Top Groups on Wall Street

Interested to hear what people think are the top groups in IB both for BBs and EBs. Some that jump to mind are Goldman TMT, Goldman FIG, MS M&A, Any others?

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Sep 17, 2017 - 5:22pm

I´m not sure if they are top of the league anymore. A friend of mine works there as an associate. Apparently, they have sold some naked CDOs that are in the money. He says they´ll be fine though; it´s just a bump in the road.

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

Sep 18, 2017 - 9:35pm

UBS IB, duh.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
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Sep 19, 2017 - 1:32am

Lehman Brothers credit risk,
Enron internal audit,

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!
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Sep 19, 2017 - 1:33am

Magic Johnson's doctors

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!
  • 20
Sep 19, 2017 - 6:56pm

Not on Wall Street but I have heard the Aerospace and Defense industry in Syria is on fire right now.

'I'm jacked... JACKED TO THE TITS!!'
  • 5
Sep 22, 2017 - 8:42pm

Top 20 Groups on the Street (Originally Posted: 10/10/2010)

In terms of exit opps to megafund PE, the following are the top 20 groups on the street. Restructuring-specific groups are not included (they exit more to distressed/credit funds).

1) GS TMT
2) GS FIG
3) MS M&A
4) BX M&A
5) GS Healthcare
6) CS Sponsors
7) JPM M&A
8) GS Natural Resources
9) MS Sponsors
10) Lazard M&A
11) GS Consumer & Retail
12) CS M&A
13) GS Industrials
14) Moelis
15) Greenhill
16) Citi M&A
17) BofAML M&A
18) DB M&A
19) DB Sponsors
20) UBS M&A

Thoughts?

Sep 22, 2017 - 8:43pm

Just curious, what did you base this on or where did you find the list?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Sep 22, 2017 - 8:46pm

This is honestly one of the worst threads of the year, and I'm moderately shocked someone - who doesn't work in banking and is presumably trying to get a job in the industry - would waste as much time as you just did coming up with this nonsense.

This isn't even worth discussion, but I'll humor you so people realize how uneducated you are and how ridiculous the idea of this topic is:

a.) If you're not including restructuring groups, why would you put Moelis and Greenhill on the list? They have good opps. because they're restructuring heavy. As such, BX Restructuring should not only go on the list - it should probably be top 5 to top 10.
b.) Lazard has a pretty massive class, and they're not generalists like Moelis and Greenhill (you wouldn't know because you're an idiot that doesn't work in the industry). They're broken out into advisory groups (i.e. TMT, Healthcare, FIG, etc.). How would you rank them?
c.) BarCap has the best energy team and almost easy placement into First Reserve, yet they're not on this list.
d.) CS M&A is not that good; people in the group would tell you that.
e.) Discussed ad nauseum, but UBS FSLF places far better than M&A because it does LBO and restructuring work that M&A doesn't handle. Believe their M&A is at the bottom of the top 10, while Sponsors is top 5.
f.) Forget Greenhill: Moelis isn't as good as Evercore, and a lot of people in the industry would much rather go to Perella or Centerview.
g.) If you wanted to work in generalist PE, what would make a pretty specific group like GS FIG or NatRes better for someone reading your idiotic topic than MS M&A or JPM M&A, especially if they wanted a generalist exposure?
h.) Did I mention it already? Why is Moelis that high? Did you manage to get a first-round interview there before you got denied and told to try at Piper?

This topic wasn't worth the time I spent replying to it, but hopefully my response will deter this level of sheer idiocy on the part of the site's non-bankers.

Sep 22, 2017 - 8:48pm
no homo:
This is honestly one of the worst threads of the year, and I'm moderately shocked someone - who doesn't work in banking and is presumably trying to get a job in the industry - would waste as much time as you just did coming up with this nonsense.

This isn't even worth discussion, but I'll humor you so people realize how uneducated you are and how ridiculous the idea of this topic is:

a.) If you're not including restructuring groups, why would you put Moelis and Greenhill on the list? They have good opps. because they're restructuring heavy. As such, BX Restructuring should not only go on the list - it should probably be top 5 to top 10.
b.) Lazard has a pretty massive class, and they're not generalists like Moelis and Greenhill (you wouldn't know because you're an idiot that doesn't work in the industry). They're broken out into advisory groups (i.e. TMT, Healthcare, FIG, etc.). How would you rank them?
c.) BarCap has the best energy team and almost easy placement into First Reserve, yet they're not on this list.
d.) CS M&A is not that good; people in the group would tell you that.
e.) Discussed ad nauseum, but UBS FSLF places far better than M&A because it does LBO and restructuring work that M&A doesn't handle. Believe their M&A is at the bottom of the top 10, while Sponsors is top 5.
f.) Forget Greenhill: Moelis isn't as good as Evercore, and a lot of people in the industry would much rather go to Perella or Centerview.
g.) If you wanted to work in generalist PE, what would make a pretty specific group like GS FIG or NatRes better for someone reading your idiotic topic than MS M&A or JPM M&A, especially if they wanted a generalist exposure?
h.) Did I mention it already? Why is Moelis that high? Did you manage to get a first-round interview there before you got denied and told to try at Piper?

This topic wasn't worth the time I spent replying to it, but hopefully my response will deter this level of sheer idiocy on the part of the site's non-bankers.

Weren't you just posting about receiving an offer or something? If that's the case, you're just as bad as the original poster. If I'm mistaken, then disregard this lol.

Sep 22, 2017 - 8:47pm

my thoughts are that you have absolutely no basis for this list.

you're missing PWP, Centerview, MS Tech... just to name a few.

Sep 22, 2017 - 8:50pm

^ youngblood, i don't even know no homo's background or work history, but his post is spot on... well, at least more substantive than 'prestigewhore'. it seems as if no homo has at least done an internship on the street, and even though it's a 10wk stint, it gives him a breadth of banking knowledge, separating him from typical ugrad 'aspiring' monkeys who do nothing but rank and fantasize about the thought of making it to a top group.

