Need Help Comparing SA Offers: Raine Group, HL Corporate Finance SF, DBO Partners, Union Square Advisors

Analyst 1 in IB - Ind

Thoughts on these boutiques? What are the reputations of these firms? Also want to know about deal flow, people, pay, and exit opps.

Comments (78)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 5, 2020

bump

Controversial
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 5, 2020

Raine is easily the best of all of these. I would take Raine over most IB TMT groups.

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May 7, 2020

Why is this getting MS? Anyone who works in IB knows Raine is elite and very selective... I work at an EB and I've never heard of DBO tbh. Heard of Union Square Advisors but don't know anything about it

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 27, 2020

Raine is not elite, but since I've barely even heard of the other few teams, maybe it is elite in that tier list

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Ind
May 5, 2020

Raine Group does some really cool work in TMT - if you know you want TMT (and have a particular interest in media), take Raine Group and don't look back

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Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 5, 2020

Agree that Raine does some cool work in the media/entertainment space. Problem is I'm not particularly interested in those spaces. I guess that's why I'm having trouble decide.

Update: I ended up taking HL. Considering the uncertainty in the economy right now, I felt better signing with a bigger firm. Thanks for all the inputs!

Clarification: I'm adding this now since I see many comments about me taking the "wrong" offer. I should've been clearer: I didn't receive offers from all 4 firms. I was deep in the process with them and received offers from some. Given the tight window for exploding offers, I wanted to make a post (in advance) about me hypothetically receiving offers from all four. I was fortunate enough to receive offers from some but not all. Sorry for any confusion.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 5, 2020

If you don't have an interest in those areas, I don't think you'd have a good experience at Raine. HL is definitely your best option here

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Ind
May 5, 2020

If you're not interested, then definitely don't do it. Something else to note is that, looking at their team, a lot of people go A2A (or even one A2A2VP) - it's much more of a career move than the other places.

Second the other posted, go with HL

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 24, 2020

Good call. HL is one of those firms that can benefit from this downturn. Congrats on your gig at HL

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 25, 2020

Congrats on HL!! Do you know if they are still recruiting? And do you know if HL's various offices run their processes in parallel?

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jun 1, 2020

Damn you tricked us bro

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  • Prospect in IB - Ind
May 5, 2020

.

    • 1
May 5, 2020

Raine (if you're interested in media) > USA=DBO > Houlihan.

If you're not interested in media, then go with USA or DBO based on culture. While people who don't understand the TMT/SF space in particular would be inclined to point you towards Houlihan, I can assure you that it is the weakest of the options despite being the largest "national brand."

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 5, 2020

Thx this is helpful. I know HL's restructuring group is strong, but I've also heard that HL TMT SF isn't that great.

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May 6, 2020

It sounds like you're down to USA and DBO, and there will be little difference between the two in terms pay and reputation. Very few have had the opportunity to speak with both firms, so go for the one at which you've enjoyed your conversations more. Congrats though--it's an accomplishment to be at the "pick between offers" phase.

Everybody experienced (not interns) in media knows Raine's reputation, and the same is true for those in tech in regards to USA and DBO (Obviously everybody knows what Houlihan Lokey is)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 26, 2020

What's the logic for putting USA over HL TMT? They both mainly work on <$500M tech deals, and deal flow for both firms are comparable. HL has a much larger name though. Seems like it should be HL TMT > USA.

May 27, 2020

I would think the same too. HL's brand is considerably larger than that of USA and that seems to outweigh any slight edge USA might have over HL SF's deal flow.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 5, 2020

^Can second the above post. HL tech is not a strong group.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 6, 2020

USA for tech, Raine for media

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 6, 2020

USA

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 25, 2020

USA and HL are clearly the worst choices here

  • Intern in 
May 25, 2020

I second this. Hate to say it because OP already signed with HL but Raine or DBO depending on your sector/location pref was the choice to make.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 6, 2020

I would lean DBO over USA if it comes down to those two, but Raine is overall the strongest.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 6, 2020

congrats!!! that's so impressive.

do u have any advice for recruiting for these firms + and how you managed to score these offers so quickly? especially USA - i'm like 3 rounds in and have another 3 rounds to go.

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
May 6, 2020

.

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
May 6, 2020

HL SF is not as great as HL LA or NY. Don't let their bigger name fool you. Raine is good for sports/media/entertainment, but they haven't been able to (or isn't trying to) expand to the T's of TMT. Agree with above posts that if you want exposure to tech/ other industries, DBO or USA is the way to go.

May 6, 2020

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May 6, 2020

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May 7, 2020

Dude is this a joke? Obviously Raine... Raine is an elite shop, very prestigious and does really cool transactions. I would take it over most BBs even if I didn't have an interest in sports / entertainment.
The other shops don't have the same wow factor as Raine
(I don't work there)

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  • Prospect in IB - Ind
May 7, 2020

Raine > most BBs??? No way dude. And why would you take Raine if you're not interested in sports & entertainment lol They hardly do any deals outside of that space.

