Is Greenhill really that bad? (M&A)

I know that GHL is not the place it used to be, but I have seen people on this forum say that culture is bad, deal flow is poor, and it is not really an EB. Have also read that comped meal policy is bad too.

Obviously, WSO is not always the best info, but this seems to be a consensus.

Does anyone have any insight into the quality of the analyst program? Do analysts just spend all their time pitching? I've read on here that exits are still decent. Does anyone happen to know anything other than what has already been posted?

Comments (57)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 17, 2021 - 12:21am

Have friends at GHL and interviewed there-

The place is definitely a shell of what it used to be- look at league tables, their stock, anything can confirm that. In my experiences, junior culture is solid and people are generally nice/normal, but senior culture not great. No different than any other struggling bank, but you're going to have more pitching + angrier seniors who are feeling the heat.

That being said, think exit opps haven't fully caught up to the banks reputation, meaning GHL kids are getting similar looks to other EBs just off of the strength of the brand. No idea how long this will continue to last, but there's a case to be made that analyst seats at GHL are probably still a good launching pad. Would absolutely not want to be an associate+ here though

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 17, 2021 - 11:23am

According to LinkedIn, there is an Analyst at the SF office who graduated from McGill.. I think that sums it all up

  • VP in IB - Gen
Nov 17, 2021 - 1:40pm

I didn't go to Mcgill but they have alum everywhere so you're either misinformed to the point of hilarity or a girl from Mcgill broke your little heart and you're salty

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Nov 17, 2021 - 5:31am

I honestly don't know why anyone would pick Greenhill over an EB or most BBs. It's just not what it used to be and other banks are better in every way. 

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Nov 17, 2021 - 4:25pm

Makes sense if you're interested in restructuring, even though he got the shittiest of the relevant restructuring banks

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2021 - 8:13pm

I had a friend with a horrible analyst experience there. Rumors about Neil Augustine all true (writing comments at all hours of the night)... to think of the lack of self-respect those mid-level bankers have there to put up with that. Culture is next-level bad gtfo while you can

  • Intern in PE - Other
Nov 18, 2021 - 11:20am

Roth's NA is def on the strong come up (look at league tables). tho this wasn't the case a while back. Seems like they and GHL almost switched places in terms of deal flow, reputation, etc.

At Roth's you probs won't be pitching often they do an insane amount of deals with average size being around 600mm-1 bil (similar to Moe/LAZ). Exits are strong from their top groups (Rx, Industrials, Consumers). Deciding between GHL or Roth's in terms of experience and better senior folks I'd go Roth's.

  • VP in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2021 - 8:28pm

Greenhill Toronto is a great shop, I worked in Toronto (not for GHL but for another shop) and those guys generate a lot of fees per head.  Certainly hasn't declined like the US franchise.  You can actually go to their website and see closed deals by region to give you an idea.

Nov 18, 2021 - 12:50pm

This question (and most of these types of questions) depend on your profile and whether or not you have options elsewhere.

If you're a nontarget and have no other offers outstanding, absolutely sign with no regrets.

If you have an offer from a BB, EB, or EBish (Gugg, Q, Liontree, Allen & Co, Ducera, etc.) probably worth taking those instead, but it still varies person-to-person.

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Nov 18, 2021 - 8:41pm

From what I have heard Allen & Co is pretty shitty at the analyst level, so not sure if it's a great idea to skip Greenhill for them

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2021 - 8:26pm

The firm is just bleeding talent every level. They've had double-digit associate/vp departures this year and several key departures at the MD level. Firm struggles to even pay its rent

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 18, 2021 - 8:28pm

Does anyone think Greenhill might get acquired or is the firm doing well enough to hold on its own. Was wondering because many of the once successful firms in the 1980s were all bought up to this point.

Would be curious to see if that Happens to moelis Greenhill Centerview later in like the 2030s

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 18, 2021 - 11:24pm

Greenhill's not even appealing enough to be acquired at this point. If firms wanted Greenhill's top talent, they can just buy them out and offer comp packages (Look at Greenhill's stock the past few years). 

A lot of boutiques start struggling after their founders leave, die, or step down (Gleacher, Greenhill, Wasserstein Perella although they were acquired), and it's usually pretty hard for boutiques to maintain the longevity of BBs as boutiques are far more built on individual bankers than a brand and a large product offering like BBs. I think it'll be a test for the "new" gen of EBs like Moelis, CVP, PWP, PJT, etc to see if they can maintain their brand and momentum after their founders step down. Although, to be fair, Evercore has been a notable example of an EB that has succeeded in passing the torch.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 19, 2021 - 12:48pm

So yo think when Blair Effeon or Moelis retire those companies could eventually bought?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 20, 2021 - 10:47pm

Over half of the second-year analyst class is exiting to 5bn+ funds

Nov 19, 2021 - 1:32pm

GHL crushed associate recruiting at my M7. Got more people than Laz, EVR, and Moelis this year (these people didn't directly turn these other banks down but I still think its an interesting thing to think about). I think at the analyst/associate level its a solid choice to start your career in IB, but the firm definitely is not what it used to be as others have said.

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Dec 14, 2021 - 4:03pm

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  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Dec 14, 2021 - 6:44pm

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