BRAND CHANGEOVER COSTS BLACKSTONE NINE SPOTS
How important is perception? Look no further than Blackstone, which became PJT Partners as a result of Blackstone spinning off its financial and strategic and restructuring and reorganization services in 2015. Ranked first from 2014-2016, the firm slipped to 10th in just one year under the PJT banner. Why? For one, it plunged from 4th to 21st in terms of prestige. For another, employees gave it lower marks in 14 out of 17 work and life categories. In the past year alone, PJT Partners has seen a substantive dip in terms of the ability to challenge (9.172 in 2016 vs. 8.847 in 2017), culture (9.089 vs. 8.766), leadership (9.302 vs. 9.047), hiring process (9.827 vs. 9.023), internal mobility (7.561 vs. 7.061), and overall satisfaction (8.982 vs. 8.710).
With any change, there is a transition as new leadership learns the ropes and establishes its expectations and priorities. Similarly, the marketplace can be slow to adjust to a name change. The precedent comes from consulting, in the form of Strategy&, which ranked 4th as Booz & Allen in both the overall and prestige rankings before merging with PwC’s strategy practice in 2014. The result, of course, is the firm has taken a two year hit in both Vault’s overall (12th) and in prestige (13th) rankings. However, one PJT Partner banker that Vault spoke with doesn’t see the same lingering effect at the firm. “Our launch has gone incredibly well. I have full confidence in the leadership of my group as well as the firm overall. PJT is on almost every restructuring deal and has a massive market share. It is a very exciting time to be at PJT.”
Thanks to the shakeup at the top, Morgan Stanley climbed a spot to second overall, with Centerview Partners, Evercore, and JP Morgan rounding out the top five. Like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley’s rank was heavily aided by its second place finish in prestige, though it also managed to rank among the top 10 players in 10 of 19 categories, including first in Vault’s new category for CSR (corporate social responsibility) Initiatives. You could say reputation also benefitted J.P. Morgan, which rose from 8th to 5th in the latest ranking, while holding onto its third place finish in prestige. However, the firm failed to rank in the top 10 in any of the 19 employment factors.
Go to next page to see Vault’s 2017 prestige rankings.