Outside NYC/SF, how would you rate cities for finance/consulting/corporate opps?

NYC and SF look to be the top placement cities for almost all the MBA programs. What other cities fall into the top tier of business opportunities for MBAs? DC? Chicago? Toronto? Boston? Dallas/Houston? Atlanta? LA?

I am considering a relocation from western Canada and wondering if there is anywhere worth going with a lot of action and no ridiculous cost of living like SF/NYC. Chicago has always attracted me and I've recently been blown away by how much Toronto has developed.

Also it sort of appears as though LA, although a global iconic city, has fewer typical corporate opportunities and is largely focused on marketing/media/ent/tech... is this true?

Comments (165)

Sep 28, 2016

From what I can tell, it's

Tier 1: Chicago (lots of Industrial, some Health and some C&R), Houston (The NYC of Energy)
Tier 2: Toronto (The NYC of Canada...)
Tier 3: Atlanta, DC, Boston
Tier 4: Charlotte
Tier 5: All others.

I'm an MBA Year 1 so take my advice with a grain of salt, but these are the impressions I'm getting so far.

Array

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Sep 28, 2016

Charlotte is an interesting and surprising one. Wouldn't have come to mind.

Sep 28, 2016

Ah, yeah - it surprised me, too. But BAML has set a precedent and a lot of firms use Charlotte for FIG and Fintech. I'm at a school in the Northeast, but I see a lot of people getting pulled to Charlotte.

Array

Sep 28, 2016

@lawstudent400 to piggy back off of @prof_harold_hill geography correlates to industry rather closely with the dominate industry in said city.

For example, Houston will have IB, F500 Corp Finance, Consulting, and even Product Management opportunities but they will most likely tie to the O&G industry, some healthcare, and maybe industrial.

I agree with the tiers that @prof_harold_hill came up with but I'd throw Seattle as a wildcard because they are a bit of an up and comer and are obviously strong for tech and MM IB.

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Sep 28, 2016
RedRage:

@lawstudent400 to piggy back off of @prof_harold_hill geography correlates to industry rather closely with the dominate industry in said city.

For example, Houston will have IB, F500 Corp Finance, Consulting, and even Product Management opportunities but they will most likely tie to the O&G industry, some healthcare, and maybe industrial.

I agree with the tiers that @prof_harold_hill came up with but I'd throw Seattle as a wildcard because they are a bit of an up and comer and are obviously strong for tech and MM IB.

This. Houston for energy is great, but not so much for some other industries. Boston is great for healthcare and tech, and there are a lot of asset managers here.

In addition to Seattle, I'd also throw out Dallas (generally), Austin (tech) and Raleigh/Durham (on the lower end of these, but you'd be surprised what you can find there...)

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Sep 29, 2016
prof_harold_hill:

Toronto (The NYC of Canada...)

Who coined that one?

Sep 28, 2016

Toronto, Chicago, Boston

Sep 29, 2016

I would give strong mention to Boston. As alluded to it has strong healthcare and tech....which also gives it a strong VC presence. It's also the got a lot of consulting activity being the HQ of both BCG and Bain (I believe it's also the main US office for LEK). In addition, a lot of boutiques are either headquartered or based in Boston (e.g. Arthur D Little). Lastly, it's got a fair amount of Asset Management with all the insurance companies and mutual funds.

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Sep 29, 2016

Only one person has mentioned Minneapolis, but per capita it has the highest number of F500 companies of any city in the US. Also decent MM banking opps there (Robert Baird and others), and every major consulting firm has an office.

Sep 30, 2016

From my limited observation as an SF banker, the LA area does punch below its weight. Many banks do have offices there just to cover entertainment, but many also do that out of SF and NYC. The LA area also has a surprisingly small number of non-entertainment corporates. They do have many asset managers and hedge funds though.

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Best Response
Sep 30, 2016

Chicago has many opportunities within industrials, healthcare, and consumer and retail. As far as I know, these are a few of the groups that are in the area:

Goldman: Mostly S&T but a few industrials bankers
JPM: industrials, consumer and retail
Citi: Industrials and Healthcare (not 100% on healthcare)
Baird: Industrials, Healthcare, Consumer and retail
Barclays: Industrials
Houlihan Lokey: Healthcare
UBS: Healthcare

These are just off the top of my head, but all the BB's and most EB's have offices in Chicago, and it would be a safe bet to assume that they have a group for industrials or healthcare. There are also many healthcare PE shops downtown if that interests you as well. Cost of living is very cheap compared to NYC. I rent an apartment in Chi that is double the size of a friend's who lives in Manhattan, but I pay about 2.5x less than him. As for IB comp, base salary is the same for the BB's with a marginally smaller bonus, maybe 5-10k give or take.

