San Fran Tech Banking - Goldman versus Credit Suisse

As an incoming summer analyst, I'd appreciate some opinions on the differences between Goldman Sachs San Francisco, and Credit Suisse San Francisco. This discussion should only be concerned with the SF offices.

I'm looking for some distinction between the firms based on the following metrics:

  • Prestige: I think I'll get an obvious answer here, but I want to remove this bias from the rest of the metrics.
  • Compensation: Maybe in terms of Analyst base pay / bonus
  • Domain Expertise: i.e. Have the people at the firm worked in industry / taken a technology related degree such as Engineering or Computer Science?
  • Culture: Is the office laid-back? Intense? I'm familiar with GS's team-based culture, so I'd appreciate an answer that's catered to the SF offices.
  • Deal Flow: Which firm is better for an analyst?
  • Exit opportunities / optionality: PE/VC/Industry/Internal
  • Any other interesting differences or metrics that could be used to evaluate the SF offices... location?

Also, please indicate what you are basing your opinion on.

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Comments (74)

Jan 16, 2007 - 11:36pm

Prestige: Credit Suisse, hands down.
Comp: Competitive.
Domain Expertise: Irrelevent. Completely.
Culture: Very similar.
Deal Flow: CS. Although GS is better than average.
Exits: VC industry is dead. As an analyst expect zero opportunities, but you never know. PE exits exist for both, but somewhat limited overall. Industry? Sure corporate development, strategic planning, etc. Internal? Well you could always be the next Frank Quattrone.

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Jan 16, 2007 - 11:42pm

Prestige: Hands down GS overall, I don't know what buyside is talking about - this isn't 1999
Comp: Same for both
Domain Expertise: Who cares - totallly irrelevant
Culture: Similar - I'd say that GS is a bit more team focused, lots of senior exposure at CS with Boutros etc.
Deal Flow: GS is a continuous strong player in Tech, CS is hot now. I'd call it a wash.
Exits: GS has better PE recruiting for west coast: Whatever bank you do will be fine for industry exits

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Jan 18, 2007 - 12:08am
Westcoasting:
Domain Expertise: Who cares - totallly irrelevant

I care--so I'll ask again: who has greater domain expertise?

i.e. For me this boils down to:

Which set of people (GS SF versus CS SF) can relate better to their clients in terms of understanding their company's underlying technology?

Which set of people (GS SF versus CS SF) have worked in the tech industry (and thus have contacts)?

Which set of people (GS SF versus CS SF) is more passionate about the underlying industry?

I'm trying to get a sense of the differences between the kinds of people who work for GS SF / CS SF.

Thanks.

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Jan 17, 2007 - 12:47am

Goldman is the Gold Standard on Wall Street (check this past quarter's earnings) - the most prestigious investment bank I think hands down.

Heard of two analysts at GS in SF that landed $650K contracts for two years ($325 a year) with PE after 2 year stints at GS.

Jan 17, 2007 - 12:56am
dim84a:
Goldman is the Gold Standard on Wall Street (check this past quarter's earnings) - the most prestigious investment bank I think hands down.

Heard of two analysts at GS in SF that landed $650K contracts for two years ($325 a year) with PE after 2 year stints at GS.

I agree that it's the gold standard, but then why does "the street" pay a P/E of roughly 22 for the industry and only 10 for GS?

Jan 17, 2007 - 12:50am

GS SF is only good for TMT. If you get one of the other groups then you are better off at CS. MS M&A Tech is another great option. I personally think i woudl take M&A MS over GS TMT, but I'm a product guy and more interested in experiences than pure brand names. Plus no one ever looked down on a MS banker.

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:17pm

Goldman Tech vs. Credit Suisse IBD (Originally Posted: 12/25/2012)

Full-time offer from Goldman Sachs Tech Div in NYC, and interview with Credit Suisse IBD in Singapore. Both sound very exciting, but I am leaning towards CS. What do the monkeys on this site think? I am particularly interested to hear from people that have moved between divisions or between banks.

