How Citadel lures top talent away from NYC

Derivatives's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 286

Great article on how Citadel consistently gets people to move from NYC to Chicago despite people's regional biases and east coast snobbery. Most people who move to chicago don't want to go back to nyc due to the higher quality of life and amazing amenities. In terms of finance, if you want to do cutting-edge stuff in derivatives, prop trading, hedge funds, Chicago easily beats out NYC.

www.cristassociates.com/press/ChgoTribune_092307.pdf

Comments (124)

Aug 31, 2010

If Citidel created an algorithm that would shit out random NY bashing posts from "quantum", I think this might have been in the first ten or so. Just perfect.

    • 1
Aug 31, 2010

hahahah. Really Quantem, more NYC bacshing. C'mon dude.

Aug 31, 2010

They don't call it the "Second City" for nothing.

Aug 31, 2010

Wow, this dude has been going on like this for YEARS.

I'd venture away from calling him a troll and more in favor of an individual with a serious inferiority complex.

If Chicago was so great, you wouldn't have to scream it from rooftops. And even more, when and if you did, people wouldn't write you off as a crazy person. That should be telling.

Aug 31, 2010

Until my post, this thread reads like a who's who of WSO bashing this troll.

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Aug 31, 2010

We are having a gold star convention lol.

Aug 31, 2010

First of all, citadel is probably the only financial firm in chicago that can consistently lure top talent away from NYC. The big apple is still the #1 destination for graduates of schools like harvard business and wharton.

Second, there may be people who prefer Chicago to NYC for a myriad of reasons. But more people want to live in the latter, and the numbers bear that out.

Aug 31, 2010

i want to live in san fransico bc they have a good culture

Aug 31, 2010

in before IlliniProgrammer's post about how awesome the midwest is

Aug 31, 2010

We Midwesterners do not claim Quantum as our own. I just wanted to make that clear to those in other regions. Carry on.

Aug 31, 2010

I'll go ahead and say that Chicago is a very cool town to live/work in.

suck it nerds

Aug 31, 2010

How you allure anybody from any location: $$

Citadel has been hurting the last couple of years, so I don't know how much top talent they are stealing away. I think most people go to NYC not because it is a great place to live, but simply because it has more opportunities and greater potential, even if your lifestyle on average will be much shittier and you will get a lot less mileage from your $$. Most young people are also intrigued by the idea of being in NYC, telling all of their friends and family about it, and all that irrelevant shit.

Aug 31, 2010

Welcome back quantum. City wars for life!

Aug 31, 2010

Troll mongering aside, lets face it... if you want to make it in fashion you move to NY, acting- LA, drama- NY, politics- DC, consulting- Boston, energy trading- Houston, being black- Atlanta, VC- Silicone Valley and to a lesser extent Boston, investment banking- NY, trading- NY, PE- NY, HF- NY/CT... no where in that equation is Chicago... unless you're trying to be an open outcry trader on the Merc.

Can you act in Kansas City? Sure you can. Can you do PE/HF/Banking in Miami? Sure you can. But certain places are known for specific fields/industries, and they're intertwined for a very good reason. Because the very best in that field are concentrated in that area. Sure, there are perfectly competent people active in a given space outside of the "Mecca" cities, but lets face it the reason why they have LURE talent away from X city, is because if it wasn't for the highly motivating incentive (i.e. working in a top group at Citadel, making tons of $), the talent wouldn't be there. You lure people to a place where they don't want to be, from a place where they do want to be.

Aug 31, 2010
Marcus_Halberstram:

Troll mongering aside, lets face it... if you want to make it in fashion you move to NY, acting- LA, drama- NY, politics- DC, consulting- Boston, energy trading- Houston, being black- Atlanta, VC- Silicone Valley and to a lesser extent Boston, investment banking- NY, trading- NY, PE- NY, HF- NY/CT... no where in that equation is Chicago... unless you're trying to be an open outcry trader on the Merc.

Can you act in Kansas City? Sure you can. Can you do PE/HF/Banking in Miami? Sure you can. But certain places are known for specific fields/industries, and they're intertwined for a very good reason. Because the very best in that field are concentrated in that area. Sure, there are perfectly competent people active in a given space outside of the "Mecca" cities, but lets face it the reason why they have LURE talent away from X city, is because if it wasn't for the highly motivating incentive (i.e. working in a top group at Citadel, making tons of $), the talent wouldn't be there. You lure people to a place where they don't want to be, from a place where they do want to be.

hey

no one is going to dispute that if you really really want to be a heavy hitter in IB/PE you should work out of NYC. That being said, Chicago IS one of the world's most important cities and financial centers, ranking 6th, and is nothing to laugh at.

link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Financial_Cent....
I'd also be willing to wager that Chicago has a higher quality of life and lower cost of living than the cities ranked
1-5. This may not matter to someone who wants to dedicate his/her life to becoming the next Bruce Wasserstein or Henry Kravis, but it matters to people who want to enjoy life outside of finance (which exists).
I know that if I am going to raise a family anywhere in the USA, it's going to be in a north Chicago suburb.

Sep 2, 2010
Affirmative_Action_Walrus:

That being said, Chicago IS one of the world's most important cities and financial centers, ranking 6th, and is nothing to laugh at.

link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Financial_Cent....

You can tell this list is going to be garbage because of the spelling of "centers."

New York is the best place in the world for finance and it's not remotely close.

Aug 31, 2010

FWIW, Illinois is a lower-tax, less-regulation lighter-blue-state than New York. When I moved to NYC, I was shocked to see 10.5% of my income getting withheld for state and local taxes. In Illinois, the current tax rate is 3%, but the state is having a budget crisis and might have to raise it to (I know, totally ridiculous) 4.5%.

It's got all of the derivatives exchanges; I think it's a great place for a trader to be if they're outside of the client services/bespoke stuff.

In IBD, NYC will probably always be king- at least as long as the corporations stay in NYC.

Aug 31, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

FWIW, Illinois is a lower-tax, less-regulation lighter-blue-state than New York. When I moved to NYC, I was shocked to see 10.5% of my income getting withheld for state and local taxes. In Illinois, the current tax rate is 3%, but the state is having a budget crisis and might have to raise it to (I know, totally ridiculous) 4.5%.

It's got all of the derivatives exchanges; I think it's a great place for a trader to be if they're outside of the client services/bespoke stuff.

In IBD, NYC will probably always be king- at least as long as the corporations stay in NYC.

I agree. The tax rate in NYC is simply insane; it's bordering on socialism. I always tell people that Chicago is 90% of NYC at half the cost.

Aug 31, 2010

So how 'bout them Cubs?

Aug 31, 2010

I'd be careful before you claim that the "best" of PE is in NYC. How are you measuring this statistic? I measure the quality of a PE firm by the IRR of its funds. A November 18, 2009 article in the WSJ (Titled "Big isn't best in Private Equity") listed the following as the shops that returned the most money to limited partners from 1996 to 2005. Here is the list:

Leonard Green & Partners ------ Los Angeles
Nordic Capital ----- Sweden
Astorg Partners ------ France
Gilde Buy Out Partners ----- U.K.
Charterhouse Capital Partners ---- Netherlands
Linsalata Capital Partners ----- Ohio
Berkshire Partners ------ Boston
CVC Capital Partners ----- U.K
AXA Private Equity ------ France
Brockway Moran & Partners ------- Boca Raton, FL

Notice that New York doesn't appear on this list, even once. Heck, neither does Chicago. So the next time you think that it's "NYC or Bust" for PE, recognize that the evidence would suggest otherwise. People are simply so obsessed with NYC that they are blinded by reality.

Aug 31, 2010

I knew a non-NY banker/PE guy's feathers were going to get ruffled. I'm not claiming that someone has failed or made it because they're not in NY or are in NY. Im just saying the highest concentration of talent in this space is in New York City. Thats not a statement of opinion.

CompBanker are you suggesting a $90M PE fund with an IRR of 45% is the best PE fund in the world?

The best PE funds in my opinion, and I say this all the time, are the ones everyone knows of as the best. No not everyone on WSO. Everyone on Wall Street and everyone in the space. KKR, Apollo, TPG, Carlyle, Bain Capital, GS PIA, Blackstone etc... The ones where you don't have to support your claim with a bunch of metrics because otherwise people think you're full of shit... which, by the way if you happen to slice and dice in any number of ways and which won't be any less meaningful, will bring you to a completely different conclusion.

