Exposing banks and firms! Feel free to drop names shamelessly

Helloooooo MONKEYS.

As we know, in the midst of the GS analyst survey, toxic WFH abuse and culture, SA 2022 szn and unbelievable feats of ghosting, incompetent HR, cringe congratulatory LinkedIn "summer insight" posts, and diversity kids not knowing what a balance sheet is, all of these combine together to form some sinister squall that is investment banking and high finance.

Thought I'd take a moment to let loose and invite everyone to share (IDEALLY BY NAME OF FIRM AND GROUP), some of the worst people and things they've ever seen in their time interfacing with these banks and buyside firms. This forum is all we got, so we need to help and make sure people know what to look out for and what's really going on. Please feel more than welcome to call out toxic individuals by name. If doing so, also feel free to post anonymously to protect your identities.

I'm talking to you, first-year analysts who are getting cooked by your seniors during WFH every day. I'm talking to YOU, college students who prepare so hard, only to get ghosted by HR and left to the wayside, usually where an SEO/MLT kid takes your spot. I'm talking to you, VP who realized a bit too late that he can't make a move to another industry because he's stuck in IB. I'm even talking to YOU, middle class white boy who had no idea that this mess is what his parents meant by "be successful." We all need to expose this industry for what it is. No wonder there's so much brain drain.

Again, please feel free to post anonymously to keep yourselves safe, but let tf loose. This will be helpful for all of us, as it could either:

  1. Somehow go viral and incentivize people to change (worth a shot, hey)
  2. Warn people about who and where to look out for.

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Comments (134)

May 25, 2021 - 12:41pm

GS is imo not better than pure M&A / EB boutiques and other BB. it's like saying Harvard or bust, when there's plenty of other MBA programs which are just as good 

most of the best bankers I know went to other BB / EB. Imo the best placements I've seen were more at EB / BB

Plenty of firms are paying well these days. Also some buy side is hiring out of undergrad. I don't think GS holds the same 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 7:44pm

Nice! Bumping this - would love to hear more stories too, I've seen some pretty fucked up shit, like an MD in GS telling me that "my kind didn't belong here."

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 8:11pm

Honestly, I typically don't support doxxing, but have at it in this situation. A partner at a major financial institution shouldn't be able to say shit like that and get away with it.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 7:49pm

Bumping this with my own. I'm a black immigrant and low-income, non-target, and was part of Blackstone's Diverse Leaders Program this past winter. A PE analyst chick at Blackstone I was networking with told me straight to my face - "So do you really understand what private equity is, given that you don't really come from a great background? I feel like since you're low-income and stuff, you wouldn't really understand what we do here. Not telling you where to apply, but I would caution you against PE, may not be a great fit for you."

  • Intern in S&T - FI
May 24, 2021 - 8:45pm

I come from Asian immigrant background and same socio-economic background, I have never experience stuff like that, that's crazy lol. I would have reported shit like that

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 7:54pm

Lmao I was in an interview with EVR M&A NYC with an MIT kid (Indian guy) once, and the fucker just burst out laughing at my face at the end of the interview. Mad disrespectful and he told me it's because he was going to ask me this:

"Would you rather have half the teeth double the size, or double the teeth half the size?"

But like why waste your time bro? I got a way better offer than EVR in the end lol

May 24, 2021 - 8:22pm

A friend of mine said he was interviewing at Piper Jaffray (Now Piper Sandler) for their Tech group for an Associate slot. First they called him and said they were giving the position to somebody else but please let's stay in touch. Then they called him later that day and basically said "hey look the last guy tried to counter-offer us so we reneged on his offer, but we'd like to offer you the role for $100K". His theory was that they knew he was in a tough place professionally (at a bank that had to do big layoffs around 2019-2020) and tried to railroad him into a way below market offer by the way they framed it, while making him feel like if he negotiated they'd pull the offer. Who knows if they were bullshitting about pulling somebody else's offer but regardless they definitely tried to short-change him, knowing he needed a new gig. 

