GS/Laz/EVR

DarthSpader's picture
Rank: Monkey | 34

Hey guys,

I have offers at GS in a CRG/HC-type group, Lazard, and Evercore.

The thing I don't really like about GS was there is a big IPO/debt issuance component to the work that I don't think I would enjoy. Plus, GS doesn't really comp very well (tho I've heard Lazard is comparable pay...could anyone confirm?) I summered at a JPM/MS and really didn't like parts of the job that I think will carry over to GS. At the same time, it's GS and I've heard that CRG/HC/NR groups are chill and place up there with FIG and TMT.

I'm interested in Lazard because tho it is a generalist offer, I really would be interested in doing restructuring and tho its not guaranteed, I think my chances at getting Rx or a good M&A vertical would be high. In addition, I've heard they place about as well as GS CRG/HC/NR. Here, I'm more scared by the hours, which while I heard are getting a lot better. I know EVR would probably be more chill in terms of hours. I actually really did like the LAZ people tho.

Evercore is also a strong place. I would be in M&A and I know they have strong deal flow and good pay. However, my fear is that they are expanding really fast and that the exits for the average analyst aren't as good as either GS or Laz. In addition, I do really value the option of doing Rx at Lazard.

I'm really torn, so any advice would be appreciated!

Comments (51)

Oct 5, 2013

Congrats on offers from above...any insight into the offer situation at LAZ? Did you go through an accelerated process since you summered at JPM/MS or was this standard target OCR? Curious to know about LAZ FT status

Oct 5, 2013

Congrats on offers from above...any insight into the offer situation at LAZ? Did you go through an accelerated process since you summered at JPM/MS or was this standard target OCR? Curious to know about LAZ FT status

Oct 5, 2013

if you don't like doing capital raises go with Lazard. it sounds like your only fear is the hours and as you stated yourself, the hours are getting better. when shopping around for FT, i was hesitant about evercore as well since they are expanding their analyst class by 50% in just 1 year. some people might say that deal flow justifies the expansion but come on... hiring 12 people on top of your SA class (every intern got an offer, not everyone signed) is a bit too much for a boutique

Oct 9, 2013
NYKnicks92:

if you don't like doing capital raises go with Lazard. it sounds like your only fear is the hours and as you stated yourself, the hours are getting better. when shopping around for FT, i was hesitant about evercore as well since they are expanding their analyst class by 50% in just 1 year. some people might say that deal flow justifies the expansion but come on... hiring 12 people on top of your SA class (every intern got an offer, not everyone signed) is a bit too much for a boutique

Dealflow justifies it, unless the US defaults and the whole M&A market falls apart. Much easier to grow off of a smaller base. Boht Lazard and Evercore are public, you can look up the revenue trajectory yourself if you don't believe me.

You can place well out of everything you mentioned (especially since it sounds like you are decent at interviewing). Lean Lazard if you are set on Rx/Distressed and have positive indications (it's competitive, but you have some leverage right now), Evercore if you value culture and GS if you value the brand (and the optionality it provides).

Oct 5, 2013

If you don't enjoy the capital raising components of the role then why not try moving to the M&A group at JPM/MS?

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Oct 8, 2013

Boom!!

Oct 5, 2013

Exactly what I was thinking with Evercore. I think they are uping the M&A class to 30. To be fair, I do know a few of the Evecore analysts and they claim only one kid didn't sign and hes going to BX PE. They also all swear by the groups culture. For me its more a question of GS versus Lazard. Do you think the "culture groups" like HC/NR/CRG place better than lazard where I don't yet know which M&A verticle (or Rx) group I'll be in.

Throwaway:

I thought about doing that mid-summer. My understanding was that the M&A group was full or would be very tricky to get into. I did have an offer to go the sponsors group though, but I thought it would too limiting of a group and my bank is going to a three year program (so now you prbly know which one I was at). The M&A group also didn't actually place as well as GS/Laz/EVR do. That much I'm pretty sure of.