You can't deny that the economics of running a larger fund vs. running a smaller fund are significantly better for a Partner. And as luck would have it, the "best" funds attract the most money. As a Partner, I would rather run $10 billion vs. $1B if I'm on a 2 and 20 structure. I'm sure you're well aware of the challenges of consistently deploying a capital pool of say $500 million funds vs. $5 billion funds. They're operating at a different scale and a different business model. Watkins & Co. in Birmingham might charge a 9% fee on a $40 million M&A, Goldman Sachs is charging 2% on a $4 billion M&A. Are you going to tell me Watkins is the more successful bank, because they're capable of realizing superior fees (as a %)?

If you want to look at who has returned the most money to investors, you why don't you look at $ dollars... After all the question "who has returned the most money to investors" isn't answer in percentage points, its answered in absolute dollars and I can assure you Brockway Moran and Astorg didn't make that list. I can very easily run a portfolio of lemonade stands and return an IRR of 180% with an AUM of 80 dollars. As someone else suggested on another thread, lets buy a few cell phone stores and dry cleaners... we could probably realize an IRR of 70% on AUM of 300K. Now I'm not suggest CVC or any of the others are lemonade stands, but I'm sure you see what I'm getting at.

All this aside, are you denying that New York is the proverbial Mecca of Private Equity?

Aug 31, 2010
Marcus_Halberstram:

I knew a non-NY banker/PE guy's feathers were going to get ruffled. I'm not claiming that someone has failed or made it because they're not in NY or are in NY. Im just saying the highest concentration of talent in this space is in New York City. Thats not a statement of opinion.

CompBanker are you suggesting a $90M PE fund with an IRR of 45% is the best PE fund in the world?

The best PE funds in my opinion, and I say this all the time, are the ones everyone knows of as the best. No not everyone on WSO. Everyone on Wall Street and everyone in the space. KKR, Apollo, TPG, Carlyle, Bain Capital, GS PIA, Blackstone etc... The ones where you don't have to support your claim with a bunch of metrics because otherwise people think you're full of shit... which, by the way if you happen to slice and dice in any number of ways and which won't be any less meaningful, will bring you to a completely different conclusion.

You can't deny that the economics of running a larger fund vs. running a smaller fund are significantly better for a Partner. And as luck would have it, the "best" funds attract the most money. As a Partner, I would rather run $10 billion vs. $1B if I'm on a 2 and 20 structure. I'm sure you're well aware of the challenges of consistently deploying a capital pool of say $500 million funds vs. $5 billion funds. They're operating at a different scale and a different business model. Watkins & Co. in Birmingham might charge a 9% fee on a $40 million M&A, Goldman Sachs is charging 2% on a $4 billion M&A. Are you going to tell me Watkins is the more successful bank, because they're capable of realizing superior fees (as a %)?

If you want to look at who has returned the most money to investors, you why don't you look at $ dollars... After all the question "who has returned the most money to investors" isn't answer in percentage points, its answered in absolute dollars and I can assure you Brockway Moran and Astorg didn't make that list. I can very easily run a portfolio of lemonade stands and return an IRR of 180% with an AUM of 80 dollars. As someone else suggested on another thread, lets buy a few cell phone stores and dry cleaners... we could probably realize an IRR of 70% on AUM of 300K. Now I'm not suggest CVC or any of the others are lemonade stands, but I'm sure you see what I'm getting at.

All this aside, are you denying that New York is the proverbial Mecca of Private Equity?

I don't think anyone can deny that NYC is #1 when it comes to banking and private equity. But in trading, especially high frequency, derivatives, and more complex products in general, it seems like Chicago has an edge over NYC. I'm not an authority on this by any means, would like to hear others' opinions on this.

Aug 31, 2010

I think we are defining "best" in very different ways, but I'll respond anyways. I view "best" as the PE groups that have the most talented employees who make the best investments, as measured by greatest returns to investors. It seems your definition of "best" is a PE group that maximizes the amount of money earned by the partners.

Marcus_Halberstram:

CompBanker are you suggesting a $90M PE fund with an IRR of 45% is the best PE fund in the world?

The best PE funds in my opinion, and I say this all the time, are the ones everyone knows of as the best. No not everyone on WSO. Everyone on Wall Street and everyone in the space. KKR, Apollo, TPG, Carlyle, Bain Capital, GS PIA, Blackstone etc... The ones where you don't have to support your claim with a bunch of metrics because otherwise people think you're full of shit... which, by the way if you happen to slice and dice in any number of ways and which won't be any less meaningful, will bring you to a completely different conclusion.

I'm willing to argue this one. So you're saying an opinion spoken by a KKR partner is more valid than the same opinion stated by a Linsalata partner, simply because of the name of the company they work for? I'm not talking about slicing and dicing numbers like banks do for league tables, I'm talking about generating the highest IRR possible, which is arguably the sole objective of a PE shop. Try explaining to your limited partners that the top objective of a PE shop is to manage the most money and charge the highest fees. See how much money they invest in your next fund.

Marcus_Halberstram:

You can't deny that the economics of running a larger fund vs. running a smaller fund are significantly better for a Partner. And as luck would have it, the "best" funds attract the most money. As a Partner, I would rather run $10 billion vs. $1B if I'm on a 2 and 20 structure. I'm sure you're well aware of the challenges of consistently deploying a capital pool of say $500 million funds vs. $5 billion funds. They're operating at a different scale and a different business model. Watkins & Co. in Birmingham might charge a 9% fee on a $40 million M&A, Goldman Sachs is charging 2% on a $4 billion M&A. Are you going to tell me Watkins is the more successful bank, because they're capable of realizing superior fees (as a %)?

Your argument is predicated on the assumption that greater fees for the partners means a "better fund." It's quite obvious that the economics of a larger fund are more attractive to the GP, but that doesn't make it the "best." In fact, I'd argue that the partners at the funds I listed are making just as much as the ones you listed simply due to the fact that they are rolling in carry while your guys are trying to meet the hurdle rate.

You're right in that it is more challenging to deploy $5B than it is $500M, but the challenge doesn't lie in one's ability to actually invest the dollars. I can invest $5B all by myself. The challenge is producing an attractive IRR for your LP base. My argument is that the megafunds that you're promoting fail to meet this challenge by producing average IRRs and thus are not superior as you claim.

Marcus_Halberstram:

If you want to look at who has returned the most money to investors, you why don't you look at $ dollars... After all the question "who has returned the most money to investors" isn't answer in percentage points, its answered in absolute dollars and I can assure you Brockway Moran and Astorg didn't make that list. I can very easily run a portfolio of lemonade stands and return an IRR of 180% with an AUM of 80 dollars. As someone else suggested on another thread, lets buy a few cell phone stores and dry cleaners... we could probably realize an IRR of 70% on AUM of 300K. Now I'm not suggest CVC or any of the others are lemonade stands, but I'm sure you see what I'm getting at.

I hope you realize that this argument is a stretch. There are numerous reasons why the industry uses IRR and Cash-on-Cash multiples as benchmarks. To say that you returned $11B to investors over 5 years on $10B is hardly an impressive metric. Are you saying that the industry has it all wrong and LPs should be investing based on total $ returns rather than IRRs? Besides, funds consist of numerous LPs that invest large chunks of cash to make up the fund. Are you saying that an LP should invest $100M with KKR instead of with Brockway because KKR will return a higher $ amount, even if the LP would have individually been given more money with Brockway?

Marcus_Halberstram:

All this aside, are you denying that New York is the proverbial Mecca of Private Equity?

I agree that NYC has a large concentration of PE shops. My argument, based on my definition above, is that the best shops are located elsewhere.

Sep 1, 2010
CompBanker:

To say that you returned $11B to investors over 5 years on $10B is hardly an impressive metric.

But returning $15bn on $10b in 5 years is arguably much more impressive than returning $300mm on $100mm in the same period. The metric by which PE firms are judged is their ability to make money and scale is a component of that. As an LP which relationship is more valuable to you, the PE firm that you are able to deploy $100mm and earn a 1.5x multiple with or the PE firm that you are able to deploy $15mm and earn a 2.5x with? Obviously not a simple answer but you simply can't ignore scale in this equation.

Sep 1, 2010

Are the best actors in Southern California? Are the best stage actors located in New York? Are the best watchmakers located in Switzerland? Are the best vintner locates in France?

Is your metric for successful actor how many movies they audition for divided by how many roles they get? or is it how much money they can demand to be paid per film?