May 7, 2020

Definitely. Currently working at an EB, didnt get an offer from Raine but would've definitely taken it. The experience you get there is unparalleled.
And the same reason why kids join TMT without an interest in the space and why kids at Barclays join P&U (who really likes power lol)

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 24, 2020

100% Raine > all the above choices in almost any criteria you could name. Obviously if one is dead set against Media then I would stay away - but in terms of quality of people and experience, it is far away the choice (most definitely over the above options and over most BB TMT groups as well).

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 27, 2020

You are retarded

May 11, 2020

Definitely agree with everything above. Go for Raine if you are genuinely interested in their sectors. Just curious OP, what did you end up choosing? have a friend in a similar situation lol

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 24, 2020

OP updated above saying he/she signed with HL

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 24, 2020

Personally think DBO is getting slept on especially if you have any interest in placing into PE

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 24, 2020

Or if you're in banking for the long run. DBO seems even better for that.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 24, 2020

Congrats on choosing HL. OP - just curious what your thought process was. I know you mentioned the current state of the job market as one of the factors, but could you elaborate? Looking at firms in SF myself, so I'm curious to know what you considered.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 25, 2020

I don't understand OP taking HL here. People on this site give way too much credit to the HL name because of their top notch RX, but HL CF ? HL RX. Pretend like that side of the house doesn't exist, you're completely siloed from them, hell even your meal allowance is like half of theirs.

HL CF is a solid name in the MM space don't get me wrong, but you had some pretty excellent other options here.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 25, 2020

Not the OP but curious to know where you would've signed with.

Keep in mind OP stated above he's not keen on media/entertainment. Based on the locations of the other firms, I'm guessing OP also wanted to be in SF. Based on those criteria (even just the first one alone), OP had HL, DBO, and USA.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 25, 2020

I would have signed with Raine, hands down. I realize OP said he/she doesn't have a fondness for media/sports, but how do they know that when they haven't actually done the work. I came into my EB not knowing which industries I liked or didn't like, and with each one I've worked on, I've been surprised which things I find interesting.

I don't see anyone being "bored" with the types of deals they are doing.

If hellbent on SF, then I'd still have taken DBO or USA over HL. HL non-rx side is pretty much your vanilla MM bank and SF isn't even a strong office. Idk, I was just surprised that of the 4, OP chose that one.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
May 25, 2020

Very interesting choice lol

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 25, 2020

HL or DBO would have been my choice. Dependent on culture at that point.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 25, 2020

What's the status on DBO and Raine's recruitment process? Are they still taking apps?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 26, 2020

Still in contact with college kids in my old investment club and think they said both firms finished recruiting about a month ago. Check HR though.

Funniest
  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 27, 2020

Damn some of y'all got no chill lol OP accepted HL leave him alone. No need to tell him he should've signed with the other three now.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 27, 2020

This ^^. And to OP's credit, few firms are as well-positioned as HL to overcome a recession. Congrats

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

HL as a firm is well-positioned because of their RX group, but how is the CF/TMT group looking?

  • Intern in IB - Restr
May 28, 2020

All the talk about OP making a mistake for choosing HL had me wondering, is it possible to go back to the firm you declined the offer from and say you actually wanna take the offer? I'm guessing it's generally a no, but is there precedent for this stuff if you go back to the firm quick enough?

May 28, 2020

Are you serious? Why would any firm take you back? That's such a slap in the face.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

A friend of my turned down an offer from a top consulting firm to pursue grad school, changed his mind, called up HR, and got the offer back. This stuff obviously doesn't happen regularly, but I'm sure there is precedent like the case with my buddy.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 28, 2020

I've heard similar stories, but I wouldn't count on it. Better to stick with your decision.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

HL is a great choice, definitely better than USA. Even Raine if you're bored by media.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 28, 2020

Agree with the first part. Not sure why some are suggesting USA > HL CF (TMT). Personally, I'd go Raine > DBO > HL CF> USA, but who gives a shit now I guess. OP signed Houlihan - happy for you mate.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 30, 2020

Wait so OP, where did you have offers from?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 30, 2020

^^^ also interested

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 1, 2020

Hi OP here -- I received offers from HL & USA and "waitlisted" for Raine. Ultimately took HL.

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May 30, 2020

HL was a great choice if you weren't sure about industry etc. Congratulations and good luck on the role. Just live in the Marina man and your SF experience will drastically improve...

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 2, 2020

Thinking about relocating in SF and randomly came across your comment. Can you elaborate on the Marina part? I've heard this from other people too.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 2, 2020

Beautiful area and less crazy people

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jun 3, 2020

Any of these firms still taking apps by any chance? I saw USA is still going, but can anyone confirm?

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jun 3, 2020

Pretty sure USA is the only one still taking applications

Jun 17, 2020

Just saw in another thread USA is also done

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jun 17, 2020

source?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 15, 2020

The OP didn't get offers from all four firms. I have insights into recruitment at one of the four firms/groups and know that no one turned down an offer from this place for HL SF. OP, what's the point of lying?

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 15, 2020

OP clarified above saying he only got offers from HL and USA. The point was to lay out a hypothetical scenario, apparently.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 16, 2020
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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 19, 2020
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 20, 2020
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 20, 2020