

And I honestly know nothing about Centerview

Feel free to disagree and flame, but talking to a bunch of people at all these firms, these are the firms they each compared themselves to.

May 26, 2015

Moelis LA is seriously "west coast lifestyle"?

May 26, 2015

As in...driving, decent sized apartments, yes. For people who are from Cali/the South, this is a huge selling factor.

May 26, 2015

ok, i thought you meant more relaxed hours

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Mar 27, 2015

Yeah Rionex is right but maybe a more fair way would be to compare with a 3rd year analyst pay raise in mind.

and then to add to that A-to-As partially catch up. It just takes them an extra year. For people who don't like to wait MF is a great option to get more money asap.

From a quality of work / life balance perspective though, I would honestly say that senior analysts / junior associates at BBs (and definitely EBs and MMs) actually have a better lifestyle since they're more experienced and efficient and are more tenured in the organization vs. 1) obviously more junior analysts who're there to crank (remember - if you go to a MF you're like an analyst again), 2) MBA associates who crank because they don't know what they're doing.

Analysts who stay to become associates are like the "darlings" of banks and always get prioritized over new people. In a career where loyalty is hard to come by, it is actually handsomely rewarded with better projects and work-life balance.

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May 26, 2015

There's no strict GPA cutoff, yet everyone I know who works at an EB all have 3.6+ GPA with the majority having 3.9+. Unless you go to a target it's very difficult to break into an EB without a very strong GPA.

Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.

May 26, 2015

There are always exceptions to the GPA rule.

May 26, 2015

Always exceptions to GPA rule as captainkoolaid pointed out. For example, a 3.0 from a semi-target that did an SA at BB IBD or even top MM IBD will get AT LEAST a phone call

May 26, 2015

Thanks so much for the input.

At a target with OCR, do you guys think it's better to keep a 3.5 on or off the resume? Considering they only give out like 20 or so first rounds. Keep in mind I'd say I have fairly strong internship experience

May 26, 2015

leaving out your GPA off the resume will result in an auto-ding. without it, the perception is

May 26, 2015

leaving out your GPA off the resume will result in an auto-ding. without it, the perception is

May 26, 2015

How about online applications for these EBs? By FT recruiting next year I'll have a BB S&T SA and MM IBD internship on my resume, 3.9 GPA from top public, but non-target school. Would I get a first round?

May 26, 2015
wilder01:

How about online applications for these EBs? By FT recruiting next year I'll have a BB S&T SA and MM IBD internship on my resume, 3.9 GPA from top public, but non-target school. Would I get a first round?

Network, network, network.

Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.

May 26, 2015

What school do u go to?

May 26, 2015

Univ. of South Carolina-Moore School of Business. Finance and Econ. Major Minor in Spanish

May 26, 2015

1. Remove personal (specific) info from this website. With just a little bit of research, I already know who you are. You initially had your name as your username, I'm glad you changed that.
2. I personally know 4 individuals who made into bulge brackets - 2 of them through their summer internships at boutiques, 1 from her internship at a F500, and the last one from an internship in Big 4 Audit. They all had good GPA's, but came from non-targets. So yes, it is possible to get into a BB from WF WBR.
3. Just because you have networked doesn't mean its a lead. You have to be able to leverage that relationship into and interview and ultimately (hopefully) a FT gig.
4. There are several threads discussing boutique vs. BB benefits - use the search bar.

Good Luck :)

May 26, 2015

@"Creamofthecrop" IMO from my time networking/recruiting the standards for hiring at Elite Boutiques is on a similar plain to the standards at Bulge Brackets.

With your experience, however, it seems like with a little bit of networking you should be able to get a solid number of interviews at "non-elite" boutique and middle market banks where there are alumni from your school. Many of these banks despite being "non-elite" will still be an excellent place to start a career and put you ahead of many of your peers (except of course for those at more prestigious banks).

Also, it sounds like you have gotten into the networking groove pretty well, DO NOT STOP. If you are recruiting for full time it could take 5 good connections to land an offer or it could take 75. A few analysts at good boutiques and one higher up aint shit! That was harsh, and honestly it is a good start, but why limit yourself? Keep networking until you have a job, and then once you get one, network some more.

Also, if VC is your main goal, "less competitive" firms might actually offer better options. Sure, it might be necessary to work in tech banking at GS or MS to land at Sequoia, but most VC firms are not the same. There are a ton of "non-elite" boutique banks serving the growth tech company. You mentioned that recruiting can be sporadic. For the BB and EB banks of the world recruiting is not at all sporadic. For the smaller firms recruiting is very sporadic. Luckily, if you want to go to VC and you got to a boutique bank that serves the lower middle market and strictly sells venture backed portfolio companies, steps in for Series C funding, etc. you will be working with a ton of VC firms and after a year or two might just get offered a job. If not at least you will have a wealth of knowledge on how the sell off of venture backed companies works.