Similar question for stage actors.

Is your metric for best watches/watch makers gauged by how many absolute high quality watches come out of Switzerland? Or is your metric the proportion of high quality watches / total watches that come out of a given region?

Similar question for wine.

Is there an actor that is based out of Montreal that would run circles around Merill Streep, perhaps. Is there a wine from a vinyard in Nappa that is comparable to the best French wine? Maybe. But those are deviations from the norm.

There's people who come on this here and say that there's no intellectual difference between those who graduates from HYP vs. your run of the mill state school. These institutions are world renown to serve only one purpose, and they're world renown for a reason. HYP's purpose is to produce world leaders. Bordeaux... produce delicious wine. Brazil/Eastern Europe... prostitutes. And New York, produce boat loads of cash... not Charlotte... not LA.... not Houston... not Chicago... but New York. If I want to surf or act I'll move to LA. If I want to go into fashion I'll move to Milan/Paris... and if I want to work in Finance... I'll be right here, in New York. You can try to tell me that there is more prostitution coming out of Luxembourg than Eastern Europe but common sense and reality would suggest otherwise. Similarly you can tell me that wine made in Mexico City is better than even the best wine from France/Nappa... but I know better.

And this is a fact, as stated in a July 14th, 2010 article from Barons which cites the New England Journal of Medicine... if you are a hedge fund or private equity investor or investment banker from a city outside of NY (and possibly London) you are at least 20% to 30% less intelligent than your NY counterpart. I'll have to find the link to the article.

Aug 31, 2010

P.S. I have more bananas than you, so clearly my opinion is more valid than yours, regardless of content! I shouldn't even need to support my claim.

Kidding of course. But I am just not a believer in the concept that quantity = quality, particularly in this case. I can name a thousand examples of how one's position in an organization does make his/her insights superior. George Bush was president of the United States, but he is hardly considered extraordinary. I fail to see why being a Partner at Apollo exempts you from having to support your claims.

Sep 1, 2010

I was referring to fund size as a signal of what market participants view as the most attractive fund.

Your definition of a $5 billion fund performing at "ordinary" returns is actually a $5 billion fund performing at ordinary levels for a $500 million fund. If it was so easy to run $400 billion across 25 years (like KKR has), then CVC would be doing the same (because if they had the ability to do it, thats what they would be incentivized to do). Instead they've run $40 billion across 15 years, which is obviously still astronomical. But my point is, from CVC's perspective, if they have the ability to successfully achieve a 20% IRR as opposed to a 30% IRR on a $5 billion fund instead of a $1 billion fund, its in their best interest to do so. You may argue that from an investor that only has $1 billion to invest, he would rather them run a 30% fund... but then you're suggesting the "best funds" classification is subject to the type/size of investor, which it absolutely is, btw. The fact that they are not running similar sized funds, is indicative of the fact that they do not believe it is possible for them to achieve such levels of returns. I keep saying CVC, but CVC is actually the exception to this list since its the only megafund and household PE name on that list (arguably). Whats more likely... a $15 billion fund is running a $15 billion fund because they are not capable of running a successful $1.5 billion fund? Or that a $1.5 billion fund is running a $1.5 billion fund because thats the largest fund they can successfully run? Success = net dollars, not percentage points. Because as fund manager, I think CASH FLOW, not percentage points. And as an investor, I think CASH. If I can invest $1 billion at a 32% return or $100 million at a 40% return... I'm going to invest where Ill get the largest cash return. If I tell you give me $10 and Ill give you $20 at the end of the week, vs. the other guy who says give me $1,000 and Ill give you $1,500 at the end of the year... your view is the 5,200% annual return guy is the better investor. Thats ridiculous isn't it, since you didnt' risk adjust these returns... did the WSJ risk adjust the returns in their study? No, they didn't. A small cap investment is riskier than a mid cap investment. And a mid-cap investment is riskier than a large-cap investment. So to return 20% on a $5 billion investment is not equal to returning 20% on a $500 million investment.

My metric isn't the biggest fund, I was proposing that its an indicator of what market participants view as the best fund.

Im not talking about opinions spoken by one of those firms' professionals, I'm talking about the sum product of a firms performance, i.e. the net dollars they generate for their investors. And the sum product of KKR's performance is greater than all of the funds you listed combined and multiplied by 5. Yet, you refuse to accept that a firm that has produced more CASH (not percentage points) than your top 10 performers x 5, is not one of the best in the industry.

I can take a 20 dollar bill and buy 2 boxes of Snickers bars to sell them on the 5 train and return 140% at the end of the day... that doesn't mean I'm a more capable investor than the BX, KKR, or CVC guys.

You're getting caught up in Wall Street terms. Terms we make up to appear more capable then we actually are. At the end of the day, I couldn't give two shits about what percent my investment returned, I care about how much cash I have. And if one person is capable of generating $1 billion a year and the other can generate $100 million a year, guess who the more astute investor is? If you give Brokade Partners (or whatever its called) $10 billion they wont even be able to deploy it. They'll run out of ideas once they hit the $1 billion mark, because they're not capable of creating $2 billion return in a single year. You can disagree but common sense dictates otherwise, its in Brokade's best interest to manage as much capital as they are capable of successfully deploying.

We obviously disagree on this. You may feel otherwise, but there is a reason why KKR, Carlyle, BX, etc... are widely regarded as the best private equity firms in the world and the others on your list (sans CVC and Leonard Green) are not.

Sep 1, 2010

your keyboard must really hate you right now ;)

Sep 1, 2010

All of you sound like Idiots stop comparing apples to oranges.

Sep 1, 2010
barboon:

All of you sound like Idiots stop comparing apples to oranges.

barboon, while I agree its an apples and oranges comparison, we're having a very respectful discussion --- so chill out.

Marcus - I think we're both using the same facts and arriving at different conclusions -- I'm convinced that neither of us will be able to sway the other. That said, a few points:

1) I do not think it's fair to say that fund size represents the market's view of a particular shops ability. When a group fundraises, they set a very definitive target and go out to specific LPs that make investments in that range. It isn't a matter of running out to everyone with money and trying to secure as large a fund as possible (if it was, I'd be more inclined to agree with your point). Now you might say that a fundraising PE group will always set the target as high as possible, but again, this is not the case. Many years ago my shop reduced its fund size target in subsequent funds in order to move down-market as we felt we had more expertise in this area. Could we have raised a larger fund? You bet we could. But we elected not to.

2) Please do post the link to that article. I'd love to see how they measure relative intelligence of different fund managers. I sure hope it is more scientific than the size of the funds they manage.

3) I don't think your wine/watch/etc. example is a very good one, but I'll play: While Napa Valley is certainly known for fantastic wine, if you took a look at the top 10 wineries in the world and none of them were in Napa, I'd start to question claims that Napa was the "mecca of wine production."

By the way - despite our disagreement, I still feel that I'm learning something from your comments, and hopefully some other readers are as well.

Sep 1, 2010

You guys do realize I was joking about the Barons article?

But I love how not only did Quantum take it seriously, but the only part of it that he found absurd was that Chicago was included as one of the non-intellectually gifted banker cities.

Sep 1, 2010

Marcus, nobody got the joke- nobody even realized you were joking. I just figured it had to be a fib.

In any case, the intellectual arrogance that comes out of the Northeast is really quite staggering. New York is not the center of world, and Chicago is one of many places where you find a lot of smart financial minds. (San Francisco and Houston being two other places.)

Sep 1, 2010

Why are you so defensive of Chicago? If it is so great, just enjoy it and ignore the haters.

Sep 1, 2010

I don't know, each city is cool in its own right. I don't see the need for comparison. Who cares? Lets face it, if you are doing well in Chicago you will be speaking with NYC people and meeting with them. Chicago is not Siberia. I do plenty of networking in NYC while in Philadelphia and I don't feel any inferiority. NYC is what, 2 hour flight away. Big deal.

Sep 1, 2010

Well, there's a culture problem at the end of the day in finance that needs to get corrected. Some examples:

-People buying $40 jeans at Macy's because they're too embarassed to save $20 at KMart on the same brand/model across the street.
-People convinced that HYP are the only schools to go to.
-People obsessed with prestige rather than value
-People who think certain overrated cities are the shiz.
-College freshman trying to find out how they can get an "HF Trader Career".

The bottom line is that the finance industry's values are all mixed up. People have gotten too ambitious, too obsessed with prestige, and have stopped focusing on doing their jobs. If we don't get over this, there's going to be another crash- and it will be worse.

