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Investment Banking in Los Angeles

Investment Banking in LA

Currently, what are the top groups in Los Angeles in the investment banking industry? What groups are dying out?

I've heard that many of the BB groups in LA are not their own units and function as a regional arm to SF offices. Are there any exceptions?

Most interested in the following LA investment banks: JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, UBS, Lazard, Goldman, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, etc.
How does pay vary between these groups?

Investment Banking in LA

Typically investment banks in Las Angelas are smaller than their New York counterparts. Their offices have fewer positions so are not able to hire as many people. Keep this in mind when applying for investment banking positions on the west coast in general as you will want to cast a wide net and apply to several places.

Some years there are as few as 30 positions in the city and you're competing with graduates from Stanford, University of California, University of Southern California, and the Claremont Colleges. So while you can state your preference for an LA placement, be sure to emphasize that you're flexible with location.

Investment Banks in LA

Since LA banks are so much smaller than New York groups, they don't typically compete against them. The two that stack up against the New York branches are Credit Suisse and Moelis. Moelis is sell-side M & A. They have excellent deal few with lots of small deals and the occasional smaller ones.

Credit Suisse in LA focuses on gaming and sponsoring and also have excellent deal flow. So very similar, however, Moelis is usually ranked number one for exit ops.

Because of Goldman Sachs brand name, they rank a close third. Their offices are generally strong regardless of location and deal flow in LA is average. It is considered a satellite office.

List of Some of the Strongest LA Groups:

According to Wall Street Oasis user:

dzwsuw:
  • Moelis: Amazing exit ops and extremely hard work
  • CS: They will work you but you will get very strong modeling experience.
  • GS: Good place, focus on consumer and FIG, good exits and strong deal flow.
  • MS: Good people and good exit ops.
  • BarCap: Nice people and good culture, decent deal flow, one of the least technical banks in LA.
  • UBS: Ex-DLJ bankers running the place so very technical, good deal flow and exit ops.
  • HL: FRG is great, limited Ex Ops to private equity but great if you want to do Hedge Fund recruiting, other parts of Houlihan Lokey Howard and Zukin have limited exit ops, try to avoid FAS if you want to do banking.
  • CitiBank: Used to be one of the smaller/weaker groups in LA but they are now growing.
  • DB: Very small and only focuses on FIG. Don't know any full time but met a few bankers there.
  • BaMl: Heard they had layoffs recently but traditionally used to be a strong LA office. Strong senior bankers.
  • Wells: Ex-Barrington associates guys.

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Comments (235)

Jan 20, 2013

HLHZ, Moelis, Goldman's LA office is a legitimate office, Citi as well- can't speak to the others as I have no idea

Jan 20, 2013

Buddy get offers then worry about it...no point in listing this and going into detail

and no, whoever is talking up Lazard to u mistaken, they are not the ONLY ones that serve as an actual executive office in LA, thats so inaccurate that its hilarious. goodluck.

    • 3
Best Response
Jan 20, 2013
AnalystMonkey2769:

Buddy get offers then worry about it...no point in listing this and going into detail

and no, whoever is talking up Lazard to u mistaken, they are not the ONLY ones that serve as an actual executive office in LA

OP never said that Lazard is the ONLY one. He is simply looking to verify some information he heard regarding the IBD office structures in LA/SF... you clearly couldn't wait to give the typical "don't ask questions until you get an offer" response that you forgot to read the post.

AnalystMonkey2769:

thats so inaccurate that its hilarious. goodluck.

OP wasn't trying to claim he was accurate about anything. I think thats why he was posting - to see if other people here knew the answer to his question... but he's not allowed to inquire about such details until he goes through the entire recruiting process and secures an offer, right?

Not sure why so many people on here love to go out of their way to not be helpful.

    • 10
Jan 20, 2013
The Kid:
AnalystMonkey2769:

Buddy get offers then worry about it...no point in listing this and going into detail

and no, whoever is talking up Lazard to u mistaken, they are not the ONLY ones that serve as an actual executive office in LA

OP never said that Lazard is the ONLY one. He is simply looking to verify some information he heard regarding the IBD office structures in LA/SF... you clearly couldn't wait to give the typical "don't ask questions until you get an offer" response that you forgot to read the post.

AnalystMonkey2769:

thats so inaccurate that its hilarious. goodluck.

OP wasn't trying to claim he was accurate about anything. I think thats why he was posting - to see if other people here knew the answer to his question... but he's not allowed to inquire about such details until he goes through the entire recruiting process and secures an offer, right?

Not sure why so many people on here love to go out of their way to not be helpful.

Point taken.

    • 1
Jan 20, 2013

*wrong word here sorry, i meant executive as in they execute deals and not just pitch/send to SF for execution

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Jan 21, 2013

Goldman LA is phenomenal (FIG). MS LA houses the M&A team. Laz LA has generalist and defense. CS LA has Sponsors, IIRC. UBS LA might not be recruiting; just went through layoffs. Houlihan RX is excellent.

Pay should be identical, and shouldn't influence your decision regarding offers. It'd be a difference of a couple thousand dollars. That doesn't mean shit when it comes to making major career choices.

Jan 21, 2013

Houlihan RX is great, Goldman is great, and MS (western M&A, not exactly the same as the NY M&A team) is great, CS LA is great for exit opps but is a terrible place to work (6 out of 7 summers received offers, only one accepted because the culture there has serious problems). UBS LA has been a sinking ship for 2-3 years now and may not exist pretty soon... Just shows how much value one man (Ken Moelis) could bring.

And that of course brings me to Moelis & Co. which I'd have to say is hands down the best shop in LA in terms of exit opps, deal flow, etc.

Lazard, BAML, and JPM are not particularly good. BAML and JPM because their LA offices do mostly financing from what I hear, and Lazard because it's a tiny satellite office and I don't think anyone takes Lazard outside of NY (and maybe SF) seriously.