Sep 22, 2017 - 8:56pm
ThaVanBurenBoyz:
JPM and BAML Lev Fin are top 10 groups (for PE exits), and they're not even on your list?

wow, i completely forgot about those lev fin groups. otherwise, i think the list is pretty solid and accurate.

Sep 22, 2017 - 8:54pm

I think we've established that this guy has no fucking idea whats going on anywhere

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Sep 22, 2017 - 9:03pm

Infatuation with Top Groups (Originally Posted: 01/26/2011)

I have been reading on here for awhile, and I don't understand why people are so into working for a top group at the analyst level. Sure, at the associate level onwards it makes a ton of sense (better relationships, longterm culture, etc.) but at the analyst level it makes none.

I spoke with many people about group and bank selections during my IBD offer selection process, and now that I am starting in PE later this summer, I can see how the group vs. bank argument shakes out. Many of my coworkers and friends are going into PE, and through them, I have seen many successes and failures.

Right now there are a lot of college juniors out there selecting what bank and group they are going slave away for over the summer and most likely the next couple of years. Recently on here I have seen lots of talk about top groups at lesser banks.

----DISCLAIMER - this is targeted at those shooting for top 30 or so PE funds----

Lets say you have an offer from Jefferies, and you are pretty sure you are going to land in hc. Sure its a good group, that can compete with BBs, but from there, you are going to have almost no shot at a top PE firm. Do not do it if a. you are not very very interested in hc; b. you have an offer at any BB, including UBS/WF etc. When you go through PE recruiting you will see that all of a sudden its not so cool to work for a top group at an average bank. That you MDs don't really care as much as you thought about your placement as you thought they did. And that the guys in crap groups at top banks are getting interviews and offers when you have no shot.

Over the next few weeks, even months, there are going to be countless posts asking what bank should you sign with. The bottem line (again assuming the disclaimer is true) is -

I Always go with GS and a notch below MS/JPM
II Always go with M&A, Sponsors, Lev Fin (unless you have a sincere interest in a particular industry)

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:05pm
HappyThanksgiving:
Harsh, but thanks for the reality check. How do the boutiques -- Lazard, Blackstone, Evercore, Greenhill -- stack up versus GS/MS/JPM?

All 4 stack up very well, sometimes better. From what I have seen, you will get better MD support from the boutiques, which can be helpful. Sorry I didn't include boutiques in the original post, I wanted to touch on group vs. bank.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:06pm

When people start getting too obsessed with prestige, status, "BBs", and "top groups", I'm always reminded of the California Gold Rush where everybody was bragging back in New York that they were going to carry a pickaxe out to CA and strike it rich.

The only people who got rich were the shopkeepers.

Hence why I seriously considered setting up a career coaching business for college students.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:15pm
IlliniProgrammer:
When people start getting too obsessed with prestige, status, "BBs", and "top groups", I'm always reminded of the California Gold Rush where everybody was bragging back in New York that they were going to carry a pickaxe out to CA and strike it rich.

The only people who got rich were the shopkeepers.

Hence why I seriously considered setting up a career coaching business for college students.

Hah. It's Drexel Burnham right before they kicked the can for me.

Another thing the kids here should think about when they get a boner over the "top groups" and league tables is that Solomon was #1 in bonds before they collapsed, same with Drexel, Banker's Trust, and a few other banks, nowadays though the banks are a little more cautious so yeah, but you'll never know until it's too late.

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy
Sep 22, 2017 - 9:07pm

For the same reason people look at the latest Dealogic league tables to put forth their "which firm to choose" advice on this forum. Minimal actual insight.

Very tough to get a true feel for the culture of a group unless you actually work there (at least as a summer). If I were trying to pick the best investment banking group for buyside placement, I'd try to get some information from CPI or SG as to which their first calls are come springtime. I'm sure the answers would be surprising to many on this board, especially the who confidently produce "authoritative" firm rankings with aplomb.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:08pm

Disagree w/ parts of the OP.

Agree that MS is a notch below GS and GS is tops, but JPM is definitely not equal to MS. JPM gets grouped in with a bunch of other BBs where, if you have options, you want to consider top groups.

Wells Fargo is not BB and probably not much better than Jefferies if you want to go into PE (going to be tough to go from those banks to any top PE)

Generally, M&A and LevFin are good groups at banks because they are technical groups where you will learn technical skills that are important at top PE (mostly modeling). Sponsors is good at some banks, but at a lot of banks it is just a soft coverage group with most transaction modeling passed off to product groups (i.e., M&A or LevFin) and the sponsor's analysts don't do much technical stuff.

At MS, I wouldn't say that LevFin and Sponsors are better than their industry coverage groups. MS isn't historically a top bank for LevFin (they don't have the history or the balance sheet for it). M&A is tops at MS and they also have good industry groups.

Also, Goldman doesn't have an M&A group and their LevFin group is okay, but not their top group. At GS, top groups are TMT and FIG. All of their other industry groups are also strong and probably on par or better relative to their LevFin group. GS Sponsors is mostly coverage although I've heard varying accounts of experiences there. GS is just far and away the best investment bank on the street.

The top group at a given bank is good because that group will usually try to grab the best analysts out of the pool (and people understand that this is how it works at banks and will try to recruit analysts from better groups), and that group will see more deal flow so the analysts will work on more live deals and get better experience.

If you are comparing any industry group offer at GS banking to a group specific offer at, say, JPM/Citibank M&A, and you are solely focused on making your resume look better to PE (and in general) and you are not considering the culture or your personal industry interests, I would probably advise you to pick GS. The GS name on your resume is huge and you will recruit for PE at the same time or before JPM/Citi/whatever other bank.

If you are comparing offers between JPM/Citi/CS/DB/etc..., then you want to consider which group you will land in at each of the banks when making a decision.

If you are comparing JPM/Citi/CS/DB/etc... to Jefferies or Wells Fargo, pick the BB (again, not considering personal industry interests or cultural fit or any of that stuff)

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:13pm
Malakari:
^ Well said. I was just going to ask the question what if you have an offer at a top group at CS, would you take that over a "mediocre" one at MS?

Do you have more info on specific groups you are thinking of at each bank or are you just asking in general? which group at MS would you consider mediocre and which at CS is top?

