Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
London Business School | Mr. FANG Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 2.9
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Hopeful Fund Manager
GMAT 770, GPA 8.52/10
MIT Sloan | Mr. Healthtech Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.44
Harvard | Mr. Navy Nuke
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
London Business School | Mr. LGBT Pivot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Rice Jones | Mr. Student Government
GMAT 34 (ACT for Early Admit Program), GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8

The Best Investment Banks To Work For

Bull 2


The overall rankings changed little between 2015 and 2016, particularly after the Top 20. The prestige rankings were even more vegetative, with the biggest difference being Deutsche Bank dropping from 7th to 12th. In addition, Houlihan Lokey ran the table in Vault’s diversity rankings, notching the top scores from employees in the overall diversity category, as well as with employees with disabilities, minorities, women, the LGBT community, and military veterans. Like the 2015 rankings, Houlihan Lokey also topped the charts in several categories. This year, the firm ranked first in ability to challenge, benefits, compensation, firm culture, formal training, green initiatives, hours in the office, informal training, client interaction, internal mobility, international opportunities, overall business outlook, philanthropy, promotion policies, supervisor relationships, and satisfaction. So how in the world does Houlihan Lokey rank 6th instead of 1st? One word: Prestige. While Houlihan Lokey undoubtedly houses the happiest employees, it lacks respect from its banking peers – ranking 22nd among survey respondents who answered Vault’s prestige question.

Like the 2015 rankings, MBAs comprised the happiest investment bankers. In all 25 categories examined, MBAs rated their firm higher than non-MBA holders. No surprisingly, MBAs were more satisfied with client interaction (8.94 vs. 8.20), with MBAs traditionally considered more ready to hit the ground running and go face-to-face (and sometimes nose-to-nose) with clients. MBAs also rated the ability to challenge (8.96 vs. 8.40), overall satisfaction (8.38 vs. 7.89), and promotion policies (8.12 vs. 7.67) higher than their peers. In fact, MBAs gave their best marks to the ability to challenge and client interaction, while leaving their lowest scores for work hours (7.36), vacation policy (7.40), and internal mobility (7.58). Ironically, non-MBAs were also the least satisfied with work hours (7.18) and vacation policy (7.25), along with work-life balance (7.27).


Wondering if there is a silver lining in this year’s rankings? Look no further than work-life balance scores across the firms surveyed. According to Vault, employees gave their banks higher marks in work-life balance and work hours by 3.5% and 4% margins respectively over the previous year. And Loosvelt attributes this to the example set by firms like Goldman Sachs. “It seems clear that, from the qualitative comments we received from bankers who took our survey this year, the new workplace policies enacted by Wall Street firms are to thank. And the firm that began the trend of enacting radical policy changes to young bankers’ historically difficult work schedules was none other than Wall Street’s top dealmaker Goldman Sachs, which two years ago enacted a ‘Protected Saturday’ policy whereby junior bankers would not have to work between Friday nights and Sunday mornings.”

To Do Nothing

As a result, Loosvelt continues, other firms fell in line to create a domino effect. “What occurred in the wake of the Protected Saturday announcement was scores of other investment banks, both big and small, following Goldman’s lead, enacting similar policies of their own. This was followed by banks across the Street beginning to instill a new type of culture, one that doesn’t simply churn and burn out young professionals but tries to treat them like the next leaders of their firms.”

However, the 2016 rankings represent a step forward and another step backwards, as diversity ratings fell for the first time in several years. Employees scored their firms 3% lower in racial and ethnic diversity scores, with female, LGBT, military veterans, and disabled scores also slipping. And Loosvelt offers a theory to why this is.

“Our hunch is it had more to do with diversity being such a heatedly discussed topic at the moment, rather than with specific changes at firms with respect to policies and recruiting. That said, many bankers told us this year that ethnic diversity is ‘nearly nonexistent’ at their firms. And, like years past, many bankers also told us that the industry still has a lot of work to do with respect to female and racial diversity among the more senior professionals.”




  • See next pages for how bankers rank firms in career development, quality of life and diversity.