MBA SA Goldman vs Evercore

I can't believe I'm finally posting this after a couple years of skimming these forums, but I FINALLY received offers to become an investment banker. Though not the objective of this post, if anybody is curious about my path. Non-target UG (~3.5 GPA, not stellar) -> Audit at Big 4 (where I learned what IB is, and decided to take action to get there) -> M&A Transaction Advisory -> Bschool -> offers.

Upon receiving offers from Goldman, Evercore, and one other BB, I cancelled the rest of my superdays and focused on these options. What do you guys think? What's the better move? Goldman or Evercore (from the lens of a post MBA associate). Thinking about:

  1. hours,
  2. pay,
  3. prestige,
  4. exit ops

Thoughts? Thanks in advance, this forum has been super helpful and I imagine it'll be no different this time around.

Comments (63)

Jan 22, 2018

Edit: Apparently I was wrong - Ignore

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Jan 7, 2018

Thanks! Both NYC yes. Goldman told me there's a high probability that I land TMT/HC/Retail, which are my top choices. Evercore runs a generalist program for the first year, so don't have to consider group placement in my decision.

Jan 22, 2018

.

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Jan 7, 2018

Congrats on two excellent offers. Echoing what the above said, if these are group dependent/what group you think you'll be placed in will definitely make a difference. If generalist offer, assuming you didn't feel a stronger connection to the people at either bank, my instinct would be to go with the Evercore offer. Hours might be worse but (anecdotally) heard the pay is better.

As far as prestige and exit ops, probably similar boat at either shop - Associate -> PE is very difficult. Don't discount other exit ops at higher levels though, I have (again, anecdotally) heard of bankers in more senior roles (VP, Director, MD) exiting to companies (and some PE shops) they worked on long term deals with.

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Jan 7, 2018

Congratulations! There's really no way to go wrong here. For most analysts, I would recommend Goldman for the brand name. However, given you are later in your career, you have to decide what you value more:

1) Hours - I would argue Goldman has better hours on average. Because Evercore is a smaller place, there are small BS things that you sometimes have to deal with. A friend a few years back mentioned he had to bind books which folks at BBs never have to worry about. Realistically this affects analysts more, but there Is just less back office support.

2) Pay - Evercore, hands down. Bonuses are consistently higher. For analysts, I would say average bonus at Evercore is higher by $10k. If you climb the ladder, Partners take a bigger cut of fees at Evercore.

3) Prestige - If you're staying in finance I would say equal with the exception of Goldman TMT and FIG being more prestigious. If you think you might leave finance Goldman has a stronger brand name and more alumni in different fields.

4) Exit Ops - Buyside is difficult for associates but I've seen it done. I would argue Goldman is better on this front. From an analyst perspective, Goldman places better on average. The quartiles are equal but Goldman's second and third quartiles do better than Evercore's.

Hope this is helpful.

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Jan 7, 2018

Very helpful, thanks!

Jan 11, 2018

On some level, it's got to be worth something that everybody knows GS. This is me being shallow and an outsider, but your Tinder profile will do very well with 'Goldman Sachs' on it. I would die to make it into Evercore, but it's definitely not a household name.

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Jan 12, 2018

Want to push back on a couple of comments you mentioned here - no direct horse in this race but some errors. @OP, these related to analyst comments - Lifestyle's general thoughts towards associates are correct from my understanding.

On pay - average all-in comp at Evercore is definitely higher than $10K more for analysts- even just salary is $10K more (95K vs 85K) and bonuses for Evercore analysts are higher than Goldman analysts at the average level.

Exit Ops - For analysts, this may just be a function of who chooses to go to Evercore vs Goldman (people who have a demonstrated interest in finance vs just intelligent people) but Evercore placements, on average, tend to be much better than those at Goldman. A look on Linkedin supports this - the average Evercore analyst is getting offered the same opportunities given to the average GS TMT analyst.

Jan 7, 2018

On exit ops, GS TMT sent 3 to KKR this year (I think they have around 6 in total, they can basically go wherever) and I know of quite a few Evercore analysts still recruiting or at MMs who wanted to go MF

Jan 18, 2018

Yeah that seems wrong...there are like 15-18 analysts in gs tmt per year, and from what I hear from friends 7-10ish go to either mf pe, top upper mm pe, or top hfs (viking/glenview/maverick/spo/farallon etc) every year. There is zero chance evercore's 40 person 1st year class will place 15-25 kids in those jobs, which would be the same per capita placement. And that doesn't account for the fact that the average gs tmt kid is likely slightly less interested in traditional buyside gigs than at evercore (have heard of some preferring top vc and industry).