But you know what, it's all the same shit, really. 6 months into the job, I don't see what the big differences could be. Are models more fun to make at one bank versus another? You don't learn much else either way.

Jan 20, 2013
goldman in da house:

Houlihan RX is great, Goldman is great, and MS (western M&A, not exactly the same as the NY M&A team) is great, CS LA is great for exit opps but is a terrible place to work (6 out of 7 summers received offers, only one accepted because the culture there has serious problems). UBS LA has been a sinking ship for 2-3 years now and may not exist pretty soon... Just shows how much value one man (Ken Moelis) could bring.

And that of course brings me to Moelis & Co. which I'd have to say is hands down the best shop in LA in terms of exit opps, deal flow, etc.

Lazard, BAML, and JPM are not particularly good. BAML and JPM because their LA offices do mostly financing from what I hear, and Lazard because it's a tiny satellite office and I don't think anyone takes Lazard outside of NY (and maybe SF) seriously.

But you know what, it's all the same shit, really. 6 months into the job, I don't see what the big differences could be. Are models more fun to make at one bank versus another? You don't learn much else either way.

+1

Jan 22, 2013

Here's what I know from networking in LA
Top 4 firms:
Moelis - incredible M&A deal flow and exit opps, top notch senior bankers
Credit Suisse - most technical banks, mainly sponsors and lev fin
Morgan Stanley - west coast advisory half industry corp fin and half M&A group
Goldman - generalist group does mainly C/R and there is a separate FIG group
*each has 30-40 bankers, MoCo has 40-50

Other notable firms:
Houlihan - largest bank in LA, 100+ bankers across the 3 different groups, not including massive back office (newest office too)
Barclays - supposedly good in sponsors (about 20 bankers in office)
BAML - was a tough office back in the day, so I'd assume its not bad (only bank in Westwood)
Lazard - half A&D and half generalist, good dealflow for such a small office (sent a guy to Ares)
Citi - from what I've heard, they are pretty good in M&A (only bank in downtown)
Imperial - chill group a lot of MM deals but not much M&A

Other firms:
DB - have only heard they have FIG and gaming nothing reputation wise
UBS - 12 or so bankers now and continuing to drop
Greenhill - only 4 bankers, specialize in gaming
Wells - sponsors focused but mostly MM work
JPM - mostly financing work (10-15 bankers)

please let me know if anything to add or correct

    • 2
Jan 22, 2013
BankorBust:

Here's what I know from networking in LA
Top 4 firms:
Moelis - incredible M&A deal flow and exit opps, top notch senior bankers
Credit Suisse - most technical banks, mainly sponsors and lev fin
Morgan Stanley - west coast advisory half industry corp fin and half M&A group
Goldman - generalist group does mainly C/R and there is a separate FIG group
*each has 30-40 bankers, MoCo has 40-50

Other notable firms:
Houlihan - largest bank in LA, 100+ bankers across the 3 different groups, not including massive back office (newest office too)
Barclays - supposedly good in sponsors (about 20 bankers in office)
BAML - was a tough office back in the day, so I'd assume its not bad (only bank in Westwood)
Lazard - half A&D and half generalist, good dealflow for such a small office (sent a guy to Ares)
Citi - from what I've heard, they are pretty good in M&A (only bank in downtown)
Imperial - chill group a lot of MM deals but not much M&A

Other firms:
DB - have only heard they have FIG and gaming nothing reputation wise
UBS - 12 or so bankers now and continuing to drop
Greenhill - only 4 bankers, specialize in gaming
Wells - sponsors focused but mostly MM work
JPM - mostly financing work (10-15 bankers)

please let me know if anything to add or correct

Pretty good summary. I'd add that Moelis LA is brutal in terms of work hours. You will get GS/MS exit opps, but the price you pay is pretty significant.

Jan 20, 2013
BankorBust:

Here's what I know from networking in LA
Top 4 firms:
Moelis - incredible M&A deal flow and exit opps, top notch senior bankers
Credit Suisse - most technical banks, mainly sponsors and lev fin
Morgan Stanley - west coast advisory half industry corp fin and half M&A group
Goldman - generalist group does mainly C/R and there is a separate FIG group
*each has 30-40 bankers, MoCo has 40-50

Other notable firms:
Houlihan - largest bank in LA, 100+ bankers across the 3 different groups, not including massive back office (newest office too)
Barclays - supposedly good in sponsors (about 20 bankers in office)
BAML - was a tough office back in the day, so I'd assume its not bad (only bank in Westwood)
Lazard - half A&D and half generalist, good dealflow for such a small office (sent a guy to Ares)
Citi - from what I've heard, they are pretty good in M&A (only bank in downtown)
Imperial - chill group a lot of MM deals but not much M&A

Other firms:
DB - have only heard they have FIG and gaming nothing reputation wise
UBS - 12 or so bankers now and continuing to drop
Greenhill - only 4 bankers, specialize in gaming
Wells - sponsors focused but mostly MM work
JPM - mostly financing work (10-15 bankers)

please let me know if anything to add or correct

Missing Macquarie, Guggenheim and Jefferies....they arent top, but still reputable name and good deal flow from what i saw in talking in superdays/networking myself nonetheless.

I think both Macquarie and Jefferies recently sent someone to Ares past year as well.

Jul 8, 2018

DB doesn't have an LA office, SF is their only west coast office (which is in shambles).

Imperial has a good name, but what do you mean by MM but not much M&A? I think theyre more known for RX.

Jan 22, 2013

When I rank groups, I typically base it off of exit-ops

Thus, IMO the top 3 tiers are...

1) Moelis LA - Best placement in LA into megafunds
2) CS LA (LevFin) or HLHZ (RX) - The former for buyout, the latter for distressed
3) MS/GS - Can't really go wrong with the brand names of the two

If I didn't get into any of these 5, I'd look at another region.

