Thoughts on Centerview SF / Palo Alto (Comp, Culture, etc.)

Have a friend that is considering lateraling from a strong MM tech group to Centerview's tech group. Don't know if it's either in SF or Palo Alto but would love to get some insight on how their tech group performs. Some insight on comp and culture would also be very helpful. Thanks in advance!

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Comments (15)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 12, 2019 - 8:28pm

SF is Healthcare, PA is Tech. CVP PA > SF. Their tech group is alright, but not even close to GS TMT/MS Menlo/Qatalyst in regards to exits, prestige, and deal-flow. The pay, however, is great and as a career banker you can lateral to their NYC office after a few years (which is the better move since the NYC office is in another league compared to SF/PA offices for CVP).

Dec 12, 2019 - 10:56pm

Here are some facts to stew over:
1. Centerview SF includes biotech and a generalist practice that will cover some tech. The biotech office is the best on the street and it's not comparable. I believe something like 13/15 biotech deals >$1bn were executed by them in 2019.

  1. QP is the best tech M&A shop on the street and there is no doubt. However, by headcount and from an analyst experience you will get as much M&A experience at CVP Pa as anywhere on the street besides QP. Note that in addition you get the consulting / operational strategy experience that applies well to buy side experience. And this leads to:

  2. Every single analyst that recruited this last cycle placed in a Megafund. Think TPG, Apollo, GA and / or Vista equity.

The lntern would be right if referring to the first class at CVP PA but after this last on-cycle period and current off cycle signings, you can't touch it. The rest of the facts about pay and all are true and an added bonus (pun maybe intended). Do not make the decision based on that. Hope this helps.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 12, 2019 - 11:24pm

Only one analyst placed buyside MF I believe. Also didn't GS TMT and MS M&A Menlo have more dealflow for Tech M&A this year?

Dec 12, 2019 - 11:49pm

No - this is fact. I don't know what you believe but it's just not something you can dispute. They're signed up to megafunds unless you disagree and say that the names above are not megafunds. And yes the other two shops have a ton of dealflow but MS and GS TMT have like 15-20 and 25-30 analysts in that office respectively. So as an analyst in a smaller group like CVP PA you're getting as many deals (maybe a little less on average) as any of the top analysts at those shops. But you should also note getting deals is overrated and it's just a bunch of process driven work. I find the strategic advisory side of the job just as fun if not more. The offices do more deals and so do JPM and BAML just like almost any bulge would but per capita CVP is getting you as much experience as anywhere. You get at least a couple per analyst during their stay unless they're really unlucky. With that, you will show well in interviews and land a desirable next gig if you choose to leave. But everyone that was the on cycle class this year placed MF (small classes so its like taking the best of MS or GS in terms of exits and its on par. And also, there were some stragglers who are signing up off-cycle gigs now for top funds. I just am saying, don't be discouraged based on exits because they literally can't get better in regards to buyside. For a person at a MM tech shop, get in any door at an elite boutique you can and crush it. It's all a win for them.

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Dec 13, 2019 - 1:29am

haha Okay - then you'll just have to find another source for your friend to help make a decision. My purpose isn't to make you believe me nor is it to start laying out my friends' future employers to appease some moron behind a computer thinking that they can cherry pick what office of a firm they'd like to work for at the analyst level. I've clearly wasted my time trying to provide insight to some folks that are trying to navigate their careers but hopefully someone that has made it past the Cro-Magnon stage of evolution comes across this post and doesn't blindly choose to go a bank blindly on brand name without looking into it further.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 10, 2021 - 9:29pm

How big is CVP SF office? (headcount) Do they still mainly cover Biotech and Healthcare, or are they more of a generalist?

  • Works at Centerview Partners
Jun 11, 2021 - 3:40pm
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