which city..

..should I address my cover letter to when applying to regional offices as first preference (Chi, LA, SF, Hou)?

For BBs, should I go with NY anyway?

Also, for OCR, if they list an HR contact in NY, should I just put that name/address anyway, or put the regional address?

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Comments (7)

Dec 27, 2010 - 6:48pm

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One of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.
Dec 27, 2010 - 7:02pm

Unless you have a girlfriend that you are dead-set on marrying and she is dead-set on one of the branch cities, you want to work at HQ. For the vast majority of firms, that means New York. There are a few reasonably nice firms HQ'd elsewhere (EJ in St. Louis, PJC in Minneapolis, Northern Trust in Chicago, and Wells Fargo in San Fran come to mind), but you do not want to start in a branch.

In terms of who to address the letter to, address it to whomever you contacted and/or know at the firm.

Dec 27, 2010 - 7:02pm

u can rise faster in branch offices osmetimes. there is less hierachy. more responsiblity. if u r very chill with the 1 or 2 md in the office, it coudl be better than working in teh hq where there are 20 mds in your group who don't know your name and aren't afraid to work you to the bone.

houlihan is based in la. imperial capital is based in la. those are the two biggest la banks that come to mind.

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Dec 27, 2010 - 7:14pm
u can rise faster in branch offices osmetimes. there is less hierachy. more responsiblity. if u r very chill with the 1 or 2 md in the office, it coudl be better than working in teh hq where there are 20 mds in your group who don't know your name and aren't afraid to work you to the bone.

Absolutely, and you can often find the same thing at a middle-market firm. If I were starting in Chicago, I'd much rather be working for RW Baird than a BB's branch office all things being equal. You just get a much bigger picture and there are fewer people from New York bossing you around. One of my friends who worked at a BB branch complained that the deal would always get sent off to New York to get finished and the New York guys would get all the credit and promotions.

That said, there's a lot of smart people working at branch offices- and if there's a manager there that you can learn a lot from- absolutely go for it. But in the aggregate, I think a middle-market firm would be a better experience in most material ways than a BB branch. It might also be a little easier to get into.

Dec 27, 2010 - 7:48pm

I have several legit reasons for applying to the regional city, the foremost being quality of life. And I have been assured by at least one of these offices that they send nothing to NY (and even said they are usually busier than NY)

I will be applying to MMs, but for those I know to just address my letter to the regional branch.

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Dec 27, 2010 - 7:56pm

Totally understand. New York City is an overpriced hellhole. I have a poster of a sandy beach on Lake Michigan pinned to my bedroom wall to remind me to spend less money so I can retire sooner.

If that's your reason, all power to you, but I still recommend focusing on the highest quality opportunities. I really think that's going to involve working at HQ. There are a lot of great firms that are HQd outside NYC- a lot of top-notch prop shops in Chicago, for instance, and a number of money management firms in CA and Boston.

But, if you're willing to put up with NYC for two or three years, you can always go get your MBA or MFE and escape after that. Just don't rule it out quite yet.

Dec 27, 2010 - 8:12pm

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