To add to this more generally, I think a lot of college kids don't realize how small the top groups at these bbs are compared to ebs. Evr, Laz, Moelis, CVP are all significantly larger than the average GS/MS group (at ms, where classes are 5-8 kids per group, it's not even close). Hence, if you manage to crack ms m&a, ms m&c, ms transpo, gs tmt, gs fig, gs crh, your per capita exits are going to be pretty damn good.

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Jan 7, 2018

The hours I'd expect it would end up being highly group dependent/a bit higher at Evercore. Pay will be higher at Evercore.

Prestige & exit ops imo should be viewed holistically as opposed to just finance circles, and I have to think Goldman takes it at the associate level, but others probably would know more on this one.

Overall, given you haven't been in IB yet and only the information provided, I'd have to go with Goldman at least for the internship.

All of that being said, you should consider
- your long term goals (career in banking?)
- the people you liked best/cultural vibes
- the group you would most like to be in if it was your choice (would you ever want to try RX?)
- is city a factor or would you ever want to work overseas
- how much debt you have

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Jan 7, 2018

I would go with Goldman since it's just an internship, easier to lateral to any boutique if you find you don't like your summer there. Also, as a non-target UG, I think the Goldman brand will do a lot for you since not many people outside of finance know what Evercore is. Congrats on the offers!

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Jan 7, 2018

Good point on brand. Thanks!

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Jan 17, 2018

It's a good thing he's in finance then I guess?...

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Jan 9, 2018

GS. I actually don't get why EB is so popular post-MBA other than the pay difference (not that significant after tax). I will take any good BB (not DB/UBS etc.) over EB with Qatalyst as an exception.

IBD is essentially a relationship driven business. You need to build client relationships if you want to succeed in banking or find good exit (usually senior role at client). And two things you got in BB are very important for relationship building: how to pitch/sell (esp see how senior bankers approach new client) and equity experience (at least in TMT most relationships start with private capital raising and IPO).

The technical skills like modeling you may learn better at EB don't have a lot of value after first few years. That's very different than analyst since technical skills are what PE recruiting care most at associate level.

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Jan 7, 2018

The pay difference becomes more significant as you climb up the ladder. Partners at EBs take a much larger cut of the fees than MDs at BBs.

Would argue Centerview / Evercore are up there with Qatalyst.

Pitching / Selling - EBs churn more pitches per associate than BBs by far. You're also much more likely to get client facetime at an EB. From what I've seen, EB senior bankers tend to be smoother with clients - they got poached from BBs for a reason.

Equity Experience - Pretty specific to tech and early / growth stage companies no? If I wanted take on a senior role at a large corporate, I'd have a lot more exposure to the C-Suite from an M&A process.

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Jan 7, 2018

When you say pay difference is not significant after tax. Do you mean all-in? or base pay? At base pay, the difference is 150k vs 125k, so you're right, not significant after tax. But what about bonuses? say for an average performer and for a top performer at each. I don't see any data on this for 2017...

Jan 10, 2018

Did you do M&A transaction advisory at the Big 4 or a small firm? Were you doing FDD?

Jan 7, 2018

FDD at Big 4

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Jan 10, 2018

Congratulations. Out of curiosity, did you try to lateral into banking from Big Four TAS? Why the MBA route?

Jan 10, 2018

Good point, but as someone who spent a few years at the Big 4, I can definitely attest that this is actually much harder to do than it seems. Every kid in TAS wants to exit into IB, and there just aren't that many positions off-cycle. MBA's the way to go (imo), albeit an expensive one. Btw, congrats @FinallyMadeIt !

Best Response
Jan 10, 2018

There are a lot of awful answers ITT. I'll break it down by your points and then offer a few of my own viewpoints.

1) Hours are going to be roughly comparable and group specific. You'll get worked at both and at GS, specifically TMT and FIG, I would expect you'll work more than most groups at evercore. Evercore generalist can both be a blessing and a curse for hours. In reality, I don't think this should be making your decision for you.

2) Pay is significantly higher at Evercore. Both at the associate level and even more stark the higher you go. There is a well known Goldman discount even compared to other BBs, so that's only magnified at the EBs. We're talking between 50-75k more as a first year associate and it only gets larger.

3) Prestige? Who cares, unless you mean it in terms of exit ops. In terms of exit ops, you can go to any bank on the street from either. You can also get interviews at the same funds from either (which is not many, as an associate). Without prior banking background the MBA associates who end up making the switch to PE almost always go to small start up funds. If you want to go to a brand name fund, it's actually easier the more senior you are if you miss the analyst years because you may acquire a knowledge and expertise they want.

