10/3/12

I'm trying to decide between full time offers at the two banks, and was wondering if anyone could provide an additional opinion. Also, if someone has a higher level understanding of pros/cons between being a career banker and moving into HF/PE, and what the two areas might look like in the future, I'd really appreciate it.

Similarities:

Both are generalist M&A models, though with Centerview, you're assigned to specific accounts/ companies. Both offers are for New York. I worked at Greenhill over the summer, so I liked the people there and would be happy to go back. I also liked the people I met at Centerview during interviews though. Both are similarly sized/ small deal teams, and I don't think prestige differences are a factor here. I don't think either firm has done layoffs. Good deal flow at both places.

Differences:

Centerview has a three-year analyst program, is more focused on developing bankers (strong A-A tradition), and has more variable hours than Greenhill. The work seems to be more focused on strategy in addition to deals (such as helping the CFO prepare for a board meeting concerning a new business plan), which is interesting to me. It also seems like there is more client exposure, but it could just be that I was a summer analyst at Greenhill, which would limit the opportunities for that. I understand that they pay above base, but I don't think money should be a consideration.

Greenhill has a two-year analyst program, strong placement into PE/HF, and had pretty good hours (for banking). The work was intellectually interesting, but I like Centerview's added dimension on strategy, since it would allow me to understand -how business actually works. It might have a bigger brand though, which could be helpful in the future.

What it essentially comes down to is how interested I am in being a career banker, or if I'd want to move into HF/ PE down the road. A somewhat sustainable lifestyle is also important, and I probably wouldn't do well pulling constant all-nighters. I think the two vs. three year analyst program should also be a consideration, but not sure. I like the strategy aspect of Centerview, but this could go depending on how bad the hours are.

Comments (24)

10/2/12

Is there an opportunity at GHL to stay on as a third-year Analyst? Most firms do this, and it somewhat nullifies that benefit (if you see it that way) of Centerview. Also, one can do 2 years at GHL and lateral into a third-year position at another boutique...I feel like a three-year program is overdoing it.

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10/2/12

I would pick Greenhill, because I think it'll give you better exit opportunities into the future. I think Centerview just doesn't have the top management that Greenhill has. Also, I know you don't care about prestige, but when you apply to business schools it'll matter.

10/2/12

really? centerview's management looks like an all-star team

10/2/12

Tough call. Both are solid firms. Sounds like you are thinking about exit options the right way... especially the career banker vs. 2 years->buy-side mentality. You have one summer under your belt so you can make a somewhat educated decision. But you don't wanna find yourself, one year into your FT position, really stressed about buy-side recruiting during 100-hour work weeks, when you have to keep everything (including your intentions) completely secret from your colleagues.

Do you feel like a return to Greenhill, where you have already established relationships and a (hopefully, positive) reputation, might result in you receiving higher visibility projects when you become an FT analyst? Do you have a higher chance of becoming the "rockstar" analyst there? Also, Centerview probably pays more than Greenhill, on the margin, but I'm not sure how heavy they actually are on strategy (i.e., I wouldn't expect doing McKinsey-style cases there). A lot of "strategy" in banking is just synthesizing equity research commentary. But I could be wrong, maybe there is some genuinely fresh analysis they work on for their clients. Centerview is probably a little more exciting in terms of the quick ascension of the firm in dealmaking and its private partnership model (vs. public company status). Greenhill's been around a little longer, and is well-known. Greenhill has a longer history of success.

good luck. Also, I think the management teams/MDs/partners at both are strong.

10/2/12

If you really liked Greenhill during ur SA take Greenhill. Better risk management since you spent 3months WORKING there vs. a few hours at Centerview interviewing. You know the people, culture, hours at Greenhill. Don't believe everything you hear about good culture and things like that at Centerview or any other firm,you just never know.

If you enjoyed Greenhill and you know what to expect I suggest you take that. I doubt it will make a difference in the long run. But I think Greenhill will give you a head start in becoming a top analyst vs. centerview where so many of the SAs converted to FT offers.

10/2/12
OMS:

If you really liked Greenhill during ur SA take Greenhill. Better risk management since you spent 3months WORKING there vs. a few hours at Centerview interviewing. You know the people, culture, hours at Greenhill. Don't believe everything you hear about good culture and things like that at Centerview or any other firm,you just never know.

If you enjoyed Greenhill and you know what to expect I suggest you take that. I doubt it will make a difference in the long run. But I think Greenhill will give you a head start in becoming a top analyst vs. centerview where so many of the SAs converted to FT offers.

This is a very good point. If you're torn between the two places and can't see a significant difference either way, then go with the known quantity.

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10/2/12

Analysts at Centerview work much harder than their counterparts at GHL.

10/3/12

Centerview unless you desperately want PE after.