    • 1
Jan 22, 2013

good measure, thx.

leigh:

When I rank groups, I typically base it off of exit-ops

Thus, IMO the top 3 tiers are...

1) Moelis LA - Best placement in LA into megafunds
2) CS LA (LevFin) or HLHZ (RX) - The former for buyout, the latter for distressed
3) MS/GS - Can't really go wrong with the brand names of the two

If I didn't get into any of these 5, I'd look at another region.

Jan 22, 2013
leigh:

When I rank groups, I typically base it off of exit-ops

Thus, IMO the top 3 tiers are...

1) Moelis LA - Best placement in LA into megafunds
2) CS LA (LevFin) or HLHZ (RX) - The former for buyout, the latter for distressed
3) MS/GS - Can't really go wrong with the brand names of the two

If I didn't get into any of these 5, I'd look at another region.

quality wise I'd say Moelis and CS are the top groups in LA, but GS has equal or better opportunities in MF recruiting because of brand prestige

Apr 18, 2013
BankorBust:
leigh:

When I rank groups, I typically base it off of exit-ops

Thus, IMO the top 3 tiers are...

1) Moelis LA - Best placement in LA into megafunds
2) CS LA (LevFin) or HLHZ (RX) - The former for buyout, the latter for distressed
3) MS/GS - Can't really go wrong with the brand names of the two

If I didn't get into any of these 5, I'd look at another region.

quality wise I'd say Moelis and CS are the top groups in LA, but GS has equal or better opportunities in MF recruiting because of brand prestige

I'd say this is pretty spot on.

Jan 22, 2013

Citi LA is very good. Is is a M&A team, focusing on Metal & Mining, and Pharma/Healthcare.

Jan 22, 2013

Does anybody have insight on how Lazard LA places into PE / HF / buy-side in LA? Any insight on how much the bonuses are, compared to, let's say, JPM?

Jan 22, 2013
Redroom:

Does anybody have insight on how Lazard LA places into PE / HF / buy-side in LA? Any insight on how much the bonuses are, compared to, let's say, JPM?

Have interviewed with both so I know a bit, but I don't know bonus numbers. It depends what you are looking for, but if traditional m&a Lazard LA is obviously better for reasons stated above... Again, they sent a guy to Ares. But this office also emphasizes that they would like analysts to stay

Jan 22, 2013
BankorBust:
leigh:

When I rank groups, I typically base it off of exit-ops

Thus, IMO the top 3 tiers are...

1) Moelis LA - Best placement in LA into megafunds
2) CS LA (LevFin) or HLHZ (RX) - The former for buyout, the latter for distressed
3) MS/GS - Can't really go wrong with the brand names of the two

If I didn't get into any of these 5, I'd look at another region.

quality wise I'd say Moelis and CS are the top groups in LA, but GS has equal or better opportunities in MF recruiting because of brand prestige

9 times out of 10, Moelis LA will place into a MF better than GS LA, especially considering GS's new stance on PE recruiting

And if you are talking about West Coast offices (Apollo, Oaktree, Ares etc), Moelis, CS and HLHZ RX will place better than GS

Jan 22, 2013

....anything else?

Apr 18, 2013
Jan 20, 2013
money money money money:

Lincoln International and Evercore

Lincoln recently opened up shop in LA, they are trying hard to expand but not sure how deal flow/placement could be for them since they are new to LA and still competing against other big MMs in LA

Evercore, they have an LA office? lol i've NEVER seen OCR or heard of any student in LA doing a SA or FT stint at evercore LA...

Jan 22, 2013

I am not all that concerned about MM firms in LA - I am more concerned with top players and their respective coverage / industry groups. For example, HL Restructuring is considered a prestigious group in that realm. Any other significantly successful players in any coverage group?

Jan 22, 2013

What about Lazard? can anybody give any specific details on this group. Some notable deals they have worked on?
Also interested in Greenhill and BofA.

Jul 24, 2013

Have a buddy that works for Intrepid (used to be MM group for Wells Fargo). He says the lifestyle is great and the benefits aren't too bad.

Jul 8, 2018

Intrepid doesn't touch any MM deals, all lower MM $50M-250M, and also underpay their analysts.

Jul 25, 2013

How do you guys feel about Wedbush?

Aug 21, 2013

Interested in elite boutiques in LA other than Moelis (its been established that Moelis runs LA)

Dec 21, 2013
Silverwoman Sachs:

Interested in elite boutiques in LA other than Moelis (its been established that Moelis runs LA)

HL RX. Maybe Guggenheim, but Gugg is a little tricky since they've only recently gotten good. No idea what their exits are like. That's pretty much it; no Centerview, Evercore, Greenhill. Ares has summer interns for their PE group. So does LGP. Oaktree might as well. PIMCO is also worth a look obviously.

Edit: apparently Greenhill has a tiny office?

Dec 21, 2013

What's the sentiment about Barclays LA? Exit opps? Dealflow?

Dec 21, 2013

Anyone know about wells lev fin in LA?

Haters gonna hate

Dec 21, 2013
advantageplayer:

Anyone know about wells lev fin in LA?

Wells LA is Sponsors and MM.

Dec 21, 2013

Moelis, MS + CS, GS + HL FRG

Dec 21, 2013

Greenhill is a joke in LA -- about 4 bankers total, gaming I believe.

Dec 22, 2013

Tennenbaum, Aurora, Brentwood Associates, Gores Group, Freeman Spogli, Apollo has a decent sized office, are some others off the top of my head.

Dec 22, 2013

Mounte LLC

Dec 22, 2013

Do you guys know if these PE firms hire summer
pre mba interns?

Dec 22, 2013

they don't in terms of attempting to bring them back for FT.

Dec 22, 2013

bump

Dec 22, 2013

The opportunities for sell-side S&T positions in LA are basically non-existent.