If you want to someday be in Corp Dev or a CFO, GS has the name recognition there and will be better. But most people hiring for those jobs are ex bankers, and these days Evercore is so large that all ex bankers know it's a great shop. So I don't think the gap is as big as some make it out to be.

4) See above.

Other things to consider:

Summer offer rates - Evercore's is significantly better. They routinely offer between 90-100% of their summers. Last year it was all but one summer in NYC in a class of 20. Goldman is generally between 75-80% on a larger class, and it's generally mandated, so even if everyone is awesome some people still get cut. That's not true at evercore.

Work experience: What is it you want to do? At Evercore you will get better M&A mandates early on that will force you to be a better technical banker. That's less true at GS. But at GS you'll have a broader experience. If debt and equity markets are of interest to you, you will want to be at GS because you won't see that nearly as much at Evercore (because you can't underwrite). You'll also get more client interaction and at an earlier stage at Evercore (not sure why someone above said you wouldn't get that at Evercore, at my EB I was in front of top clients within the first couple months and actually presented to one of the best brand name PE funds during my summer).

Also, to the guy above talking about someone binding their own books at Evercore and not getting back office support, he couldn't be more full of shit. Evercore has 2k employees and is doing 1.5b in revenue, they have as much back office support as any banker on the street. They staff more lean teams than GS, but that has nothing to do with bullshit like printing books.

Culture: The culture is actually very similar at both. Fairly laid back and academic, IMO. So I would try to figure out who you get along with best.

I am partial to the boutique experience, personally, and would take Evercore. But also understand the pull of GS. It's a tough decision, so make sure to do your due diligence.

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Jan 11, 2018

I can confirm both summer conversion figures are accurate.

Jan 7, 2018

Is this the case for summer analysts too?

Jan 13, 2018

This is very good advice. Not just in terms of the insight on both shops (I've worked at a couple of BBs - not GS and not a boutique, so no horse in this race) but also on some of the key differences between M&A vs Generalist IBD, and the nature of the exit options.

M&A vs Generalist IBD: advisory vs underwriting (Debt and Equity) is important here. My understanding is that client coverage at Goldman is done from IBD, and there are no M&A teams because that is their core business. Client coverage, therefore, will bring in debt and equity specialists as necessary for the client, and in order to do that, the advisor needs to be generally conversant and fluent in these topics to kickstart the conversation with clients and know WHEN/HOW to bring in these experts.

Is that something that's interesting to the OP? My personal $0.02 is that DCM gets old after about 3 days, and ECM in particular is about as interesting as watching paint dry - and even less analytical. (Sorry capital markets folks: it's a good career path though, gotta give you that). But some people really get their kicks from this, so the OP might too.

If you want advisory, though, it's the core business at GS, and it's THE business at Evercore.

Exit options: the previous poster was right in emphasizing that these are MBA-level exit options. Such as they are, for the buyside, they're comparable, and for corporates, GS has an edge, but Evercore will also be well-regarded. And most importantly: post-MBA Associate exit options are a fraction of pre-MBA Analyst options. Don't do IBD post-MBA for the exit options - you will be sorely disappointed.

Last thoughts: in terms of the people I know at both GS IBD and Evercore (current and former), if I were running a business or fund and wanted an advisor, the first banker who comes to mind is currently at Evercore. But, if I were in the OP's shoes, I'd have a hard time turning down GS (but probably would, because if I stayed I'd get paid less, and the exit options are less than people think they are). Rational vs emotional. Good problem to have!

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Mar 20, 2019

How big is the U.S. Associate class at GS?

Jan 10, 2018

Goldman has more lay prestige but in finance circles Evercore is just as strong. Pay difference at EVR will be more significant than you think (bonuses often 20-50%+ higher at the associate level with more differentiation as you are more senior). Evercore will likely force you to take on more responsibility early on, which can be great, but if that is not your thing, you might prefer Goldman (not that you won't get responsibility there, but you are much more shielded at a BB). Hours will likely be pretty equal but obviously group dependent, would keep in mind that promising you TMT/Retail/HC is a lot different than having it in hand, pretty easy for them to tell you that and not follow through.

Both have great cultures with people that are extremely excited to work there (arguably the two strongest in my book)

I think the number of senior GS guys that have moved to EVR speaks to the great platform there. If you are looking to go to bank that has rapidly moved from up and coming to a pretty dominant player in the league tables that still continues to grow, go for EVR (ie a place you can grow with) vs. Goldman where they are obviously the top BB year in and year out but you might not have as much of an opportunity to make your mark.

Can't really make a bad choice.