10/4/12

What did you end up choosing?

10/4/12

I'd go with Greenhill. You lateraling into Centerview is very doable if you decide you want to stay in banking and have worked at Greenhill but if you start at Centerview you won't have an opportunity to recruit for top funds.

10/4/12

I chose Centerview. Their focus on strategy seems to be pretty unique and right up my alley, plus a couple of their partners have contacts in Asia and are actively working on deals in the region, which I liked. Also, exit opps into PE/HF are definitely available-- most people just decide not to pursue that track because they like Centerview's A-A tradition or are interested in other things besides finance after. Definitely not a problem getting into top business schools as well, given that people have gone onto Wharton, HBS, and UChicago. Lastly, Centerview has its own PE practice that a couple of their former IB analysts have apparently lateraled into. Longer hours, but deal flow/ volume has been really good this year, even compared to some of the more established boutiques.

9/10/14

wormapple:

I chose Centerview. Their focus on strategy seems to be pretty unique and right up my alley, plus a couple of their partners have contacts in Asia and are actively working on deals in the region, which I liked. Also, exit opps into PE/HF are definitely available-- most people just decide not to pursue that track because they like Centerview's A-A tradition or are interested in other things besides finance after. Definitely not a problem getting into top business schools as well, given that people have gone onto Wharton, HBS, and UChicago. Lastly, Centerview has its own PE practice that a couple of their former IB analysts have apparently lateraled into. Longer hours, but deal flow/ volume has been really good this year, even compared to some of the more established boutiques.

How's it going? Did you make the right decision?

10/5/12

congratulations.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

9/10/14

"since it would allow me to understand -how business actually works." - OP

This should not be a reason to even consider. With the advent of the internet, there is nothing that you can't learn if you put your mind to it. You don't have enough will to go dig for that shit, but it's probably there on the internet.

Imho, keep in mind i'm still in UG so my shit don't have no weight, I'd go with Greenhill.

Pros =

lax hours
PE/HF opps

2 things that fucking matter.

learning how business works?

lol...you don't need an education to make that shit happen. you just need some common sense and due diligence. real talk.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor. -Dr. Alexis Carrel

9/10/14
xxix:

"since it would allow me to understand -how business actually works." - OP

This should not be a reason to even consider. With the advent of the internet, there is nothing that you can't learn if you put your mind to it. You don't have enough will to go dig for that shit, but it's probably there on the internet.

Imho, keep in mind i'm still in UG so my shit don't have no weight, I'd go with Greenhill.

Pros =

lax hours
PE/HF opps

2 things that fucking matter.

learning how business works?

lol...you don't need an education to make that shit happen. you just need some common sense and due diligence. real talk.

You are an idiot.

9/10/14
Whiskey5:
xxix:

"since it would allow me to understand -how business actually works." - OP

This should not be a reason to even consider. With the advent of the internet, there is nothing that you can't learn if you put your mind to it. You don't have enough will to go dig for that shit, but it's probably there on the internet.

Imho, keep in mind i'm still in UG so my shit don't have no weight, I'd go with Greenhill.

Pros =

lax hours
PE/HF opps

2 things that fucking matter.

learning how business works?

lol...you don't need an education to make that shit happen. you just need some common sense and due diligence. real talk.

You are an idiot.

miss u whisk

9/10/14
OMS:
Whiskey5:
xxix:

"since it would allow me to understand -how business actually works." - OP

This should not be a reason to even consider. With the advent of the internet, there is nothing that you can't learn if you put your mind to it. You don't have enough will to go dig for that shit, but it's probably there on the internet.

Imho, keep in mind i'm still in UG so my shit don't have no weight, I'd go with Greenhill.

Pros =

lax hours
PE/HF opps

2 things that fucking matter.

learning how business works?

lol...you don't need an education to make that shit happen. you just need some common sense and due diligence. real talk.

You are an idiot.

miss u whisk

Miss you too hun. Skype soon?

9/10/14

Centerview. However, if you really enjoyed the Greenhill team, it may be worth the pay difference. Working with great people trumps pay any day...especially in banking. Both are great options, both cover great sectors, both contain great cultures, and so I have really one thing to say:

Congrats.

9/10/14

never heard about that extra dimension to centerview, back to good old says of Warburg, Rothschild etc... investment bankers and thier advisory services. sounds very interesting...

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

9/10/14

beast offers.. congratulations

9/10/14

Greenhill does strategy pieces and business case advisory from time to time as well. At the end of the day it's a great way for these firms to get to know the client and ultimately position themselves for a future M&A advisory role. It's definitely not unique to Centerview.

Go with wherever you get on best with the people. At the end of the day, you'll spend longer with them than you currently spend with family, friends, classmates.

9/10/14

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