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What are the Best Investment Banks to Work for?

In determining the best investment firms and banks to work for, the criteria used includes market shares, number of deals and services performed in the past year, the bank's structuring abilities, it's network of resources, the innovation of the firm, pricing and overall reputation. The most important requirement however, is trust in the company.

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Employees want their employment to include all the elements necessary for a satisfactory quality of life; good compensation, decent working hours, fair treatment by management, a diverse array of jobs, good training programs and a favorable outlook for long term employment. The business culture and job satisfaction are two of the prime requirements. Experts and analysts in the financial job placement arena have broken down the requirements of a good job in an investment bank as:

  • 40% prestige of the firm.
  • 20% the business culture.
  • 10% overall satisfaction.
  • 10% compensation.
  • 10% business outlook for future.

Several years past, the trend in investment banking jobs seemed to be to go global and find jobs oversees especially in Asia and China. Today, in 2013, for job seekers in the United States and elsewhere, the best opportunities seem to be back in the US. The leveraged loan industry is doing slightly better than merger and acquisitions, and experts advise staying with larger firms and avoiding small banks, but the jobs and new opportunities are there. Investment banking is especially good for college graduates who have put in time in unpaid internships; they are being picked up quickly after receiving degrees into the top investment firms. The investment banking world is also a good fit for veterans with military experience. New opportunities are opening up on the corporate side of investing and in helping private companies manage mergers and acquisitions.

The top 5 investment banks

J. P. Morgan offers M&A, corporate financing, capital marketing, sales and trades of securities, research, prime brokerage and risk management opportunities. Investment banking, financial services for both small businesses and commercial, asset management and private equity services around the world keep J. P. Morgan on top of the list. The company started in 1799, is based in New York City, NY and has international offices in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, San Paolo and Mumbai.

Currently employing over 240,000 people worldwide, J. P. Morgan and Associates has a strong reputation for employee satisfaction.

Goldman Sachs may be considered the most prestigious name in the investment banking world. Always a top deal maker on Wall Street, Goldman Sachs was number one in volume in 2011. Headquartered in New York, its international presence is found in London, Frankfort, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

The company began in 1869 and played a major role in establishing the IPO market in the early 1900s and 50 years later is the first to focus on institutional sales. An innovative company, Goldman Sachs was the first to trade on the New York Stock Exchange, to create a M&A group and use computer technology to distribute reports. Currently employs approximately 32,400 employees.

Morgan Stanley also is involved in the institutional sector as well as asset management and global wealth management. Started in 1854, Morgan Stanley is a leading investment bank around the globe. A very high profile presence on Wall Street, Morgan Stanley has an impressive financial advisory sales force and employs 59,000 around the world.

Houlihan Lokey was started in 1972 and the smallest firm on this list with only 850 employees as of 2012, based in Los Angeles, CA. The middle market financial investor and advisor is a great restructurer and has worked on some of the world's biggest bankruptcy deals; CIT Group, Lehman Brothers, WorldCom, General Electric, Enron and Conseco.

In the past 10 years, Houlihan Lokey has been named the number one provider of fairness opinions worldwide in 4 markets; M&A, capital markets, financial restructuring and financial investment advisory. Besides Los Angeles, they have US offices in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Minneapolis, Washington DC and Atlanta. Their international offices are in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Frankfort, Beijing, London and Paris.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch remains high on the list year after year for investment banking opportunities. In 2013, Euromoney magazine awarded BOA Merrill Lynch the best cash management house in North Americať and they are a global leader in investment banking. BOA serves 52 million users and has over 5,000 offices around the globe. Analysts say that their awards won are due to always finding new opportunities to serve clients and great investment banking teamwork.

Related:What's the Best Paying Bank in the City of London? [Salary Stats]


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