Morgan Stanley S&T vs. Citigroup S&T (Offer Help)

Wu_banga's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 22

I have never posted on this site, or had a log until today for that matter. But I have read the posts and wanted to get none BS opinions from people on MS Institutional Equity S&T vs. Citi S&T and QA analysis programs.

Both are SA positions and I have an offer from both. I liked the people at both places but Citi would give more diversity in terms of FI and Equity desk rotations vs. MS being equity only, but it seems that MS has the better general rep.

Thanks for the opinions!

Comments (66)

Feb 28, 2012

PM me

Feb 28, 2012

I'd go with Citi

Feb 28, 2012

^^^ agreed

Feb 28, 2012

The opportunity to "try before you buy" so to speak is incredibly valuable - you may find Equities are just not your thing.

Feb 28, 2012

Sometimes I feel that some answers in this forum are directed to actually choosing the worse possible one. How could Citi S&T is better than MS S&T?? Last year MS posted a record high $1.7bn in equity sales and trading revenue1, its highest figure in that business since 2008. On top of it, by Q4 2011, MS did less to cut down on pay than Citi. Citi did lots of bloodshed for cost-cutting its insane. I would go with MS. Especially knowing MS is the underwriter for Facebook IPO for crying out loud.

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Feb 28, 2012
FunFundedFund:

Sometimes I feel that some answers in this forum are directed to actually choosing the worse possible one. How could Citi S&T is better than MS S&T?? Last year MS posted a record high $1.7bn in equity sales and trading revenue1, its highest figure in that business since 2008. On top of it, by Q4 2011, MS did less to cut down on pay than Citi. Citi did lots of bloodshed for cost-cutting its insane. I would go with MS. Especially knowing MS is the underwriter for Facebook IPO for crying out loud.

Could you please do us all a favor and stop posting?
-thanks

@ OP, you mentioned QA in your original post. Just to clarify, the SA at Citi is for sales & trading, not quantitative analysis, right? SAs in QA are placed in research for the summer, but will do rotations in both trading and research once they start fulltime.

Feb 28, 2012
FreezePops:
FunFundedFund:

Sometimes I feel that some answers in this forum are directed to actually choosing the worse possible one. How could Citi S&T is better than MS S&T?? Last year MS posted a record high $1.7bn in equity sales and trading revenue1, its highest figure in that business since 2008. On top of it, by Q4 2011, MS did less to cut down on pay than Citi. Citi did lots of bloodshed for cost-cutting its insane. I would go with MS. Especially knowing MS is the underwriter for Facebook IPO for crying out loud.

Could you please do us all a favor and stop posting?
-thanks

@ OP, you mentioned QA in your original post. Just to clarify, the SA at Citi is for sales & trading, not quantitative analysis, right? SAs in QA are placed in research for the summer, but will do rotations in both trading and research once they start fulltime.

Just to please you?

NEVER :)

Feb 28, 2012
FunFundedFund:

Sometimes I feel that some answers in this forum are directed to actually choosing the worse possible one. How could Citi S&T is better than MS S&T?? Last year MS posted a record high $1.7bn in equity sales and trading revenue1, its highest figure in that business since 2008. On top of it, by Q4 2011, MS did less to cut down on pay than Citi. Citi did lots of bloodshed for cost-cutting its insane. I would go with MS. Especially knowing MS is the underwriter for Facebook IPO for crying out loud.

Citi without a doubt.

Citi has a great culture and the ability to do a rotational program is the biggest benefit. They have a 3 desk rotation for this summer intern class and will give you a great ability to find what you want to do. Yes MS is great at equities but what if you do not like it? Citi is great at FICC but sucks at equities.

Don't enlistee to this jackass. Who gives a fuck about underwriter for facebook IPO when your in S&T? That is a classic getting caught up in a name. I believe it was MS who capped cash bonuses this year at 125 and not Citi.

Last point, your goal as an intern is to get a fulltime offer. No place gives you a better shot at that than Citi. They have been at the top in terms of offer rate in S&T to interns. Last year they had a 90% offer rate to anaylst interns.

PM me if you have more direct questions about Citi

Feb 28, 2012

NewGuy and gekko, why do you guys think Citi.... and for clarification both are S&T QA is just a part of citi's program name.

