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Vault’s Verdict

BMO Capital Markets is looking for hardworking, intelligent, technically capable candidates. Interns with the firm are treated like full-time analysts, getting access to live deals, mentors, and networking opportunities. Full-time junior bankers work on high-quality assignments, and have access to formal and informal mentorship opportunities, as well as internal mobility opportunities. In addition, promotions paths are clearly defined.

Insiders rave about BMO’s culture, and a healthy work/balance can be achieved. However, lean deal teams, which offer great experience, can mean heavy workloads at times. Meanwhile, salaries and bonuses are in line with the Street average, and benefits are plentiful. There is a generous overtime meal policy, an immediate 5 percent 401(k) match, WFH options (in certain groups), and a significant wellness reimbursement.

As for the firm’s business outlook, it is bright. BMO is well-positioned in Canada, growing in the U.S., and a top North American bank in certain areas, including leveraged finance. 

Hiring Process

“The firm is seeking technically capable, culture contributing, diverse candidates to join the firm.”

“Two interviews typically. HR communicates well with candidates.”

“Selective process. Looking for hardworking, intelligent candidates.”

Interview Questions

“The questions provided by HR are on the easier end, so most interviewers use some of their own to ensure we’re getting technically sound candidates. The firm brand name and them going after students early in the process seems to hold them back from getting top tier candidates in some situations, but most students coming in are very bright.”

“Mix of technicals and behavioral questions.”

“Basic questions: tell me about yourself, walk me through your resume, talk about how the financial statements link, etc.”

Internship Experience

“You get to interact and work on live deals as you would at the analyst level.”

“I had a group mentor who was very supportive and would help me with any questions I had. I was also paired with an out of group mentor, which allowed me to learn more about other coverage/product teams at the bank and network.”

“I was treated like a first-year analyst, and got to understand what the full-time role looked like. Most challenging part was the long hours.”

“Real analyst experience, reasonable hours.”

Career Development

“The firm provides a quick path to promotion to associate (two years), but I wish they were less rigid and would consider star analysts even sooner. The work that is done is usually high quality compared to what I hear from peers, and the company encourages moving around internally. Other than Canada, the company doesn't have many international offices for banking.”

“I think the firm does a good job of encouraging people who want to move internally to do so. However, I think it is more common/easy to transfer from one group in IB to another IB group rather than IB to corporate banking or vice versa. I think there should be more opportunities to work internationally in the London office, for example.”

“BMO has the capabilities of a bulge bracket bank while still having relatively smaller deal teams, leading to exposure to a lot of different transactions, responsibilities, and workstreams. This exposure has allowed me to plug in on projects and transactions more than an analyst would at another bank, based on the experiences that I've heard from friends at larger investment banking platforms. On the flip side, BMO isn't regarded in the same prestige as independent advisory or bulge bracket banks, so deal flow can be slower when the market isn't hot.”

“Mobility opportunities are introduced early and often. This is not exclusive to analysts and associates; as careers develop over time, BMO focuses on retaining, elevating, and collaborating with talent that has grown to VP, director, and MD levels. Formal and informal mentorship opportunities are both valuable and abundant. I’m a woman, and this has extended (and improved) my career in investment banking.”

Quality of Life

“Based on experiences from friends at independent advisory, bulge bracket, and other middle-market banks, I truly don’t think there is a bank that has a better combination of work/life balance, total compensation, and the ability to work interesting transactions than BMO.”

 “The culture itself is very good. People tend to be easy to get along with and willing to take the time to show new hires the ropes. However, work/life balance is still not great, though probably better than at most other banks and that is just a part of being in IB.”

 “Lean deal teams mean significantly fewer concerns than competitors around self-preservation/politics with respect to layoffs amidst a challenging market backdrop. However, busy times offer limited genuine work/life balance, as work ‘lift’ is spread across fewer shoulders than at large competitors.”

“BMO has an incredible culture that is hands-down better than any other bank on the Street.”

Salary and Benefits

“Best part is the cash bonus for analysts and associates. On the downside, there’s part equity bonus starting at the VP level that vests over three years.”

“The $35 seamless allowance is a distinct positive.”

“I do wish compensation were higher, especially since my group did better than most others last year, but that isn't how it works here. Overall, total comp was about the average in the industry for last year. The company has good policies for overtime meals and matches 5 percent of 401(k) immediately. Some groups are more flexible about WFH than others.”

“At the associate level, BMO pays 100 percent cash bonuses, which I’ve heard isn't standard across Wall Street. At the same time, bonus/total compensation at the associate level is in line or better than Street (at least for the last couple of years). In terms of worst aspects, it's my understanding that signing/stub bonus at BMO is below the Street average.”

Wellness Initiatives

“We get $600/year for gym/wellness, which generously cuts the cost for a gym membership in NYC but doesn’t cover it completely. Finding the time to make it to the gym is still an uphill battle.”

“Significant amount of virtual and live programming ranging from mental health considerations to meditations to awareness trainings across cultures and events. Most recently, BMO employees have been gifted Headspace subscriptions for themselves and up to four family members.”

“BMO provides an annual $600 wellness reimbursement credit that can be used towards mental or physical health. The firm also has several private wellness rooms located on each floor in the office that anyone can use at any time (assuming it's not already occupied). “

“We have various wellness programs that are promoted during the year, and there is a wellness allowance that is extremely useful.”

Diversity and ESG Initiatives

“HR is very aware of DEI and makes a push to be inclusive and to address diversity.”

“We have an ESG impact fund.”

Business Outlook

“Leadership has maintained a consistent message and done a good job to keep all lines of business open and growing throughout the economic decline.”

“Well-positioned in Canada. U.S. market share could be improved.”

“Great culture, client-focused, and we win without being sharks but instead by being focused on what our clients need.”

“Recognition in the U.S. market is still developing in M&A. We are at the top for leveraged finance.”


BMO Capital Markets

151 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (416) 359-4000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Public
CEO: Daniel Barclay
2023 Employees (All Locations): 2,800

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
Chicago, IL
San Francisco, CA
Boston, MA
Dallas, TX
Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton & Vancouver, Canada
London, United Kingdom
Paris, France
Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, China
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Dublin, Ireland
Taipei, Taiwan
Melbourne, Australia;