Dec 22, 2013

yes nystateofmind is right
there are no sell-side S&T positions available in LA
however there are "trading" positions in the sense of trading assistant and portfolio manager positions for asset managers
think the larger ones like PIMCO, Western Asset, TCW, and a number of smaller asset managers

Dec 22, 2013

If yes, then no, there are no sell-side opps in LA (try SF, but even those are becoming fewer and fewer).

If no, then you don't really have a career to "hurt" (or speak of).

Not to be critical, but unless you really know you like S&T (have been trading for years, quant-ish major, etc.), don't limit yourself. Granted, NYC is the easiest place to do Finance, but it's not like it's the only place in the country to do so.

Dec 22, 2013

Thought I'd try again. I have a first-round with GS LA coming up and would be most appreciative of any info.

Thanks in advance.

Dec 22, 2013

First round for summer or full-time? Must be summer since I know they have filled their full-time class. They are mostly generalist at the analyst level in LA. The do a lot of Media and Industrial work out of that office. It is one of the bigger IB offices in LA only trailing CS and UBS. I would go to New York if you are going to summer since it will look better when going after full-time and it is always easier to ask for a full-time offer in LA if you have summered in NY.

The Prince of Wall Street

http://www.princeofwallstreet.com

Dec 22, 2013

This may just be for fulltime interviews, but I heard that first rounds are for the west coast (i.e. LA or SF). Later down the road they send you to one or the other for more interviews.

Dec 22, 2013

Good lifestyle shop, not really that great a place to be but good lifestyle and reasonable exits.

I woudnt work there if you are looking for tremendous diversified deal flow or anything, highly west coast based. SF is better for exits, better exp if you like tech overall i think.

Dec 22, 2013

Thanks very much. These responses are very helpful. I am committed to being LA, even though I know it may mean a lesser experience than I'd have in NY. (To clarify, it's an on campus interview for a spot in their summer associate class.)

Thanks again, very much.

Dec 22, 2013

SF and NY get better deals and exit opps but in LA you get to tell all your buddies you work at "Nakatomi Plaza" hehe

Dec 22, 2013

Agreed that NY and SF will see more deal flow and have better exit ops. You will pitch more in LA. However, you may not care about this if you are going in as an associate since your exit ops to PE shops are basically nil.

The Prince of Wall Street

http://www.princeofwallstreet.com

Dec 22, 2013

How much easier is it to get past superday at Goldman LA compared to Goldman NY? Assuming your school is a target for GS LA and not for NY (through it still does on-campus recruitment and people have been consistantly offered in NY) and you can get to superday at either office?

It seems NY would be a better place to summer but appreciably more difficult.

Dec 22, 2013

agreed that it's more of a lifestyle shop and it does still place reasonably well. there has been placement in GS PIA, TPG, Oaktree in the '05 class. i don't know what Nakatomi Plaza is, unless the Fox Plaza changed its name/moved out of 2121

if you summer there and do a good job, you can transfer your offer to SF/NYC, although you generally need to stand out in order to get that done. that said, you could do much worse in LA (not sure how UBS LA is doing now that Moelis is gone)

Dec 22, 2013

See Die Hard

Dec 22, 2013

gotcha

Dec 22, 2013
Dec 22, 2013
Dec 22, 2013

bump

Dec 22, 2013

use search little boy!

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Dec 22, 2013

no one really knows much as far as pay/exit opps etc. their trying to make a brand in the US.

i guess you can say they r a shitty Nomura.

also heard bonuses r sub street so expect 65/70 + 15-20k

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

Dec 22, 2013

Thanks for the info.

Anything about company culture/industries/products/reputation?

Dec 22, 2013

Don't think there are too many people out there; know the head of Business Services ER is out there, and 4-5 PTG guys (PTG = principal investing/merchant banking group). I'm sure there are a couple infra guys too, and Restructuring and TMT "senior advisors" are there, but probably don't really go into the office all that much.

Dec 22, 2013

Macquarie has about 40 investment banker in their LA office.

Mentioning Nomura, doe they have a strong Los Angeles office?

Dec 22, 2013
PalmMonkey:

Mentioning Nomura, doe they have a strong Los Angeles office?

No.

Dec 22, 2013

know why middle market. good rep.

Dec 22, 2013

Western Region Advisory and TMT are the big ones there

Dec 22, 2013

so both IMD and IBD are in LA?

Dec 22, 2013

heard they got folded into SF/Menlo in '09 and then re-established

last year, an HR rep from GS LA tried setting up interviews in late March after all the kids from my school had already accepted their offers

Dec 22, 2013

yeah- i know an analyst in western region advisory there and i also got in touch with one of the directors there in TMT

Dec 22, 2013

Also I believe FIG is out of LA

Dec 22, 2013

So HR for goldmans new york office has no affiliation with the LA office?

Dec 22, 2013
Nyctola:

So HR for goldmans new york office has no affiliation with the LA office?

I had a networking event with them, and they flew their HR people from newyork out to LA. I'm pretty sure they are affiliated.

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

Lol, I thought this was a joke. In this awesome new movie (take me home) this guy pretends to work at Goldman Los Angeles but his friends busts him and tells him it does not exist.

Dec 22, 2013

x

Dec 22, 2013

LA has their own superdays... if you dont have an offer for the LA office your gonna be in nyc. at least thats what i was told by LB (my recruiter at GS)

Dec 22, 2013

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/goldman-la

Apparently it's just FIG and consumer after the financial crisis.

Dec 22, 2013

I don't think you're necessarily competing with firms in NYC. Most of the deals that get done in LA offices are companies that are based on the west coast, more specifically so-cal.

There are positives and negatives to both NYC and LA. You will definitely meet more people and create a larger network in NYC as well as have contacts with more buy side firms. But you could also be the guy who ONLY does one thing on specific deals and works with 10+ analysts and you never see a model in your 2 years. Be open to all regions and groups, then come back and ask us more specific questions. By that time, you'll probably have a better understanding of what you want after IB.