Sep 1, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

Well, there's a culture problem at the end of the day in finance that needs to get corrected. Some examples:

-People buying $40 jeans at Macy's because they're too embarassed to save $20 at KMart on the same brand/model across the street.
-People convinced that HYP are the only schools to go to.
-People obsessed with prestige rather than value
-People who think certain overrated cities are the shiz.
-College freshman trying to find out how they can get an "HF Trader Career".

The bottom line is that the finance industry's values are all mixed up. People have gotten too ambitious, too obsessed with prestige, and have stopped focusing on doing their jobs. If we don't get over this, there's going to be another crash- and it will be worse.

To be fair though, HYP are amazing schools, along with Stanford. Going to one of those is a truly transformational experience. There's a reason why the smartest and most talented high school seniors want to go to those colleges.

Sep 1, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

Well, there's a culture problem at the end of the day in finance that needs to get corrected. Some examples:

-People buying $40 jeans at Macy's because they're too embarassed to save $20 at KMart on the same brand/model across the street.
-People convinced that HYP are the only schools to go to.
-People obsessed with prestige rather than value
-People who think certain overrated cities are the shiz.
-College freshman trying to find out how they can get an "HF Trader Career".

The bottom line is that the finance industry's values are all mixed up. People have gotten too ambitious, too obsessed with prestige, and have stopped focusing on doing their jobs. If we don't get over this, there's going to be another crash- and it will be worse.

Here here.

Sep 1, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

Well, there's a culture problem at the end of the day in finance that needs to get corrected. Some examples:

-People buying $40 jeans at Macy's because they're too embarassed to save $20 at KMart on the same brand/model across the street.

You been following me Illini ? I did exactly this two weeks ago lol. Heck, I was embarrassed about having to go into Macy's too.

Sep 1, 2010

Not all of them. Actually, many of our best traders wanted nothing to do with HYP

I visited and it was like being in a totally different world. A large number of people I met carried an air of intellectual superiority with them, and their research wasn't even as cool as what I was seeing at Illinois.

MIT at the very least gets props for being geekier and doing cooler research than they pretend to be elite.

But no, pretending to be elite doesn't make you elite. And HYP are no more elite than how their programs rank in US News, and they're not as strong as people make them out to be on the technical disciplines.

Sep 1, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

Not all of them. Actually, many of our best traders wanted nothing to do with HYP

I visited and it was like being in a totally different world. A large number of people I met carried an air of intellectual superiority with them, and their research wasn't even as cool as what I was seeing at Illinois.

MIT at the very least gets props for being geekier and doing cooler research than they pretend to be elite.

But no, pretending to be elite doesn't make you elite. And HYP are no more elite than how their programs rank in US News, and they're not as strong as people make them out to be on the technical disciplines.

If you're talking about engineering and computer science, I agree that HYP is not as strong as MIT or even Illinois. But in every other field, HYP is quite strong, especially Harvard. That school's only weak areas are engineering and CS. The fact of the matter is, the best students want to study at those schools. You may not like their culture (what is up with you midwestern people bashing the ivy league? inferiority complex?), but there's a reason why HYPS gets the best talent.

Sep 1, 2010
jjc1122:

If you're talking about engineering and computer science, I agree that HYP is not as strong as MIT or even Illinois. But in every other field, HYP is quite strong, especially Harvard. That school's only weak areas are engineering and CS. The fact of the matter is, the best students want to study at those schools. You may not like their culture (what is up with you midwestern people bashing the ivy league? inferiority complex?), but there's a reason why HYPS gets the best talent.

Business and the hard sciences as well. Illinois crushes Harvard and Yale at physics and chemistry.

HYP is great for math and the liberal arts and good for the sciences, but are kinda weak compared to other schools for business and the practical disciplines.

It's not an inferiority complex; it's a value complex. Eliteness is a fool's errand. You can get people to do anything if you have them convinced it will make them more "elite". Midwesterners get around that by focusing on value. How does this degree help you do a better job at work?

Life is a lot more fun if you are focused on doing a good job rather than focused on attracting attention to yourself or making yourself more elite. For instance, you graduated from UPenn, you've had a terrible inferiority complex about HYP, but in one of life's great ironies, you've survived in the same job as a prop trader longer than most people make it- even folks from HYP. You're doing better than at least half the HYP grads I know; why not be thankful and keep focusing on doing a good job rather than worrying about eliteness? You can also help change things by making sure your school gets the credit it deserves for creating competent employees.

If we are all focused on becoming more elite and attracting attention to ourselves rather than doing our jobs, the system's gonna crash again.

Sep 1, 2010

only on WSO is graduating from UPenn cause for an "inferiority complex".

Sep 1, 2010

Actually, Illinois ranks better than Harvard at finance and accounting. In fact, UIUC ranks #2 in the country in Accy. Its CPA exam pass rates are about double Harvards'.

For me, I find it irritating that our firm recruits accounting majors from Harvard and Art History majors from Brown to study corporate filings, but then they have trouble understanding how GAAP works and what to look for in the filings. A kid from Illinois or UT would know a whole lot more what to look for, but they are apparently unqualified to work at our firm, despite the fact that they're in an honors program that might be just as selective as Huntsman in the aggregate. (Most state schools have honors programs that all students are automatically applied for but only 0.5-2% get in- I've seen this at Chapel Hill, Illinois, and Wisconsin.)

Sep 1, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

Actually, Illinois ranks better than Harvard at finance and accounting. In fact, UIUC ranks #2 in the country in Accy. Its CPA exam pass rates are about double Harvards'.

For me, I find it irritating that our firm recruits accounting majors from Harvard and Art History majors from Brown to study corporate filings, but then they have trouble understanding how GAAP works and what to look for in the filings, while a kid from Illinois or UT would know a whole lot more what to look for, but they are apparently unqualified to work at our firm, despite the fact that they're in an honors program that might be just as selective as Huntsman. (Most state schools have honors programs that all students automatically apply for but only 0.5-2% get in)

Dude, Harvard does not have undergrad finance or accounting departments. But a harvard econ major with good grades will have way more job opportunities than an Illinois business major.

I laughed my ass off at your contention that state school honors programs are as selective as huntsman. The acceptance rate may be lower, but that's because everyone who applies is in contention. Huntsman's acceptance rate is around 5%, and the kids I knew in that program were insanely smart and hard working. A decent number of them turn down Harvard for it.

I'm not bashing Illinois or any other state school for that matter, but you need to accept the fact that HYPS are the true elites of higher education and will continue to get the best talent from all across the world.

Sep 1, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

Actually, Illinois ranks better than Harvard at finance and accounting. In fact, UIUC ranks #2 in the country in Accy. Its CPA exam pass rates are about double Harvards'.

For me, I find it irritating that our firm recruits accounting majors from Harvard and Art History majors from Brown to study corporate filings, but then they have trouble understanding how GAAP works and what to look for in the filings. A kid from Illinois or UT would know a whole lot more what to look for, but they are apparently unqualified to work at our firm, despite the fact that they're in an honors program that might be just as selective as Huntsman in the aggregate. (Most state schools have honors programs that all students are automatically applied for but only 0.5-2% get in- I've seen this at Chapel Hill, Illinois, and Wisconsin.)

For the last fucking time -

1) No one who matters gives a shit about finance and accounting rankings. If you care about those rankings, you by definition don't matter.
2) Harvard got beaten by Illinios for finance and accounting because Harvard doesn't have a finance or accounting major.
3) No one cares about your intricate models of admissions to state school honor programs - most kids at state schools are retards, and shining in that pool has zero indication of your ability to make it in a competitive segment.
4) Stop espousing being a cheap ass as a virtue - I don't give a shit about saving $20 in Kmart because $20 is a cab ride detour I make to pick up dinner on the way home. If your retirement will be materially different because of 2-3k/year in discounted cash flows, you don't work in a front office position at a bank.

Sep 2, 2010
ideating:
IlliniProgrammer:

Actually, Illinois ranks better than Harvard at finance and accounting. In fact, UIUC ranks #2 in the country in Accy. Its CPA exam pass rates are about double Harvards'.

For me, I find it irritating that our firm recruits accounting majors from Harvard and Art History majors from Brown to study corporate filings, but then they have trouble understanding how GAAP works and what to look for in the filings. A kid from Illinois or UT would know a whole lot more what to look for, but they are apparently unqualified to work at our firm, despite the fact that they're in an honors program that might be just as selective as Huntsman in the aggregate. (Most state schools have honors programs that all students are automatically applied for but only 0.5-2% get in- I've seen this at Chapel Hill, Illinois, and Wisconsin.)

