Thoughts on Financial Technology Partners

Illinois23's picture
Rank: Monkey | 47

Saw these guys posting they were looking for an experienced analyst couple days back & was looking into the opportunity. Looks like a lot of the posts on them are pretty dated (2013-14).

Any recent opinions/thoughts? Seems like they do well very well in their space but analysts get absolutely worked to the bone even more so than at other places. Is that still true?

Comments (77)

May 21, 2018

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Mar 28, 2018

I have a friend that is currently an analyst with FTP. Yes, the analysts are absolutely over worked. Yes, they do very well in their space.

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders

Mar 28, 2018

Thanks man appreciate the help. If you know, how does he like the culture & where does he see analysts exiting into?

Mar 28, 2018

No

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders

Aug 27, 2018

any insight on their SF vs. NYC offices?

Mar 28, 2018

Not sure if this falls under the analyst's job at FTP or if they have someone else doing this but they pump out sub-sector research pieces quite often. Looks time intensive.

Array
Mar 28, 2018

It is my understanding that they have a separate research division.

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 21, 2019

Know a couple girls in this division - all trying to leave due to the senior bankers ("sector leaders") they work with and the fact that they are treated as "second-class citizens" compared to the IBD team. They do all the pitches, research and any grunt work that the IBD analysts are too busy to do. The program lets you become an IBD analyst after a couple years.

Mar 28, 2018

Interviewed with them for a summer spot. Like someone said above - they kill it in fintech & seems like their growing their platform. That being said, combing through this site and looking into where people exited out post-analyst stint, seems like a few guys did well for themselves but for the amount they grind (which everyone seems to agree on), not as many guys placed as well as you'd think.

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Mar 28, 2018

Interviewed a couple round with them. All the people sounded exhausted although they do interesting work in the fintech space.

Don't want to genealize their culture from my interviews but out of all the places I interviewed with, would be my last choice

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Mar 28, 2018

^ literally describes what I felt when I talked with them. just seemed to be sleepwalking, but hey its banking and everyone is pretty much tired

Mar 28, 2018

Jeez thanks everyone. Seems like a firm that does well but has a not so worth it brutal analyst experience.

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Mar 29, 2018

Yeah what I got out of researching them & interviewing was the actual work the firm and its analysts spit out are definitely of high quality and they've got good deal flow considering their relations in the fintech space & just the general nature of that space.

But the attitude of the shop seems to be very old-school in regards to the analyst experience. Nothing wrong with that either as you learn a lot but if you're working that hard, you'd hope your exits after your stint would be of better quality. Just my 2 cents

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Mar 29, 2018

Got it appreciate the thoughts

Apr 9, 2018

Yeah wrapped up a 1st round phone call with these guys and haven't heard back, but the interview was highly technical & the analyst on the other end seemed to reflect what everyone was saying here - pretty much consistently trying to reiterate the reality of the lifestyle much more than any other bank I've interviewed with before.

Oct 31, 2018

was this first round phone ?

Oct 31, 2018

The alumni from my school that work there don't answer networking calls/emails from current students at their alma mater because they don't want them to have to work there...if that's any indication

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Nov 5, 2018

IB is intense at every shop. Is this place really that much different/worse? Seems like it could be an effect of solid deal flow

Nov 6, 2018

Everyone I know that's gone there said it's a living hell due to the hours and people. Honestly don't have an exact number on what the hours are like, but hours are bad everywhere. But if you're with shitty people it makes IB unbearable. When I went through recruiting, I networked with alumni at FTP and they all told me to accept an offer somewhere else if I get one. With the exception of 2 alumni, everyone has left within 1.5 years. Doesn't seem too desirable...

Nov 5, 2018

This place sounds terrible... how do senior guys look upon buyside recruiting? I assume that with the amount of dealflow FTP is getting, the analysts are at least getting solid opportunities to tech/ growth investing after 2 years?

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Nov 6, 2018

Good question, would love to know the answer

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Nov 19, 2018

Bunch of trolls on here; guys get real. Pound for pound this company has dominated. Do some real research other than listening to some bunk reviews from total trolls. Actually look at their deals, they are doing something very right. If you're looking for a great Analyst experience, this is the place to be. No pitching, nothing but deal work. Why don't you LinkedIn any current Analyst.

