Using Nepotism

Recently I had a talk with a relative asking about career advice. He's an investment banker and I asked him if he's ever had an intern. Obviously he tells me "he has" but more peculiarly he tells me that one of his interns was a higher-up's nephew. My relative was an Senior VP at WFB, so this kid probably just walked in one day with his CV/birth certificate and got the job. Apparently he wasn't a bad intern though and was on the phone helping on some deals. This is Investment Banking so this shit must happen on the fly and pretty often.

Do you guys got any stories on how you or a pier utilized family resources to get a prestigious internship or job position?

Comments (67)

Aug 28, 2019

Happens all the time in my industry.

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Aug 28, 2019
Malta Monkey:

Happens all the time in my industry.

"All the time" might be understating it

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Aug 28, 2019

Wow guess I better look to my distant family to see if anyone is in RE.

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Aug 28, 2019

Lol, my first internship was at my uncle's REPE shop.

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Aug 28, 2019

This reminds me when I was a junior at college I interviewed with Gs, barely knew anyone in IBd, but made up names on the fly and assigned them to different teams across the globe. Haha I still got the second round but I didn't clear that

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Aug 28, 2019

Wow what a G. I feel like I hear these types of stories often, maybe I should try this.

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Aug 28, 2019

I think the key is to utter a lot of names that are hard to pronounce and at an incredible speed so that no one has the time to dot them down

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Aug 28, 2019

I work in a 3-person department and my 2 colleagues got into the firm through family. Having said that, they are the most hard-working and meticulous people I have met. I honestly don't care if someone gets their job/internship because of family, happens ALL the time, AS LONG as that person is qualified and puts in the effort.

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Aug 28, 2019

Could not agree more. Family connections can create opportunities to fully utilize talents.

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Most Helpful
Aug 28, 2019
dto180000:

My relative was an Senior VP at WFB, so this kid probably just walked in one day with his CV/birth certificate and got the job.

I think this speaks to a misapprehension which seems pretty common across most of the junior IB people I've met or knew. Your average IB analyst isn't that special. It doesn't take exceptional intelligence or education to do the job; this site refers to you as "monkeys" for a reason. Which is why having something besides an ability to build a model quickly is a real asset when job hunting. Having a family connection is great and is a huge help, but I guarantee you that person goes through an equally rigorous interview process as you did. It's just that hiring managers don't really give a shit, and the interview process is bullshit 90% of the time, so the well-connected person gets the job on that basis (that they have same skill set plus connection); I would imagine it's exceptionally rare for a truly "unqualified" person to get an IB job.

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Aug 28, 2019

I understand and didn't mean any malice toward the person I mentioned. I'm still pretty young and in college so I apologize if my knowledge is not on point. I definitely agree with you, a network is important in job hunting and the family unit is apart of it.

You must be pretty experienced with the industry if you say that being an analyst is an easy job to get. I'm busting my ass off at a non-target to even get a chance to intern at a low tier bank and can't help but envy people who could get positions through family connections.

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Aug 28, 2019
dto180000:

You must be pretty experienced with the industry if you say that being an analyst is an easy job to get. I'm busting my ass off at a non-target to even get a chance to intern at a low tier bank and can't help but envy people who could get positions through family connections.

I didn't mean to imply that the jobs are easy to get. Obviously that isn't true, there is a tremendous amount of competition for a small number of positions. My point was more that if you blindly chose any one of the people applying for any given finance job (in an entry level position), you're going to get someone within a very narrow range of ability - almost everyone is about equally competent.

My objection to your statement is that people are getting "jobs" as a result of family connections. I know a bunch of people of whom that might have been considered the case, and in every instance that person was as good or better than the majority of their peers. I understand the point you're getting to, but it does make it sound as if those people are fundamentally not qualified for the position. It's like saying that a Wharton grad has some kind of unfair advantage in their job hunt because recruiters are more likely to pick up their resume due to the name of the institution on it

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Aug 29, 2019
Ozymandia:
dto180000:

My relative was an Senior VP at WFB, so this kid probably just walked in one day with his CV/birth certificate and got the job.