For the last fucking time -

1) No one who matters gives a shit about finance and accounting rankings. If you care about those rankings, you by definition don't matter.
2) Harvard got beaten by Illinios for finance and accounting because Harvard doesn't have a finance or accounting major.
3) No one cares about your intricate models of admissions to state school honor programs - most kids at state schools are retards, and shining in that pool has zero indication of your ability to make it in a competitive segment.
4) Stop espousing being a cheap ass as a virtue - I don't give a shit about saving $20 in Kmart because $20 is a cab ride detour I make to pick up dinner on the way home. If your retirement will be materially different because of 2-3k/year in discounted cash flows, you don't work in a front office position at a bank.

Co-sign.

Illini
1. Get over your inferiority complex. I see it in every thread you post in
2. There's no need to type an essay in every thread your post in. You could make every point you've ever made on this website using 1/4 of the words.

Sep 1, 2010

The best part about the original post is that the article he links to is from 2007. Just perfect.

Sep 1, 2010

And the best Phd students in math, physics, chemistry, economics, will choose Harvard over Illinois virtually 100% of the time. This is not even in contention.

That's probably true, though I'm not quite as sure for physics.

For undergrad, though, you'd have to be an idiot to pay private school tuition for a program that ranks lower than an in-state program.

Sep 1, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

And the best Phd students in math, physics, chemistry, economics, will choose Harvard over Illinois virtually 100% of the time. This is not even in contention.

That's probably true, though I'm not quite as sure for physics.

For undergrad, though, you'd have to be an idiot to pay private school tuition for a program that ranks lower than an in-state program.

HYP offers VERY generous financial aid packages. They've been trying very hard to recruit talented kids from small towns who do not come from privileged backgrounds.

You may think it's stupid to go to harvard over a big ten. But very few turn down harvard undergrad for illinois, michigan, wisconsin. Those are the facts. Deal with it.

Sep 1, 2010
jjc1122:

HYP offers VERY generous financial aid packages. They've been trying very hard to recruit talented kids from small towns who do not come from privileged backgrounds.

You may think it's stupid to go to harvard over a big ten. But very few turn down harvard undergrad for illinois, michigan, wisconsin. Those are the facts. Deal with it.

Haha, I wish I got some of that. Bottom line is that if your family makes more than $150K/year, you're screwed at Harvard.

And fact is that Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin rank better than Harvard at undergrad business. Those the facts, deal with it.

Sep 1, 2010

I agree Illini, the number 1 most annoying thing about the people on this forum is the consistent and almost completely unfounded bias towards East Coast privates. I've said it before and I'll say it again - the primary shared characteristic of Ivy kids isn't ability, but the fact that their parents are rich. That is it. Full disclosure: I went to an Ivy. Probably half of the top 20 kids in my HS went to University of Illinois.

Like Gordon Gekko says, "give me kids who are poor and hungry."

Sep 1, 2010
jhoratio:

I agree Illini, the number 1 most annoying thing about the people on this forum is the consistent and almost completely unfounded bias towards East Coast privates. I've said it before and I'll say it again - the primary shared characteristic of Ivy kids isn't ability, but the fact that their parents are rich. That is it. Full disclosure: I went to an Ivy. Probably half of the top 20 kids in my HS went to University of Illinois.

Like Gordon Gekko says, "give me kids who are poor and hungry."

There is a decent number of kids at ivies who got in because of their parents, minority status, or sports. But most kids there got in because they're smart, worked hard in high school, and did some interesting extracurricular activities that made them stand out in the applicant pool. If you really think the average michigan or illinois kid is as smart and talented as the average harvard/princeton/yale kid, then i would love to know what you're smoking.

Sep 1, 2010

wow so this thread started with the ridiculous premise of:

Chicago > NYC

and now has turned into the even more ridiculous claim of:

Illinois > HYP

I feel like this is a bizarro thread filled with insecurity.

Sep 1, 2010
brassmonkee:

wow so this thread started with the ridiculous premise of:

Chicago > NYC

and now has turned into the even more ridiculous claim of:

Illinois > HYP

I feel like this is a bizarro thread filled with insecurity.

IlliniProgrammer is a good dude. But his insistence that a Big Ten college is somehow equivalent to HYP is downright bizarre and bordering on delusional. I live in Chicago, and I've noticed that a lot of people here are dismissive of ivy league schools and the east coast in general. I've heard so much anti-NYC and anti-ivy league rants.

Sep 1, 2010

IN ANY CASE, let me say it again:

Life is a lot more fulfilling and a lot easier if your main focus with your career is on doing a better job rather than making MD, getting an "HF Trader Career" or otherwise pursuing eliteness by designation rather than work product. Things just tend to fall together if you devote the vast majority of your energy towards your work (although you sometimes need to market it a little.)

Somebody who focuses on their job isn't worried about eliteness and who's doing better than whom- he's worried about how he can help the firm make more money. This actually makes it easier to advance at work and become more "elite" faster, in one of life's great ironies.

Sep 1, 2010

I laughed my ass off at your contention that state school honors programs are as selective as huntsman. The acceptance rate may be lower, but that's because everyone who applies is in contention. Huntsman's acceptance rate is around 5%, and the kids I knew in that program were insanely smart and hard working. A decent number of them turn down Harvard for it.

The acceptance rate for the Chancellor's Program is 1% at Illinois. The acceptance rate at Wisconsin is even lower. I knew several people in the program who turned down Princeton, MIT, and Northwestern for it.

A girl a few years ahead of us won the Miss America scholarship right after she graduated. A number of our engineering and physics majors are now at Los Alamos, Argonne, and Fermilab, and I think a couple of students got articles published in Nature as undergrads. When you get to that level, it's hard to start talking about which program is better. Huntsman is great and all, but there are other programs like it at the big land grant schools. At the end of the day, it's not really that big of a deal. I normally don't like to bring this stuff up because I like to focus on doing my job, but there's a lot of pretty smart folks everywhere; Huntsman and the hypers don't have the market cornered on above-average intellect.

The bottom line for me was that Illinois was cheaper and closer to home than MIT, and the school you go to matters a lot less in terms of a long-term career than what you learn there. And again, during a recession, you'd have to be crazy or stupid to pay $50K/year for school. If you found out that someone managing your money was paying that much for school in a recession, wouldn't you think twice about hiring them?

Sep 1, 2010

I think it is unfair to compare job opportunities with quality of education. Being a billionaires kid and going to community college has better job opportunities than Harvard, but that doesn't make the community college better. Harvard is a wonderful school, but people hire HWS grads because of the name brand and what it supposedly implies.

Additionally, the whole Ivy thing is played out. The Ivy league is a collection of some of the oldest schools in the country. You could invent a school that has 100% IB FO placement and it still would get shit on for not being an Ivy. You can't turn back time unfortunately.

Sep 1, 2010
Anthony .:

Additionally, the whole Ivy thing is played out. The Ivy league is a collection of some of the oldest schools in the country. You could invent a school that has 100% IB FO placement and it still would get shit on for not being an Ivy. You can't turn back time unfortunately.

We can't turn back time, but perception should reflect reality, and everyone can help with that.

Sep 1, 2010

Of course Big 10 undergrad business ranks better, thats because Harvard doesnt have an undergrad business program.

Do agree, though, that a Michigan Finance grad will know more than Harvard Econ grad (in IB). I know a specific example of the Econ grad who was completely lost when it came to do finance/accounting work. Not difficult to learn, but just didnt have the immediate advantage on the job. However, coming from Harvard, he did have an immediate advantage in getting a job.

Whether or not big 10 > harvard, there is the simple fact that no matter what major you are coming from, harvard > * in almost any job placement scenario. its just the way it works.

Sep 1, 2010

Illini,

You have to remember most of us on here work in, or want to work in, the IBD (corporate finance advisory). What you experience, and what is valued, is very different in your division than it is in ours. As someone coming from a background similar to yours (school, hometown, etc.), I understand what you are saying when it comes to the specific subjects you are interested in. However, the judgments you often express here do not apply to many of us.

FYI, the only Ivy League institution with an undergraduate business program is UPenn (Cornell perhaps, too, but I think they just have a specific concentration).

