Elitism in IB Recruiting? - Spain & France

Would like to know what you think about recruiting for IB at these countries, do you find it too elitist or do you think that opportunities are given to the right people? Both countries seem to me similar in IB where there are opportunities for those who chase them, as opposite to Italy where not being from Bocconi is a red flag (no idea for Consulting), in any case would like to see your opinion about the topic.

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Comments (15)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 26, 2020 - 1:27pm

IB in Spain is extremely elitist. If you look at the profiles of BB guys, all of them come from ICADE/ESADE/IE/CUNEF, being ICADE the most dominant by far. ICADE is theuniversity of the "sons of" os Spain. (ie the son of the former president, the sons of the biggest businessmen...). It is not that well known outside of Spain, biven that their graduate programmes are really weak and they don't place well ouside of Spain, but in Spain, it's the absolute #1.

If you are not from one of those universities, you have close to no chance. Spanish IB market is really small, so there are few spots and networking/pedigree plays an enormous role. Go to ICADE, pay the bills, and you will have a spot. If it is not in a BB, it will be in the company of the father of your classmate.

Regarding France, I don't really know, but France in general is known to be really elitist when it comes to education. The thing is that there are more prestigious institutions to attend and that place well.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 26, 2020 - 1:35pm

Is that just in positions in Spain or also in most banks recruiting for London?

I know that we tend to interview top students from every single university (the known ones) for London internships, but have no idea about how is recruiting for the positions located in Madrid. Didnt know that there was such a lack of diversity

You seem to know better than most the market, is it due to education standards or is it just pure networking?

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 24, 2021 - 10:34pm

Kinda late to reply, but to answer you question ICADE has a reaaaally cultist DNA to their institution. As they usually say "ICADE only hires ICADE" and it is genuinely true. I know a few people from BBs who went there and they don't even hide that they will make sure you don't get the job unless you went there too.

Obviously the drawback is that they tend to not be liked by others who didn't go there and that their culture tends to create pretty toxic environments whenever a sizable amount of them get together (I know there have been cases at Big4, spain F500 companies and even a BB in London). In one case of one of the most important Spanish companies, I was told by a friend who worked there that around ~10 ICADE alumni would only work with each other, ignoring the other 3 workers on the department (this was for strategy).

  • Intern in PE - Other
Jul 11, 2020 - 1:26pm

ICADE is stronger in UG. Their MSc are heavily populated by ppl from public schools that just want the brand. Their MScs not as recognized as their UG, nor they give the same network. For a MSc, I would go with IE.

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Most Helpful
Jan 27, 2020 - 7:00am

Prospect above is correct. If you're Spanish and want to stay in Spain then ICADE (I don't know CUNEF) is more of a safe bet than BOCCONI in Milan. Someone will have a better idea but I've heard of nephews/cousins etc etc of the Spanish royal family being at ICADE so yes, I would say it's a highly elitist institution. I don't think it places as well in London as IE and ESADE but I think that's also a function of the latter two being much more international and having English speaking programs. Couldn't tell you if the quality of teaching is any good though.

I think France is a bit different but still elitist. HEC/ESCP/ESSEC are better overall programs than those in Spain I'd say. But it's gotten less elitist because of how well those three programs have done over the years that they've started to attract more international candidates. This is happening at Bocconi too to a lesser extent but I'm not sure the foreign kids place too well yet if I'm honest.

Jan 27, 2020 - 8:42pm

I think if you go to a good U.S. school, you definitely stand a chance of getting a job at a French bank. The culture isn't too pleasant, and French stick with each other, so you'll have to learn their language and show that you're really interested in learning about their culture or you'll feel left out.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 11, 2020 - 1:37pm

I think OP was referring to working in these countries, not just for French or Spanish banks. In my experience, the French tend to prefer their local schools to foreign ones, regardless how good the latter are.

Jul 11, 2020 - 1:40pm

I think this makes not much sense.

There are a bunch of people from complet french non targets and public non targets universities in Spain.

Be good and you will get the interviews and the chance to get the offer. It may be biased but complaining is not the way to break in the sector. Work hard, get good grades, get experience and network

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 11, 2020 - 3:48pm

Lol Europe sucks pretty bad based off of these comments. Essentially if you're not rich you don't even have a shot? Chalk another one up for America.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 11, 2020 - 4:08pm

The problem with France is that networking does not really work like it does in the US, so if you went to a shit school there's little way to hustle your way into IB. Also take into account the fact that you won't find MM banks outside of the capital, and the IB scene in Paris is smaller than London so competition is even more intense and virtually all top IB jobs are monopolized by students from the top 3 business schools.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 12, 2020 - 2:04pm

Yeah so essentially Europe sucks for recruiting. You said the same thing but with an explanation. You understand that just because something is unfair doesn't mean it's not true, right?

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 12, 2020 - 2:50pm

you're completely right the england thread seems worse where you can get dinged because of your accent lol wtf

Jul 12, 2020 - 4:14pm

Your parents had basic jobs (not finance/law/anything that requires university) -> you didn't go to a good primary/secondary/high school -> you have lower chance of getting into world class university for bsc degree (even when you find out what you want to do and how to do it - because nobody told you what oxford and IB is then its already too late because your rich peers have been following a plan set out by their parents since day one) -> you have no chance at IB -> you have no chance at PE

This is Europe in a nutshell, not sure about US/Asia but take a look at profiles of GS SAs - many of them have linkedin profiles with world class high schools where you need to pay big bucks per annum

If you don't know what you want to do from your early days then you are screwed

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 12, 2020 - 4:29pm

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