I'm not much further in the game than you, but went through a lot of this recently. Sounds like you're doing a lot of stuff right. Learn as much as you can and keep pushing.

May 26, 2015

If your interest is VC, maybe it makes sense to start at whatever VC you can get into right now. As humblepie stated, it's all about networking, knowledge, and experience.

I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things

May 26, 2015

you dont want anything to do with them, you could get a job with them without ever having gone to high school .

May 26, 2015
manafinancial:

you dont want anything to do with them, you could get a job with them without ever having gone to high school .

lol, what? all their analysts in new york went to either wharton, harvard, or nyu.

Definitely not an "elite" boutique though.

May 26, 2015

But the analyst profiles are Wharton, Harvard, NYU for the NY office?

May 26, 2015

Some of their analysts have pretty shitty backgrounds.

May 26, 2015

Hm like what for instance?

May 26, 2015

One of them has a degree in design... although my mom does, too, and went to the Street. Of course she got an MBA from a top school.

May 26, 2015

All the less qualified analysts seem to be from their indian office in Sikkim. Which of course raises the question of, why the fuck do they have an office in sikkim?

May 26, 2015

uh..they are definitely NOT on the " elite boutique" ladder compared to Evercore, centerview, etc, if you somehow define that as a category

May 26, 2015
eric1025:

uh..they are definitely NOT on the " elite boutique" ladder compared to Evercore, centerview, etc, if you somehow define that as a category

He's trolling. You should see the other threads he's started.

May 26, 2015

look at their deals

http://www.atlasadvisors.com/recent-transactions.php
several 2, 3, $7 billion deals. only a few deals a year but centerview is also only a few large deals a year as well. plus per capital that deal flow is great

May 26, 2015

ricochetx, seems like a promising firm, but I think you're reaching with the comparison to centerview. centerview has not only an all star banking team, it's definitely done larger deals than atlas (not that I think deal size is the end all metric), and more than just a few each year. find all on their listed page. practically any high-profile consumer deal has been done by them.

May 26, 2015

There deals were 2008 and before. Show me a big deal in the last 18 months. They only have 6 MDs (only 2 or 3 have impressive backgrounds). Very small shop and not really an "elite" shop. Maybe a good option if you don't get a job at BB, elite boutiques or even a top MM.

May 26, 2015

wolfensohn & company

May 26, 2015

Bad troll is bad.

May 26, 2015

Some people consider Guggenheim, Houlihan, Peter J. Solomon Co., & Rothschild to be elite boutiques as well

Know a kid that turned town a top BB group offer to join PJSC and met a lot of top Wharton UGs that seem to love Houlihan for some reason or another. At my school (NYU), Evercore is touted as the place to be

The ones you listed above and maybe these three are pretty much all the banks I would consider to be EB

Mar 23, 2015

Evercore, Greenhill, and PJT I think are the best places to be. They have generally good lifestyles and culture, great dealflow for their respective sizes, and consistent/great buyside placement.

Moelis/Lazard will give you dealflow and exits but the culture/lifestyle there at the analyst level is not optimal by any stretch. Moelis is basically the only EB that deals with sponsors on a consistent basis so that has its plusses and minuses.

CVP/Perella are typically regarded as banking for life places that really want to retain analyst talent. I think people from CVP do place well if they decide to go to the buyside but it's not really encouraged and there's a hardline three year program. Perella doesn't really place as well as any of the other EBs but they do alright.

Other shops like PJ Solomon, HLHZ (essp. RX), Rothschild, and now Guggenhiem is up and coming with a growing HC and Telecom practice that kicks ass (this doesn't really have too much impact on analyst important things like placement though).

May 26, 2015

Piper Jaffery? Janus? Putnam?

May 26, 2015

I would rank them as follows:

Caveat - just my opinon :)

May 26, 2015

Evercore and Greenhill both posted jobs on the UT recruiting system. They handed out like 10 interviews each, not sure how many offers.

May 26, 2015

Greenhill and Evercore recruited at Michigan also. I believe Greenhill was just for FT, while Evercore interviewed for SA and FT.

May 26, 2015

How's centerview compare to those?

May 26, 2015
naudp:

How's centerview compare to those?

I tend to think of Centerview as being on par with the other top boutiques listed in this post.

May 26, 2015

I've heard that MoCo and Perella only recruit at Harvard and Wharton at the associate level, but PW also apparently recruits at Georgetown at the undergrad level and Moco also recruits at UCLA at the undergrad level.

May 26, 2015

really? Aren't Centreview a pretty new firm? E.g. Greenhill has been around since early 1996 so I'm pretty surprised that people in the US would view the firms as being on the same level.

