Sweatiest Banks in LA

I'm a hard-worker and very passionate when I lock into an interesting deal, building a model, etc, but I'm not a superhuman like many of you when it comes to functioning off of low sleep. I can survive bad weeks, but long-term I need a consistent 8-hrs a night. I go to a target (H/W), and plan to recruit in LA because it's my hometown, among many other reasons.

Which IB groups in LA are the sweatiest, and which of the stronger groups enable you to get enough sleep even if they still work you pretty hard?

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Comments (46)

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Nov 18, 2020 - 5:19pm

I've heard from people in the group that first years at CS LA get destroyed, but by the time your second year comes around it becomes a lot easier (post PE offer).

I've heard good things about Barclays LA.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2020 - 5:53pm

Moelis and CS are the two strongest groups, but they're also the sweatiest. I would say Barclays is the best group that isn't known for being extremely sweaty.

Source: know people at / going to all 3 of these groups

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 18, 2020 - 6:04pm

Barclays LA is excellent - probably the best group in the whole country when it comes to WLB along with excellent exits. Moelis LA is a sweatshop (as expected), but the experience is top-notch. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2020 - 6:24pm

I've heard that the culture at CS LA has improved materially relative to how horrible it used to be, and offers a smoother experience than Moelis with basically the same top echelon exits. This is second-hand info, however, so take it with a grain of salt.

You'll probably get the least amount of sleep at Moelis, if that helps answer your question.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 18, 2020 - 7:40pm

Had some contacts there and can confirm that culture has significantly improved and hours have gotten better, but they're still long hours and the office is still a relative sweatshop. Can't speak for CS LA, but I am sure both firms will offer a top tier experience/opportunities 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 18, 2020 - 8:41pm

My roommate worked at CS LA 3 years ago and said CS is still as toxic as it was a decade ago. A significant push to market themselves differently has resulted in a better message sent out to recruits and possibly less directly aggressive behavior, but still a sweatshop with a lot of negativity between analysts and associates. Maybe within the past year or two it's gotten better but it's not like the senior team has really changed around too much during that time. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2020 - 10:00pm

Aren't all of the Associates MBAs? I've heard there are virtually no A2A's in that office because all of the analysts go to private equity after the 2-year stint. I've also heard that most of the senior bankers are great guys as well, but that's only second-hand knowledge. Mind letting us know roughly how many hours your roommate worked and the type of firm he exited to?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Nov 19, 2020 - 1:47pm

I talked with people there and asked why two analysts left during last couple months. Got a few one word answers after the question and call lasted 8mins.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 19, 2020 - 12:48am

Can confirm Moelis LA's culture has gotten immensely better through increased hiring. Still has same deal flow and reputation on street.

Source: Analyst at competing LA shop

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 19, 2020 - 1:29am

Isn't CS LA = financial sponsors? Most financial sponsors group are sweatty as hell. Life as A can't be good regardless of team culture. Moelis LA is a different story altogether...lol

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Nov 19, 2020 - 9:13am

Not all sponsors groups are bad... some are actually chill since it's mostly financing which requires a lot more internal work now 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 21, 2020 - 5:59pm

Not true. Many sponsors groups are actually pretty chill

Nov 19, 2020 - 10:23am

I've only spoken to two people but MS's LA office seemed to have solid hours and decent culture. If I remember correctly, the office is gaming/lodging and a sponsor coverage team. Nearly half the VPs in the gaming group started as analysts. That can be a positive or a negative depending on your goals, but could be a good place to land. 

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  • Associate 2 in IB - Gen
Nov 19, 2020 - 8:52pm

Based on my experience recruiting for the office, I could tell MS LA works very hard hours, but it also does have a very strong culture. The office has an M&A execution team and does coverage of primarily CRG (Retail, eCommerce, Sporting Goods, Restaurants), Media, & Gaming. They work with Sponsors, Healthcare, Industrials, etc. as well. There's also a FinTech/FIG MD and a Lodging/Leisure MD in the office, so that work flows in. Brian Stearns is driving the Media franchise and led Warner Music's IPO. From what I noticed, the reason for the long hours is the top-heavy nature of the office combined with small analyst classes. Overall, very generalist experience with ~35 bankers total, largest BB in LA. Would have loved to cover clients like Revolve, Starbucks, Gap, Whataburger, Live Nation, MGM, Scripps, Jack in the Box, Regal, Levi's, etc. out of the office, but ended up in the same building a few floors below covering A&D :). Great place to be and would highly recommend it for any jr. person looking to learn.

Nov 24, 2020 - 12:47pm

Long hours (nothing far beyond street from what I gather though), decent comp (COL in LA is not as bad as NYC and not as bad as people think), and very nice people in my experience. Take your usual rising UG sr. SAs, have interviewed rising juniors and occasional off-cycle interns as well. Can't comment on deal flow. Very nice office in LA. Don't have much more info beyond that, sorry.

Nov 19, 2020 - 3:12pm

JPM LA has a bad rep with local MBA programs other junior staff members.  Really smart & talented bankers throughout the ranks, but bad hours & worse personalities.  I have heard some horror stories and have experienced a few myself.

All that said, it is still a great trampoline to bounce off of into your next role.

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