TA Realty vs Invesco vs Clarion vs Greystar

Hello friends! Im lucky enough to received associate offers from each of these firms and wanted to get any thoughts from the peanut gallery. 

Does anyone have any general thoughts on which firm provides the best opportunities, culture, dealflow, etc? They all seem fairly similar in size (Greystar probably the largest?) and in dealmaking/capital raising capabilities. Any of them have better name recognition?

I wanted it see if anyone had any direct experience with any of these firms. Long term want to focus on REPE with some development (as LP). Thanks so so so much my friends!

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Comments (24)

  • Works at JLL
Mar 6, 2021 - 10:19pm

Can you say which firm you're at and your general thoughts/experience? (Anonymously of course)

Mar 7, 2021 - 1:04pm

Hyper personal at this point, just go where you think you will be the most successful. All 4 are well regarded in my opinion. 

If you want a definitive ranking by size, all are on the IREI list, for 2020 (based on total AUM)..

11. Invesco

22. Clarion

35. Greystar

80. TA Realty

Size is not the way to make this decision. TA is far smaller/limited by comparison (but a really good firm, I have known people who worked there, they loved it). Invesco and Clarion are similar in that they are very large multi-strategy style firms (Invesco is a gigantic investment firm, basically in the realm of Blackrock, Clarion is just real estate). Greystar is a legit developer and vertically integrated multi-family owner/operator, pretty cool firm in my opinion (I think this would be the obvious place if you want to do apartment development). 

All good places, but quite different in my view.

Mar 7, 2021 - 3:03pm

It may be more helpful if you could expand upon what you want to do long-term.

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  • Works at JLL
Mar 7, 2021 - 4:50pm

Mid-term goal is acquisitions at large REPE/Developer (Tishman/Hines/CIM), ideally across multiple asset types. long-term goal is to go out on my own or join smaller REPE firm with high level of responsibility. Does that clarify?

Mar 7, 2021 - 7:44pm

Personally, I'd go with Clarion. Institutional killers with probably the most 'high quality' deal flow of the shops you mentioned. That said, if you're sitting on these four offers in this market, you're likely either extremely employable with a superior background or someone important's kid (or some combination).

You're almost certainly going to go on to do really well no matter what you do, and the reality is that even the "worst" of these firms (which I guess is TA, IMO) is still a pretty high quality shop that will allow you the runway for growth and the deal-flow to continue to grow your network and learn the business.

  • Works at JLL
Mar 7, 2021 - 10:33pm

Yeah feel like they have the biggest brand but my only concern is that they are focused on residential, with limited if any exposure to office/retail/industrial. it'd be great to get that broader exposure across asset types early on

Most Helpful
Mar 8, 2021 - 12:18am

Yeah feel like they have the biggest brand but my only concern is that they are focused on residential, with limited if any exposure to office/retail/industrial. it'd be great to get that broader exposure across asset types early on

I've advocated on WSO that it's most ideal to go broad to specific in your career, and it's helpful to work for the LP (the 30,000 foot view) and then work your way down to the GP view (100 foot view; the construction workers, architectural drafters, and leasing agents have the ground level view).  The role I had in mind with this preference was Investment/Acquisitions Analyst at a larger REPE.
 

With that said, you are interviewing as an Associate so I'm less committed to my preference in your case, because of what kind of job / role you would be seeking after your Associate stint (or maybe it's a longer term tenure).

My thought is if you want to do development (Greystar), start as an Associate now.  Maybe if you become Director at say Invesco, you will probably lateral to an Asset Mgt or Investment Acq role at Greystar, but development you might be a bit more pigeon holed in say capital markets or behind the curve or a super senior Development Associate. Development is just more complex and nuanced as an apprenticeship.

Invesco, you'll prob underwrite a lot of core assets.  That's good, you get to see how to exit to the most core like buyer, which is a good lens.  However, you'll get that Greystar with interacting with top JV partners (a variety of REPEs, global institutional investors) and that is where a lot of learning (namely, legal structuring) and connections are made. You will need this skillset if you are to go off on your own and seek OPM (other people's money).
 

The other companies I know less about, although TA seems more value add out of the non-Greystar choices.  
 

I worked for a VP in a large REPE who worked in development before.  Getting the 100 foot view, and maybe even closer (getting dirty) to the assets, you should try to get that at some point prior to mid-career.  Makes you a better investor with a closer feel.  Therefore, Greystar would be my recommendation for Associate role.

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  • 7
Mar 8, 2021 - 11:48am

Well, IDK about "biggest brand" when Invesco is in the conversation, but my impression of Greystar is that it's a youthful, energetic company - and I absolutely am in love with the hub-and-spoke developer model, because you can rise to the top of your own little autonomous fiefdom while still having the resources of giant backing you. Invesco and Clarion are more stuffy traditional finance-y jobs. Don't know anything about TA Realty.

I wouldn't worry too much about only being in multi. Let's not pretend it's rocket science to underwrite office/industrial coming from multi, and a lot of the true development work (entitlements, construction management, etc.) is a skillset that is applicable across the asset spectrum. You really only miss out on that capital markets relationship-making, and if you're at JLL now I'm assuming you will be able to lean on past experience a bit. If you really wanted to branch out down the road I don't think you'd have much difficulty doing so. IMO apartments are the most fun of the main food groups to work on anyways, and probably one of the safest.

Mar 23, 2021 - 7:28am

Great opportunities all around, congrats!  Each firm has different identities but considering you want want to break into REPE and remain on that side, it seems like a no brainer to go with Clarion.

  • 3
  • Associate Director in RE - Comm
May 3, 2021 - 2:21pm

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