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Comments (116)

Apr 23, 2014 - 6:59am

If you're talking about IB, at that level I think it depends on which culture you mesh better with, and other things apart from just prestige - for example, MS has a global analyst program where in your 3rd year you can do a year in an office in another country, which is a big benefit if you're interested in spending some time overseas and getting that experience.

Although GS is traditionally the most prestigious, it's hard to imagine you will be hurt at all by going to MS in terms of exit ops.

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Apr 23, 2014 - 7:03am

Goldman vs. Morgan Stanley - Difference in pay (Originally Posted: 12/07/2009)

I'm trying to get into banking, and want to know which is best.

I'm going to have to enter at the Analyst level as the small venture I created upon graduating is (basically) running on its on.

There's no difference in pay between the two @ the Analyst level... right?

Please explain your choice!

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:11am

The Piper jokes are getting old. 1YB, you really confuse me -- sometimes I read your posts and you actually give reasonable advice. But generally, it's just crap like this. I don't understand how you are actually a first-year analyst and get off by making posts like this. It's amazing.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:14am

Jimbrowningu: Ok let me clear it up for you. I'm a black box. I spit out what I get.

If the question is reasonable and the person really needs help, then I give constructive advice.

However, if there are a bunch of idiots or a stupid question (which there usually is 65% of the time), then I respond alike. I mean look at this kid's post. Poor grammar, horrible diction, and a very nebulous understanding with absolutely no motivation to run a search. Plus this question is completely toolish and the kid obviously just created an account to screw around.

I mean read this: "I'm going to have to enter at the Analyst level as the small venture I created upon graduating is (basically) running on its on. "

I can either laugh or cry at stupid threads like these and I choose the former, thus the sarcastic response. However, if he were to do a basic search and wrote well-addressed questions + sentences, then I would be more than happy to offer a pleasant response such as "It depends.... MS M&A and GS TMT are the best groups.....blah blah blah".

Hope that helps buddy.

PS: Why doesn't this kid get into both firms and then ask? I wouldn't even be surprised if this guy's just a troll.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:15am
1styearBanker:
Jimbrowningu: Ok let me clear it up for you. I'm a black box. I spit out what I get.

If the question is reasonable and the person really needs help, then I give constructive advice.

However, if there are a bunch of idiots or a stupid question (which there usually is 65% of the time), then I respond alike. I mean look at this kid's post. Poor grammar, horrible diction, and a very nebulous understanding with absolutely no motivation to run a search. Plus this question is completely toolish and the kid obviously just created an account to screw around.

I mean read this: "I'm going to have to enter at the Analyst level as the small venture I created upon graduating is (basically) running on its on. "

I can either laugh or cry at stupid threads like these and I choose the former, thus the sarcastic response. However, if he were to do a basic search and wrote well-addressed questions + sentences, then I would be more than happy to offer a pleasant response such as "It depends.... MS M&A and GS TMT are the best groups.....blah blah blah".

Hope that helps buddy.

Fair enough. I actually enjoy your posts on occasion, and generally share similar feelings towards the poster. However, I do ask that you come up with some new/more offensive material. Every time I see "Piper Jaffray" spewed sarcastically, I can only think of PiperJaffrayChiang, and he is the worst.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:13am

I think what h.e. was trying to say is that if you want to be a banker, you're probably going to need to get up to speed on the industry. A good place to start would be to ensure you actually understand what we do in banking. I will say that the presumption that you know very little about banking stems from the fact that (1) you are presuming you can get into both GS and MS, and (2) you asked about salary differences at the analyst level. To have any shot at breaking into banking, you're going to need to do your homework.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:16am

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Apr 23, 2014 - 7:21am

Forget Moron Stanley and Oldman Sachs

As I stressed before in previous posts, one of the best places to be in this economy is Piper Jaffray! They basically came out with no exposure to mortgage back securities and all those credit derivative securities that have lost significant value. Their excellent risk management and traditional conservatism has allowed them to stay on top of the game and have enough cash flow to reinvest significantly in their senior management and analysts. If you look at their pay structure, they are paying well above the street at around 80k and that's just base! I don't want to get into the details but I would say Piper Jaffray is certainly tops in terms of reputation and prestige. To be honest, even if it is a hair below GS in terms of exit opps, it's the up and coming place. Plus they didn't take TARP!

========================================= We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria
Apr 23, 2014 - 7:24am
h.e.pennypacker:
The problem with the PJ jokes is that every thread is now the same fuccin' thing. It's become such a cliche joke, it's as fresh as Frank Caliendo doing a Charles Barkley impression. As a result, nausea levels have never been higher here on WSO.