May 26, 2015

I'd never heard of Centerview before, but I absolutely love their website (no sarcasm):
http://www.centerviewpartners.com/

May 26, 2015

Hehe almost as good as this one - http://www.brevanhoward.com/
Researching this firm was haaaaard :)

May 26, 2015

Centerview is very new, but they've already done some very large deals. Much of the rep for a boutique can come from nothing more than its well known founding partners, and Centerview has no shortage of these (e.g., Effron, Crawford, etc.). Instant credibility means instant deal flow.

As another example, many people on this forum appear to have wet dreams about working for Moelis & Company, which was only started in July '07.

May 26, 2015

Haha, too true smuguy! The emphatuation with UBS LA lives on

May 26, 2015

Evercore and Perella Weinberg both do on-campus recruiting at Georgetown. Greenhill may have had a posting, but I don't remember.

May 26, 2015

Just curious - how big are Greenhills and Evercore's SA class? I know Laz's is 25, and since the latter are quite a bit smaller, I was thinking under 10-15.

May 26, 2015

Hmm, Evercore intern class must be tiny, e.g. in London they only have about 20 people ( I think ) so no more than 2 interns.

Greenhill did not take more than 5 for the London office, not sure about NY.

10-15 seems a bit high.

May 26, 2015

Moelis Summer Associates recruit from your usual suspects for MBA's:

Harvard, Wharton, Stern, Kellog, etc.

Undergraduate, the schools i've seen in the intern class are:

6 from Wharton, 2 from Umich, 1 UCLA, 1 Boston College(in the Boston office), and 2 others i can't remember. My UCLA And BC numbers are probably off bc i dont remember right now.

Undergraduate recruiting is pretty much decided by alumni i think(hence the 6 from Wharton a.k.a. the Moelis effect)

May 26, 2015

Anyone have an opinion on Frank Quattrone's Qatalyst Partners? Shitty name, but seems like it would be quite an experience.

May 26, 2015

Evercore and Greenhill recruit and hire at Stern undergrad.

May 26, 2015

Perella Weinberg said at their information session that they recruit "on-campus" exclusively at Harvard Business School for their associates and at Harvard, Wharton, and Georgetown "on-campus" at the undergrad level. Sounds like an amazing place, but I remember them saying they were only taking two summer analysts from Penn, so I can't imagine their full-time classes are much larger than 5 or so. Granted, PWP and MoCo are both brand new (relatively speaking) so I'm not sure if either of them have actually had an official FT analyst class that wasn't laterals yet.

May 26, 2015
wharton2wallstreet4life:

Perella Weinberg said at their information session that they recruit "on-campus" exclusively at Harvard Business School for their associates and at Harvard, Wharton, and Georgetown "on-campus" at the undergrad level. Sounds like an amazing place, but I remember them saying they were only taking two summer analysts from Penn, so I can't imagine their full-time classes are much larger than 5 or so. Granted, PWP and MoCo are both brand new (relatively speaking) so I'm not sure if either of them have actually had an official FT analyst class that wasn't laterals yet.

Perella Weinberg conducted on-campus interviews at Indiana's IB Workshop and took a summer intern from there so I'm not sure where you're getting your information from.

May 26, 2015

Let's expand this a bit.

What if you want to apply to a specific group or division of a BB? How would you secure an offer/interview for Goldman PIA, Goldman SSG, Morgan Stanley REPE, etc? Are inside connections the only way to go?

Thanks again everyone

May 26, 2015

Your "expansion" has absolutely nothing to do with the original post...what are you schmokin' son!

May 26, 2015

Post their names on WSO and let the shit storm ensue. Time and tested method.

May 26, 2015

Don't necessarily look at number of employees or quantity of deals. There are a number of small boutiques that popped up after the massive downsizing in the industry over the past 5 years. Ones to be careful of are boutiques that are a legacy group of MDs who came from a bulge that are now just sitting on their hands and listing "transactions at previous firms" on the websites. There are still good boutiques that are very small but have a viable business if they participate in 3 reasonably sized transactions a year.

What I'd look at is the deals they do (weighing quantity vs quality) and the backgrounds of their current employees. Boutiques are really a case by case basis and there are some gems that don't have enough presence for there to be an accurate consensus view by outsiders.

May 26, 2015

revenue

May 26, 2015

i would look at their recent transaction and see how many deals they closed in 2011 and 2012. I would also look at the bios of the senior bankers to see the quality of their experience. Look for BB, top MM, or top "elite boutique" backgrounds or some wort of combination of industry work (corp/biz dev), PE, and banker work. It is a good indicator of what your experience will be like. Lastly, look at where they went to school.