Considerations:
- Grew up and lived in NYC - it is the financial capital of the world
- Visited Singapore - it is growing fast, a new experience, and exciting
- IBD is definitely more challenging and exciting than Tech
- My background is tech-focused, but I am interested in finance
- I know basic Chinese, which would be helpful in Singapore

Thoughts?

Jan 18, 2007 - 12:14am
Westcoasting:
GS SF is only good for TMT. If you get one of the other groups then you are better off at CS.

What are the other groups at GS SF? Sizes? Do analysts get placed into a specific group?

I know CS SF is predominantly Corp-Fin Tech, M&A Tech, and Healthcare. (Correct me if I'm wrong--this is what I've gathered from the recruiting process at my school.)

Also, some insight into how GS Tech / TMT is distributed between SF and NY would be helpful. How is GS structured in this sense?

Thanks.

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:25pm

It all depends on what you wanna do. If you wanna do tech go for GS. If you wanna do IBD go with CS. I am unsure whether you actually have an offer from CS but if you do then it should be pretty clear based on career outlook.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

  • 1
Jan 29, 2007 - 3:26pm

Location shouldn't matter.

Pick which area you are interested in more. I like IBD so I would pick IBD. But don't feel pressured based on what strangers are telling you to like. On this site you will get everyone answering IBD because nobody wants to work for tech on this site.

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:27pm
dubyawhy:

Location shouldn't matter.

Pick which area you are interested in more. I like IBD so I would pick IBD. But don't feel pressured based on what strangers are telling you to like. On this site you will get everyone answering IBD because nobody wants to work for tech on this site.


I think that 2+ years was enough time for the OP to make his choice.
Jan 17, 2007 - 1:10am

they view Goldman as big hedge fund with other "consulting" services attached.....there was an article about this recently....it's the trading arm that generated big chunnk of profits last year, even though banking had great year as well.

I didnt even know GS had groups other than TMT in bay area.....Most of CS is tech as well (corporate finance, M&A)....they also have few people in healthcare

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:31pm

I personally know people in GS SF TMT and can tell you that good analysts got offers/interviews with any PE shop they wanted (regardless of geography). If you're good in GS TMT, you'll be golden. Definitely can't say the same for CS. Also, I've never heard of a CS TMT deal.

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:33pm

if you're not going to see the city much in either group i would go with the better prestige - which in this case is the best group on the street. I would only go CS if you hated san fran and loved nyc.

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:34pm

Finance exit opps are better but you will be a tech guy. I could be wrong, and hopefully someone else speaks up, but the best tech funds are near Silicon valley, but that doesn't mean there aren't tech funds here you could work for as well. As for which group they would prefer I can't say. But I do know that it's 2013 and no fund is going to focus its search only on the east coast and preclude a GS SF guy. Sounds like you can't go wrong either way.

Out of curiosity how different is the money in each offer? Is this for next summer?

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:35pm

Are these conversations for real? Pick one, are you really going to change your mind based on what a bunch of anonymous people on a forum say?

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
Jan 29, 2007 - 3:38pm

BepBep12:

Are these conversations for real? Pick one, are you really going to change your mind based on what a bunch of anonymous people on a forum say?

What's wrong with getting input from other people? Who says his decision will be solely based on the opinions here. What are you whining about anyway, if he wants to hear the opinion of anonymous people on a forum then why do you care?

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:41pm

Tristan:

BepBep12:

Are these conversations for real? Pick one, are you really going to change your mind based on what a bunch of anonymous people on a forum say?

What's wrong with getting input from other people? Who says his decision will be solely based on the opinions here. What are you whining about anyway, if he wants to hear the opinion of anonymous people on a forum then why do you care?

Fair point, I was being a douche.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
Jan 29, 2007 - 3:42pm

Unless you hate San Francisco, GS TMT is the better bet.

Yes NYC has better rep however GS has significantly more rep than CS therefore you would go with GS.

Basically, by being at Goldman in SF is significantly more prestigious than CS in NYC. Also GS TMT specifically is known as an elite group, so overall from a career standpoint you should be running towards that GS offer.