Feb 28, 2012
Wu_banga:

NewGuy and gekko, why do you guys think Citi.... and for clarification both are S&T QA is just a part of citi's program name.

QA and S&T are two separate tracks within S&T at Citi. QA is not S&T. There is no chance of being placed in sales if you are in the quantitative analysis track.
If you're in quantitative analysis, you will not be on a trading desk over the summer. Once you get to full time, you will have rotations both in trading and research and ultimately be placed in one of those areas.
If you're in the S&T track, you may have rotations in both Sales and Trading.

Which one you're in makes a pretty big difference.

Feb 28, 2012
FreezePops:
Wu_banga:

NewGuy and gekko, why do you guys think Citi.... and for clarification both are S&T QA is just a part of citi's program name.

QA and S&T are two separate tracks within S&T at Citi. QA is not S&T. There is no chance of being placed in sales if you are in the quantitative analysis track.
If you're in quantitative analysis, you will not be on a trading desk over the summer. Once you get to full time, you will have rotations both in trading and research and ultimately be placed in one of those areas.
If you're in the S&T track, you may have rotations in both Sales and Trading.

Which one you're in makes a pretty big difference.

Agreed. I assume OP is referring to S&T. At Citi the program is called S,T & QA and they are two different tracks. I am not familiar with how the QA part works except that it is not part of the S&T rotation

Feb 28, 2012

Because Equities sucks and is boring as hell, and because Citi is a FICC powerhouse. NO ONE who works in S&T will ask you to choose MS over Citi. The guys saying Citi in this thread are the more informed posters.

As for Citi, make sure you stay on the S&T track and not QA (unless hardcore quantitative analysis excites you).

Feb 28, 2012

The numbers, NewGuy, speak louder than words.

Feb 28, 2012

Is Potty-Mouth part of Citi's culture? Sounds like it. Any representatives of Citi such as FreezePops, NewGuy, and NYguy07 exhibit characteristics of pirates than bankers.

Thanks for revealing that to the ones who are trying to figure out your culture.

To OP: it seems you need to learn more on the Facebook IPO, and perhaps read more news about both companies before you decide. Bonds are safe and less risky than equity, which makes it, in my opinion, more boring. Either way, your decision.

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Feb 28, 2012
FunFundedFund:

Bonds are safe and less risky than equity, which makes it, in my opinion, more boring. .

This has to be a serious contender for quote by someone who has no idea what they're talking about.

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Feb 28, 2012
bearflatten:
FunFundedFund:

Bonds are safe and less risky than equity, which makes it, in my opinion, more boring. .

This has to be a serious contender for quote by someone who has no idea what they're talking about.

Or a troll.

Feb 28, 2012

2011 pay is irrelevant to a SA.

Feb 28, 2012
dabanobo:

2011 pay is irrelevant to a SA.

Agreed. Was responding to the comment by FFF.

Feb 28, 2012

Fundamental analysis, people. Please learn the basics before commenting. You guys will look more and more like you know nothing about the market.

Feb 28, 2012

Agreed. FunFundedFund is a total troll.

Feb 28, 2012

Not to derail the topic, but just asking this whose gonna be deciding on a desk for a SA position in a week or two.

I've seen statements like "equities is boring etc. go for FICC" a lot on these boards, but haven't seen any reasoning behind it. Could someone possibly give the advantages / disadvantages to each and maybe as to why people would think this way?

Feb 29, 2012
turk1:

Not to derail the topic, but just asking this whose gonna be deciding on a desk for a SA position in a week or two.

I've seen statements like "equities is boring etc. go for FICC" a lot on these boards, but haven't seen any reasoning behind it. Could someone possibly give the advantages / disadvantages to each and maybe as to why people would think this way?

Probabely because there isn't any rational.
I know plenty of people who love equities, discussing success/failures of different firms and businesses etc...

It's all personal preference.

Mar 1, 2012
lolgpa:
turk1:

Not to derail the topic, but just asking this whose gonna be deciding on a desk for a SA position in a week or two.

I've seen statements like "equities is boring etc. go for FICC" a lot on these boards, but haven't seen any reasoning behind it. Could someone possibly give the advantages / disadvantages to each and maybe as to why people would think this way?

