Top Group vs M/B/B

Hi all,

1st time posting, been reading for a while.

I have an offer at a top group (GS TMT, MS M&A, UBS LA) and an offer to go to one of the Big 3 consulting firms (M/B/B). I know I risk bias by going to a banking forum to ask this, but which would be the better route for me? I'm a finance/accounting major and I know I eventually want to work in PE...

I realize many would think that this isn't even a debate, but the thing is, I don't really have the desire to go to a top-tier megafund PE shop... I'd be happy with something mid-market that gives a solid experience and upward mobility. That said, knowing that M/B/B does place into mid-mkt PE and grants a better lifestyle, would the top banking group still be the clear-cut choice?

Any PE pre-mba assoc's out there who have an opinion on M/B/B'ers vs bankers and how hiring patterns have been changing? I've heard that PE shops (not the pure financial-engineers like KKR) are becoming more open to hiring consultants... any truth to that?

Alright, thanks guys.

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Comments (11)

Nov 6, 2006 - 12:26am

so, you're positive you want to go into PE after 2-3 yrs? no chance you'll change your mind?

you might want to also weigh risk here....if we hit a downturn, which industry is the more likely to immediately layoff a crapload of workers (and, consequently derail you from your career track toward PE)? i'm not saying i know the answer to this, but it's something ot consider...

make this decision carefully tho....working at UBS LA is not something to be taken lightly! research has proven that not getting enough sleep takes years off your life. you want to take years off your life compared to your peers b/c you spent your early 20s in a sweatshop, when you could've just gone to McKinsey and been 100% healthy?

Nov 6, 2006 - 12:59am

I'm not an IB or consulting guy, but my thought is if you could get offers at either one, you probably are the type of person that plenty of PE firms are going to want, regardless of the route you take. Take whichever is going to motivate you to do your best.

Nov 6, 2006 - 1:11am

I think there are more guarantees for PE out of banking, especially at one of those groups. If you do consulting your life will be harder placement wise as not as many make it, and it's still fairly competitive.

That being said, this is only if you are definetely sure about PE. I had the same decision (McKinsey vs. one of those 3 groups)and chose the banking group. Lifestyle wasn't a big issue on my part tho and I summered at another top group before. My best friend summered in the same group and decided on McKinsey instead for lifestyle / location reasons.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Aug 14, 2020 - 2:49pm

Bumping. Know this is an older thread, but I'm in almost the exact situation now and curious to what people think in today's environment for an undergrad senior weighing FT options. Thanks!

Aug 14, 2020 - 3:30pm

I would have in depth conversations with alumni and network contacts who have gone into banking or consulting and make a personal value judgment

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 14, 2020 - 3:47pm

This. Also, while there are many shared exit opportunities from both, they are still different jobs. Imagine what you would like to be doing for the next two years. That's more important, because long-term both are great places to start and only open up many doors for you.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 14, 2020 - 3:49pm

They are such different industries. If you like finance / capital markets / deals, go to banking. If you like operational improvements / cost-cutting / efficiency, go to consulting.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Aug 14, 2020 - 4:14pm

That's a good point. How would the two compare for VC / growth stage investing exit opps?

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