What's so good about Evercore?

Hey everyone,

I'm a sophomore getting into the full swing of recruiting and I've been browsing WSO a bit to hopefully get some insight into what to expect for this upcoming cycle. 

Before joining WSO, I'd only ever heard of the bulge bracket banks and never knew independent advisory banks like Evercore, Centerview, PWP even existed. People on this site seem to herald "elite boutiques" and the whole "I'd take EVR over GS" thing but I'm having trouble getting a grip on why (besides the pay delta). 

Can anyone go into a bit further detail about what's so good about Evercore and the rest of the EBs? What actually sets them apart from bigger bulge bracket banks?

Thanks!

Comments (66)

 
Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2021 - 1:43am

I'm joining full time at an EB you mentioned instead of a top BB (GS/MS/JPM) and here are my personal reasons for doing so:

1. Much better compensation, plain and simple. Not only is the pay nearly $50k more for some EBs for first year analysts, but the comp also scales higher as you get promoted. 

2. Better culture and the floor felt much less hierarchical. Senior folk do form good relationships with juniors and the smaller class size (~50 analysts per year nationwide) means you're able to get a more personal experience across the board. This also is a huge advantage for my next point: 

3. Similar exit opportunities, if not better. Nowadays, the quality of analysts at EBs are highly recognized by headhunters/PE/HF, so if you plan on traditional exit opps, you definitely are not at a disadvantage for recruiting. MDs will vouch for analysts and pull connections to help with exit recruiting. 

And, just to answer your original question, Evercore specifically is killing the M&A game above other EBs (except maybe Centerview). Just glancing at league tables, they're pulling in huge deals alongside Goldman, Morgan Stanley, and Citi with less than 2,000 employees globally. If you're interested in M&A, Evercore is 100% the place to be for the pay and experience. 

Good luck with recruiting!

 

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2021 - 3:35am

Agree with all of the said above. I'd also add that the learning exposure as a junior is better at banks like Evercore. My experience with bankers from Evercore was that they are much more technically equipped and polished than the BB counterparts. One comment I often hear from folks at the independent advisories is that they typically dig much deeper in conducting analysis. Also, many people who are focused on exiting to hedge/ distressed funds prefer these banks over BBs as well due to the experience and the looks they get from headhunters. 

The reasons that you've heard of bulge bracket banks are because they're simply larger in number of employees, have longer history (before the emergence of independent banks like Blackstone, - now PJT - Evercore, Moelis & Centerview) and have retail banking presence with thousands of brick & mortar branches, which means you probably have a bank account from one of these banks. Trust me when I say that once you're in the high finance industry, more people respect M&A or Rx experience at Evercore than one at a BB. If you want to make sure that your cabbie knows the bank you work at, sure you go work for a BB. From my experience, all my buddies who chose Evercore over GS (personally never seen MS/JPM as contention) at top undergrads (Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Georgetown, Chicago, Stern) knew themselves, weren't insecure about brand awareness amongst the entire world, and wanted the better experience. 

 
  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2021 - 1:12pm

Has #2 still held true in the current WFH environment? With all these threads floating around about analysts not being taken care of, especially the most recent class, just wondering if you have any insights on whether your second point is still true.

 
Jan 16, 2021 - 11:10am

I agree with and echo everyone's comments. Evercore hands down is solid choice!
GS is overrated these days

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Funniest
  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2021 - 3:17pm

Funny story when my PE firm raised a new fund and asked if any of the wanted to participate, only the associates who came from Evercore made the $200k annual income for 3(?) years cut to qualify as an accredited investor

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2021 - 3:15am

Maybe it depends on the school, but when I went to W ugrad the top finance kids tended to aim for EB (especially PJT, EVR, MOE LA, HL RX) or buyside, and those firms also recruited earlier (except for the BB women/lgbt/diversity events). 

Id echo the reasons the first commenter mentioned, in addition to EBs offering RX experience. BBs also have more uncertainty due to group placement, however the top BB kids usually got the best groups. But yeah, "elite boutique" preference isnt just a WSO thing from my experience, but it likely varies by school, though no one really says that term in real life (in fact, id advise you to never mention that term in an interview)

 
Jan 16, 2021 - 11:13am

This made me think of "IvyPlus". One of our backoffice interns said there is a thing called "IvyPlus".
Lmao, either your target or non-target.

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Jan 14, 2021 - 3:47am

Not sure which school you go to, but network and talk with top upperclassmen that went through banking recruiting. They'll tell you the real deal is Evercore and other top independent advisories.

 
Jan 14, 2021 - 9:53am

I'm a little skeptical on claims of better training and better culture. In my opinion, those are such group specific characteristics that it's hard to generalize across an entire firm unless you're talking about a very very small boutique.

However that said, have had a great experience working with Evercore bankers.

 
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 15, 2021 - 12:48pm

Training is probably hard to compare, but the laterals to even the "sweatiest" groups at Evercore like their lives a lot better than they did at their old BBs

I was in a notoriously (for Evercore) poorly-repped group and still worked way less than than any of my buddies at other firms. 

 
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jan 14, 2021 - 12:54pm

There are definitely things that are attractive about boutiques -- namely the compensation and positive sentiments attached to working at smaller institutions, be it the intimacy / responsibility / exposure or perceived exclusivity. But the largest driving factor behind competition for independent advisory roles being high is simply that the EBs recruit first. Thus, everyone interested in finance / banking will be recruiting for those roles. The best kids will get them, and the rest will keep recruiting through the summer and fall at the other BBs and independents. The underclassmen then see the best upperclassmen sign at the EBs and are convinced that those are the best roles because that's where the best kids are going and the cycle continues. If GS/MS/JPM started recruiting in February, I guarantee all the kids, no matter how gung ho they are about EBs, would still apply and take an offer there. 

