Thoughts on these Non Bulge Bracket Investment Banks

ejoseph14's picture
Rank: Chimp | 7

Hi everybody,

I'm new to this site and have been really impressed about the quality of information available. I've picked up so much about the industry just from browsing the different topics over the past few hours and wanted to get your perceptions on different banks. Well, anyways, some info about me. I'm a junior interested in a summer analyst position in investment banking and not trading. While I'm throwing apps out to many of the bulge bracket banks, I've been targeting middle market banks based on the current job market, I'm from a non-core recruiting school, my 3.6 GPA, and the fact an internship at a solid middle market would put me in a good position for full-time recruiting. I've seen a lot of seniors from my school failing to land a IB gig this fall and thought that I would benefit from setting a wide net to get as many investment banking interviews possible.

I wanted to get your impressions on the following banks in terms of overall firm reputation/prestige, deal flow, culture, exit opportunities, and other important factors that I might have forgotten. I have been in contact with alumni and other contacts at these banks and feel that with more research and preparation I would have a good shot. I don't neccesarily need them strictly ranked against one another, but it would be helpful to see how they compare in addition to your general thoughts.

Banc of America Securities
Houlihan Lokey
Jefferies
Wachovia Securities
Cowen
Thomas Weisel Partners
Piper Jaffray
RBC Capital Markets
Keefe Bruyette Woods

Thanks a lot.

ejoseph14

Comments (17)

Dec 31, 2007

RBC capital is a very strong bank in Canada, number 1 in M & A. In Canada they would be considered a bulge bracket and i don't think they would be considered middle market in the U.S.

Dec 31, 2007

Actually - they would be considred middle market in the US - their goal is to become the leader in the US MM - and they are very open about it.

Dec 31, 2007

they are all reputable and solid MM banks; not Greenhill tier, but very strong nonetheless

Dec 31, 2007

I did some more searching through previous posts and saw some rather negative comments on Wachovia Securities. A lot of them. Would I be better off not interviewing with them?

Dec 31, 2007

interview with everyone. when u have offers, get picky, and pick what you like culturally.

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Dec 31, 2007

Most of these have reputable status in the industry, although within the list there are very very different firms.

First, BofA isn't middle market. There is probably disagreement, but many consider BofA a BB. If deal size alone is the determinant, then BofA is not MM.

RBC doesn't have much of a presence here I don't believe and KBW isn't very well known, but people I know that work there love it. (they take their entire firm on a ski trip every year)...

To be honest though, there is nothing wrong with spending 2 years at any of these firms...

Dec 31, 2007

Jefferies has some serious douchebags, especially for a third tier shop.

Jan 2, 2008

Not sure how Jefferies is as a whole, but they are very strong in certain sectors. My experience pitching against them was in the shipping industry, where they are dominant - I've often seen them to the left of BB firms (MS for example).

Dec 31, 2007
captk:

Not sure how Jefferies is as a whole, but they are very strong in certain sectors. My experience pitching against them was in the shipping industry, where they are dominant - I've often seen them to the left of BB firms (MS for example).

still striver douchebags

Mar 14, 2009

.

Jan 2, 2008

For IBD, I would take HSBC over Wachovia. I wouldn't necessarily put it a MM bank. They're strong internationally, but still trying to build their US business unit.

Wachovia is notorious for mismanaging their talent, and I've heard horror stories from good friends who've taken jobs in their IBD over the last few years. Not a single one of them stayed through their first year. Obviously your experience is going to vary by group, but overall I would stay away. I even had professors back in school telling everyone to steer clear (my school was heavily recruited by Wachovia.)

Jan 2, 2008
nystateofmind:

For IBD, I would take HSBC over Wachovia. I wouldn't necessarily put it a MM bank. They're strong internationally, but still trying to build their US business unit.

Wachovia is notorious for mismanaging their talent, and I've heard horror stories from good friends who've taken jobs in their IBD over the last few years. Not a single one of them stayed through their first year. Obviously your experience is going to vary by group, but overall I would stay away. I even had professors back in school telling everyone to steer clear (my school was heavily recruited by Wachovia.)

nystateofmind, can you please elaborate on what you mean about how the seniors at Wachovia mismanage their talent? i'm curious as to how different people define mismanagement. for what it's worth, i also have seen it at other banks that are higher in the league tables from my personal experiences, which has led me to the rather cynical conclusion that bad managers can infiltrate even the best banks.

Jan 2, 2008

HLHZ or Jefferies over the others, in my opinion. They do a shit load of deals.

Jan 3, 2008

I would choose Wachovia over HSBC if I received offers from the two. I've heard from many people that HSBC's culture is very conservative, traditional, and stuffy. Additionally, while it's indisputable that HSBC has much more of a global presence and international reach than Wachovia does, especially in Europe and Asia, Wachovia presents better opportunities in the US. The only area in the US in which HSBC beats Wachovia is in emerging markets, where HSBC is a global leader. In terms of everything else, equities, leveraged finance, and general advisory services (a field where HSBC is non-existent), Wachovia is better in the US. Check the site and the WSJ / NYTimes Dealbook archives and you'll see that HSBC, after making investment banking advisory and the US, in general, two main priorities, has enjoyed no success in building out these opeartions. HSBC has just as much trouble mismanaging talent if not more than Wachovia. A lot of their top investment bankers over in Europe (including the head who left for Blackstone last year) are all gone.

Mar 14, 2009

.

Jan 3, 2008

In my opinion, the group, not the firm, will have the greatest impact on your experience. This is in terms of deal flow and exit opportunities.

Feb 2, 2008
Comment