Houston - Jefferies, TPH, Simmons

OGAspirer's picture
Rank: Monkey | 37

Hi guys,

I've read a few of the other threads about Houston banking, but thought that there wasn't a lot of information about Jefferies, TPH, or Simmons. I understand that rankings are very different in Houston compared to NY, and these are considered pretty solid shops here. Specifically I am looking for information on culture, current deal flow (given the oil climate), and compensation. I've heard Simmons was bought, and it sounded like this was more of a distressed sale, so unsure how this will affect them going forward. Regarding comp, I've heard some crazy bonus numbers out of Jefferies and TPH (well above even NY street). Have also heard that Jef Houston has a separate bonus pool from the rest of the firm, hence their ability to pay more. Would love to learn more about these groups if anyone knows. Also would like to hear about the associate experience at any of these groups (autonomy and comp), as this is not commonly discussed here.

Thanks!

Comments (19)

Apr 6, 2016

Bump

Apr 6, 2016

Am actually curious as well

Apr 7, 2016

Bump

Apr 8, 2016

Those have all been addressed at length, by myself and others. I wouldnt touch Simmons right now. TPH and Jefferies are both excellent options.

Apr 8, 2016

Also, as someone working in the industry (I'm in a different sector), how is deal flow for you right now? Has M&A picked up and if not, when do you expect it to? Volatility seems to kill deal flow, so just wondering if/when you expect things to get back to normal.

Oct 15, 2016

@ThirdCoastBorn" Why do you say you wouldn't touch Simmons at this time? I understand the comment is a few months old, but as I'm going through recruiting right now (MBA SA recruiting) Simmons is one of the firms visiting on campus and knowledge about their competitiveness in the marketplace will be helpful in making a decision.

Apr 8, 2016

Hi ThirdCoastBorn! I have read those threads but was just wondering about these three firms in particular and if anything had changed since then (those threads are nearly or over a year old). I appreciate the note on Simmons, and had been hesitant about them. I imagine there's a lot of restructuring going on, but didn't recall these groups being especially strong in restructuring, so I wasn't sure how deal flow currently is. Additionally, I'm looking to lateral over from a NY group for personal reasons, so I was looking for more of an associate perspective. Are there any personnel issues? Like any top guys that have left or were recently hired? Any reason to worry about senior people leaving at any of them (unsure how long Jef's head will stick around)? I also felt like analyst comp at these groups had been discussed pretty thoroughly, but I was just curious if I should expect NY associate street if I am able to move into either one of those firms. People don't seem to know much about the Houston groups up here, so I've heard a lot of conflicting this. I'm probably going to be a career banker at this point (ideally in HTX), so that's why I'm hoping for more details.

Apr 8, 2016

Would suggest you look at Intrepid Financial Partners-- Skip McGee's new shop. They've won some big mandates already and are going on a big time hiring spree.

    • 1
Apr 8, 2016

Will check it out. Haven't even heard of this shop before. If I recall correctly, this guy was one of the main MD's at Barclays?

Apr 8, 2016

Hi JNB150! Thanks, I will check out Intrepid. My only concern is since they're new, it's hard to gauge anything about the shop (comp, culture, experience), but I guess it's also exciting to be joining an up and coming group.

Apr 8, 2016

Feel free to PM me about Intrepid.

Best Response
Apr 13, 2016

Deal flow is pretty slow right now and that is something to consider at any of the boutiques, incl. Jeff to some degree. There isn't a TMT or healthcare group to buoy the revs when you focus on a singular vertical.

People love to talk about restructuring opps - every boutique in Houston is trying to get on that train - but most of that is being captured by the traditional firms in that area (Houlihan, Lazard, Blackstone etc). And bear in mind, from an industry coverage group perspective, RX is the type of business that maybe keeps you busy for 2 yrs every 7 yrs at best. And those processes are being run by the restructuring bankers (NY) with supporting help from the industry groups. I'm sure Laz is telling people their energy group is killing it BC of restructuring, but they are, at best, sharing a large portion of the fee pie and work with NY. I doubt the jr energy bankers are doing much more than helping out with a few relevant industry pages in the deck. Once things rebound while their restructuring MDs move on to the next troubled industry or company and the energy group goes back to what it was before (mediocre). Definitely nice business to have right now, but as an jr banker i wouldn't join the energy group of a firm that counts on restructuring - i would join the restructuring group.

Re: intrepid. Skip is obviously super legit (and prickly) but my buddy interviewed with them as a lateral and came away very underwhelmed by the supporting cast. And they are 100% levered to Skip in a very challenging environment. It is true that Jefferies Houston has the sweet comp deal they have BC of RE but they've built up enough of a rep and supporting cast of sr bankers that they would be ok if something happened to RE IMO.

Just my 2c.

    • 3
    • 1
Apr 13, 2016

Awesome and informative post as always. This is exactly what I wanted to know. Definitely had my concerns about Laz deal flow coming a lot in part from the NY group. Good to know that Jef has a strong cast of senior guys aside from RE.

Regarding comp, should I expect above street just as with the analyst level? I understand things might be depressed now, but is this the general trend?

    • 2
    • 1
Apr 14, 2016

Comp in Houston is relatively equal across most places. All BB's have same base comp as NYC, and similar bonus. Only exception for the larger banks is WF, which pays $10k more on base.

The boutiques have been known to pay a little more. TPH in particular has a reputation for paying well above street.

I wouldn't worry about comp too much - the culture at Jefferies is absolutely brutal. Most are abrasive introverts, definitely not the type of guys you'd like to grab a beer with. Don't know a whole lot about Laz Houston. Simmons has probably the nicest offices in Houston, and hands down some of the nicest guys in their office.

Apr 14, 2016

One point on Simmons and TPH- they have much lower / flatter salary structures than the BBs (and higher bonuses). TPH definitely has the rep for strong comp but probably safe to assume they pay very well when times are good and probably street when times are lean. Simmons seems to pay ok but also has great quality of life (though not sure how that changes with Piper). Jefferies is very much haves v. have nots on comp front. They have a few guys who make absurd $ - probably the highest paid at their position of any bank in the world and that is not an exaggeration. And when they recruit they like to throw those numbers around (which is annoying when recruiting against them). But that is a very tiny crew - think the majority are getting street or slightly above. Evercore and JPM are places i hear consistently strong comp figures. Not crazy, just consistently top of street or above.

Not that you should pick a firm based on office quality but having been in almost every banking office in Houston (meetings / interviews / employment) TPH has the nicest i've seen, though Simmons and EVR are also very nice. Citi has that sweet spot with the balcony but working areas are a typical cube farm. A lot of them have nice public areas (conference rooms etc) but where the employees work is not so nice. Some are not nice anywhere (looking at you JPM).

Of greater interest (maybe) is at what firms do you get an office as an Associate. I know you do NOT at Citi, CS, GS, JPM, and TPH. I know that you do at BAML, Jefferies, and Simmons. But there are pros and cons of having an office v. bullpen life.

    • 2
Apr 14, 2016

Perfect, thanks so much for this post. I'm pretty keen on an office (obviously not a deal breaker), so that's interesting to know. Really appreciate the information on comp. I'd heard rumors of some crazy numbers, but just wanted to corroborate them. Seems like Jeff is a little risky in that sense if you end up in the have nots group. I'm looking to do this long term, so I might be better off prioritizing consistency.

Oct 15, 2016
Comment
    • 1