Hope this helps.

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Sep 30, 2016

Thanks for the input. Definitely interested in Chicago because it is the closest thing to the NYC big city feel/opportunity at significantly lower cost. Love the city too.

Sep 30, 2016

I find that this is the same reason many people are drawn to the city. It provides the big city feel, lower overall cost of living (this is huge), and the people are relatively more cordial than in NYC (midwestern culture/values). Also, you don't have the plethora of tourists flooding the streets like you'd find in Manhattan. Just beware of the harsh winters and the 10.25% sales tax that await you (highest sales tax in the US, no city tax though which is a plus).

Oct 1, 2016

There is tons of middle market tech banking in Boston.

Oct 8, 2016

No love for Miami? While not necessarily phenomenal for IB, there is a decent buy side presence, very active real estate, a lot of niche finance roles e.g. trade finance, international banking (stroll down Brickell). A decent number of F500, shit tons of Lat Am HQs, some interesting biotech, Opko and Phil Frost. Plus more PWM positions than you can shake a stick at. Miami has a lot of consulting roles, with McKinsey and BCG both having offices in addition to loads of Tier 2 shops e.g. Big 4, Accenture, BAH, FTI. The COL isn't cheap, but it's still far less than NYC.

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Oct 9, 2016

Thanks everyone for your input. Seems like based on the comments the top 5 North American cities to go to for business would be NYC, SF, Chicago, Toronto, and Boston.

Oct 10, 2016

Both Boston and Toronto are debatable for top 5 accolades. Boston in my experience is a really parochial place, with a "not invented here" attitude, if it wasn't invented in Bowton it can't be that good. For tech it's in my opinion way behind the traditional west coast standbys and for biotech/Pharma I would say it in the same breath as SF/RTP with both offering better quality of life. As to Toronto I really can't comment, while it is to Canada what NY is to the US, I'd put it more on par with Dallas or Houston at best.

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Sep 15, 2017

Chicago would be the best city in the country if it had a Rudy Giuliani-type mayor to just come in a clean up all the crime.
Also, it would help if politics in Illinois weren't as corrupt.

But Chicago is awesome, and affordable. Chicago's equivalent of the Upper West Side would be the Gold Coast, yet it is significantly cheaper.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
Sep 15, 2017

In the US, Chicago and Boston for finance and general consulting. Atlanta is a strong runner up. After that, opportunities are more geared towards regional industry (O&G in Texas, Federal in DC, West Coast for Tech/Media, etc).

London is the winner outside of the US. Dubai and HK/Singapore/Tokyo are also strong if you have the language/ethnicity to make a mark. I'm not sure about Toronto but if I'd guess I'd put it a strong third behind Boston/Chicago.

Sep 15, 2017

Those sound accurate I would go (after NYC & London)

1) China

2) France / Germany / Canada / Japan

3) Russia

4) Brazil

Just my opinion. Best way would be to get some league tables

Sep 15, 2017

Nice post, interested in what you have to say about other cities as well.

I've been to Dubai, seemed like a horrible place to live - the only girls are escorts. But I guess there are pros such as low taxes and good connection to places around Dubai.

Sep 15, 2017

Great post! I also look forward to reading about the others.

Sep 15, 2017
mfriedman:

Also there are Asians every where.

Fuck that's funny . . .

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Sep 15, 2017
mfriedman:

Taxi drivers speak English

LIESSSSSSSSSSSSS!

I had to learn my hotel's name in Canto. And they drive you around in circles and pretend not to speak English and rip you off.

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Sep 15, 2017
GentlemanJack:
mfriedman:

Also there are Asians every where.

Fuck that's funny . . .

LMAO upon reading this line, too. No offense.

Sep 15, 2017

interested in hearing bout Dubai.

I've spent time in NY, Paris, HK and Seoul but for me Paris was the best by far...

Sep 15, 2017

@M Friedman and @President, could you briefly describe the career path you took which allowed you to travel and work in everywhere from Singapore, Dubai, and Mumbai to New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul? Doubtless other monkeys will also be curious because some/most jobs in finance are quite location-specific (e.g. private equity, especially).

Sep 15, 2017

How appropriate that HK would be your first write-up! Also, surprised you didn't mention the relatively low income tax as a major plus.

Sep 15, 2017

But in all seriousness i absolutely LOVED hong kong.

