SA Advice - Credit Suisse S&T, Citi S&T, Morgan Stanley S&T, Goldman QIS

Hi all,

Can anyone give me any insight as to what you might choose or what factors come into play if you were to choose between CS S&T, Citi S&T, MS IED, or Goldman Quantitative Investment Strategies? These are all in the New York office. Since this is for a SA role, I wouldn't know which desks I would be placed into, but ideally I would prefer an equities trading desk. With regards to Goldman, anyone know how one might compare the experience of Goldman QIS to a S&T role? Thanks so much!

Comments (49)

Jan 31, 2015

Why do you think equities? Also do you mean cash equities or derivatives? Cash equities is kind of a dying business from what I understand...

Jan 31, 2015

S&T can have certain desks which are quant-oriented (structuring, exotic derivatives, etc.) but QIS is guaranteed to be quantitive. Assuming you decide S&T, I'd say Morgan Stanley would be your best bet since you're fixed on equities.

Jan 31, 2015

Yeah if you really want equities IED is a great program from what I hear.

Jan 31, 2015

Thanks everyone for their input. Wanted to specify, I'm thinking something more equity derivatives, and I know MS is the strongest at this. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the culture at both MS and CS so wavering just because of the people. I hear Citi S&T in equities isn't as strong if I am getting my facts correct...confirmation?

Let' say I narrow it down to MS IED and Goldman QIS. Any thoughts on these two? Goldman QIS is in Asset Management so I feel like it's going to be a different feel, and to be honest, I haven't heard of this group before I started recruiting, though it is pretty quant-y. Additionally, does anyone know how prestige differs on the street between a front-office role at MS IED in the IBD or what I believe to be a more middle-office role at Goldman QIS in IMD? Don't want to sound like a prestige-whore but it certainly would help to gain some insight to make a more informed decision.

Jan 31, 2015

edit: double post sorry

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Jan 31, 2015

justachimp7 do you have offers from all of them?

Jan 31, 2015

Have offers from 2, but awaiting the other 2. Mainly asking early because of exploding deadlines and just want to have more insight

Jan 31, 2015

who do you have offers from? i know MS has top equity trading team

Jan 31, 2015

I have offers from Citi and CS. Superdays with MS and GS coming up. Perhaps I'm getting a little ahead of myself - could anyone compare Citi to CS? I know CS also has a strong equities franchise albeit smaller. Their fixed income is also pretty solid afaik, but not as strong as equities. Citi also has very strong FI as someone mentioned earlier.

Jan 31, 2015

Citi is a powerhouse in S&T, but yeah they shrunk their equities business purposefully. They have a greater fixed income/structured focus. Their equity derivatives desk has great people on it. If you're considering FX derivatives or structured credit, Citi all the way.

Feb 1, 2015

Citi has ample balance sheet, although there are some concerns with its meeting of reserve requirements relative to the other megabanks. Not necessarily the strongest player in equities but given recent shuffling in their equity derivatives business (new head) you might see some positive changes. I'd be a little wary of the future of European banks' role in capital markets with all the central bank madness going on there right now, but this applies more to FI than equities. I wouldn't discount QIS by the way; a lot of brilliant kids in that program that were top students at my school and probably one of the more marketable quant roles on the street. With all that said, my personal pref would be MS IED (contingent on derivs trading) > GS QIS > Citi > CS, but they're all great places to start.

Feb 1, 2015

bump

Jan 31, 2015

chrisk, this week. @qs344, Appreciate the detailed explanation. I was actually talking to another one of my friends at Goldman and he definitely said not to discount QIS either. He actually expressed a similar sentiment that you did about the European banks and that if US decides to increase regulation they would probably cater to US banks first. He did, however, mention that the Credit Suisse brand is stronger than Citi's. Is this generally true? (Not trying to start a flame war with this haha)

Feb 1, 2015

My general opinion about brand is that it is not something that is crucial to maximize in S&T. I think it's more important to focus on a place with a healthy business in a given product (large market share, strong reputation within that product, resilient to regulatory risk). I'm not going to pretend that I know all the criteria for a bank's "health" within a product but I would generally say that more balance sheet is better and high client flow is better (which indeed is sometimes, but certainly not always, correlated with broad reputation). It might be helpful to look up market share/rankings for specific products with the caveat that they can be cyclical.

Jan 31, 2015

justachimp let me know how your superday goes with MS. I have one on Tuesday February 10th. If you could provide some detail with regards to questions, it would be greatly appreciated. Is your interview with the IED S&T division?

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Feb 2, 2015

in general i wouldn't recommend starting out in S&T if you have other options. being a client flow trader these days isn't in itself as good a signalling mechanism as it used to be. you still learn some stuff of course, but you won't accumulate a knowledge base or skill set that will get buy side firms clamoring for you. so if your ultimate goal is to be on the buy side, go with QIS (assuming you are interviewing for research/PM, and not CPM). you'll learn a lot more useful stuff there, and it'll give you a better shot of actually learning how to generate alpha

Jan 31, 2015

CS brand is strong in IB, not really in S&T. Also, it's not as productive to look at bank branding in S&T because it varies by desk. Also just look at CS trading floors compared to the many at Citi...I mean come on. Citi Markets is very strong, especially in FX and structured credit, and their quant program is great too. I don't care what you choose, just make sure that you don't choose CS over any of the other choices.

Jan 31, 2015

thanks for all the insight guys - makes me realize how much more I need to be informed haha. @jv2324, I thought CS was very strong in equity derivatives trading, right under MS and GS? I am leaning more towards equities which is why I ask.

