Comments (18)

Jun 5, 2019

Do you want to be in Chicago for PE? The Blair name is really strong there.

Blair has a great culture from what I've heard; I've heard GHL has a good culture as well, but not sure about Chicago specifically.

I would lean towards the role that is HQ'ed in Chicago over the satellite office, but don't know anything about GHL Chicago.

Jun 5, 2019

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Jun 6, 2019

You will gain a much stronger technical skill set at Greenhill compared to Blair. Blair's deals are virtually exclusively plain-vanilla, private sell-sides, which means 1) not a lot of valuation modeling, 2) zero exposure to merger math, and 3) less diverse / interesting mandates which restricts your learning opportunities.

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Jun 5, 2019

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Jun 6, 2019

Unfortunately, the clout actually doesn't get you that far, even in Chicago. Most large Chicago funds will fly out a team to run recruiting in New York, where they get the vast majority of their analyst classes. Just take a look at the associate classes of places like GTCR, MDP, etc., where most associates come in from BBs or EBs in New York.

Jun 7, 2019

Greenhill provides advantages over Blair from a PE recruiting standpoint, but more so because headhunters probably rank GHL higher on the prestige totem pole (bigger deals, bigger dicks type of mentality) rather than because of any material differences in experience / skillset obtained.

I also agree that you see many more "diverse / interesting mandates" at Greenhill (e.g., take-privates of public companies, divestitures, take-over defense, strategic alternatives, restructuring, etc.) However, the overwhelming majority of the PE landscape (LMM to UMM - but honestly true even at megafunds) is focused precisely on plain vanilla M&A. Your "interesting mandates" - while maybe valuable from a holistic career perspective - probably don't matter much too much for someone gunning for a PE associate spot 6 months into their IB stint.

Re: technical capabilities, any bank / group that generates respectable deal flow (yes, even MM deal flow) and actually executes M&A would provide adequate training. Analysts in such groups will get reps building bottoms-up projection models - as well as performing a slew of other analyses like customer/financial retention, TAM, whitespace, SKU analyses, waterfalls, etc. This the type of experience (in addition to general investment acumen and understanding how buyers approach the diligence process), that PE firms care about. It is really only through a "vanilla sell-side M&A" process that you have intense, prolonged exposure to such things.

By the way, any semi-retarded monkey should be able to self-study "merger-math" / 3-statement modelling / acc-dil dynamics over the course of several weekends. But these are more bells-and-whistles rather than the core demands of PE I mentioned previously.

Summary for OP: pick GHL over WB (especially because you explictly expressed interest in Megafunds and WB does not work on mega deals). But if you end up at GHL, I would value and focus more on the "vanilla M&A sell-side" experiences than everything else.

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Jun 11, 2019

Accurate.

Jun 7, 2019

I'd advise going to Blair over GHL CHI. While Greenhill might have a better name over in NY, in Chicago the prestige and career opportunities are clearly tipped in Blair's favor in Chicago. If you are competent, you will get plenty of opportunities to develop a mastery of technical skills at Blair. GHL will have less deal flow and focuses heavily on repeat client deals: something to consider.

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Jun 12, 2019
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