  • 45 min drive to the beach
  • short boat trip/drive to remote islands
  • an hour to Macao by ferry (remember to bring a passport though, my friend went all the way to Macao just to get deported back to HK...)

EDIT: And of course, guys with British accent... not that most people on this forum would care...

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Sep 15, 2017

It gets very hot and humid during the summers.

Sep 15, 2017

second dubai

Sep 15, 2017

Let me highlight a few points of HK:

-Tax free on goods and dinning
-MTR covers most places
-full of festival spirit, eg X'mas and New year
-Great place for shopping, but remember to stay away from those electronics store in Tsim Sha Tsui unless you want to explain your case with the popo
-Cell phone plans are cheap, if you are paying USD 30 , you will get 3900 mins and unlimited 3G data
-Food are exceptionally good, just check on www.openrice.com for rating
-Traffic is extreme in here, I mean real bumper to bumper experience. You have to re-learn how to driver in this place.

Sep 15, 2017
mfriedman:

perhaps in hopes of standing out with less American competition in hiring pools abroad.

You must be working for S&T or still in your college. IBD in Asia or elsewhere in a non-Western country, non-local at a junior level actually has a disadvantage in hiring.

HK Positives definitely is tax rate. Analyst pay around 15% income tax. With expat package, you get freaking rich about twice as fast compare to the US. But this only happened last year where the HK IPO market topped the world, and it doesn't represent the future trend.

Sep 15, 2017

How much of a limitation is having no chinese?

I would be interested in ER but being in a big 4 firm now would love to do a few months in HK before trying to make the move but I only speak English.

Also do Singapore....very interested in Singapor.

Sep 15, 2017

Disagree with most cab drivers knowing English - they might have a very basic understanding, or recognize major destinations in English because it's used often (like Central, TST, some big name hotel...). But it's not exactly like in the grid system in NY, there's a lot of winding roads and such in HK and driving can be confusing (also a lot of taxi drivers cover various districts and sometimes aren't familiar with the current area they're in). If you do need to go to a lesser known street and you only speak English, best have a small map or smartphone with you to show the driver.

Sep 15, 2017

Just to add on a few things to this:
Pros:
- Echoing what people have said about taxes - top tax rate ranges from 15-16%. No other contributions (social security etc) except for the MPF retirement fund (HK$1,000 /month) - easy to close out when you leave.
- Rent is the only major expense, partying ends up cheaper - no $400 bottle service like NYC, it's actually cost effective.
- 3/4 hour flight from most of Asia, lots of weekend trips. 1hr flight to Taiwan
- Summer is full of boat trips to outlying islands with plenty of booze.
- Probably the best hiking of any major city
- Great public transportation - MTR/Buses/Minibuses connect everything. Lots of apartment complexes have shuttles to Central. Taxis are cheap, and they speak some English - they will get you to central but you need to pick up some canto phrases.
- next to no random crime
- cheap help

Cons:
- Really densely populated, narrow streets/sidewalks.
- You get a lot less space for your money, apartments are small.
- Pretty transient place, people are always coming and going.

Sep 15, 2017

yeah bro yeah, lets move to hong kong!!

Sep 15, 2017

Wow I want to work in HK.

After a 2-year analyst stint at a boutique, if I have no balls and chains holding me back (gf, wife) and no reservations about making the jump to HK, how easy would it be to network your way into a banking gig there?

I only have 1 connection in HK right now. He's a college friend working at a boutique that is willing to help me out but wow ... sounds like a great place to live for a couple of years.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

Sep 15, 2017
aempirei:

...if I have no balls and chains holding me back (gf, wife) and no reservations about...

LOL. Though I know what you were trying to say, I don't think you realize what you actually wrote here. If you reread it again in the context of proper grammar usage, it's actually pretty fucking hilarious (in a self-deprecating way).

Sep 15, 2017
aempirei:

Wow I want to work in HK.

After a 2-year analyst stint at a boutique, if I have no balls and chains holding me back (gf, wife) and no reservations about making the jump to HK, how easy would it be to network your way into a banking gig there?

I only have 1 connection in HK right now. He's a college friend working at a boutique that is willing to help me out but wow ... sounds like a great place to live for a couple of years.

It's getting harder and harder to land a gig in HK. In the past, expats that don't speak or read Chinese (Mandarin) could find finance jobs in finance, but because a lot of the deals are China-centric, there's a high preference for Native or Business fluent speakers. There are still opportunities for non-speakers to get in, but it's quite rare. For S&T, it's easier, for IB/PE the move is much harder.

