Comments (51)

Feb 10, 2009

I think they are done.

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Feb 10, 2009

All I know is that they're a bunch of ex-Credit Suisse guys that left their tech group to start their own firm.

Feb 10, 2009

They had a rough start and have fired some people but are still alive.

Sep 8, 2010

anyone know anything else about this firm? are they a good boutique with solid exit ops?

Sep 8, 2010

I can actually offer some more color here 1.5 years later now that someone's bumped the thread. My firm recently met with USA to discuss several deals they have in the works, and I was pretty impressed with them. They work heavily with all the big name tech guys (Google, et al) as well as a ton of tech startups in the Bay area.

They also have a model that's a little different - unlike most boutiques, they have in house equity research guys in addition to traditional bankers. They don't publish reports, but they stay up on their various industry verticals, chat with CEOs, etc, just like the BB equity research guys do. Their reports are all internal only, and it seems to give the USA guys a good view on the market.

If you're into the tech and startup scene, I'd definitely recommend looking further into USA.

Sep 8, 2010

Thanks for the info!

Jan 20, 2011

I find it funny that they're referred to as "USA"

Feb 8, 2011

any ideas where can you find the recent or the past deals that Union Square Advisors worked on?

Thanks guys!

Feb 15, 2012
Coolac:

any ideas where can you find the recent or the past deals that Union Square Advisors worked on?

Thanks guys!

are you f'ing retarded?

    • 1
Nov 14, 2016

I'll help you out...

http://www.usadvisors.com/

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    • 1
Nov 14, 2016

bump - anyone know the email format?

Nov 16, 2016
Aug 12, 2017

[deleted]

Nov 16, 2016

was told they're finished

Nov 16, 2016

From what I understand (aka I don't work there so take this with a grain of salt) they are rebuilding from a bunch of senior bankers leaving recently. Most guys opt to go to Corp Dev roles and start ups so they don't have a great precedent for buy-side exits.

That being said, they paid above street this year because they had a great year, and their deals are sizable enough that it would likely be a solid experience. Life/work balance might be slightly better than average depending what group you're comparing it to.

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Nov 16, 2016

Our department head is from there, and I have a former classmate currently there as well. They've been snatching up a lot of the large PE buyside deals recently. For exit opps, have to agree with the corp. dev. as the most popular choice but given the size of the firm I think that has to do more with individuals goals than the quality of their analyst experience. Obviously more exposure to private equity deals would be a huge positive for buyside recruiting... Based on headcount, a lot of chiefs and not a lot of indians, so definitely lean deal teams. Classmate enjoys the culture and said the seniors are flexible (he has a family and most senior guys do as well). Didn't share comp numbers with me, but he did say that this year's all-in was above top BB given the firm's great performance.

    • 3
Nov 16, 2016

Qatalyst, Jefferies, and Allen are not boutiques in the sense that your hours will be any better. You will be working BB hours at all three of those banks. If you do go to a true boutique, you will most likely not be making street pay (maybe half all in of what BB analysts make). I would take the BB offer, work two years, and then look at options with better hours.

Nov 16, 2016

Qatalyst will work you hard, but you will have exposure to blue-chip deals within the tech industry. If you want to do tech, you should go there if not a BB.

Nov 16, 2016

Last two years have been great for them with really strong sponsor transactions. I would still recommend the BB IBD job from an exits/predictably more solid experience POV.

Nov 16, 2016

"If you do go to a true boutique, you will most likely not be making street pay (maybe half all in of what BB analysts make)."

Generally, that may be true for boutiques, but as I mentioned above, classmate reported that all-in comp was ABOVE top-bucket BB this year. He's a sharp guy who loves tech and passed up other offers to go there.

    • 1
Nov 16, 2016

Confirming this. Love how people feel the need to come into threads and make sweeping generalizations about firms they know nothing about even though multiple much more well-informed answers have already been posted.

    • 1
Nov 16, 2016
Gotham's Reckoning:

"If you do go to a true boutique, you will most likely not be making street pay (maybe half all in of what BB analysts make)."

Generally, that may be true for boutiques, but as I mentioned above, classmate reported that all-in comp was ABOVE top-bucket BB this year. He's a sharp guy who loves tech and passed up other offers to go there.

We are probably different pages as far as what a "boutique" is then. If by "boutique", you mean a bank like Lazard, Moelis, or Evercore, yes, overall comp may be higher, but the hours will be no better. If by a "boutique", you mean a small, "no-name" shop, your comp will be lower and your hours will be better.

I would really base this off of long-term career goals, not what you think you may want now (not trying to sound pompous or anything). Good luck with your decision.

Best Response
Nov 16, 2016

Just my 2 cents. Union Square is definitely a good shop, I know people there and the dealflow is good. I think the lifestyle is there better than some of the other banks on the west coast, in no small part due to the management there and their receptiveness to junior level feedback. Comp was above street this year but they had a good year, right now too early to tell if it is an outlier or indicative of how comp generally is.

