The Best Investment Banking Firms To Work For In North AmericaJacob Wolinsky
Centerview Takes No. 1 Spot Overall For Second Straight Year In Vault’s Annual Banking Rankings
Evercore remains no. 2 overall and ranks no. 1 in formal training; Moelis & Company leaps seven places to rank no. 3 overall, and ranks no. 1 in benefits, wellness, and hours; Loop Capital ranks no. 1 in overall diversity, racial diversity, and diversity for women
New York, NY (Tuesday, January 26, 2021) Vault.com releases its Banking 25 Rankings for 2021, with Centerview Partners ranking as the “Best Investment Banking Firm to Work For.” It’s the second year in a row that Centerview takes the top spot. Meanwhile, Evercore remains No. 2, and Moelis & Company leaps an impressive seven places to rank No. 3. Rounding out the top five of the Banking 25 are Morgan Stanley, which holds steady at No. 4, and PJT Partners, which jumps four places to No. 5.
The rankings are derived from Vault’s annual Banking Survey. Conducted in the fall of 2020, the survey asked more than 3,000 banking professionals of all levels to assess their peer firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige (they were unable to rate their own firms and asked to rate only firms with which they were familiar). They were also asked to rate their own firms in various quality of life categories, including compensation, hours, firm culture, business outlook, training, work/life balance, and overall job satisfaction. A weighted formula, which includes external prestige scores and internal quality of life scores, was applied to this data to create the Banking 25.
The 10 Best Investment Banks to Work For Based on Vault’s Annual Banking Survey Are:
- Centerview Partners
- Moelis & Company
- Morgan Stanley
- PJT Partners
- Bank of America
- Guggenheim Securities
- Perella Weinberg Partners
- Houlihan Lokey
No. 1 Centerview “Invests Heavily in Developing its Bankers”
In addition to ranking No. 1 in the Banking 25, Centerview dominates our Quality of Life Rankings, ranking No. 1 in 13 workplace categories: Ability to Challenge, Business Outlook, Client Interaction, Compensation, Culture, Firm Leadership, Hiring Process, Informal Training, Promotion Policies, Overall Satisfaction, Relationships with Managers, Vacation Policies, and Work/Life Balance. The firm also ranks No. 5 in Prestige, with bankers at peer firms calling Centerview “the best M&A shop,” with a “solid reputation,” “great deal flow,” and “Fortune 50 clients.”
Meanwhile, Centerview professionals tell us that the firm has a “great culture—everyone from top to bottom is genuine, respectful, extremely intelligent, interesting, and friendly.” They also say the firm “invests heavily in developing its bankers, including direct and active involvement from its co-founders and partners.” Junior bankers at the firm tells us that they’re given a “high degree of responsibility,” “many learning opportunities,” and “unmatched compensation.”
According to Vault’s Senior Finance Editor Derek Loosvelt, “Centerview ranking No. 1 for the second year in a row solidifies the firm’s place at the top of the list of the most desirable investment banks to work for. Widely known for its best-in-class compensation packages, strong deal flow, and high-profile M&A deals, Centerview also has an extremely collegial culture, treats its junior bankers very well, and offers excellent formal and informal training—its high level of mentorship differentiates Centerview from its peers. Not long ago, Centerview was a firm on the rise, but now it’s a firm on top.”
No. 2 Evercore Has an “Unparalleled Culture” with “Highly Intelligent People”
Evercore again ranks No. 2 overall and holds onto its No. 4 ranking in Prestige. In addition, it ranks No. 1 in Formal Training, and No. 2 in both Diversity for Women and LGBTQ+ Diversity. Evercore also places among the top five firms in 15 other workplace categories, including Ability to Challenge, Compensation, Culture, Firm Leadership, and Informal Training. Peer bankers say Evercore is “the envy of a lot of boutiques” and “very highly sought after,” with “lots of large clients, great deal flow, and excellent buy-side opportunities.” Meanwhile, Evercore insiders tell us that the firm’s “unparalleled culture” is filled with “wonderful, highly intelligent people.” For junior bankers, a position with the firm offers an “exceptional learning opportunity”—the “deal flow is excellent,” and you get “a lot of responsibility” and “great access to senior bankers and clients.”
No. 3 Moelis, a “Top Elite Boutique,” Has “Achieved Significant Growth”
Moelis & Company skyrocketed seven places in the overall rankings this year to rank No. 3. Underscoring its exemplary treatment of its bankers, Moelis also ranks No. 1 in Benefits, No. 1 in Hours, and No. 1 in Wellness (a new category in our rankings this year). In addition, Moelis again ranks No. 7 in Prestige. This year, peer bankers tell us that Moelis is a “top elite boutique” that has “achieved significant growth—with more to come.” The firm is doing so well that one peer banker told us, “I’d sell my right arm to work there.” Meanwhile, Moelis insiders say the firm’s “great culture” is “collaborative and inclusive,” “colleagues are great,” and junior bankers get “early responsibility” as well as “early client and senior banker exposure.” In addition, juniors get to a lot of “deal experience,” working on “high-profile, complex, and challenging deals.”
Loop Capital, No. 1 in Overall Diversity, Is “Very Diverse” and an “Example for Many”
Chicago-based Loop Capital Markets, which ranks No. 18 overall, nearly sweeps our Diversity Rankings this year. Impressively, the firm ranks No. 1 in three out of four diversity categories: Overall Diversity, Racial & Ethnic Diversity, and Diversity for Women. It also ranks No. 4 in LGBTQ+ Diversity. According to Loop Capital insiders, “the acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals is great,” and the firm is “very diverse” “from an ethnicity/race perspective” and “very well managed”—”it’s an example for many.” Insiders tell us they’re “proud to work at a firm where there’s so much focus on diversity and inclusion.”
Bankers Comment on Their Firms’ Responses to Covid-19 and BLM Movement
In a year of unprecedented change, we added two new open-ended questions to our Banking Survey: one asking banking professionals to comment on their firms’ responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, and another asking professionals to comment on their firms’ responses to the anti-racist protests and Black Lives Matter movement. Vault’s new profiles of each firm that participated in our survey include direct quotes from professionals working there.
With respect to the pandemic, insiders comment on everything from work-from-home tech support and childcare reimbursements to office safety measures and the tone of senior leadership messaging. With respect to the BLM movement, insiders discuss public messaging from their firms, formal changes in D&I initiatives, monetary pledges their firms have made, open dialogues organized by their firms, and more.
About Vault Career Intelligence
Vault, an Infobase Company, is the most comprehensive resource for employer, university, and internship rankings, ratings, and insights. Vault’s influential rankings and reviews are sourced from directed surveys of professionals and students. These rankings and reviews evaluate companies, schools, and internships in terms of prestige, diversity, quality of life, compensation, and other categories. Vault provides users with in-depth information on employers, industries, interviews, and available jobs and internships. In addition, Vault partners with employers to help build their brands and assist with recruiting efforts, and with universities to help their students with employment placement and career selection.