PWP - 65% Return Rate???

Hello all, 

Incoming SA at PWP here, go to a top target and chose PWP over Moelis/Citi. I had assumed they all had similar offer rates and was basing it off culture but this cycle was not the case. Another user who worked at PWP said PWP had 65% return rates, feel like that's ridiculously low for EB and even BB. Heard through a first-year analyst that some groups were as low as 50%. Does anybody know what's going on? In the interview process, everyone talked about 95%+ return rates? Especially with them growing so rapidly and already very lean. Should I be worried, and will this continue next year?

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Comments (112)

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Restr
Aug 16, 2021 - 9:36am

if they lied to your face and said 95%+ (which is way more believable than 65%) then you can definitely reneg imo. I would try to verify that this info is correct, if it is then fuck them. Thats like if you lied on your resume and said you have a 3.5 when you really have a 2.5. They would definitely reneg on you.

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 16, 2021 - 1:56pm

While I think it's fair to renege because of that, couldn't it still land you in trouble if the other bank finds out?

Aug 16, 2021 - 9:34am

I wouldn't be too worried about that. My group had a ~70% offer rate but the people who didn't get offers did pretty egregious things. The bar for interns is shockingly low so just make sure you look for feedback and improve as much as you can. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 16, 2021 - 2:42pm

Can't touch on @banking_bart's experiences, but since 2020 was online SAs and hybrid/fully remote in many cases in 2021, you can put not being online during working hours on top of the list. 

Having done an SA and having met the other 60 kids in my SA class, you'd be surprised how unprofessional a lot of interns act by showing up late, being underdressed, etc. A lot of kids seem to forget that college is a completely different ballgame than the workplace.

  • Summer Associate in IB - Restr
Aug 16, 2021 - 10:00am

Also crazy how many FTs they are taking, would love some insight from a PWP employee on what's going on, or I think there will be a lot of reneging judging by this thread.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 17, 2021 - 8:06pm

Pretty sure they underhired during last summer's recruiting cycle due to uncertainy/covid which they must be correcting for. Wouldn't be too worried as they're growing and return rates are high every year prior. Would love a bit more color from someone at the firm tho

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 16, 2021 - 10:10am

Really hope PWP takes notice that incoming SA are uncomfortable given the offer rate in a booming M&A market and at least tries to address why.

  • Summer Associate in IB - Restr
Aug 16, 2021 - 10:13am

Agreed this is the quote from a PWP associate, "return rate was about 65% this year, not sure why so low but maybe they found candidates they liked during FT" Why would you favor FTs over interns, I'm 100% sure 35% of the interns were not incompetent...

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 16, 2021 - 12:07pm

I suppose a possibility was that a lot of those FTs were strong candidates and did their SAs at top BBs and other EBs and looked to trade up. At the end of the day this definitely sucks man, and is definitely super unusual considering PWP's historical return rates have been 85%+.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 17, 2021 - 8:32pm

It's sort of the problem when looking at a small class size, no? Let's say 21% no returns, given 15/19 as stated below in this thread (latest number). That sounds scary as a percentage, but with a class size of 19, it's not too far-fetched that in an off-year 4 interns aren't gonna be what they were looking for in terms of culture, competency, work ethic, etc. To be fair, I feel like competence isn't the right metric here. My vibe with EB's is that they always hire really smart kids, but those that don't get returns usually weren't a cultural fit/didn't act properly in the work environment. But probably best just to reach out to other juniors at the firm and get the rundown

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 16, 2021 - 10:20am

Anyone know what groups got hit the hardest? And for other incoming SA, what is the plan for you all now? CVP is the only half decent bank that'll still be recruiting and I haven't touched a technical since the spring

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 16, 2021 - 10:41am

Sounds good, I'll start doing the same tbh. Have a few really strong contacts at comparable firms so I'll try that. Not like they'll miss us anyways since they enjoy hiring 10+ people full time each year

  • Summer Associate in IB - Restr
Aug 16, 2021 - 11:01am

yes that was the entire point of this thread just want some more info as this is really strange for them

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 16, 2021 - 11:07am

Really hope someone says something soon. This was totally unexpected 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 16, 2021 - 11:28am

Isn't one of the supposed benefits of signing with an EB the higher return rate? 