Probabely because there isn't any rational.
I know plenty of people who love equities, discussing success/failures of different firms and businesses etc...

It's all personal preference.

I love equities.

Feb 29, 2012

Do not feed the trolls guys.

MS has a reputation for allowing their traders to take more risk than some other firms, something you might want to consider. At the end of the day it all comes down to whether you like equities, fixed income or you don't know. In the first case take MS, second and third one take Citi.

Feb 29, 2012
Maximus Decimus Meridius:

Do not feed the trolls guys.

MS has a reputation for allowing their traders to take more risk than some other firms, something you might want to consider. At the end of the day it all comes down to whether you like equities, fixed income or you don't know. In the first case take MS, second and third one take Citi.

You clearly do not work in S&T sir.

OP, good choice.

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Feb 29, 2012
NewGuy:
Maximus Decimus Meridius:

Do not feed the trolls guys.

MS has a reputation for allowing their traders to take more risk than some other firms, something you might want to consider. At the end of the day it all comes down to whether you like equities, fixed income or you don't know. In the first case take MS, second and third one take Citi.

You clearly do not work in S&T sir.

OP, good choice.

I'd appreciate if you elaborated on why you think I'm so wrong.

Feb 29, 2012

I've been on both floors (networking) and I liked the environment at Citi more, personally. Plus Citi is downtown near Tribeca instead of midtown where the MS conglomerate of buildings are. Sat with MS equities salestrader and a Citi HY bond salesguy, Citi seemed to have a more much better atmosphere and cooler guys on the desk overall. But that's just my take, go with your gut bro

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Feb 29, 2012

I appreciate the feedback everyone, I think I'm leaning towards the Citi offer.

Feb 29, 2012

this is crude but is my general take

equities (cash, equity swaps particularly) MS all the way
any type of commodities trading (MS)

Rates, Credit, Mortgages, FX (Citi)
citi exotic swaps desk is really good

IVY for Life

Feb 29, 2012

I know Citi has a higher offer rate, so take Citi.

Mar 1, 2012
Spectro:

I know Citi has a higher offer rate, so take Citi.

MS too has a really solid offer rate.

Mar 1, 2012

with regards to your first point, there are desks on the equity floor that specialize in special sits market making. I know from personal experience. And yes, they could end up at merger arb funds, since thats who they talk to all day.

and yes, i know derivs, and also have first hand experience on an equity vol desk.

but i'm not here to get into a pissing match, and just leave it as it's very much based on what you're interested in. i spent time on rates trading desks as well and do understand your sentiment, i'm just trying to provide some more color

Mar 1, 2012
leveRAGE.:

with regards to your first point, there are desks on the equity floor that specialize in special sits market making. I know from personal experience. And yes, they could end up at merger arb funds, since thats who they talk to all day.

and yes, i know derivs, and also have first hand experience on an equity vol desk.

but i'm not here to get into a pissing match, and just leave it as it's very much based on what you're interested in. i spent time on rates trading desks as well and do understand your sentiment, i'm just trying to provide some more color

dude you're talking to someone who does special sits investing for a living ... the desks which actually make those kind of investments in banks do not recruit from Equities s&t programmes. While there might be some trading desks calling themselves equity corporate special situations trading and the like, they tend to be funding desks or desks doing weird derivative structures. The real merger arb type desks, if they exit in the bank, would not sit on the trading floor, and would not recruit from Equities S&T.

I like pissing matches. The ego needs to be flexed once in a while.

Mar 1, 2012
NewGuy:
leveRAGE.:

with regards to your first point, there are desks on the equity floor that specialize in special sits market making. I know from personal experience. And yes, they could end up at merger arb funds, since thats who they talk to all day.

and yes, i know derivs, and also have first hand experience on an equity vol desk.

but i'm not here to get into a pissing match, and just leave it as it's very much based on what you're interested in. i spent time on rates trading desks as well and do understand your sentiment, i'm just trying to provide some more color

dude you're talking to someone who does special sits investing for a living ... the desks which actually make those kind of investments in banks do not recruit from Equities s&t programmes. While there might be some trading desks calling themselves equity corporate special situations trading and the like, they tend to be funding desks or desks doing weird derivative structures. The real merger arb type desks, if they exit in the bank, would not sit on the trading floor, and would not recruit from Equities S&T.

