Reneging a BB offer


Hi everyone, I was was fortunate enough to land an offer at a BB think (Citi/Credit Suisse). I accepted the offer a month ago but recently I received an offer from another BB but this time think (GS/JPM). This is at one of their top groups in NY. I looked at the contract and it says that they have the right to cancel my employment at any time and I also have the right to do so. Would it be a wise move to go with GS/JPM?

This definitely sounds ungrateful of me. I understand. But my original dream was to work at GS/JPM/MS.

Comments (51)

Most Helpful
  • Intern in Other
Oct 10, 2019 - 10:56pm

Why would you start recruiting again a month after accepting an offer...and in this case no I absolutely wouldn’t reneg for such a miniscule differenc in “prestige”

Oct 10, 2019 - 11:21pm

This is such a bad idea especially from BB to BB... everyone at these big banks is close and this could get your GS/JPM offer pulled if anyone C/CS emails them about it.

At will employment means you can quit, not renege. Lateral in a year if you still have your prestige dream to work at Goldman, odds are you won't.

  • Prospect in 
Oct 10, 2019 - 11:57pm

Why would GS/JPM pull my offer if they found out that I reneged? Is it illegal to renege? Thanks for the input.

Oct 11, 2019 - 4:19am

I understand the struggle you are in, though agree with one of the comments above asking why you started recruiting after having been accepted. In general it is seen as unprofessional to renege an offer as by signing the offer you commit yourself to that employer, implicitly or explicitly stating that you want to work for them. Then reneging your contract for a firm in a similar industry is weird. This comes across as unprofessional to GS/JPM. You showing unprofessionality to your employer for your own good might mean that you will be unprofessional in the future too (to the client or to the employer) if it suits you personally.

Of course, this doesn't take away that it is your dream to work at GS/JPM but if you really want it you can try to lateral into there, as one of the other comments explained.

Oct 13, 2019 - 7:45pm

I can't find it now, but I remember a post here on WSO from a couple of months ago where the OP (hiring manager in that case) had a guy who reneged his offer to move to a better bank (if I remember correctly it was for an internship). He called a friend at the other bank and he made him pull the offer. I am pretty sure there's someone at the bank you signed who knows somebody else at the other bank. Honestly, I wouldn't risk it. If the want to, they are going to find out where you went and they may (or may not, it's a risk/reward calculation you have to make) ask them to pull your offer,

Oct 10, 2019 - 11:54pm

I think reneging is never an attractive option, but it is quite common among applicants. Don’t think you should renege for a marginal increase in prestige.

With that being said, I think the risks of reneging are always overplayed. There is no way for them to know which company you reneged them for unless you tell them. Plus analyst classes start in like 8 months.

If it really is your dream, fuck it. But if it’s merely a prestige move, why burn bridges so early on?

Oct 11, 2019 - 9:11am

This isn't just a meaningless step up in prestige like some of the folks here are making it sound if it's truly one of the top groups for JPM/GS vs Citi/CS. Did you continue recruiting after accepting the first offer (exploding?) or was it another process you had already started and just got the result back later? Did the JPM/GS team know you had been given the offer by the other bank?

If this mismatch in timelines is due to a slower/later response but still transparentprocess with JPM/GS and they knew the other bank was in the picture, I think reneging to go to a top group with either of those banks would be a smart career move. Especially if your focus is on having better buy side recruitment. Fuck the misplaced idea of loyalty in that regard.

However, if you continued recruiting and started a process AFTER accepting Citi/CS I would say that was dishonest on your part and could be a bit dicey. Banks do talk and there's risk in that. Then again, the impact of reneging offers so far in advance of the start date I think is being overblown. If the focus is on maximizing exit opportunities and working in a group you're genuinleymore interested in, I would still personally take the risk but ultimately that's your call. You could very well end up with no job under these circumstances and that would suck wouldn't it?

