Reflections at Lazard (London)
Thought I'd give an insight into my time atworking as an Analyst. WSO forums helped me learn a bit about the application process and differences between the EBs / BBs, so thought I'd include my experience. This is a throwaway account so please don't message me. I will try to speak generally about myself to protect my identity. If you have any specific questions leave a reply on this post and I may reply within a week or so; I am free this week so will try my best.
The graduate training programme and ongoing education throughout the initial years is simply awesome. I did my initial training pre-COVID and the experience was great; meeting other European colleagues and the London Analyst class was nice and totally non-competitive. I didn't study a finance degree, nor did Iat Lazard (I converted at another EB) so there was a lot of catching up to do. Fitch learning provide a great training programme.
What you find at Lazard is they target a high mix of educational backgrounds; they also aim for 50:50 male to female ratio. The male to female ratio is good on paper, but in my experience a couple of the females I worked with weren't quite on par with the rest of the class, probably due to lack of good female applicants to the firm for my intake year. They had good Oxford humanities degrees but no finance exp. or interest at uni - so they literally had to learn whatwas, what are the 3 financial statements, how to format in etc. as a graduate analyst. I was joined by one of these analysts in my first rotation and it was like hell for the first few months as I'd had to do some of her work too!
I will not describe all my rotations as it will be easy to identify who I am. I will only describe the best / worst:
- Working for [Removed] was tough and not enjoyable. [Removed] was better. This was my least favourite rotation and very non-technical. Most days were just doing market updates, updating databases, creating pitches and taking notes for meetings. The team were highly elitist and I really did not look forward to socials. There was no creativity or innovation involved in the work and internal politics was high between VPs, Directors and MDs. The ECM team is not talked about much on this site and I went in pretty blind, so thought this was worth highlighting. Things might have changed by now however, as I've seen one of the nastier [Removed] recently lateral to another bank as a [Removed].
OR Healthcare (to remain anon. I have stated 2 teams, one of which I worked in, one of which I did not:). I know both are great though) - really great from junior to senior level. Lots of large cap deal experience and technical modelling skills gained. Hours were rough at times but time was managed really well across the team. Some lateral hires from audit backgrounds who were a bit sh*t technically, but had great interpersonal skills.
Generally speaking, the quality of candidates is mixed; some are highly academic, some are less so. I was somewhere in the middle (1st class target, AAAA A-levels, exec. at a uni soc.), but they seem to take on particular 'characters'. An Oxford (PPE) degree seems highly sought after here. EBs in general are quite snobbish; I am not from a privately educated background so it took some getting used to. There seems to be a high % from Eton and the associates and above are mostly white male, although they are actively trying to change this. Personally I don't think I would be able to fit in after some years here, hence why I left (+ buyside exit opps.). My friends at other BBs seem to think the culture is a bit more diverse at their firms, although they have the advantage of much larger intakes. HR are great and organise alot of events (especially for the interns).
Mainly MM PE / Credit if you only speak British, MF PE is a possibility if you are European or a superstar. A fewexits in recent years too. Some of the grads really fit in to the culture / ecosystem and don't actively look at exit opps. Typically speaking, in the UK buyside gigs are quite off-cycle so some people stay several years before moving.