Are You An Investment Banker? Are You Looking for a New Firm?

Here Are the 50 Best Banks!

As an investment banker, your job is hard enough. You do not need to work under unreasonable circumstance.  If you find yourself somewhere that is difficult or challenging, you may want to make a lateral move.  If you are considering making a move, as you evaluate your options, consider this list which ranks the “50 Best Banks.”

Every year, Vault announces its Banking 50, which is a listing of the greatest Northern American banking firms.  The 2016 rankings are based on a poll of about 3,000 investment banking professionals. These individuals were asked to rate their peer firms on a scale of one to ten based on the prestige and quality of life factors such as, compensation, diversity, firm culture, work/life balance, hours, overall satisfaction, training, etc. Vault incorporates these categories of prestige and a couple of the quality of life ratings into a weighted formula and then develops the “best to work for” listing.

In determining the “best firms,” Vault reviews which scores at which firms went up or down. Furthermore, it also examines which categories.  For example, this year, bankers indicated that their approval with the hours they work is four percent higher than last year and their work/life balance score is 3.5 percent more. Hence, it appears that the quality of life on Wall Street is going uphill.

Vault also discovered that diversity scores decreased. In particular, Vault found that minority diversity outcome scores declined three percent and inclusion scores in LBGT, military/veterans, women, and disabled categories also dropped. This data is interesting because it cut off a several-year trend of increasing diversity scores. From 2010 to 2014, women and minorities were more evident in the workforce, as their diversity scores had gone up by eight. Additionally, the LGBT community’s scores had increased by 12 percent during this same time frame.

Overall, the best banking firms have intelligent, well-prepared, outstanding employees, a great working atmosphere and lifestyle, an attention to career development/training, opportunities for ambitious employees climb higher and receive more responsibilities, and other such attributes.  As an example, the best banking firm, Blackstone, provides junior bankers with probably the most impactful experience on Wall Street. Due to its extremely desirable attributes, Blackstone has topped the Vault Banking 50 for the third year in a row. The firm is also third in the ranking for work/life balance and fourth for prestige.  Blackstone has inspiring leadership and seals the “best deals.” Junior bankers get more exposure than they would at other firms because they are given more responsibilities and are expected to understand leaner deal teams better. Additionally, these junior bankers possess good exit opportunities.

Another valuable characteristic of Blackstone is that there are chances to move to buy-side opportunities at the banking firm in real estate, private equity, and hedge funds.  The professionals running this firm can identify talented people and aid them to build a career here.  Further, at Blackstone, the firm has a promising future. Recently, Blackstone hinted that it would spin off its restructuring, M&A, and placement groups, which will then turn into a publicly trade investment bank towards the end of 2015.

Additionally, along with Blackstone, the other firms in the top three “best banks” are Goldman Sachs & Co., and Morgan Stanley – and, none of those three have moved from their 2015 rankings (Vault).  Although in 2016 there was little movement at the top, the remaining top banks to work for are:

  • Goldman Sachs & Co.
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Evercore
  • Centerview Partners
  • Houlihan Lokey
  • Greenhill & Co., Inc.
  • P. Morgan
  • Perella Weinberg Partners
  • Credit Suisse
  • Bank of America Corp.
  • Peter J. Solomon Company
  • William Blair
  • Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird)
  • UBS
  • Moelis & Company
  • Cowen Group, Inc.
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Citi Institutional Clients Group
  • Lazard
  • Barclays (Investment Banking)
  • Deutsche Bank AG
  • Guggenheim Securities, LLC
  • Jefferies & Company, Inc.
  • Rothschild
  • Wells Fargo & Company
  • Allen & Company LLC
  • Qatalyst Partners
  • Oppenheimer & Co.
  • HSBC North America Holdings
  • Nomura Holdings, Inc.
  • Macquarie Group (U.S.)
  • BMO Capital Markets
  • Piper Jaffray Companies
  • BNP Paribas USA
  • Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
  • Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc
  • Cantor Fitzgerald
  • Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., LLC
  • KPMG Corporate Finance
  • PwC Corporate Finance LLP
  • Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking
  • Brown Brothers Harriman
  • Raymond James Financial, Inc.
  • EY LLP (Financial Advisory Services)
  • Stifel Financial Corp.
  • LionTree Advisors, LLC
  • Lloyds Banking Group PLC
  • Sandler O’Neill + Partners L.P.


Works Cited

Loosvelt, Derek. “50 Best Banking Firms to Work For.” Vault Blogs. Vault, 8 Sept. 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

Vault. “Vault Banking 50.” Best Commercial and Investment Banking Companies to Work For. Vault, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.


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Are you considering a lateral move to another bank?  Would you like some help in working through  your own job search strategies?  If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services.  Or, if you are interested in learning more about open finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group.


By Lexacount Search

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Lexacount Search is a boutique recruiting and staffing company, focusing on permanent placement for legal and accounting professionals. We place attorneys, paralegals, accountants, and contract specialists with law firms and corporations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and nationwide. Equidistant from New York and Washington, D.C., our offices are located in suburban Philadelphia. Our search consultants have a range of experiences as lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, accountants and accounting clerks. These backgrounds make our consultants uniquely qualified to match your skills and career goals with permanent positions with our clients. Whether you are a lawyer, paralegal, law clerk, accountant, accounting clerk or other skilled professional, Lexacount will provide you with a variety of available career opportunities.

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