I think this speaks to a misapprehension which seems pretty common across most of the junior IB people I've met or knew. Your average IB analyst isn't that special. It doesn't take exceptional intelligence or education to do the job; this site refers to you as "monkeys" for a reason. Which is why having something besides an ability to build a model quickly is a real asset when job hunting. Having a family connection is great and is a huge help, but I guarantee you that person goes through an equally rigorous interview process as you did. It's just that hiring managers don't really give a shit, and the interview process is bullshit 90% of the time, so the well-connected person gets the job on that basis (that they have same skill set plus connection); I would imagine it's exceptionally rare for a truly "unqualified" person to get an IB job.

Excactly. That's why I bounced to tech once I knew I have an edge in that industry.

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Aug 29, 2019

smart

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Aug 28, 2019

My bro-in-law is head of risk at a top MM firm in Chicago and they didn't hire me for an internship. Fuckers.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

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Aug 28, 2019

Yeah I guess that might be understandable. My parents hate the the idea of nepotism and don't want me to ask about connections or jobs. They give career advice and stuff but internships opportunities from them are out the window.

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Funniest
Aug 28, 2019

Sounds like he's doing a good job at managing risk

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Aug 28, 2019

You... I wish I could give you more than this banana for that joke.

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Aug 28, 2019
analystguy1:

Sounds like he's doing a good job at managing risk

http://www.quickmeme.com/img/e5/e530f8897743ef5731f418b5eefce86cfad64fef8d9debad26e22e61c632da61.jpg

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Aug 28, 2019

Thats a damn shame

Aug 28, 2019

Not in IB but I suppose this story is nepotism at its finest. I had a close friend in engineering school whose dad was an exec of a business in a conglomerate and got his son into a very competitive aerospace firm through a 10 minute phone call to the conglomerate's CEO (who was a board member of the aerospace firm).

Safe to say no interviews were required.

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Aug 28, 2019

I heard something similar in another part of my family. A relative got to work on a Cern project during his freshman year. No interview required and mostly basic codes from what I hear.

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Aug 28, 2019

During my SA stint there was a kid whose father was the CEO of a top consumer luxury brand (Prada/Armani/Gucci type company). Kid did nothing but sit on his computer all day and surf the web. One day, towards the end of the summer, the rest of us are going about work when we hear "holy shit, look at this." Turns out the CEO of our bank personally sent him an email wanting to set up a meeting, so they could talk one-on-one. None of us could believe it.

Needless to say, he got the offer.

TBH though, not even upset. That's how the world works, nothing really to be done about it except grit your teeth and stay in contact with the people who were fortunate enough to be born with that luxury.

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Aug 28, 2019

Maybe the CEO was a fashion head

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Aug 29, 2019

Was he competent enough not to get fired as FT? Did he even learn anything during his SA?

Aug 28, 2019

Test comment

Aug 28, 2019

I interned at a large public company, with the COOs daughter. My boss worried about her discussing him with the COO at supper every night. Overall nepotism typically still requires the person to be qualified, which makes it acceptable to me.

On the other side, I've seen funds hire the child of a wealthy family as a sale associate, to gain access to the families wealth.

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Aug 29, 2019

re the funds - since you're generally hiring an IR person for their connections, hiring a well-connected scions seems well within the job requirements

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Aug 29, 2019

Most of business is the balancing of risk and reward.
Interviews are rarely a good way to screen a candidate, because you're really just screening for who is the best talker, not necessarily who really wants the job most or who is going to work hardest or bring the most skills.
Hence employers would vastly rather hire someone who is referred in - be it from some member of the team, an industry participant, etc. - because then that hire is a de-risked bet.
In other words, in the absence of suitable information, someone saying "this dude is a good egg, hire him" is better than no real info (ie. an interview) when making a hiring decision.
The cynical way is to look at this as nepotism. The way to help yourself is to think of whom you know who can refer you into the roles of your dreams.