Again, I am not considering personal interests in a certain industry or "fit," or anything like that. Those things should be considered in your choice as well, but I am thinking more along the lines of general resume building and exit ops into general PE/HF.

There's some sort of capital markets group at MS that I've heard is bad and not the same sort of IBD analyst experience that you're generally looking for (i.e., modeling/working on M&A, LBOs, IPOs...the sort of stuff you think of when you think of doing investment banking). I would probably pick a top CS banking group over that group. Otherwise, hard to say. MS has name cachet that CS just doesn't have. On top of that, MS is just generally good across a lot of industries. CS is good in some industries too, but I don't know if that would outweigh the brand value and MS is probably close or better in those industries. Maybe CS Financial Sponsors or LevFin over MS Sponsors or LevFin. CS Financial Sponsors used to be very strong, although I've heard they had a lot of people leave so I don't know anymore.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:11pm

^^^ In all honesty, my 21 year old self would have taken the mediocre group at MS and I can't fault anyone for doing it. But as a 25 year old with a little bit of experience and a little bit of wisdom on you guys, I'd be taking the group where there was the best fit. It might be CS. Or it might be MS. I want a group where I've got the best chance to excel. Either as someone performing as well as everybody else at CS or a standout at MS. And that's probably going to be a place where I really click with my interviewers.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:12pm

I'm going to second IP's advice.

It doesn't matter what shop your at or what group you're in if you cannot stand your job and the people you are with. I don't care what the experience is if you are not happy. I could care less whether I was in TMT at Goldman or working for Henry Kravis himself, if you are not happy you won't enjoy your job. Life is meant for living and enjoying in your off hours, not spent dreading the inevitable return to the office. You are going to be working with these people for two years of your life during your analyst stint. If you cannot get along with them, then what's the point of working for the top group?

At the end of the day, the group you work in and the firm you work for are just names on your resume. They are just a small portion of who you know and what you do. You're the guy that makes it happen, so look for what works best for you and not the impression you have of the right career path.

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Sep 22, 2017 - 9:14pm
Frieds:
I'm going to second IP's advice.

It doesn't matter what shop your at or what group you're in if you cannot stand your job and the people you are with. I don't care what the experience is if you are not happy. I could care less whether I was in TMT at Goldman or working for Henry Kravis himself, if you are not happy you won't enjoy your job. Life is meant for living and enjoying in your off hours, not spent dreading the inevitable return to the office. You are going to be working with these people for two years of your life during your analyst stint. If you cannot get along with them, then what's the point of working for the top group?

At the end of the day, the group you work in and the firm you work for are just names on your resume. They are just a small portion of who you know and what you do. You're the guy that makes it happen, so look for what works best for you and not the impression you have of the right career path.

I hear a lot of what you guys are saying and I'm also giving the caveat that I'm not considering fit when I give my opinions, but there is something to be said about picking the best bank and best group that you can. Being in a better group at a better bank gives you more career options, especially if you want to work in finance on the buyside. I'm not saying that youre going to be happy in that group and you might not be happy if you land a top buyside job afterwards, but you more easily have the option of following that path if that's what you want. If you work in Goldman TMT as an analyst you are going to get cranked. I can't imagine that would be a fun situation, but if you want the chance to work at KKR or BX or Och Ziff or Silver Point or whatever top buyside shop, they're all going to be knocking on GS TMT's door first when interview season comes. And if you want to do banking, then PE, then HBS or stanford GSB, you have a much better chance of getting there if you start at GS TMT and then go to a megafund where all of the senior guys are HBS alumni. Who knows if this will make you happy, but you won't have the option to find out if you're an analyst at Jefferies (a generalization but mostly true).

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:21pm

"And of the remaining folks, a lot of questions lingered about how far they were willing to go to make money. So if you were a VP or MD at Drexel Burnham and had $10M in the bank to ride out five years of not being able to land a job, that was one thing. If you were an analyst, that was quite another. A lady in BP's trading group told me a story about how she chose Amoco over Drexel Burnham a couple days before the RICO case was made public. Two years later, her friends who went to Drexel were calling her begging for jobs- they couldn't find anything in traditional banking. She managed to get one of them a job AFTER taking Drexel Burnham OFF his resume."

I'm not talking about trading energy/power products here. I'm talking about Drexel's banking business, specifically it's leveraged finance and M&A businesses, which were what Drexel was known for (read Predators' Ball if you aren't familiar with this). People who worked in these businesses were smart and had skills/experience that other banks didn't have, so they went and got jobs elsewhere after Drexel. And analysts/associates from these groups were fine. Associates were running deals at Drexel...2 of the 3 co-founders of Apollo were Drexel associates and the 3rd co-founder was the head of M&A. They started Apollo immediately after leaving Drexel in 1990. Sure that's only one case and anecdotal, but better than your random BP trader anecdote, and there are many other current prominent Drexel alumni that serve as examples.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:28pm
IlliniProgrammer:
Well, here's the thing. Knowing everything you know now about Drexel Burnham and how it helped/hurt careers, if you'd gotten an offer from Drexel-Burnham in 1987 and gotten an offer from Wal-Mart of a brokerage firm Merrill Lynch back in 1987, which would you have picked?

not sure i understand...are you saying "wal-mart or a brokerage firm merrill lynch" or "wal-mart of a brokerage firm merrill lynch"

i think this is a pretty worthless question because you want me to travel back in time to tell you what i would have done with perfect knowledge of the future (which i don't have, by the way, because i don't know how Merrill fared in the late 80s/early 90s). anyway, assuming drexel was way better than ML at the time of the offer, i would still probably choose drexel if i had an offer for lev fin/m&a. i think i'm smart and would have been okay after drexel went away, and the year or two there would have given me valuable experience and rapport with more senior people (structure there was different than banking now...less layers and less people) who could then help me move elsewhere.