Would also add that for Associate, I would put exit opps as a factor out of your mind, it's just not something worth considering, if you get a PE offer it will likely be through external networking, not the name on your resume, although I would argue that both are probably equally powerful at this point.

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Jan 11, 2018

First off, congrats. Both are great offers and you can't really go wrong.

On hours, this will be very group dependent but GS tends to focus a lot on facetime. EVR's culture is a lot more laid back so when things are not busy, people just go home. EVR also makes the job pretty mobile from what I hear so you can work remotely fairly easily. Not sure about GS.

As mentioned above, Pay will be much higher at EVR. GS tends to pay lower than most BB. Expect to make ~75k more in your first year at EVR.

Within finance circles there is no clear advantage in terms of prestige. Obvious the GS name is more well known outside of finance so if the goal is to bounce after a year or two, GS will be better. EVR people tend to stick around longer.

For exit opps, it really depends what you want to do. Because EVR is strictly M&A, you will get more reps on things relevant to PE firms so can be better set up for that if PE is the goal. If the goal is to work outside of finance at some point, as stated above, the GS name is more marketable for that.

On the other thing to consider I agree with things AllDay said above, aside from culture. I have friends at both and from what I hear the GS culture is brutally competitive (as evidenced by the summer offer rates) so can be a pretty trying place to work. The EVR people I know really love it there. I actually have one friend who started at GS and moved to EVR because the culture was so brutal. He much prefers EVR.

Can't go wrong either way but decision really focuses on what's most important to you. I think if you want to spend longer than a year or two in the job the obvious answer in Evercore. If you're just looking for a marketable name on your resume and are okay with getting killed until you leave, go to GS.

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Jan 20, 2018

Incredible. What sort of range does 75k more translate into all-in at the first year associate level? 350k?

Do other EB pay this much as well?

Jan 12, 2018

Dont have any useful insight for you, but congrats on the offers and you should definitely think about posting some content on the journey itself (as a new thread).

Jan 12, 2018

Congrats OP! I'm super jealous. Post-mba banking at a top EB is one of the best jobs out there: super interesting work, smart people, awesome compensation, great exit opps. Do well at Evercore, and you can write your own ticket.

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Jan 14, 2018

What makes the work at an EB more interesting than at a BB?

Jan 12, 2018

Congrats on the offers. One thought on exit ops - as you move up the ladder, GS has way more opportunity for internal mobility. They will shift people to other parts of the firm at times. That may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your interests. I've seen former mid-level IB people move over to research, strategy, S&T, investing, GSAM, etc.

Jan 14, 2018

If you want to get an return offer, Evercore would lead to a better outcome. GS takes 70-75% of their SA class where as Evercore can take up to 100%. My MBA friend who interned at GS banking but did not a return offer finds himself without a job for full time recruiting. Hence, it is always better to secure a full time role through your summer internship.

In terms of prestige, I think Evercore is actually more prestigious than GS in banking.

Lastly, Evercore pays a lot better in base and bonus. GS starting salary is 125K whereas Evercore is 150k.

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Jan 14, 2018

I worked at Evercore as an analyst. I thought a lot of the associates were scrubs and anecdotally it seemed like they got fewer looks than some other GS associates I knew. If you have a ton of student debt and you're gonna stay in banking for a while then sure - make money and choose Evercore. I would be angling to GTFO though and pick the (much) more prestigious name.

Just remember that there's no greater hell than being a VP in banking.

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Jan 7, 2018

What made you think they were scrubs?

Jan 14, 2018

sooo frickin awesome - best of luck, sure it will be awesome experiences wherever you choose. Not that my opinion really matters but my thoughts are GS because of the size and brand name/prestige.

Jan 15, 2018

As usual, there is a lot of misinformation on this message board. Here's the deal:

  1. Hours - they will be rough no matter where you end up, but it is tough to predict which firm will be harder until you know exactly which group you will work in.
  2. Pay - pay is higher at Evercore.
  3. Prestige - this is what sophomores in undergrad worry about. Focus on the transaction experience you can get. You can get great experience at either firm, but you will get a broader range of transaction experience working at Goldman or another BB than at a boutique.
  4. Exit Ops - If you're worrying about exit ops as an SA, you're going to have a rough ride in IB. Grind it out for a few years, see which clients (including sponsors) you form the best relationships with, and take it from there.

My (hot) take - go to Goldman. If you're really worried about what's next, everyone has heard of Goldman, and you'll get exposure to M&A, ECM, DCM. My belief is that the variety of your experience will make you a better banker long-term and better position you to take advantage of exit opportunities as they emerge.

