What are the top restructuring/distress debt advisory teams on the street for 2020 Summer Analyst recruiting?

I was looking into a ton of different firms: Miller Buckfire, PJ Solomon, Ducera Partners, TRS Advisors, Centerview? Where do these stand compared to some of the more established players? (Lazard, PJT, Evercore, Jefferies, etc.) Ranking would be great.

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Comments (26)

May 24, 2019 - 5:40pm

RX-prospie, sorry about the lack of response. Maybe one of these topics will help:

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  • More suggestions...

Hope that helps.

Jun 24, 2019 - 3:41am

The top firms would be HLHZ, PJT, LAZ and MoCo in terms of sheer deal flow. I came from a firm that just lagged behind them (EVR/GHL/PWP/Ducera) and thought it was a generally good shop for energy debtor deals and senior creditor (Term Loan advisory) but didn't get to see as much fulcrum/AHG experience. I got worked hard which also sucked...

Names that people focus on less that I'd recommend are: Ducera (I like these guys when they give us pitch decks), JEF (slanted towards UCC work), EVR (big group and get worked hard), GLC (smaller creditor-side boutique) and GUGG (absorbed the Milstein group that's had good debtor mandates for a smaller group but unclear of recent engagements).

I would avoid GHL, Rothschild, any of the operational groups (Alix, A&M, FTI), big four firms and generally the firms that have no mentions on Reorg/Debtwire (the experience probably directionally trends to smaller middle market or insignificant roles on debtor/"key creditor" mandates). Of course that's relative...these aren't bad places and are still incredible opportunities in their own right but they may lack in general placement (ie more ppl going to private credit / non-distressed vs. MF PE/top distressed funds), more pitch work, less consistent deal flow, lower pay etc. I would say the culture at top firms can vary quite a bit - try to find ex-analysts to give you an idea of what 2-3 years at a place will be like.


Most Helpful
Jun 24, 2019 - 10:34am

Completely agree with this. These are my thoughts and rankings (based off of personal experiences and talking to current analysts at many of these firms):

Tier 1: PJT Partners, Houlihan Lokey, Lazard
Tier 1a: Moelis, Evercore
Tier 2: Ducera, Rothschild, Centerview, PWP
Tier 2a: Guggenheim, Jefferies.
Tier 3 and below: Everyone else

PJT, HL and, Lazard have been killing it recently with their restructuring practice, and they always have the best exits. Moelis is also up there with the pack, but I've heard mixed opinions about the firm and how internal conflicts have worsened the atmosphere and reputation. Evercore's RX practice has been climbing the ranks, and they also have the manpower to crank - still produce some of the best exits on the street. From there, I would argue there's a noticeable gap, with Ducera, Rothschild, Centerview, PWP, Guggenheim, and Jefferies. I can't speak much on the firms beyond Evercore, but I hear Guggenheim is rapidly expanding its RX practice so that will be something to look out for.

Just based on my experience with recruiting, PJT and HL have been the cream of the crop at target schools. Outside of the reputation, exits, and talent at both firms, they also have a great culture. In terms of deal flow, I would say it varies - HL has been expanding its RX practice across regional offices (Minneapolis, Dallas, Houston, Chicago) so I would say LA/NY get the most, but this varies on the market/industry outlook. PJT has its primary New York office, but it's rumored that they're planning on opening more regional offices across the states. From an exit perspective, any of the top 5 firms listed will most likely open any door you want given you put in the work, especially PJT with it's fixed two-year analyst program. I admit I can't elaborate on much of the other firms below, but I'm sure they have great practices as well, but they have less deal flow and even less comp.

These are just my opinions and thoughts so take it with a grain of salt - it's best to get multiple people's opinions for sure

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Jun 25, 2019 - 10:02am

I would argue that those who don't work at the top RX shops tend to have it a lot harder. The league tables posted by DistressedFund123 give you a pretty accurate breakdown: HL/PJT/LAZ are top dogs. EVR and MoCo come in right behind them, and everyone else after is constantly working their tail off.

Can second that the top 5 RX groups are definitely expanding their regional offices, mainly in TX. Evercore has been the top dog, both M&A and RX focusing on midstream - they're heavily recruiting from targets now as opposed to the standard TX/OK for Energy groups so that's a big shift in the dynamic. Moelis Houston has done some great RX work and HL has been growing both its Dallas and Houston groups with great people (cyclical industries=wins). PJT will be a part of that mix soon as well so it's interesting how this will play out - it's about time their O&G/RX group stops working out of NY.

Jun 25, 2019 - 11:07pm

New and lean group that's brought in top notch MDs and relocated people from NY. Pretty sure they're recruiting SA2020 as one of the top students from my target signed, but I don't know where they are in the process. Most likely also recruiting laterals just to build out the group some more.

Jun 25, 2019 - 3:06pm

Probably worth noting that HL RX and PJT RX are both done with SA 2020 recruiting, as far as I'm aware. Lazard doesn't recruit directly into RX, they hire for a M&A and RX rotational summer analyst role.

  • 1
Jun 25, 2019 - 3:16pm

I know PJT RX finished, but I believe HL RX is still recruiting for its regional offices outside of LA. Lazard and Moelis run generalist M&A/RX programs, but I believe placement into RX is based on performance (?), where the top SA go into RX unless they extremely prefer M&A

Jun 26, 2019 - 1:01am

You can also look into Laz Chicago which has an RX specific summer analyst program as well as full time.

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