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Nov 20, 2018

No one is denying that they're doing solid work. They dominate the fintech space and within fintech pretty much #1 aside from JPM.

That being said, they're a terrible shop culture wise + hours. I have a buddy working at FTP and absolutely hates it even with the extremely solid deal flow. And even with all that solid deal their exits aren't on par with other sweatshops.

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Oct 13, 2019

I have a buddy who works in the NYC office and I concur this...interviews are very techinical and there could be 2-4 rounds depending on the candidate, plus one final round of fit interview with the founder --- not sure if this one is the 5th round or what.
Hours are super long. They don't do any pitch so that's a big plus, but they do work on long,tedious and according to my friend no the most meaningfull slides just to make themselves look good in front of a client.
Exits are not the best from what he knows.
Another thing he said was the Fintech space got too much hype and some companies that are worth millions/billions of dollars are not necessarily good businesses. He does not think fintech is the best space to be in although it is trendy.

Nov 21, 2018

How would you describe the culture at FTP? They obviously do great deals but do top bankers help place you into private equity firms? If you're slaving more than the average banker and doing better/more deals there should be a strong demand for you on the buy side.. seems from my perspective that buyside recruiting out of ftp is either very difficult to do because of working above average all the time or bankers really don't help you at all.

Apr 9, 2019

Does anyone else find it suspicious that 100% of dontworrybehappy's comments on WSO have been about FTP, and always in unmitigated defense of it? Seems almost like there's an agenda here...

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Nov 21, 2018

dontworrybehappy seems to have a personal attachment to the firm based on his post history about FTP so not sure how unbiased his views on FTP are. Here's my take as someone who worked in IB before transitioning to corp dev:

I didn't work in the FIG group at my firm, but my buddies in FIG know the name and worked on deals with them before and say the content FTP spits out is stellar. FTP can definitely walk the talk and reputation within fintech space is on par with BB/EB.

FTP is largely a MM shop that lands a big deal once a while that they advertise quite heavily on their homepage (note that tombstones don't include transaction dates). Seems like much of the work is capital raising with some sellside mixed in so limited modelling experience but probably better than working in a coverage group at a BB with no in-house m&a. Senior guys were all ex-GS TMT who probably went through the 90-100 hr weeks and run the place like they're still at GS.

The hours are probably a function of dealflow which really is quite strong at FTP. Strong dealflow means sweatshop wherever you go, but culture is really what makes or breaks working at a firm based on my experience, which I hear at FTP isn't the best.

Talking to alumni who worked there in the past, they say that mgt. and senior guys look down on buyside recruiting. Most guys who exit go into growth equity or Fintech space as this is all recruiters show which is quite unfortunate as the analysts are bright guys. The few who have made it into a buyout fund were through personal connections.

There have been rumors that they don't pay interns and pay below street, but don't think this is true. Believe pay should be at least street.

At the end of the day, for the amount of work the analysts are putting in working at a firm with subpar culture and limited exit opps, it would be more worth your time to work at other sweatshops like Moelis or Lazard if you can land a gig there. If its between FTP and no IB or you know that fintech or growth equity is the field for you, FTP no question.

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Nov 22, 2018

Trolls.

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Jan 5, 2019

Nov 24, 2018

Had a friend from school that recently joined as part of their 1st year analyst class. monkeyInSuit described it very well from the analyst perspective (I'm guessing dontworrybehappy is probably a passionate member of the firm) and I sure as hell am glad I don't work here

The deal flow and companies these guys work with sound excellent here but there doesn't seem to be any regard for the well-being / lives of employees. The way my buddy describes it, seniors put a ton of pressure on all junior employees, there's a lack of resources (in regards to human capital) to address all the live deals, and all the stress just creates a serious culture of negativity and low morale amongst the junior staff.

IB is a tough experience, but when you're culture overworks and demeans employees, IB becomes a literal living hell. My friend is 5 months in now and is actively looking to lateral as he despises the job despite the clawbacks on both his signing and performance bonuses

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Mar 8, 2019

Bump. Any new intel on these guys? Is it possible to exit to PE or is their focus too niche? What about laterelling to top tech teams?

