There are so many threads on here about ranking banks and groups. Many people going into high powered, intense jobs tend to have status-oriented alpha personalities and it shouldn't be surprising that those on this board in IB want to argue over who's bank is more prestigious, and those not yet in banking want to make sure they've got the fantasy correct down to which firm is the most rarefied of the bunch. Everyone argues over everything, and the only thing anyone agrees on is that if you go to Goldman Sachs you still can salvage your career...if you're a resourceful person and don't get down on yourself, California is warmer than New York, and Pierce & Pierce...well it's got a good rep on the street but some of those guys get a little weird on the weekend.

Against better judgment I want to start a new (pointless) ranking thread. Or maybe not pointless because its purely utilitarian. This is to serve as a rough guide for all those looking for NYC summer analyst positions in IB (not capital markets, pwm, or s&t). The sole criterion is how valuable the firm is as a summer credential when trying to get FT offers the next fall. That is -- imagining for a moment everyone goes through the whole recruiting process again senior fall -- which summer internships looks best on your resume (lets cut it off at top 10 or 12 or something)?

HereaEU(tm)s whataEU(tm)s not relevant:

Group: It seems that none of the top banks slot you into a group until after you are actually there for the summer and have gone through training (let alone before you have to decide between offers), so other than the assumption that weaEU(tm)re talking NYC offices, groups are irrelevant. That is, CSaEU(tm)s strong Lev Fin might vault it over an otherwise identical bank (if one existed), but certainly not over a Goldman (even if there are many groups at goldman less impressive on a resume than CS Lev Fin) because you canaEU(tm)t know youaEU(tm)ll get placed into the group you want. Or you could think of it as the expected value of the group at a given firm -- that is, the strength of each group times the probability of getting placed into that group if you request it.

Size: DoesnaEU(tm)t matter if the firm is 10 partners or is Citi/JPM. Goldman can go up against Evercore, Citi can go up against Gleacher, etc., and the only thing that matters is which will be more helpful in the next round of recruiting in the fall.

FINAL ADDITION aEU" make a note if quality of life for analysts at any of the firms on your list is significantly disproportional to utility of the credential. For example (not saying this is true), make a note if you think Lehman has substantially better quality of life and hours than other firms close to it on your ranking, and make a note if JPM has substantially worse than even most banks above it on your list. We all have heard GoldmanaEU(tm)s a sweatshop but itaEU(tm)s worth it, and some lower MM firm that canaEU(tm)t get a deal to save its life wonaEU(tm)t have as bad hours.

Comments (17)


so far, the best post of 2007.

Moderators, can we make this a sticky at the top of the forum? (unless it becomes another pointless debate biased by a hundred very different, very objective viewpoints)

Investment Banking Interview Course


UBS LA (Los Angeles): ".. like locking yourself in a closet every day"


let me get this straight. you are asking about work/life balance when discussing an internship that will last for a few weeks? let me know so i can respond appropriately.

forget it, i will anyway. it doesn't matter. if goldman/ubsla/whatever great group/bank chains you to a desk for the whole summer 24/7, giving you a small bottle to relieve yourself periodically, it will be worth it in career impact unless you are seriously connected or are top of your class at harvard, i.e. don't need the "best" internship to begin with. that's just my opinion, though. i don't want to be a jerk, just trying to make a point. balance shouldn't be an issue when discussing internships.

please continue the discussion about the other points.


OK -- glad thatguy123 liked the idea for the post -- although it hasn't generated any lists yet which was the point.

To Hank -- Thanks for the reply -- I was limiting the post to just NYC, as most people looking at internships are just looking at a given city, or at least a given coast.

To relinquo -- the work/life balance was just something I thought of at the end, not the point of the post at all. Notice I only asked that people comment on work/life balance for banks where it is "significantly disproportional to utility of the credential." Of course getting chained to your desk at goldman/ubsla shouldn't deter anyone from taking a job at one of those places: the usefulness of the credential and the learning experience is in line with the sacrifices. I specifically said at the end of my post that we all have already heard goldman's a sweat shop but its worth it and tiny boutiques doing no deals will be easy but comparatively worthless. So -- work/life balance should have no impact on the rankings, but if it is surprisingly out of line with what you'd expect at a given bank, it's worth a footnote. Although I think you misread my post, I appreciate you writing a thoughtful reply.

So -- those of you with views on the usefulness of summer internships in IB in NY (without regard to group, firm size, etc.), please throw out your lists!


i guess i did go a little overboard, it's just that i have met quite a few people who are considering an ib career and have work/life balance as one of the key criteria.

a tiny boutique ib internship is still better than no internship/sitting at home with your nintendo.


i can't really comment on nyc, as i am not in the us, although i do do deals there.


trying to do a 1-10 ranking or whatever is pointless since there's so little differentiating the banks. A bucket approach is probably better.

That said, here's a go (each bucket in alphabetical order):

Big Banks (the term bulge is becoming irritating and is pretty meaningless)
1) GS, MS
2) Citi, CS, DB, JPM, LEH, ML, UBS
3) BofA, Bear, Wachovia

Big Boutiques
1) Blackstone, Evercore, Greenhill, Laz, Perella (we'll see)
2) others (maybe HHZ and Jefferies belong here)

I think the conflict will come from people who work at BofA wanting to be in bucket 2 and people who work at banks in bucket 2 wanting to be put up in bucket 1. Either way, I think this is a pretty reasonable sorting of the firms based on overall "strength of resume."


