Guggenheim (M&A) vs. Houlihan Lokey (Restructuring) for Summer Analyst

ajs3hf's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

Hey guys,

So I just finished up my cycle for SA recruiting and I have two offers to choose from: Guggenheim generalist and Houlihan Lokey for restructuring. What do you think is the better opportunity in terms of prestige/compensation/culture/intern offer rate/exit opps? The most important thing for me would be an opportunity to transition to HF/PE afterwards. I think HLHZ has the better rep but I don't really know much about restructuring, and feel as though it may limit my options going down the road. I liked everyone I met at both firms so I can't really come to a decision that way. I'm really having trouble deciding so I would appreciate your help. Thanks!

Comments (24)

Feb 7, 2015

Don't know too much about Guggenheim (I assume it is a decent MM M&A shop), but I would lean towards HLHZ because of their reputation in restructuring. HLHZ analysts tend to exit to distressed shops like oaktree or debt related opportunities because of the amount of exposure you get to debt. So you will get good looks for HF and distressed PE if you choose this route. I have heard the LA office being a bit intense, but the people I have met were really chill so I think the culture is good at least in the junior level. Also if you are interested in law, there will be a good exposure of that at HLHZ.

Source: I went through SA recruiting too last month and these were my impressions - take with a grain of salt

Best Response
Feb 7, 2015

Lol Guggenehim is not a "decent MM shop".....unless advising pfizer on an 18 billion dollar deal is MM. I'm not sure which would be better, but don't think that Guggenheim is some random shop. They are strong and on the rise.

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Feb 7, 2015

I agree it is on the rise, but definitely can't judge based on a few big deals. Were they the sole adviser on these big deals? Unless they have been really consistently deals, we can't place them in the EB league - but only time can tell.

Feb 7, 2015

Houlihan Restructuring. I was in a restructuring as a banker so I may be biased, but it gives you the best experience as a analyst. Exposure to credit agreements, industry groups, balance sheet restructurings, turnaround situations, M&A, etc. Plus the reputation of HLHZ restructuring group is top notch.

Feb 7, 2015

Thanks for the input. Does anyone have any knowledge of exit opps for Guggenheim? It's relatively new but it seems to be growing pretty fast. Also, both these positions are for NYC office.

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Feb 7, 2015

Thanks for the input. Does anyone have any knowledge of exit opps for Guggenheim? It's relatively new but it seems to be growing pretty fast. Also, both these positions are for NYC office.

Feb 7, 2015

Disclaimer: Going to Guggenheim for SA so I am biased.

From what I gather Guggenheim is probably the fastest or one of the fastest growing banks on the street. They're certainly not a MM shop and way closer to an EB if not definitely an EB. They're known for their healthcare and TMT groups and deal flow across the firm is really strong. Last year they were the lead adviser on the $130bn Verizon deal, which was the 3rd largest M&A deal in history so take that for what it's worth. I hear exit opps to buyside are really solid, but I don't know any specifics.

Feb 7, 2015
bronnn:

Disclaimer: Going to Guggenheim for SA so I am biased.

From what I gather Guggenheim is probably the fastest or one of the fastest growing banks on the street. They're certainly not a MM shop and way closer to an EB if not definitely an EB. They're known for their healthcare and TMT groups and deal flow across the firm is really strong. Last year they were the lead adviser on the $130bn Verizon deal, which was the 3rd largest M&A deal in history so take that for what it's worth. I hear exit opps to buyside are really solid, but I don't know any specifics.

Definitely a MM shop, not EB. However, definitely on the rise. You are over-hyping them though. I would still go to a shop like Jefferies over Guggenheim. Guggenheim is apparently a sweatshop that isn't justified by their deal flow.

Feb 7, 2015

I don't know man, they've worked on some massive deals.

Aug 9, 2015

-

"I say to him, encouragingly: "Don't worry, Dikembe, breakfast's on Blackstone."
And that's the best part about working in finance." - LSO

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Feb 9, 2015

I never talked with people who interned at HLHZ, but I talked with two people who interested at Guggenheim. They both left to EBs after internship at Guggenheim. They both told me culture at Guggenheim was not that great. From what I heard, Senior people at Guggenheim did not really care about junior analysts. (not only interns, ft analysts as well.)

Feb 7, 2015

Yeah thanks for the advice. My concern is that right now is not the best time for restructuring but M&A is really hot. Does anybody have any info on FT offer rate for interns, hours per week for analysts, bonus amount, etc. for these two shops? Also, for exit opps, I hear HLHZ typically places well into distressed HF/PE but I feel like those are not doing well because if the economic recovery. Can't find anything on exit opps for Guggenheim does anybody know of specific examples?

Feb 7, 2015

I have asked HLHZ people the same thing. They told me that although restructuring is counter-cyclical, they are still getting tons of deal flow (just because economy is doing well doesn't mean there won't be distressed companies). Analysts are not complaining about getting absolutely crushed like they did in the recession while still getting good experience.

