Best Bets for Banking: Business Schools That Help Land Jobs at Prestige Firms
Today’s Bulge Bracket
There’s been some shakeout, for sure, in terms of prestige firms—sayonara Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns—as well as some consolidation, resulting in a modified “bulge bracket.” (Bulge bracket has historically referred to the first tier of banks listed on financial industry advertisements notifying the public of recent deals or financial transactions. Because they place the most securities in various transactions, their names appear first and in the largest font, making them appear to “bulge” out.)
Though debate can ensue over which banks can claim membership in this prestigious club and there are no precise criteria to settle it definitively, today’s bulge bracket is generally considered to include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and UBS. Of course, there are many other places an investment banking career can take you—including many terrific boutique firms focused on particular industries and functions—but for the purposes of this article we are going to zero in on which schools help graduates target bulge bracket firms.
At CBS, 14 graduates from the most recent class headed off to JPMorgan Chase, more than any other bank. Goldman was a close second, wooing 13 CBS grads. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, meanwhile, each hired nine, and Morgan Stanley took another eight. Notably, CBS’s Board of Overseers includes at least three members with deep connections to Morgan Stanley: CBS Dean Emeritus and Professor Meyer Feldberg (MBA ’65), who is a senior advisor at the firm; R. Bradford Evans (MBA ’70), also a senior advisor, and James P. Gorman (MBA ’87), chairman and CEO.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch drew the most Chicago Booth 2015 grads, with a dozen accepting positions at the firm. Credit Suisse and Goldman followed close behind, hiring 11 each. JPMorgan Chase took another eight, and Citi and Morgan Stanley each took seven. In terms of alumni of influence, the current Council on Chicago Booth, which advises Booth’s leadership, includes Morgan Stanley Advisory Director Jack Wadsworth (MBA ’63) and Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Advisory Director Linnea Conrad Roberts (MBA ’90). Deutsche Bank Global Chief Operating Officer for Human Resources Bruce Rigal (MBA ’89) and Chief Operating Officer Henry Ritchotte (MBA ’93) both serve on the school’s Global Advisory Board.
NYU Stern plays its cards closer to the vest than many other schools, including in its publicly disclosed employment statistics only “a small sample of Stern employers by industry” covering the past two years. An asterisk appears beside each of the bulge bracket firms, indicating that all hired three or more Sternies in 2014. Alumni listed in the school’s “Hall of Fame” include Goldman Sachs Managing Director Alison Mass (MBA ’81), Bank of America Merrill Lynch Managing Director Jessica Reif Cohen (MBA ’79) and UBS Global Chairman of Corporate Client Solutions Ros Stephenson (MBA ’87).