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

Dec 22, 2013

nyc is always more prestigious. don't necessarily agree with it, but that is perception

Dec 22, 2013

Its true, NYC = real exit opps and better network.

LA = backwater.

Dec 22, 2013

im in the buyside in LA. finance in LA doesnt have the same cache as it does in NY. In LA, no one cares that you're in finance, they prob care more if you were in entertainment. that said, LA is amazing. best weather, best girls, much more laidback attitude for the most part.

Dec 22, 2013

" said, LA is amazing. best weather, best girls, much more laidback attitude for the most part."

----Why I'd rather go there and help a homeless man perform a buyout of his competitors bus stop using used coke cans and McDonalds double cheeseburgers as forms of payment than assist in the deal between AT&T and T-Mobile in New York ---

Dec 22, 2013

Sounds about right, altough I hear the homeless in NY are more prestigous and came from target schools.

Dec 22, 2013

HL, Intrepid, Convergent

Dec 22, 2013

bump

Dec 22, 2013

No. Networking is much important and UCLA is a great target for the LA region.

Dec 22, 2013

Both are very well viewed. Especially Berkeley.

Just do work at whichever school you go to and you will end up fine. As long as you come in with a background that suits banking (demonstrated interest through clubs, internships, etc) and the history to prove your competence (e.g. GPA), then you should be fine.

Dec 22, 2013

It's the especially Berkeley part that worries me of UCLA.

Moelis (I think) only does analyst OCR at UCB. Which makes me question doing undergrad at LA.

Obviously everyone on the site is an overachiever and will be involved in clubs and internships during college.

I'm wondering if all else equal.. A kid with more networking from UCLA does better in the long run (20+ years) than a UCB ugrad with the more "prestigious" degree, if my only intentions are to work in LA during my career.

    • 1
Jan 20, 2013
historiclegend:

It's the especially Berkeley part that worries me of UCLA.

Moelis (I think) only does analyst OCR at UCB. Which makes me question doing undergrad at LA.

Obviously everyone on the site is an overachiever and will be involved in clubs and internships during college.

I'm wondering if all else equal.. A kid with more networking from UCLA does better in the long run (20+ years) than a UCB ugrad with the more "prestigious" degree, if my only intentions are to work in LA during my career.

God you're so wrong. I know first hand that Moelis does resume drops @ UCLA for OCR. Pls dnt post shit you dont know about.

Dec 22, 2013

More specifically, I don't want to go to UCB. Will the networking capabilities in LA (for my goals) even out the more prestigious degree of UCB degree?

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

If you're sure about working in LA, you should go with UCLA. Pretty much every firm recruits there for their LA offices. including Moelis. The networking you can do will more than make up for the Haas education you'd be foregoing.

Dec 22, 2013

USC also recruits very well for the LA offices of top investment banks.

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

Berkeley will give you an edge in recruiting if all else is equal, but it is a slight edge if your goal is to work in LA. I think you should go to UCLA because you would prefer that school and that means a lot.
Don't just look at Moelis recruiting. I know of a few people from Berkeley that got Moelis, but they MAY have been able to get it even if they went to UCLA because they were extremely well prepared.

Dec 22, 2013

I am East Coast based (school + work), but I do personally know of four people from my graduation year that have done very well from USC (two in West Coast IBD), eight from UCB (three in West Coast IBD), and zero from UCLA. That is just my network and obviously an incredibly small sample size, however; read into it as you will.

Dec 22, 2013

Are you based in Los Angeles or the Bay Area? If you're from LA, but have the choice between going to UCB or UCLA, then you're not foregoing much networking. You can set up informational interviews during your summers. However, it seems like you're desire is to go to UCLA. There's no way I can say that UCLA kids get more IB offers than UCB kids. But, the primary reason for that is because of the increased IB presence in SF. Regardless of the school you choose, you seem like you're motivated and you're going to come out on top. Pick the school that you feel you'll enjoy more and stick with it. If your goal was simply to get into IB, then I'd say go with UCB, but if its the LA focus you're looking for, then either school will suit you well.

Dec 22, 2013

UCLA. You'll be a lot happier: much better social life and less academic stress.

Jan 22, 2013

I am going to first caution you: LA offices are tiny. It is fine to express an interest, but be sure to cast a wide net...between the BBs, there might be 25 SA spots in LA. Throw in Moelis, then you are in the low 30s. Not sure how big HLHZ's summer class is, but I doubt you are breaking 40 total openings.

You are competing with the rest of the UC System, USC, Stanford and the Claremont Colleges. SF will absorb most of the Haas and Stanford grads, but it is still a large applicant pool for a few spots. Be sure to emphasize how you, "prefer LA, but are 100% flexible with regards to location".

To answer your question, I have heard mixed things about UCLA recruiting and have not seen nearly as many UCLA grads as USC. Still, I would be stunned if banks did not recruit there for LA offices.

If you think you can get Berkeley Haas, go there. Otherwise UCLA and non-Haas Cal are probably similar.

Dec 22, 2013

go to a school you really like. ucb and ucla are comparable in recruiting if you are not doing haas in ucb.

you can land banking jobs, just that most people dont focus on them so you will need to network your way in (dsp, akpsi would be a good start)

Dec 22, 2013

I think you're slightly missing my point. I said especially Berkeley because it is true that it is more prestigious than LA. This worries you, but it shouldn't.

What you're failing to acknowledge is that fact that the university does not define you or dictate your accomplishments. Sure, the opportunities out of Harvard are much greater than those from a community college, but between UCLA and UCB with a desire to work in finance in LA, you will have ample opportunity out of both. In fact, the difference is negligible when compared to your personal effort. Ultimately, you will make opportunity happen, not your degree. Go to which college makes you happy. If not, you WILL regret it both socially and professionally (you work better and more enthusiastically when you are happy = better performance = more opportunities).

Dec 22, 2013

also interested

Dec 22, 2013

It's pretty chill. PM me if you want.

