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Comments (22)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 20, 2021 - 1:38am

Curious as to what the general sentiment is regarding this topic.

Personally, I would say Moelis because it pays more and you get the generalist model. But, at that point, a group like M&A at MS is the same generalist model. If group and pay was a nonfactor, I'd just go to wherever I thought I connected with the people better. All three of these firms are prestigious and I think the fit factor is really understated.

For example, I've networked with multiple people at GS and they all have been pretty boring conversations especially when compared to some of the other banks I've networked at like Lazard and Centerview. Obviously, this is a subjective opinion and relatively small sample size but I think my point is clear.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Apr 20, 2021 - 2:24am

That'd be a tough one for me. My personal pros and cons as someone interested in career banking is:
 

GS pros: large alumni presence, GS name, geographic mobility, coverage groups handle M&A, full suite of services

GS cons: lower pay, non-cash bonuses past analyst level, DJ D-Sol 

MS pros: medium alumni presence, slightly better pay than GS, better culture than GS, full suite of services

MS cons: heard culture can be stuffy, non-cash bonuses past analyst level 

Moelis pros: best pay at every level, leaner teams, very strong in LA (again my personal preferences) 

Moelis cons: worst hours, nearly non-existent alumni presence, does not offer every service a BB can 

In the end, I won't be faced with this choice, but if I was, I'd probably choose Moelis if LA and Morgan Stanley if NYC 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 20, 2021 - 6:08am

Moelis if you can get LA. Otherwise, top groups at GS/MS for NYC. If it's a mediocre group for both BBs, then it's up to you (my personal preference is boutiques and rx exposure)

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Apr 20, 2021 - 8:03pm

After working at GS/MS, I would pick Moelis hands down. Only pro to MS/GS is larger alumni network and brand name outside of finance. However, GS/MS require you to go through group placement, and your experience is highly dependent on what group you end up in (culture, product focus, etc). GS/MS are also pretty sweaty overall so I don't think your life will be noticeable better compared to Moelis (some groups will probably be a lot worse than Moelis). 
 

I think the boutique model provides for a much more rewarding junior experience and the ability to work on more interesting transactions and advisory work (the stuff that is actually interesting at the junior level, even if you are just doing the grunt work). Even though Moelis may work on smaller deals, the work is pretty similar regardless of deal size. Additionally, Moelis if I recall is generalist across M&A and RX, so you get exposure across multiple products and across industries. 
 

The issue with GS/MS is you might end up never doing any true M&A process (this happened to a significant number of my peers) given there is also a focus on equity/debt. Nothing is worse than being on multiple equity follow ons / relationship loans / bond offerings. The work is god awful boring for an analyst and requires an inordinate amount of process work (you might end up spending multiple days filling out FINRA forms and ridiculous internal compliance / committee memos). There is no "strategic rationale" or "investment thesis"  behind debt offerings that's interesting to think about, it's just mind numbing process work. 

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Apr 20, 2021 - 8:39pm

Would probably take MS M&A at that point. They don't pitch and are only brought in for live transactions, typically large to mega cap. GS TMT (SF) has notoriously atrocious hours / culture. 

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 20, 2021 - 9:19pm

MS is a great shop. Clearly recognized as a top 2-3 BB in almost everybodies mind. With that being said I would choose GS if you aren't sure if you want to work in finance for the rest of your career. 

However, If you know that you want to stay in finance then it really depends on the group and their PE/HF/VC placement. 

I think the group matters alot more than the actual shop and most posters in this thread are naively overlooking that. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 20, 2021 - 10:56pm

I strongly disagree with what most people are saying. You need to look at this decision based on what you want out of banking. If you are doing it for the money and are in it for the long run, then I would go with boutique. If you are looking fo r better work quality and experience then go with boutique. If you are looking to get into buy side, however, I would strongly urge you to go to GS and then MS and then the top Boutiques. a lot of people on this forum do not understand the lights out placement of GS groups especially into top MFPE and top HFs. This was understated to me and only realized it when I saw over 50-60% of people at the top pe shops. You just can't go wrong with that. The GS name carries on. Look at top tiger cubs and other top SM hedge funds, again mostly GS folks. At the end of the day it is your choice but I would sincerely think about what you want about banking before you ask the question.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Apr 21, 2021 - 12:00pm

Anyone here suggesting they'd take Moelis over GS / MS is lying. Realistically, your analyst years will suck no matter where you go.
 

The slight benefit you get from Moelis is better pay, which means nothing in a 2-year analyst program. I promise that is not worth sacrificing the universal GS brand that can open doors in practically any industry you're interested in down the road. Think long term

  • Intern in Consulting
Apr 21, 2021 - 8:30pm

Anyone have info on the updated reputation of the Moelis SF office? Went on the moelis website to look at deals and a lot of the ones under TMT were telecom and media related so not sure if those were executed out of the SF office or not

  • Associate 3 in IB - Ind
Apr 21, 2021 - 9:11pm

If you download the CSV on the website, you can sort between Tech and M/T.

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