Marc Rowan: Wharton Undergrad '84/MBA '85 - then Drexel - then co-found Apollo in 1990
Josh Harris: Wharton Undergrad '86 - then Drexel - then co-found Apollo in 1990

Do I think I'm Marc Rowan or Josh Harris and would have immediately started a future megafund after joining Drexel in the late 80s? No, of course not. But I think I'd have been fine and possibly much better than fine.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:25pm

Wait... so 2 years of suffering is far more important than your sanity? I guess my experiences were wrong then. Your problem is that you don't get how important fit is. If all you are concerned about is selling your soul, then go for it. I'd rather work with people I can stomach instead of people I hate. Your view is the same thing that every college kid who thinks he knows something about life says when asked what he wants to do. You only have hindsight as your guidance. You're advising kids and saying all that matters is success when happiness still is a requirement to be sane. And yes, I'm curious, Drexel or Merrill if you had the option between the two in '87.

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Sep 22, 2017 - 9:29pm
Frieds:
Wait... so 2 years of suffering is far more important than your sanity? I guess my experiences were wrong then. Your problem is that you don't get how important fit is. If all you are concerned about is selling your soul, then go for it. I'd rather work with people I can stomach instead of people I hate. Your view is the same thing that every college kid who thinks he knows something about life says when asked what he wants to do. You only have hindsight as your guidance. You're advising kids and saying all that matters is success when happiness still is a requirement to be sane. And yes, I'm curious, Drexel or Merrill if you had the option between the two in '87.

i didn't say anything about liking the job or sanity (and who really goes insane after working hard in investment banking...it's not fun and it's mindless but it's not that bad. and if you really find so many people at work that you literally "hate," then you probably need to chill out a bit and stop worrying about them.). i explicitly said that i wasn't considering fit but that you should consider that when choosing your job. read the posts before replying. if your reading comprehension isn't that good or my writing is that disjointed, read the posts again. i never said anywhere that "all that matters is success."

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:26pm

As a 21-year-old not knowing the future, I would have picked Drexel.

As a 25-year-old, I would have done a lot more thinking about where I liked the people I met/interviewed with better. I have a feeling it would have been Merrill Lynch given some of the culture descrbed at Drexel back in the '80s.

The people from Drexel would have been successful with our without Drexel. In fact, they probably would have been even MORE successful without it. That doesn't mean you should turn down GS (it probably does mean you should turn it down if you believe they're going to get hit with a RICO charge, which is very unlikely), but it does mean you should be looking for the best fit with the smartest people. The firm's performance is something you can't control, but the people you choose to work with and the opportunities you have to learn certainly is.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:32pm
IlliniProgrammer:
As a 21-year-old not knowing the future, I would have picked Drexel.

As a 25-year-old, I would have done a lot more thinking about where I liked the people I met/interviewed with better. I have a feeling it would have been Merrill Lynch given some of the culture descrbed at Drexel back in the '80s.

The people from Drexel would have been successful with our without Drexel. In fact, they probably would have been even MORE successful without it. That doesn't mean you should turn down GS (it probably does mean you should turn it down if you believe they're going to get hit with a RICO charge, which is very unlikely), but it does mean you should be looking for the best fit with the smartest people. The firm's performance is something you can't control, but the people you choose to work with and the opportunities you have to learn certainly is.

I am older than 25.

I have explicitly stated that i am not considering fit and that you should consider fit when selecting your job. I never claimed that I was telling people how to warm their souls.

"In fact, they probably would have been even MORE successful without it [Drexel]" - Thanks for your opinion. I don't feel that I can base a claim like this on fact, so I won't make one. I will, however, point you to Drexel alums and reputable news outlets that have their own opinions about the influence of Drexel on the careers of its alumni.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/06/business/yourmoney/06drex.html

Try Googling "Drexel Diaspora" if you want to see more of the same and better educate yourself before making unsubstantiated claims.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:27pm

Some of you guys are puking all over the point of this thread with your "quality of life" and "happiness/sanity" arguments. The OP NEVER made any claim about quality of life. He merely stated his opinion on what banks position analysts for more prestigious PE jobs.

"Stay on target!" -- Davish Krail
Yes, that's a Star Wars reference, bitches.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:34pm
whateverittakes:
Some of you guys are puking all over the point of this thread with your "quality of life" and "happiness/sanity" arguments. The OP NEVER made any claim about quality of life. He merely stated his opinion on what banks position analysts for more prestigious PE jobs.

"Stay on target!" -- Davish Krail
Yes, that's a Star Wars reference, bitches.

exactly.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:30pm
Some of you guys are puking all over the point of this thread with your "quality of life" and "happiness/sanity" arguments. The OP NEVER made any claim about quality of life. He merely stated his opinion on what banks position analysts for more prestigious PE jobs.

Maybe. But after two years, you'll have friends everywhere on the street, including PE shops (In my case- since I work on the markets side- hedge funds) and your "prestige" (AKA reputation) no longer derives from your firm but from your own competence and work product.

I had to make a similar decision four years ago. I turned down Goldman to take a position in quant analytics at another firm. The guys at Goldman were smart, but they seemed bored. They didn't seem passionate about what they were doing. The firm I chose (another top five firm) had people who were excited to look at new ideas, pricing strategies, and architectures.

Today, I get calls from old work buddies who are now in some pretty interesting roles at some pretty top-notch hedge funds and prop shops. They want me to come work there because I had an opportunity to work on some pretty interesting stuff and show a lot of people how I thought and approached things.

Had I gone to Goldman, I'm not sure there would have been the same positive work environment, the same opportunity to share ideas, the same opportunity to try new things as an analyst. So I really think the vibe you get in the interview is important.

All things being equal, yes, Goldman offers more opportunities. But between the top five, top ten firms, the differences in opportunities are so minute that the work environment and your opportunities to produce and innovate easily trump the exit opps on their own. You'll get more exit opps as an innovator at RW Baird than as very shiny cog in a very shiny wheel at Goldman.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:31pm
not sure i understand...are you saying "wal-mart or a brokerage firm merrill lynch" or "wal-mart of a brokerage firm merrill lynch

I meant Wal-Mart of a brokerage firm. Merrill Lynch was the first wall street firm to get into retail brokerage back in the '70s and the first firm to go public. If the equivalent were happening today, a lot of folks on WSO would have made fun of them as a K-Mart or Wal-Mart firm in some sort of race to the bottom with the other lower tier brokerage houses.
i think this is a pretty worthless question because you want me to travel back in time to tell you what i would have done with perfect knowledge of the future (which i don't have, by the way, because i don't know how Merrill fared in the late 80s/early 90s). anyway, assuming drexel was way better than ML at the time of the offer, i would still probably choose drexel if i had an offer for lev fin/m&a.

