For MBA is London Business School the only school worth going to in Europe for Banking?

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US has a lot of top schools that banks recruit at for Associate positions like Columbia, Harvard, NYU etc but in Europe is there any one worth going to other than LBS? LBS has a 2 year program like the US.

Also how good is LBS for exit opportunities in banking, private equity, and consulting?

Comments (66)

 
May 4, 2013 - 2:35pm

I know a guy who got his MBA at LBS and then did a few years of consulting for IBM. He said that as far as IB goes, you have access to all of the top BBs and MMs. He says consulting was a bit more competitive, with only a handful getting MBB. Most were able to get tier two consulting offers, like IBM, Oracle, or Deloitte.

 
May 4, 2013 - 2:50pm

And why wouldn't Europe have "top schools that banks recruit at for Associate positions"? Are you thinking of European Master/MBA programs that would be of value when applying for associate positions in the US?

 
May 4, 2013 - 5:49pm

Asatar:

I have it directly from an MBA recruiter that in the UK, LBS is the only one worth going to. Theres a couple of others in France and Italy but no more than 5 across Europe.

I agree, I'd also include Said Business School for the pedigree - everybody recruits there -, ESADE, HEC and IESE.

[quote]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.[/quote]
 
May 4, 2013 - 4:38pm

INSEAD is also a very good choice in Europe. Depending on how you want to do it, you can enroll at two different dates I believe and you can do an internship over the summer and then finish right after that. Plus I heard that INSEAD is a lot of fun.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

 
May 28, 2013 - 6:09pm

Totally agree with leveredarb about some people from LBS being the dumbest people I've ever met...

Like, seriously, I have worked with some MBA associates from LBS who are complete frittatas. No joke, I once saw an LBS grad who asked a 1st year analyst to calculate a bunch of CAGRs, and then had to google 'CAGR formula' to figure out how to calculate it...

And yeah, both LBS and INSEAD place well into banking

 
May 29, 2013 - 2:03pm

thewaterpiper:

Totally agree with leveredarb about some people from LBS being the dumbest people I've ever met...

Like, seriously, I have worked with some MBA associates from LBS who are complete frittatas. No joke, I once saw an LBS grad who asked a 1st year analyst to calculate a bunch of CAGRs, and then had to google 'CAGR formula' to figure out how to calculate it...

And yeah, both LBS and INSEAD place well into banking

You could say this about any business school. Especially since a large number MBA grads (from the US or Europe) are career changers.

 
May 4, 2013 - 6:36pm

Including a large # coming back to their firm, i presume. Insead is the mba of choice for continental Europe consultants wanting to take a sponsored break as it is the cheapest of the good mbas.
Reality is for moderately selective post mba positions such as ibd and consulting insead and lbs are ok but forthe really sought after jobs they dont hold a candle vs. HSW even in Europe (the difference vs. the US is ofc that most ambitious and smart analysts dont need an MBA to be on a buy side partner track and that except a few funds, people wont care or will hold it against you if u did an mba)

 
May 5, 2013 - 11:04am

So lets break this down into LBS vs. INSEAD then.

@ INSEAD, its only 15 months BUT you must be fluent in French. However only 9% of their graduates went to the US for employment

@LBS - 2 years, no language requirement.

For someone like myself who wants to work at a BB in London then move back to New York after 3-4 years would it matter what school I attended?

Also what is the competitiveness of LBS and INSEAD in getting in? I heard INSEAD doesn't care about GMAT scores and just wants to see multiple promotions on your career. If I'm an analyst in IB those promotions only come 2/3 years.

 
May 5, 2013 - 12:35pm

not defending INSEAD here but i have to point some inaccuracies in your statement:

length: insead is 10 months of full time study, not 15
source: http://mba.insead.edu/faq/faqs_programme_information.cfm#programme_length

languages: assuming you're a native english speaker, "You are also required to certify an ability to speak a third, commercially useful, language at a basic level in order to graduate from the programme"

http://mba.insead.edu/admissions/languages.cfm
https://mba-aol.insead.edu/documents/languages/language_policy.pdf

 
May 28, 2013 - 3:10pm

Both LBS and insead are the indisputable top European schools for MBB and IBD. You are equally well positioned for IBD or MBB from LBS and insead compared to any M7. All these firms recruit heavily from both.

The comment above regarding "only a handful get into MBB from LBS" is inaccurate. 19% of the class (78 people) went to Mckinsey, BCG, and Bain (only those 3 firms). This is compared to 17% at Kellogg, one of the top US MBB feeder schools in relative terms.

