Houlihan Lokey reputation (2020)

Haven't found a good, up-to-date thread on HL.

Anyone have any info on the place?
I've heard the culture is great but what about exit ops, compensation, top groups (I know Rx is one)..

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Comments (57)

Most Helpful
Apr 3, 2020 - 10:49pm

HL is easily one of the most underrated banks on Wall Street. Insanely good RX group that's often considered the best creditor side advisor on the street. In their corporate finance division, some of the top groups are Industrials, CFR, and Business Services. Full disclosure, while the industrial group has solid deal flow and is great for going the PE route, it can be pretty sweaty at times. On the bright side, they're on the same floor as the TMT group and they just worked on a deal for Sports Illustrated. In terms of exits a lot of the RX bankers go the distressed PE/HF route, but regularly place at MFs as well. Corporate finance bankers tend to go vanilla MM PE firms, but you have a few go into HFs or the entrepreneurship route. A couple ex-HL bankers actually started Suited, an AI powered recruiting network (www.wellsuited.com). Their corporate partners include: HL, PJT, Lazard, and a few others.

In terms of culture, I won't give the usual bs answer. In complete honesty, culture at HL (like every other bank) is 100% group dependent. In general though, people tend to be happy (as much as you can be in banking) with the work environment and respectful of their peers. A bunch of really smart guys and gals there, but those hooligans also know how to have a good time. Sure, HL doesn't have the name recognition of a Goldman or JPM, but if you're looking for a solid IB experience, with the opportunity to actually learn by working on deals and not just pitching, be surrounded by solid people, and have buyside exit opportunities, I'd say Houlihan Lokey is a great place to consider.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 28, 2020 - 1:10pm

Yeah, for some reason they call all their roles like "financial analyst" like "Summer Restructuring Financial Analyst" a little weird honestly why they don't put IB in their titles.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Sep 2, 2020 - 10:49am

I rolled my eyes when I read that.  That comment honestly read like someone that has never worked a day in their life in banking.  If you are not staffed on a deal, it has zero impact on you let alone a deal that another group is doing.

  • Intern in 
Apr 3, 2020 - 10:58pm

Strong MM second to only Jefferies but still weaker than all the BBs. RX is an entirely different story and they shouldn't be compared. RX group is one of the strongest on the entire street. Fun Fact: despite being on the same floor as other HL groups,they even have a higher seamless budget. That should tell you something right there lol

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 4, 2020 - 3:29am

No. HL competes in the pure MM for its coverage groups. You can't compare it to UBS as they really only play in the above $1bb range. HL churns out a purely obscene number of deals at smaller transaction sizes. Not even remotely close to a business model as Jefferies or the BBs.

Apr 28, 2020 - 2:49pm

Love how these interns rush to respond when a second year analyst asks a question in this forum. Do you guys really think he cares what you have to say?

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 3, 2020 - 11:00pm

I have spoke with a few senior bankers on the HC team and they seem to be a pretty down to earth group. Supportive of analysts and are very open to laterals from smaller banks. I was also told that they encourage PE exits and most analysts do end up taking this route.

Apr 6, 2020 - 6:25pm

Heard that the average tenure of an analyst is like 6 months because the culture isn't great. But that might be specific to M&A only. Also PJT have usurped their London office space.

  • 1
Apr 12, 2020 - 6:13pm

Bumping this in hopes that sometime can provide more information on the following two groups:


Thanks for the info on HL RX.

Can anyone provide more info on the following HL LA groups?

  • HL CF / Capital Markets
  • HL Dispute & Financial Expert Opinions
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 28, 2020 - 1:22pm

RX is done, CF is just starting up their accelerated process this week. I've heard they are doing an accelerated process over the next couple of weeks to skim top talent before it's taken by other accelerated processes, then they'll run a second process in the fall to fill in their last couple of spots.

May 1, 2020 - 2:08pm

In my experience, most of the socially awkward folks
Can be found at HL

  • 1
  • 5
  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 1, 2020 - 6:01pm

One kid I know, brilliant, very high GPA, knew technicals better than everyone got rejected from a ton of firms. Knew a few people that interviewed him, and they all said he was boring/socially awkward. Ended up at HL

May 30, 2020 - 7:57am

Worked with them on a debt placement when I was in banking (they were advising the sponsor on the debt financing for the deal and my bank was M&A advisor on the deal) and went to their offices for the lender presentations. Was very impressed withe quality of their MDs and as someone on the buyside, I'd be happy to work with them again. Understand everyone worships their RX group but I have to reiterate how impressive the senior team I worked with was

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
May 31, 2020 - 7:34pm

Very new group - exclusively focused on E&P restructurings to my knowledge. Been on energy restructurings with NY and Dallas HL offices on the other side, so really not sure how deal flow is split between the offices, but I'd imagine the more technically intensive debtor sides are run out of Houston.

Obviously with HL FRG's rep, its a solid option, but I would probably choose a more established EB over it.

Aug 5, 2020 - 3:07am

Read from some other online posts that HL's comps/bonuses for CorpFin and other non-RX groups are actually significantly lower than regular IBD (closer to management consulting compseven) Can someone shed some light on this?


  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 6, 2020 - 1:45am

Have friends in HL CF and can confirm that bonus is definitely higher than those at BBs

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