Sep 1, 2010

Agree Illini, but the problem is inertia. You have an industry packed deep with XYZ alumni, it creates a repeating situation. Hopefully as WS diversifies and grows you will see more non targets or different schools which will help pull those kids in. Long term goals I suppose.

Sep 1, 2010

Well, us Illinois alumni are teaming up with the Wisconsin alumns to try and get our schools on the recruiting circuit this fall. You Villanova guys should do the same thing with one of the other V schools or Catholic schools (IE: Notre Dame's #1-ranked undergrad business program).

This is a situation that can be changed in five years if the realities on the ground support it. It's time to burn the target school system to the ground and start taking in smart, hardworking kids again regardless of their school.

Sep 1, 2010

I will admit I was naive about Nova when I came here. Place has legit placements. I was jerking about in the finance lab last night talking to people and we have dozens and dozens of FO placements. Sure, a lot of BO stuff also, but enough FO to make it an easily obtainable goal. I spend most of my time with the MSF students trying to help them and build that network up, but there are a lot of schools that do very well when it comes to banking jobs.

I tend to think schools with good sports programs are the ones that really help out. People let their wall down when it comes to college sports. Syracuse is piss poor in the school rankings, but I constantly BS with people about the basketball program and get my resume passed and stuff. Being able to instantly connect with someone with a common topic is key.

Sep 1, 2010
Anthony .:

I will admit I was naive about Nova when I came here. Place has legit placements. I was jerking about in the finance lab last night talking to people and we have dozens and dozens of FO placements. Sure, a lot of BO stuff also, but enough FO to make it an easily obtainable goal. I spend most of my time with the MSF students trying to help them and build that network up, but there are a lot of schools that do very well when it comes to banking jobs.

are you talking about undergrads?

Sep 1, 2010

No, but I've done it with GETCO and Citadel. I've got friends that work at DE Shaw and friends that work at Citadel; all of them are pretty smart, but the guys at Citadel are a little bit smarter. DE Shaw took a lot of quants and other developers from the analytics program I worked for after my firm collapsed, but none of them were quite as smart as my two friends who got hired at Citadel.

Sep 1, 2010

Illini: You are going way overboard on this one, brotha. The fact that there are smart kids at [insert random state school] doesn't really mean anything because you will find plenty of smart people--and much smarter even--at top targets. And the whole saving money thing is to an extent a waste to think about as well because most of the top targets have moved to providing almost an entirely free education if you truly have few financial resources and even if you family makes between $100-200k a year, you will be getting a pretty hefty fin. aid package, for the most part, at most top targets. It would have been much more expensive for me to go to any Big 10 school than the target I went to and I think a lot of people who got into targets not named NYU can say the same thing.

Even if you want to go and post that you have a better engineering school than some school that doesn't even have engineering, it doesn't have top math or physics programs (which is going to have much more quant heavy and capable individuals) and Cal Tech & MIT will always crap on Illinois and other schools for most engineering programs, if only for the talent they attract.

Anybody that brings up undergrad business schools not named Wharton is a tool. Undergrad business--regardless of specialty--is one of the most tool things in academia.

And FFS most people at state schools are retarded and if you can't get a great GPA there you're a fkin moron. Seriously, all the kids from my HS that aren't morons all got substantially above 3.5s in non-engineering majors and still well above a 3.0 in engineering at Big 10 schools. I'm tired of this BS.

Sep 1, 2010

purdue is a state school that could come close to matching MIT in engineering undergrad level not sure about masters +

Sep 1, 2010
balbasur:

purdue is a state school that could come close to matching MIT in engineering undergrad level not sure about masters +

Yep, actually the two wealthiest people I know did engineering at purdue for undergrad. The older one went to HBS, and the other didn't continue education past undergrad. Both entrepreneurs, though, so I'm not trying to make a claim about recruitment.

Sep 1, 2010

Purdue is not in the same realm as MIT for engineering of any kind. JFK

Sep 2, 2010

It's actually a pretty strong engineering program, and by virtue of its size, it probably has more smart engineers than MIT; certainly more than Harvard. Naturally, given that MIT ranks pretty high for engineering, the average engineer at MIT is probably smarter than the average engineer at Perdue. That said, smart folks are always pretty easy for a halfway intelligent person to pick out, be they studying for an AS at BMCC or Princeton's Math PhD program.

Illini: You are going way overboard on this one, brotha. The fact that there are smart kids at [insert random state school] doesn't really mean anything because you will find plenty of smart people--and much smarter even--at top targets.

Well again, once you get to a certain level, it's kinda difficult to compare intelligence- it really comes down to relative strengths. I'm good at pattern finding and building new models; one of my classmates was good at understanding existing models. Both of us got perfect scores on the SATs, though, and none of us could really claim to be smarter than the other- we were just good in different areas. Undergrads from HYP and Illinois and Wisconsin get published in well-known journals- they just write on different subjects. And everybody's had a Miss America or two in the past decade. The point is that at some point, the normal distribution breaks down and it goes back to a gaussian distribution with its scattered bumps, and at that point, you really struggle to compare two programs. Large segments of Illinois's engineering program were like that; the Accy program was in the same camp. Perhaps the irony was that most kids at Illinois didn't realize how exceptional they were. When one of my classmates got published in Nature, her response was "meh", and so was everyone else's! When a classmate got hired not as a developer but as a quant at Citadel- straight out of undergrad- ho hum, not a big deal. Back in the northeast, folks would have been lighting off fireworks and carrying a flashing sign saying, "I got hired as a quant at a hedge fund out of undergrad."

So sure, you might find someone at Harvard who's better than anyone at Illinois at differential equations, but I haven't met anyone at the BB I work for- including large swaths of HYPWC grads- who can hold a candle to my friend at Illinois when it comes to rapidly understanding models. Harvard and Illinois have kids who are exceptional at different things on a totally random basis, and an intelligent recruiting model is going to try and pick up kids from both schools. Then again, when it comes to engineering, you'd have to be severely lacking in common sense to study at Harvard if you also got into Berkeley, Illinois, Georgia Tech, or Cornell. The schools are eons ahead when it comes to research and most of them are cheaper, too.

1) No one who matters gives a shit about finance and accounting rankings. If you care about those rankings, you by definition don't matter.

If you're talking about recruiters in HR who get their salaries from the revenue that a bunch of Big Ten and state school grads generate, maybe you're right. Don't worry, we'll be sure to change that.

2) Harvard got beaten by Illinios for finance and accounting because Harvard doesn't have a finance or accounting major.

That would explain why nobody I've met from Harvard is all that good at reading financial statements, and why a number of Northeasterners seem to be at a disadvantage during earnings season.

3) No one cares about your intricate models of admissions to state school honor programs - most kids at state schools are retards, and shining in that pool has zero indication of your ability to make it in a competitive segment.

Absolutely, which, again, gets back to my original point that a disproportionate number of successful folks on the trading floor are from state schools and non-targets that rank high in US News. See a pattern here? Quality of education > pedigree when it comes to future success?

4) Stop espousing being a cheap ass as a virtue - I don't give a shit about saving $20 in Kmart because $20 is a cab ride detour I make to pick up dinner on the way home. If your retirement will be materially different because of 2-3k/year in discounted cash flows, you don't work in a front office position at a bank.

Which is why I'm pretty sure you'll one day be working for someone who cares about $20. In any case, at a 15%/year annualized return, two years of $2-3K/year works out to $1 million in 40 years.

Bottom line is that the Midwest and Northeast are just as good as each other, but the Midwest and the South dispense with the glitz and the marketing campaign and focuses on the value, saving everyone a lot of money.

You can buy a pair of jeans for $40 at Macy's, or you can buy the exact same pair at Wal-Mart for $15. You can hire one kid out of Princeton for $150K/year, or if you have a halfway decent recruiter, you can get someone out of Wisconsin or Georgia Tech who's just as smart and will do the same or better job (because he'll be intimidated by all the Ivy League names and work harder) for $90K.

You can argue all you want, but pragmatism dictates that he who spends less for the same value winds up with more money. And anyone making seven or fewer figures who won't cross the street to save $20 is as foolish as a bank that invests in a high-expense index fund or hires only employees graduating from schools where it's normal to come out with six figures of student debt. Both ultimately deserve to go bankrupt if they don't change, and in fact, that's already been happening.

