It is vital to start your career in investment banking with the right organisation, one that not only offers a healthy corporate culture but also supports your personal goals. Some of the critical aspects which you must consider while selecting an investment bank are corporate culture, compensation, core areas of focus, size of operation, history of the financial institute, work-life balance and training. In this article, we will dive deep into the top 5 investment banks you should be aiming for in 2023.
JP Morgan Chase
JP Morgan Chase & Co. has its roots dating back to the late 1800s, founded by the famous American banker JP Morgan Sr. The current structure came into existence in December 2000, when JP Morgan and Chase merged to form JP Morgan Chase & Co. The financial institute operates through 2 verticals, JP Morgan, focused on core investment banking and is highly regarded for its work in M&A (mergers and acquisition). Chase, on the other hand, focuses on consumer and commercial banking. A major draw for investment banking applicants is JP Morgan’s culture of deep learning and encouragement, and its CEO, Jamie Dimon.
JP Morgan Chase had $3.77 trillion worth of assets under management, as of June 2022 and an impressive presence in over 100 markets around the globe.
Goldman Sachs is one of the top investment banks with a rich history of over 150 years. Its major divisions include financial advisory, underwriting and investing portfolios. The bank has one of the most competitive work cultures in the financial industry. Ironically, many applicants are attracted to this trait, considering it can be challenging but offer a learning curve.
As of June 2022, the bank controls nearly $2.5 trillion in assets and enjoys a worldwide presence with offices in 16 countries. Some of the top officials of global central banks, the U.S. Treasury, and the White House advisors have spent their initial years working here.
Morgan Stanley was established by J.P. Morgan’s grandson, Henry Morgan, in 1935. The financial institution is known for being intensely competitive and usually competes with Goldman Sachs for the title of the top dealmaker of the year. Morgan Stanley is ranked highly amongst the top investment banks for its advisory services in M&A and initial public offerings (IPOs). Like Goldman Sachs, investment bankers are attracted to Morgan Stanley because of its history, work background, and the compensation associated with the job.
As of June 2022, the financial institution has over $6.5 trillion in assets and operates one of the largest wealth management verticals in the world, comprising more than $4.5 trillion dollars in assets. It has a presence in 32 countries around the world.
Evercore is one of the youngest investment banks with just 30 years of history. The bank is considered to be a remarkable financial institute as it records dealmaking numbers comparable to its much older peers that have existed for over a century. The bank is known for its restructuring advisory. It has worked on massive restructuring deals for clients such as GE and Verizon. Evercore has a very ambitious corporate culture. One of the biggest attractions for young investment bankers is the bank’s low analyst-per-associate ratio. Junior investment bankers have relatively higher client-facing opportunities and gain deeper insights into dealmaking.
Evercore has over $12 billion dollars in AUM, as of June 2022 but has provided advisory worth $4.7 trillion dollars and operates in 11 countries.
Bank of America
The investment bank was created through a series of mergers, the most notable being the acquisition of Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis of 2008. Bank of America, apart from its advisory services, is known for its soft work culture. Unlike the alpha male-dominated locker room culture of Wall Street, the bank has an amiable work environment. This is also one of the strongest draws for investment banking aspirants. Moreover, a degree from an Ivy League university is not required for the bank to take notice of your resume. The institution also ranks the highest when it comes to diversity.
Bank of America is the second-largest U.S. bank, in terms of size, with a balance sheet size of approximately $3.1 trillion.
When it comes to getting into one of these financial behemoths, it is important to consider your personality and individual goals, above everything else. If you are interested in restructuring and advisory, you should prefer a bank which shares that interest. Moreover, amongst these five financial institutions, Goldman Sachs is the hardest to break into. It receives over 100,000 applications for 2300 internship positions every year.