Top group at BB (GS FIG/TMT or MS M&A) vs top boutique (centerview, moelis, etc.) for SA

DSFinance's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 2

What are thoughts about a decision between this firms? Long term prospects for these boutiques? I am trying to decide which would be the best place to start a career.

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Comments (20)

Dec 6, 2014

Wasn't aware GS FIG/TMT and MS M&A gave group specific offers for internships. They didn't when I went through recruitment. I would go with the BBs unless the boutique is BX/EVR/LAZ

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Dec 7, 2014

Why not Centerview or Moelis?

Dec 8, 2014
KimchiNoodleSoup:

Why not Centerview or Moelis?

CV is a career banker type of shop. Moelis LA is a different story, but what I've seen Moelis NY placement isn't as good as top groups at top BBs (or even upper middle tier groups from some), and the culture isn't as good. Don't get me wrong, a few kids place incredibly each year from NY, but it doesn't even come close to the groups you're mentioning. It's more in line with upper middle tier groups at top BBs.

If you want to stay on though, Moelis offers you like a 175k bonus for the direct associate promote which is pretty incredible money when you factor in base and normal bonus.

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Dec 8, 2014

Gotcha, I thought you referred primarily to Moelis LA

May 11, 2018

Can you specify upper middle tier groups at top BBs?

Apr 11, 2018

Centerview isnt the best at the monent.

Heard they are getting squeezed by activist fund

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Dec 7, 2014

Don't underestimate Centerview and Moelis:
Both pay ridiculously well. Centerview will give you the ultimate investment banking experience with great mega-deal exposure since you work with Fortune 500s. Moelis will get you into PE/ Distressed very easily with their exposure to sponsors and sell-side deals. Both experiences work you hard but are phenomenal.

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Dec 8, 2014

Considering you can't even get a group-specific offer at GS/MS unless things have changed, this is even more of a theoretical question than the usual "X vs Y" thread.

Decision Tree:
Do you want to at least maybe do banking long-term? Centerview
Do you want to make a quick exit to the buyside? Whichever of the remaining 3 where you like the people most, unless the boutique is BX

Dec 8, 2014

GS TMT, MS M&A, BX
EVR, GS FIG
Rest

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Dec 8, 2014
HarvardOrBust:

GS TMT, MS M&A, BX

EVR, GS FIG

Rest

@"HarvardOrBust" Would you say Greenhill comes close to the second tier? And what about New York office vs. San Fran?

Dec 8, 2014
fishtail90:
HarvardOrBust:

GS TMT, MS M&A, BX

EVR, GS FIG

Rest

@HarvardOrBust Would you say Greenhill comes close to the second tier? And what about New York office vs. San Fran?

My impression of Greenhill in the recruiting process was that the culture at the analyst-level was very good, hours below average, pay above average. However IMO several of the associates and senior people I interviewed with were dicks, but thats a pretty small sample size, so who knows.

Greenhill compared to many of the boutiques has been around a while, and is currently struggling a bit, losing ground to many of the newer firms. That said, it still looks like analyst exits are good and the experience while there is very good in terms of pay/hours/etc. In terms of "ranking", IMO they'd be a good step below below a firm like Evercore or top groups at GS/MS if you are prioritizing exits over lifestyle. Especially if you happen to be interested in HFs then recruiting at GS/MS/BX is on a very different level.

Dec 9, 2014

@"Extelleron" I pm'd you

Dec 9, 2014

GS TMT/FIG or MS M&A by a landslide. The broad network, camaraderie with training class, resources offered by a large firm, etc should not be underestimated. If you decide long term banking, MAYBE think about moving to CVP later.

Dec 9, 2014
ricottacheese:

GS TMT/FIG or MS M&A by a landslide. The broad network, camaraderie with training class, resources offered by a large firm, etc should not be underestimated. If you decide long term banking, MAYBE think about moving to CVP later.

I can't speak to CVP, but I don't see how it is clear at all that the network you'd form at a top BB group is superior to the network you'd form at some of the EBs such as BX or EVR. The network might be smaller, but these places send virtually every analyst to a good HF or PE exit, and coupled with a high degree of camaraderie among existing analysts and alumni, form a very powerful network. The analyst networks at some of the other boutiques may not be as strong as the two I mentioned, but I don't think it is a good generalization to say that a BB => better network.

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Dec 9, 2014

This is a personal decision. If you are 100% sure that you want to pursue a career in the group you have an offer from, go to the BB. If you're at a boutique there's a chance, depending on the firm, that you would be a generalist.

Dec 11, 2014

If you can definitely lock down GS TMT / MS M&A that's one thing. But from my experience these places extend offers and then you go through a very competitive group selection process where everyone wants to be in the top group. For the EB you know that you are automatically doing one of the most desirable / modeling intensive / buy side preparatory work possible (M&A or Restructuring). There is no chance you will be stuck doing transport DCM at Evercore or Moelis. Plus the EB's place phenomenally, pay better, and give you a ton more client / senior banker exposure. That being said, if you know you are going out of finance after two years, the JP Morgan brand name goes a lot farther than Greenhill. But within finance everyone knows and respects the EBs

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Dec 11, 2014

This client exposure argument is bs. You'd be surprised at the amount of responsibility given to good performers at top groups

Dec 11, 2014

One of the eb you mention its mostly doing junior roles on equity and debt offerings or just fairness opinions so it is important to take this into account. They do m&a but also ipos and bond offerings via junior roles.

Dec 27, 2014

@"UtilitiesBanker" Which EB are you referring to, Centerview?

Dec 11, 2014

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