Feb 9, 2015

HLHZ RX

Feb 10, 2015

While HL RX is good, it will pigeonhole you to distressed debt in the future - Also HLHZ brand is mostly and MM brand with kind of a funny name. Guggenheim is really good and very underrated on this forum. It has really risen in only a couple of years and the future looks bright - actually know a couple guys who were analysts at Guggenheim and went to some great PE shops afterwards so apparently they place well too.

At the entry level - its best to always choose the option that gives you the most optionality and then to specialize later once you have experienced what you like and don't like. Guggenheim will probably provide you the better optionality for FT or if you choose to stay on for exit opps.

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Feb 12, 2015

" HL RX is good, it will pigeonhole you to distressed debt in the future"

Not sure where you got this from. I imagine you know very few HL Rx guys. I know several that moved to traditional MM PE funds and others that wound up in Corp Dev.

Do the majority of the Rx guys stick in distressed/turnaround world? Sure. But, it is entirely possible to break out b/c of the group's reputation and the fact that they do modeling.

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Feb 10, 2015

This is a tough one...full disclaimer, I may be a bit biased toward Houlihan as well since I was in Rothschild RX group way back when. The WSO Company Database can give us some valuable info here:

#1. % of Interns Getting FT Offer - Advantage = Guggenheim
- It looks like Guggenheim has a very strong offer rate to interns in the 90%-100% range.
- Houlihan historically seems to be in the 50-80% range
- In fact, if you check out our rankings, Guggenheim ranked #1 in this category across ALL investment banks (Houlihan #10, so not that bad) http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/best-investm...

This matters because landing a FT position is probably the ultimate goal of a summer analyst.

#2. Hours - Advantage = Draw
- Looks like both of these banks work their employees pretty hard. Houlihan comes in at #9 on the avg hours worked and Guggenheim comes in not far behind at #12 (see here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/2014-best-in...) ...both also ranked near the bottom in terms of "work/life balance"

#3 Career - Advancement - Advantage = Houlihan
- Houlihan cracked the top 10 for both Professional Growth (#3) and Career Advancement (#8), so I have to give them the nod here, even though Guggenheim has done some mega deals lately that are very impressive. Houlihand has a bit more of a track record, especially for good exit opps of analysts.

So for a summer analyst gig, you might be tempted to take Guggenheim given their attractive intern offer rates, but if you're confident that you can beat our your fellow summers for a spot, long term I think Houlihan has the better name and reputation (and RX groups is top for them).

Either way, best of luck with this tough decision...both firms are super well regarded and solid shops!
Patrick

Mar 27, 2015
WallStreetOasis.com:

This is a tough one...full disclaimer, I may be a bit biased toward Houlihan as well since I was in Rothschild RX group way back when. The WSO Company Database can give us some valuable info here:

#1. % of Interns Getting FT Offer - Advantage = Guggenheim
- It looks like Guggenheim has a very strong offer rate to interns in the 90%-100% range.
- Houlihan historically seems to be in the 50-80% range
- In fact, if you check out our rankings, Guggenheim ranked #1 in this category across ALL investment banks (Houlihan #10, so not that bad) //www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/best-investm...

This matters because landing a FT position is probably the ultimate goal of a summer analyst.

#2. Hours - Advantage = Draw
- Looks like both of these banks work their employees pretty hard. Houlihan comes in at #9 on the avg hours worked and Guggenheim comes in not far behind at #12 (see here: //www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/2014-best-in...) ...both also ranked near the bottom in terms of "work/life balance"

#3 Career - Advancement - Advantage = Houlihan
- Houlihan cracked the top 10 for both Professional Growth (#3) and Career Advancement (#8), so I have to give them the nod here, even though Guggenheim has done some mega deals lately that are very impressive. Houlihand has a bit more of a track record, especially for good exit opps of analysts.

So for a summer analyst gig, you might be tempted to take Guggenheim given their attractive intern offer rates, but if you're confident that you can beat our your fellow summers for a spot, long term I think Houlihan has the better name and reputation (and RX groups is top for them).

Either way, best of luck with this tough decision...both firms are super well regarded and solid shops!
Patrick

Patrick, is there any way to view the information in the tables by breaking it down by office location? For instance, RBC ranks in at #6 for 'Best Intern Offer Rates', but I suppose that the offer rates in Toronto and NY may be different. Perhaps high rates in Toronto make it rank higher, but that would not say much about the NY office (note: I'm using this bank and these offices just as an example; I have no idea how the rates actually differ for these locations). I know there is the company database - would getting access to it break down things by office location?

Thanks.

Mar 27, 2015

No, not easily...we don't have that filter functionality yet. Sorry man :-(

remember, you can get free access for a month just by adding an interview insight...or 1 year by adding 3 pieces of data.

Thanks and good luck!

Feb 12, 2015

Pretty obvious from the username that we have a fellow hoo here ;) good luck buddy

Feb 27, 2015

Had a close friend who worked at Guggenheim - his views were: culture was poor (senior bankers rarely interact with junior bankers if at all), exit opportunities exist but poor (have to be very impressive for headhunters to provide MM PE opportunities; no MF placement), upside was tons of snacks and office is new / looks nice

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