Great username!
Apr 23, 2014 - 7:25am

Not sure why you say you "have" to enter at the Analyst level...as opposed to what, the receptionist level? Maybe they'd let you jump on as a VP. After all, one of the pre-requisites for VP at GS and MS is that you start a small venture (bankers really care about this - also tell them about the portfolio that you have been managing). Honestly, you'd be lucky to get offers at either of those banks - if you indeed have received them, then congrats. The two institutions are basically equivalents so go with the one you got along with best, or which will be the easiest commute, or which has the coolest fitness center, or closest Starbucks, etc. Honest;y it doesn't matter which one you pick. Just so you know, if you press on and ask me to break it down exactly WHY this is and you REALLY need advice on WHICH one to go to, then I'll just tell you that you are an idiot and don't deserve to be associated with either.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:26am

Goldman vs Morgan Stanley (Scenario A or B) (Originally Posted: 04/19/2010)

As a new analyst, if you had your choice, would you rather work for Goldman Sachs (assuming they have 50/50% chance of guilt) or Morgan Stanley (not a fraudster)? SCENARIO A

What would your answer be assuming GS is found guilty and stays in the limelight on this for 5 years+? SCENARIO B

What is your rationale. There's been some strong debate on this the last day or two.

################################################# I am the Man. I Have the Plan. Follow Me to the Promised Land.
Apr 23, 2014 - 7:27am

When you look at the case Goldman is preparing, plus the reputation they have , the culture and the exit opps, as a trader I'd still opt for GS

I really think the mkts are overreacting to the sec case

"What we can, we must; and because we can, we must"
Apr 23, 2014 - 7:30am

i still would go with goldman, since it looks like the case isn't that strong. the SEC's vote to sue goldman only passed 3-2, and most of this is political posturing. the rabid anti-business democrats want their pound of flesh, and goldman is the sacrificial lamb. but like jesus, it will resurrect itself.

i do have a friend who turned down goldman for JP Morgan's exotic derivatives trading group, and he made a killing this past year.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:32am

it could put them out of business

look at solomon brothers and drexel burnham and kidder peabody

convicted of fraud is not good

################################################# I am the Man. I Have the Plan. Follow Me to the Promised Land.
Apr 23, 2014 - 7:34am
moneyneversleeps2:
Scenario B: If Goldman goes down for fraud, they will take Wall Street with them. I don't think it will happen anyway. Goldman is just too intertwined with our government.

LOL. Is that what happened when the previously mentioned banks went bust? Or is Goldman somehow different because it's the only name you recognize?

PS - the whole idea that Goldman is "intertwined" with our government is ludicrous.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:36am

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Apr 23, 2014 - 7:37am

Stop busting on Piper, I love it here!

################################################# I am the Man. I Have the Plan. Follow Me to the Promised Land.
Apr 23, 2014 - 7:40am

now that everyone's getting investigated...question - anyone ever heard of someone suing a casino's sports book for losing a bet?

the answer is no. the banks are merely facilitators (i.e. bookies). how can we be held accountable for HF's betting against each other?? SEC has nothing but kudos to them for they know everyone will pay a fine and admit no guilt in the end to put this all behind.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:41am
IronkidMS:
now that everyone's getting investigated...question - anyone ever heard of someone suing a casino's sports book for losing a bet?

the answer is no. the banks are merely facilitators (i.e. bookies). how can we be held accountable for HF's betting against each other?? SEC has nothing but kudos to them for they know everyone will pay a fine and admit no guilt in the end to put this all behind.

Think before you speak

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/12/07/national/main5924641.shtml

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:43am

uh...what? he's counter-suing cuz this is america and he's an idiot. unless the casino was forcing him to place bets and drink, what case does the dude have? on top of that, he owes the casino money.

if this case were to fly, then there should be millions of people lining up suing casinos because they got drunk and lost money. not even the same here.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:45am

GS vs. MS (Originally Posted: 01/12/2011)

Hi all,

I just want to hear what you guys think of the two companies-- if you had offers from both, where would you go and why?

Thanks so much!

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:48am

They're both great companies to work for. You'll find smart people at both. I think a lot of people would say there are a few more opportunities at Goldman, but you really need to take a look at who's hiring you and who your manager will be. If they can't give you any info, a good indication of that is going to be the people you interviewed with. Did either group of interviewers stand out to you as being a lot more intelligent or a lot more eager to share their knowledge?

When you get to this level- choosing between two top five firms- I think it really has to come down to which interviewers you'd like to work with or work for more than ever. Don't make the decision based on prestige. Prestige will come and go (just ask anyone who worked for a firm that disappeared in 2008) but long-term, it tends to stay within a certain range just based on the competence and reputation you've built up for yourself. So you want to find a manager that you can learn from and that wants to advance your career.

