Wells Fargo (IBD) vs. Baird (IBD)

I haven't seen a direct comparison between these two banks, and I'm just curious what everyones' opinion is.

Obviously they have different deal sizes, but they're both growing substantially. If you had a choice between the two, which bank would you choose for SA?

Comments (38)

Jul 5, 2013

.

Jan 28, 2013

Disagree entirely with Raptor. Would take Baird.

Jul 5, 2013

HLHZ most respected out of 3 (if restructuring included)

however, i think id pick the best location and people

Jul 5, 2013

assuming HL is M&A, I would take Baird.

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Jul 5, 2013

Do you think Baird trumps HL unequivocally? Does one of HL's better groups (CFR) hold its own vs Baird in Chicago/Midwest?

Jul 5, 2013

No. Houlihan has been doing very well for itself the past couple of years.

Jul 5, 2013

Not sure I'd say 'unequivocally', but I think overall Baird is the better platform in Chicago. Fewer hours, better pay, better exits.

Now if we're talking HL restructuring in NY/LA, it's a different story

Jul 5, 2013

LA and NYC for RX. CF is just starting to gain traction and is very group dependent. There are only a few sectors that have built out groups and consistently do $200-800m deals.

Jul 5, 2013

Do you know what Baird pays FT analysts?

Jul 5, 2013

I believe they joined the group of firms moving to 85-95-105.

Jul 5, 2013

Really depends on the group.

Jul 5, 2013

Baird or Houlihan. Houlihan out of Chi would likely be Consumer, a group that has been doing well. But, I would probably go Baird.

Jul 5, 2013

I would go Wells to be in Cali tbh. Commit to networking hard while you're there to make sure you end up up in CA. If you don't have strong regional preference it depends on group as above.

Jul 5, 2013

What did you end up choosing?

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Jan 28, 2013

Nouveau can you elaborate a little bit please?

Jan 28, 2013
A2Allegiance:

Nouveau can you elaborate a little bit please?

Sure thing. For starters, I might need to go back and find data to support some of my claims ex post facto, but if nothing else, given two banks of similar "prestige," I almost always lean towards the privately held company.

What are the implications of being private? It means that the bank will act independently and to the extent that they do underwrite (as Baird does) they won't take irrational risk in doing so. This model naturally makes a shop more inclined to lean on pure advisory services like M&A whereas Wells is going to want to use that big ass balance sheet of of theirs to finance the shit out of everything. This means when seeking a mandate, the senior M&A banker at Wells doesn't know if he got hired because his team was able to differentiate itself intellectually or if they just got it because the Cap Markets or Corporate Banking teams had the client by the balls via staple financing or the exertion of influence via their credit facilities (respectively). The Baird/William Blair/Harris Williams/etc. players of the world will literally never have to worry about that and can rest comfortably knowing that their services are actually the driving force of their business.

To put it another way, if I had to work at a different bank, I know that my shortlist would possibly include Baird and definitely include select contemporaries like Harris Williams, but it would never include Wells Fargo.

Let me know if that clears things up at all.

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Jan 28, 2013
Nouveau Richie:
A2Allegiance:

Nouveau can you elaborate a little bit please?

Sure thing. if nothing else, given two banks of similar "prestige," I almost always lean towards the privately held company.

What a joke answer. So Baird > GS, MS, JPM, DB, Citi, BoA, Wells, and CS because they're all public?

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Jan 28, 2013
Raptor.45:
Nouveau Richie:
A2Allegiance:

Nouveau can you elaborate a little bit please?

Sure thing. if nothing else, given two banks of similar "prestige," I almost always lean towards the privately held company.

What a joke answer. So Baird > GS, MS, JPM, DB, Citi, BoA, Wells, and CS because they're all public?

Dude, literally just read what you quoted before responding to it.

Edit: Also, maybe try reading the part of my answer you didn't quote, where I laid out my case pretty clearly. I'm not being unreasonable here and am unambiguously stating it as a preference, not a directive.

Jan 28, 2013
Nouveau Richie:
A2Allegiance:

Nouveau can you elaborate a little bit please?

