Comments (15)

Oct 2, 2009

From what I hear, if you don't want to hate your life of the next two years then Lazard is out.

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Oct 2, 2009

Def between Lazard and MS (GHL is a worse version of Lazard).

I would go with MS.

Oct 2, 2009

had to make a similar choice as well. from what i hear at lazard your work/life balance will depend strongly on group. ms is definitely the bigger name though if you plan to work outside of finance. not sure if the exit ops at laz/ghl are enough to make up for this.

Oct 2, 2009

MS. exit opps + better brand recognition outside finance

Oct 2, 2009

I'm guessing you have the MS and GHL offers? LAZ final rounds just happened.

Here are my thoughts (this is from someone who also received offers from 2/3 of those firms, although this was for SA, not FT).

Greenhill: I was most impressed by the people there. Everyone seemed very put together, accomplished, well-spoken, etc. It just seemed like a very classy place. Analyst treatment is also the best out of the three firms and is actually good in general. Exit opportunities are great, but if you want to go outside of finance, name recognition will be limited.

Lazard: I would say that it's the most elite of the three. On a pure prestige basis, I would only take MS M&A over Lazard (this is just my opinion, others may disagree). Unfortunately, the culture isn't exactly the most appealing. The people tend to be very elitist and the hours can get pretty brutal. It's the kind of place that cares about what high school you went to and where you vacation.

Morgan Stanley: Many people on this board have lost respect for this firm and some place JPM above it, but I think their judgment is just plain wrong. It's still a solid #2 behind Goldman and its analysts will place quite well down the line. The top PE firms are still littered with MS alums and they will continue to pull for their own. Furthermore, MS banking has actually done quite well over the past few months and has maintained a strong presence in the space. It has some very strong banking groups (M&A and healthcare immediately come to mind) and the culture isn't as bad as Lazard's, but isn't quite as good as Greenhill's. Non-finance exit opportunities are the best.

Overall, the three have similar exit opps (I'm referring to the buyside/other banks), but the cultural difference can be big. Regardless, all three are great and you can get into a mega-fund no matter which you choose. Prestige-wise they're not too far apart and this is one of those situations where culture and lifestyle should really be looked at closely.

Oct 3, 2009

Agree with^

Oct 4, 2009

Ok, so what I've taken away from this is:

All have the essentially same exit opps into PE.

Lazard has an awful culture...so I'm going to cancel out that one.

Anyone familiar with Greenhill enough to comment on number of hours per week? How would the exit opps compare with Morgan Stanley financial sponsors group?

The real question: is Greenhill's culture good enough to make up for the "prestige/name recognition" associated with Morgan Stanley? (assuming you want to do PE afterwards) I'm someone who values his sleep a good amount, and would NOT be okay with Associates/VPs/MDs being total dicks to me. But I don't want to choose a noticeably inferior firm just because I'm lazy.

Oct 4, 2009

I'm assuming this is for FT beginning next June/July, correct? If so, what did you do this past summer - I only ask to help shape the advice/suggestion I will give you.

Oct 4, 2009
jimbrowngoU:

I'm assuming this is for FT beginning next June/July, correct? If so, what did you do this past summer - I only ask to help shape the advice/suggestion I will give you.

I worked at a pretty well known, international investment bank that is involved in mostly middle-market deals here in the US. I worked decent hours and got through it fine, but I still had a minimal social life. (Worked till 11:00-12:30 Mon-Thurs, 7:00 Fri, and like 5-6 hours on Sunday. I think those hours were very manageable, but I know kids who got destroyed at other places till like 2 every night no matter what and whole weekends gone. I think that the incremental difference between the two is pretty large.

panther2k:

Greenhill isn't 'noticeably inferior.' How confident are you that you'll end up in the Sponsors group or another desirable one at MS?

I am I guess somewhat confident, but my interviewer said he liked me a lot and said that the Sponsors group is pretty thin right now. He seemed to be kind of coaxing me to join... But let's say I had no chance at Sponsors or M&A...then what?

Oct 4, 2009

Greenhill isn't 'noticeably inferior.' How confident are you that you'll end up in the Sponsors group or another desirable one at MS?

Oct 4, 2009

The difference between MS and GHL is not that great. If you get into M&A or Sponsors, you realize your life will be nothing but work for the next two years - you will undoubtedly find a few dickhead, type-A guys wherever you are (especially at huge type-A places like MS), and it's just the nature of those groups to work their analysts to death. Based on what I've heard about GHL, they actually care about the well-being of their analysts, and they want you to get out of there as early as possible during the week and spend as little time in there as possible on the weekends. There will be nights when you are there all night - the nature of the job - but the frequency is likely to be a lot less at a place like GHL. And there's likely to be a lot less created/bullshit work.

Just my two cents. If you found what you had this past summer manageable (which it is - sounds amazing, actually), I'd go with GHL. I have a feeling the hours will be comparable. If you end up at MS M&A/Sponsors, you'll be in the office to 2 or 3am every night, and there's a good chance most weekends will be lost. If you end up getting crushed and you're miserable at work all the time, you'll find that the exit ops do not matter.

FYI - exit ops will be similar at any of these places. May be harder to get into the top megafunds from GHL, but if you're concerned about not working 100+ hours a week, than you do NOT want to go to the megafunds anyway - they kill you there.

Oct 5, 2009

I'm going through FT recruiting now...hoping you might share when your FT interviews were? And how were they?

Oct 5, 2009

Thanks guys. Shoutouts especially to jimbrown and dontmakemeshortyou. I think my choice here is pretty damn easy. One firm here seems to be an anomaly of Wall Street that I would be foolish to pass on.

Ra,

Lazard: Most technical (they just shoot them at you one after another) and not really fit based at all. They seem to be very close to done with hiring.

Greenhill: Pretty technical but VERY, VERY fit based. They are almost done.

Morgan Stanley: Very much focused on my past experiences and wanted to mostly see if I could explain the analysis behind my deals coherently. They are definitely NOT done.

Oct 6, 2009

Actually I think that Lazard was pretty understanding at looking for good fit and good potential more than how much you memorized about M&A models from a study guide. Can't say that about some firms.

Feb 12, 2013
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