Comments (171)

May 5, 2020 - 11:05pm

I remember when I was recruiting, one of the associates told me he chose Jefferies for dealflow over culture.
He said with a smirk that it didn't matter to him if he doesn't like his co-workers and that friction exists anywhere you go.
Huge red flag for me that signaled toxic work culture.

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May 6, 2020 - 9:49am

Big yikes, especially when a lot of other Houston banking cultures are pretty tight knit.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 6, 2020 - 4:12pm

Haha. I also remember at one of their info sessions someone asked an MD why he chose banking as a career and he was like "I'm gonna be honest with y'all, I like the money"

May 6, 2020 - 10:05pm

Used to work JEF houston.

Name another place where first year analysts made close to half $1mm and associates $1mm.... that's all you really need to know. Ya those people worked for that money and ya it was not a jolly good time, but I've never heard of anyone making that dough at a bank.

Those are real numbers. JEF used to have an edge (2010-2015) when it had the best / only good technical O&G team and relationships with every PE sponsor, sold every private Co in Permian. JEF really did control that market and still largely does even though its dead. Paid its employees very well until very recently. Lot has changed there but still exceptionally smart people and culture of working hard and producing the best materials will stick.

The current problem in O&G largely created by JEF to begin with because JEF sold all the assets with juiced engineering parameters and that became industry trend until it was time to go cash flow positive and everyone's cost basis was too high.

Industry was toast before corona virus and now it's clear the emperor has no clothes.

But for close to a decade it was really like that. Part of me misses it.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 9, 2020 - 6:52pm

Work in non-Energy IB, but am pretty interested in the industry dynamics (well was interested until this whole mess started). Can you explain "The current problem in O&G largely created by JEF to begin with because JEF sold all the assets with juiced engineering parameters and that became industry trend until it was time to go cash flow positive and everyone's cost basis was too high."?

May 11, 2020 - 6:20pm

I don't buy the comp numbers, they're too far above market. There is no rational incentivefor JEF to offer analysts half a million for first year - you're not getting an extra quarter of a mil worth of PPT and Excel skill. Junior employees don't have a multidimensional-enough value proposition to command that kind of comp. Senior folks maybe, but banks aren't paying high salaries out of the goodness of their hearts. They're paying X because it's the minimum required to get top bucket talent, and that figure is less than half of what you're citing for a first year. They might throw a few extra ten thousand on street comp just to make a point about being the highest comp, but not a couple hundred thousand.


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  • 1
May 15, 2020 - 1:00pm

I read this in a Texas accent and WOW

  • Analyst 1 in CorpFin
May 5, 2020 - 3:53pm

Interviwed with a couple of restructuring shops and I'd say it seemed like the elbows were pretty sharp at those places.

  • Intern in IB - Restr
May 5, 2020 - 10:28pm

This. Especially at the senior level RX can get intense. First of all, clients are a lot less happy. No company wants to be working with you. As opposed to M&A where the deal ends with a win, RX ends with almost every party losing something and it's a zero sum game. Theres also the potential for liability. Sr people can get deposed to testify about valuations or liquidation numbers etc and you have to be able to justify everything. Even at the junior level people seem to fall in one of two buckets - either more nerdy or cutthroat

May 5, 2020 - 8:14pm

Not exactly cuthroat, but MS London broadly overworks their analysts compared to other firms.

  • 3
May 6, 2020 - 1:47pm

I don't know if this is a running meme or reference here that I'm missing, but it's fucking true.

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
  • 1
May 5, 2020 - 9:26pm

JPM FIG - I heard there's tons of pitching, long hours, and no deals get done. Can be a frustrating experience for someone trying to work on live deals.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 5, 2020 - 11:00pm

Lmao what, my friend is in FIG there, yes they get worked but they're one of the top FIG groups in the street (aside from GS)

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
May 6, 2020 - 3:20pm

Yup, and now take that disdain, stratify it into different groups and M&M will be at the very bottom of a bad group.

May 8, 2020 - 6:16pm

Worked in that group about five years ago. Terribly demoralizing and toxic culture. There was this one Analyst that would leave sticky notes with rape threats in the desks for new joiners.