  • Summer Associate in IB - Restr
Aug 16, 2021 - 11:57am

assuming its accurate given the person worked for PWP, a first-year analyst also estimated it to be sub 70% so I have to believe its correct.

  • Summer Associate in IB - Restr
Aug 16, 2021 - 11:58am

Ik Jefferies last summer only gave 50% and this summer gave 95% but we were also in a global pandemic last summer.. whereas this summer IB revenue was at an ATH

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Aug 16, 2021 - 12:25pm

Just an FYI, Jefferies did not give out 50% offer rates. It gave 95%, just waited 20 or so days because they had a hiring freeze in place. This year it was pretty much 100% for most groups and Jefferies is looking to hire FT folks as well.

Aug 16, 2021 - 12:14pm

That's consistent with the other intern viewpoints, but as someone whose been in banking for 10+ years, we always give preference to people who have the bulge experience.

Also, take a look at this thread. Interns whining about a random acceptance rate and thinking of reneging lol.

How about you have some self confidence and say to yourself I don't care what the return rate / offer rate is for interns, I'm going to work hard and get a return offer. Why do you young people always look for the easiest road and freak out that one bank pays 10k higher base?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 16, 2021 - 2:39pm

I choose a low EB for rx (Gugg/GHL) over Citi and I will try to explain my rationale:
-I know the group I will work with and I don't have to go through group placement
-I will be a generalist while I could get placed in a random coverage group I don't like at Citi since I don't have anyone who's pulling for me at Citi
-my Citi SD was so simple, extremely basic technicals (note I am not diversity) and the interviewers were not even trying to fake enthusiasm for being there 
-I think the average kid in my class will be more technical compared to the average kid at Citi, with such simple interviews for non diversity I can imagine that it is quite hard for Citi to screen candidates (not sure about the point you make about EB looking for fit while they have arguably tougher interviews)
-I will work on smaller teams and will get more exposure to clients sooner compared to Citi - not sure how stimulating it is to be on a deal with a bunch of other analysts

I am yet to be a SA so I welcome any advice or comments about my choice/thinking 

Totally agree on taking PWP over Citi

Aug 16, 2021 - 2:59pm

Your situation seems to be very specific, and its rare for a young person to have so many advocates like you do. As anything in life, nothing is black and white, so in your case going to a small bank might be the best.

You're anecdotal experience interviewing at citi really has no bearing though. You had a bad interview experience, so you think that would be the case for everyone?

Finally, I was giving general advice, as in generally as a complete banking fledgling the name helps alot. You learn the same models whether you're at Goldman or William Blair. Right? Anyone can learn to create a merger model. But I like to hire someone I know was able to interview and get into Goldman, was able to succeed in an intense environment and work on / lead interesting deals. There maybe a superstar at Blair and of course you can always alter your destiny at any point in life, but most people would like to speak to the Goldman candidate no matter what.

Not sure what I am saying is so controversial. There are called bulge brackets for a reason. It's like saying I chose to go to Duke over Princeton because I liked the fit better. That's fine and its not like you're ruining your life at Duke, but the Princeton name can land you some interviews no matter what.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 16, 2021 - 12:18pm

NYC RO rate was ~80%.  In past it has been higher but this class was less impressive, not sure why.  May be harder to find good candidates virtually, or Dartmouth is bad at picking kids, or both.  From what I've seen this isn't a result of the bar for a RO being raised, which is good news for incoming SAs.

Edit: actual rate was 14/19, was looking at an outdated list

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 16, 2021 - 1:28pm

hate to be that guy and understand you're an analyst but I am pretty sure 13/19 got offers which is 68%

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Aug 16, 2021 - 8:15pm

What made them less impressive? What did people do to not get return offers?

  • Summer Associate in IB - Restr
Aug 17, 2021 - 9:26am

they're not falling apart just had a lower FT rate and making it up through FT hiring, scared shitless as an incoming intern though

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Aug 17, 2021 - 5:45pm

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 17, 2021 - 5:51pm

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Aug 17, 2021 - 8:16pm

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 20, 2021 - 9:24pm

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