(Note you'll be working like a dog for a couple years either way so preference on city should not weigh heavily on your choice, bite the bullet even if you hate SF - opinion)

Jan 29, 2007 - 3:44pm

dreamer1992:

WallStreetPlayboys:

Unless you hate San Francisco, GS TMT is the better bet.

Yes NYC has better rep however GS has significantly more rep than CS therefore you would go with GS.

Basically, by being at Goldman in SF is significantly more prestigious than CS in NYC. Also GS TMT specifically is known as an elite group, so overall from a career standpoint you should be running towards that GS offer.

(Note you'll be working like a dog for a couple years either way so preference on city should not weigh heavily on your choice, bite the bullet even if you hate SF - opinion)

1. I will be taking JP NY over GS SF and not CS NY over GS SF

2. The group at JP will also be TMT, which is a top group

3. Most of the GS TMT prestige probably stems from their ny practice and not sf, I am guessing

4. Feels weird to work in a small regional office, after working in the headquarters in new york


if you want to be in the tech space, i'd take GS TMT and run, run, run.
Jan 29, 2007 - 3:46pm

dreamer1992:
3. Most of the GS TMT prestige probably stems from their ny practice and not sf, I am guessing

You guessed wrong.

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
Jan 29, 2007 - 3:50pm

I am not one to post frequently but I can't resist. Several of the viewpoints on this thread are off base.

With regard to TMT I-banking, here is the reality:

- Prestige: GS > JPM > CS
- Culture: GS > CS > JPM
- GS = Consumate winner
- JPM = New kid on the block (due principally to the use of its balance sheet
- CS = Old kid on the block (lost momentum given talent departure)
- The epicenter of tech IB is SF, not NYC
- The epicenter of media/Telecom IB is NYC

Finally, in my judgement it is a tremendous mistake to select JPM over GS. There isn't an associate/analyst in JPM TMT that wouldn't depart for GS in a heartbeat. I know this because I work for JPM.

Jan 18, 2007 - 12:21am
scotttwibell:
both firms care/are passionate about clients and have experience in industry.....understanind of company's technology? I doubt any banker cares much about that. You seem quite anal dude.

I'm sorry, but if you don't see the benefit of: (a) direct industry contacts, (b) a grass-roots passion for your industry group, or (c) basic technical understanding; please ignore my inquiry on domain expertise--but if anyone has any actual input... pause ...I'd definitely like to hear it. I'm not saying this is the single most important factor, but it's certainly not completely irrelevant. FYI I'm also asking this question to figure out where I fit in better--don't downplay my question.
Jan 18, 2007 - 12:47am
InsanelyGreat:
scotttwibell:
both firms care/are passionate about clients and have experience in industry.....understanind of company's technology? I doubt any banker cares much about that. You seem quite anal dude.

I'm sorry, but if you don't see the benefit of: (a) direct industry contacts, (b) a grass-roots passion for your industry group, or (c) basic technical understanding; please ignore my inquiry on domain expertise--but if anyone has any actual input... pause ...I'd definitely like to hear it. I'm not saying this is the single most important factor, but it's certainly not completely irrelevant. FYI I'm also asking this question to figure out where I fit in better--don't downplay my question.

Dude, relax - no need to use that tone with a kid thats two years into banking when you are still just looking at summer options. To answer your question, think about the recruiting process, eng guys might be favoured a bit but generally they are looking for the smartest candidates. They both have a similar level of expertise which maxes out at guys having engineering undergrads (CS Tech loves Stanford Engineers). They don't tend to have too many execs jump over from Silicon Valley.

GS has Real Estate but they are new and kinda blow right now. Your old name suggested you were an eng guy, and by your new name I'm assuming you got an offer and are on some type of power high. So from a fit perspective either office will work for you. CS Tech I'd say is a bit more laid back, however, both are filled with all types of people. The guys I've met from CS Tech range from massive partiers to pimpled face guys who look like they just finished with puberty and would easily be considered dorks. Same type of range at GS. Really to be honest - both groups are really similar, GS just has better exits, CS has more senior bankers (ie Boutros).

Jan 18, 2007 - 1:13am

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