IB in France

Hi, what are the main investment banks in France (especially Paris) other than Lazard and Rothschild?

I go to a semi-target in the US but I am French so I would like to go back there once I'm done in the US given the increasing difficulty to get visas here.

Would doing a semester abroad at one of the grandes ecoles help me to get in since banks almost only accept people from the grandes ecoles?



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Comments (35)

Best Response
Jun 28, 2017 - 8:37am

Other strong investment banks are the usual Bulge Brackets + banks like HSBC / BNP / SocGen / CACIB
In the mid market space there are also strong players i.e. Messier, DC Advisory, Natixis, Sycomore, the Big 4s

If you have French nationality (= no Visa issues) it could be worth it doing a semester abroad in one of the top 4 schools (HEC/ESSEC/ESCP/EDHEC), especially if you want to live in France down the line

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:04am

Thank you. I do have the French nationality. I was thinking about doing a semester abroad at one of the 4 schools you mentioned since the school I am at is well recognized in the US but not as much internationally. It would be a way to get a stamp of approval to work in France.

My long term goal is to go to the US or London but I was thinking that it would be easier to move out of France once I am already in IB.

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:05am

I-banking in France (Originally Posted: 01/16/2007)

Lets say I went to business school in France; any chance of me getting a job as an associate at a bank in France upon graduation (assuming I'm semi-fluent in French)?

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:07am

Well, I mean, I if I could get into a French MBA program (especially Grandes écoles programs) I think that would be assumed! But with an accent of course. But I wonder if I-banks in Europe pay as much as they do in America since Europeans tend to not work that much (hours wise).

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Jun 28, 2017 - 9:08am

ok, i see. you said "semi-fluent" above, so i figured you were assuming you'd have conversational and basic working french, not fluency. generally, native banks in non-english speaking countries require it. See Mediobanca's career page. good luck!

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:09am

Taxes in France are killer

Banking > VC > Tech PE; PM me if you would like any advice I'm happy to help
Jun 28, 2017 - 9:10am
Der Bankier:

I remember I was walking around in Paris and there wasn't any public restrooms and some store wanted me to buy something to use theres. So it's safe to say I took a big beer piss on the side of their building. Also, I don't think Americans would want to give away 60% of all their earnings to some socialist bullshit state (but that's only if you become a citizen).


Jun 28, 2017 - 9:12am

IB in France is only in Paris to my knowledge. That said, the beaches are only a few hours away by train so always an option for the weekend.

As mentioned above, fluency (by that I mean excellent language skills and understanding of the culture) is very important if you look for a job there through "external move" (inc MBA), since the vast majority of IB guys + clients are French. This is slightly less the case on the trading floor, but I'm guessing you mean M&A type jobs.

Oh, and for having been to a top Grande Ecole, I can tell you that the level of fluency foreigners graduate with varies a lot, no matter what they say in the brochures.

Pay is a joke compared with NY or London. For an equivalent job, Paris salaries will be 2/3 of those in London. Granted life is a bit cheaper in Paris, when you add bonus to base, you'll still be saving a lot less.

The big upside in France though is that you really don't need an MBA. So transfering over within your firm may well be the best answer if your language skills are reasonable (not sure how easy this would be though).

I can tell you that life in Paris is amazing and the french ladies definitely something to experience...

By the way, have you lived or studied in France?

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:14am
For an equivalent job, Paris salaries will be 2/3 of those in London.

Wrong, unless you are referring to bonus. Base + signing for US banks in Paris are actually very competitive.

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:15am

Mean, tell me what numbers you have for starting analysts (paris salaries won't increase faster than london ones anyway).

By the way I was talking about all-in salary.

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:17am

i believe the cap is only for public sector employees. someone correct me if im wrong though

"I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people"

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:19am

It depends on the business school you are going to..I think that INSEAD will open doors for you and HEC as well! HEC has a program with (LSE) a two year program where you can earn a masters degree along with an MBA however, if you want to choose this path you should secure a financial help and a good GMAT to break into the program but it will defenitly be a big WaaaW

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:20am

Currently in one of the Grande Ecole programmes that you mentioned, I took a gap year and started an IB internship in a typical French bank. Actually the Grande Ecole seems to be the only way to get an entry-level IB job in Paris [open for discussion].

I am not French, so I can assure you that semi-fluent French is not enough at all. Even though I have 1-2 collegues who speak only English at work, yet clearly they become useless when it comes to conf calls with French clients (50%+ of the case), no wonder they are def not the first choices in terms of promotion.

Work/life balance is ok though, and life in Paris is amazing.

Feel free if you have any further questions on entry-level IB jobs in Paris. I'll be glad to discuss.

Jul 9, 2020 - 9:50pm

Hi, is MSc in finance at ESSEC a good way to break into BB? (Thinking in LevFin and M&A), I am a foreigner with French passport and i am considering doing the Msc. What is the starting salary?

Jun 28, 2017 - 9:23am

bump! i want to know, too. i go to a targeted school in the US and am a US citizen - is there any chance i could do an ibanking summer analyst position/internship abroad after junior year? (preferably in paris, london or switzerland, though i have no german skills)

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