FT Partners Culture/Fit

Hi Monkeys! I'm considering a lateral to FT Partners because I'm interested in the fintech space, but I have a friend who works there and he said that the culture is terrible, everyone is overworked, they spend more time working on teasers than actual modeling, and the exit opportunities are poor because PE firms know employees don't develop as good modeling skills as they would at other banks. Does anyone have any insight?

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Comments (24)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 1, 2021 - 10:00pm

The average tenure for an employee there is 0.8 years (per LinkedIn) and it has a big reputation for being a toxic sweatshop.

Claims have been made in other forums that FTP has improved its culture but the numbers still show high attrition relative to other banks.

That said, FTP has been yielding solid deal flow recently (hence the sweatiness) so it is likely better than many LMM firms on deal experience perspective.

However, FTP is also more niche than other MM firms so your most notable exits will likely gravitate to the Fintech industry (either buyside or corporate dev). Also, most of the deals tend to be capital raises instead of M&A, so your thought is correct that you will get less modeling experience than a typical BB coverage group.

Bottom line: FTP has been known to work you to the grave with limited exit opps relative to other banks. If you don't have anything else lined up, the most ideal scenario would be to take FTP on the basis that you lateral to a better bank (if you wanted looks from PE). If you're cool with fintech, VC, and staying in the SF eco system, it's no Moelis but is still respected.

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  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Sep 2, 2021 - 9:52pm

In the class above me, there were 2-3 analysts who were suicidal (I mean it). This was all because they were so focused on being top-bucket that they would try to be perfect in every way (like waking up at 5am on a Saturday to check for emails from their MDs so they can respond to them: "No problem, [insert MD], I'm happy to do it. Please let me know if there is anything else you'd like and we will be on it!"). If you want to be top-bucket at FT Partners, you have to be ready to be hospitalized or scarred for the rest of your life. This does not mean you can coast. They still stick to GS standards of the bottom 10% being asked to leave after the first year. I saw this happen for three years even to Associates and VPs. The good news was that because so many people left all the time, it didn't look too bad when such people left after a year on the job. 

The majority of analysts every class for some reason have a HUGE chip on their shoulders and are very insecure to the point that they will suck up to every senior and do whatever it takes to please them. If I or any other analyst who was not part of the "in crowd" walked into the kitchen or bullpen while they were talking, they would refuse to tell what they were talking about.

If you think FT Partners sucks on the banking side only, you are very wrong. Their research side has a lot of turnover as well and most analysts don't even want to become investment banking analysts after two years. Also, their People Ops (HR) team has a lot of turnover all the time. They didn't even have an HR team before 2017. One of their co-heads of HR left a year after creating the entire HR division and the other co-head left last year. 

I could go on for hours about all of this but I will stop here as I know the CEO, HR and their tech team are constantly watching these forums trying to find out and dox people who post on this site. 

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Sep 3, 2021 - 6:20pm

Maybe a lot of 3-statement modeling for clients coupled with illustrative financing scenarios based on various capital raising opportunities? Given they don't have separation between coverage and capital markets. I don't know if that's actually the case but it's possible from an outside perspective.

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  • Consultant in Consulting
Sep 3, 2021 - 5:51pm

Yeah it's just a lower middle market shop. Nobody would have heard of them if they didn't have such brutal hours to tell stories about. 

Oct 4, 2021 - 5:06pm

I hate FT Partners as much as the next guy, but they're leaders in the ECM space in fintech. They handled the raises for Revolut, Mollie, Upgrade, Varo, and a bunch of other unicorns. Mollie itself was $6.5 billion. Their M&A coverage is lacking but they're a solid ECM shop.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 4, 2021 - 9:54pm

As someone who worked at FT and still have friends there, please reconsider. Culture has gotten considerably worse during COVID whereby everyone is working nonstop. The culture at the SF office is set from the top down, as the head guy there is a workaholic. People Ops is dysfunctional and despite their role of trying to retain talent, the people ops team continually churns out. Recent class sizes have also been heavily drawn from nontargets. Granted having gone to a semi/nontarget myself, Im appreciative that there is a firm out there that is willing to hire nontargets, but it breeds a cutthroat heads-down culture where everyone is grinding. Really not an intellectual environment and some of the work is just downright atrocious. Process updates of 100+ outreach status every week, drafting emails for seniors, turning 60+pg decks endlessly to name a few. On top of that is cheap expense policies and poor benefits (i.e., no 401k match, clawback of full bonus if you dont stay for full 2 years). Hardly ever got a thanks from a superior and for all the hard work that was put in, was awarded a useless coin with the founder's face while others were getting retention bonuses and pelotons. 

  • Analyst 3+ in PE - LBOs
Nov 5, 2021 - 12:41am

I'll add to the thread here that FT isn't for the faint of heart but the experience is worth the issues mentioned above most of which are greatly exaggerated. I'm not going to refute the above comments but deal flow is off the charts and as a summer turned full time and promoted through the ranks I've been treated well and have had several exit opportunities to top buy side shops.  First years have had a tough ride having no real team bonding. Good luck with your decision. 

  • Intern in Consulting
Nov 19, 2021 - 5:50am

Exactly how I felt talking to people at FT

People there with 2+ yrs exp. seem to really work well together, be treated well and do not want to leave. A1s and Interns seem to hate it or at least have a tough time. Don't get why they are not trying to change the culture a bit. Looking at deals and experiences you can get there this could be an awesome place to work for... 

Nov 5, 2021 - 12:52am

Any of you ever wonder how places like FT are able to keep going on with the awful way they treat people?

How's it possible?

Like there will always be someone who wants to break in?

A few years ago I had an interview there that they said was for a normal I banking job, but it turned out they were basically looking for a full time staffer who had a VPs worth of real experience. Met with two MDs and some new hr hire. Total waste of time lol and they all seemed like douches.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2021 - 1:50pm

FT does sick deals but no matter what people tell you the culture is never going to change. The CEO runs the firm that way because its the only way he knows how. If you have to go, go there, but then look to lateral. Banks I had no shot at during my first go at recruiting all started calling when it was time to lateral, EB, BB, and even merchant banks.

  • Intern in Consulting
Nov 22, 2021 - 4:36pm

Can you give some more insights into how lateraling went for you? Which opportunities came up and how you experienced the teams as an analyst or intern? 
Did you work in Europe or the US and are there any differences between both locations? 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 24, 2021 - 11:28pm

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