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by Vault-Firsthand | January 25, 2023


Today, we're excited to release our 2023 Banking 25, a ranking of the best investment banking firms to work for in North America. The ranking is based on a survey of more than 3,000 investment banking professionals. Conducted this past fall, the survey asked banking professionals to rate their own firms in various quality of life categories, including compensation, hours, culture, business outlook, training, work/life balance, and overall job satisfaction. The survey also asked bankers to assess their peer firms in terms of prestige. A weighted formula, which includes internal quality of life scores and external prestige scores and, was applied to this data to create the Banking 25.

The 10 Best Investment Banks to Work for in 2023 Based on Vault’s Annual Banking Survey Are:

1. Centerview Partners

2. Evercore

3. Moelis & Company

4. Morgan Stanley

5. Lazard

6. PJT Partners

7. Perella Weinberg Partners

8. Guggenheim Securities

9. William Blair

10. Greenhill

No. 1 Centerview Is an “Impressive Franchise” That Offers “Insane Pay”

In addition to ranking No. 1 in the Banking 25, Centerview ranks No. 1 in an impressive 16 workplace categories: Business Outlook, Client Interaction, Compensation, Culture, ESG Practices, Firm Leadership, Formal Training, Hiring Process, Hours, Informal Training, Internal Mobility, Promotion Policies, Quality of Work, Satisfaction, Wellness, and Work/Life Balance. The firm also ranks No. 5 in Prestige, with bankers at peer firms calling Centerview “hands down the best firm on the Street,” an “impressive franchise” that offers “insane pay,” and, simply, “the GOAT.”

Meanwhile, Centerview professionals tell us that the firm’s “apprenticeship model” offers a “unique opportunity to learn from and work with some of the smartest, hardworking, talented bankers in the world.” In addition, Centerview bankers rave about the “strong deal flow” and “high quality of work,” which means working alongside “high profile clients” on “high profile deals.” Add to that “the highest comp on the Street” and it’s no wonder Centerview has a stranglehold on the No. 1 spot overall in our rankings.

No. 2 Evercore Is a “Nimble,” “Elite,” “Top-Tier Boutique”

Evercore again ranks No. 2 overall and holds onto its No. 4 ranking in Prestige. In addition, it ranks No. 2 in Formal Training, No. 3 in Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and No. 3 in Hiring Process. Peer bankers say Evercore is a “top-tier boutique” offering a “great overall experience” and “good comp.” Peer bankers also call Evercore “elite,” “exclusive,” “nimble,” “creative,” and “a strong competitor.”

Meanwhile, Evercore insiders tell us that the firm is filled with “ultra-smart, talented, ambitious people,” and has a “culture of excellence.” Evercore insiders also tell us its junior bankers are treated to “a lot of early responsibility,” “excellent deal experience,” and “outstanding compensation.”

No. 3 Moelis Is a “Top 5 Boutique” and “Premier Restructuring Firm”

Moelis impressively holds steady this year at No. 3. overall. It also ranks No. 1 in Relationships with Managers, and No. 2 in numerous workplace categories, including Benefits, Business Outlook, Informal Training, Internal Mobility, Promotion Policies, Quality of Work, Satisfaction, Wellness, and Work/Life Balance. In addition, Moelis again ranks No. 7 in Prestige.

This year, peer bankers tell us that Moelis is a “top 5 boutique” and “premier restructuring firm” that offers “good exit opportunities.” Meanwhile, Moelis insiders say the firm has “great people” and “a collaborative team-oriented culture,” and offers junior bankers “access to senior leaders,” “many growth opportunities,” and “top-tier compensation.”

Loop Capital, “the Most Diverse Team on Wall Street,” Ranks No. 1 in All Four Diversity Categories

Chicago-based Loop Capital Markets, which ranks No. 18 overall, sweeps our Diversity Rankings for the second year in a row. Impressively, the firm again ranks No. 1 in all four of our diversity categories: Overall Diversity, Racial and Ethnic Diversity, Diversity for Women, and LGBTQ+ Diversity.

According one Loop Capital insider, “I believe we have the most diverse team on Wall Street. Our CEO is an African-American male, our Head of HR is an African-American female, our Head of Corporate Investment Banking is an African-American female, our Head of APAC is an Asian female, our Head of our Short-Term Desk is an Asian female, and our Head of Public Finance is an African-American male.” Another Loop Capital insider tells us that this year Loop “partnered with a program for young, high-achieving first generation students called ATLAS Fellows, which provides scholarships and internship support.”

Lazard and William Blair Also Win Big in Our Quality of Life Rankings

New York-based Lazard ranks No. 1 in International Opportunities, and Chicago-based William Blair ranks No. 1 in Benefits as well as Vacation Policies. One Lazard insider tells us that they were “given the opportunity to transfer overseas for a year, giving me exposure to new ideas, clients, markets, and cultures.” Meanwhile, William Blair insiders tell us that “maternity and paternity leave is very much supported and you’re encouraged to take it,” and “senior leadership is very serious about vacations and protected time out of the office.”

Top Investment Banks Address Junior-Banker Burnout

2021 was one of Wall Street’s busiest and most profitable years in history. It was also a year during which many junior bankers felt overworked, underappreciated, and burned out—and weren’t afraid to speak out about it. Judging by the results of our recent Banking Survey, top investment banks got the message—and made changes, improving their perks and benefits as well as how they approach work/life balance.

According to the more than 3,000 banking professionals who took our survey this year, on average their Satisfaction with their Vacation Policies rose by 8 percent versus last year and their Satisfaction with their Wellness Benefits rose by 5 percent. In addition, their Satisfaction with Working Hours rose by 4.5 percent and Satisfaction with Compensation rose by 6 percent.

Further, according to many bankers who took our survey, now it’s common that their firms offer protected weekends (preventing senior bankers from giving juniors work on certain weekend days). It’s also common that juniors are encouraged to use all their PTO. In addition, many firms now offer an extensive suite of wellness benefits.

Here’s one banker who took our survey speaking about the wellness offerings at their firm: “The firm provides a free benefit for telehealth therapy through a provider. There are wellness rooms to decompress, and taking mindfulness breaks is encouraged. Regular trainings and seminars are hosted by the firm. During Covid, bankers and management took a lot of interest in employees’ mental health.” And here’s another junior banker at a different firm: “Our staffers work to build genuine rapport with us and watch out for signs of overwork or burnout, intervening well before the needle hits red.”

Our new banking company profiles include many more direct quotes from banking professionals about hours, work/life balance, overall satisfaction, compensation, benefits, training, wellness, diversity, business outlook, and more.

View the entire Banking 25 Rankings, Prestige Rankings, Quality of Life Rankings, and Diversity Rankings.