Oct 5, 2013

I know a number of people at Evercore as well and agree with many of things you said. Aside from the BX PE guy i know there were a couple others that were either shopping their offers or thinking about doing something else completely - i suppose they signed though.

while the analysts swear by the group's culture, the profile varies from year to year. the current first years are pretty fratty/bro-y but your classmates are more nerdy and quiet types so take that for what it's worth.

JPM sponsors would've been a great choice too. The sponsors group has the best exits and even outplaces M&A as you noticed first hand. however with the 3yr program, i'm not sure how it's gonna work in the future.

Oct 5, 2013

I'm aware of your firm now. Buddy of mine just left the M&A group there.

Not sure where you got the idea that they don't place well. They sent people to MFs like Carlyle and Apollo, top MM firms and HFs like Soros and Route One.

In my view, BB is BB.

Oct 5, 2013

My understanding is that, yes, Carlyle takes one from there every year and Apollo takes one about every other year or so. Carlyle also takes a person from one of the groups at Lazard that I have a very good shot at getting and I think that the Rx group at Laz outplaces M&A at JPM. Of course, its debatable. I was not aware they sent people to Soros, but that is amazing. Regardless, I dont think I have a very good shot at M&A. What do you think about Laz versus GS?

Oct 5, 2013

I can write my opinionated recommendation to go against your slightly more preferred choice, but you need to learn how to develop your own decision making process and that the best of the industry do not post on these forums. Learn and understand the values of the best professionals and that will give you an insight to how headhunters evaluate candidates. Adopt those values and make adjustments based on your preferences and your current values. Think objectively by weighing the pros and cons of each option and how important they are to your values. Do not base your decision on the WSO community's advice (should be the last thing to consider) given the high number of college students and non-recruiting professionals that post here.

BB firms are the leaders of the industry. To say that you'll have more responsibilities and more modeling exposure at a boutique is a generalization at best. No matter where you go, it will be mostly up to you to take the initiative for managing your responsibilities. People here say that MDs at boutiques will go to bat for you, but who wouldn't go to bat for you if you produced tons of great work and added immense value (this assumes you're going to be an Ace, but you have to strive to be an Ace if you're looking to move to the best firms).

You should have a good understanding of how you fit with each group after meeting more people. This will matter because a good reputation in the group will lead to you being staffed on the best deals (this can lead to the development of a stronger skill set and a better overall deal experience to discuss with headhunters).

In general, M&A work will offer a larger variety of opportunities than RX.

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Oct 5, 2013

Former/current analyst at lazard here. couple of thoughts:

1. Even though they're "M&A groups", groups at lazard all do debt and equity from time to time. some groups do more than others, but you're definitely not immune from working on cap markets as an analyst

2. Culture/hours: not sure vs. BBs, but there's less facetime during downtimes and less constant capital markets activity. lots of pitching ("coverage") in general though, but overall lifestyle and culture varies a lot between groups/teams, so hard to generalize here. you'll have 60 hr wks and 100 hr wks. this could be a pro or a con, but it's less of a "bro" culture vs. GS, not sure about evercore

3. Reputation/exits: Many, esp. in the firm, feel that lazard is on a (slight) decline, and most think of GS, MS, and maybe JPM as "better" firms on the m&a side. exits are overall good but depend on groups, more MM/upper MM PE than megafunds, strong exits to hfs as well. most analysts find good jobs (again dependent on group), but not sure how this compares to GS placement. most groups are open to analysts interviewing, so that might be helpful vs. GS's no-interview policies

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Oct 5, 2013

^^^
That's really interesting. Which groups do you feel get worked the hardest on average and place the best?

Oct 5, 2013
DarthSpader:

^^^

That's really interesting. Which groups do you feel get worked the hardest on average and place the best?

Varies year to year and from team to team, some of the "easy" groups became "tough" groups (and the other way around) during my two years. You aren't hired into a group and during training every group has a presentation where they'll discuss placement and deaflow. The incoming analysts who were interns will have a better idea of culture and hours since I'm probably too far removed now.