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 1:53am

People definitely underestimate the importance of stuff like seeing where seniors/juniors at your school and in your clubs/fraternities go to work. Huge level of person to person as well as social (ie Evercore has cloud at target schools) influences that not enough people talk about.

 
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 15, 2021 - 2:38pm

original comment asked what UBS is paying analysts.. lol

 
Controversial
Jan 14, 2021 - 2:22pm

I've worked at both BB and EB full-time, so I need to correct some of what is being said here.

What's being said about comp and exits is right. Also right on technical focus, although that's more a function of doing M&A than anything else. If youre doing BB M&A, you'll have the same technical excellence...same if your industry group demands technical excellence.

 

What isn't necessarily right:
Culture. If anyone tries to comment on culture for an entire bank, don't believe what they say. Since time immemorial, culture has depended on the group and the personalities/characteristics of the senior bankers. That's why you need to get to know the people in your group during recruiting.

Hierarchy. This also depends on the group. In both BB and EB, I've seen well-regarded analysts directly address and communicate with clients on their requests with minimal oversight from senior bankers. In both BB and EB, I've also seen average or below average analysts not get this treatment. Being at an EB doesn't mean you'll suddenly be given more responsibility, and if you're well-regarded people will trust you to execute so they don't have to. 

League Tables. I don't pay much attention to bank-wide league tables (more attention paid to industry league tables). I will say that EBs in general are doing very well. But what people need to pay attention to are who are the key bankers in the industry, and at which banks do they sit. It's hard to figure that out as an intern though. But in just about every industry group, some star MDs are at EBs, some at BBs. Just follow those people

Placement concerns. I guess...I can't comment.

 

What's wrong: People respect M&A/Rx from Evercore > BB in high finance...only an intern would say that. I almost cringed when I read that tbh. What really matters is: 1) your experience, 2) who you work with, 3) how polished you are, 4) how detailed oriented you are, and 5) whether you can switch your mindset from thinking big picture vs. details, 6) etc. If you're at a bad group and lack all of the above, being at Evercore won't help. 
 

Side question: is it just me or are undergrads the only ones who actually use the term "high finance"?

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 15, 2021 - 2:13am

This is facts and youre just getting shit from the incoming summer hardos who jerk off to their eLiTe bOuTiquEs

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 5:09am

 

Side question: is it just me or are undergrads the only ones who actually use the term "high finance"?

This term actually has a long history. If you read any book about finance from the early 20th century they'll use haute finance (haute is just high in French) to mean basically the finance industry/network of capital allocators. See Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation as an example. IMO it was stupid then and it's stupid now, but it's a funny phrase to come across so often. 

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 9:26am

Eh I think you're alone here with that pet peeve. I personally like the term because jobs like FP&A, insurance underwriting, wealth management, etc. are very different from IB, HF, S&T, AM, or PE. I know jackshit about the finance world outside of "high finance", which is why I find the term useful to differentiate what we're talking about.

 
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jan 14, 2021 - 6:50pm

As someone that (also?) works at Moelis and has been around for a couple bonus cycles - not sure where your information comes from. 1st years start at $85k base (unless this changed somehow in the last couple months) but bonuses have historically topped out at $100k. I'd say we are comped in-line if not a little better than Evercore kids at the top end, when you include bonuses but Evercore's bonus range is much narrower than ours. Don't have detail on PJT but Centerview has hands down the best comp though, with kids taking home ~$250k 1.5 years out of undergrad.

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 9:34am

As an analyst I wouldn't worry too much on the comp difference between a GS/MS and Evercore -- maybe at CVP it is enough of a difference to move the needle.

 

In my mind the bigger difference is (generally) better culture, though this does vary group to group.  On an average, I would say the culture at a firm like Evercore, PWP, PJT, CVP is going to be better / less face-time vs. your average BB group.

 

More importantly though, with the exception of the occasional IPO that you are leading, financing work is incredibly uninteresting, and you don't really learn anything from each successive financing.  The level of M&A exposure you'll get at a firm like Evercore, and the ability to work on both the execution as well as the 'coverage' piece of it, is quite differentiated, and will provide a significantly stronger experience than what you would get at a coverage BB group, or even an M&A group, where you have no exposure to the industry side of things.  

 

When you combine all of these factors and consider that, within 'high finance' these are extremely well known / highly regarded, so you aren't really giving up anything in terms of exit opportunities, they are fantastic places to begin a career.  

 
  • Analyst 3+ in HF - EquityHedge
Jan 15, 2021 - 7:56pm

That difference in analyst comp shouldn't matter all that much unless you're someone who isn't planning on staying in finance for the medium-term. Earnings power ramps up considerably in the traditional HF / PE exits if you're starting from a top bank and exiting to a top buyside firm. If you are one of those people planning on exiting the industry after your analyst years, optionality will matter more than comp difference. In which case, the appeal of the GS / MS / JPM brand is further reaching. So, if you value optionality outside of finance more, go with the wider appealing brand. If you plan on staying within the industry, year 1 earnings are inconsequential (even less so on post-tax basis), in which case you should value team / culture / learning experience more.

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 15, 2021 - 12:45pm

I mean I get this to an extent, but regardless of whether financing work is interesting or not, it's kind of the essence of... finance... don't you think? Like there is no other job in the world of "high finance" (your words) that rely solely on M&A without an in-depth understanding of the financing process. Even PE investors spend a substantial amount of time thinking about structuring and terms with bankers. 

I guess my point is is that yeah, M&A is great and interesting, but knowledge of just that is like studying pure math-- it's useless in the vast majority of situations without a thorough understanding of the universe of products that make it work (e.g. debt/equity financing). I guess the only exception would be if you want to be an M&A banker for life. 

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 1:06pm
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