I think the best place to be is either a top boutique (I'd only include Blackstone, Lazard, and Greenhill) or a top bulge bracket (either GS or MS). Just for some perspective on post summer analyst "exit opportunities," I know at Wharton the person who got an offer at Blackstone PE summered at GS and the 3 people who got offers at Silver Lake summered at GS, Lazard, and Bain Capital. I believe both firms only interviewed people who'd summered at GS, MS, and Lazard, and the guy from Bain Cap (but apparently he was well-connected).


I didn't know Silver Lake hires people out of undergrad...I thought only Blackstone did. Are there any other TOp tier PE funds that hire people out of undergrad?


Finally picking up some steam:

Thatguy123 aEU" Would you really say itaEU(tm)s a toss up between summer offers at Lehman and Deutsche, between Citi and JPM, etc? At least on my campus I think the perception is that Lehman is the most desirable of your second step banks by a long shot, and reading this board would make me think CitiaEU(tm)s a safer place to go than JPM.

Also aEU" part of the point here is to compare across firm sizes. So would your say itaEU(tm)s a tossup between Laz, Greenhill, Evercore, MS and GS just in terms of resume? ThereaEU(tm)s really no order among those five?

Perella aEU" would having interned at his new firm really be on a par with GS/MS? WhataEU(tm)s the basis for that? Does anyone even have any concrete information on whether theyaEU(tm)re going to take a summer analyst class, how big it will be (and how big the normal analyst class is), and what their recruiting process will be?

Dav3100aEU(tm)s post is very interesting. I had no idea Silver Lake does proper recruiting for kids out of undergrad. Interesting that Blackstone PE didnaEU(tm)t take one of their own summers in M&A (or maybe they did too). I second the question about other PE firms hiring out of undergrad.


Yes, I would say it is a tossup. The banks in the second bucket are all more or less equals, strong in some areas where the others are weaker. Campus perceptions from kids who've only ever read a message board and gone to an info session, as well as bullshit bickering over whether Citi or JPM are better, is meaningless. In the eyes of the street (at a firm level, not group level), no recruiter will give you more credit on your FT application for interning at one or the other. They're much more similar than you think - people move between banks all the time. You should be worrying less about which firm you want to be at and more about just getting an offer (or offers).

And as for whether a top boutique looks as good as GS/MS or better than the second bucket of big banks, I really don't know. I'd really give them all the same weighting - as long as you get your foot in the door with a summer internship and have a FT offer at the end of it to leverage you generally won't have trouble getting interviews at other banks for FT.

The Perella argument would be that they're so small and have such big hitters on a senior level that they can afford to be pretty selective with their junior people, which would be a pretty good stamp of approval on your resume.


The way Blackstone is organized (by partners) it doesn't make sense for the PE partner to hire from M&A. That is why Blackstone does extensive recruiting out of other BB banks for PE after analysts finish their program.

I think that this year was the first year that BS M&A placed into BS PE. If people are paid what they generate, it's in the best interest of each partner to get the best analysts below them.

I agree, any offer at a BB would be good enough to get interviews for full time. Any differentiation beyond that is probably more a result of the 'stats' you had when you got taht top offer to begin with.


I believe this is the first year that Silver Lake hired analysts straight out of undergrad. Blackstone PE has done it for a while.

I think there is a significant difference between summering at GS, MS, or a top boutique versus the 2nd group of BBs, for post summer opportunities and post analyst stint opportunities. It's true having an internship from say JPM will probably score you an interview with Goldman for full-time, but it likely won't score you an interview with Blackstone PE for full-time (same goes for post analyst stint recruiting), whereas having an internship at Morgan Stanley could score you an interview at Blackstone PE (assuming you go to one of the few schools that the PE division recruits at).

In terms of the top boutiques versus GS and MS, I think GS is the best place to be. But I think Lazard and Blackstone are a very close 2nd, and if you want to work for a smaller place, I would go there. I would rank MS after GS, Laz, Bstone.

But seriously, the chances of getting to work at Blackstone PE or Silver Lake straight out of undergrad are extremely slim, even if you summer at GS. So you should probably be more concerned about post analyst stint opportunities..and the same ranking metric of MS, GS, Laz, Bstone, GHL (in no particular order) over the others still holds for that.


Lots of good comments, thanks to everyone whoaEU(tm)s shared their informed views -- sounds like the takeaway is:

Which bank you summer at, other than a crude division between tier 1, tier 2, etc., is pretty irrelevant.

This is comforting, because it seems to mean that for summer analysts jockeying for prestige (within tiers) is irrelevant for what really matters (future options), you wonaEU(tm)t get pigeonholed based on brand recognition of, say, an ML versus a CS, and ultimately your fateaEU(tm)s in your own hands because whataEU(tm)ll end up mattering is what you take away from your experience.


It does in the end. A CS Sponsors summer is going to have more leverage than a CS FIG analyst. You can definetely negotiate your way into groups before the placement, it's done all the time. Especially easy to do if you have other offers to leverage against.


Group placement is very important, even for summer analysts.

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