@whalesquid123 so I actually have a few offers at proprietary trading firms and am currently in the final stages of interviewing as well for the Citadel FTAP program. One of the problems for me is I do not want to get pigeonholed into a tech role, and my interests are very market-facing. Also, I feel like an S&T internship would have much more structure than would one at a smaller group or something on the buy side. Thoughts on this?

Feb 2, 2015

If you want to do strictly equities ---> MS amazing shop, in my opinion the best tied with GS. CS is also pretty good in equities.
If not 100% sure and want a good place to move around Fixed income, equities, structuring ---> Citi, which is a great fixed income shop 2nd in terms of revenue. They bought Salomon which was a great FI shop back in the day and you will meet many MD's who are very proud of the Salomon background :) Strongest in FX, and very strong in Structured credit!
CS - 40% of my co-workers come from there or as they call it CSFB haha. Used to be very strong in pretty much everything but their focus to wealth management has hurt other businesses. Just look at the league tables and they barely made it to 9th place with less than 50% volume of the deals from other BB banks. Despite all these, CS is still very strong in equities, but I would never say the same for fixed income.
GS - I personally interned there in IMD and have friends who worked and interned in qis. Good place to be, I would say the best place to be within IMD after GSIP, fundamental equity investing or RE investing. The problem is that the reviews from my friends are not that great they say its kind of boring, remember they don't sit on a trading floor and the hours can get heavy some times.

Overall all are great opportunities in my personal opinion I really like the trading floor environment and I think as an intern you don't know much about the different groups. Therefore I would go with either MS/Citi - I think you can experience so many desks and meet many different people and just try to look for your fit ( maybe equity/credit derivatives, structuring, fx etc) and that's why I would not choose QIS. If you go to QIS is great but you are in one group within IMD, No moving around different group unless you try to do mobility which kind of sucks, if you dont like it then get ready for full time interviewing. Lastly CS - this would be the last firm I would consider, just because from chatting with co-workers it seems that is really not the same as before, loosing to competition badly ( Like UBS) their focus is not IB/S&T.

Congrats and hope this helps!

Feb 2, 2015

Agree with the guy above just moved one ahah

MS IED (contingent on derivs trading) > Citi > GS QIS > CS

Feb 3, 2015

I'll be working at one of the aforementioned firms as an SA, so my answer will be biased. Equities at MS cant really be beaten from people I've spoken with..depends the experience you are looking for. Some have more rotational programs which was a huge attraction to me.

Jan 31, 2015

Thanks all for the input. @chrisk06 sure thing, and yes its with IED. @"taquito 879" that's pretty aligned with what I was thinking, definitely think a rotational program would be more ideal for me as someone just entering the industry. Hopefully soon enough Ill have my decision made

Jan 31, 2015

Note that Citi is a rotational program (you rotate on 3 different desks and full time placement happens after training the summer after)! I did the internship last summer and it was an awesome experience. I sat on the eq deriv. desk and they're great, but I agree you probably should go MS if you're looking for equity derivatives just because they probably see more of the market. If you're looking for any other type of derivatives though (fx, credit, etc.), I'd go Citi. Good luck!

Feb 6, 2015

Excellent thread. Reading this sort of made me miss trading. I wish BB S&T did MBA recruiting like back in the pre-financial crisis days. Sigh.

Feb 6, 2015

Interesting. Actually made the decision today between Goldman Strats vs MS IED. For me a large part of it was that trading really interests me. I have some experience at a prop shop and once the markets start moving it's like mainlining adrenaline. Between the two my experience with MS was significantly better. Basically offered to do anything in the world for me to accept whereas GS was pretty hot and cold with me throughout the entire interview process. Definitely not a defining factor, but still a factor nonetheless.

Jan 31, 2015

@"justachimp7" how did the interview go with MS IED? What questions did they ask? mainly market related?

Jan 31, 2015

@"chrisk06" it went well - i got the offer. i got quite a few fit questions and some stuff about what's happening in the markets and some brainteasers. nothing too out of the ordinary.

I'm inclined to take this offer, but I actually really enjoyed talking with the people at Credit Suisse - they were very friendly and it seemed like a great environment. If I want to trade equity derivs, I know MS is the best, but CS is strong in this as well right? Any particular reasons why everyone is saying to choose Credit Suisse last?

Feb 3, 2015

They're both great offers, just a reputation difference from the outside is why people are saying MS. I can't speak to equity derivatives specifically, but for my decision is was mainly based on people and seeing myself fit in, and less of who has the "better" desk. Of course, there are soem BB's with better equity desk than others, but there is a top tier and within those I would just throw what people say out the window. If you enjoyed your time at SC more, go there, but if you really want to work at MS go there.

Feb 3, 2015

They're both great offers, just a reputation difference from the outside is why people are saying MS. I can't speak to equity derivatives specifically, but for my decision is was mainly based on people and seeing myself fit in, and less of who has the "better" desk. Of course, there are some BB's with better equity desk than others, but there is a top tier and within those I would just throw what people say out the window. If you enjoyed your time at CS more, go there, but if you really want to work at MS go there.

Jan 31, 2015

@justachimp7 how long did it take to hear back from Morgan Stanley? I just interviewed earlier today and thought it went very well.

Feb 18, 2015

Has anyone heard back this week?

Feb 18, 2015

@"chrisk06" curious if you heard back from MS yet?

Jan 31, 2015

@hunter29 Yes I heard back. I did not receive an offer. What day did you interview?

Feb 22, 2015

@"justachimp7" did you get the QIS offer? Within QIS is it for Strats or PM? Curious to know what you're leaning towards. I have QIS strats offer and trying to decide.

Feb 24, 2015
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Feb 24, 2015
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