Dec 22, 2013

i would like to know as well

Dec 22, 2013

I know people at all the banks. Most banks are 20-30 bankers. LA overall is much more laid back than NY banking (that is not to say you won't work hard or long hours). I know analysts at all the banks below that placed into really good PE jobs. Most of the banks below tend to recruit heavily from USC/UCLA/Cal/Stanford. I know a few east coast kids who got jobs in LA but you need to network and have a good reason why you want to be in LA over NY/SF/etc.

These are the strongest LA groups:
Moelis: Don't need to explain it, amazing exit ops but you will get crushed!
CS: Thinks they are top LA bank, they will work you but you will get very strong modeling experience
GS: Good place, focus on consumer and FIG, good exits and strong deal flow
MS: Good people and good exit ops, don't need to explain MS
BarCap: Nice people and good culture, decent deal flow but one of the least technical banks in LA
UBS: Ex-DLJ bankers running the place so very technical, good deal flow and exit ops
HL: FRG is great, limited Ex Ops to PE but great if you want to do HF recruiting, other parts of HL have limited exit ops, try to avoid FAS if you want to do banking
Citi: Used to be one of the smaller/weaker groups in LA but they are now growing.
DB: Very small and only focuses on FIG. Don't now any full time but met a few bankers there.
BaMl: Heard they had layoffs recently but traditionally used to be a strong LA office. Strong senior bankers.
Wells: Ex-barrington associates guys.

PM me with questions

Jan 20, 2013
dzwsuw:

I know people at all the banks. Most banks are 20-30 bankers. LA overall is much more laid back than NY banking (that is not to say you won't work hard or long hours). I know analysts at all the banks below that placed into really good PE jobs. Most of the banks below tend to recruit heavily from USC/UCLA/Cal/Stanford. I know a few east coast kids who got jobs in LA but you need to network and have a good reason why you want to be in LA over NY/SF/etc.

These are the strongest LA groups:
Moelis: Don't need to explain it, amazing exit ops but you will get crushed!
CS: Thinks they are top LA bank, they will work you but you will get very strong modeling experience
GS: Good place, focus on consumer and FIG, good exits and strong deal flow
MS: Good people and good exit ops, don't need to explain MS
BarCap: Nice people and good culture, decent deal flow but one of the least technical banks in LA
UBS: Ex-DLJ bankers running the place so very technical, good deal flow and exit ops
HL: FRG is great, limited Ex Ops to PE but great if you want to do HF recruiting, other parts of HL have limited exit ops, try to avoid FAS if you want to do banking
Citi: Used to be one of the smaller/weaker groups in LA but they are now growing.
DB: Very small and only focuses on FIG. Don't now any full time but met a few bankers there.
BaMl: Heard they had layoffs recently but traditionally used to be a strong LA office. Strong senior bankers.
Wells: Ex-barrington associates guys.

PM me with questions

This is very accurate. Great work.

Dec 22, 2013

I study in Cal Poly Pomona. NY has more IBD opportunities I guess. SF has lots of IBD companies there too and heard it's a really good place to work. Maybe you should consider SF in future. That's what I'm thinking about

When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die

Dec 22, 2013

Exit opps for LA/SF IBD are more venture capital, start-up oriented, and corp. fin at places like Google and other software/tech.

Dec 22, 2013
mountainvalley:

Exit opps for LA/SF IBD are more venture capital, start-up oriented, and corp. fin at places like Google and other software/tech.

That isn't entirely true. The analysts at top groups (MS Menlo Park, GS San Fran, and historically yet less recently, UBS LA, Moelis, etc.) have placed strongly into the buy-side: KKR Menlo Park, Silver Lake, PIMCO, Park Hill Group (BX RE in SF), Canyon, Passport, Farallon, even CALPERS. And that's just the West Coast placement. Some of them place on the East Coast as well, just as strongly.

Dec 22, 2013

not odd...its goldman

Dec 22, 2013

I get EXPLICITLY mixed messages from the Goldman recruiting team in terms of where I am "moving forward" with location, where I'm "not", and then told, "nevermind, we will be moving forward [here], [this person] will be reaching out to you very soon" ...and then I don't hear from said person. Anyone have similar experiences?

Dec 22, 2013

goblue200: Yes I've had a very similar experience. After interviewing two weeks ago, i still havent heard anything at all.

and regarding GS Los Angeles, I havent heard anything from them.

Dec 22, 2013

@WeGoHam1 just when I thought GS was toast, I heard back today. Apparently for now, we will be "moving forward" in the recruiting process... I hadn't heard anything since the end of December and when I was told to kind of let everything be on the back burner, I wouldn't have expected anything else. Best of luck to you!

Dec 22, 2013
AnalystMonkey2769:

From what i know of LA banks, UBS, CS, Moelis, Lazard AND Barclays ALL do some capacity of Gaming Lodging & Leisure work...so how is there enough food to go around for all of them when LA banking is at the level that it is?

If you're in LA, you won't be working on west-coast clients exclusively - while they are a strong focus of the office, you'll also be outsourced comps/modeling/research/editing work from the NY office.

You're right to ask about there "being enough food to go around" ... that is certainly a critical concern for the MDs in these groups and also one of the reasons for notoriously long hours. It involves a lot of pitching as you need to be aggressive in getting transactions from the other groups in LA and being the first to get the idea to the client.

Jan 22, 2013

they won't offer fulltime so that is a dealbreaker with Greenhill in la

Jan 20, 2013

thanks for the responses guys!

Is this a good vertical to be in for exit-opps usually? or is it too niche? I feel like the nature of this vertical, especially gaming, would be more financing heavy and not M&A related- also Greenhill doesnt have the balance sheet that GS, MS, BAML, JPM, Citi, CS, Barcap RBC etc has so for big financing projects wouldnt those banks go to the BBs? I looked at the GHL website for this vertical as well, they only did 2 deals for 2012, but were big nonetheless.