If you were at a strong MS/JPM group, I would consider going back instead of going to Laz or even GS if you have already built up goodwill and people trust/like you. that can help you get a better experience on day 1 and better recommendations, which would bridge the brand gap between a GS vs. a MS/JPM

Oct 5, 2013

I was in an above average coverage group...definitely don't have much of an interest in going back. Are you sure that Lazard isn't perceived as more of a peer to GS? I talked with some HC guys (one of the groups I'd consider) at Lazard and they said they consisently send to places like Carlyle, MetalMark, New Mountain, etc and I know people from Lazard Rx say they consistently go to places like Centerbridge and Oaktree.

Oct 6, 2013

Not sure where you guys got the idea that Sponsors places better than M&A. My sister is a headhunter and she told me many times that 9 times out of 10, M&A analysts at any firm tend to be more attractive due to their generalist deal experience and skill set. Being a summer intern there doesn't automatically open the blinds to buyside placement knowledge.

Again, please refrain from allowing college students and non-recruiting professionals to influence your decision.

Oct 5, 2013

Evercore is on the uptrend whereas as mentioned before lazard is not. GS > EVR > LAZ

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Oct 5, 2013

I agree Evercore is on the uptrend in terms of dealflow, but I'm more concerned with placement. They doubled their analyst class this year and frankly, I'm not convinced they had better placement than Lazard before that. GS im more conflicted on, but from what I've read on so far, I don't think Laz and GS are notably different. At the school I go to, people believe BX RR and then Laz RR are the two "best" things you can do if you want an incredibly technical and interesting experience with great exits.

At JPM this summer, it was widely believed that sponsors had better placement than M&A. I also know where the sponors people went and it was really really good at generalist PE in upper MM funds. However, you couldnt really go to HFs and because you are so "MD phone call making dependent" I really think the FSG people are locked into 3 years at JPM before they leave. I don't think thats a true about M&A. So, I think M&A is still the better deal at JPM from what I saw this summer.

Oct 5, 2013

You sound like a high school kid trying to plan his whole life out. Oh let the monkey sh!t rain on mehh.

By the way, the quality of the people and culture DO matter. No matter how much sh!t you think you can take and all-nighters you think pull, having good people around you and a supportive work environment, among other intangible factors, go a LONG way into making your 2-3 yr analyst experience a good one. If you give two sh!ts about your happiness and well-being, give some thought to the people you'll be around for the next 2-3 years.

Anyways, it sounds like you can't make up your mind other than that...
1) You hate any capital raising related activities of IB (i.e. want to do M&A or Rx)
2) Want to go to a MF
3) Don't care about lifestyle (which doesn't even guarantee a top exit, btw)
...

Go with Lazard. No capital markets BS, top placement everywhere, and perhaps the firm with worst culture (though group dependent) as a whole

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

Oct 5, 2013

Take the GS offer. You'll be happier at a BB.

Oct 5, 2013

First I would like to congratulate you for your offers. I think it's clear that GS is best for you.
Here's my reasoning. You will have brand names for MF placements at all three firms so that shouldn't be the issue. You will definitely get solid experience from all three so the big differences here are further exit opps (perhaps you realize later on that you don't want to work at a MF and want to work elsewhere) and culture. GS would give you the absolute best opportunity for exit opps. GS HC/CRG and EVR have great culture as we all should be able to agree that Laz is notorious for treating analysts like nothing. Culture and people do matter so choosing LAZ would be dumb when you have these other quality offers! For EVR, even if they doubled (really 1.5x) their analyst class, all a bank name gives you for MF placement is a foot in the door. They are expanding their class not to dillute experience but to address their demand to much more work. Think of the recent hire of McAskin for EVR for example. Then think about the rising revenues for EVR and compare that to LAZ's flat returns. That's why GS > EVR > LAZ makes so much sense.

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Oct 5, 2013

I was talking boutiques vs. BBs with a senior banker at MS, and one factor he mentioned was that BBs have insanely large and powerful alumni networks. GS probably has the best of them all. This will be a big asset for short-term placement, down the road when you're interacting with various businesses as a buy-side guy, and if you decide to leave finance altogether. That's something to think about.