Mar 8, 2019

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Mar 8, 2019

Well out of the hundreds of MM/LMM boutique IBs in the world sure you can call them great.

But if you have other viable options (top MM/ tier 3 (nomura/bnp/hsbc levfin groups) Id rather go there over FTP. Of needless to say any EB/BB is better

I don't see how you can say its a "great place" to start. Is it a well known shop in finance? Sure but I would say 90%+ of their analyst would lateral given the opportunity

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Aug 26, 2019

The shop mainly focuses on working with GE shops and most deals are capital raises. Hence, the main best exits are for these types of places. The constant deal flow is great and is attractive to other banks that usually spend at least some of their time pitching.

Aug 25, 2019

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Sep 15, 2019

Hi guys,
What about their culture at the london office ? Are interns getting paid ?

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
Sep 16, 2019

London office has the highest deal flow and is the newest office (started a couple years ago). The high deal flow leads to long hours naturally but the team is pretty close.

Pretty sure the interns get paid just like they do in all the other offices.

Most Helpful
Oct 9, 2019

Hi everyone, long time lurker here. I joined FT Partners as an Analyst not too long ago and thought it'd be helpful to share a "boots on the ground" perspective with the broader community. During my IB recruiting process I quickly discovered the collection of negative remarks about FT on WSO. I chose to assume that they came from disgruntled employees and just looked past them, but they provoked some anxiety, nonetheless. Since joining, I've learned about several initiatives the firm has implemented to improve on its historical challenges (those highlighted here and on other threads), and I'm actually benefiting from them firsthand.

Full disclosure: My experience with FT has been very positive thus far, so this will be a generally positive post about the firm. I'm not here to sugar-coat anything, or pretend like FT is something that it's not, but having been here for a few months now, I can say with confidence that much of the commentary on this thread is outdated (and in some cases, simply inaccurate).

The biggest knocks on FT on all relevant WSO threads are "long hours," "no work-life balance," and "people are unhappy." Yes, bankers at FT Partners work very hard - they used to work really, really hard. From what I gather, 3am nights 5 or 6 days per week used to be the norm, as recently as 2018. I'm not one bit surprised there are so many complaints about it on this forum. People were getting crushed all the time and as a result, retention rates suffered.

Recently, the firm brought in / built out a People Ops team to focus on recruiting and employee experience. In addition to building out the recruiting, training and mentoring programs, they noticed the retention issue (+ realized it was almost entirely tied to people being overworked) and pushed to hire more bankers / spread out the work to a more manageable level for everyone. One big result: FT brought in a 2019 Analyst class with 2x the headcount of the original 2018 class. To be fair, the firm is growing, so some expansion is natural/necessary. However, the firm's workload didn't double in one year. Doubling the size of the Analyst class was a deliberate choice made primarily to improve everyone's experience and the retention rate (and, also, keeping people around is much more efficient than constantly having to hire / ramp up new employees).

In terms of hours, I'd say the Analysts work 85/week on average. Some work more, some work less, but this all depends on the status of your deals for any given week. 85 hours is no joke, but it's not living hell. In my experience it's pretty normal for any reputable / hard-working investment bank.

Moreover, the Analysts who survived the hell-like hours talk all the time about how much better things have gotten. Again, I'm not here to sugar-coat, but I recommend reaching out and picking someone's brain on this if you're seeking additional verification.

On a separate note, some members here (and on other FT threads) have mentioned that Analysts don't get the most valuable experience because they spend too much time on inefficient / administrative tasks. I'll try to address both sides of the coin here.

FT takes an extremely thorough approach with clients whenever possible. The firm places extreme priority on preparedness as it enables better outcomes for clients. This means that, for any given deal, Analysts at FT will do more work than they would on any given deal at another bank, which is good or bad depending on your perspective. FT Analysts will build a deck for anything and everything and will also spend time tracking communications with potential buyers/investors.