"Anything less than the best is a felony"

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Jan 15, 2018

You say worrying about prestige is what sophomores do, then go on to recommend Goldman due to its prestige...

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Jan 15, 2018

Not recommending Goldman because of prestige; I said everyone has heard of it. I.E., you'll never have to explain what large / high profile deals you advised on, or how strong your experience was. My much bigger point was the experience you get at larger firms. I am recommending GS because of the breadth of experience. Having capital markets and advisory experience is extremely valuable when you're looking to move into industry.

"Anything less than the best is a felony"

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Jan 7, 2018

You didn't mention anything that wasn't already mentioned on this thread?

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Jan 15, 2018

Why not take some advice from someone who's completely unqualified - You're welcome:

One thing I haven't heard anyone mention yet is the market. We are at the peak of a (very long) economic cycle, and M&A probably peaks this year or next (super hot in 2017 too I might add). I think its reasonable to be somewhat concerned about what happens to employees at a M&A only boutique if the cycle cools off (or worse, crashes). GS would seem to be a better option in such a scenario. If my recollection serves me correctly EVR really only became massive post GFC, so not much of a track record in navigating crisis as a big firm

Jan 15, 2018

Evercore separates advisory into separate M&A and RX groups, but I imagine a firm with a moderately strong restructuring presence like Evercore would also be poised to snag solid RX mandates in an economic downturn. Sure, the volume of deals might not generate revenue like M&A, but I'm not so sure "employees at an M&A-only boutique" would be hit. Just take a look at Lazard's performance pre and post GFC, they seemed to do fine.

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Jan 10, 2018

This is a good point. Worth considering OP. My one counterpoint would be that in terms of the "pie" of M&A, boutiques have been continually taking more and more of that pie. In 2016 boutiques had 35% of total M&A advisory fees, in 2008 that was 20%, and I expect that number to keep rising. What's the "top"? I'm not sure, but I'm certain it's higher than that 35% number. Which means that it gives the boutiques an ability to continue to expand their business even in an M&A downturn.

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Jan 7, 2018

Agreed. The M&A growth + RX practice should shield the large independent advisory firms from a stagnant / correcting market.

Jun 10, 2018

[ ]

Jan 16, 2018

If politics is something of your interest, go to GS. Have a look at all the politicians with GS in their CV in top places.

Jan 18, 2018

Are you the guy who was at Vezzo last night talking to a girl exactly about whether he should go with GS or Evercore? Because that was really painful to sit next to and overhear. Hope you still got it in though.

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Jan 7, 2018

No, smh.

Jan 19, 2018

In addition to everything already mentioned, you may wish to consider how much EVR continues to fill its senior ranks with external talent. With perceivably more whitespace from a business standpoint, is EVR more inclined to hire senior bankers with established relationships or promote internally to capture it? Does that affect your odds of capitalizing on "much better compensation" longer-term? This is of course all speculative but food for thought.

FWIW, you can likely try-on GS for size this summer (and hopefully get placed in your top group) and switch to EVR full-time if it's not for you. EVR consistently reserves a good number of associate spots for post summer laterals and will be happy to welcome you then. The opposite is much less likely.

Jan 7, 2018

So... have you made a decision? Interested in hearing of which you're leaning towards and why after all of this information.

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Jan 19, 2018

Interested as well.. btw congrats, great offers!!!

Jan 21, 2018

You need to place much greater weight on quality of life at the Associate level. Everything else is a toss-up so just go where you feel you will be happiest in the long term.

That said, I don't think anyone would disagree that Evercore has a leg up on culture. Trust me when I say that people seem much happier at EVR.

Jan 14, 2018

Are you saying that incoming associates need to weigh quality of life greater than analysts since post-mba associates are expected to be career bankers? Can you comment on quality of life VP and up?

Jan 21, 2018
imthelord:

Are you saying that incoming associates need to weigh quality of life greater than analysts since post-mba associates are expected to be career bankers?

To a certain extent, yes. There's less of a two-and-out mentality.

imthelord:

Can you comment on quality of life VP and up?

Not really, other than saying that IB is IB and the industry has only become more crowded with senior talent.

Jan 14, 2018

So OP, what firm did you end up going with?

Mar 21, 2018

I'd vote GS over Evercore. Hours might be more intense at GS but your experience and peer group will be higher tier. Evercore's offices are grim at best too. Makes a difference when you're spending 90+ hrs somewhere.

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Apr 17, 2018

Would take evercore over GS

Apr 17, 2018

GS. Consider moving to Evercore if GS isn't paying you well enough in 5 years.

Dec 5, 2018
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