EDIT: this does not concern me at all lol i finished recruitment a while back for FT, its for a SA candidate that was asking me questions for help w/interview prep for GHL

Dec 22, 2013

i thought GHL LA already wrapped up SA recruiting

Take it as it comes
JJ

Dec 22, 2013
lazardsoeurs:

i thought GHL LA already wrapped up SA recruiting

they took some kid from USC from what I heard. office is an MD, Principal and a recently 3rd year analyst lateral. not sure how much deal flow goes through that office as its only 3 people full time and the gaming space is so saturated with other banks in LA focusing on it as well.

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

1st year BB IBD analyst in LA: Worked in NY as an SA.

ontothenext:

-typical analyst hours (compared to NY)

Similar, maybe more volatile from my experience

ontothenext:

-compensation (1st yr, 2nd yr)

Exactly the same

ontothenext:

-social life

Way worse. Have to drive everywhere, so drinking is hard. Everyone is spread out, so meeting up is more challenging. Definitely don't go out with your fellow analysts as often as in NY.

ontothenext:

-where to live, how much to pay

Most work in Century City, so live in Westwood / Beverly Hills / Culver City / Hollywood

ontothenext:

-transportation

Drive. Duh, it's LA.

ontothenext:

-buy-side exit opportunities (PEs, HFs)

Surprisingly good for PE. Hard for HF given lack of LA hedge funds.

ontothenext:

-business school prospects

Can't imagine geography affecting this very much.

    • 2
Dec 22, 2013

When does recruiting for PEs in LA normally begin? Anything you can do to get a head start?

Is there any other advice/info you would offer?

Dec 22, 2013
EarLoeb:

1st year BB IBD analyst in LA: Worked in NY as an SA.

ontothenext:

-typical analyst hours (compared to NY)

Similar, maybe more volatile from my experience

ontothenext:

-compensation (1st yr, 2nd yr)

Exactly the same

ontothenext:

-social life

Way worse. Have to drive everywhere, so drinking is hard. Everyone is spread out, so meeting up is more challenging. Definitely don't go out with your fellow analysts as often as in NY.

ontothenext:

-where to live, how much to pay

Most work in Century City, so live in Westwood / Beverly Hills / Culver City / Hollywood

ontothenext:

-transportation

Drive. Duh, it's LA.

ontothenext:

-buy-side exit opportunities (PEs, HFs)

Surprisingly good for PE. Hard for HF given lack of LA hedge funds.

ontothenext:

-business school prospects

Can't imagine geography affecting this very much.

Of the people you work with does anyone live in Santa Monica... I'm just wondering because I'm a big fan of that area. Perhaps that commute is too annoying?

Dec 22, 2013

If anyone is going to work in LA next year, I'm still looking for people to live with in case you're interested.

Jan 20, 2013

social life-

santa monica bars, venice bars (main street), hollywood, melrose area, westwood, downtown LA ALL have sick bars/some clubs/great lounges. bascially lots of places to get trashed and find a slooty hook up....but ya, last call for drinks is usually @130am lol lame

(note- im not FT yet, just go to a local college here ex: UCLA/USC)

Dec 22, 2013

My first gig out of college was in Century City and I lived in Santa Monica (Lincoln & Wilshire area). Commute is tough but far better than working downton. I got lucky and my next gig was in Santa Monica (work-life balance got far better). Would recommend Uber or just a reliable taxi company to get everywhere (you won't blink at cabbing it to Hollywood after working so many hours).

Also lived in Brentwood and Downtown LA so PM me for specific recs in that area. Good luck.

Dec 22, 2013

-typical analyst hours (compared to NY)

Just started, fairly laidback boutique. 10am - 6pm most days maybe 6am - 10pm on rougher days.

-compensation (1st yr, 2nd yr)

Intern Analyst on day 2 so I can be much of help. I am on no base with bonuses. =[

-social life

West Hollywood - Alot of bars, hipster-ish spots, and a lot of those in the "Alternative lifestyles" if you know what I mean.
Hollywood (Sunset/Vine/Hollywood blvd.) - Lots of nightlife, people walking around, etc.
Downtown LA - Starting to pick up now, restaurants, bars, a few rooftop clubs/lounges, nokia theater area, but watch out for Skid row, accidently drove in there once and they scared the sh** out of of me.
Korea Town - All bars and restaurants. Korean Food to be exact, Soju, Beer, girls everywhere. One of the few places in LA if you know someone you can drink until the sun comes up. (PM me)
Santa Monica - Not too sure about this area except for the boardwalk and the 3rd street promenade.

-where to live, how much to pay

Currently in Walnut, CA. Used to live in a studio in K-Town for 650/mo.

-transportation

It's LA you need a car.

-business school prospects

USC Marshall, Pepperdine, Anderson, not too many others I can think of unless you head North.

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.

Dec 22, 2013

frum what i've herd u need a car everyhere + going out is a pain since every1 neds to drive. culture is firm -dependant (e.g. HLHZ will kill u )

"so i herd u liek mudkipz" - sum kid
"I'd watergun the **** outta that." - Kassad

Dec 22, 2013

In LA you're definitely going to need a car (although the transit is slowly being built out, I think there should be one going out to Santa Monica soon). I like the OP am from Houston and live in Dallas, so having a car isn't that big of a deal. If offered the opportunity to move out to SoCal, I would do it in a heart beat. So much to do out there, the weather is great, and the beaches are awesome.

Your bottom line is going to take a hit and there is some adjustment for cost of labor (but I wouldn't expect it to be substantial), but if your young and can make it work why not?

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

I saw an analyst from LA sign their email with "ciao," so that is acceptable out there to give you an idea of the culture.

Dec 22, 2013
Cruncharoo:

I saw an analyst from LA sign their email with "ciao," so that is acceptable out there to give you an idea of the culture.

lol

Dec 22, 2013

There are some shops in LA that work brutal hours. Some because they hav ridiculous deal flow. Others cause they spend their time pitching non stop.