Sep 2, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

It's actually a pretty strong engineering program, and by virtue of its size, it probably has more smart engineers than MIT; certainly more than Harvard. Naturally, given that MIT ranks pretty high for engineering, the average engineer at MIT is probably smarter than the average engineer at Perdue. That said, smart folks are always pretty easy for a halfway intelligent person to pick out, be they studying for an AS at BMCC or Princeton's Math PhD program.

Illini: You are going way overboard on this one, brotha. The fact that there are smart kids at [insert random state school] doesn't really mean anything because you will find plenty of smart people--and much smarter even--at top targets.

Well again, once you get to a certain level, it's kinda difficult to compare intelligence- it really comes down to relative strengths. I'm good at pattern finding and building new models; one of my classmates was good at understanding existing models. Both of us got perfect scores on the SATs, though, and none of us could really claim to be smarter than the other- we were just good in different areas. Undergrads from HYP and Illinois and Wisconsin get published in well-known journals- they just write on different subjects. And everybody's had a Miss America or two in the past decade. The point is that at some point, the normal distribution breaks down and it goes back to a gaussian distribution with its scattered bumps, and at that point, you really struggle to compare two programs. Large segments of Illinois's engineering program were like that; the Accy program was in the same camp. Perhaps the irony was that most kids at Illinois didn't realize how exceptional they were. When one of my classmates got published in Nature, her response was "meh", and so was everyone else's! When a classmate got hired not as a developer but as a quant at Citadel- straight out of undergrad- ho hum, not a big deal. Back in the northeast, folks would have been lighting off fireworks and carrying a flashing sign saying, "I got hired as a quant at a hedge fund out of undergrad."

So sure, you might find someone at Harvard who's better than anyone at Illinois at differential equations, but I haven't met anyone at the BB I work for- including large swaths of HYPWC grads- who can hold a candle to my friend at Illinois when it comes to rapidly understanding models. Harvard and Illinois have kids who are exceptional at different things on a totally random basis, and an intelligent recruiting model is going to try and pick up kids from both schools. Then again, when it comes to engineering, you'd have to be severely lacking in common sense to study at Harvard if you also got into Berkeley, Illinois, Georgia Tech, or Cornell. The schools are eons ahead when it comes to research and most of them are cheaper, too.

1) No one who matters gives a shit about finance and accounting rankings. If you care about those rankings, you by definition don't matter.

If you're talking about recruiters in HR who get their salaries from the revenue that a bunch of Big Ten and state school grads generate, maybe you're right. Don't worry, we'll be sure to change that.

2) Harvard got beaten by Illinios for finance and accounting because Harvard doesn't have a finance or accounting major.

That would explain why nobody I've met from Harvard is all that good at reading financial statements, and why a number of Northeasterners seem to be at a disadvantage during earnings season.

3) No one cares about your intricate models of admissions to state school honor programs - most kids at state schools are retards, and shining in that pool has zero indication of your ability to make it in a competitive segment.

Absolutely, which, again, gets back to my original point that a disproportionate number of successful folks on the trading floor are from state schools and non-targets that rank high in US News. See a pattern here? Quality of education > pedigree when it comes to future success?

4) Stop espousing being a cheap ass as a virtue - I don't give a shit about saving $20 in Kmart because $20 is a cab ride detour I make to pick up dinner on the way home. If your retirement will be materially different because of 2-3k/year in discounted cash flows, you don't work in a front office position at a bank.

Which is why I'm pretty sure you'll one day be working for someone who cares about $20. In any case, at a 15%/year annualized return, two years of $2-3K/year works out to $1 million in 40 years.

Bottom line is that the Midwest and Northeast are just as good as each other, but the Midwest and the South dispense with the glitz and the marketing campaign and focuses on the value, saving everyone a lot of money.

You can buy a pair of jeans for $40 at Macy's, or you can buy the exact same pair at Wal-Mart for $15. You can hire one kid out of Princeton for $150K/year, or if you have a halfway decent recruiter, you can get someone out of Wisconsin or Georgia Tech who's just as smart and will do the same or better job (because he'll be intimidated by all the Ivy League names and work harder) for $90K.

You can argue all you want, but pragmatism dictates that he who spends less for the same value winds up with more money. And anyone making seven or fewer figures who won't cross the street to save $20 is as foolish as a bank that invests in a high-expense index fund or hires only employees graduating from schools where it's normal to come out with six figures of student debt. Both ultimately deserve to go bankrupt if they don't change, and in fact, that's already been happening.

No one is saying that there's no brilliant kids at places like Illinois. You keep citing these outlier examples of kids you know who are amazing an landed jobs at places like citadel after college. For every one of those kids, there's a dozen at places like Harvard/Princeton/MIT/Stanford/Wharton, etc., who are just as impressive, if not more. The fact of the matter is, most students at state schools just aren't that bright, and it's much easier to stand out. I know folks who went to Michigan Ross undergrad, which is a great business school, because they got rejected at the top ivies, and they were saying how easy it was to get A's. In contrast, I knew very few people at wharton who would say with a straight face that their classes were a breeze.

Illini, you're a good dude, but you're trying way too hard here. Everyone here admits that lot of state schools have great programs, especially engineering, and you can do well in life with a degree from a less prestigious program. But your insistence that Big 10 schools are on the same level as HYPSM is downright bizarre. I honestly don't get why midwesterners get so defensive when it comes to the east coast, whether it is the ivy league, NYC, etc.

Sep 2, 2010

Agree with your overall message Illini but I think you're really taking it too far to make your point. I'm an engineering grad from one of the schools you mention above. Totally agree that a top bioE major from UCSD, for example, can out perform many Harvard kids, and that the finance recruiting system is retarded in that it misses out on all of those candidates.

With that said, I'm not sure how you can say with a straight face that the average Illinois kid can compare with the average Harvard kid. If you're looking at strictly the top 10% of Illinois then it's a different story. But on average, it really isn't comparison

Sep 2, 2010

Yes. For every one of those kids, there's a dozen dispersed between the other schools. Now, are there a dozen perfect SAT scores each at all of the targets for each perfect SAT score at Illinois? Illinois has about 10 each year, so that would put 120 each at HYPWC, meaning there are 100 more perfect SATs than the College Board hands out. A dozen Miss Americas in the past decade at each of the targets for ours, making a total of 60 Miss Americas? The Pigeon-hole principle indicates there's simply not enough to go around for this assertion to really hold up, and that yes, the number of relatively smart students at Illinois- or any other strong state school with a large class size- is probably in the same ballpark as the number of relatively smart students at Princeton. In all likelihood, Berkeley, UVA, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ga. Tech, Chapel Hill, UT Austin and Illinois each get as many smart kids as Princeton. And then another 8000 typical college students get admitted on top of that.

Bottom line is that top 5-10% at one of the public Ivies is better than top 50% at one of the private Ivies. (Sorry fk- never meant to imply the average student at Illinois was better than the average at Harvard- though I still think that for engineering.) And 10% of Wisconsin or UVA is a lot more students than 50% of Princeton. So if I had to choose between ONLY recruiting from Princeton or ONLY recruiting from Wisconsin, Wisconsin would win hands down. Not on the quality of the average student but on the fact that the total number of smart students at Wisconsin above a certain threshold is bigger than the total number at Princeton above that same threshold, even if the percentages of the class making that threshold are higher at Princeton.

Sep 2, 2010

university of Chicago > iveys

Sep 2, 2010

You know what I think is gay. Feeling superior or inferior to someone else because of what part of the country you grew up in or went to school in. It ranks slightly above being superior to someone because of skin color on the moron scale. People need to get some self worth.

Suppose Zeus came down and told the world Chicago was a better city. Who gives a fuck. I am in Philly and don't spend one second thinking "Jeez Anthony, you are a fucking loser because the city you reside in is only the 4th largest metro". Get a grip people.

Chicago and NYC both have enough finance where you can make a ton of cash and get valuable experience. Reality of the situation is most people will work in a bunch of different cities throughout their life. Would someone really turn down a promotion because it is in Chicago? You need to be flexible in your life and career and having these restrictive prejudices over nothing is only going to harm you.

Sep 2, 2010
Anthony .:

I am in Philly and don't spend one second thinking "Jeez Anthony, you are a fucking loser because the city you reside in is only the 4th largest metro".
.

People don't say that because you're in Philly, people say that because you're in Villanova.

Sep 2, 2010

Every area of the country has schools comparable to the midwest, it is nothing special. And who cares about Illinois?

