The Best Investment Banks for Careers and Interviews
Want to learn how to make a million dollars?
Well, you won’t do it reading a self-help book, filled with maxims cribbed off halftime speeches. To make money, you need to learn how to handle money. You need to be exposed to people who have money. And you need to learn how the system really works, the nuances used by the maestros to structure and seal deals.
To do that, you need to get into an investment bank. You need to prove that you’re one of them. Don’t tell them that you’ll work 80-hour weeks. That’s expected. Don’t tout your alma mater. They already have 100 fellow alums with better resumes. No, they want to know that you’re smart, resourceful, and hungry (and not necessarily in that order). They want winners, producers, rainmakers, top dogs and warriors…with a few savants mixed in too.
To make it in investment banking, you need support. Sure, Wall Street loves to extol a throw-them-in-the-deep-end and an eat-what-you-kill ethos. But the juicy secret behind success is as old fashioned as personal checks: mentors who’ll find opportunities for their pupils; ongoing training to prepare juniors for bigger roles; and exposure to the larger operation so younglings can broaden their networks and tool sets.
So which investment banks best foster professional growth and career advancement among young bankers? A recent survey conducted by Wall Street Oasis answered just that. Based on thousands of Wall Street Oasis members surveys from over 5,000 firms, they produced a ranking on a percentile basis.
When it comes to professional growth and career advancement, Evercore takes the top prize, scoring a 99.9 on both indices. Not surprisingly, Evercore also ranked sixth in Vault’s 2014 ranking of the best investment banks to work for. And Evercore’s Advisory Summer Analyst and Associate Program ranked as Vault’s top internship program for the investment banking sector. Evercore even scored a fourth place finish when it comes to interns getting full-time offers. Make no mistake: Evercore is a great place to start for aspiring VCs and hedge fund managers.
Another top performer? Try the Blackstone Group, which ranked fourth and third respectively in professional growth and career advancement. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, as Vault ranked it the top investment bank to work for, with respondents touting the firm’s strong leadership, tight-knit culture, and commitment to work-life balance. Make no mistake: Blackstone is picky, with only 90 percent of interns landing full-time work, good for 23rd on that measurement.
Houlihan Lokey, BMO Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs, and Piper Jaffray also scored in the top 10 for both professional growth and career advancement. In fact, Houlihan Lokey ranked #1 on several relevant training and advancement categories scored by Vault, including informal training, promotion policies, internal mobility, firm culture, and overall satisfaction.
If you’re a prospective intern looking to latch onto a firm, take a look at the Guggenheim Partners, which hired 98.3 percent above the percentile of their interns. They were closely followed by Lazard (98.1 percent) and Citigroup (97.8 percent). However, the margin tightened with blue chip firms like Goldman Sachs (96.1 percent), J.P.Morgan Chase (95.8 percent), Barclays (92.8 percent), Credit Suisse (92.2 percent), and Morgan Stanley (89.8 percent).