HELP: Which offer to take?

newcandidate's picture
Rank: Chimp | 9

Hi guys, through accelerated interviews and personal relation interviews landed the following offers:

JPM NY IBD (no group chosen)
CS NY IBD (no group chosen)
BAML LevFin NY
Barclays IBD

GS/MS/CS IBD Hong Kong

Goal is to maximize exit opps + bschool: What do you guys think? My thoughts:

  1. JPM/CS IBD (JPM cause its doing well, and CS cause I love the culture)
  2. BAML LevFin (best on the street, supposedly good exit opps)
  3. GS/MS Hong Kong (it's the GS/MS name brand, didn't get preselected for interviews for GS in NY which IMO is bull...)

Thoughts? thx.

Comments (31)

Jan 17, 2010

For SA or full time?

Jan 17, 2010

SA thanks. BAML pays overtime at a staggering $55/hour beyond 65 hour work week.... damn i could potentially make a ton lol.

Jan 17, 2010

Congrats, you have a lot to think about...

Do you want to stay in the US (assuming its NYC) or work overseas long term?
What exit opps are you looking for?
Which bank had the best culture? I know you mentioned you like CS, but anyone else?

My personal opinion, I like JPM (if you plan on working in the US) great M&A group and the LevFin group is also very strong...also, better brand than BAML and CS.

Jan 17, 2010

Long-long term eventually may want to work in Asia for a while. I have Asia background + previous experience working at a BB in Hong Kong so it shouldn't be a problem transferring at any of these banks internally in the long run. WOuld like to start in New York for at least 3-4 years though (so i can return to the States if necessary).

My inclination is also JPM. THe only thing I'm not sure about is group placement. According to HR, we'll have to pick groups later on and it's really a roll of a dice (statistically unlikely) if I can get into M&A/LevFin. What I like about the BAML offer is that it's LevFin specific. Personally, I would take BAML LevFin over something like JPM Industrials.

CS just rocked cause their people are just so chill.... really wouldn't mind working there.

Looking to go to B-school in a couple of year's time so yeah, I figure the marginal differences in prestige probably don't really matter?

Jan 17, 2010

If you are willing to go to Asia, GS HK probably maximizes chances at top B school.

If not, would do JPM or BAML LevFin.

Jan 17, 2010

What's the difference between Citi and BAML culture/environment?

Jan 17, 2010

Key difference between Citi and BAML, IMO, is that BAML did acquire Merrill Lynch, which just a few years ago was spoken in the same breath as Goldman and Morgan Stanley (the old "MGM"). Sure, it's not what it used to be, but a portion of the old ML still exists within BofA.

I get the feeling speaking with BAML people at least, that the culture and ML integration is really taking off. BAML has been killing league tables this year, and the bank is pretty much on the up and up. Wouldn't be surprised if it emerged as the 4th best BB in a couple of years (after GS/MS/JPM). In terms of sheer size, BAML is technically the largest bank in the world

BAML people also seem kinda chill. I received an SA offer... and received emails/calls from a few analysts, two MD's and the GLOBAL HEAD of Capital Markets (legacy Merrill). I mean, I know all banks like to pitch, but having a (brief) email from the global head of CM really caught me off guard. What can I say, it felt cool being contacted by someone that is regularly quoted by BLoomberg/Forbes.

Jan 17, 2010
newcandidate:

Key difference between Citi and BAML, IMO, is that BAML did acquire Merrill Lynch, which just a few years ago was spoken in the same breath as Goldman and Morgan Stanley (the old "MGM"). Sure, it's not what it used to be, but a portion of the old ML still exists within BofA.

I get the feeling speaking with BAML people at least, that the culture and ML integration is really taking off. BAML has been killing league tables this year, and the bank is pretty much on the up and up. Wouldn't be surprised if it emerged as the 4th best BB in a couple of years (after GS/MS/JPM). In terms of sheer size, BAML is technically the largest bank in the world

BAML people also seem kinda chill. I received an SA offer... and received emails/calls from a few analysts, two MD's and the GLOBAL HEAD of Capital Markets (legacy Merrill). I mean, I know all banks like to pitch, but having a (brief) email from the global head of CM really caught me off guard. What can I say, it felt cool being contacted by someone that is regularly quoted by BLoomberg/Forbes.