You'll find once you go to HK that there's a fair share of expats or Asians that are non-speakers (or have conversational fluency) working in HK. But they might have gotten in earlier when competition wasn't as stiff, or they transferred from NYC or London with their bank.

I think best bet is to move internally via an investment bank, or find banks that focus on deals outside of China.

Sep 15, 2017

Haha, I noticed the mistake and meant to change it to "ball-and-chain(s)" as soon as I submitted it but for whatever reason I cannot 'edit' at work. Ah well, funny enough.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

Sep 15, 2017
aempirei:

Haha, I noticed the mistake and meant to change it to "ball-and-chain(s)" as soon as I submitted it but for whatever reason I cannot 'edit' at work. Ah well, funny enough.

Ahh, that's funny you can't edit it because I quoted your post. Quite the paradox, had I not pointed it out, you would have been able to go-in and fix it. Sorry about that, haha.

Sep 15, 2017

I'd be interested in hearing about your experience in Shanghai

"Do whatever it takes to keep the legend of Wall Street as it was truly intended live on. When you think back on investment banking of the early 21st century, remember the heat--remember the passion. But mostly, remember the titans. " - LSO

Sep 15, 2017

how hard would it be for a quant

Sep 15, 2017

This is a post i did comparing Singapore/HK a while back:

Hong Kong vs. Singapore? honestly. if you can't speak cantonese. its more difficult to be part of the in-crowd. Housing is EXPENSIVE (actually, in both places.) but my estimate is that hotels are more expensive in HK than SG.

however. food is cheaper in HK. commodities stuff seem to be cheaper. Also, taxis are cheaper in HK as well. HK is also much bigger than SG. it's got a bigger infrastructure network than SG (or so it seems, bc its bigger than SG and close to China)

shopping... well in HK u don't get 'VAT' aka 'GST'. So on that note. shopping is probably better in HK. doing business wise--HK has more elements of china than SG. SG feels more cosmopolitan and international. Due to the need of connecting all of SE Asia.

In SG. almost everyone you know is bilingual. children/kids/citizens are forced to know English, and their own native language. So you will meet Chinese singaporeans that can do Eng-Chinese. Malay ppl-will know Eng-Malay(bahasa), Indonesians-Eng-Indonesian. Indians//(indian), Philippinos/tagalog + Eng.

Also creeds and cultures are forced to know English as the platform for communication and business, whilst retaining their native language to keep their home country 'network' and communicability.

Naturally-this would inevitably cause Singapore to be the 'common point' for business exchanges. Quite interesting..

Sep 15, 2017

agree with a lot of what you said, but a few other things should be pointed out:

1) the girls are indeed hot, but they are not usually easy - at least not compared to notoriously easy girls elsewhere in China
2) it's fucking hot as shit in the summer... just horrible. The winter and the colder parts of fall/spring are grand though.

Sep 15, 2017

idk if there are any language requirements, but i'm sure Hong Kong would be fun.

Sep 15, 2017

London is my favorite city so far.

Sep 15, 2017

London, Sydney, or Melbourne. Gotta speak English.

Sep 16, 2017

Don't go to London then!

Sep 16, 2017

You'll want to start learning Mandarin if Sydney & Melbourne.

Sep 16, 2017

Cape Town, but banking is mostly in Johannesburg..

Sep 16, 2017

London, spent 3 months there. Not sure what it's like post brexit though.

Sep 16, 2017

Berlin

work all day, weird underground Eurotechno clubs all night

Sep 16, 2017

Banking in Berlin: the Euro equivalent of equities in Dallas

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Sep 16, 2017

Singapore - great spot to explore the rest of SE asia from

Sep 16, 2017

I second that. Hong Kong is more fun as a city though

Sep 16, 2017

Sao Paulo or Santiago

"A real entrepreneur is someone who has no safety net underneath them." - Henry Kravis

Sep 16, 2017

Hong Kong - country that doesn't hate wealth and success, westernized, friendly people, can get around speaking English, great weather, good hub to get around rest of Asia.

Sep 16, 2017

Didn't work in banking, but did have some experience in London and it was great.

...

Sep 16, 2017

Interesting topic.

Not sure it's what you're looking for but I'd say the health of the local government could be one. If run terribly (unfunded pensions, budget deficits, etc) it's a safe bet they'll be raising taxes at some point and possibly losing people and businesses with it. Obviously the complete opposite for those run competently.

Sep 16, 2017

Maybe just check population trends? See which cities have the highest year over year growth?

