Here's What Everyone Says About The Top Banks To Work For Right Now


The career website The Vault ranked the 50 best banks from #1 on down based on “prestige.”

The bank at number one is obvious, Goldman Sachs. The banks filling the rest of the ranks are pretty surprising, like Morgan Stanley, which trails far behind UBS and Citi.

But it’s actually not the prestige, but rather the “scoop,” the best things people had to say about the banks’ reputation, that gives the survey the most value.

The 1,348 bankers who took part in the survey agree. They said that they care more about the “firm culture” than the firm’s prestige.

Yet weirdly, at most of the top ranked banks, people say you’ll never leave work.

#1 Goldman Sachs

Prestige Score: 8.397

  • Positive: 'Job is fulfilling, but quite tiring. Tough to get enough sleep.'
  • Negative: 'They could do a better job of promotion as well as placement into areas that are a good fit and utilise skill sets. It's more of the individual's responsibility to seek out affinity groups and external projects to help find fulfillment.'

What everyone's saying about the firm:

  • 'Kings of the Street'
  • 'The gold standard, albeit a bit tarnished lately, and don't expect to have a life'
  • 'Arrogant, but still brings in the best deals'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#2 The Blackstone Group

Prestige Score: 8.312

  • Positive: 'The responsibility given to junior people is unparalleled across Wall Street--you'll learn far more and make more high-level contacts than you would anywhere else'
  • Negative: 'The hours--you'll be sacrificing a lot of your personal life'

What everyone's saying about the firm:

  • 'Forget about sleeping--you won't have a life; if that doesn't bother you, then Godspeed'
  • 'Snobby, pretentious'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#3 J.P. Morgan

Prestige Score: 8.272

  • Positive: 'J.P. Morgan is a fantastic place to work. Internal culture is extremely collegial and respectful. Incredibly smart and driven people truly focused on what is best for the client.'
  • Negative: 'Can be bureaucratic--it's a pretty big company'

What everyone's saying about the firm:

  • 'Goldman's shadow'
  • 'It's getting too big; easy to beat
  • 'Run by the best CEO in the business: even Obama can't resist the charm of Jamie Dimon'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#4 Credit Suisse (IBD)

Prestige Score: 7.630

  • Positive: 'Reputation of the firm--lots of business momentum'
  • Negative: 'Compensation, at the moment'

What everyone's saying about the firm:

  • 'Solid and picking up steam; Europe's most prominent investment bank'
  • 'Middle of the road'
  • 'Known for being stiff'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#5 Houlihan Lokey

Prestige Score: 7.597

  • Positive: 'The respect with which the senior staff treats you'
  • Negative: 'To some degree, your time is not your own; though Houlihan Lokey does as good or better a job of not wasting people's time, the hours can still be long'

What everyone's saying about the firm:

  • 'The best at creditor side restructurings, average at everything else'
  • 'All they do is fairness opinions'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#6 Moelis & Company

Prestige Score: 7.199

The Scoop:

  • Positive: 'Growing firm employees at all levels are truly helping to build a successful business'
  • Negative: 'Hours are brutal on the analyst level'

The Buzz:

  • 'Good M&A shop, high-end boutique'
  • 'Built excellent platform in 24 months, very much up and coming'
  • 'Dustbin of above-average bankers rather than exceptional ones'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#7 UBS

Prestige Score: 7.059

  • Positive: 'The culture: more relaxed than most banks'
  • Negative: 'Low morale given issues with compensation'

What everyone's saying about the firm:

  • 'Good bank, successful, but a slaughterhouse'
  • 'Poor management during recent financial crisis'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#8 Centerview Partners

Prestige Score: 6.912

The Scoop:

  • Positive: 'Close and frequent interaction with partners; ability to interact with CEOs and other senior executives as a 23 year old.'
  • Negative: 'Lacks high level of brand recognition in Europe.'

The Buzz:

  • 'One great rainmaker does not a firm make; the team is strong but their deal flow seems limited'
  • 'Solid boutique--not trying to grow out of its niche'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#9 Jefferies & Company

Prestige Score: 6.849

  • Positive: 'Junior professionals given a lot of responsibility--good client exposure and deal flow'
  • Negative: 'Lots of hours doesn't mean lots of pay--senior professionals do not necessarily reward the best performers'

What everyone's saying about the firm:

  • 'Rising star--killing its middle-market competitors'
  • 'Aggressively hiring talent; improving in size and stature'
  • 'Lots of potential but currently mired in the third tier'

Source: The Vault's rankings

#10 William Blair & Company

BONUS: #15 Citi Insitutional Clients Group

Prestige Score: 6.082

  • Positive: 'Analysts tend to get good experiences because the firm is involved in many high-profile deals'
  • Negative: 'Reputation has taken a hit during recession'

What everyone's saying about the firm:

  • 'The crisis has probably hurt Citi the most out of anyone'
  • 'Doing better now'

Source: The Vault's rankings

BONUS: #22 Morgan Stanley

BONUS: #23 Lazard

BONUS #24 Deutsche Bank

BONUS: #25 Barclays Capital

Now check out what everyone does AFTER hours.

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