West coast vibe always solid tho

Dec 22, 2013

https://www.google.com/

i sincerely recommend the above website, and think it will be very useful to you in your search.

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

lol

Dec 22, 2013

"investment bank" + "Los Angeles" (search this in google maps).

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

Dec 22, 2013
Dec 21, 2013

Haters gonna hate

Dec 22, 2013

Strong FIG and Consumer Retail presence there, and I've heard they are beefing up their TMT group as well. Its them, Moelis, and HLHZ Restructuring that make up the "elite" groups in LA. (Sorry CS/UBS LA).

Jan 20, 2013

Isnt MS LA also elite? also heard that CS LA is down sizing tremendously....anyone know if this is true? and last, just a question but why do another TMT group in LA if all of tech is covered by the SF office? theres media in LA but is there a strong telecom presence? I could be wrong but this is what I've been told/seen through networking and the group i'm in does not do any TMT.

Dec 22, 2013

There are three analysts in FIG in the LA office. Don't know headcount in other verticals, but the placement is pretty strong across the office (megafund, strong MM, hedge fund, long-only). Workflow is unpredictable. Sometimes it's slow and quality of life is great, other times it's absolutely brutal and you can't say 'no' because that means one of the other few guys you sit next to is going to get ruined even worse than you would. Recruits predominantly from the usual suspects in California: UCLA, USC, Berkeley, Stanford.

Dec 22, 2013

Don't know much about GS LA but I'd assume you'd get a top notch experience / placement / pay (Gene Sykes works out of GS LA)

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

Dec 22, 2013

Its pretty agreeable that Moelis leads the pack. HL restructuring is a great opportunity and definitely elite but not your traditional m&a.

Which leaves CS, GS and MS. So which out of these three would people say is the strongest for analyst experience, deal flow and ultimately exit opps?

Its very unclear and it seems like no one works at these places or knows someone who works at these places to give concrete descriptions.

My hunch is that CS/GS tied, followed by MS? But some have speculated that CS is slowly diminishing. Other have argued that GS doesnt really do anything in LA.

Dec 22, 2013

I have heard MS has slightly better placement in MF & MM PE & elite HF through various sources. I have never worked on the west coast so not sure but many people have said that to me. When we recruit we look at MS and then GS with CS not getting much love. Certainly not as much as in the past.

Apr 18, 2013

I work on the west coast and based on what I've heard/seen (in terms of exits and overall quality of the analyst program), Moelis is definitely the top shop in LA, followed by CS, GS/MS, in that order. I don't know if CS is on the decline, but their recent placements have been very good.

Dec 22, 2013

Any updated info in the last couple of months? I have an interview coming up with them for SA and I'd like to find out a bit more if possible.

Dec 22, 2013

Going through SA too, have had a couple informationals with analysts. Separated into FIG and Western Region Advisory (Consumer, HC, Real Estate mostly). Pretty unique structure as it sounds like you get staffed on clients and can end up working with pretty variable deal teams consisting of bankers in LA and SF. Sounds like good execution and exit opps, but they REALLY stress a desire for career bankers. Seemingly great office culture, reasonable banker hours apparently, and have so far stuck to the "no saturday" schedule.

Sounds like almost all of the senior bankers are home-grown analyst to associate promotes. All-in-all seemed like an awesome office, definitely one of the top choices I'm gunning for.

Dec 22, 2013

Haven't heard back yet. Non target.

Dec 22, 2013

I didn't hear back from the LA office, but got a super day for the San Francisco office.

FYI... I am at a non-target on the east coast.

Dec 22, 2013

When's the SF interview for you guys? Mine's on the 9th.
Giggily - good luck man!

Dec 22, 2013

Mine is on the 9th as well. What school do you go to?

Dec 22, 2013

I go to school on the East Coast man.

Dec 22, 2013

Just curious, What pushed you guys to apply to the LA office?

Dec 22, 2013

Non-target East Coaster in SF on the 9th, as well.

Dec 22, 2013

Non-target west coast in SF on the 9th.
Do you guys have an idea of how many are invited? Have you heard from HR about the final round format?

Dec 22, 2013

Did anyone hear back from GS LA after the first round?

Dec 22, 2013

--

Dec 22, 2013

Did anyone end up landing a position in the LA office at GS?

Dec 22, 2013

Nontarget east coast here. First year GS LA

Dec 22, 2013

Can you tell me about the WRA group? How is it divided? I have been told there is a strong industrials group and a growing TMT group, anything else?

Dec 22, 2013

bump

Dec 22, 2013

I thought Jefferies closed down their LA office a while ago?

Dec 22, 2013

Nope. Gaming & Leisure is in LA.

Dec 22, 2013

Have you considered what you would do in LA if you got laid off?

Dec 22, 2013

I know Wedbush is based out of LA and has offices in SF as well. Their doing pretty well in the life sciences side.

Dec 22, 2013

Houlihan Lokey is based in LA.

Dec 22, 2013

Don't know why WSO is so bad with the west coast, but I can shed some light on this topic.

Unfortunately, compared to NY offices, LA offices are very small. Typically

For LA banks, there are only 2 that can realistically compete (or even better than) their NY counterparts: Credit Suisse and Moelis, and they do very different things. Moelis does sell side M&A, and deal flow is excellent. Lot of small deals with some major ones thrown in. Credit Suisse LA does Sponsors/Gaming, and also has excellent deal flow. Really comparing apples and oranges between the 2, but for exit opps, Moelis is 1st followed very closely by Credit Suisse.

I'd say Goldman/MS fall into 3rd, purely based off brand name. Deal flow is alright, and not weak offices by any means, but the analyst experience in terms of full execution is limited. It is a satellite office, but it is a Goldman/MS satellite office.

These would be followed by Barclays and Houlihan (restructuring). 1 tranche under that would be your BAML/JP/other BB.

Dec 22, 2013