Oct 5, 2013

would definitely take GS. the brand name + GS network (sounds stupid now, will be important as you progress through your career, especially if you stay in finance). it's also a much more enjoyable experience at a larger firm and the perks that come with it (gym in the building, car line for the firm, large analyst class, mobility opportunities with other divisions if you are interested, etc).

lazard is a great option nonetheless if you decide doing M&A only is a more important priority to you than the factors i mentioned above. their analyst class that left this past summer had 90-95% placement by the end of their first year, with a few that waited for megafunds or awesome corp dev opps.

would definitely pass on evercore. the point of increasing the analyst class and subsequent dilution to exit opps is a very real concern (have heard this directly from one of the top 3 buyside headhunters). for the class of analysts that just left many had trouble placing - after the big wave of recruitment last spring there were MANY unplaced candidates, a few landed megafunds the following january but several didnt and had to settle. also the point about the culture is stupid and not unique to evercore; plenty of groups at GS (possibly lazard although thats just a guess) with a great culture.

Oct 6, 2013

As the current/former analyst at Lazard, some of the "facts" here are false. Despite the reputation, the firm has capital markets activity, lower MF placement than GS/MS, and pretty good lifestyle when not on deals, so just some thoughts to think about. The exits you mentioned, OP, are correct, but I feel that many GS/MS analysts exit to KKR, TPG, Blackstone, Warburg, Apollo, Berkshire, CD&R, H&F, Silver Lake, MDP, Leonard Green, JC Flowers, Lindsay Goldberg, GS PIA PE etc. which are much more rare among Laz analysts (no one from Laz has gone to those firms (not counting credit/HF/RE arms) in last 3 yrs, though there are a handful from GS/MS)

Oct 6, 2013

That makes sense. I do think that this year TMT @ Lazard sent one to KKR. My question then is does CRG/HC/NR at GS really do any better? I mean from what I've seen last years analyst class at Lazard went to places like Providence, Carylyle, General Atlantic, Bain Capital, Oakhill, Metalmark, Oaktree, Centerbridge, KKR, New Mountain, etc. Thats not bad at all...especially given that they are only 25 ppl and GS way bigger. Sure, I know some of those names you listed are really really good and I know Lazard doesn't consisently send people to SL or TPG. But, does for example the CRG group at GS really consistently send analysts to Apollo or Berkshire? My understanding is that this year Apollo took from like BX, BAML, and GS TMT/FIG (not 100% sure about the GS TMT/FIG person) and I know Berkshire likes BX RR. I know that CRG/HC/NR all place really well too but I guess I'm not sure if its clear they are better than Laz.

Oct 6, 2013

This past year, GS CRG sent 2 to TPG and one to KKR. GS HC sent 2 to Carlyle and either 1 or 2 to TPG. There were also other great PE/HF placements, but I only know the MF placements. This is certainly better than LAZ, and I'm assuming better than EVR as well.

dollas

Oct 8, 2013
boobielover:

This past year, GS CRG sent 2 to TPG and one to KKR. GS HC sent 2 to Carlyle and either 1 or 2 to TPG.

I can confirm this. HC only sent one to TPG, the remaining hire from GS was from FIG (Vandy guy).

Of these, I think the decision boils down to whether you're interested in restructuring or M&A. If restructuring, you need to really find someone at the mid to senior level at Lazard and sell them on why you are dedicated to their group. If you get a positive indication, take the Lazard offer (and really pay attention to the current Lazard employee in here sharing real information).

If you're interested in M&A (or don't think you can nail Lazard RX with certainty), GS may be better for you. It sounds like you're a bit indecisive about where you'd like to go in the future, or worse, are prone to being swayed by the flavor of the moment. If either of those are the case, GS is going to preserve the greatest optionality for you. The brand name within and beyond finance is unparalleled. Even Blackstone, the only place I think many of us (those in and even those aspiring to be in the industry) would agree 'beats' GS on each count doesn't have comparable brand name outside finance.