  • Associate 1 in Consulting
May 24, 2021 - 8:23pm

Interview with Lincoln - asked why I chose to stay close to home instead of the tier 1 city for my first job out of school. I told him it was because 3 of my family members were killed and I needed to stay close to home for a year or so. He chuckled under his breathe then offered condolences. The interview ended there... needless to say I got a rejection email a few days later lol.

Lesson learned - the rejection is mostly on me for being overly honest, but the reaction was very telling for group culture

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 24, 2021 - 9:24pm

I would comment the same, but I saw a URM get a BB "diversity" offer with a sub 3.0 from an HBCU. Coincidentally, dad happened to be a client of said bank.

Competitive my ass lol. "Competition is for losers" is basically the motto of high finance and business in general lmao

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 9:38pm

Not going to drop any names but I'll just share my background. I'm a non-target from a low-income background who busted his ass to get a full-ride to a non-target and who busted his ass to get a 4.0 and top grades and top clubs and good internship experiences freshman and sophomore year to finally get an offer. I was honestly very shocked and disheartened by what I saw while recruiting. 

I sent out a couple hundred emails and probably got on 60-100 networking calls. The amount of rudeness, jokes, straight up meanness, ghosting, and arrogance and elitism was shocking. Why people thought it was okay to make fun of me, directly to my face, and tell me that I didn't have a chance of working for their bank because of the school I go to, is beyond me. I had a 1580 on the SAT, you're not better or smarter than me because of the name of your school, you're just being an asshole. Thank god for the few people who were nice and decent human beings who were helpful to me, and I'm very happy that I ended up at a firm with a good culture with people I liked. 

All the shit I saw and the obstacles I had to go through took a big toll on me and really opened my eyes to how the world really works. This industry seems very toxic and unsustainable and D&I initiatives or a more meritocratic selection process won't make impactful change. When I have kids, I would love for them to have the opportunity to go a target school and receive the best education, but more importantly, I hope they turn out as decent human beings who will respect people who don't look like them, come from different financial backgrounds, and have different viewpoints as them. It doesn't cost anything to be kind and not be an asshole. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 9:47pm

It doesn't cost anything to be kind and not be an asshole.

This, a million times.

  • Intern in S&T - FI
May 24, 2021 - 9:55pm

From my experience people in the industry who worked hard to get to the position they are in are generally nice people and vice versa

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 10:04pm

I don't think the chances are minuscule, I think the chances you land something in IB FO if you play everything right (4.0, ECs, internships, networking) are 20-50%, but you do have to put a Herculean amount of effort in to even have a chance. Getting a EB/GS TMT level group is probably like 1-3% chance though. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 10:19pm

Interesting that black kids are the scapegoat but most diversity offers probably go to white women/gay white people, veterans & etc.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 10:21pm

Oh no, let me be clear - I think I can safely speak for all diversity naysayers that we fully think white women and gay ppl are the real "diversity charity cases." While many black kids are indeed those shitbags from Exeter and Deerfield CT, more often than not, they're usually low-income/middle class. And in the latter case, you just can't knock that.

White women and gay people are truly the epitome of toxic. Will personally never hire one because I know they never had to be competent to get to where they are.

  • Prospect in IB - Restr
May 24, 2021 - 10:28pm

Harvard considers 84% of the African-Americans they accept to be "wealthy", according to their own internal documentation (Don't ask me what wealthy means, I'm just using their own words). Compounding the demographics of target schools like this with the preppy, connected kids who end up in IB, I would bet that most African Americans in IB are upper-class, just like most whites who end up in IB. A far better way to do it is by first-gen, zip code, or parental income, but banks will never do that because their only goal is to maximize the percentage of gays, blacks, and women on their investor presentations. Who cares about actually uplifting people if you're just trying to look good.

- Someone who is literally going to PJT/EVR, not jealous, just sad watching rich international "latinos" who're whiter than snow and blonde chicks from greenwich get BB IB over first gen and low income students who deserve it at my target school

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 25, 2021 - 4:03am

Agreed. So many white women at my school who would get laughed out of the room if they were dudes. Their resumes are horrendous, and they would have absolutely have no chance as non-diversity. This isn't to say all white women are incompetent or that all girls in diversity are not deserving, but for my school, all the girls placed at good firms despite being poor candidates. They are pretty hot though, wonder if that helps them in some degree for interviews.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 25, 2021 - 5:11am

Dude ofc it helps us - I legit had an associate comment on how pretty I looked that day. Creepy af but...