 
May 29, 2013 - 8:11am

If you want a job in IBD in Europe there are 4 MBAs you should look at:
- Tier 1: LBS and INSEAD. They both place very well into IBD and are both target schools. I personally met people from both schools who were able to move into banking from different backgrounds.
If you have to choose between INSEAD and LBS, I think you should assume that both schools will work and try to understand where you should better fit (ie. 1 yr in France vs 2 yrs in London, INSEAD costs vs LBS costs, case study method, internships opportunities during 2 yrs vs. opportunity in 1 yr, etc.)
I'd go with INSEAD because I believe it has a higher NPV.
(btw, this guy started is IBD career with an INSEAD MBA http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2009/03/04/550-million-in-fees-for-one-merrill-lynch-banker/);
- Tier 2: IESE and IE. Again, these schools were able to place a lot of people in IBD. They are target schools but not "that" target as LBS and INSEAD. Again, if you have to decide between them, it is a 2 yrs program vs 1 yr program. In this case I will go with IESE since I believe that a 2 yrs program will help you more to land an internship from a “second tier” schools.

HUGE GAP

- IMD: this is probably the second or third best (for some people the top) school in Europe. It places very well in Business Development and Consulting and it has a fantastic faculty. The only problem is that banks do not recruit there. I think the reason behind this is that people there are not interested in banking.
- Said, Cambridge, RSM, HEC, SDA: these schools are good for consulting and sometimes they also place people into banking. However, they are not usually considered IBD target schools for MBA.

Finally, to cross check this, you should have a look at the events list of any major bank to see what campuses in Europe they go to.

I'm grateful that I have two middle fingers, I only wish I had more.
 
May 29, 2013 - 10:20am

anybankeratall:

Great info!

For INSEAD can people confirm you must be FLUENT French speaker to gain admission into the program? What if you are a native English speaker with Intermediate French?

Here's how it works -- if you're an English speaker, you need to enter with English + "practical" ability in another normal language. You then need to graduate with "basic" proficiency in a third language.

https://mba-aol.insead.edu/documents/languages/language_policy.pdf

I imagine that most Americans can pass the language requirement by just beefing up on whatever language they learned in high school (in your case, French).

 
May 29, 2013 - 2:29pm

Honestly, I would prefer someone who has to google what the CAGR is because he is not familiar with it than being asked by an Executive Director at JPM/MS/GS what the flag of Sweden and Belgium look like...

I'm grateful that I have two middle fingers, I only wish I had more.
 
May 29, 2013 - 3:25pm

cruel3a:

Honestly, I would prefer someone who has to google what the CAGR is because he is not familiar with it than being asked by an Executive Director at JPM/MS/GS what the flag of Sweden and Belgium look like...

Especially when pretty much everything you need to know about finance you'll be taught by whatever bank hires you. I imagine that this associate turned out fine after a few months of learning the ropes.

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:02pm

In my view both Insead and LBS are a very, very significant step above NYU Stern. Stern is a great school, but you will have much better opportunities at LBS/Insead.

Both Insead and LBS definitely go toe to toe with M7 schools in terms of recruiting, you really will get the same banks, consulting firms, recruiting very heavily, with very large amounts of alumni. The only question is geography. The student body at both LBS/Insead is fairly non-US focused and most want to stay in London/Europe/Asia/Latin America, so career services is set up to match those preferences.

To illustrate, 65% of the 2012 LBS class stayed within Europe, only 9% went to US/Canada.
The reverse is true for US MBAs, e.g. only around 5% of Wharton MBAs go to Europe.

So where do top firms in Europe get their MBAs? LBS and Insead.

If you are aiming for buy-side PE etc you will however be at a disadvantage at LBS or Insead. H/S/W have a lead on that front.

I'd tend to agree that both schools are more comparable with the upper end of 'M7' schools, but still a small hair behind Harvard and Stanford.

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:06pm

I'm not sure how good they are specifically for finance but Insead and IMD probably have the best reputation.

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May 30, 2013 - 1:09pm

mice, true. but I just wanted to see which MBA schools are strong in finance. (i.e. in the U.S., Wharton MBA, Stern MBA, Chicago-Booth, and etc.)...i guess i was looking for MBA programs that are heavily recruited by ibanks, not consulting. for example, i think cambridge and oxford are consulting favorites whereas LBS is for ibanking

how are IMD/INSEAD/HEC for ibanking? as opposed to LBS?

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:10pm

Lui, you provide zero value to the board. If you are going to be rude and obnoxious at least be funny and entertaining. Otherwise, please go play in traffic.

London,
My shop looks favorably upon INSEAD and LBS. If I had to go for an international program I would do the 1 year INSEAD program. IMD would be an interesting choice but is much more management focused.

