While a career in investment banking may not be as highly sought after anymore among MBAs, it’s still a fairly popular option. And according to a U.S. News interview with Jeff McNish, assistant dean of the Career Development Center at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, investment banks and consulting firms are raising their compensation offers to draw in more students. These companies are willing to pay a premium to draw MBA talent. The question is, which are the best investment banks to work for?
Vault Banking 50 recently released its annual ranking of the best investment banks in North America. The list was compiled through a survey of 2,400 banking professionals and used a weighted formula to review such issues as quality of life—including culture, satisfaction, work/life balance, training, and compensation—and overall prestige.
This year, Goldman Sachs took the #1 spot—with a score of 8.380—maintaining its title of “best investment bank to work for.” Coming in at a close second was Evercore (8.311), followed by Centerview Partners (8.308), and Morgan Stanley (8.114).
The top 10:
- Goldman Sachs
- Centerview Partners
- Morgan Stanley
- Moelis & Company
- Greenhill & Co.
- Perella Weinberg Partners
- Bank of America
- PJT Partners
Goldman Sachs Still #1
This was the second year in a row that Goldman Sachs took the top spot, with survey responders saying such things as: “The firm is extremely focused on improving work/life balance. In the time that I’ve been here, I’ve seen a tremendous difference, not only as a result of formal policies but also in the culture and mindset of those who work here.”
Respondents also said that Goldman Sachs provided workers with various benefits including “exposure to talented, thoughtful, respectful colleagues” and “challenging, intellectually stimulating assignments.” Even respondents at Goldman Sachs’ competitors had mostly nice things to say. They called the firm “a finance machine” and “the gold standard.”
Other elements that set Goldman Sachs apart include its protected-weekend-day policies for junior bankers, no-working-past-midnight policies for interns, and fast-track promotions. It was also one of the first banks to provide a modern performance review system as well as to implement video interviews during on-campus recruiting.
Other Investment Banks Making Waves
As for Evercore, it rose two places in 2018 from #4 to #2. Much of its rise in placement was due to its increase in prestige as well as the company’s focus on a better working environment for its employees. In fact, Evercore came in first place in two areas: formal training and informal training.
As for what some of the survey respondents had to say about Evercore: “We have an outstanding, very teamwork-oriented, and collaborative culture. The firm is filled with very intelligent people treating each other with respect and working together to give clients the best advice possible. The atmosphere is very positive—lots of high fives on wins and no dressing-down calls if you miss a piece of business.”
In third place, Centerview Partners is a small boutique investment banking firm. Insiders stated that the firm is filled with “extremely talented, smart, and thoughtful senior bankers” and that “deal opportunities are unparalleled.”
Another boutique investment bank to make it to the top of the list was Moelis, which ranked fifth. The firm rose four places this year thanks to its “great culture” and “smart dedicated people.”
Investment Banks Focused on Diversity
The Vault Banking 50 also measured firms’ focus on diversity. Loop Capital Markets led the way for the second year in a row, coming in first for overall diversity, minority diversity, female diversity, and LGBT diversity. However, following close behind were Evercore (which placed #2 in overall diversity, female diversity, and minority diversity) and Goldman Sachs (which placed #3 for overall diversity, minority diversity, and LGBT diversity).
To see the full report, visit the Vault.com.