Got the offer

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 25, 2021 - 12:41pm

Think about the business world this way might help:

A lot of high-ups are old rich dudes.

What do those people like? Young, pretty women.

What does that mean for students trying to get into IBD? That cute brunette or American sweetheart is going to get an offer pretty easily. 

  • Prospect in IB - Restr
May 24, 2021 - 10:24pm

I had a phone interview for a PE internship (this was freshman year) with an associate. I go to a target. My interviewer was from a complete non-target and took like an 8-year unconventional route to get to that associate position. As soon as we got settled in on the call, he basically started shitting on me and my school the entire time. "Why don't you tell me about your esteemed education at XXX" "They don't teach you that at XXX?" Like the entire time, he was just making snide, backhanded comments about my school, and just acted like a huge dick to me because of the school I go to the entire time. And I legitimately did nothing to bring it upon myself. Yes, there are a lot of privileged cunts who go to HYPS. I am not one of them, and I truly consider myself to be an extremely humble person, so I'm confident that I didn't provoke him in any way, especially since he literally started doing it from the very beginning. it was kinda sad and disappointing to watch this grown-ass man, several years out of college, project his insecurities onto me. Obviously never got a call back. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 10:37pm

Oh no, target school kid doesn't get freshman year private equity internship because of salty nontarget. So unfair! 

  • Prospect in IB - Restr
May 24, 2021 - 11:32pm

OP here. Stop being salty. I ended up getting an IB RX internship at a boutique on the west coast which I was happier about than this PE one.

Thank you for MS'ing me as I literally just shared an experience about how a guy was a dick in hiring. Surely shouldn't matter if it was freshman or junior year, should it? We're literally talking about bad interviewing experiences.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 10:50pm

If it took him eight years to get into that position, of course he's not going to let a freshman in college in. I've had similar experiences where the gatekeepers wouldn't let me into the bank, not because I wasn't qualified or didn't have great experience, but because I didn't go to the same elite school as them. People like to help out their own groups, we're a tribal species.

  • Prospect in IB - Restr
May 24, 2021 - 11:36pm

You may be right. Plenty of firms had kindly reached out to me and told me they didn't take freshman though. This dude gave me a 1 hour interview with technicals and all. If they just didn't want a freshman, the guy could have told me straight up instead of shitting on my school. It's like reverse-gatekeeping I guess.

May 24, 2021 - 10:48pm

Honestly 90% of this thread is underwhelming and even as someone personally against the whole diversity corporate BS (as it tends to be ineffective as most point out), think complaints about all diversity stuff is very useless and doesn't belong on this thread.... (don't mean if someone was racist to you etc obviously, but rather complaining about diversity programs)

Thread Could have been something but whoever keeps bringing up diversity stuff is basically ruining the potential of what this thread could be. Shame.

Why do people always just whine about the diversity programs when unprovoked...

May 24, 2021 - 11:14pm

No but disappointed. Think about reading the first post seeing 50 comments below and expecting some big headlines coming out of this and there's just 30 comments on why people hate diversity programs lmao

I just want to see people post real stuff and not get derailed yknow?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 24, 2021 - 11:41pm

An associate at PWP SF told me that I didn't belong because I wasn't from the Bay Area. Was it really that, or me being black? 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 25, 2021 - 1:00am

Was interviewing for a valuations advisory role at a BB. Interviewer asked if my parents had worked in finance and he said the reason he asked was "to see if I had grown up in the culture".