It's tough to go wrong with either one. Figure out who you like more, and if you still can't make a decision, maybe look a little more carefully at your Goldman interviewers and see if you'd be a good fit in their group.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:00am
IlliniProgrammer:
Did either group of interviewers stand out to you as being a lot more intelligent or a lot more eager to share their knowledge?

I think MS interviewers were more laidback and more willing to share their stories, but I don't want to generalize a whole company's culture based on a few interviewers. I think you are right in the sense that it really comes down to who I'll be working with.

Anyone knows what are the best groups within GS and MS?

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:50am

BMW or MB? Ferrari or Lamborghini? If you could have either which one would you take the one that suited you best. Its the same thing between GS or MS it really depends on you and the people you will have around you..

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:52am
HFFBALLfan123:
Ferrari over Lambo any day of the week and BMV over MB.

Agree with the BMW over MB for the drive, but cmon man. Lambo's are way sexier than ferrari's.

-MBP
  • 1
Apr 23, 2014 - 7:53am

Ferrari over lambo BMW over MB, new money over old money.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Apr 23, 2014 - 7:54am

Yeah. The thing is that the manager is really driving the Ferrari, you're just along for the ride, and the real question is what kind of conversation there's going to be in the car. If it's Dracula and a bunch of vampires, maybe you want to run, not walk to the Ford Mustang of an F500 company if that's your only other option. If it's Angelina Jolie driving and two really gregarious Econ profs in back, maybe you want to try and ride shotgun.

It won't be an obvious decision at first- just try and take your mind back to your interactions with the folks working at that firm and how you'd feel if you turned into one of them in five, ten, or twenty years.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:01am

It changes every couple of years, so you can't totally base it off of that. MS used to be really strong in trading but it's my understanding they've been struggling a little as of late. In IBD I think they are both very, very strong. GS is ever so slightly marginally stronger, but I don't think it's enough to override any other feelings you've got about this.

I would really give you a 50% chance of working somewhere under one of your interviewers and a 75% chance of working with at least one or two of them or their groups on a regular basis. If it's trading, just make sure you get out a copy of the firm's quarterly and annual reports and make sure those guys are making money.

Based on the information you're giving me, I'd really steer you towards MS. It sounds like there's a good fit here. Aggregated across all groups, you're giving up maybe 3-5% of GS's prestige and money over the long run, but you're dodging a firm that's still kinda in the crosshairs of the SEC, so you can almost call that a wash. And you seem to like the guys who interviewed you at MS, who you'll probably at least see (maybe not talk to) on a daily basis.

Do some research, get out some annual reports on the companies, and make your decision. It's a really tough choice- though you can't really choose badly here (unless you're getting hired into a group losing money), but my gut is telling me to suggest you take a long, hard look at Morgan Stanley. People rarely have regrets about making decisions based on opportunities to learn and work with people rather than prestige. I'd have a different take if it were some second tier BB vs. GS, but between MS and GS, the differences in opportunities are so marginal that any significant difference in the vibes you get from the folks who interviewed you really ought to trump that.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:02am

MS.

"Major in economics; use your economics degree to get an analyst job on Wall Street; use your analyst job to get into Harvard or Stanford Business School; and worry about the rest of your life later"
Apr 23, 2014 - 8:03am

Trading - GS > MS marginally and most recently
IBD - GS > MS where GS is by far the best brand
Research - MS > GS Research teams within MS are far more superior than GS

But tbh, staff from MS and GS move around the two companies regularly, so they really are the same bunch.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:09am

Yes, it is. I don't understand why anyone would even consider working for MS. You might as well go work as a retail broker because you will have about the same chances of getting into PE after 2 years.

Who cares if its more prestigious? You have your position, make the most of it.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:13am

Morgan Stanley vs. Goldman (Originally Posted: 02/27/2008)

Which would you choose for a summer position:
Morgan Stanley IBD generalist offer (maybe M&A, maybe not) vs. Goldman IBD offer (NOT TMT)

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:15am

I'd say Goldman as well if all other factors are equal.

Banking > VC > Tech PE; PM me if you would like any advice I'm happy to help
Apr 23, 2014 - 8:20am

The best part of it all is these guys think that working at GS in TMT or at MS in M&A is going to make them feel good about themselves, like "Oh yeah! I rock! I kill it every day at work and I still have enough energy to rule the world whenever I leave the office!" When in reality if you've ever met anyone that works in these groups (yes, I have), it's more like "ugh, yeah, great experience, great setup for my next job, etc." but you can tell these kids are drained.