I like pissing matches. The ego needs to be flexed once in a while.

You sir are a retard.

Where do you think they sit?

Are you confused between the concept of sell-side and buy-side? That's the only way I can see you reasoning for a "real merger arb desk". In either case, the the risk arb desk was a prop desk, it would still be on the trading floor.

Mar 1, 2012

your comments are legitimately fucking retarded at this point."how do they make markets in merger arb"? the same fucking way they do with any security, except they only deal with names currently undergoing transactions. the names shift from the cash book to the special sits book. as you may or may not know (looks like you really dont, even though you are faking being in the industry), special sits names trade entirely differently than your run of the mill cash equity, and because of the binary nature of special sits names they are put on different books, and the risk is handled completely differently.

do you now understand what a sell side merger arb desk does? they're ones that you "supposedly" would be dealing with if you work at a buyside shop.

it's become pretty clear you have no idea what a sell side bank does.

Mar 2, 2012
leveRAGE.:

your comments are legitimately fucking retarded at this point."how do they make markets in merger arb"? the same fucking way they do with any security, except they only deal with names currently undergoing transactions. the names shift from the cash book to the special sits book. as you may or may not know (looks like you really dont, even though you are faking being in the industry), special sits names trade entirely differently than your run of the mill cash equity, and because of the binary nature of special sits names they are put on different books, and the risk is handled completely differently.

do you now understand what a sell side merger arb desk does? they're ones that you "supposedly" would be dealing with if you work at a buyside shop.

it's become pretty clear you have no idea what a sell side bank does.

I never said I did merger arb. I'm a distressed/special sits cross-capital structure guy but I'm not giving away anything else about my background on here. In any case, this pissing contest has gone on for long enough.

My opinion stems from friends who actually work in equities S&T. Excluding structured/vol/algo stuff, the area is a good fit for very non-quantitative types who like to do something markets focused. If this isn't you, I think many desks in FICC will be a better fit for you.

And if you are a quantitative guy who doesn't like programming, I think there are many desks in FICC that you will find more enjoyable and rewarding.

If you like building algos, then yes, equities algo trading would be a good fit for you.

That's all.

Mar 1, 2012

why do these threads always turn into this, it ruins the site

P.S. i'm the OP

Mar 1, 2012
Wu_banga:

why do these threads always turn into this, it ruins the site

P.S. i'm the OP

A combination of ego, stress and daddy issues.

Mar 1, 2012

Look, I have no interest in getting into a pissing match with some random dudes online. So, I'm not totally sure why I'm commenting on this, but just for the record:

I do low liquidity things in FICC for a large buy side shop.

AND my firm has plenty of very smart people who do things in equities that range from distressed names to statistically motivated trading to vol based strategies.

FICC is a different set of skills, no doubt about it. I don't think it is inherently better or worse from a buy side perspective. Just different. Also, just for the record, FICC isn't exactly homogeneous either. There is a world of difference between ags, g8 forex and corporate credit. I hope you aren't going to start arguing that one sector of FICC is actually the "only" good desk...

If your goal is to make money from spreads, I agree big board equities aren't a great place to do it if you aren't HFT. On the other hand, bankrupt\reorganizing companies can have large spreads. Some how my firm, and others, manage to find traders at banks who make markets in these deeply distressed names. I have no idea what the background of these traders is, but I would be a little surprised if the desk wasn't a part of S&T (though I could see equity and credit components). I find it mildly hard to believe that if they are good at what they do, the distressed guys in equities guys don't do well...

Mar 2, 2012

It's worth noting that most non-quantitative cash equity roles in trading/salestrading are very unlikely to lead into being a primary risk-taker anywhere.

leveRAGE - I agree with your points, and while those guys may end up at event equity/credit style shops, they are purely going to be trading, not taking much risk (outside of day-trading style trading desk risk taking). When you compare someone who's traded risk-arb situations versus the guys with M&A/biglaw/ER backgrounds, you're not going to have the analytical edge.

