Investment Banking Rankings 2020

Prospect in PE - Growth

Thought it would be nice to have a refresh of the latest BB rankings based on everyone's perception and exits to the buyside. Note that this is slightly biased based on personal interactions with the banks on different processes, and that each bank has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. But here is what I think as far as reputation.

Tier 1: GS / MS
Tier 1.5: JPM
Tier 2: BAML / Citi / CS / Barclays
Tier 3: UBS / DB

Region: 

Comments (188)

Mar 27, 2020

Here we go again with this crap.

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Mar 27, 2020

Tier 1: GS / MS
Tier 1.5: JPM
Tier 2: BAC / Citi
Tier 2.5: BARC
Tier 3: CS / UBS
Tier Not a BB: DB

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2020

UBS is not BB either

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 27, 2020

swap UBS and DB, DB is still top 5 in certain verticals/products but UBS is definitely not

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 27, 2020

Generally would agree. Some groups at lower tiered shops can directly compete with the top as well. E.g. CS Lev Fin

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Funniest
Mar 27, 2020

No one:
Random intern: hey guys so here's my thoughts on bank rankings

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Controversial
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2020

There's another recent thread with accurate and up to date 2020 rankings but since there's misinformation or low effort rank trolling here thus far, I'll paste it over:

Tier 1: GS/MS/JPM
Tier 2: BAML
Tier 3: Citi/CS
Tier 4: Barclays/RBC
Tier 5: DB/UBS (these hardly count at this point, perhaps top groups at DB, but nothing positive to say for UBS her)

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 27, 2020

RBC is not a BB

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2020

Ridiculous ranking, CS is way too high and Barclays is too low

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  • Director in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

It's really not and no one who works in the industry outside of RBC believes it is.

Don't get me wrong it's a solid bank with strong upward momentum and a couple bright spots in the US but that alone doesn't make it a BB. You need presence globally (not just US and Canada), a broad capital markets franchise to back it up as well relationships across the largest companies across most sectors. On latter point, RBC is more mid-market.

I know a lot of this is semantics but I would say DB and UBS aren't in the BB camp anymore even though DB still has some very solid groups in Europe and I believe Asia as well.

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Mar 28, 2020

CS has elite exit opps. They should be in Tier 2. Barclays is way better than RBC. DB is also better from an exits perspective.
RBC is not a Bulge Bracket. Analyst 2 in IB either works at RBC or does not work in IB or he / she would know that league tables are misleading when it comes to BBs. Many just get put on a deal for financing. It may say they were on it for M&A but in reality, it's not the case.

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  • Associate 2 in IB - Gen
Mar 27, 2020

Sorry but this ranking is awful. Who would take CS over Citi or RBC over Barclays?

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Mar 30, 2020

RBC is not a BB and even if it were, it's not on the same level as Barclays.......

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  • Prospect in Other
Mar 30, 2020

But why so many people say they will pick rbc over db?

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2020

T1. GS/MS/JPM

T2. BAML/Citi

T3. Barclays

T4. CS/RBC

T5. DB

T6. UBS

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  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Mar 27, 2020

Probably most accurate as of 2020 within the United States.

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

Agreed, this is very accurate. Personally, if I was deciding between offers, I'd put RBC a notch below CS and Barclays with T2.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 28, 2020

For offers I definitely agree but I sort of discounted CS for being european and focusing away from their IBD.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 27, 2020

Firms ranked by 2019 revenue: don't MS since this is literally objective

  1. JPM
  2. GS
  3. MS
  4. BOFA
  5. Citi
  6. Barclays
  7. Credit Suisse
  8. DB
  9. Wells Fargo
  10. RBC

UBS or jefferies is probably ranked 11

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2020

Ranking strictly by revenue is not a very good metric. Although I appreciate the effort to be objective.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 27, 2020

its not a ranking but provides valuable context.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Gen
Mar 27, 2020

This is factual so why hit him with the MS.

At my target kids generally take GS>MS/JPM>BAML>Citi/Barclays>CS>RBC>other firms which correlates well to revenue.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2020

Right because you seriously believe kids will pick Wells and DB over RBC or Jefferies. When you see that UBS is right at those levels too you understand that revenue is a weak metric as it doesn't account for headcount, banks that just capital raise off of their BS, growth, etc.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 27, 2020

This includes all banking products and is not on an M&A basis, hence is skewed and includes banks that shouldn't be in the top 10

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Mar 27, 2020

IMO its fair to compare BB to BB across all products...GS and Barclays for example do not even have M&A groups, so you're probably going to have some exposure to capital markets as an IB analyst.