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Aug 29, 2019

One of my best friends has done this. Works in PWM for a BB. His dad is an MD with a $1B+ book and essentially he joined his team there. Was essentially handed the job with a below a 3.0 GPA from a non target. Having said that, he is very good at what he does - prospects his own clients, reports to a separate manager, etc. I'm sure he wouldn't even get a first round interview without his dad but it is a good move by the bank as he likely will inherit the business when his dad "retires". As mentioned, happens all the time in the industry.

"I got a small circle, I'm not with different crews" - Lil Wayne

Maybe I led you to believe that this was a God given gift and not something I worked for, every single day of my life.

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Aug 29, 2019

everyone bitches about nepotism until you use it in your favor. Pulled some strings at work to get my buddy hired...I feel pretty damn good about myself, knowing how I was able to change his life.

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Aug 29, 2019

well maybe not "change his life" but you know what I mean

Aug 29, 2019

true dat

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Aug 29, 2019

So many I don't know where to begin.

On the IB side, I saw a decent number of interns who were children of clients. Nothing too interesting but it really demonstrated how different IB kids are from normal kids, because you could tell almost instantly who was a nepotism hire and who wasnt, based on behavior alone. After a day or two it was immediately obvious. Not sure if it's the months of IB recruiting that shapes you into a hardass or if you're just born that way . . but one way or another, by junior year summer you're a much more laser-focused person than the normal 21 year old and that becomes clear when you mix in nepotism hires with real IB kids.

Also worked at a nerdy, boring asset management firm that almost exclusively hires awkward math geeks. All dudes and ugly girls. So one day the interns show up and there's one girl who's an absolute 10. Looks like Natalie Portman 10 years ago on her best day. We assumed she was one of the new recruiters, no way could she be doing actual work at this place. Turns out we were wrong, she was actually an intern . . and a granddaughter of a co-founder of the firm. Only way someone like that ever enters the building.

If you have connections, use them. The way it usually works is, HR will set up a "courtesy interview" as if to imply that they're only giving you a brief meeting because they'd never let the actual hiring be polluted by nepotism. But the more senior the family member at the firm, the better these courtesy interviews tend to perform in the process.

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Aug 29, 2019

Sounds like the firm for me cause I suck at networking. :P

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Sep 1, 2019

I got hired at a "family business," a boutique firm. Supposedly got hired out of ~20 interviews, I don't know if that's a lot or a little.

What is significant with this case, is that everyone was the same religion / ethnicity, except me. And people were blood-related or related by marriage, in this brokerage, OVERWHELMINGLY... It didn't bother me at all, that I was the only non-(their religion), non-(country of origin)... I liked it, but I didn't understand entirely why I was there. From their perspective. I guess because it seemed like they stuck to "their own" so much. I was like, "Is this is a trick?"

It turns out it wasn't a good fit for me. But I wouldn't let anything deter you. Whether nepotism exists overwhelmingly or not, just do your best and go full force. Focus on what you want, do what you got to do, and keep knocking on doors.

Best.

Sep 1, 2019

It sound great you got hired. Thanks for the advice and perspective.

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Aug 30, 2019

Had a freshman as a summer analyst at my bank and we barely ever even have sophomores intern. Turned out to be the kid of the CEO for one of the biggest companies in our sector. Everyone was very on notice from our global head to make sure she had a good experience lol. She was good though and from HYP so can't knock it

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Aug 30, 2019

Both JPM and DB both got hit with fines for nepotism in relation to some non-US hires.
I was at a BB and an EB and it happens at both at the junior level. The only time it really bothered me was a hire of an Associate that was the pet of one of the heads of the bank. He was fun to be around but knew the amount of effort he had to put into everything was minimal since no one would complain. Likely jealousy on my part since every team he was staffed on was huge and all he "had" to do was make sure the comps sheet tied to the strip profiles of potential buyers.
No idea what happened to him but he was only there for about 18 months before they found something cushy for him to do elsewhere in the bank. In a big bank it happens and there are lots of places for those folks to hide until they find "their passion in life..."

