Would you take Dyal & Co, DBO Partners, or Ducera over PWP?

Would you take Dyal & Co, DBO Partners, or Ducera over PWP? Why or why not and how are these newer firms perceived?

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Comments (26)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 16, 2020 - 12:27am

Would say it depends on your risk tolerance. I would as I come from a target so feel like there's more leeway and the firms you are comparing to PWP are not no-name boutiques, but highly regarded firms. Feel like you'd get a more rich experience and deeper engagement with senior folks than at PWP.

Another factor to consider is which group / office at PWP? If PWP nyc, that could be a tough choice, but if its PWP SF, I'd much rather take DBO

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
May 16, 2020 - 1:20am

Based off of OP's comment history, it looks like they work at Dyal. As an alum of 1 of the other 6 top EB's (PJT/Moe/Laz), my opinion is that PWP is miles above the other firms. The other 3 shops OP listed are growing quickly and showing promise, but no UG in their right mind is taking DBO over PWP right now lol

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 16, 2020 - 2:08am

Not sure why MS i agree with the sentiment (at an EB as well)

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 16, 2020 - 2:04am

I would take PWP over these firms only because it has a considerably larger name, and I'd feel better about myself when I recruit for buyside. But, in terms of the overall experience, I wouldn't be surprised if you gained a more engaging/educational experience at these smaller shops where you work on solid deals directly with rainmakers. The unparalleled exposure to these senior bankers (along with great pay, strong deal flow, and intelligent team) might be attractive to someone who doesn't care as much as writing down the biggest name on the resume.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 16, 2020 - 3:07am

How can I secure interviews with these firms? Particuarly interested in recruiting for DBO and Dyal, but I can't find any applications. Do they only recruit at certain schools? And does anyone know if they're taking interns for next summer?

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
May 16, 2020 - 3:51am

they as in DBO Partners not sure about Dyal or Ducera

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 16, 2020 - 3:49am

It depends on what you value.

If your goal is to recruit on-cycle and go to PE after 1-2 years in banking, PWP is probably your best bet. This is probably no duh information, but the brand is more established with headhunters and the analyst classes are relatively larger. The latter translates to a broader base of second years to give referrals, which provides you access to a broader roster of headhunters and funds.

If your goal is banking for life, the other three are more desirable places to be in. This is primarily due to lower amounts of mid-level folks resulting in a clearer path to becoming a senior banker. Additional responsibility translates to an accelerated learning curve, but not everyone is into the lifestyle that accompanies that responsibility at the junior level.

The most important thing though is culture. You can read online about the differences between Joe Perella (HBS) / Peter Weinberg (GS/Weinberg) and Mike Kramer (Cal State Northridge). If you're a more introverted person that prefers a white-shoe environment, PWP will let you stay focused on your work. If you prefer a more raucous, collegial type environment, Ducera would be a much better fit. I put this last because 90% of the students that read WSO won't factor in culture until they're clinically depressed after their first year. Instead, they'll just accept an offer to the highest ranking firm on WSO's hourly IB ranking posts.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 16, 2020 - 7:25am

I'm an undergrad who went thru recruiting last year (going to BB). I would take PWP easily over others.

Why: I want to go to PE and I want to have a more prestigious/recognizable school on my resume when I apply for b-school.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 16, 2020 - 2:10pm

Heard the same about DBO. Long hours (even for IB) but are paid in line with EBs.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 16, 2020 - 6:17pm

Dyal is a very cool shop. Absolute rainmakers at the top. Very few people at the junior and mid level which means if you want to stay in banking and do M&A and are risk tolerant I would absolutely pick it. Ducera is very similar in that they are rapidly growing, there's a lot of demand for RX right now, and it's more top heavy so they need more junior staff, and if you're interested in doing RX long term I'd consider it over PWP but I'd be less sure of this than Dyal for M&A. Wouldn't consider DBO.

In terms of PWP. It is a phenomenal shop. Only a handful of firms are at the same level or better. You genuinely can't go wrong taking PWP. Exits are proven to be good, but there's also the opportunity to stay. MDs will go to bat for you if recruiting for PE at the best, and even at the worst they'll at least tolerate recruiting. If you have an offer there it is a low risk high reward scenario.

In terms of the negatives for Dyal and Ducera. Exits will be a lot tougher. I'm sure the caliber of the analysts at Dyal are amazing, Ducera less so since there are more nontargets (not a bad thing, am nontarget myself, just better for a firm's rep to have more targets). But the firms are so new the exits aren't very established/known. I've heard Ducera really discourages PE exits and looks for more long term bankers, but am not completely sure. Don't know about Dyal but they may frown on recruiting too. These are much more of a high risk very high reward situation for people looking to stay in banking long term. You can work under great people, have more opportunity to advance from a junior level solely because they shops are growing fast and are top heavy, and can learn from very well known bankers. Would say Dyal is definitely a cut above Ducera though.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 16, 2020 - 6:33pm

For a guy who qualifies every other claim, you talk a lot lol "Less sure...Not completely sure...Don't know...." Just another intern pulling shit out of their ass lol What do you actually know about Dyal or Ducera?

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 16, 2020 - 8:43pm

Lol my status as an intern is obvious, hence my name "intern." I'd rather say things like "less sure, not completely sure, etc." than act as if I have worked at all of these firms and know definitively which is best. I highly doubt anyone has worked at all 4 of those firms. I'm giving my opinion as an intern as if I were in OP's shoes. I guess the MS is deserved since I don't know what I'm talking about, but I thought that it was obvious from my intern status that you should take what I have to say with a grain of salt. To be fair, I like commenting because I'm an attention whore and any attention, MS or SB, is good attention you know

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 16, 2020 - 6:56pm

EB is a WSO term. Do not use that term during your internship Interns!

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 16, 2020 - 7:06pm

Along that line, try to avoid using the word "small" to describe boutiques during interviews. Some folks get annoyed. Maybe lean or nimble is more appropriate especially when firms like those mentioned above work on pretty sizable deals.

May 16, 2020 - 9:04pm

I feel like 5 years ago people were asking the same question about Zaoui & Co. vs established boutiques.


  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 16, 2020 - 9:14pm

I wish I had known about these firms when I was recruiting last year for SA. I did some quick research on dyal/dbo/ducera, and they're all fascinating. I don't think I would choose any of them over PWP, but I'd seriously consider them over many firms that I received offers from. Being an intern at one of these "exotic" boutiques will probably give you a much better banking experience than being one of 30, 40, 50 interns at some larger firm.

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