You're going to get paid slightly less at GS, but a difference of $40k over two years pales in comparison to the job you get after your analyst stint. boobielover did a great job breaking it down. The best non-TMT/FIG groups at GS (HC, CRG, and NR) place consistently well across the board. I repeat, I can confirm that placement.

I'd refer you to my post on the BB vs. boutique debate in this thread: //www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/bb-vs-eb#comment-10...

I think for the technically competent guy leaving school with a very good sense of what he wants to do in the 5-10 year horizon, the boutique will be a better move. For you, however, given what I'm sensing you're wavering on, GS may be the more risk-less choice.

Oct 6, 2013

You are nitpicking to an extreme, stop overthinking it and go with your gut. I agree with the other guy your gut is yelling GS, just do it.

Oct 6, 2013

GS CRG sends people to TPG

Oct 6, 2013

I actually disagree with the above sentiment for two reasons.

Firstly, I think its a huge error to think that MF>>>>Upper MM PE or HFs. Lazard Rx placement, assuming you can swing that, will put you in places like Centerbridge which are every ounce as good as TPG. I go to Wharton/Penn and the "smartest' kids here would all tell you they'd take a Centerbridge over a KKR/TPG any day of the week. I think they would also tell you to take Lazard Rx over GS...tho as you know, you aren't guarenteed Rx. I think that Lazard or Goldman will both put you into quality places. If you want to do Rx, well then its a no brainer that you should take Lazard.

Secondly, let's even assume that MF are best. Well, sure, I can also confirm that GS HC sends to Carlyle and TPG and that's great. I also know CRG has a good relationship with TPG and I heard they also sent one to KKR. However, I'm sure the OP- if capable of getting GS/EVR/LAZ offers-will probably get placed into a tippy top group at Lazard if he goes there. Well, I think most people consider Laz HC/TMT/Rx the three top groups. HC always sends 1 person a year to Carlyle and has 3 analysts. So....in HC at Laz your odds of getting a MF are probably about the same as they would be at GS. TMT sent one to KKR this year but I'm not sure how big that class is. The point is that raw numbers are meaningless when comparing BB banks to Boutiques. The class size of Lazard is comparable to some of the larger groups at GS.

So, I think it makes sense to choose Lazard. Why? Well because you have a great shot at Rx if that's what you want but if you botch that one, well there's still HC or TMT, which I'm sure you could swing and would likely give you the same shot at a MF as your pals at GS. That said, GS is an incredible place and the groups you mentioned MIGHT have a slight edge on Lazard in terms of placement into generalist PE. However, again, if what you want is restructuring....its an easy answer.

Oct 6, 2013

The smartest guys at Wharton all want to go to center bridge for the same reason that everyone wanted to do commodities a few years ago fwiw, college students are as procyclical as it gets (although I would have thought the distressed craze was over in the us atleast?)

Debating the relative prestige of kkr vs center bridge vs top hf is kind of retarded.

Oct 6, 2013

It could very well be a craze, but I can tell you that all my friends who really know their stuff are all going to Rx shops after college. I also agree that it's retarded debating this, but I felt like it needed to be said that Lazard does send people to good places. Places that many people would take over the conventional KKR/TPGs of the world. Placement shouldn't be the issue for the OP...it should be what he bottom line wants to do.

Oct 7, 2013
Money4Life:

I also agree that it's retarded debating this, but I felt like it needed to be said that Lazard does send people to good places.

Another boutique/BB tread, another Money4Life college student Lazard/boutique plug. Dude spends 70% of waking hours on this "retarded debating"!

Oct 6, 2013

The quality of a fund is not determined by what a bunch of college kids think lol.

In a vacuum unless you are 100pc determined on your future exit option (which is highly unlikely at this point) it's best to keep as much optionality as possible, I.e. go with gs.

Oct 6, 2013

BB brand name coupled with M&A execution experience will give the most optionality for obvious reasons.

Oct 6, 2013

^^
I don't think BB brand name means much to be honest. Ya, maybe at GS it does....but I don't think any other BB (with the except of MS M&A) is worth taking over EVR or Laz.