Really? Cause the past repeats itself. Lehman Brothers was considered THE firm to work for back in the late '70s. Moreso than Goldman Sachs. Then they almost went bankrupt (for the first time) during the early '80s recession and turned into Shearson Lehman. It got knocked out of it's first place spot, heck, got knocked out of the top ten. It eventually clawed its way back to top 5, but never fully regained its old status.

Enron was THE trading firm to work for back in the late '90s. Guys were leaving GS to work there as energy traders. Then they got involved in some scandals off in CA and with the #1 CPA firm in the country and both went bankrupt.

So it wasn't just Drexel-Burnham. There's a pattern here. Every ten or twenty years on the street, the #1 firm winds up in a lot of trouble and either goes bust or at least loses a lot of respect. So GS might get replaced by JPM or Morgan Stanley in a couple years. We really don't know.

I'm not asking you to apply the same situation to Goldman- I'm just asking if you think Drexel Burnham's prestige was really any long-term help to the folks that worked there. Or if someone who could make it at Drexel could have done just as well- maybe even better- at Merrill Lynch.

Prestige changes. Competence doesn't. Opportunities tend to track to reputation, reputation tends to track to competence, not prestige.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:36pm
IlliniProgrammer:
not sure i understand...are you saying "wal-mart or a brokerage firm merrill lynch" or "wal-mart of a brokerage firm merrill lynch

I meant Wal-Mart of a brokerage firm. Merrill Lynch was the first wall street firm to get into retail brokerage back in the '70s and the first firm to go public. If the equivalent were happening today, a lot of folks on WSO would have made fun of them as a K-Mart or Wal-Mart firm in some sort of race to the bottom with the other lower tier brokerage houses.
i think this is a pretty worthless question because you want me to travel back in time to tell you what i would have done with perfect knowledge of the future (which i don't have, by the way, because i don't know how Merrill fared in the late 80s/early 90s). anyway, assuming drexel was way better than ML at the time of the offer, i would still probably choose drexel if i had an offer for lev fin/m&a.

Really? Cause the past repeats itself. Lehman Brothers was considered THE firm to work for back in the late '70s. Moreso than Goldman Sachs. Then they almost went bankrupt (for the first time) during the early '80s recession and turned into Shearson Lehman. It got knocked out of it's first place spot, heck, got knocked out of the top ten. It eventually clawed its way back to top 5, but never fully regained its old status.

Enron was THE trading firm to work for back in the late '90s. Guys were leaving GS to work there as energy traders. Then they got involved in some scandals off in CA and with the #1 CPA firm in the country and both went bankrupt.

So it wasn't just Drexel-Burnham. There's a pattern here. Every ten or twenty years on the street, the #1 firm winds up in a lot of trouble and either goes bust or at least loses a lot of respect. So GS might get replaced by JPM or Morgan Stanley in a couple years. We really don't know.

I'm not asking you to apply the same situation to Goldman- I'm just asking if you think Drexel Burnham's prestige was really any long-term help to the folks that worked there. Or if someone who could make it at Drexel could have done just as well- maybe even better- at Merrill Lynch.

Prestige changes. Competence doesn't. Opportunities tend to track to reputation, reputation tends to track to competence, not prestige.

A firm going bankrupt doesn't mean its employees go bankrupt. If I'm in GS TMT and I get laid off or GS goes bankrupt and disappears overnight and I no longer have a job, I'm going to go to Barclays or BofA and get a job in their TMT group. I wasn't in GS TMT but I did banking in another top group and I watched this happen when people from my group started getting laid off in 2008.

I do think working at Drexel had positive, formative effects on a lot of its employees. I don't know if those people would have been more successful or less working at Merrill instead. (My gut response is to say that I do think Drexel made a lot of those people more successful in the long-term, but that is mostly based on anecdotes and the fact that so many Drexel alumni are leaders on Wall Street today....I have no way to test/prove the scenario where those people worked at Merrill instead.)

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:33pm

Wow... are you sure about that? I never knew that "Gold Five" had a name. Hell... I can't even remember anywhere in the Cannon (Original Trilogy) where Gold Five was even mentioned outside of the Death Star Trench Run/Battle of Yavin in "A New Hope".

As to the OP stating his opinion, nothing is ever set in stone. I've seen people from stranger backgrounds make it in places where you wouldn't expect them to. However, QoL and Sanity are just as important as work. If all you care about is making your way to a top shop, then fine, work your ass off and do it. We're not discouraging it, just posing the opposite side of the coin. I mean, how many analysts are going to have burnout? How many analysts that went to DLJ/UBS LA and suffered through the sweatshop that was working under Moelis and burned out despite that being the "best way" into PE/HF-land. It doesn't matter how bad you want your dream, if you aren't happy with your job, you won't be able to endure it.

As to the other issue, which IP brought up, you make your own name once you start. Your first job is just a talking point. I work for ABC doing XYZ and have built up a strong network of contacts because of it. They know I deliver and would vouch for me, which is more important, in my opinion, when you are looking to move somewhere than who you worked for.

@bankbank, by precluding any argument towards fit, you're pretty much saying be unhappy working your ass off if it gets you in the door. As to the use of Happiness/Sanity, when you're working late nights with people you don't like, it becomes much harder to justify the hours even if its in your top group. Your paitence wears thin affecting how you are when dealing with people. If you are not comfortable in your surroundings, your performance suffers, hindering your ability to get that top job despite being from GS TMT. Plus, who says working for a dull culture is ever fun.

That and I think IP was implying if you were given the option of taking a job with one of those two firms without any benefit of the hindsight you are using to make your decision. Meaning... you were dropped into 1987 with every bit of knowledge you knew about the firms futures (from 1987 onwards) erased from your brain, what would you pick.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:37pm

IP, so that's why Lehman merged in the 80s. I did not know that about Lehman, and Amex made out like a bandit merging Sherson and Lehman. .