All of the above being said. I would recommend staying at a BB. If you truly have a desire to be on the West Coast I would try to discuss with the people at your firm if they would be willing to move you to the West Coast for full time. No guarantee it will work but if the bank has already made the decision that you're a solid guy they want working for them, a known quantity is always better than interviewing randoms that may seem good in interviews but turn out to be duds when they hit the desk. At the end of the day you will have to do what you are comfortable with, but there is something to be said for the bulge bracket name and I mean this outside the of the prestige / ego factor. Everybody knows Goldman, MS, JPM and that is something you will always have going for you regardless of where you go and what you do. You can tell people 20 years down the road that you started your career off at GS / MS / insert bulge bracket here, and it immediately credentializes you.

Want to this moment to step back and give you some high level thoughts. While this may seem contrary to the stuff I was saying earlier, this decision is important, but in the grand scheme of things it is not earth shattering. Yes, starting your career off at Goldman will give you access to more things than USA and will make it easier in some instances, but either way you are in by no means a bad place. You are a young guy about to more money than almost any of your peers in a job that gives you responsibility most 20 year olds can't even imagine. It helps to have perspective when it comes to things like this and realize that no matter what happens, you're in a great place career wise and the difference between starting at USA or a BB isn't something you're going to be losing sleep over 20 years from now.

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Nov 16, 2016

I had a friend that worked at Union Square Advisors and I know people that work at USA now. They really like it. The pay is street (new street base) and the bonuses are above street. The hours are great for investment banking. Usually when you have good hours the pay is bad/deal flow is not great or when you have high pay the hours are bad/deal flow is good, but somehow USA has good base, great bonuses, good deal flow and great hours! I was jealous of my friend that worked at USA because he was doing billion dollar LBOs and working 20-30hrs less than me...and he was making more money. If you want the boutique experience you should consider USA, but the team is small. It is a very small team. They have ~6 Analyst at the bank, so you won't have a huge Analyst class. All and all, I think USA is a great place for the experience of deals and the pay/hours.

    • 2
Nov 16, 2016

Good place, nice people. Would recommend.

Nov 16, 2016

you should go through the site's of Berkeley's biz frat careers page and contact that person. since i'm assuming that your from Berkeley.

Nov 16, 2016

Top guy (Ethan topper I think) left for Citi and brought a lot of people with him.. Idk if they've been able to maintain deal flow since then

Nov 16, 2016

do you have offer? otherwise this is not relevant.

Nov 16, 2016
Whiskey5:

do you have offer? otherwise this is not relevant.

This.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - DT

Nov 16, 2016
Whiskey5:

do you have offer? otherwise this is not relevant.

Jesus. Whiskey at it again. How is this irrelevant if he doesn't have an offer?

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Nov 16, 2016

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Nov 16, 2016

Union square has excellent deal flow, top quality bankers with a very strong tech focus.

It is very well regarded. Don't know about pay and FT conversion.

Nov 16, 2016
ibanker12:

Union square has excellent deal flow, top quality bankers with a very strong tech focus.

It is very well regarded. Don't know about pay and FT conversion.

agreed, USA is a very good shop within tech. they pay street as well, though no overtime, which kinda sucks for being in california =/

Nov 16, 2016

Thanks guys.

@ibanker12, I checked out Union Square's page, and their transaction seems to stop at june 2012. Is it simply because they haven't updated it yet, or have they hit up some trouble recently?

Nov 16, 2016

@seasb, I wouldn't read too much into that. It could very well be that they just haven't updated it. Try googling around or using any school resources to search for deals they may have done recently.

Nov 16, 2016

All the BBs except GS and JPM pay OT in CA. Qatalyst, which is prob the most comparable boutique to USA, pays OT as well. OT is more than norm than the exception in CA, at least in regards to BBs and BB caliber boutiques. I don't really know about smaller boutiques and MM shops.

Nov 16, 2016
archer:

All the BBs except GS and JPM pay OT in CA. Qatalyst, which is prob the most comparable boutique to USA, pays OT as well. OT is more than norm than the exception in CA, at least in regards to BBs and BB caliber boutiques. I don't really know about smaller boutiques and MM shops.

I didn't know Barclays or UBS paid OT. What about Moelis?

Nov 16, 2016

...

Nov 16, 2016

Union Square also has an office in NY; equally reputable as there is cross-polination of deals teams across different geographies.

Regarding other comments on OT, CS also pays OT for summer analysts in NYC.

Nov 16, 2016

Union Square also has an office in NY; equally reputable as there is cross-polination of deals with teams across different geographies.

I'll add that Qatalyst, is far superior than USA. We've seen Q on several sell-side mandates for top-notch tech deals at my BB. Haven't come across USA in this regard, personally.

Regarding other comments on OT, CS also pays OT for summer analysts in NYC.

Btw, anyone know how recruiting works at Qatalyst for experienced hires?

Nov 16, 2016

Any other news on these guys?

Nov 16, 2016

Does anyone know anything about their interview process / exit ops / pay?

Nov 16, 2016

Basically your traditional interview process, however didn't really get any technical questions, mainly fit and qualitative type questions. This was for SA btw, might be different for FT. Exit ops are growth/VC and pay is street.

Nov 16, 2016
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Apr 26, 2018