Sep 16, 2017

I work for a development firm so here's a little insight. Really, a lot of our deals aren't based around the "next city". A lot of developers, especially smaller ones, look for quick projects that they can turn around and sell within a year or two after completion. They want their development fees and their return at sale.

However, once you get into a larger developer things start to shift. Developers begin looking at really holding onto these properties. We're always asking "what's the intrinsic value of this property?" This is really where you start looking as to what that "next city" is.

Let's say that City A that we build a shopping center or apartments in (we'll go with apartments in this example) is about to build a brand new hospital and an office tower. Being as simple as possible here, and assuming these apartments are within a reasonably close location to these two new buildings, this would be a consideration for a "new city". You see the potential 10 years down the line for the hospital to expand, more office towers to go up, and more jobs to flood in.

There really isn't a clear cut sign to find those "new cities". Sometimes it's just a gut feeling. Other times you literally just get lucky - I know how terrible that sounds. @WSO54321 made a good point. A lot of times you'll be in contact with government officials. The particular city I live in has a mayor who is deeply involved in developing the area. That's something to look for too for a "new city". If you have officials who want to expand and have a long-term vision then you're more likely to be able to create value there.

Ultimately, the goal of developing in these areas is often times gentrification and looking for a potential long-term hold. Not sure if this really answers your question but maybe it'll give you a little insight on the development side and how we assess potential new developments and "new cities".

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Sep 16, 2017

Thats a good read - thanks for that. In regards to the example of a more 'permanent' term hold (not the flipping mentality that smaller developers prefer)....correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like the mindset is more of how the local government will entertain new development rather than following more long term economic development? Obviously they both play into the decision, but is one given more weight than the other? Say, for instance, a huge employer announces a new plant somewhere off the map (i.e. Airbus building the big plant in Mobile, AL). Is that a big enough announcement for big time developers to start looking at a certain city? I guess a more general question is what would it take for a big time developer to announce something in a city we never really think of?

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Sep 16, 2017

Charleston, SC

Sep 16, 2017

Why is that?

Sep 16, 2017

Where airlines are adding flights to.

Sep 16, 2017

I'd like to add that it doesn't have to be a search for the 'next city' - it can simply be a review of the current cities and if a city is in dire straights the value of the real estate will likely reflect that - which may or may not be an opportunity.

example: in NYC during the 70s, (generally speaking), wasn't doing so well financially (see this: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/05/nyregion/recalli...) - this coincided with relatively 'cheap' Bronx RE. Anyone from around the NYC area has probably heard of someone buying up Bronx RE in the 70's, even parts of Brooklyn (DUMBO, Williamsburg, Red Hook), and well nowadays if those buyers hung on to that RE they're essentially millionaires to the n'th degree.

Other cities which have / are likely having 'revivals', so to speak, are generally considered to be Detroit, Cleveland, and Newark. There's articles I'm sure you can that speak to these cities and I'm sure there are other cities too.

Sep 16, 2017

I currently live in one of those towns and seriously considered living in about half of those. Job prospects would most likely be best in the towns with the most money (LA and Dallas), but future growth could be best in towns with low barriers to entry and great population growth projections (Phoenix, Denver and Austin).

Sep 16, 2017

Denver would be my first choice, but since I go to Texas A&M, I'll likely end up in Dallas or Houston. Both are great for career growth, but I'd much rather be by the mountains than in hot, flat Texas.

Sep 16, 2017

Denver, LA, or Dallas from the list you gave. I'd pick the job and or projects first though, not the city. You can always move.

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Sep 16, 2017

Personally, Denver or Dallas. I would consider LA if I could stand it, which is not the case.

Sep 16, 2017

There is tons of opportunity in any secondary market. Any of those markets other than LA would apply.

Sep 16, 2017

New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Cleveland

Sep 16, 2017

I'd choose none of the above. I would say:
New York
Charlotte
Miami

New York goes without saying. Charlotte and its outlying markets e.g. Kannapolis and Rock Hill are booming, Uptown was ranked number one in Multifamily Executive for busiest apartment submarket. Miami has a lot of interesting development and a swashbuckling development culture.

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Sep 16, 2017

I'm not in RE, but I live in Denver. It is booming here, and the macro trends show the population doubling over the next couple decades. I'd expect that the market here will continue to grow. Plus, it's an awesome place to live if you like the outdoors.