If we want to compare BB to EB or EB to EB, then yeah it does make sense to isolate for M&A.

I'm curious as to which firms you think "shouldn't be" in the top 10 since it includes every BB, and as far as I can tell, this thread is a BB ranking.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 27, 2020
  1. GS / MS
  2. JPM
  3. BAML / Citi
  4. CS / Barclays
  5. RBC
  6. UBS / DB
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May 24, 2020

Is RBC considered bulge bracket now?!

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  • Intern in S&T - Equities
Mar 28, 2020

Outside of the US, no way RBC is higher than UBS and DB.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 28, 2020

Yeah, but within the US I don't think UBS or DB are BB anymore. EMEA and APAC? Absolutely.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 28, 2020

When I was recruiting at my target, the general preference was Morgan Stanley / Goldman Sachs, followed by EBs like Evercore, then JP Morgan

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Mar 28, 2020

Why is everyone on this forum so obsessed with RBC? Most of these posts talk about them like they're the top bank. Stop spreading misinformation. Most people on Wall Street do not consider them a BB. It's not a bad place to be and certainly growing, but your M&A experience will be limited to financing roles. No one hires RBC for strategic advice...

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 28, 2020

They don't solely do financing for M&A at all. I'm sorry you didn't get an offer, but a spot no one was talking about 5 years ago has made the top 10 league tables for every single past year, in just the last year was a sole advisor to the largest bank merger since the crisis and then went on to be on the largest $100B+ deal of the year, top groups hold comp in-line with top EBs (170k all-in AN1 top bucket M&A), strong BS, and a very strong culture. Growth and recent recruiting has been aggressive for this very reason.

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Mar 28, 2020

You definitely work at RBC or wouldn't passionately be defending them. I'm glad you are doing a ton of M&A and making such great comp and getting such great exits that you have to defend them on WSO!

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

Coming over from the EB rankings thread. We need a BB/EB cumulative ranking to piss even more people off.

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Mar 28, 2020

Lol once these kids do summer internships, they'll realize that anyone from any of the BBs and EBs, regardless of "tiers," can have any exit. At that point, it just depends on their undergrad school, GPA, connections, deal experience (luck) and most important, intelligence

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Apr 3, 2020

Wow, is that really true? This website has jammed into my brain that if you're not coming frop the top 5 BBs or top 7 EBs exiting to a megafund or any PE is basically over. I need a reality check and to do more research.

Mar 28, 2020

Credit Suisse should be higher
T1. GS/MS/JPM
T2. BAML/CS
T3. Barclays/Citi
T4a: DB
T4b. RBC/UBS
Probably going to get monkey sh** because this forum loves RBC for some reason, but this subjective (and useless) ranking is the most accurate...

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 28, 2020

You clearly work at UBS lol. I'm sorry. You go around telling people a place is overhyped because professionals are ranking them favorably? Cmon you know better.

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Mar 28, 2020

Oh sorry, let me put RBC in T1 so you can sleep at night

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 28, 2020

on average, Barclays and Citi are better than CS but CS does have a couple of extremely good groups for exits

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Restr
Mar 30, 2020

Don't see CS being this high but otherwise accurate.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

T1. GS/MS/JPM

T1.5. BAML

T2. Barclays

T2.5. CS

T3. DB/RBC

T4. UBS

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

Accurate, but you forgot Citi. I'd put it either T1.5 or T2.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

Tier 1
- BB: GS/MS
- EB: EVR/PJT

Tier 2
- BB: JPM
- EB: Moelis/Lazard

Tier 3
- BB: BAML/Citi/Barclays/CS
- EB: Centerview/PWP

Honorable Mentions: Guggenheim (future EB?) and RBC (future BB?)

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Mar 28, 2020

Haha this ranking will get extra monkey sh** because it doesn't say RBC is a surefire BB.
However, I would say that these days, Guggenheim is unquestionably an EB, along with Greenhill (legacy name). Also, I'd say Qatalyst is an EB because it's so prolific in tech

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 28, 2020

Curious why you put Moelis above Centerview. Is it because of the length of the program and exits to PE?

Mar 28, 2020

cvp is a 3 year program

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

3 year program and I've always felt that Moelis a bit more well regarded. That said, I'd take Centerview over Moelis, personally. Culture is >>

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 28, 2020

Better not tell the multiple GS / Moelis / Lazard bankers that always try to lateral to CVP every class that they are going to a tier 3 shop!