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Aug 30, 2019

The person sounds really good at networking although under qualified.

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Aug 30, 2019

Or his parents were good at networking...

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Aug 30, 2019

Or that

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Aug 30, 2019

Beyond DB and JPM. At another BB, someone whose English is of bare minimum and had never belonged to the IBD system joined as VP, and promoted to ED 8 months later. The person's parent sits at the government and since the background has never been documented by any means, the person and the BB should be perpetually safe and sound. It is what it is.

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Aug 31, 2019

Yeah - they used their dad to get the interview because I would assume the bank works with his PE firm. Apparently they bombed the interviews so bad that their response was "you have no idea what you're doing" and ended the process until daddy called up furious and demanded they get the job. Then she literally gets an offer in hand. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

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  • Intern in Investment Banking - Generalist
Aug 31, 2019

Are there not anti-nepotism laws across finance? I totally understand the kids who got the job because their dads golf-buddies with an MD at the bank, but I was trying to get a job at a hedge fund my uncle works at but I would have to be in a different department (he did equities, so I would have to do commodities/fixed income) than him due to nepotism laws/policies? (not sure if firm rules or a law). Curious how people on this thread got around it.

Sep 2, 2019

Not a law, but could be an internal policy for relationship hires. I know several small funds that only hire interns based on relationships with the kicker being that their summer pay comes out of the pocket of whoever brought them in.

Sep 3, 2019

Ah yes, the questionable "process" funds. All joking aside there are good reasons for doing that, teams that work really closely and rely on explicit trust in those around them it makes more sense to do it that way.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Sep 3, 2019

I need to find golf buddies like that.

Sep 1, 2019

My question is, why do wealthy families even bother sending their kids off to IB?

What's he/she going to learn? What's the point?

Teach them work ethic? A normal job (waiter/waitress, retail sales e.g. Zara, H&M) is better at that.

The money? What difference does it make if you make $80k a year when your father makes like $10M a year (referring to those CEOs that you mentioned). Actually, it's not even $80k because they are there only for a summer. And don't most of these kids start in the family business after they graduate? Why bother sending them off to summer jobs where they won't build any real skills that can help your family business?

In lots of countries the real goal is either having humble children that know the value of each $1 or being so rich that your children don't have to work until they graduate a masters degree. Giving them an IB job ruins both.

Sep 1, 2019

People who's parents work a job to make 10M a year aren't wealthy, they are rich. As for why these people want their kids to work in IB, its the best chance of the kinds ending up rich.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Sep 1, 2019

Hmm I guess its more about what your parents do rather than how much they earn. Wont go into the rich/wealthy debate.

If your father is a CEO you can't really follow in his steps. If he is the OWNER and the family business is growing, then thats completely different.

Sep 2, 2019

If the father manages his family's money well and instills the right values in his children they should have no problem maintaining their wealth. Agree with OP, I don't really see why they would need to work in IB.

Sep 2, 2019

for the flex

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Sep 1, 2019

This happens all of the time because interns of this type generally don't do shit other than basic nonsense.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Sep 1, 2019

not sure if this falls under nepotism but I got my first internship in IB from an executive in 10 min after having a meeting with him. No interview, no grade check just got hired on the spot for an internship.

While this meeting was secured through cold calling, connections do matter. In my view, the real value stems from who your family/close connections can introduce you to and avoiding the painfull cold calls and rejections.

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Sep 2, 2019

Billionaire CEO of my last company got his son an IB kob in Dallas. The guy is now a VP at his dads company and an abhorrent human being. Hes being groomed to take over the firm but the guy didnt know the most basic things about the industry it operates in so many there are scared shitless of him taking over.

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Sep 2, 2019
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