Where are the most cutthroat people on Wall Street?

I'm trying to find what places to avoid. Is there a particular sector within finance where the most cutthroat people end up? Or is there no such thing as a field that attracts such people? I heard distressed funds, but I'm not sure the source is reliable.

Comments (39)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 1, 2021 - 10:44pm

Thanks for the link. I was also thinking beyond IB groups though. Wondering if anyone can comment on that.

Feb 1, 2021 - 11:05pm

Distressed for control funds IMO. Have to be ruthless. Can't remember the fund, but heard one straight up tried to invalidate a credit agreement altogether and seize the company. That is some cut throat shit. If you look at these funds websites, they almost have zero information on them, they are trying to be anon for a reason. Not distressed for control but into Aurelius Capital v Puerto Rico. Mark Brodsky. I actually think that while these funds are super cut throat, they would be one hell of a place to work/learn. Also, just because they do cut throat business tactics doesn't mean the work environment is bad. Possible that it is, I just don't know for sure. I'd think you'd have to be working pretty closely as a group to come up with these strategies so you are probably not hating eachother.

Feb 1, 2021 - 11:19pm

I believe as a vertical of investment management, distressed is probably the most ruthless as you guessed. In terms of industries overall, I would say financial institutions and fintech have a lot of sharks from experience versus other industries. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 2, 2021 - 2:39am

I was thinking that. What I'm wondering is, is it cutthroat on the inside (between workers) or on the outside (Elliott vs the world)?

Feb 2, 2021 - 2:18pm

There is no easy answer to your question because it is a prestigious, well-known PE firm with low turnover and high comp so it is very unlikely that anyone would be able to provide their experience without doxing themselves.

It can be collegial compared to other firms in the space because you are aware of the intense culture and would only stay if you feel comfortable to work on that type of an investment team. If it has a very intense and cutthroat culture, it probably would not have such low turnover.

It comes down to this, they work in intense situations and have a "unique" way of making money so the culture can be stiff and uptight but you may be treated well because you conform. 

Feb 3, 2021 - 3:30am

Distressed Funds usually has the most cutthroat business practices. Suing someone out of existence, BXing a family business, squeezing value chain so they could sell their business at a MUCH lower price, staging a employee revolts, fucking over employees and former employees, etc etc.

You have to have the idgaf attitude to last in Distressed, because a lot of times you'll be destroying someones lives in one way or another.

  • Intern in PE - Growth
Feb 3, 2021 - 2:03pm

You have any links / news articles elaborating on those tactics? Would like to learn more

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Feb 14, 2021 - 10:30am

I agree but think it's more MIRA than the broader Macquarie franchise. I would look at what they did to the UK regulated utilities if you're looking for examples of their sharkey behavior (earned them the nickname of the 'Vampire Kangaroo' by British media).


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