To some, this seems unnecessary / administrative / like a waste of time, especially since modelling, analytical work and valuation work would often be considered more valuable Analyst exercises. Others see this as a great learning opportunity. Let's use 'tracking buyer communications' as an example. One reason an Analyst tracks these items is to help get his/her MD back up to speed when the MD has to lead a call in 5 minutes with a potential buyer, and the MD's been travelling in Europe for the last week. As the Analyst, you need to be certain you're providing accurate information. Potential for situations like this force Analysts to wrap their heads around everything that's happening on the deal, not just the workstreams they've been assigned. This, in my opinion, develops incredible attention to detail and Analysts are better off down the road having absorbed a greater extent of their exposure.

Putting opinions aside, the "administrative" tasks only take up a small portion of your time. In fact, I've spent more time modelling and running quantitative analyses than I have on anything else. The mix of quantitative/modelling work, presentations, and administrative tasks at FT seems to be on par with that of most EBs (and BBs depending on the group). Also, FT bankers don't pitch - strictly execution - so potentially less presentations than at other banks, although this is probably offset by FT's thorough approach.

The reason FT Bankers don't pitch is because the firm has such a high volume of inbounds. This also improves the experience because, in those tough times when you do have to grind out that 100hr week, at least you know your work will be used and that it's not all for nothing. And when there is a one-off case where we have to bake off, the pitches are done by FT's research and business development group (not the investment banking team).

That's my 2 cents. Never meant to sound like a cheerleader but hopefully this updated view helps clear the air around some of the dialogue on here. For anyone who's seriously interested in learning more I'd recommend reaching out to one of the Analysts on LinkedIn and asking to hop on the phone for a few minutes. Not everyone will respond, but I know at least most Analysts make an effort to help where they can.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Oct 9, 2019

I have a friend who just summered at FTP and can confirm the above.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 10, 2019
flyby21:

having been here for a few months now, I can say with confidence that much of the commentary on this thread is outdated (and in some cases, simply inaccurate)."

You've been working at the firm for less than two months as of writing this. You've technically been at the firm for less weeks than an intern. How can you have so much confidence that everything people say about this firm is outdated or inaccurate? This comes across as very arrogant (something I hope other analysts in your class don't perceive you as). You're still in the honeymoon phase of your IB career: right now, even if you were doing the same thing repeatedly every day, you'd be extremely grateful. Right now, if you hear anything negative about the firm, you'll ignore it because you'll always try to convince yourself at this point that the firm you're working at is amazing and you made the right decision choosing this firm.

While I respect the time you took to post this and that a couple of your thoughts are probably somewhat right, you need to have worked somewhere for at least 9-12 months before "saying things with confidence" about a firm, especially one that is so highly debated on this site.

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  • Analyst 3+ in 
Oct 11, 2019
flyby21:

For anyone who's seriously interested in learning more I'd recommend reaching out to one of the Analysts on LinkedIn and asking to hop on the phone for a few minutes. Not everyone will respond, but I know at least most Analysts make an effort to help where they can.

Analysts and other employees at the firm are supposed to be painting a rosy picture of their firm or they'd get in trouble if people found out. It's very rare for someone to tell you the real truth. I can guarantee the other experienced analysts haven't even told you much about their actual thoughts given you've barely spent a couple months at the firm.

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Oct 13, 2019

The reason you don't pitch isn't just because of inbounds. It's also because FT is known for structuring their engagement letters with Evergreen clauses. FT has been very good about getting in early with companies before they are saavy enough to structure their engagement letters otherwise. Not sure if they are doing this as much anymore, but this was the case 5 - 10 years ago.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 13, 2019

Can confirm this is still the case at FT. This is good and bad. Good in that you get in early and you reap the benefits as solid clients scale and grow increasingly bigger. Downside is that the evergreen provisions mean that for those clients who are seriously struggling, you have no choice but to advise them. This often means mass outbounds and an inordinate amount of time spent dealing with investor communications, creating literal dumpster fires where the tiny fee FT earns is nowhere close to the amount of hours worked.

Nov 7, 2019

Just showed some of my first year and second year analyst friends who work at FT this post, and it's shocking how easily and quickly they were able to tell who wrote this post. They said this post reeks of the extreme arrogance and "positive humility" that this first year analyst behaves with. I don't know whether you care if anyone knows who you are, but it's pretty obvious that apparently many analysts can easily tell who you are considering all four of my friends quickly came to a consensus on who you are.