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:15pm

From my European point of view I would only go to:

  • INSEAD, definitely the best European MBA for Finance and Strategy based both in Fontainebleau (next to Paris) and Singapore with may academic exchanges including with Wharton
  • HEC Paris, if you want an excellent training and a network with tones of the most famous CEO, CFO of French companies. Many alumni are currently working in IB (GS, JPM, MS, ML, BNP, Lazard or Rothschild) or for M/B/B
  • IMD Lausanne
  • In a lesser extent, Instituto de Empresa (IE)in Spain

By the way, for other people (I know you don't want to go there), LBS is really a good choice if you want to stay in London and to work in Finance.

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:16pm

INSEAD and LBS are clearly the top European MBA schools. From what I've heard, if you're planning to work in Finance in London, LBS will give you an edge. If you're looking into Consulting in London or elsewhere in Europe, go INSEAD.

Careful though with those recruitment statistics -- if INSEAD tells you they have x% of students leaving for consulting, or LBS saying x% leave for banking, you need to consider that a lot of people entering INSEAD already come from consulting, and lots of people entering LBS have had banking experience before. People may return to their original firms, so there probably isn't a 50% chance of ending up with an offer for MBB while at INSEAD after your non-consulting job.

I'd also be careful with any analysis around the network/brand/prestige advantage of Oxbridge/HEC degrees. Yes, these schools have been around for ages and have spit out fantastic alumni, but I wonder whether the true network advantage is limited to students following the 'real' established undergraduate programs in these institutions. To me, MBA programs at these schools seem like a clever product portfolio extension. I don't have any real data on this, just my 2 cents.

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:28pm

m2:

I'd also be careful with any analysis around the network/brand/prestige advantage of Oxbridge/HEC degrees. Yes, these schools have been around for ages and have spit out fantastic alumni, but I wonder whether the true network advantage is limited to students following the 'real' established undergraduate programs in these institutions. To me, MBA programs at these schools seem like a clever product portfolio extension. I don't have any real data on this, just my 2 cents.

You're right at least for HEC. There, the most famous program is Grande Ecole (Msc in Management with a major in whatever you like from supply chain to finance). The MBA was created later to "copy" the model and to have an offer for executives. As I said in another topics, in France at least, and in Europe in general, to have an MBA is not that common and usually (always ?) the Grande Ecole program > MBA from the same institution.

To get you Msc, you already have to do 5-6 years after high school so people don't go to IB for 3 years and go back to school, they are promoted to Associates w/o MBA

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:18pm

Thanks for your posts Camondo and m2. Some friends on the HEC MBA say that the career service isn't very good and you're on your own for recruiting. Also, they say for working in France you need to speak fluent french ( which I don't ) and also that HEC is more of a Marketing/Industry School and isn't really known for Finance. All this is a bit worrying for me since I have zero network of my own currently in Europe ( I'm Asian )

Please share any thoughts/info. I'm really in a jam here.

Thanks

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:25pm

jaz:
anybody have any comments on MSc Finance from these schools? Not only banking but other areas like research and hedge funds

Best Euro MSc Finance (in terms of being an IB target school) are:

1)LSE
2)Oxford
3)Cambridge
4)Bocconi
5)HEC
6)Stockholm School Of Economics
7)St. Gallen

Bocconi's program is known for being especially rigorous, almost to the point of absurdity

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:23pm

LBS is better for finance. INSEAD for everything else. it doesn't necessarily mean much, but in the INSEAD presentations, they constantly compare themselves to HBS...so even if you take them down a notch, i'd still say they're on par with programs like columbia/chicago/wharton/tuck.

then it's IMD in 3rd, followed by Oxbridge/HEC. HEC is really strong in france from what i know...but Oxbridge have that brand name that's more global (i.e. if you go to Asia they'll love your Oxbridge degree, but won't know too much about HEC or IMD...however LBS and INSEAD are both truly global brand names).

In terms of the networking, i know you can acccess the entire school's network at oxford (i've visited)...i'm guessing cambridge is about the same...not sure about HEC.

and all their course work are done in english. although LBS requires you to be fluent in 2 languages upon graduation and INSEAD requires you to be fluent in 2 languages when you enter the programs and be proficient in a 3rd language by graduation. they're very strict on this apparently and will not let you graduate if you don't have a 3rd language down.

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:24pm

Dr Satisfaction,

Not to bust "monkey nuts" but the requirements you're cited are a little misleading ref. "fluency". Here are their respective links included herein below.

LBS's requirement is markedly easier requiring a score of "2" (advanced beginner) in a second language other than English.

LBS - http://www.london.edu/programmes/mba/programmedetails/languagelearning…

INSEAD's requirement is difficult if your first language is English, as you are expected to demonstrate proficiency in one "foreign" language upon entry and "another" at exit.