I'm a big believer in going for broke and like taking risks, but I don't know if you're a gambler as well. CS/Citi is still a solid bank and you'll have great opportunities, but there's no denying those opportunities will likely be better from a top group at JP/GS simply by looking at the alumni network. You could do your first year at the current offer, maintain your relationships and try to lateral for year 2 as a much less risky path. My thought is that no one is going to remember the analyst they interviewed who reneged an offer 2-3 years after the fact, and if they do they're either taking it too personally or you're so amazing they kept dreaming of you long after you're gone. Life's short, might as well take risks to maximize your opportunities and do the best you can during it.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 11, 2019 - 10:09am

People are suggesting that it’s a marginal step up in prestige because your bank/group isn’t 100% what makes or breaks you in buy side recruiting. If he’s from a strong target, has a good GPA/SAT scores, etc. then he’s fine regardless of whether he chooses Citi/CS or JPM/GS. Reneging is essentially more risk than the reward is worth.

Oct 11, 2019 - 12:41pm

I understand that the differences are marginal compared to say a MM vs a BB, but even small margins can make a huge difference depending on what your end goal is. I made a point in highlighting that there's still risk here. OP could very well end up jobless depending on the circumstances of how they went through this process which is why I asked for details. But if the group at GS/JPM is say a specific coverage or product group that he's interested in vs what he's currently got from CS/Citi, why wouldn't you want to try and start out in the area you know you're going to have more genuine interest in?

I don't believe it's a good idea to just jump because "ooo GS is SOOOOO much better than Citi", but lets say for example he's got an offer from GS TMT or JPM M&A and his end goal is to recruit for MF PE. Would it not make sense to move to one of the best reputed teams in the world to try and ideally position to make that jump? If it's a group like that, an opportunity for a lateral may never come up if they decide to remain loyal to the first bank for their first analyst year.

In my opinion, if it's their dream to work at JPM/GS and they've got an offer from one of those groups I say live dangerously and go for it. Assuming they went through the process honestly, the bank knows they received an offer from the other bank (grey area that he accepted) and they're willing to risk it all, why not try to optimize the start of a career in one of the most lucrative industries in the world? Isn't that why students are coming to this forum in the first place?

tl;dr Go big or go home, but know the risk in the choices you make and your own risk tolerance

Oct 11, 2019 - 9:39am

Very risky move. I’ve seen some pretty extreme backlash from reneging situations. Not the best way to start building your reputation in your career. Especially because it sounds like you continued recruiting after accepting your offer.

I think it’s very easy as an undergrad to have this vision that your career trajectory and opportunities will be significantly different if you start at GS... but you’ll quickly find out that’s rarely true.

If your concern is prestige... you should strongly reconsider what you’re thinking of doing. If exit opps... you also need to realize that just because you’re in GS FIG or TMT doesn’t mean you’ll land at a mega fund. The majority don’t. You’ll get interviews but you’re also competing with all of the other top kids on the street. It’s all about relative performance. At times it can be an advantage to be at a bank like citi and be a top performer.

Just some thoughts, but at the end of the day just do what feels right to you. Side note — my opinion would be slightly different if the original offer was from a boutique or MM

Oct 11, 2019 - 10:02am

Since you're almost a year away from starting full time I would go with the GS/JPM offer. Give them some bs excuse that you had another process going on in parallel that was going incredibly slow, but that you felt that the fit was better.

Needless to say; do not post anything on LinkedIn about being an "upcoming analyst" in GS/JPM. If I were you I would wait until after summer before posting anything.

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.
  • Prospect in 
Oct 11, 2019 - 10:40am

Thanks for the input everyone. Just to make a few clarifications: 1) I heard back from GS/JPM about 2 weeks after accepting my CS/Citi offer. 2) This is for an internship and not a fulltime position.