Sure thing. For starters, I might need to go back and find data to support some of my claims ex post facto, but if nothing else, given two banks of similar "prestige," I almost always lean towards the privately held company.

What are the implications of being private? It means that the bank will act independently and to the extent that they do underwrite (as Baird does) they won't take irrational risk in doing so. This model naturally makes a shop more inclined to lean on pure advisory services like M&A whereas Wells is going to want to use that big ass balance sheet of of theirs to finance the shit out of everything. This means when seeking a mandate, the senior M&A banker at Wells doesn't know if he got hired because his team was able to differentiate itself intellectually or if they just got it because the Cap Markets or Corporate Banking teams had the client by the balls via staple financing or the exertion of influence via their credit facilities (respectively). The Baird/William Blair/Harris Williams/etc. players of the world will literally never have to worry about that and can rest comfortably knowing that their services are actually the driving force of their business.

To put it another way, if I had to work at a different bank, I know that my shortlist would possibly include Baird and definitely include select contemporaries like Harris Williams, but it would never include Wells Fargo.

Let me know if that clears things up at all.

Most of WF's M&A is middle market and in the MM, balance sheet financing rarely comes into play.. if anything, being able to arrange private debt is more important I would say in the MM because of smaller company sizes and less of a need to go into public market financing (i.e. syndicated debt). So I wouldn't entirely say this is an intellectual capital vs. balance sheet strength game here. If anything, at WF, you may get exposure to upper MM deals that require financing capabilities or sponsor financing transactions, which is good exp for PE.

I think the best thing about working for a private company is that bonuses are going to be in cash and that it will move less with the markets (I work at a top MM similar to Baird).

Jan 28, 2013
Nouveau Richie:
A2Allegiance:

Nouveau can you elaborate a little bit please?

Sure thing. For starters, I might need to go back and find data to support some of my claims ex post facto, but if nothing else, given two banks of similar "prestige," I almost always lean towards the privately held company.

What are the implications of being private? It means that the bank will act independently and to the extent that they do underwrite (as Baird does) they won't take irrational risk in doing so. This model naturally makes a shop more inclined to lean on pure advisory services like M&A whereas Wells is going to want to use that big ass balance sheet of of theirs to finance the shit out of everything. This means when seeking a mandate, the senior M&A banker at Wells doesn't know if he got hired because his team was able to differentiate itself intellectually or if they just got it because the Cap Markets or Corporate Banking teams had the client by the balls via staple financing or the exertion of influence via their credit facilities (respectively). The Baird/William Blair/Harris Williams/etc. players of the world will literally never have to worry about that and can rest comfortably knowing that their services are actually the driving force of their business.

To put it another way, if I had to work at a different bank, I know that my shortlist would possibly include Baird and definitely include select contemporaries like Harris Williams, but it would never include Wells Fargo.

Let me know if that clears things up at all.

Would you take Baird/Blair/HW over LAZ/GHL/EVR?

Jan 28, 2013
BTbanker:

Would you take Baird/Blair/HW over LAZ/GHL/EVR?

Nope.

Apr 4, 2013

This.

Nouveau Richie:
A2Allegiance:

Nouveau can you elaborate a little bit please?

Sure thing. For starters, I might need to go back and find data to support some of my claims ex post facto, but if nothing else, given two banks of similar "prestige," I almost always lean towards the privately held company.

What are the implications of being private? It means that the bank will act independently and to the extent that they do underwrite (as Baird does) they won't take irrational risk in doing so. This model naturally makes a shop more inclined to lean on pure advisory services like M&A whereas Wells is going to want to use that big ass balance sheet of of theirs to finance the shit out of everything. This means when seeking a mandate, the senior M&A banker at Wells doesn't know if he got hired because his team was able to differentiate itself intellectually or if they just got it because the Cap Markets or Corporate Banking teams had the client by the balls via staple financing or the exertion of influence via their credit facilities (respectively). The Baird/William Blair/Harris Williams/etc. players of the world will literally never have to worry about that and can rest comfortably knowing that their services are actually the driving force of their business.