I also agree what a bunch of college kids think doesn't matter, but these college kids have now gone to places like BX M&A/RR, GS FIG, Lazard, Evercore, etc. They talk to lots of people who live recruiting right now and do really understand the system. So, no, I don't think we should completely discount what top kids at places like Wharton have to say given they have some work experience and know people who have views based on more years in the real world. .

Oct 6, 2013

Definitely GS. Lazard is slightly overrated and has a reputation for a terrible culture/long hours. GS > Evercore = Lazard

Oct 6, 2013
cst:

Definitely GS. Lazard is slightly overrated and has a reputation for a terrible culture/long hours. GS > Evercore = Lazard

I would second @cst answer. Take GS and you will have the options after 2-3 years for BSchool and PE/HF work.

Oct 6, 2013

GS because of better MF exits and CRG/HC has much better hours and lifestyle than laz.

Oct 7, 2013

what is with the passive aggressive attitudes towards Goldman?

Oct 7, 2013

Lazards brand equity has gone to shot ever since they started hiring in bulk from Emory. Those guys are real tards

Oct 7, 2013

someone salty that Lazard picked a JAP from Emory over them?

Oct 7, 2013

Just hope the OP doesn't make the mistake of taking LAZ over GS

Oct 7, 2013

There is a retarded amount of speculation re: Lazard in this thread considering a current or former employee from Lazard has made multiple insightful comments about the firm within the very same thread.

Oct 9, 2013

Lazard analyst here again. Take GS, here's why:

1. Name brand and optionality outside of finance, PLUS better megafund placement which seems to be what you want. Every single megafund and most top MMs has multiple GS analysts there today as associates, while half or more of them haven't had Laz analysts in years (even adjusted for size, there's more GS). There are funds that only interview GS (or BX/MS) and not Lazard

2. It's ridiculous to say go Laz for restructuring so you can get into to a Centerbridge-type fund. You can absolutely land at those distressed funds out of GS as well, and Laz restructuring only takes 3 (out of 25 NY) analysts a year anyway. The group is also in decline and has seen top brass leave or transition to a part-time role.

3. Exposure. Typically, my peers had less client interaction and deal experience relative to BB friends (again, group dependent). Ironically, at a bulge bracket, there are so many deals (financing and M&A) going on that a junior person will often get to step up because the higher-ups don't want to deal with it. At Lazard, the senior members are involved in almost every deal, which is great for the client but gives the analysts, and even associate/VP less opportunities to be involved outside of number crunching/processing.

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Oct 9, 2013
throwaway111:

Lazard analyst here again. Take GS, here's why:

1. Name brand and optionality outside of finance, PLUS better megafund placement which seems to be what you want. Every single megafund and most top MMs has multiple GS analysts there today as associates, while half or more of them haven't had Laz analysts in years (even adjusted for size, there's more GS). There are funds that only interview GS (or BX/MS) and not Lazard

2. It's ridiculous to say go Laz for restructuring so you can get into to a Centerbridge-type fund. You can absolutely land at those distressed funds out of GS as well, and Laz restructuring only takes 3 (out of 25 NY) analysts a year anyway. The group is also in decline and has seen top brass leave or transition to a part-time role.

3. Exposure. Typically, my peers had less client interaction and deal experience relative to BB friends (again, group dependent). Ironically, at a bulge bracket, there are so many deals (financing and M&A) going on that a junior person will often get to step up because the higher-ups don't want to deal with it. At Lazard, the senior members are involved in almost every deal, which is great for the client but gives the analysts, and even associate/VP less opportunities to be involved outside of number crunching/processing.

What are your thoughts on Lazard's culture? I've heard some pretty bad things but wasn't sure on how factual they were.

Oct 9, 2013

Culture varies based on group, some groups are very social and others are more quiet/formal/"stuck-up" based on the Lazard reputation. Seems to be the case with GS too though, don't think Lazard is culturally an outlier relative to other WS banks

Oct 9, 2013

There we go, a real insight. Don't make the mistake of losing GS!

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