Bankbank,

There's a difference between being laid off by a firm that goes bankrupt or goes through a restructuring period as opposed to working for a firm that goes the way of the Dodo because they committed some crime that forced them to do that. Having a name on your resume of a firm that went under for it's own stupidity will still allow you to get jobs. If not for people's networks, how many associated with Drexel Burnham Lambert would have moved onto other firms considering the charges filed against the firm? Hell, look at Enron and Arthur Andersen. They went belly up because of scandal (Enron being self-explanitory and AA falling as a result since they were their accountants) and I know of people who worked for Arthur Andersen that were looked at differently because their former employer was linked to Enron. If Goldman were to go down in a massive blaze of scandals and you were an analyst there, you'd be looked at alot differently than your peers at other firms. Once the opinion of a firm changes, it doesn't go back to what it was.

And your right, it doesn't mean that its employees go bankrupt, but when you work for a "#1" shop, when something goes wrong it goes way wrong. Look at companies like Lehman where it was predominantly owned by employees, or Enron, where the employee pensions were destroyed when the company went under. Even Bear Stearns had employee pensions that invested in the firm's stock that were entirely wiped out thanks to the firesale. I wonder how many people at Drexel owned shares in the firm before it declared bankruptcy.

And out of curiosity, where do you base your statement on Drexel alumni being more successful from a long term perspective on? Just curious.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:40pm
Frieds:

And out of curiosity, where do you base your statement on Drexel alumni being more successful from a long term perspective on? Just curious.

see the article I already posted:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/06/business/yourmoney/06drex.html

and google "Drexel Diaspora."

It's well known in the industry that there are lots of Drexel alums in lots of sweet finance roles. I've worked in the industry for several years so I know this like everyone else who has. it's a similar story with DLJ (a lot of former Drexel) and now Goldman. These banks just have sweet alumni networks.

For all intents and purposes, the high yield and lev fin industry did not exist before Drexel. They created this product and made it into a huge industry, as it still is today. High yield was not a commodity done by every bank back then - it was only Drexel. After Drexel, a lot of their alumni with HY credit experience moved to other banks and spread the product around (most of them went to DLJ, thus DLJ became a HY/lev fin powerhouse and then DLJ went to CSFB/CS, thus CS became a HY/lef fin powerhouse. CS is still pretty good in this sector, but less so than several years ago when the product wasn't such a commodity...now HY knowledge is spread out among more people and banks with the big balance sheets - BofA, Citi, JPM - are the big lev fin banks).

To this day, a lot of the best credit bankers and credit investors can still trace their roots to Drexel.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:42pm
Frieds:
IP, so that's why Lehman merged in the 80s. I did not know that about Lehman, and Amex made out like a bandit merging Sherson and Lehman. .

Bankbank,

There's a difference between being laid off by a firm that goes bankrupt or goes through a restructuring period as opposed to working for a firm that goes the way of the Dodo because they committed some crime that forced them to do that. Having a name on your resume of a firm that went under for it's own stupidity will still allow you to get jobs. If not for people's networks, how many associated with Drexel Burnham Lambert would have moved onto other firms considering the charges filed against the firm? Hell, look at Enron and Arthur Andersen. They went belly up because of scandal (Enron being self-explanitory and AA falling as a result since they were their accountants) and I know of people who worked for Arthur Andersen that were looked at differently because their former employer was linked to Enron. If Goldman were to go down in a massive blaze of scandals and you were an analyst there, you'd be looked at alot differently than your peers at other firms. Once the opinion of a firm changes, it doesn't go back to what it was.

And your right, it doesn't mean that its employees go bankrupt, but when you work for a "#1" shop, when something goes wrong it goes way wrong. Look at companies like Lehman where it was predominantly owned by employees, or Enron, where the employee pensions were destroyed when the company went under. Even Bear Stearns had employee pensions that invested in the firm's stock that were entirely wiped out thanks to the firesale. I wonder how many people at Drexel owned shares in the firm before it declared bankruptcy.

And out of curiosity, where do you base your statement on Drexel alumni being more successful from a long term perspective on? Just curious.

I don't really think arthur andersen is comparable to Wall Street. You don't have to be that smart to be a good accountant (generalization, but c'mon, it's mostly true) and big 4 (formerly 5) firms make money because of their reputations for performing reliable, trustworthy audits and accounting work. Accounting firms, in general, are not getting compensated for intelligently taking on risk and for being super smart. Reputation is way, way more important for an accounting firm and it makes sense that getting blown up for being a cheating accountant would serve to preclude you from being hired as an accountant again.

On Wall Street, people are getting paid for intelligently taking risk and for working really, really hard. The human capital (i.e. intelligence and ability) suitable to be deployed in banking (in the minds of the banks, anyway) is more scarce than the pool available to do accounting work and the human capital element is much more important than the firm reputation as a straight-shooter element (versus accounting firm). If you are on Wall Street and you are sharp and work hard and you're at a top firm that blows up due to some scandal (and you didn't cheat at the blown up firm and get caught), someone will hire you to go be sharp and hard working at their less prestigious firm. A lot of those Enron traders are still on the Street managing and working at hedge funds and on bank trading floors.

Also, a lot of top people in finance think Milken didn't do anything wrong and that he played within the bounds of what was legal at Drexel (whether or not he was morally wrong is another subject). This is also known in the industry.

Finally, before you guys start getting dramatic on me again, I am in no way saying that trustworthiness and reputation don't matter on Wall Street. Of course they matter, just not on the same level as they do for an accounting firm. An accounting firm gets paid by signing its name on documents and saying the documents are reliable. That's not an Ibank's business.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:39pm

Piviot, I don't think I will stop talking about Drexel. There's alot to learn about these old firms that are still relevent today. Earn your stripes and then we can talk about getting the Mods to do something about it.

As to what group is best... You'll know it when you find it. It's how it always is.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:43pm

Top Groups (Originally Posted: 11/29/2012)

Hi Guys,

I know "ranking" isn't easy or even feasible when considering banks and groups. However, generally, from say a headhunter or recruiter's perspective, which groups at which banks are the "best" for getting into PE ( BX, KKR, TPG, etc).