Great post, thanks. Just to clarify, are you saying that the work environment at BAML is uniquely chill, as in the people who work there seemed cool and laid back or something? What's BAML really known for on the street, as in, do they have a unique "personality" as such?

Jan 17, 2010

Doodoo, I never worked there before. The teams that are mostly legacy Merrill are still very, very top-notch. I previously had a FT offer at BAML in HK, where it was almost exclusively a Merrill Group, and they were very serious types of guys there.

I think the BofA culture is really different. My friend who was an analyst there (now at elite boutique) told me story about how during his SA stint, in order to convince him to stay, they flew him and his associate on a deal trip to Mexico City where the proceeded to party it up for three days. Throwing footballs around in the office was supposedly also quite common. Take with a grain of salt-- this was old BofA.

CS is known for being the "chill" bank on the street fwiw.

Jan 17, 2010

JPM in NY or GS in HK.

If you want to start your career in NYC, it's much more likely that you'll get a full-time offer in NYC if you do your SA stint there.

Also, I'm going to go ahead and assume you speak Mandarin. Where is that a comparative advantage? There are a lot of people in HK that speak Mandarin and/or Cantonese, whereas the population of Chinese-speakers in New York is much smaller.

That said, GS is a slightly better brand-name than JPM, but not by a huge margin. Also, having work experience in the West is invaluable for someone working in Asia in the long-run (and vice-versa these days).

All in all, I'd say JPM in NYC, but it's a tough call between there and GS in HK (where you could still try to ask for an analyst contract in NYC).

Jan 17, 2010

@Brotherbear,

Thanks for that input. I guess it's between JPM NY, BAML LevFin, and GS HK for me. Problem with GS HK is notoriously low conversion rate (~25%).

What puzzles me is that my interview request for GS NY was flat out denied at my OCR at target. I have very high GPA (3.9+, non-BS major), strong-target, BB experience sophomore, and leadership roles. GS NY was the only one to deny me. Not really sure why... anyway... my theory is that they saw my education, previous internships, and leadership roles were all Asia-related so figured they didn't want me in NYC.

Jan 17, 2010

Are you seriously considering Bank of America - the place I get my checks from and keep a savings account? Goldman or bust

Jan 17, 2010

Isn't JPM known for hiring almost all of their SA's for full-time, especially compared to all the other firms? If that's the case, then that would be your safest bet for a full-time NYC offer (if you're interested in a safe decision). I believe that has been discussed here, so do a search. Also, their brand name will satisfy your max exit ops criteria.

Good luck, you have a lot of great options there.

Jan 17, 2010

@tothedeath, yea BAML is a commercial bank. So what? JP Morgan is principally a commercial bank as well...

http://www.leveragedfinancenews.com/data/high_yield_league_tables.html
Incidentally, JPM and BAML have by far the two best high-yield (leveraged finance) teams on the street.

Jan 17, 2010

Do me a favor.

Go to KKR's website. Silverlake. H&F. Warburg Pincus. Any big name PE shop -- do you see any Bank of America guys there? Fuck no.

You're the one who brought up maximizing your exit opps right? The Goldman brand name opens up a ton of opportunities. MS does too (to a certain extent -- still pales in comparison to GS, though). TPG hires almost exclusively from GS TMT (three this year). KKR PE in NY hired two GS guys (ZERO JPM or BOA dudes). Carlyle is littered with GS people. Even if you don't want to do megafund PE, Goldman is the way to go.

God took a shit today and used a BoA business card to wipe his ass.

Jan 17, 2010
humblethyself:

You're the one who brought up maximizing your exit opps right? The Goldman brand name opens up a ton of opportunities. MS does too (to a certain extent -- still pales in comparison to GS, though). TPG hires almost exclusively from GS TMT (three this year). KKR PE in NY hired two GS guys (ZERO JPM or BOA dudes). Carlyle is littered with GS people. Even if you don't want to do megafund PE, Goldman is the way to go.

I agree. But let me put this in perspective. So first I have to get into GS NY (which I don't have an offer from). THen I have to get into arguably the top group at GS (i.e. TMT). Then I have to be the top 3 at GS TMT to land a job at TPG? Or be one of the other two guys that got into KKR?

