which EBs over GS/MS?

Are there any EBs you would take over GS/MS? PWP? Gugg? Or would you always take GS/MS despite the pay gap?

Mainly interested in analyst level but also curious about other levels

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 23, 2021 - 5:42pm

This is 100% right. Look at 1st half league tables this year, PWP had higher deal value than MOCO and PJT combined. CVP,EVR,PWP,LAZ,MOE,PJT are all comparable 

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
May 27, 2021 - 12:52pm

All great, I think those would be based more on whether you really want the smaller feel or prefer the industry group. However from conversations with top target students there tends to be a more unqualified preference for the three I mentioned (certainly some variance esp if you liked the team though). 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
May 31, 2021 - 11:03pm

Moelis ASO comp may touch it in your last associate year, but not in your first two. CVP is a different story - absurd comp 

May 28, 2021 - 2:28am

Greenhill is really a "how the mighty have fallen" story in some ways. Lots of senior exits and loss of profile in the market over the last few years. Still a fine firm but definitely doesn't carry the stature it once did.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
May 31, 2021 - 3:40pm

Guggenheim is not even close to the same league as EVR/PJT

Edit: MS from salty gugg losers. Hope you had fun at your nontarget

  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
May 27, 2021 - 2:02pm

This is a completely different question depending on whether you're looking at it from the viewpoint of an analyst or associate. At my MBA program, many pursue EVR/PJT/CVP/MOE/GUGG/PWP over MS/GS (Qatalyst and Allen & Co didn't recruit). The pay gap between those firms is just too large, especially at the associate 2/3 level. Prestige, brand name recognition, and rankings on WSO become much less important when you're coming in as a smooth-brained MBA associate. Those firms I listed are paying lights out at the associate level based on everyone that I've talked to. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 29, 2021 - 7:20pm

I'm at bofa/barc and I fuckin regret not taking my gugg offer lmao, prolly not over gs/ms but certainly over mid-bbs with the pay raise

May 28, 2021 - 2:36am

Can't say much about Raine as I don't know them though their hybrid merchant banking / investment banking model is pretty cool (believe LionTree does something similar though I think they are more siloed there but correct me if I'm wrong please) but LionTree is certainly an amazing option to consider. Not sure if they hire MBAs but if you're interested in Media deals then there's really no better place to be. They kill it in that space and have one of the best bankers in Media - Aryeh Bourkoff - who I can only imagine would be amazing to learn from. But I'm sure it's a sweatshop given the lean team structure and roll they generally take on on deals (either lead financial advisor or directly to the right of the lead). Not sure what their comp is compared to the bulges though..

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
May 27, 2021 - 2:46pm

Super group dependent -- PJT RSSG, Evercore M&A, GS TMT/FIG, MS M&A are all going to be preferred over the rest of the GS and MS coverage groups which are interchangeable with the rest of the EBs, which would be preferred over the DCM and ECM groups at GS/MS. Priorities change depending on the individual too -- some people would never want a three year analyst program, but for someone open to being a career banker, CVP should be their top choice. If you're die hard tech, then Qatalyst would be a top offer. Some people at my target straight up won't apply to Moelis and/or Lazard for culture reasons. This list goes on.  

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
May 27, 2021 - 4:06pm

Lumping the entire GS & MS probably isn't the right way to look at it. Overall, I'd always take any groups at Evercore or PJT over any groups at GS or MS. 

CVP would be the third top choice EB, with Lazard and Moelis as potential options over non GS TMT or MS M&A groups. In general, a no-brainer to take Evercore/PJT over GS/MS, and start comparing groups if it's CVP, Lazard, or Moelis. I wouldn't consider Gugg or PWP over GS/MS though. This should be the relevant all the way from Analyst to VP level.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 27, 2021 - 4:12pm

If you're chill with the three year program, CVP hands down. Top tier pay (make more than most buy-side associates in your second analyst year), work only on high-impact transactions, and get a high level of responsibility and client interaction. Other EBs as mentioned would be Evercore and PJT.

May 27, 2021 - 5:57pm

I'd take them all (EVR, CVP, PJT, Moelis, Lazard, PWP). GS TMT will have better exits than the average EB, but the average EB analyst will have similar exits to the average GS analyst. I'd rather be in a smaller group, with less bureaucracy, and much more pay than GS, especially in light of everything that's happened

Most Helpful
May 27, 2021 - 8:12pm

This might be an unpopular opinion, but here's my two cents for those who are fortunate enough to be weighing offers from GS / MS and an EB.

At the end of the day, the answer to the question of which offer to take depends on the individual. But in general, I would advise taking MS / GS over an EB because of several reasons:

1. Non-PE Exit Opportunities: There are very few ppl who know exactly what career they want to pursue at the age of 22. I've met ppl who claim they want to stay in IB or finance forever and leave after 2 years, and I have met ppl who never wanted to go into finance in the first place rise to become a VP / MD. Your career preferences and priorities will change as you progress through life, and as a result, GS / MS will give you an edge no matter what industry you choose to go into

2. Network: While it is true that EBs provide a more tight knit circle amongst the juniors, one cannot deny that MS / GS provides the broadest network due to the sheer size of the companies. The quality of the connections themselves is up for debate, but having alumni who work in top government positions (Steve Mnuchin, Tomas Nides) or go on to create leading financial institutions themselves (Frank Quattrone, Orlando Bravo) is invaluable in itself if you ever need to tap into the network in the future. This is one of the reasons why McKinsey is so powerful, because their alumni are literally everywhere in top positions across the world

3. Exposure: If you want to become an effective investment banker, in addition to being able to execute M&A processes effectively, gaining exposure and being knowledgeable in equity and debt products is also important. You will need to help clients run dual-track processes, and be able to understand the different types of instruments that can be used to finance a deal. Working at a company such as GS / MS will give you that experience

4. Key Man Risk: The history of EBs are still relatively new, with the exception of Lazard, most of them have been around for 20-25 years. When the founder retires, there is going to be a risk that the firm's performance will begin to deteriorate as a result. Now, as I said, that is only a risk, it's not certain what is going to happen when Ken Moelis or Paul Taubman stop running their companies, and they may well have great successors to continue on their legacy. But for prospective students who are entering the industry, this is a point worth considering. What happened to Greenhill after the founder handed over operations to a new CEO is a great example

Now, the benefits of working at an EB are well illustrated in this forum, so as I said, the question of which offer to take is highly dependent on the individual. The points above mainly serve to provide a different perspective to the ones already shared.

Lastly, if you are considering taking GS / MS over an EB, make sure it's for the right reasons, and not smth like prestige or the quality of PE exits, because those should not be the factors affecting your decision if you manage to secure these offers

Hopefully, this helps create a more balanced discussion, and any feedback or suggestions are welcome

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 28, 2021 - 11:50pm

Thoughts on doing AN/ASSOC years at an EB then lateraling to GS/MS for VP/D years then going to the best EB in 10 years? Lol

Pretty sure I want to do banking long-term and am going to Centerview but am worried about the firms post-Effron outlook

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 29, 2021 - 8:19am

Great post, I would also add that this depends on location as well. In the US, you can argue that most, if not all EBs present an attractive alternative to GS / MS. Whereas in Europe, that would be a different consideration

May 29, 2021 - 2:20pm

As an analyst, it doesn't matter which one you pick. You will be in a great position regardless

If you are an associate or a VP and above, go with the EB. Better pay, career progression and mentorship

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