Oct 11, 2019 - 11:35am

Why not renege? It's not like you're legally obligated to tell them which firm you signed with. Why not just say "I've decided to pursue an opportunity elsewhere" and leave it at that? Can anyone comment on this?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 11, 2019 - 11:39am

Again, people talk. The industry is smaller than you think. There is a HUGE risk here. If OP gets caught, whether it be now or in a month or two, he will most likely lose both offers. Also, if OP got this through OCR, he will most likely get banned from whatever career services are there, not a huge deal if he/she gets a return, but if not, that only makes the situation worse.

  • Prospect in Other
Oct 11, 2019 - 1:08pm

Has everyone here forgot the megathread started by BBEGAL about reneging? CS/Citi are very good banks and you should just keep the offer. BB's aren't even hiring as many analysts these days from the interns so its better to intern at a bank where you can be hired at least. In this case there is significant risk but no reward. Also remember an economic crisis is coming soon and its the big banks that cut employees first.

Oct 11, 2019 - 6:53pm

Surprised at the number of people saying essentially "it's risky, but its your dream to work for GS/MS so go for it."

OP is presumably 21 years old. Surely someone could point out that maybe he's a bit misguided to think spending two years at GS/MS is a dream job, especially compared to doing the exact same thing at another BB.

I wouldn't renege in this situation. Especially for MS or JPM which are great banks but probably not any safer than the next rung down. GS at least has a little bit of a better reputation with regard to not having as many staff cuts (at least, anecdotally, that's the way it seems based on years of hearing about cuts at banks).

If you do renege, don't give anyone the opportunity to track you down and email their friend at your new bank. It's not that people care enough to do that, it's that they're bored. Say something to throw them off the scent like you're looking at tech jobs or consulting or something. They'll be skeptical at the time but they won't remember it nearly as long, and they won't have the will to act when they see next summer that you're at another bank.

  • Prospect in 
Oct 11, 2019 - 8:28pm

Thanks again everyone. My only concerns are would I have equal opportunities to exit into PE if I go with CS/Citi vs GS/JPM? For the CS/Citi group I haven't yet been placed but for the other it's GS(TMT)/JPM(M&A). If I decide to stay in IB for the long term, would the pay be the same at CS/Citi vs GS/JPM?

Oct 11, 2019 - 11:50pm

On the PE question, I'll mostly defer to people who know more about how PE recruiting has gone recently. But I will say one thing: don't just look at the number of exits because better groups also have better people. I think the more accurate 'model' of how things work is that the PE shops scour the BB's and EB's for the best overall people and have a thorough enough interview process to flush out who's best prepared. So that's going to be more a function of the individual than the group they come from.

On your second question, it's largely the same concept. If you stay on to the VP+ level, its going to be a lot more about your individual abilities and circumstances than it will be about the bank you're at.

  • Prospect in Other
Oct 12, 2019 - 9:41am

You are missing the main point here. You only have internship offers. There is definitely a smaller chance that you will even get a FT offer at JPM/GS. Most likely you won't get a return offer and you will be back to square one scrambling for an FT role. For CS/Citi your chances are better at actually securing a FT role. PE isn't happening if you don't have an FT role in the bag.

Oct 11, 2019 - 8:32pm

Working at whatever bank you excepted the offer for will make you always think of what could've been. I get it "don't renege" but honestly you are the only one who has to live with your decisions. This is Wall Street sure it's small and cutthroat but everyone on the street is selfish given that most are willing to sell their soul for a crazy demanding job. I say renege, take the other offer but lay low. I'm currently doing full time recruiting and its incredibly difficult even if you already worked in IB. Don't let fear get in the way of your dreams you already came very far. Chances are your new bank isn't going to renege on you offer because you want to work for them.

Oct 12, 2019 - 12:06am

Almost all employment is at will, meaning that an employer can terminate the employment of an employee, for any reason or for no reason at all, and any employee can terminate their own employment for any reason or for no reason at all.

Declining an offer because of that provision of an offer letter would be the worst reason to decline a position ever.

Oct 12, 2019 - 6:43am

Renege and don’t say anything about where you’re going either on the phone or on social media. If you tell them that you are upgrading firms, that will do nothing but piss them off. However, if you don’t say where you are going, they will likely forget very quickly because they can fill the spot with a thousand other kids.

