Lincoln Chicago Culture

Lincoln appears to have the best culture (if you're white) of any bank - employees really seem to get along and all seem to have similar interests and are genuinely nice to each other. Is this true or more of a facade? Are they secretly getting crushed with 2am nights and just putting on a happy face for recruiting? Or do they actually have a better WLB than similar banks and are the employees actually happy? Any insights would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Comments (26)

Jan 7, 2021 - 10:06am

Didn't mean to imply that you wouldn't enjoy Lincoln if you are not white, just simply that most of the employees in Chicago appear to be white, midwestern

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 7, 2021 - 2:11pm

So is the implication that Lincoln is now racist? Don't really understand that dig or qualifier at all. 

Most banks are filled with white people, that doesn't make them racist lol. Most banks are doing everything they can to attract more diverse candidates, they're just not having any luck due to other career interests (consulting, tech, entrepreneur) for these candidates. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 7, 2021 - 2:29pm

Nah - didn't seem to come off like that but generally Chicago bankers are upper middle class white people (I am one of them). Just how it is, not really racist just the demographics 

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Jan 7, 2021 - 5:27pm

Did not mean it to come off that way - that is my bad. Just didn't want to imply that Lincoln having the best culture is something that is universal, as different people may have different views on what the best culture really means. 

Jan 7, 2021 - 2:24pm

Didn't someone in that office pass away a while back? Really tragic stuff, seemed like a nice kid just tryna grind hard and make it big from everything I read. I truly hope things improved there since then. 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 7, 2021 - 6:12pm

As someone who actually works at Lincoln, I can comment on this.

First off, no idea what the hell the "white people" comment is all about. Second, yes, an intern did pass away a while back, but this was a big wake up call for the company and it has done a complete 180 to ensure something like that never happens again. HR keeps very detailed accounts of how often people are working and make sure no one is getting overworked. If they are it is flagged and reflects poorly on the MD/ rest of deal team which affects their end of year reviews. So long story short MDs do not want junior staff putting in excessive hours. I've pushed 90+ a couple times but generally land between 75-85. Lincoln IS NOT a sweatshop.

Now to actually answer the culture question, Lincoln does indeed have a pretty good culture from a banking perspective, pretty comparable to other banks such as Blair/Baird (at least from what I've heard from my friends there). As cliche as it is, senior bankers try to replicate a "no asshole policy" and hire juniors who reflect this. This is a big reason why interviewing at Lincoln is highly behavioral and emphasizes "why Lincoln" rather than being able to drill out technicals. Seniors try to be pretty cognizant of ensuring juniors have somewhat of a personal life, at least in terms of what's possible for banking. For example, when working on cross-border engagements, my seniors understood my schedule and tried to work around it to ensure I wasn't getting worked at ridiculous hours, and I know my peers can say the same. So overall I have little complaints about the culture and genuinely enjoy the people I work with and the projects I'm staffed on. Happy to answer any further questions.

  • Consultant in Consulting
Jan 7, 2021 - 6:25pm

Thanks, great stuff. Just a quick question about how WFH has impacted culture; I imagine it has significantly, just like everywhere else. Does Lincoln have any sort of formal programs or events that attempt to maintain some kind of culture/community during the pandemic? Or have you found that WFH has significantly hampered your relationships there?

Also, I'm assuming you're not a first year -- but for first years you've worked with, how do they seem to be handling WFH, both from a social and professional perspective? Thanks! 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 7, 2021 - 6:34pm

Yeah it definitely has had an impact, but wouldn't say it's any worse than other banks. It's just literally more difficult to make genuine relationships when you're not all grinding together in the office. But Lincoln has attempted to keep a level of community through virtual happy hours and regional social-distanced meet ups, but obviously those arent always the most enjoyable.

Also in general I think first years are doing well. Some of the groups like TMT and HC and getting worked hard, but in general it's been pretty manageable. Lincoln has also been cross-training employees from less busy groups to pitch in with the busier ones to ensure a more balanced workload.

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Jan 7, 2021 - 9:17pm

I know that a2a is encouraged at Lincoln but could you discuss roughly what % actually stay on as a2a vs going to pe? Also are pe exits as common compared to other banks, or do more people leave to corp dev, etc. Thanks!

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jan 8, 2021 - 12:27am

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