I've heard GS TMT and Blackstone Restructuring are up there.

Thanks!

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:48pm

BX M&A RX GS TMT FIG CD FSG RBS DCM HSBC UBS FIG DCM TMT OG SG PFI MS M&A TMT CA DB DCM ECM IPO WACC DCF PIK HY BNPP RX BAML MBA CFA SA HLHZ FRG GHL EVR

"After you work on Wall Street it’s a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side.” - David Tepper
  • 2
Sep 22, 2017 - 9:50pm

Top Groups Across the Street (Originally Posted: 02/18/2013)

Let's get an updated 2013 list of best groups at the bulge bracket investment banks.

Goldman Sachs:
Morgan Stanley:
JP Morgan:
Deutsche Bank:
Citigroup:
BAMML:
Barclays:

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:51pm

Let's not.

Achiever in college from freshman year: Rainmaker. Hustler in college from junior year: More than you initially hoped for. Dreamer in college from senior year: Top closer for 4 man boutique in Idaho in toilet lid M&A Everyone else: Dunkin Donuts.
Sep 22, 2017 - 9:57pm

firestormllp:
Let's not.

HAHAHAHA

I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG
Sep 22, 2017 - 9:54pm

this is what i think of this topic:

凸(`⌒´メ)凸

Remember, once you're inside you're on your own. Oh, you mean I can't count on you? No. Good!
Sep 22, 2017 - 9:55pm

Where is Piper Jaffray and RBC?

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_KarateBoy_
Sep 22, 2017 - 9:58pm

xxkdjxx:
This has been discussed ad nauseam on this board. I'll give you two, Goldman Sachs: TMT, Morgan Stanley: M&A.
who cares if it's been discussed ad nauseam?

these things aren't static. would you want this to be a forum where every important topic is deliberated once (presumably back in 2007) and every newcomer simply consults an archived thread for the answer? that would be a shitty forum with no traffic and a lot of outdated information.

Sep 22, 2017 - 9:59pm

This is just to help out OP, and because I agree with ^ - group strengths can change quickly:

GS: TMT/FIG/NatRes/HC
JPM: M&A/HC/LevFin/Sponsors (tho no associates)/Industrials
MS: M&A/Tech/Media/Transport or Sponsors
CS: Sponsors/Healthcare/M&A/TMT
BAML: LevFin/Industrials/M&A
Citi: M&A/Industrials/Consumer
Barc: Power/NatRes/TMT/FIG or cons. retail
DB: LevFin/M&A/TMT

Thoughts?

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:00pm

bankbanker101:
This is just to help out OP, and because I agree with ^ - group strengths can change quickly:

GS: TMT/FIG/NatRes/HC
JPM: M&A/HC/LevFin/Sponsors (tho no associates)/Industrials
MS: M&A/Tech/Media/Transport or Sponsors
CS: Sponsors/Healthcare/M&A/TMT
BAML: LevFin/Industrials/M&A
Citi: M&A/Industrials/Consumer
Barc: Power/NatRes/TMT/FIG or cons. retail
DB: LevFin/M&A/TMT

Thoughts?


Pretty shitty list
Sep 22, 2017 - 10:07pm

bankbanker101:
This is just to help out OP, and because I agree with ^ - group strengths can change quickly:

GS: TMT/FIG/NatRes/HC

Thoughts?

I always thought GS had one of the top C & R groups on the street. GS industrials were also among the top 3 groups on the street. However, I do not believe GS NatRes was even near the top of the street. I believe other BB were way ahead of GS in NatRes.

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:11pm

What Division is the Most "Fun"? (Originally Posted: 08/12/2015)

We're all familiar with the stereotypical image of Wall Street excess documented (sometimes realistically, sometimes not) in a wide variety of popular media, ranging from the classics of Wall Street & Liar's Poker to the more recent in Wolf of Wall Street. While I think it's pretty widely understood that outside of Michael Lewis's book, most of that stuff is exaggerated stereotypes, I recently had a conversation with an older banker who couldn't help but reminisce on how much "fun" things used to be both in the office and outside. He told some good stories and it got me thinking a bit, so I figured it might be interesting to hear some opinions:

As a young intern, my time in finance has been pretty mundane, so my question for all the more experienced monkeys on here is: which division would you consider to most strongly retain the "fun" culture of Wall Street? And I don't mean which division still accepts open cocaine use and thinks hookers are cool, but more which divisions tend to be less politically correct, contain more characters, have people who you'd want to drink with and are generally more personable? My guess would be S&T though I'd expect a bit of that in PWM too since it's so sales-like.

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:16pm

Most Bad Ass Departments (Originally Posted: 01/11/2007)

For those of you who have had or currently have jobs on the street, which areas are known to be bad ass. Let's say you worked at Morgan, which desk was the most bad ass? The most lurid, hectic, crude, swear-ridden, money making area?

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:18pm

Within investment banking in my bank, it's M&A, clearly. Then Comm, Tech, and Industrials.

My group was actually the biggest revenue producer in this investment bank in 2006, as well as being top on the street across every global product in our industry. This year, we are the biggest, swearingest, sweat-and-bloodiest, most massive BSDs in the bank. And next year it'll probably be somebody else. Don't worry about who's big. Worry about where you fit in.

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:20pm
Bondarb:
...if you want the crudest, loudest, most un-pc enviornment on wall st then you want to trade government bonds on the sell-side at one of the more old-school banks out there...Citi, CS, and greenwich capital come immediately to mind...

Hell yeah, govies at Citi would be tight. What about credit derivatives?

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:23pm

Yeah, you know what? You would be awesome slinging bonds at Citi. I say this with all seriousness and respect for what that takes. You have big old balls, and you scratch them too, and you know that man is what he makes of himself. In the bad years they'd fire you and you'd say fuck you and go across the street to a boutique for a few years. Kudos, man.

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:26pm

The lower the pay. The reason for this is partially obvious; spreads in plain vanilla products are razor thin, where are spreads in derivatives and exotics are much larger in comparison.

