Moelis vs Citi (London)

Hi, I've received 2 summer internship offers - 1 is for capital markets origination at Citi, and the other is generalist (IBD + restructuring) at Moelis. I'm very conflicted on what to choose.
I far prefer the culture of a boutique, and I liked all of my Moelis interviewers.
However, I'm not looking to stay in IB for the long term (looking to eventually go into startups/VC) so Citi's brand name might mean that it's a better choice? Also, all of my previous internships are in smaller firms so might be useful to have Citi on the CV?
However, note that Citi is capital markets and not M&A (if this is particularly important at all). 

Any thoughts/insights? 

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Comments (18)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 30, 2020 - 5:24pm

What's capital markets origination? Is it ECM? If so Moelis would be better if you want to go to VC, unless you can somehow specialise in large cap tech ECM at Citi, or have a previous M&A off-cycle experience. From a training/skillset perspective, a boutique and esp. Moelis would be way better than Citi ECM. Then tbh with IB hours, fit is really important so go with the flow if you're unsure

Oct 30, 2020 - 6:50pm

Thanks for the response! Capital markets origination could be ECM, DCM or levfin; I'd be most keen on ECM so I'd try and ask to be put there but I couldn't confirm that it would be tech/ TMT ECM (although that would be my preference). Would you say that the training and skillset in M&A would be relevant enough that VCs would prefer it?

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 31, 2020 - 7:47am

M&A training is MUCH more relevant to VC than ECM (and also open doors to growth equity, PE, etc.). In M&A, you learn to screen buyers/sellers (i.e. find investments and exits), prepare financial models, prepare market overviews and do due dilligence.

Now, in ECM you also focus on markets, but your financial skillset is mostly limited to public comps and public markets (you don't do DCF, M&A or LBO modelling). ECM is basically high level marketing whereas M&A can be as well but with more extensive focus on valuation and due dilligence. Don't get me wrong, it's really interesting, but you do get less financial training and it's not as relevant to VC (public markets vs. early stage private markets).

For VC, the best groups are M&A or TMT (and Healthcare if you like biotech), with ECM being one of the worst groups if you're really focused on VC.

The only tweak to this would be if you work on brand name tech IPOs and apply to early stage VC funds that are less focused on financials and more focused on knowledge of the tech industry.

I would think that working on sponsor deals at Moelis would be more relevant but then if you really lack brand name exposure (no name schools), Citi LevFin could give you a nice exposure on that side. Would also be better known by venture capitalists if you're a startup founder looking to raise capital.

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  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Oct 31, 2020 - 11:04am

Very different, you're going to have to figure out if you want Lev Fin or M&A, not to mention the firms themselves are worlds apart with regards to how they operate.

Have you met the people at both? Sorry if you already said.

Oct 31, 2020 - 11:49am

Yes, I did a 3-day virtual spring week at Citi so got a good understanding of the culture. My knowledge of Moelis is from meeting 4 interviewers (again virtually), but I did find that they were much more cerebral, interesting people than at Citi. I am drawn to Moelis for the culture and the people, but I've always chosen the smaller firm, so not sure if I should now choose the bigger firm to maybe expand my network. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 31, 2020 - 12:02pm

The network part is a big component you're right to think about it. Think about the model: Citi will be a massive firm with hundreds of people in London so you will mostly interact with the LevFin or ECM team + some industry teams on your deals if you're there. So you'll have a wide network of people you sort of know. Moelis and other boutiques on the other hand are much smaller so you will pretty much know everyone there (including HR, MDs, etc). Also as said boutique vs. BB makes a big diff in terms how they operate.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Oct 31, 2020 - 3:47pm

Hm, interesting. I only have knowledge of MoCo in the US and they have some issues with reputation here as it relates to, I guess you would call it "culture," but so do most banks. 

This is going to come down to whether you want Lev Fin or M&A pretty much. Not sure how LDN works to be honest, but have heard BB name on res is more important there than here, but this is anecdotal. 

Oct 31, 2020 - 12:59pm

"Much more interesting people than at Citi". I don't work at Citi, but trust me compared to the average non-finance person, especially to liberal arts people, we're pretty fucking boring.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 22, 2021 - 4:01pm

Please stop poisoning this website. Your takes are shit. Enjoy your time at PWP, and please take your garbage somewhere else.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 22, 2021 - 7:41pm

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