INSEAD - https://mba-aol.insead.edu/documents/languages/language_policy.pdf

Of the two, INSEAD is certainly the "stickler" but you are not required to be fluent in either of your "second" or "third" languages.

However, if one had trouble getting through high school French or Spanish this might be a deal breaker?

Me - I'm fluent in English (native), French, Turkish, some Arabic (wife) and about to start working on Mandarin (work assignment).

"That State which separates it's scholars from it's warriors will have it's thinking done by cowards, and it's fighting done by fools." - Thucydides, from The Peloponnesian Wars.
 
May 30, 2013 - 1:29pm

I agree 100% with comments above.

For what it's worth, I grew up in France, am American, and, my father was an American entrepreneur in France during the 1980-90s. Brutal lesson for him and the family. France was still a socialist economy in those days; entrepreneurs (businessmen) were something to be literally despised.

At that time, in the late 20th century - there were not French MBAs - there was INSEAD and there were "Les Grandes Ecoles" (LGEs). Anyone who was a someone was either (a). self-made/inherited, (b). went to one of the LGEs, or, (c). went abroad to America for an MBA.

In France, the whole MBA was an afterthought, indeed, a "portfolio add on",and, was/is finishing school for executives or method of generating substantial fees from "foreign students". For finance/commerce - HEC was only one of the LGEs. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandes_%C3%A9coles).

If you're looking at "recruitment" after graduation and "return on investment" and not purely "academic" metrics -- LBS (finance), INSEAD (strategy/consulting, management) or IMD (management) are the only real International MBAs to consider.

Remember an MBA is a finishing school, time off from the 12 hour plus grind, and, significant "networking" opportunity. Those are the 3 schools that are worthy of the plus $XXXk investment. Academic quality vs. MSc Finance vs. "name brand" (i.e. personally partial to "Oxbridge") are entirely different discussions.

"That State which separates it's scholars from it's warriors will have it's thinking done by cowards, and it's fighting done by fools." - Thucydides, from The Peloponnesian Wars.
 
May 30, 2013 - 1:30pm

yep for instance, I'm currently a Grande Ecole student in my 2nd year (out of 3 and after two years of "classes préparatoires" = intensive school to prepare entrance exams of LGEs).

What the FT ranks at the top is these LGE (HEC, ESSEC, ESCP Europe, EM Lyon, EDHEC, Audencia, EM Grenoble, Rouen Business School, Reims Management School, Toulouse Business School for the Top 10 in France)
but only the top 3-4 ones are targets even if you can find alumni from all of these schools in BB.

BUT, HEC MBA / Specialized Masters are a good choice if you want to work in France / Continental Europe or London since HEC is very well known in here but when you leave the continent, it's not as prestigious as INSEAD

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:31pm

I agree with all of the above -- the academic education at all of the above is excellent. I know or knew several profs from Lyon and Grenoble and consider them some of the "best & brightest".

But if you're a foreign student paying thousands of dollars (academic fees, living expenses, travel, insurance, etc.) these other schools are not "tops"; in particular, if you are borrowing the money (academic loans) -- then you have to consider both employment, risk/reward and payback of investment -- not straightforward at all.

"That State which separates it's scholars from it's warriors will have it's thinking done by cowards, and it's fighting done by fools." - Thucydides, from The Peloponnesian Wars.
 
May 30, 2013 - 1:32pm

Yeah for a foreigner, joining a Grande Ecole program at a master level (2 year program) is the best choice (better than the MBA / MS etc) if it's at the top 3 (all 3 in Paris) but for the rest it's only if you want to stay in France. These programs are expensive (€8,000 a year) but considered the best along with some Masters in Finance & Strategy by Science po Paris (IEP Paris), University of Paris-Dauphine Master 225 corporate finance & Financial Engineering, or University Paris Sorbonne Master in Financial Engineering.

Plus, there is one thing to know about France is that it has an engineering culture. At the very beginning were invented Engeering Schools by Napoleon. The famous one is Ecole Polytechnique but other examples are Ecole des Mines or Ecole des Ponts & Chaussées. All these are target schools so in France not only are there Business schools but above that in terms of prestige / history those "Ecole d'Ingénieurs".

Basically I can sum it up like that : Ecole Polytechnique (referred as X), Ecole des Mines, Ecole Centrale de Paris, Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées for the engineering side, and HEC Paris, ESSEC & ESCP Europe are considered the 7 best schools in France.

You guys talk about Ivey League, we talk about Septuo (for Sept = Seven).

 
May 30, 2013 - 1:34pm

You don't think INSEAD has as good of a name as Oxbridge? I think that amongst the "circles" it has almost/same cache?

"That State which separates it's scholars from it's warriors will have it's thinking done by cowards, and it's fighting done by fools." - Thucydides, from The Peloponnesian Wars.
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