May 7, 2020 - 12:53pm

Moelis Houston is not Moelis NY; had nothing but pleasant interactions with the Houston Moelis folks; solid culture. Smart group but not pompous and pretentious.

On the other hand, my interations with people at Citi, WF, TPH, Scotia, GH, Gugg, GS...not so pleasant.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 7, 2020 - 1:46pm

Agreed with this. I know an analyst at Moelis Houston - one of the top kids from my school and down to earth too. Have only heard good things about the group as a whole.

May 7, 2020 - 2:56pm

Folks at Moelis are great but they get absolutely destroyed. On par with Jefferies. I had very positive interactions with TPH Gugg WF Scotia and most every bank in Houston. Certain banks can be hit or miss.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
May 6, 2020 - 12:54am

Second this, it's got incredible reputation on this site but my buddy (who is one of the most hardcore people I know) had to exit early due to personal health reasons

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
May 10, 2020 - 3:49pm

There is a lot of lip service in the group (particularly NY, but think its a "goal" across both offices) about improving culture and junior work life balance, but haven't seen it fully implemented. Majority of the MDs and VPs don't really care at the end of the day as they know the analysts are going to leave at the end of two years (if not sooner). Associates in the group probably get the worst of it, since they're dealing with jaded analysts (who at least are getting great exits) and then get a lot of VP bitch work pushed down to them by them since every VP is gunning to make MD in the group and only wants to focus on client facing work. They obviously do well, but its pretty crazy that they sustain it, given how much turnover there is

  • Intern in Other
May 6, 2020 - 12:27am

deleted cause you never want to call out sweatshops. Always hurt people feels.

May 6, 2020 - 4:40pm

haha. I had to look it up to learn what Karen means

For those who were as clueless as me:

Karen: a white middle-aged woman, typically American, who displays aggressive behavior when she is obstructed from getting her way; such women are often depicted as demanding to "speak to the manager" and having a variation of the bob cut

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 6, 2020 - 8:42am

heard GS Natural Resourses and Industrials in NY is pretty cutthroat, second hand info so maybe someone else can corroborate

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
May 6, 2020 - 11:16am

Have friends in GS Industrials and colleagues who used to work for them too. Can confirm that it gets brutal. Junior people (VP and down) sound like half of them are cool and are in the trenches with you while the other half of people I hear about will throw people under the bus. Outside of that, it's super sweaty, worst hours of my friend group (between CS/Barclays/JPM/EVR/Moelis/PJT)

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
May 10, 2020 - 3:55pm

GS NR doesn't seem cutthroat necessarily, but the culture is very stiff / formal. They were the only group to not implement a casual Friday in NY before the broader shift in dress code for the firm. It is probably in the bottom bucket of industry teams from a fee / league table perspective (NR isn't really GS' forte), which probably drives part of the issue

GS IND is brutal for junior people - MD and VP level are fully aware of how bad the situation is, but no one cares enough to try and do anything. The junior team ends up bonding pretty well and generally is a good group of people, but always get crushed. Exits can be good (recent classes have done particularly well), but seem inconsistent

May 6, 2020 - 9:30am

a lot of this thread seems to think being a sweatshop = cutthroat. Probably a correlation but not the same thing.

To that end, always thought of jefferies as being generally agressive both internally and externally. Certain BMO teams sound supremely toxic, as in is largely internal. And, given the issues with DB nobody gives a shit about what happens to their coworkers as long as they can get paid and go home. Sure all the boutiques are far more interesting though.

Also don't think banks are even remotely as hostile post 2008. Much easier to be an asshole when you can't be reported to HR.

May 6, 2020 - 11:23am

Would say it depends on the degree of regulatory scrutiny the shop is under: public, more employees, more deposits, and more influence on the US economy = more power for HR. This could also be interpreted as what % of the business is IB vs balance sheet but the two are somewhat correlated given that balance sheet business is more regulated by nature.