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  • Prospect in Other
Mar 28, 2020

Do you think CVP is better than Moelis culture wise?

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

If I was at Moelis/Lazard then I'd also want to lateral to CVP, especially if I want Consumer.

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 30, 2020

This is most accurate in my opinion, RBC is getting way too much credit by other users. RBC is a top MM bank. Also weren't they just giving out well below street bonus's? I will try to find the WSO post that hinted at that for refernece.

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  • Intern in 
Mar 30, 2020

Don't try to play off your own ignorance as people giving "too much credit." Also the bonus thing you're referring to was in London. In NA, it's literally the opposite with top buckets having comp in line with top EBs.

Mar 30, 2020

Agreed. Because this forum is full of insecure RBC employees who can't get over the fact that their bank isn't a BB. RBC is hired for financing capabilities, not for strategic advisory

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 5, 2020

Dude centerview is tier 3? you must be dumb as hell

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Mar 28, 2020

Every dumb ranking thread always ends up with a handful of people passionately defending RBC. RBC is a very solid bank, there's no need for analysts who work there to fight with sophomores about where it ranks.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 28, 2020

DB > RBC > UBS imo

Mar 28, 2020

Nothing I love more than a bunch of interns, prospects, and incoming analysts arguing imaginary "rankings". What a fantastic exercise

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Mar 28, 2020

This is the initiation process for wso

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Mar 28, 2020

Can we just hive off a part of WSO for every Prospect to wank off about rankings? Like one of wankfests appears every quarter and we all know it very quickly degrades into infantile arguments.

Array

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 28, 2020

I also don't see the point of getting heated about rankings. However, I don't think there's anything wrong with having discussions and posts like these.

WSO is all inclusive, so interns, prospects, and incoming analysts like us can talk about anything and everything, and like you all know, rankings are very popular on WSO.

I find it even more childish when seniors put in the extra effort to bash younger people on here (I'm not saying you are) simply for ranking banks. Yea, we know that in the end rankings don't matter and we don't know anything. That's what the forums are for, to learn and gain insight from others in finance. Don't expect a college kid to be as enlightened and knowledgable about the street as you. They are ignorant because that's how it's supposed to be. Then again, I'm sure one they get to your shoes, they'll repeat the cycle.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 28, 2020

Rankings matter for exit ops etc. Usually the people bashing are the ones at low tier banks lol.

Mar 28, 2020

You just admitted rankings are meaningless and you guys don't know what you're talking about... but then you said these "rankings" debates are valuable because you learn from each other's insights. That makes no sense. Swapping ignorance about a topic that carries no weight is never a valuable use of time.

Also, you'd be shocked to see stats from headhunters about which banks (and groups) have the best PE placement in on-cycle recruiting each year. All I'll say is it is almost never in line with these "rankings" lol.

I'm not saying DB carries the same weight as GS. But I am hoping that you guys won't stress yourselves out about this crap and can find some relief in the fact that top performers, regardless of your bank, get spots at MF.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 28, 2020

What is the reputation of Lazard these days? From what is seen in these rankings, it seems to be considered as below Evercore / PJT whereas in some other threads it is considered to be a Tier 1 EB...

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 28, 2020

Definitely below Evercore in the U.S.

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  • Prospect in Other
Mar 28, 2020

What about moco?

  • Prospect in PE - Growth
Mar 29, 2020

How about in the UK?

Mar 28, 2020

I think of Lazard as a tier 1, but slightly below PJT / Evercore solely because its culture is more unpleasant. Same applies for Moelis, although exit opps are pretty much negligible between the four.

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  • Prospect in Other
Mar 28, 2020

How's Moelis's culture compared to the above three?

  • Prospect in Other
Mar 30, 2020

Can someone do the rankings of the non top BBs or EBs. I'm talking about Jefferies, William Blair, HL, Nomura, HSBC, WF, BMO, Mizuho, etc. Feel like no one really discusses these at all.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 30, 2020

db/Jeff/blair/hl/hw/wf etc > ubs bmo etc > nomura mizuho hsbc etc

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  • Intern in IB - CB
Mar 30, 2020

Why do people still refer Bank of America as BAML? As far as I am concerned, Bank of America phased out the Merill Lynch brand over a year ago.