Sep 16, 2017

Rising:
Austin, TX
Denver, CO
Raleigh/Durham, NC
DC (hate to say it, but doesn't look like the gov is getting any smaller anytime soon)
Phoenix/Tuscon, AZ
Seattle, WA

Falling:
St. Louis/Kansas City, MO
Las Vegas/Reno, NV

Sep 16, 2017
D M:

Rising:

Austin, TX

Denver, CO

Raleigh/Durham, NC

DC (hate to say it, but doesn't look like the gov is getting any smaller anytime soon)

Phoenix/Tuscon, AZ

Seattle, WA

Falling:

St. Louis/Kansas City, MO

Las Vegas/Reno, NV

Why is Vegas falling? Sure the housing market got hit pretty bad but long term people are still moving to NV thanks to the nice weather (like Phoenix) and the lack of state income tax. Rich californians are still moving into the Las Vegas area in drove.

Sep 16, 2017

I'm DEEPLY worried about NYC's future since the next mayor will be a liberal democrat who doesn't care about economic growth. Good chance crime will go back up as well. NYC was fortunate to have 2 great mayors for the past 20 years. Giuliania in particular will go down in history as one of the best mayors in American history.

Sep 16, 2017
mbavsmfin:

I'm DEEPLY worried about NYC's future since the next mayor will be a liberal democrat who doesn't care about economic growth. Good chance crime will go back up as well. NYC was fortunate to have 2 great mayors for the past 20 years. Giuliania in particular will go down in history as one of the best mayors in American history.

"Liberal Democrat" is an understatement. The guy is a borderline Marxist. That's not even an exaggeration--he has some amazingly "borderline" past associations. It would be quite bizarre for the city of finance to be run by a pseudo-Marxist.

Sep 16, 2017

Buying
NYC
Houston
Miami

Sep 16, 2017
monty09:

Buying

NYC

Houston

Miami

As a former resident of Houston and a current resident of Dallas, long Dallas short Houston any day.

Sep 16, 2017

Rising

Charlotte
Austin
Portland
Denver
San Fran
Chicago (surprising to some, but the private side and talent pool is solid... only poor fiscal policy - i.e. tax hikes - will fuck it up)
Atlanta
Boston
Minneapolis
Dallas
Houston

Falling

Detroit (obvious)
Cleveland
LA
D.C.
Philly
Pitt
Buffalo
St. Louis
Milwaukee
Cincy

Sep 16, 2017
peinvestor2012:

Rising

Charlotte

Austin

Portland

Denver

San Fran

Chicago (surprising to some, but the private side and talent pool is solid... only poor fiscal policy - i.e. tax hikes - will fuck it up)

Atlanta

Boston

Minneapolis

Dallas

Houston

Falling

Detroit (obvious)

Cleveland

LA

D.C.

Philly

Pitt

Buffalo

St. Louis

Milwaukee

Cincy

D.C. is definitely not declining. This town is in a boom of all booms. Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington (Northern Virginia) and Montgomery County (Suburban Maryland) are all among the 10 wealthiest counties in the nation. Started a new job about 3 weeks ago. I'm the ONLY native of the area in a group of 18 people. 5 new college grad hires are all from out of town.

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Sep 16, 2017

To be honest, I have some concerns about Chicago. The city's debt right now is $80K per household. Chicago has a fairly diversified industry base, but prop shops make up a decent chunk of that and I have some doubts about the future of HFT.

I'm generally bullish on the Great Lakes portion of the Midwest, however. including the Chicago suburbs.

Sep 16, 2017

Denver is blowing up, SLC is on the rise, Seattle is steady. I think more people are realizing they'd rather make 40-60k out of college in a place with low cost of living, and not work much more than 45-50 hour weeks. Also helps if the city has nice surroundings, i.e. the 3 I listed.

But really, any "big" city that has ample room for development will be on the rise.

Sep 16, 2017

Probably makes sense to think about 2 categories of cities. Large world capitals with so much inertia that their rise is linked broad macro and industry trends, and smaller cities that have a ton of potential based on governance, location, etc. Basically blue chips and growth stocks.

NYC/DC/LA/London/Chicago/Paris/Munich/Berlin/St. Petersburg/Moscow/Tokyo/Singapore/Hong Kong/Shanghai/Beijing/New Delhi/Mumbai/Rio/Sao Paulo will rise and fall with national and regional economics, unless there is a horrific failure of governance. Not to say some of these places won't grow (i.e. Mumbai will grow faster than Austin), but they won't outgrow what you would expect based on national trends (population growth, urban migration, middle class expansion, etc.)

The second group are the Dallas/Atlanta/Chengdu/Chennai types. and there is is much more fragile. Policy mistakes that inconvenience a place like Chicago, Shanghai or Delhi can bury them.