In the end if you work at GS or MS the only thing holding you back from major PE/HR offers is yourself - not the group you work in. So choose the best fit and you'll be happier when you log 100 hours for the first time.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:34am
mrsmiley:
Morgan Stanley for sure for IBD -more options.

GS really only is a star in TMT the rest is just its brand name.

A little bitter that you didnt get a GS offer? How does MS provide "more options" than GS? Can you name a single headhunter that targets MS but not GS?

GS > MS for pretty much all groups besides M&A and sponsors (GS doesn't have an M&A group) and GS has a stronger brand name. GS has also done much better through the financial crisis.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:35am

If you read carefully I conceded that GS has the brand name.

What I meant by more options is the groups you can choose from. MS has pretty much every group that GS does with a few additional (mainly being M&A) that are easier to get into than the top group(s) at GS (mainly TMT).

I'm strictly talking about IBD. You can't assume that because GS has such a rockstar trading platform, that every single group and division is #1 -like others have said, it all depends. GS puts more focus on S&T and MS puts more focus on IBD. With that being said, keep all of the above into consideration along with what culture appeals to you the most.

FYI: I received an offer from GS and NOT MS, and went with GS.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:36am

Morgan and Goldman are both great firms.

I would say that it only comes down to the people, because if you're a good analyst there aren't more opportunities at Goldman and vice versa.

I know many people who have been faced with this decision and met the people at both firms and based their decisions off of that. Some chose MS and some chose GS --it wasn't an obvious decision.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:37am

HELP! Should I choose GS or MS?? (Originally Posted: 02/22/2010)

I don't think I have a preference over the "people" as of yet since it's pretty hard to tell in interviews. Is this a no-brainer? I'm really not sure what to do, because I don't want to burn bridges for full-time recruiting. I am a little concerned that GS has taken such a beating lately in the media. Should I be concerned about this? I would really appreciate any input.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:42am
mango123:
how do you know?

This is generally accepted as common knowledge on the street, but you have a point if you're saying it's tough to make generalizations and that some of us are hearing this stuff second or third hand. I have heard from a reliable source with knowledge about the situation that in 2007, GS announced to its S&T interns that it would have an ugly conversion ratio that year- uglier than most other banks, as was the norm for GS at the time.

Things may have changed, it may vary from group to group, or my source may have misheard, but the evidence that I've seen seems to support this view at least a little.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:44am

I didn't get to interview with MS, but I really like the culture at Goldman. If I end of getting an offer I wouldn't think twice about taking it. I don't the culture is as intense as everyone makes it out to be, and from what I saw with the group I interviewed with it seemed like a place I could definitely devote un godly hours to. Also if you don't get a FT offer, it's still a rockstar internship that will set you up for any other firm.

Ace all your PE interview questions with the WSO Private Equity Prep Pack: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/private-equity-interview-prep-questions
Apr 23, 2014 - 8:45am

+1 to the above. I definitely didn't feel like the GS culture was as "intense" as it is reputed to be. My GS interviewers seemed very down to earth and genuine. My MS interviews certainly aired more to the side of "grilling" than GS. One guy from MS didn't crack a smile or break eye contact for the first 10 minutes, no one at GS was even close to that. That said, op you really can't go wrong either way. If you read this sight you know the pro's and con's (retention rate, GS better all around but run by traders, MS strugguling but great IBD and focused on it, etc.). If you're still indifferent, just go with your gut.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:46am
IlliniProgrammer:
Bear in mind that bank rankings change every few years, and GS might not always be on top. You find a lot of brilliant people at all of the top five firms and choosing MS despite the fact that it's not flavor of the year may not hurt your career all that much.

I think this, by far, is one of the most accurate statements I have read on WSO in the past few months. I wish someone would make a timeline of investment banks (with rankings) starting 50 years ago progressing forward in 3 year increments. The investment banking industry is a dynamic landscape. If you look back 4 years ago at WSO comments, people were badmouthing JPMorgan, but everyone loved UBS. No one cared or knew about WF, BoA, and Barclays. Look at how firms have changed for better or for worse: Lazard, Evercore, Jefferies, RBC, RBS. Within this decade things will change again.

Apr 23, 2014 - 8:47am

Not to mention a lot of 1980s firms like the original Lehman Brothers, Drexel-Burnham, and Salomon. Maybe the most dramatic reversal of fortune was Drexel-Burnham. In 1986, the firm was bigger- at least in M&A- than GS is today. In 1990, it was bankrupt and a lot of innocent employees had trouble finding work elsewhere because it fell with a pretty tarnished reputation. At least the guys at Lehman and Bear could land other jobs.

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