They also agreed that it's way too early for you to be making these statements about a firm; this especially came from second year analysts and above telling me. They said to wait until you get put on a new deal and spend your whole day doing work you never thought you would have to to do. I don't know what that means honestly.

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Nov 19, 2019

You do realize that every single investment banking analyst who has ever run a sellside / private placement has managed a buyer tracker, right?

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 9, 2019

Sounds awfully like FT Partners trying to clean up their firm image and culture on these message boards. Would be wary of such "informative posts" especially given FT's history of making up fake reviews on glassdoor. If you guys look at flyby21's profile, he just made his profile today and has been digging up old FT threads and directing everyone to his response here, which to me is a major red flag.

One thing I've realized is that the more a company tries to sell you on its great culture the worse that company's culture really is, akin to being overdefensive about things you are worried about.

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  • Analyst 3+ in 
Oct 14, 2019

What's hilarious is now they're getting (or pretending as) their non-IB people to rate the company higher. Out of the several years of IB reviews, one of their most recent reviews is from an admin person. Though honestly, it could just be an admin member writing a good review but the review itself is brief and seems a little unreal.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 17, 2019

I have no connection whatsoever to FTP, but none of this sounds like unspeakable stuff that you wouldn't find at places like Moelis, Lazard, Jefferies. This is investment banking after all...

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 20, 2019

Regardless of how unfathomable this is, it's much easier to put up with this sort of stuff when it's Moelis or Lazard, which have great exit opps and a recognizable brand name. However, it just gets disappointing when you're working so hard for no real benefit. Even if you are the best analyst who works the most hours out of anyone in your class, you still won't really land a great job after the stint. Only the people with connections will (and they usually leave before the program ends anyways).

Oct 23, 2019

Everyone I can find (on LinkedIn after 30 min of quik surfing just now) who has left has gone to a quality shop in PE (Stone Point, Blackstone, Aquiline, TA Associates, Parthenon, JC Flowers, Olyan, Accel, Accel-KKR) or elsewhere (Apple, Uber, Lending Club) but many many have stayed a long time as well it seems. So, please at least do your homework before spreading more trollisms. Plus i'm not sure why you glorify Moelis and Lazard which are just bloated bulgetiques who do not have track records of same success. Again, just did the surfing myself. Does not take long, do the work, I was surprised myself.

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Oct 23, 2019
dontworrybehappy:

Everyone I can find (on LinkedIn after 30 min of quik surfing just now) who has left has gone to a quality shop in PE (Stone Point, Blackstone, Aquiline, TA Associates, Parthenon, JC Flowers, Olyan, Accel, Accel-KKR) or elsewhere (Apple, Uber, Lending Club) but many many have stayed a long time as well it seems. So, please at least do your homework before spreading more trollisms. Plus i'm not sure why you glorify Moelis and Lazard which are just bloated bulgetiques who do not have track records of same success. Again, just did the surfing myself. Does not take long, do the work, I was surprised myself.

Give it up man. Nobody is going to actually believe what you are spewing.

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Oct 23, 2019

Troll.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 26, 2019

It's pretty obvious you work at the firm and are trying to defend it. What's sad is that you are making the quality of people working at FT Partners look really bad by posting so negatively like this.

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Oct 26, 2019

What's pretty obvious is you are a troll trying very hard to spread false information. That's what's blatantly obvious.

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Oct 26, 2019

@dontworrybehappy
What kind of banker acts like this over some people on the internet saying they don't like their firm's culture? Are you a middle schooler? If anything you're making FTP look worse for hiring someone this immature. The firm clearly has solid dealflow and that's all you should really care about. Stop worrying about how people perceive the other issues the firm is bound to have (just like EVERY other bank) because it just makes you look like an insecure child.

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Oct 28, 2019

You have a point, but it is fun to mess with someone who is simply a troll. Pretty sure no one takes any of this that seriously so who cares either way. Have a nice day.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 30, 2019
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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 5, 2019
Oct 29, 2019