Is Nepotism Dead?


Is Nepotism dead? I don't know if it is just my conception, but I feel like 15 years ago if your dad played golf with a GS MD you could get an internship and a job from Penn State (no offense). Now, not so much... Pressure from IB clients has pushed HR to promote more merit based hiring- for better or worse. That isn't to say that networking is dead, but rather just that who your dad is matters less. (Getting along well with alums and developing a good, social, reputation in junior roles is still alive and well). Is this just my perception or is it actually true? I know a smart sociable girl who is at a semi-target (think Vandy, Georgetown, Tufts, USC) with a 3.7+ who's parent is a well connected CIO at a 10B+ HF/PE firm and started in IB- her dad has told her it still may be a stretch to get her a junior internship at a BB? Is that really true?

Love to know your thoughts.

Comments (80)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2020 - 7:21pm

My dad plays golf with a GS MD and I got rejected there so I agree with you. Won’t say that connections are dead necessarily, but definitely not what they used to be

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2020 - 7:37pm

Trying not to sound like too much of a pretentious fuck, he is a client (hedge fund manager). Was able to get deep in some other BB processes thanks to that, but GS dinged me almost immediately.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2020 - 8:06pm

Pretty much. It's been replaced by the evils of diversity recruiting.

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
Aug 7, 2020 - 8:08pm

false. dad's friends reply more than alums

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2020 - 10:27pm

This 100%. My parents have connections and they were pretty useless come IB recruiting, even though lots are senior folks at BBs. On the other hand, was able to get two great internships my freshman/sophomore summer due to connections that really helped me during IB recruiting, but I think the days of “hey give my kid an internship at Goldman” are over

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 7, 2020 - 10:38pm

If nepotism was dead, Zachary Dell wouldn’t be an incoming Blackstone PE analyst straight out of USC

What’s past is past and can’t be undone. It has led to the circumstances we now face. All we can do is recognize our circumstances for what they are and make the best decisions we can, “given the givens."  - Howard Marks

Aug 9, 2020 - 12:05am

Or Chelsea Clinton getting hired by NBC for 600k a year with zero experience, and then sitting on the board of directors for IAC and Expedia group netting millions in payment fees over the last decade. People who really have nepotism to draw on do not go to IB to format powerpoint pages......there far more lucrative things they can do for less bitch work.

Aug 7, 2020 - 11:00pm

It exists, its just...different now. Now if you are purple haired lesbian dance theory major that's undocumented and gender fluid AND your dad golfs with a Goldman MD.....I'd argue you don't even need to show up to superday to get an offer.

Diversity (only the "right" kinds, not KOREAN, CHINESE, JAPANESE, INDIAN or ARAB) mixed with Nepotism is a DEADLY combo right now in recruiting.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 8, 2020 - 9:27am

Not going to post his name but the cofounder of HL Restructuring has his son as a first year analyst in his group haha. Personally I think that’s cool but others will hate. This kid knew what investment banking was when he was 8 years old. His dad is a legend. Don’t you think his dad has prepared him well? I would think so.

Aug 8, 2020 - 11:52am

I've seen that sort of thing happen on a semi-regular basis. One of two things usually happens: Kid turns out to be absolutely shit and leaves after a year or maybe two of getting the brand name on their resume, or kid turns out to be a fucking rockstar and everyone spends the next few years constantly cracking jokes about their dad/mom in front of them

Aug 9, 2020 - 8:54pm

Nah. If kid were semi-competent, he could have used dad’s contacts to get hired at another shop. Then he’d be just another spreadsheet monkey like all the other first-years. If he got promoted, it would be earned.

Going to work for dad straight out of school means dad couldn’t talk his contacts into giving his boy a job. Might as well have “loser” tattooed on son’s forehead.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 8, 2020 - 11:54am

D.E. Shaw's son is at GS, that was very much nepotism. But unless it's to such a great extent as that, I guess nepotism has really faded out.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 8, 2020 - 10:49pm

Banking is a relationship game... it makes sense that there would be some nepotism (coming from an Indian at a semi-target). While it isn't necessarily fair, it serves the banks well when it comes to relationships and deals. It's not like you have to be gifted to work on a slide deck at two in the morning

Aug 9, 2020 - 12:45pm

It's not just a matter of folks getting in the door through connections, and by extension keeping out those of greater ability and work ethic. The sons and daughters club also enjoys easier work, lower expectations, better treatment, and career advancement.

Eventually the chickens will come home to roost and organizations with much of this going on will fail. See Donald Trump and Jared Kushner vs. the novel coronavirus.

  • Prospect in S&T - FI
Aug 9, 2020 - 4:07pm

Very very anecdotal and I don't know all the details: but the older sister of someone I know just got an internship at Goldman Sachs TMT while having a seemingly average resume from a non target. Her dad is a MD in TMT at another BB. I don't want to claim that this was definitely nepotism because I don't have any idea whether she was actually a star interviewee and networker but it's definitely a big coincidence. Also, even if nepotism doesn't work at a BB, it still allows you to get an internship at like a fund that your family member is senior at which therefore improves your resume a huge amount for recruiting.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 10, 2020 - 5:40am

Not dead

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Aug 10, 2020 - 1:25pm

No, it's very much alive.. just hidden.

Four examples:

2018: My flatmate was hired at a BB, her dad is an MD there she didn't even really need to apply/interview she just had two very informal chilled interviews then got the offer.

2019: Another friend was hired at a different BB because her uncle is a client of the BB. She again just had a casual couple of chill interviews that were basically talking about hobbies.

2020: My friend was hired at an EB because a family member was a client.

Me: I got an interview because of example 1, my flatmates dad being an MD at the BB helped get me an interview which I converted into an offer.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 10, 2020 - 11:02pm

What type of school are you at where you have several friends who have very strong connections that can hand down BB/EB gigs?

Aug 10, 2020 - 1:37pm

Interview questions range from:

How's your dad?


When do you want to start?

path less traveled

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind
Aug 10, 2020 - 2:58pm

My team made an internship offer to the daughter of one of our clients.

She didn’t even want to do IBD but our client wanted their daughter to have it for her CV. We made her an internship offer and within a couple weeks she was complaining she was bored and wanted to do something else long term whenever we went for drinks. Nevertheless at the end of the internship we still offered her the FT role.. and.. she declined haha

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 10, 2020 - 11:04pm

Honestly maybe a win-win, she got the IB internship experience on her resume, and your team got to do the client a favor without having to actually bring her on to the team

Aug 10, 2020 - 4:36pm

Do you believe that Hunter Biden really merited a board membership for a Ukrainian energy company?

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn

Aug 10, 2020 - 9:35pm

Well, if the oil company needed high-level contacts in Washington in case Putin’s thugs came sniffing around, then, yeah, giving a board seat to the son of a former American Vice President would be a shrewd move.

Or are you going to argue that board seats should only go to men with good GPAs/SATs and oil and gas experience in Houston?

Aug 11, 2020 - 4:44pm

Not my group, but another group at my MM was only planning on taking 1 summer intern this year. Did recruiting, found their candidate, gave him an offer. 3 weeks before the internship starts, they get told they need to take this random dude as a second intern because his dad is CEO of a company that does a lot of work with the ECM group at the bank. Luckily only the original intern got a return offer, but still a retarded situation.

Aug 11, 2020 - 9:16pm

I mean if this guy knows any MD’s personally, he could just shoot them her email or no.

From my perception, very easy to do and simple but not sure about quid pro quo that is a tough line especially if you currently do business with them or something. Idk

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 12, 2020 - 8:37am

They should make being President only based on merit, with GPA, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, and 2 teacher recommendations

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