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Mar 30, 2020

They want to feel special

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  • Prospect in Other
Mar 31, 2020

Merill Lynch still has a relativity strong legacy brand relative to the likes of BofA.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020

I can't believe people are suggesting DB is better than RBC. That is completely inaccurate. RBC has much higher deal flow and a stronger culture.

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  • Prospect in 
Mar 31, 2020

Any rankings for other regions? EMEA and APAC?

  • Prospect in PE - Growth
Mar 31, 2020

Link to the EMEA ranking thread here: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/investment-...
Based on that thread, the ranking is as follows:
1. GS / MS
2. Lazard / Rothschild
3. JPM
4. BAML / Citi

Feel free to add your thoughts.

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Mar 31, 2020

unOFFICIAL RANKINGS

  1. pIPER Sachs
  2. Jefferies & Moelis
  3. Lion Chase & Co
  4. Bank of America Deutsche Bank
  5. Nomura

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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  • Director in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020

Nobody in the industry calls RBC a BB.

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Mar 31, 2020

Agreed. Only on WSO because a bunch of insecure employees have nothing better to do

  • Prospect in Other
Mar 31, 2020

Do people in the industry call DB a BB then?

  • Intern in 
Mar 31, 2020

Lol same guy different accounts. Anyone can change their rank to 'director' on anonymous. Especially seeing this person is not even verified which is super easy to do at that level. Lmao just give it up man, network harder, study, and work on improving yourself and maybe you can lateral.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020

Agreed.

  • Prospect in PE - Growth
Mar 31, 2020

Generally, in EMEA, GS / MS are considered to be number 1, followed by top EB's such as Lazard / Rothschild.

In APAC, the rankings are slightly different, although GS / MS still dominates, banks such as UBS / Citi also perform quite well.

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Mar 31, 2020

Why

Mar 31, 2020

Why does JPM have irregular rankings between tier 1 / tier 1.5 and tier 2?

  • Prospect in Other
Mar 31, 2020

Bloomberg M&A Rankings 2018:

  1. Morgan Stanley 24%
  2. Goldman Sachs 19%
  3. Bank of America Merrill Lynch 17%
  4. JP Morgan 16%
  5. Rothschild & Co 14%
  6. Citi 13%
  7. Credit Suisse 11%
  8. Lazard Ltd 10%
  9. Barclays 9%
  10. Deutsche Bank 8%

Keep in mind, ranking varies from group to group. EB's will have top groups like EVR M&A and Qatalyst in TMT that are year after year in the Top 10 in their respective industries. I would suggest looking into what product group you are interested in before trying to rank firms.

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Mar 31, 2020

Pretty sure GS has been ahead of MS most years in M&A in the US/Globally including 2019.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 31, 2020

why would you send 2018 when its 2020?

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 31, 2020

2019 M&A rankings are listed below...2018 was known to be an anomaly in terms of which firms were ranked high.

1 Goldman Sachs & Co

2 JP Morgan

3 Morgan Stanley

4 Bofa Securities Inc

5 Citi

6 Lazard

7 Barclays

8 Evercore Partners

9 Credit Suisse

10 Rothschild & Co

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  • Prospect in PE - Growth
Mar 31, 2020

Generally, in M&A, GS and MS always ranks as #1 and #2 with the most high profile mandates. In ECM and IPOs, MS is usually #1.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020

From a growth standpoint:

Tier 1a: RBC/GS
Tier 1b: JPM/MS
Tier 2 : Barclays/BAML
Tier 3: Citi/CS
Tier 4: WF/HL
Tier 5: DB/UBS

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 31, 2020

this is getting out of hand

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020

from a GROWTH standpoint. One can look at recent deals (BB&T/SunTrust merger) to see that RBC is getting stronger and stronger deals. Same for GS which is the top bank in the industry. On the flip side DB and UBS have not been growing their IBD business. If anything, deal flow is weakening in those groups.

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020

Wtf is from a growth standpoint. Please stop this RBC nonsense. The bank is not a BB. Yes, their revenues in North America is huge, yes, they are ranked in Top 10 in M&A last year.

But any good analyst can take a look and deduce that the North American market makes up over 90% of their M&A deal value. They barely have a presence in EMEA, APAC which is important to be considered as a global investment bank, much less a BB.

I get that ppl bashing RBC makes you unhappy, but they are expanding significantly in markets outside of their core expertise. So who knows? Maybe further down the line, they will be universally recognised as a BB, but for now, no.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020

see my response above

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020
Comment
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 31, 2020
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 31, 2020
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 31, 2020
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 31, 2020
Mar 31, 2020