Chapel Hill, UTexas, Michigan, Berkeley, USC, UCLA, and UVa are all better public schools, we're not even counting private institutions. Any huge state school is going to have its fair share of really smart people, but I hope they're all not so insecure about it.

Sep 2, 2010

Walking is a problem with such a big chip on the shoulder.

Sep 2, 2010

Ideating, do you wake up this way or do you have to work on being a fag

Sep 2, 2010

Don't worry Anthony, he is just jealous of the fact that you've made it in banking and he hasn't. That probably has him pissed off even more.

Sep 2, 2010

Haha, thanks Illini.

I will never understand random personal attacks on this board. Everyone hides behind their screen names and I would bet that the most dick head members are nothing special in person.

Regardless, back on topic.

I am planning on going to Chicago in a couple months, looking forward to it. Boston for the first time this weekend!!

Looking forward to doing a lot of traveling this year. Perfect storm between school and outside activities. I'll be up in NYC soon , will hit you up Illini !!

Are you pumped for college football to start? Hoping 'Cuse doesn't suck as hard this year haha. Best I can wish for.

Sep 2, 2010
Anthony .:

Haha, thanks Illini.

I will never understand random personal attacks on this board. Everyone hides behind their screen names and I would bet that the most dick head members are nothing special in person.

Regardless, back on topic.

I am planning on going to Chicago in a couple months, looking forward to it. Boston for the first time this weekend!!

Looking forward to doing a lot of traveling this year. Perfect storm between school and outside activities. I'll be up in NYC soon , will hit you up Illini !!

Are you pumped for college football to start? Hoping 'Cuse doesn't suck as hard this year haha. Best I can wish for.

Yes, these personal attacks are unwarranted. I STRONGLY disagree with Illini on the topic of colleges, prestige, NYC vs. Chicago, etc., but he's a good dude, and it's not personal.

Anthony, so you'll be visiting Chicago in a few months? Too bad it will be insanely cold, but it's a fun town. Let me know if you have any questions about the city.

Sep 2, 2010

Jesus, stop being such a bunch of pussies - I had to use that line, it was too perfect.

It still amazes me that people get pissed about people being assholes on annonymous online forums.

And Anthony, I'm not jealous of you in any way - I also don't believe you've "made it" in banking, purely because you went to Villanova.

Not like IlliniProgrammer and his sweet job installing Bloomberg licenses for the traders on his floor.

Sep 2, 2010

Ideating, I am going to Villanova right now, I went to Syracuse, get your facts straight. I also know Illini offline and I can tell you he isn't installing Bloomberg Terminals.

Remember bro, just because you are online doesn't mean you are anonymous. I would be hesitant to bash other people based on their schools or professions, even online. You never know who knows what about you . . .

Sep 2, 2010

Ugh - you realize I don't actually think that way, that I'm just saying it to fuck with you right? That it's ridiculous to be a grown adult and profess a desire to work on Wall Street, but get worked up and defensive by an annonymous online poster? Grow a pair and stop being insecure (IP) and thin-skinned (Anthony).

Sep 2, 2010
ideating:

Ugh - you realize I don't actually think that way, that I'm just saying it to fuck with you right? That it's ridiculous to be a grown adult and profess a desire to work on Wall Street, but get worked up and defensive by an annonymous online poster? Grow a pair and stop being insecure (IP) and thin-skinned (Anthony).

Relax, no one is thin skinned or insecure. I am a mod and posts like this go to shit real fast because of personal attacks. If I worried about what people thought of me I would of done a better job hiding who I am. Just saying there was no need for a dick comment.

Sep 2, 2010

Hahha, great article. I cant believe that Chicago vs NYC goes 3 pages and counting.

Sep 5, 2010

yo this illini kid is hilarious, some pos state school better than hyp bahaha

Sep 5, 2010

people who go to good state schools have an inferiority complex
people who go to ivies have a superiority complex, and are generally insufferable

i know a girl who went to an ivy who REFUSED to apply to law schools outside of california and the northeast
wouldn't even consider Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern, Texas, or even Virginia (too southern)
i told her she was a stupid cunt...she has no friends

i think it's funny how people try to differentiate themselves over such minute details- so you got a 29 on your ACT and I got a 32, therefore I go to an ivy, you go to a state school, and thus I am much smarter and more successful than you, though all I did was get 8 more questions right on the test....while in the meantime there are starving, AIDS-ridden children in Africa who will never ever get an education at all.

i sincerely believe that the reason intelligent extraterrestrial life hasn't made more visits to our planet is that they are seriously unimpressed with what they've seen

Sep 5, 2010

It was until it lost three investment banks back in '08.

That's just what happens when you get too overleveraged

Sep 5, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

It was until it lost three investment banks back in '08.

That's just what happens when you get too overleveraged

NYC took a hit, but it's still the big dog in finance along with greenwich. Not to burst your bubble, but chicago is not on the same level as NYC, except for very limited areas like prop trading.

Sep 6, 2010

Not saying it is; just saying that NYC has lost its luster relative to the other financial centers of the world.

And to be fair, Chicago has two of the largest exchanges in the world; in fact, the CME and CBOT became the largest exchange in the world when they merged. New York, London, and Hong Kong don't even come close.

When it comes to exchange-traded derivatives, Chicago is probably the place to be, though New York is ok, too.

The bottom line is that cities rise and fall as financial centers. 60 years ago, the financial center of the country was Boston in many ways. 20 years ago, it was New York. Five years ago they were claiming that it was really Greenwich CT. And before WWI, New York was simply a satellite of London and Paris.

Cities gain and lose favor as financial centers. Over the past five years, I've seen low-tax Chicago move in the right direction. I haven't seen the same thing in New York. Rather, I've seen banks get overleveraged, taxes run at 10%/year, three major firms go bankrupt, and a number of PE shops get into deep trouble on a couple of "deals." Chicago has largely been able to avoid the brunt of the financial crisis and is in better shape than it was five years ago.

Sep 8, 2010

All I'm going to say is peep the CDS spreads on Illinois.

Sep 8, 2010

Wow, I can't believe IlliniProgrammer is still fucking going on this.

I may have bought the "I'm fed up with all the NY-philes on here" bit at first, but now this is just blatant... and obsessive insecurity.

If you lay IlliniProgrammer's Chicago insecurities end to end you could travel to the moon and back 6 times.

Sep 8, 2010
Marcus_Halberstram:

Wow, I can't believe IlliniProgrammer is still fucking going on this.

I may have bought the "I'm fed up with all the NY-philes on here" bit at first, but now this is just blatant... and obsessive insecurity.

If you lay IlliniProgrammer's Chicago insecurities end to end you could travel to the moon and back 6 times.

I don't know what kind of drugs Illini has been experimenting with lately. But yeah, arguing that Big Ten schools are just as good as HYPS is downright delusional.

Sep 8, 2010

Well I don't know, I think illini is right when he says that non Ivy schools can be better then Ivy's in specific fields. I think MIT dominates Harvard when it comes to tech. I think engineering at Illinois et al. can be better than say Penn or Princeton. It isn't anything against these great schools, just saying that some places specialize or target niches that other schools don't.

May 4, 2011

Just a bump to show how insecure and MENTALLY INSANE illi and quantum are. Good luck in chicago boys! bahahahaha

May 4, 2011
megafundguy:

Just a bump to show how insecure and MENTALLY INSANE illi and quantum are. Good luck in chicago boys! bahahahaha

Illini works in Manhattan you fucking non-contributing zero.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

May 4, 2011

^ Illi works in NYC.

May 4, 2011

yeah in the back office of barcap. kid is super pissed off lol.

May 4, 2011

LOL, this must be Boutique4Life's new account after he got banned. Hardly pissed off- just turned down an offer to be a mid-level fixed income trader at a well-known firm. The supply/demand fundies continue to shift in favor of smart folks with a good product/pricing knowledge who know how to code.

Not sure why B4L keeps stalking me. Think I must have hit a raw nerve when I suggested it was better to work in operations at RW Baird- at least you can afford Manhattan- than the Front Office of a no-name firm with no clients and live out in the depths of Flushing Meadows.

May 4, 2011

don't know who that is but plenty of people know ur history given how much u post here. 4100? holy crap.

yea well i just turned down an offer as king of saudi arabia. my megafund offer is way too good.

May 4, 2011

Megafund? What is that? Do you manage megabytes? You and B4L are the only folks on the forum who spell it as one word rather than two and use it in lieu of "major PE firm".

Please, go back to Queens and come up with a better fake job.

May 4, 2011
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