Piper Jaffray: Sweatier Than Ever in 2018
Piper Jaffray (PJC) is a massive sweatshop. Probably one of the worst MMs for work/life balance from what I've seen and heard. Imperial Capital is the only other MM bank I've heard that is worse, and I guess Lincoln now that somebody died.
Created this new account for anonymity, but I've spent a few years at Piper so I have a lot of first hand knowledge on just how bad it can be and what HR/sr. bankers never tell people in interviews or networking calls. Instead all they do is parrot on and on about how "Piper really cares about the people" and "We're not like other banks". Not true and is 100% group dependent. Even the "good" groups have some terrible individuals though. Posting this now because of some extremely recent instances which should not be acceptable at all and should highlight why you absolutely should join another firm if you have multiple offers instead of accepting Piper.
Examples and Stories:
- Two analysts had literal breakdowns within the past year. Talking about middle of the day, full blown tears and having to go home. Both highly well regarded too, so it's not like these are scrub first years being overwhelmed. One of the instances involved an analyst having to print out CIMs and NDAs for every single buyer in a process and actually address and put them in FedEx boxes. Keep in mind Piper always says "we have a targeted buyer approach instead of a shotgun blast approach", then proceeds to blindly reach out to 100+ or 200+ buyers. This MD apparently can't accept sending out CIMs electronically and forces a single analyst to do this by themselves on every one of his deals instead of having admins or print services do it.
- Industrials this past summer with multiple interns, analysts, and associates pulling consistent nights until 4-10am, with some doing three days 7-10am in the past week alone. One instance was working until 10am Monday morning (as in was working all day Sunday, then worked through the night until Monday morning) then told to come back at 1pm. If this was really crucial deal-related work, fine. It wasn't.
- Analyst in HC landed at say, midnight, but wasn't allowed to fly into the city the meeting was at because an MD was flying into an airport two hours away and is apparently above uber/taxi/renting a car. So the analyst has to fly in at midnight, wait until 2am for the MD to fly in who was coming from a different city, then drive both of them to the final destination two hours away.
- Analysts having to run 15 detailed A/D analyses for a fucking pitch. Not just a generic let's plug into a template type of thing and cut basic line items from the target's financials, but full blown, digging into 10Ks/Qs and scrub each one as if it was for a fairness opinion.
- Buyer telling sr. banker they didn't want to start outreach until after Christmas and New Years (this was before Thanksgiving). Sr. banker proceeds to force multiple turns of the CIM over Thanksgiving break.
- Sr. bankers publicly chewing out analysts and associates with no repercussions other than getting a "talking to". Stuff such as screaming that somebody is "dumber than a bag of fucking rocks", that "I'll do your fucking job for you since you fucking can't", and sometimes even cussing people out in writing over email. Apparently this is all viewed as acceptable even though Piper is "a firm that cares about its people".
- Saturday policy is a joke. Enforcement is basically non-existent and people work double digit hours on Saturdays all the time. I remember back when Piper had a one weekend a quarter off policy, an analyst was given work Sunday morning and when he told the senior banker that was his protected weekend the response was "oh enjoy the rest of your weekend, just have it on my desk first thing Monday".
- People complain about the above and then nothing happens. At best a talking to where things die down for a wr two but then then it's back to the same old horrible sweaty AF mentality. I swear to god the basement of a neckbeard who lives with their parents is less sweaty.
- Piper is super fucking cheap and doesn't support its analysts and associates with the resources they need to do their job properly, such as fucking them on weekends by not having a print guy there just to save a dime on admin costs.
- Despite what management likes to think, Piper is not a "leading global middle market investment bank". Two bankers in HK who do literally nothing and tiny offices in like London does not make it a global bank. I mean, the Zurich office just shut down lmao.
- Some of you might be thinking "why is this poster complaining, that doesn't sound any different from what I experienced". Difference is this is Piper, a run of the mill MM. Many of the guys get worked over as analysts and have little to show for it in terms of exit opps. My view is if you're going to get assfucked, get assfucked by Goldman, Moelis, JPM, Evercore, etc. where you can at least consistently exit to MFs and then it's "worth it".
Mod Note (Andy): Don't miss this post "Biggest Professional Regret?" from a former PJC analyst.