What Kellogg Looks For In MBA Applicants

Wall Street

Best Investment Banks for Fairness

“Life isn’t fair. Your boss will probably be the team’s weak link. At promotion time, you’ll probably get passed over for someone’s golf buddy. Your ideas will be ignored. And you’ll get punished for someone else’s mistake. If you dare stand up for yourself, they’ll label you as “disloyal” or a “malcontent.” That’s the way it is. That’s the way it was. And that’s the way it’ll always be. Accept it!”

Ever get that speech? Maybe it came from a well-meaning mentor who hoped to save you from yourself. Or, perhaps it was delivered by the office despot looking to put you in your place. Either way, the point was clear: A business isn’t a democracy. And managers often have vested interests that aren’t always aligned with the greater good. If you want to draw a paycheck, you’d better operate within those parameters.

Of course, talent wants more than a steady check. They’re seeking influence, impact, equality, and appreciation. Sound like a Millennial fairy tale? You might be surprised. These days, culture is becoming increasingly important to graduates. While making a difference may never replace making a boatload, many companies are differentiating themselves by being transparent, fair, and focused on developing their people.

And that includes investment banks, often viewed as the epicenter of a macho-drenched ‘no blood, no foul’ ethos. But times are changing, Heck, Goldman Sachs even wants its people to take some weekends off (Gasp!). So are banks getting softer or smarter? That depends on what you value. But if you’re looking for an investment bank where you have a better shot to make a difference, you’ll want to check out a recent survey conducted by Wall Street Oasis. Based on thousands of Wall Street Oasis member surveys from over 5,000 firms, they produced a ranking on a percentile basis that covers feedback, recognition, and fairness.

So which firms scored highest? Let’s start with feedback. Looking for coaching to enhance your job performance (and marketability)? The place to start might be Harris, Williams & Company, who scored the highest in the 99.8 percentile. Ironically, this company also scored in the highest percentile in Wall Street Oasis’ previous ranking of best interview experience. It was followed closely by Piper Jaffray, Evercore (last week’s top performer in professional growth and career advancement), BMO Capital Markets, and CIBC World Markets. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Houlihan Lokey, and Blackstone ranked seventh, ninth, eleventh, and fifteenth in feedback.

These statistics contradict, to an extent, employee survey results released earlier this year from Vault. In informal training, for example, Houlihan Lokey and Blackstone ranked #1 and #3 respectively (though the 8th place finish by Goldman Sachs in Vault corresponds closely to the Wall Street Oasis rankings).

When it comes to recognition, Evercore returns to the top spot. Piper Jaffray again held second with Harris, Williams & Company came in third. Here, Blackstone jumped to 4th and BMO Capital Markets held 5th. In other words, four of the top five from feedback also made it into the top five for recognition (with CIBC World Markets not cracking the top 15 in percentile here).

Vault doesn’t measure recognition and praise from higher ups and peers in its rankings. However, when it comes to overall satisfaction, Houlihan Lokey leads the way among Vault respondents (ranking #8 in Wall Street Oasis for recognition).

Finally, Evercore tops the list for being the “most fair” firm for promotions and overall treatment. They were followed by Blackstone, Robert W. Baird & Company, Piper Jaffray, and Morgan Stanley. On this listing, Harris Williams & Company drops to #11 (93.1 of percentile against Evercore’s 99.9). BMO Capital Markets, which made the top five for both feedback and recognition, didn’t rank among the top 15 firms for fairness (while Houlihan Lokey reached #9).

How does this compare to Vault? On promotion policies, Vault readers actually rank Evercore at #6 nearly 1.5 points below Houlihan Lokey on a ten point scale. On policies, Piper Jaffray doesn’t even make Vault’s top 15 (though Blackstone came in at #4 – and William Blair ranked 5th on Vault and 7th on Wall Street Oasis). Similarly, on Vault’s internal mobility index, Houlihan Lokey ranked #1…with Blackstone coming in at #5. In this measure, Evercore doesn’t even rank among the top 15. On international opportunities, you’ll find a similar dynamic: Houlihan Lokey #1 and Blackstone #3.

While these rankings aren’t an apples-to-apples comparison, one thing is clear: Evercore, Blackstone, Piper Jaffray, and Houlihan Lokey continue to score consistently high among cultural indicators. If you’re looking to make a make a splash, these banks are good places to start.

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Source: Wall Street Oasis

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