Wells Fargo vs. Tech Boutique (think Union Square/GCA/FT Partners)

Would love to hear people's thoughts on the comparison between Wells Fargo IB (platform offer - all divisions and locations) vs. a small tech boutique (think USA/GCA/FTP in NY office) for SA position.

Here's what's important to me:

  • Learning experience & responsibility
  • Potential to re-recruit for full time at BB or EB
  • Exit ops - preferable PE or lateral, and the more optionality the better
  • Getting experience in tech/TMT (whether at SA stage or later on)
  • Culture

Thank you so much for sharing. This community has been incredibly helpful throughout recruiting.

Comments (22)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 10, 2020 - 1:12am

Dont be short-sighted. If it is USA or FTP take that over wells. Wells is known for screwing kids over by putting them into a non-ib role during group selection. That said doesnt make much sense to take usa or ft if u dont actually have a passion for tech, software, or fintech

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 10, 2020 - 1:24am

Thanks, this is helpful. If I were to somehow guarantee that I get into a decent Wells group in NY, would you still recommend the tech boutique?

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Sep 10, 2020 - 11:39am

Can you extrapolate a bit? I'm going to be chatting with them soon (summer assoc role) and want to get a sense of how to approach this with them.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 15, 2020 - 5:32pm

Not sure how accurate this is currently - everyone I know who received a platform offer within CIB received their top 1st/2nd choice group. Additionally if you go to a target school for a specific office i.e. USC / Cal / UCLA for SF, you're placed directly into that location.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 10, 2020 - 1:22am

Yeah I've heard of that pay for interns, but I think learning experience and future opportunities are more important than summer comp to me. If summer comp was the same, what would you say?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 10, 2020 - 2:39pm

if you are 100% sure you want to do software take USA/GCA

if you are 100% sure you wanna do fintech take FTP

if you arn't then take Wells (bigger and louder brand, but the aforementioned are stronger in their niches)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 15, 2020 - 12:04pm

TMT WF here, I've had a good experience. Working on a few different live sell-sides, closed an IPO, SPAC sell side, etc. Comp is solid too and I've gotten looks at MM PE / growth equity / LS equity HF's. Solid experience all around - I'm sure it's better from an exits / deal flow perspective at a higher ranked shop, but I'm happy enough that I'm staying the full analyst program before leaving. Culture is good too. Banking is banking, so you will get worked, but that comes with the territory. 

One major upside in this environment is job stability at a large bank. I've heard great things about GCA though and recruited there while in undergrad. They recently did the Luminar sale to a SPAC, which was a pretty big deal. 

Can't speak for FTP other than I know one guy who absolutely hated it there, but it seems like you develop a deep industry expertise within fintech. 

Personally, I'd focus on the firm that develops the best technical skills / exposure to software, as that's where much of the tech investing activity is. 

Sep 15, 2020 - 5:21pm

Thank you for the informative comment. I just received an offer at Wells, and was curious if you'd be able to PM me to chat about your experience a little more?

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 17, 2020 - 11:34am

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