MS IBD vs GS IBD for Summer 2022

hii I have never posted before and this is a bit scary but I think it is worth it to go the lengths to hear all the opinions I can. I know this is a very privileged problem to have,, and thank you in advance to everyone who helps out,, but I have received offers from both GS LA and MS SF. Both of them IBD and both of them are the healthcare groups. I really am struggling to figure out which one is the best to choose because honestly I don't think there is a bad decision here but I think there may be a better one. 

Here are some of my thoughts:

Location: SF would be preferred--I go to school around here and I am not too sure about healthcare in LA..

People & Culture: the MS team has been calling me nonstop and I really love them a lot. 

Name & Exits: Here is where I am conflicted and it would be helpful to hear yall's thoughts. They are both top shops but is the GS name really going to be that much better in terms of exits and keeping doors open? Will it really make a significant difference? Please send help lol

Edit: I forgot to add but another consideration that is pretty large is definitely the differences in terms of deals. On the MS side I have been able to gain a lot of insight and they seem to be working heavily on IPOs (also due to market conditions) but on the GS side, I am not entirely sure so if anyone knows anything it would help a lot! I think M&A experience is very important to me and to be able to be exposed to a wide variety of products is a main consideration for me for why BB..

Anyways, at the end of the day I understand it is my decision to make, however, I think that it is still worth it to hear opinions outside of my immediate circles. Thanks for all the help!!

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Comments (17)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 11, 2021 - 4:17pm

I heard one of the analysts in the LA office is massive

This guy changed his response from "neither - you fucked up by pursuing healthcare" to this.

Don't listen to this guy. HC banking is awesome, and to the best of my knowledge, both groups are extremely strong. They aren't TMT (what the banks are known for in this area), but they're both extremely respectable groups in the HC space. If you're passionate about HC then you've done an amazing job at landing offers from two extremely strong groups.

May 11, 2021 - 5:46pm

Yeah.. as a biochem major and as someone who has explored many different sectors I definitely disagree with that. Right now the highest growth areas are in tech and healthcare for sure. But anyways!! thank you so much, I really did not expect to be at this crossroads but I guess I did something right! 

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 11, 2021 - 4:13pm

Couple things:

- MS name is strong. Take it from someone going to MS/JPM, the difference in name between GS and the other 2 is negligible. Don't let that impact your decisions.

- You'll be cross-staffed on SF HC deals with SF HC bankers along with LA HC deals at GS. The group is strong. I'm unsure of how strong the MS HC group is in SF. I've heard in the past that they do mostly capital markets work, however I'm sure that that's changed over the years. 

Look more into the types of deals you'll be doing. If MS does only capital markets work then you should compare that to GS, which definitely has M&A deals. That would provide a stronger experience.

If MS does significant M&A work, and your only holdup is the name compared to GS, I'd 100% take MS. It sounds like you want MS more than GS, you like the location more, the name is just as strong as GS, and if MS does M&A work then it'll provide as strong of an experience for all intents and purposes. If they don't, however, and your goals are PE in the future then I'd personally pick GS. M&A work is crucial for recruiting for PE.

May 11, 2021 - 5:51pm

Hi yes I definitely forgot to put this as one of my main considerations. From the conversations I have had on the MS side it seems that they are mainly focusing on IPOs and there are limited M&A exposure... I think that this is also the result of the current market conditions because we just see a lot of IPOs in the healthcare space trying to take advantage of those massive premiums. On the GS side on the other hand, I really am not too sure and I have not been able to chat with anyone yet from their office. In terms of GS, can you tell me more about the healthcare M&A exposure you have seen? I know about the Jazz GWP deal which was pretty big and a few others but really not to clear if there is a big difference in terms of the deals MS and GS are doing (I know GS is also most likely slammed with IPOs as well)

Thank you for all of your help!!!

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 11, 2021 - 6:43pm

Of course!