Sep 16, 2017

If population growth from 2010 to 2012 is any metric of success, then these stats might be useful. Among metro areas with 1.5 million or more people-

Highest growth:

1) Austin
2) Houston
3) Dallas
4) San Antonio
5) Orlando
6) Denver
7) Washington DC
8) Charlotte
9) Miami
10) Nashville

Worst growth:

1) Cleveland
2) Buffalo
3) Detroit
4) Providence
5) Pittsburgh
6) St Louis
7) Chicago
8) Cincinatti
9) Milwaukee
10) Philadelphia

Wikipedia: List of Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Sep 16, 2017
Click OK to Continue:

If population growth from 2010 to 2012 is any metric of success, then these stats might be useful. Among metro areas with 1.5 million or more people-

Highest growth:

1) Austin

2) Houston

3) Dallas

4) San Antonio

5) Orlando

6) Denver

7) Washington DC

8) Charlotte

9) Miami

10) Nashville

Worst growth:

1) Cleveland

2) Buffalo

3) Detroit

4) Providence

5) Pittsburgh

6) St Louis

7) Chicago

8) Cincinatti

9) Milwaukee

10) Philadelphia

Wikipedia: List of Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Great list. Maybe add Atlanta though.

We're running out of oil....sike!

Sep 16, 2017

Long Austin, TX all the way. People were moving to shit cities like fucking Kansas City to start companies when Google Fiber came to town, imagine how much Austin's going to explode when the rabbit gets there (especially since there's absolutely no timeline for a roll-out in SF/NY/LA/Bos/Chi). The place already has a solid tech presence, institutional VCs with dry powder, decent university talent exposure and is a culturally and fiscally desirable place to live. Seriously watch out, this place is going to go through a fucking Renaissance in a few years.

Sep 16, 2017

what is everyone's view on finance in SF?

Sep 16, 2017

wants to move to Texas because the cost of living is cheap, i-bankers are rare, and the women are absolutely beautiful.

For example...a million dollars in Dallas gets you a nice one bedroom in the Ritz Carlton Residence downtown, as well as beautiful lady on each arm.

A million dollars in NYC gets you a roach infested one bedroom overlooking an alley with cheap prostitutes.

Sep 16, 2017

^ haha thats hilarious. But really? you can get a place in RC for $1MM..thats pretty good.

I was also wondering the same thing but for Toronto

Sep 16, 2017

But I can see how the NYC mentality fuels this industry... you know how you can tell the tourists in NYC because when they are halfway down the block and the don't walk sign starts flashing, they slow down, while we all dodge fanny-packs and hury up to make the light? We work at a crazy pace because the entire city moves at the same speed. I know in dealing with some of our regional offices, they have a longer lag-time that we would consider wildly inappropriate- but we have to remind ourselves that they just do things differently down there. I imagine that the pace of work is less hectic outside of NY, but I don't know this from experience. However, I'm in S&T, and I am not envious that my CA colleagues are in the office before the market opens in NY- way too early!

Sep 16, 2017

i prefer regional banking over nyc banking. exit opps/prestige aren't the same, but lifestyle and culture seal the deal for me.

Sep 16, 2017

at analyst/associate levels at top regional banks (GS/MS SF, CS/UBS LA, CS/GS/UBS Chicago) aren't much, if any better than NYC. i'm sure culture is b/c senior bankers are more relaxed.

Sep 16, 2017

1mm won't get you into the ritz. or maybe it will at the lowest level. It isn't built yet, but the W is prob 600k or so for the lowest end place ($500/sf or so).

Sep 16, 2017

Salary is that same in all three cities, which is a huge factor. 70k goes a lot further in CLT than NY or SF, but the trade-off is that NY & SF are more exciting cities (nightlife, sports, etc...). It's really a personal choice insofar as your group pref isn't 'city-specific'.

Sep 16, 2017

Oh and is this for IBCM or SIG?

Sep 16, 2017

Figure this shit out yourselves. This is not even related to banking. What's next, asking us what toilet paper you are going to use? Obv. NY and SF are the better locations.

Sep 16, 2017

Wegmans: its IBCM.

1styearBanker: look jackass, I am trying to make an informed decision here and I am asking for advice based on others' experiences in the cities or just personal opinion. I know NY and SF are better cities in general, but in terms of culture, variances in deal flow or any other aspects that could make an Analyst's life different, I do not know what the effects of different locations are. I simply want some perspective. Since you can't offer that, why don't you just shut the fuck up.