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:28pm

what kind of govies are we talking about? plain vanilla, strips...? its hard to believe that a plain t-whatever trader could make 7 figures.

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:30pm

first of all you're talking sales not trading. secondly the size in treasuries is gigantic even if the margins are non existant.

MBS desks can be mean too, maybe you want to sell that?

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:31pm

That means that your bonus is based solely on the revenues you bring in. (The term's also used for financial advisors in PWM.)

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:38pm

M&A and Comms are traditionally the strongest/best groups. Financial Sponsors and Industrials are also traditionally very solid and up there..

Healthcare is solid, very likeable group, pretty busy (reputation for being a "sweatshop" - but not that bad now I believe ). Don't go to Consumer - very fratty group and hasn't been the same with dealflow since pre-'08.

Array
Sep 22, 2017 - 10:40pm

All the groups you mentioned (M&A, Industrials, HC, Comms, Consumer) are great. You'll have great exit opps from any of these groups if you do well, have a top undergrad, SATs etc. None of the groups at Citi are particularly bad...

Consumer does have a bit of a reputation for being "fratty"... unusually good exit opps this past year, but heard rumors that some of the analysts had connections that helped them get in

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:43pm
goldman in da house:
Have a good friend who interned with Citi. Their consumer team got several megafund placements out of 5 analysts.

Citi's top groups are M&A, Consumer, Industrials, Comms (much less now than before). HC is absolutely awful.

I don't know why you all want MegaFund so bad... sounds awful to me... go to a group and work 110 avg. for 2 years only to go to a fund where you work 110 avg. for 2 more years...

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:47pm
goldman in da house:
Have a good friend who interned with Citi. Their consumer team got several megafund placements out of 5 analysts.

Citi's top groups are M&A, Consumer, Industrials, Comms (much less now than before). HC is absolutely awful.

Don't you work at Citi? Just lookin through your past posts... either that or you're really close with that friend haha

Spoke with some current analysts about how citi does with pe placement and they said that 3/5 of the consumer analysts going to megafunds is kind of an an anomaly though most of their analysts do get some sort of PE gig. I would consider FIG one of the top groups as well (one of their analysts is going to J.C. Flowers)... apparently, Comms was indisputably one of the top 2 groups at Citi before the financial crisis but since then they've slipped a bit... Industrials is a great place to be, a lot of cool people and good dealflow. M&A is clearly the most desirable, after that it's not so clear.

Turnover is high and group cultures/exit opps change very very quickly. Find the people you get along with and join them...

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:45pm

Like I mentioned, I'm approaching it from associate standpoint, so really just concerned with dealflow, culture, hours, comp, reputation etc...megafund is not on my career path at this point.

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:46pm
wannabe2013:
Like I mentioned, I'm approaching it from associate standpoint, so really just concerned with dealflow, culture, hours, comp, reputation etc...megafund is not on my career path at this point.

In that case I would avoid Healthcare, Consumer, and M&A... you'll work way too much to have a good lifestyle and since you don't want to do PE, it doesn't really matter what your experience is... pick a group with chill hours

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:50pm

Your Best Division (And Reasons plz) (Originally Posted: 12/05/2006)

Ok, sorry if this has already been asked guys, but I've been through a lot of the threads and can't find solid info on this.

It would be a great help if you could tell me why you would prefer to be, or are in a certain division?

I would have said that I would have loved to get into M&A to be around the complexity and excitement of deals (and please don't say i'm being naive, i do understand that as an analyst you are given the bulk of the workload, and i still have a huge interest in the prospect of even this), however by reading some of the posts I would have said that most people want to try and avoid this due to overexertion, tiredness, and "being someone's bitch"...etc.

I've read all of the horrific stories from ppl who are already in the industry, (which I find quite wierd seeing as they must enjoy this to some degree to stick around?!) and I see what might deter some ppl from wanting to be in Ibanking, but i'm sure that if they can cope i'll be able to.

Thanks

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:51pm

I got the same view as you - getting in IBD so as to get deal exposure and excitement.

Of course, a lot of my friends are telling me that the money (which is definitely not my first motivation) is crap on an hourly basis, that I'll do menial XL work, that it's gonna be bad for my health and girlfriend & stuff like that.

But I just feel poised to do it, and to get that live transaction exposure, assuming I do well. Right now, I don't really care about hours / $$$ / exit ops / etc. All I want is DEALS, and possibly FT / WSJ cover once in a while. That's pretty idealistic, I know.

If, say, you have very strong sales skills, or a personnal background for money investing (say you placed your first trades when you were 15), then S & T / Investment Management could be good for you. That's said without any negative appreciation for these divisions.

But I think if you have that excitement, and meanwhile are aware of what you're getting into, you should be fine. Any insider's comment would be appreciated here as well, though.

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:52pm

Yeah, I'm well aware, nice to know that you do share the same viewpoint.

It'd be good to know what level you're currently at in terms of preparing yourself for entrance into the industry.

As I said in another thread I haven't even started my undergraduate degree yet but I am undertaking some relevant work experience at Dow Jones, which is giving me some decent exposure to financial markets and investment banks, and also some knowledge of financial analysis.

Also, I have only just started work at Dow Jones, but I also had an offer to undertake a gap year position at ABN AMRO.

Is it possible I passed up a great oppurtunity by choosing to work at Dow Jones over ABN?

If so i could quickly remedy this.

Sep 22, 2017 - 11:01pm

GS Illegal Substance Transportation

I hear those guys pull the biggest bonuses on the street.

Additionally, they are big on diversity (equal-opportunity employment). In fact, many of them come from non-targets, i.e. high school.

Sep 22, 2017 - 11:04pm
theHam1:
GS Illegal Substance Transportation

I hear those guys pull the biggest bonuses on the street.

Additionally, they are big on diversity (equal-opportunity employment). In fact, many of them come from non-targets, i.e. high school.

HAHAHA, great.

Sep 22, 2017 - 11:05pm

You get the Goldman name and M&A experience, will do a ton of deals.

Hands down the best group on the street. When the market was crashing, they were still doing crazy number of deals. This year, 3 offers from Blackstone, 2 KKR, 5 TPG is the rumor.

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