In fact, these results illustrate the emergence of boutique firms like Houlihan Lokey, Centerview Partners, Evercore Partners, Moelis, and Greenhill, which distinguish themselves by quality and service. “We do half the volume of deals as many bulge bracket banks with maybe less than one-tenth the number of employees,” said one survey respondent from Centerview Partners. “This translates into a better experience (in terms of both comp and exposure) for everyone working here.” And peers agree with this assessment of boutiques. As one banker quipped, “If you got a Greenhill offer, you should frame it.”
Houlihan Lokey also ranked #1 on diversity, scoring a 9.32 score on a 10 scale. Other high performers include Goldman Sachs (8.71), J. P. Morgan (8.44), Centerview Partners (8.38), Morgan Stanley (8.27), Evercore Partners (8.23), Credit Suisse (8.10) and The Blackstone Group (8.06). And this move to a more diverse workforce in investment banking is only accelerating. For example, Vault notes that in the past five years, diversity scores for the LGBT community have jumped by 12.1%. And scores for women and racial and ethnic groups have risen 8.1% and 7.7%, respectively.
GOLDMAN TOPS IN PRESTIGE, SAGS IN COMPENSATION
Some bankers don’t plan to work for one firm their entire career. And they know certain brands carry greater resonance than others in the job hunt. Prestige is easily Goldman Sachs’ domain with a mean score of 8.98 (nearly a point higher than Morgan Stanley’s 8.0 score). J.P. Morgan and The Blackstone Group earned identical 7.96 scores. After that, the scores drop off dramatically, led by Lazard (6.76), Credit Suisse (6.50), Evercore Partners (6.45), Deutsche Bank (6.23), Greenhill & Co. (6.21), Barclays (6.12), and Bank of America (6.01). Ironically, Houlihan Lokey, which topped the diversity and quality of life rankings, only scored a 4.73 median, good for 23rd in prestige. Deutsche Bank had the biggest jump in the top 10, moving up three spots with survey respondents praising the German bank for being “willing to take on difficult assignments.”
Despite the prestige, Goldman Sachs only ranked #12 in compensation. Among employees, Centerview Partners rated highest with a jaw-dropping 9.673 score, followed by Houlihan Lokey (9.32), Peter J. Solomon Company (8.87), The Blackstone Group (8.79), Greenhill and Co. (8.52), and Evercore Partners (8.44). Among big banks, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan averaged 7.17 and 6.94 respectively (and Morgan Stanley didn’t even crack the top 15). It’s good to work for the boutiques indeed.
Here are the top firms in other categories: Formal training (Houlihan Lokey and Centerview Partners); informal training (Houlihan Lokey and Peter J. Solomon Company); promotion policies (Houlihan Lokey and Peter J. Solomon Company); ability to challenge (Houlihan Lokey and The Blackstone Group); international opportunities (Houlihan Lokey and J.P. Morgan); internal mobility (Houlihan Lokey and Peter J. Solomon Company); satisfaction (Houlihan Lokey and Peter J. Solomon Company); firm culture (Houlihan Lokey and Peter J. Solomon Company); client interaction (Houlihan Lokey and Peter J. Solomon Company); supervisor relations (Houlihan Lokey and The Blackstone Group); work hours (Houlihan Lokey and The Blackstone Group); work-life balance (Houlihan Lokey and Peter J. Solomon Company); benefits (Houlihan Lokey and Perella Weinberg Partners); green initiatives (Houlihan Lokey and Goldman Sachs); philanthropy (Houlihan Lokey and The Blackstone Group); business outlook (Houlihan Lokey and Centerview Partners); firm leadership (Houlihan Lokey and The Blackstone Group); and selectivity (The Blackstone Group and Centerview Partners).