Mar 2, 2012
Reality:

It's worth noting that most non-quantitative cash equity roles in trading/salestrading are very unlikely to lead into being a primary risk-taker anywhere.

leveRAGE - I agree with your points, and while those guys may end up at event equity/credit style shops, they are purely going to be trading, not taking much risk (outside of day-trading style trading desk risk taking). When you compare someone who's traded risk-arb situations versus the guys with M&A/biglaw/ER backgrounds, you're not going to have the analytical edge.

That's not necessarily true...I agree with your comment that the market making desk doesn't usually play into the risk arb position like hedge funds do. However, the analytical aspect in terms of timing of the deal, regulatory concerns, etc... are very much expected from the salestrader. Apart from pushing liquidity into risk arb they are responsible for gathering color as well.

I personally think that the exprienced lawyers would have the best edge analytically if they decided to do risk arb, because they would know more about how the regulatory process works and the odds of a deal closing. I dont think M&A guys would be able to provide much more expertise than a salestrader though. Think about it this way: A banker would look at usually max 5 deals a year, where as a salestrader is following 70-100 a year.

Mar 2, 2012

Can you stop the kindergarden fightclub ?

Mar 2, 2012

i would say that our back and forth provided significantly more color than most of you idiots just posting shit like "lol equities in dallas rofl"

if you actually look at the content you will find an enormous amount of info that is quite relevant about trading desks.

Mar 2, 2012
leveRAGE.:

i would say that our back and forth provided significantly more color than most of you idiots just posting shit like "lol equities in dallas rofl"

if you actually look at the content you will find an enormous amount of info that is quite relevant about trading desks.

Would have to gree that the pissing match actually produced a good merger arb thread

Mar 2, 2012

Alright well if we can just clear the way from all the used tampons above, we can get back to the original issue at hand.

Since its 2 bulges you've got an offer from, the exit opps (assuming this leads to FT) should be pretty decent. The whole issue of equity der'vs vs FICC was already addressed, and ill just add to the fact that the C trading desk (London anyway) is huuuuuge compared to MS. If you can make your way around the floor and get to speak to some traders outside of "here's your coffee sir", you can use that to network and hopefully land something. Good luck.

Mar 3, 2012

Is most of the information based on the trading side of S&T? Seems like most of the comments are coming from a trading side of the industry. Can anyone input on what the Sales side it like?

Mar 3, 2012

re: comments on risk arb, I personally would never join a shop which has you doing that exclusively. So competitive these days with such tiny spreads that getting an informational edge is the only way to make money in the space. If you're working somewhere like Paulson where you get exposure to the different strategies (risk arb, event driven, special sits), then it's worth it and would be an interesting experience.

Feb 18, 2014

OP, I'm in the same position currently and have to decide within the week. If you see this PM me or comment and let me know what decision you made and how you liked it. Thanks so much

Feb 18, 2014

MX FI isn't so hot these days, but they're fundamentally different roles - search quant v traditional S&T

Feb 18, 2014

Citi no question. This place is falling apart- my entire analyst class is having trouble even getting callbacks from headhunters. Avoid MS at all costs.

Feb 18, 2014

Also FYI its relatively easy to xfer from research to standard FX S/T if that's what you're into, I've also heard good things about internal mobility @ Citi

Feb 18, 2014

gutshot- i've spoken with both groups extensively, and the flexibility i will be afforded will allow me to pursue my interests at each unhindered. the question is mainly about reputation and which would offer a better learning experience that would lead to a FT offer.

johnmackey- that sounds a little extreme, and i am very skeptical. can you elaborate?

Feb 18, 2014

What sounds a little extreme? Do you look at quarterly results? Get any analysts you can trust to speak to you on the level. Looking around the desks is pathetic nobody works like they used to and I know for a fact a number of people are trying to get out becuase occasionally I'll see an email up on a screen when I'm walking by. Out of my three best friends here one was Stanford and is a top analyst, the othe rtwo were non-targets but do great work. Headhunters we keep contacting have given responses from we'll keep you on file to "we're not interested"

In contrast I have buddies at Citi with HF interviews that are far inferior to the guys I'm talking about here. On top of that they seem excited about their company- Pandit is making moves and making things really good for FX and Gorman is falling behind.

Feb 18, 2014
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