I also went to a regional podunk non-target, and the usual reactions to it were:

  • Pronouncing the name of the school wrong
  • Confusing it with other similarly-named schools
  • Asking where it is
  • Saying they hadn't heard of it
  • If they had heard of it, the response would usually be "oh, I've heard of that"
  • Asking "why the fuck" I chose to go there for school
  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 25, 2021 - 1:47am

Was interviewing for an energy IB role at a top group and was asked if I had any family in Oil and Gas. Didn't have family in the industry so stated that. Still got the role so I guess the culture wasn't as bad in this particular group. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
May 25, 2021 - 12:41pm

Kind of a funny interview question. As if your dad is gonna come into the office and help out. My government parents don't know shit about finance. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 25, 2021 - 12:41pm

One reason this is asked in Houston is because people will intern at a bank in Houston and then leverage it for a FT offer in nyc. If you have family in the O&G industry, you're more likely to actually be interested in the industry and would probably stay in houston at least for a couple years since it's the O&G hub of the US

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 25, 2021 - 1:32am

Lmao this was funny, so basically got the superday at Blackstone PE, but was called by an Associate and told straight up that another kid didn't get the superday and her uncle is a partner, so she called him up. Then they had to legit rescind my superday to make room for her. White girl, grew up in Fairfield, CT, and went to Choate.

She got the offer ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 25, 2021 - 5:43am

Nah bro I'm not even salty anymore...snagged a top tech BB so I'm straight.

Although if we're being real, with uncle at her beck and call, I don't think she ever will haha

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 25, 2021 - 1:44am

My experience with Citi IBD:

I was interviewing at Citi's superday for an IBD FT role and it was simply the worst interview experience I ever had. The MD from (Energy/Power/O&G/Metals & Mining) literally DID NOT LOOK UP FROM HIS PHONE ONCE AT ME the moment he stepped in. So for the whole 30 mins I was looking like a fucking retard speaking one-way to him while he texts on his phone. It honestly was so demoralizing and so disrespectful, like if interviewing me was such a waste of your time why even come. 

Same round, another VP from (Industrials/fig) started questioning my motive to study finance, because I came from a liberal arts / non-finance background. When I said that I switched my major to finance in college during soph year bc I actually found the space to be interesting as I took more classes, she was like "well to me it just sounds like you switched from an easy major to a hard one." Like lmao who are you to comment on and degrade other people's interests / pursuits in fields of study just bc u work @ finance? Idk if I was over-reacting but it definitely felt like she was very condescending and that she looked down upon my previous major.

Also HR has zero help or say in these type of things, the MDs can do whatever they want and be however disrespectful and still get away with it lol 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
May 25, 2021 - 6:34am

I had this at StanChart in London.

Informed the HR rep of my withdrawal as she took me down to the lobby.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
May 25, 2021 - 8:37am

I had a horrible experience interviewing with Ducera. The VP I spoke with was literally working out as we were talking, and I could hear the noise from the elliptical/treadmill in the background. The entire time we were on the phone I he wouldn't stop huffing and the sound from him running was very noticeable. He would give me one word answers in response to anything I said, and it was straight up the worst time interviewing I have ever had. Who knows maybe it was me, but I have done a lot of interviews and this guy was by far the most, rude, condescending, arrogant piece of work I've ever come across. Would avoid at all costs.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 25, 2021 - 12:41pm

I feel so bad for this guy. I interviewed with K and know others who interviewed with him too. K was super nice to all of us.

Incidentally, I know other people who interviewed at Ducera that had terrible experiences with some MDs/VPs that aren't named K so there definitely are bad apples there.

Just sucks that K has become the scapegoat for everyone bad at Ducera and his name is searchable on google for being an asshole.

May 25, 2021 - 12:26pm

During my time in a BB last summer as an asset management intern, I was networking with people in the IB division because I was looking into potentially lateraling. I reached out to someone that was an alum from a diversity network and we scheduled for a call. Throughout the call she was clearly working on something else and was eating chips during the call. It got so bad of her not paying attention that for like half the call she through I was a high schooler and didn't hear that I said that I was interning at her firm.

  • 1
May 25, 2021 - 12:41pm

Cold-emailed a VP of ML's PWM group in my area for internship opportunities (freshman undergrad). He basically told me I was screwed in a sarcastic tone and linked me to their page for starting a student checking account. Still laugh about it

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 25, 2021 - 12:41pm

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"Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes." -U.S. Navy General Farragut
May 25, 2021 - 12:41pm

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