UBS vs Citi vs Barclays (IBD) for Summer Analyst

giantsfan349's picture
Rank: Monkey | 36

Have generalist offers for all three, trying to identify which to pick. Top groups at all three would be good, as a lot of information I keep finding is a little dated. Not necessarily looking to exit but would want to pick the firm that would give me the most options

Comments (35)

Dec 11, 2015

I'd go Barclays. Citi M&A has traditionally been their best group but they've been very quiet recently. UBS is almost unanimously considered the worst BB and I would easily eliminate it right away. Barclays does their M&A through their coverage groups, which is nice. Top groups are NR, Power, and C/R.

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Dec 11, 2015

The problem I'm running into is that I really liked the people at UBS. Do you think that Barclays/Citi have such a reputation advantage that I shouldn't consider it entirely?

Dec 11, 2015

Absolutely. Barclays has an awesome culture, I can't speak to Citi's. It's a wash between the two, in my opinion.

Dec 11, 2015

Citi > Barclays >UBS

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Dec 11, 2015

How is this up for discussion? Two European banks vs an american bank. To boot, Barclays still has a hiring freeze. Put in any other american bank and you might reasonably pick that.

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Dec 11, 2015

League table wise it's been Citi > Barclays > UBS for the past few years.

If I try to look at this as objectively as possible, I would take Citi but would definitely leverage the other two offers for better group placement (ie. M&A, whatever else you want). HR might not be able to get you a direct hire into a group, but at most BBs I've heard of they are at least willing to talk you up to the staffer/give you contacts to talk to network with that will all give you a leg up in the placement process.

Obviously though fit is super important and I think it's totally reasonable to pick any of the three if you really like a certain group for whatever reason.

Dec 12, 2015

Is this for NY? In EMEA Barclays has the worst reputation while UBS has some teams that kick ass (fig).
I would go with Citi anyway.

Dec 11, 2015

All are for the NY office

Dec 22, 2015

Citi EMEA for advisory better than Barc, you've got to be joking...both UBS and Barc undoubtedly beat Citi in Europe. It is quite literally nowhere to be seen. No bias - am not at any of these

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Best Response
Dec 12, 2015

As someone else mentioned, use the fact that you have multiple offers to secure a group-specific offer somewhere.

Reputationally, Citi and Barclays will do more for you than UBS. If you're set on UBS because you liked the people, FSLF has historically been the strongest group there. At Barclays, all the legacy Lehman groups are strongest: NatRes and Power lead the pack. Citi M&A is great. I've heard good things about Transpo there too, but I can't confirm anything about placement.

To get a group offer, get in touch with HR and explain that you have three offers, remain very interested in their firm due to being impressed by the people you spoke with and everything you learned about [culture/responsibilities/reputation/professional development opportunities/mobility/etc.], and were hoping you could explore your interest in [strongest product group/strongest coverage group(s)] further by speaking with the staffer.

They'll be pretty quick to make introductions to staffers in those groups and alumni across IBD. Be polite and respectful, don't be in a rush, and take the time to get to know people. Meet the staffer, impress him/her, ask to be introduced to a couple analysts in the group, meet each of them, and (days later) go back (phone is fine for this one) to the staffer to ask if they're interested in extending a direct offer to you. The staffer is the decision-maker. If they say yes, it's all cleared internally. Going through HR is not the way to go.

Do this at all three firms. It will help you meet a lot of people (and if you're making a positive impression, staying in touch with those people can only be helpful during your career), and if done right, can get you the group offer you want at the firm you want. Make sure to follow up with everyone you meet during this maneuver after you sign somewhere. Give them a call and explain your decision-making, thank them for their time, and reaffirm your desire to stay in touch. Actually stay in touch, both before and during the summer.

You can leverage this to move between firms if for some reason you don't feel culturally at-home or fail to receive the return offer. Being in touch with people like this means you can get into the accelerated interview process the other bank(s) has, and those often kick off before offer decisions have been communicated. This is a great way to hedge if you're unsure you're getting an offer (which means you likely aren't); you can wind up with an offer from another firm who wanted you for the summer and was pleased you stayed in touch all along and is under the impression that things are going well at the firm you summered at and they'd be lucky to steal you away.

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Dec 11, 2015

Thanks for your input! I'll definitely follow what you suggested.

To inform you a little more about my process, I came away really liking the people at UBS, slightly liking the people at Citi, and really not liking the people at Barclays. In terms of an alumni network its strong at UBS and Barclays, not as much at Citi. As a result I'm definitely more interested in UBS but I want to make sure I'm not making an uninformed decision. I'm pretty sure that I can get into FSLF, M&A, or Industrials because of Alum, so I'm not overly worried about ending up in a bad group.

When you say that Citi/Barclays has a better reputation, how big do you think the difference is between the two and UBS? Slightly more long-term I'd want to work in upper-MM PE or stay in banking-- do you think choosing UBS (assuming I am lucky enough to go back full time) would adversely affect getting into PE?

Dec 11, 2015

The difference is certainly substantial. UBS is hands down the bottom of the BBs. Now, culture definitely means something but if you think you could survive at Citi I would definitely take it. You can obviously still get into PE but it will be much easier from Citi than UBS.

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Dec 12, 2015

Barclays NYC doesn't have an M&A group, all the industry groups do their own modeling. That's definitely a plus. Also, a large proportion of their senior US bankers are legacy Lehman, and Lehman had some very strong advisory teams (stronger than Citi, imo.)

Ultimately though, I don't think Citi vs Barclays will have significantly different exit opps, preftige, etc. They're close enough that your primary decision motivator should be culture. Pick who you liked more. Also, go where you have a stronger alumni network (they'll help alot with group placement, and trust me that matters.).

Dec 13, 2015

+1

Dec 13, 2015

Personally, I'd go with fit first. After that you should keep in mind that Barclays follows a rotational program for its juniors, so if you aren't sure what you want to specialize in you may find that beneficial.

Dec 13, 2015

bump

Dec 11, 2015

bump

Dec 20, 2015

Are you guys actually giving this guy a hard time for saying UBS is the weakest of the three?

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Dec 21, 2015

No, I do agree with the poster that UBS is the weakest one out of all three, but for different reasons.

Above posts give out impression that it would be "much easier" to exit to PE firms coming from Citi than UBS and this implies that UBS has the weakest exit opportunities out of all three. This I do not agree with and I am curious where the poster got the idea from.

Dec 22, 2015

There should really be a sticky at the top of the IB forum that says:

"if you have to pick between offers at different banks, just go for the most prestigious one"

Would literally resolve like 50% of the threads on here.

You know you've been working too hard when you stop dreaming about bottles of champagne and hordes of naked women, and start dreaming about conditional formatting and circular references.

Dec 21, 2015

Agreed.

I would add two more things though: the shape of the bank and what team you will be put in.

Dec 22, 2015

There is a distinct possibility that UBS completely shuts down their entire investment bank.

Will this happen? Probably not entirely, but I know I wouldn't want to work in an environment where that is a possibility. Same thing with Barclays, but to a lesser extent.

Go Citi, stay away from European banks (there is a higher freeze for a reason)

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Jan 19, 2016

They are the one European bank that is hiring...

Jan 19, 2016

Does that seem likely? It needs the IB to feed its WM business. The cuts over the last few years, imo, have put it right.

Jan 19, 2016

Curious as to which bank you chose?

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Dec 11, 2015

Ended up choosing UBS, but leveraged other two to get a group specific offer

Oct 20, 2016
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Jan 19, 2016
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