Stay clear of boutiques that were started buy non-bankers (like industry c-levels, big 4 accountants, consultants, valuation advisors, etc). They sometimes don't know what they are doing running an investment bank and you will find yourself cold calling companies just to bring in business (this is like a notch below writing a pitchbook on a bitch work scale). You want to make sure they have built a strong network at a top IB so that they have the appropriate connections themselves to come up with potential clients to pitch to.

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May 26, 2015
OMS:

Look for BB, top MM, or top "elite boutique" backgrounds or some wort of combination of industry work (corp/biz dev), PE, and banker work. It is a good indicator of what your experience will be like.

balls.mahoney:

Ones to be careful of are boutiques that are a legacy group of MDs who came from a bulge that are now just sitting on their hands and listing "transactions at previous firms" on the websites.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

Seems like we have conflicting opinions. How would you check to make sure that the BB MD isn't just sitting on his hands now, other than looking at the rate of deals?

Also, at what rate would the cutoff be? 3 deals/year? 5? more?

Lastly, what weight would you give to each metric? Would you pick a small shop with non-banker background that does a lot of small deals and a lot of revenue, or a larger shop with banker background that does only a couple large deals a year?

May 26, 2015

Dealflowish.

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.

May 26, 2015

Sorry, I may have conveyed my message poorly. I was not saying that ex-BB bankers who have started boutiques should be avoided. My point was that the BB background alone isn't necessarily indicative of the boutique's strength. Some bankers have had more success than others with retaining clients after they leave the bulge platform.

And when I'm talking about boutiques, I'm thinking of those that are much smaller than the "elite" shops.

May 26, 2015

A way that I would look at it is that each deal team (3-4 people) needs to be closing at least 2-3 good deals per year for a small boutique to be successful. So you are looking for ~1 deal closed per banker, assuming that the firm is not overly top or bottom heavy, which could skew things. Obviously this ratio would skew down in bad years, like 2009, or up in good years, like 2012 has been for many boutiques.

May 26, 2015

Based on OPs comment that he/she is contacting 50-100 banks in their city, I'm assuming they are talking about much smaller boutiques than the elites (GHL, Evercore, etc.) of the world, so lets ignore those and focus on the small boutiques.

As someone who works at a lower-MM boutique, I would offer the following to think/inquire about:

Are analysts generalists or assigned to an industry group? If generalists, then you obviously need to gauge the abilities of all senior bankers. If analysts are industry specific, find out which groups are hiring and then review the backgrounds of the senior bankers in that group.

At my firm, all analysts and associates are generalists. We have some great groups that have ex-BB MDs (although all left their respective BB before becoming a MD), with great Directors/VPs (Top 10 MBAs, ex tier-1 BB experience, etc.). On the flip side, we also have some poor groups, with MDs that can't close a screen door. If you get staffed on a deal with the better groups, life is awesome and you'll close a bunch of deals. If you get staffed with the "lesser" groups then life can be very frustrating (failed deals, inefficient work due to lack of direction, etc.)

With smaller/lower middle-market boutiques, don't get too hung up on background and pedigree. A number of posters have discussed ex-BB bankers and how they translate over to boutiques. At the lower middle-market level, clients don't really care (as much) if the MD previously worked at a BB and whose clients were all F100 companies. Reason being, lower-MM clients tend to be entrepreneur/family-owned businesses who are looking for perhaps their first PE recap/partnership, or a complete sale to a strategic. As a result, from the client's perspective, a banker who has only worked with F100 doesn't have any advantage over a banker who has more experience in the lower-MM (the F100 banker could actually be viewed as having a disadvantage as their experience isn't as closely aligned with a lower-MM client).

However, this is not to say that ex-BB experience isn't a good thing. As I mentioned above, the best groups at my firm have ex-BB bankers with top MBAs at the MD, Director/VP level. My point is that being an ex-BB banker doesn't necessarily lead to a ton more deal flow than non-BB bankers at the lower-MM level. It is more about relating to the client, having strong/relevant experience in their space and earning their trust. These are things you'd have to gauge and evaluate through phone calls and face to face meetings with bankers from each firm.

Tl;dr - If analysts are generalists, look at the backgrounds of all their senior bankers, but more importantly deal flow for the entire firm. If analysts are industry specific, focus on the backgrounds and deal flow for that group. If deals are sub $250MM, put less weight on the senior bankers backgrounds and more on deal flow.

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May 26, 2015
milehigh:

thanks that helps a lot. +1sb

May 26, 2015

People just like to talk. Honestly, if you are at a well regarded bank(which you are cause your at a EB) you will be fine. Don't waste your time chasing/thinking about prestige, just crush it this summer and get the offer.

May 26, 2015

Prestige is the crutch of people lacking real world accomplishments, and the internet is full of people convinced they know everything. Take everything you read here with a healthy dose of salt. Some banks that get treated or classified as 2nd tier BB's consistently outperform many of the places people here are willing to trade one of their kidneys to work at.