You're right - both firms will be focusing heavily on IPOs right now (as well as SPAC transactions) because that's what the market is doing. However, M&A activity is also poised for growth over the next few years after an initial downturn last year. Companies weren't doing much M&A because of the credit crunch, but then near the end of 2020 the HC sector saw tons of small deals go through. If you read the Bain HC PE report you can learn more about this (more deals were done, but they were smaller deals on average). In other words, M&A activity should be hot right now for the firms that typically do lots of M&A.

GS HC M&A deals that have closed in 2021 (I'm excluding SPACs - there were lots of them though, like 5 or so. I'm also excluding deals that have been announced but haven't closed):

- Amgen/FivePrime Therapeutics (Goldman advised Amgen - Amgen is one of their biggest clients)

- Veracyte/Decipher Urologic Cancers (Goldman advised Veracyte)

- Horizon Therapeutics/Viela Bio (Goldman advised Viela - it's worth noting that Morgan Stanley advised Horizon)

- Accolade/2nd.MD (Goldman advised Accolade)

- BridgeBio/Eidos Therapeutics (Goldman advised BridgeBio along with JPM)

- Exact Sciences/Thrive Earlier Detection (Goldman advised Thrive)

MS HC M&A Deals Closed in 2021:

- Horizon Therapeutics/Viela Bio (Morgan Stanley advised Horizon - Goldman advised Viela)

- Cognate Bioservices/Charles River Laboratories (MS advised 4 sellers in this transaction since it was PE-backed previously)

- AdaptHealth/AeroCare Holdings (MS Advised Aerocare)

SOURCE: Pitchbook

These deals could be split up between NY and SF/LA offices (the only one I know for certain was done on the west coast was the Amgen deal). There could also be smaller deals that I'm unaware of that weren't publicly announced (I only went off Pitchbook). 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 11, 2021 - 7:05pm

MS also advised on AstraZeneca / Alexion and Thermo Fisher / PPD, 2 of the largest HC deals announced in the last twelve months for which GS were not involved. They were also the lead advisor to Gingko Bioworks on their $15Bn SPAC transaction announced today

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 11, 2021 - 4:15pm

It sounds like you have already made up your mind. MS SF Healthcare is top-notch and will give you great exposure to large cap M&A / IPOs in the healthcare space. Although GS has a slight edge in terms of brand name, GS / MS are still regarded as two of the best investment banking franchises and will give you great exit opps in and out of finance

May 11, 2021 - 4:36pm

Congrats, MS / GS are both great firms and highly respected. Go with the team where you like the ppl and culture more, at this level, brand name doesn't make a difference. It's like comparing LA Lakers / GSW, you wouldn't pick between the two based on which one is more well known, but rather where you will be a better fit.

In terms of PE, I have previously seen funds only recruit from GS / MS, so going to either will not affect your exits at all

  • 2
  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 11, 2021 - 4:40pm

A caveat to this would be that this is MS SF (not MP or NYC) and GS LA (not NYC), if the latter I would agree but these regional offices are not as strong as the flagship offices. Great offers nonetheless but wanted to clear this up as its important to note. 

Go with the team and location you feel you would fit in the best, both brands are top tier and deal flow I would assume is similar. 

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
May 11, 2021 - 4:40pm

In terms of brand perception, the gap between GS and MS is less than the gap between MS and JPM, which in turn is smaller than the gap between JPM and the other BBs so I wouldn't worry about branding. PE recruiting is easier out of MS as well (the firm actively supports you vs. sneaking around at GS). 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 11, 2021 - 5:56pm

If you care about money, I think MS will probably pay a little bit more since there's no "Goldman discount." Either way I wouldn't be worried about prestige because they're the top 2 IB's. Are you diversity? I didn't know either of them began recruiting

May 11, 2021 - 6:00pm

haha I for me at least, I think money is less of a consideration and experience is what I am mostly focusing on. 

and I am diversity, however, I did not recruit either of these through a diversity pipeline. MS I just cold emailed and coffee chatted, however, GS there was a west coast insight day that I was a part of. 

PM me if you have any other questions,, I am happy to help!

May 11, 2021 - 7:00pm

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