Sep 16, 2017

The point about salary going a lot farther in Charlotte cannot be overstated. At $70k plus bonus, you will be able to live in the nicest highrise condo buildings in the center of the city, go out drinking every weekend and buy almost anything you want, and still have money left over. Compare that to NYC analysts crammed into walk up apartments in Manhattan, and it's a big step up. Granted, being right in the middle of Charlotte isn't quite like being in Midtown.

There are several posts that discuss Charlotte vs. NYC that would probably be informative for you.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/how-is-charl... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/housing-in-c...
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/city-prestige

Sep 16, 2017

wcat: My bad man I was wrong to challenge an incoming analyst as a lowly 1st year. My only advice is that Charlotte sucks, for both WFC and BoA. Good luck at your BB.

Sep 16, 2017

wcat: I think you've taken the right approach by thinking through your options rather than immediately defaulting to the major cities.

At the end of the day, the choice is really up to you. I did my banking years in a really small city where my shop was pretty much the only one in town. As a result, there were very limited options in terms of night life and "fun." I also didn't have any friends in the state which didn't make things easier (but that's true for any city). However, what captk said in terms of salary and lifestyle is very true. I was able to live like a king on just my base salary and save my entire bonus. My compensation was equivalent to new york analysts, so I excited my 2 years of IB with almost $100,000 banked.

As for exit ops, you aren't locked out of any opportunities by working in Charlotte. I will admit that it requires a lot more pro-activeness (is that a word?) on your part when it comes to looking for jobs, very few organizations will discount your experience due to where you worked. It is always easier to interview for other jobs that are located close by, but you can certainly overcome it. All that really matters is the experience you gained. I can't speak to Wells Fargo's deal flow in Charlotte, but if it is strong, I'd give the location some serious consideration.

So really, go to the area that interests you the most and fits your personality. If you're a big city guy, don't go to Charlotte. If you have a desire to be in the center of it all, New York is your best bet. Really though, this isn't something you should decide based on responses here as people are incredibly biased and don't know anything about you.

Sep 16, 2017

Its not just the name of the firm but also the role you were in and what you actually accomplished. (i.e., saying you worked at a local UBS WM office, which although that bad, will not have the recruiter going WOW).

Sep 16, 2017

Also interested in this.

Along the same lines-Do applications for different cities go to the same HR department?
An alum told me she would have HR keep an eye out for my application, but I want to work in a different city than hers (she's at the banks hq NYC). Would I be wasting my connection if I put the other city as my choice?

Sep 16, 2017

^^Any help much appreciated here-gotta apply soon^^

Sep 16, 2017

I'm guessing this is Citi, as they require such things even if you do OCI.

I would say that the mere application doesn't hurt you but you better be ready to sell them on "why houston". If it is plainly obvious that H-town is a backup, you are toast, at least for that office.

Sep 16, 2017

If you type like a 13 year old texting, you're not an adult.

Sep 16, 2017

Cartwright-I don't know if you were answering my question or the OPs, but mine is not Citi

Sep 16, 2017

This aint Citi.

Sep 16, 2017

Well that part doesn't matter. The other point holds. I would say selection online doesn't really matter, but be prepared to explain your preference and know that Houston will want some solid "why houston".

I've spent the last 3 days in new york talking to BB's about the houston v. nyc thing, coming to nyc out of a texas school, etc. They all mentioned the above advice.

Sep 16, 2017

I gotcha. I was actually planning on putting NYC as alternate, but my contact is in NYC so I'm wondering if I need to put NY first to get any benefit from that connection. I'm assuming an online app w/o a contact is pretty pointless in either location.

Sep 16, 2017

wells fargo?

Sep 16, 2017
go4it:

wells fargo?

not mine

Sep 16, 2017

Depends on salary. If its a $150k between NY and Chicago, I would definitely go to Chicago. Cost of living is a huge factor as it directly affects savings.

Sep 16, 2017

NY or Chicago for sure. The actual choice would depend on salary (ceteris paribus) due to living costs.

Sep 16, 2017

<$70k salary.

Sep 16, 2017

If its less than 70k, NYC isnt even worth it, and chicago will be borderline. At that point I would go for a city like Houston or Dallas where the cost of living is fairly cheap. You would live really nicely on 70k in those cities.

Sep 16, 2017
TedWahlberg:

If its less than 70k, NYC isnt even worth it, and chicago will be borderline. .

Not even close to true. You can 100% survive on <70k in NYC, especially Chi.

Sep 16, 2017

I think it is largely a wash. Dallas has a huge in state contingent, the same with San Jose. In IB NYC is likely to have most spots and more networking opportunities.

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