To put it another way, if I had to work at a different bank, I know that my shortlist would possibly include Baird and definitely include select contemporaries like Harris Williams, but it would never include Wells Fargo.

Let me know if that clears things up at all.

Jan 28, 2013

wells fargo by a hair...

Jan 28, 2013

Again, roofstreet can you give a little reasoning behind your answer?

If you look at Wells growth YOY it's pretty incredible, but the culture at both banks is strong. For some reason I just feel like exit opportunities would be better at Baird, but someone feel free to correct me!

Jan 28, 2013

Take Baird hands down. Mostly for what NR said. WF wins M&A mandates leading with their balance sheet, where Baird wins mandates based on intellectual capital. I also look at it as Baird being a top MM and WF being a low their BB. I would acutally be inclined to take Baird over several other BBs.

To add to what NR said, PE/HF exit opportunities are extremely good at Baird. I know several current analysts at WF having a hard time making a move to the buy-side. SA conversion rate is a lot better than WF. Culture at Baird beats WF. And assuming this is for Baird (Chicago) and WF (Charlotte), Chicago beats Charlotte.

    • 1
Jan 28, 2013

I always thought Baird was one of the most prestigious ones in Chicago. If it is WF New York office, I would pick WF because NYC is where I really really want to live. Other than that, I would pick Baird.

Jan 28, 2013

The thing is, that it would be Baird (Milwaukee). Has anyone heard of lateraling to a different office after SA?

Jan 28, 2013

Baird is utter shit. I know lots of kids from there who go into crappier banks or fund of funds. those are ur 2 exit ops.

WF sucks too but doesn't suck as much.

Both are just horrible

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Jan 28, 2013

^^^ I thought trolls were supposed to be funny?

Jan 28, 2013
A2Allegiance:

^^^ I thought trolls were supposed to be funny?

Not always funny, but certainly obvious.

Regards

Jan 28, 2013

I would take Baird Milwaukee over WF- switching to the Chicago office is very easy (lot of people do it 3rd year), though lots of them prefer Milwaukee because COL is so much lower. You don't need to look very hard on this site to find analysts who work at WF (they won't usually say WF, they will group it with better banks) who are looking to go to PE/HF and have absolutely no options there. Baird places quite well into PE in Chicago, great culture, pays well (the all cash bonus is nice), I would take it in a heartbeat.

Jan 28, 2013

Baird. It's not even a question. Great firm, great people (not to say WF doesn't have great people), a great reputation, and they've been doing really well.

Jan 28, 2013

Baird no doubt. They also have a scholars program where they'll pay for your b-school and promote you to an associate. Not only is Baird more of a true investment bank, I've learned that almost the entire pool of bankers in the associate and beyond level have MBA's and JD's as it's a requirement to get promoted to associate at Baird. WF has a lot of analyst promotes without MBA's/JD's or other real outside team management experience from the business world so at Baird you'll have associates/vp's with more big picture minds as mentors who are better at instituting firm culture, teamwork, etc.

Also will say that WFS's only group that does some decent advisory deals is their energy group. Everything is else is balance sheet driven. at the end of the day, wf 's focus will always be on their mortgage and s&l business.

Elite Boutiques (Evercore, Moelis, Perella, Quatlyst, etc.) > GS, MS, JPM > Citi, BAML, DB, CS >= Baird, Blair, HW, HL > WFS, Jefferies, Piper, Cowen, UBS, > Imperial, Duff Phelps, Lincoln > Other

Jan 28, 2013

Personally would go with Baird, I think the firm has a stronger relationship with MM PE shops to which you can exit.

Jan 28, 2013

I think it really depends on what the OP is hoping to do long-term. Baird has a great program for sending analysts through business school and promoting to associate, but at WF that 2-year program would be unnecessary (read: does the OP want to do business school?). Baird has solid brand recognition in the MM finance world and would help with a transition into a MM buyside role, but at WF you have a global brand that is more widely recognized and would bode well for a move into IR / Corporate Development / non-finance role (read: does the OP want to stay in finance long-term or pursue a buyside job?)

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Mar 30, 2013
Apr 4, 2013