I'm not the best guy to ask, because I've only worked at one large very regulated place. However, the second HR caught one confirmed report of harrasment a MD/ED was asked to leave next day. So, I can say they have a ton of power at near the top of the scale of regulation.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 6, 2020 - 11:22am

I keep hearing that Jefferies culture is super fratty, is that what leads people to say its cutthroat? Because in terms of pure sweatiness I have heard far worse about EBs

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 6, 2020 - 12:19pm

NY Jefferies culture is great especially among juniors and they don't overhire interns so you can gel with your intern class. Houston office is horrid though although first years clear over 200k - not sure if that's gonna remain during all this.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 6, 2020 - 12:31pm

CS sponsors and levfin & restructuring are known for having great cultures. Sponsors hours are amazing relative to other banking groups and they take no face-time very seriously. Heard it can be kinda douchey sometimes lol

LevFin & restructuring also pushes no face-time but it's harder to limit hours because the group is run leaner than sponsors. Friend says the group is all very tight and humble (even seniors).

Have heard m&a culture at CS is not great. Comes down from senior management who take themselves too seriously and don't care about juniors

May 6, 2020 - 4:46pm

Heard Nomura Consumer Retail is rough. Sitting around the office 90+ hours a week and zero deals

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
May 6, 2020 - 6:55pm

Lots of hours doesn't mean a group is cutthroat, just that it's a sweatshop. I personally haven't seen real cutthroatness at the junior level-the camaraderie at the junior level in IB is real. People get cutthroat when there's not enough money to go around-really comes into play at VP level and higher.

Have seen this in my own group (large BB cap markets group) which is ridiculously top heavy. MDs hide pitches from each other, newly promoted or lateral VPs/EDs get pushed out of deals/coverage teams or are forced to work on low revenue deals, etc. There's very little grooming of the next generation because they are seen as competition-there's a high chance that either them or the MD leaves for another firm, so why would the MD let the VP build a client relationship and take away his value add? Meanwhile there's always the lurking feeling that people are about to get fired-the salary as a % of revenue just doesn't make sense.

All of this creates a pretty toxic culture and bad hours (senior bankers are pitching for everything under the sun), but those are just side effects of the cutthroatness.

May 7, 2020 - 12:31pm

That sounds like fun.

Interesting reading this stuff. Comparatively, the partnership at an MBB firm I'm familiar with has highly structured revenue credit sharing - so you're incentivized to develop new partners and share expertise / client leads with other partners because you get a meaningful cut of the pie. Makes it harder to make big bucks and you lose some very high performing eat-what-you-kill types who believe they're worth more, but there's a fraction of the fun stuff you have above.

  • VP in PE - LBOs
May 8, 2020 - 12:20am

There's a similar dichotomy with law firms too which I find pretty interesting. Some of the old line white shoe firms (your Cravaths and Davis Polks) pay partners lockstep by seniority so you're encouraged to put the success of the firm ahead of yourself while some of the newer places (K&E is the post child of this) will massively reward rainmakers to the detriment of culture. K&E has blown up in recent years but it'll be interesting to see how they do long term. I'm sure some of the junior partners there are miserable compared to their lockstep counterparts.

May 7, 2020 - 5:50pm

GS TMT - The snakiest motherfuckers I've ever met

MS Menlo - On par with the above. Definition of smooth talkers who are backstabby

BAML HC - Pull your pants down and pitch

Moelis HC - Pull your pants down and make CIMs

PWP (Chicago) - Kind of funny there's a post that mentions these guys. The entire Chicago
banking scene knows this group

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May 10, 2020 - 7:12pm

Heard from a friend that banks like DBO and FT Partners are pretty relaxed in terms of competition and not really cutthroat at all. People work hard there obviously but people are still pretty chill as in they won't stab your back. That's pretty nice to hear

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
May 12, 2020 - 3:21am

How can you get me out? Where can i go during these times? I don't want to go back. I don't regret it but I'm just so burnt out!

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
May 19, 2020 - 6:18pm

Murders & Executions at Pierce and Pierce.

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done

  • 3
May 31, 2020 - 3:12am
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