Each GS class is probably well in excess of 100 people. Of those, I'm guessing less than 15 get mega-funds. I'm not arguing GS doesnt' have good exit opps, but I don't think it's GS --> Bank $$$ either.

Jan 17, 2010

I think the BofA culture is really different. My friend who was an analyst there (now at elite boutique) told me story about how during his SA stint, in order to convince him to stay, they flew him and his associate on a deal trip to Mexico City where the proceeded to party it up for three days. Throwing footballs around in the office was supposedly also quite common. Take with a grain of salt-- this was old BofA.

LOL WHY DO YOU THINK THEY HAD TO DO THIS?!! Because all the guys who got Goldman went to GS, effectively leaving BoA with the University of Illinois kids with 3.1 GPAs. Of course BoA is going to spend money to take some lame intern to MC -- that's the only way they can retain people. It sure as all hell isn't through prestige or exit opps that they're attracting people to BoA trust me.

God took a shit today and used a BoA business card to wipe his ass.

Jan 17, 2010
humblethyself:

I think the BofA culture is really different. My friend who was an analyst there (now at elite boutique) told me story about how during his SA stint, in order to convince him to stay, they flew him and his associate on a deal trip to Mexico City where the proceeded to party it up for three days. Throwing footballs around in the office was supposedly also quite common. Take with a grain of salt-- this was old BofA.

LOL WHY DO YOU THINK THEY HAD TO DO THIS?!! Because all the guys who got Goldman went to GS, effectively leaving BoA with the University of Illinois kids with 3.1 GPAs. Of course BoA is going to spend money to take some lame intern to MC -- that's the only way they can retain people. It sure as all hell isn't through prestige or exit opps that they're attracting people to BoA trust me.

God took a shit today and used a BoA business card to wipe his ass.

So where do you think the BAML bankers go, upon exit?

Jan 17, 2010
doodoo:

So where do you think the BAML bankers go, upon exit?

countrywide working in angelo mozilo's back office

Jan 17, 2010
humblethyself][quote:

God took a shit today and used a BoA business card to wipe his ass.

Ok now thats pretty funny

Jan 17, 2010

looooooool son, we all know you gonna take that JPM NY offer and then reapply to GS NY come FT. Don't even beat around the bush about it. You got a chip on that shoulder and GS is its name.

you don't need us to stroke your ego and denigrate the other firms right?

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Jan 17, 2010

Each GS class is probably well in excess of 100 people. Of those, I'm guessing less than 15 get mega-funds. I'm not arguing GS doesnt' have good exit opps, but I don't think it's GS --> Bank $$$ either.

Not sure about you, but 15 out of 100 seems better than 0 out of 100 to me.

Jan 17, 2010

Merrill definitely placed into megafunds - I personally know ex-ML analysts at Warburg Pincus, Carlyle, etc. The old BofA might have sucked for PE recruiting, but if you're in a good legacy ML group, you should be fine.

Jan 18, 2010

It all depends on if you want to work in the US or Asia. If US, definitely go for JPMorgan. Like you said, they are doing very well, and they are also underrated compare to GS.

Jan 18, 2010

BAML lev fin or JPM. I would go with BAML Lev Fin just because Merrill has strong private equity placement, whereas JPM you don't have a group set.

Jan 18, 2010

I'll not speak about the NY position, but in HK you would definitely choose MS over the other two. MS and UBS had absolutely phenomenal years in 2009 and look pretty set going forward. CS is dead in the water and GS is not nearly as strong as it is in NY..

Jan 18, 2010

to OP, you probably got denied in NY because you applied to (or somehow they found out) GS in HK. Many banks don't like you applying for two places that are so different (ie SF/LA ok, but NY/HK not ok) becuase they want you to be committed to the region.

Jan 18, 2010

BAML for sure. Probably the best Lev Fin on the street and it's a lot better than getting a general offer and placed in some shit like energy or FIG.

Jan 18, 2010

Dude your stats are only worthy of FTP. Seriously you thought you had a shot at Goldman NYC? Keep dreaming buddy. Just stick with FTP.

Jan 19, 2010
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Jan 19, 2010