Oct 12, 2019 - 8:19pm

Just tell the better bank you already accepted an offer from Bank B and ask if theyd rescind if you reneg

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Oct 13, 2019 - 2:08pm

Inform JPM / GS that you've accepted this other offer, want to reneg, and make sure you get their blessing (I'm willing to bet that you will).

Then reneg. The difference in buyside recruiting is tremendous. You'd be lucky to get a look at Citi / CS at some of the UMMs / Megafunds. Can't speak for other funds but bank / group is a bar that you have to meet for us to look at your resume - otherwise there'd be too many people to review.

Oct 13, 2019 - 9:22pm

I'd recommend, but do it in the right way. I've seen quite a few kids reneg with no consequences. Just don't tell your old bank (Citi / CS) that your reneging, tell them that you were "pressured into accepting too quickly and have decided not to pursue a career in banking at this time".

This way, they won't look to figure out what other bank you are going to and can't fuck it up. You will just disappear off their radar...

Oct 13, 2019 - 11:20pm

A tier 2 and tier 1 investment bank is worlds apart in terms of BRAND. The amount of weight a tier 1 bank holds in terms of perception and credibility incredible. I would highly highly highly recommend taking the top BB offer. you will have the brand on your resume forever and will help you sooo much down the road (in whatever you do). It's absolutely priceless. People who are saying the opportunities are marginal are incorrect IMO. It's like going for Harvard over any other school, why would go with anything else if you have the opportunity?

Oct 15, 2019 - 8:13pm

I think some of the responses telling you that your career will be ruined if you reneg are a bit dramatic.. Think about it from the perspective of GS/JPM - why would they be upset if you reneged on a CS/Citi offer to join them instead? Given that a) this is for an internship and b) the intern recruiting timeline is already so messed up, I don't think renegs are/will be that uncommon

In terms of buyside recruiting - firm and group (as well as school and GPA) are not the end all be all, but definitely do matter for first looks / coffee chats etc. After that, it's more of an even playing field and up to you to prove yourself. I don't think anyone here can deny that GS TMT will take you further than many other groups on the street - if you know for sure that's what you want, then I think you should go for it

I'm at a GS/MS/JPM and recruited for PE this year. Feel free to PM if any questions

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 15, 2019 - 8:23pm

Am I the only one who's confused as to how this dude just got a GS(TMT)/JP(M&A) offer in October when most of the spots were filled by early September? Is this for Junior year? what kind of connects are these lmk. Maybe he's trolling us all.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 17, 2019 - 9:30pm

Im confused. So you got an SA offer for GS/JPM and you already know which group it's for? Have they had group placement already?

Oct 17, 2019 - 11:27pm

if you are going to reneg, you don't want either firm to be aware of the other.
this means a few things

1) when you reneg to your 1st firm, you email your contact and just say that you've decided to go in a different career direction, and so need to rescind your acceptance of their employment offer. You thank them for the experience of the interview process, and you wish them well with their future endeavors. Don't worry, they have 50 other people waiting to take your spot. Don't say that you are going to another firm...just vanish from their thoughts. I worded my statement above very specifically. i suggest you use my wording.

here is an example.


I want to thank you for the interview experience at Citi. You and the firm have been very gracious to me. Unfortunately, i've decided to go in a different direction with my career, so i need to withdraw my acceptance of employment. I'm sure you will find another highly qualified applicant to fill my spot. I wish you well in your future.

Prospect Monkey

Be aware that you are most likely burning a bridge with that firm, and people that interviewed you...but try to minimize by being political with your word choice.

2) at the new firm, don't ever mention that you interviewed/renegged at the firm where you renegged...just say nothing...keep this secret.

3) don't put anything on linkedin or any social not advertise your employment situation. be a the prior firm never finds out if they google you. If either firm finds out you renegged, you could find yourself blacklisted, and then nothing you can do about it.

just google're welcome
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