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Centerview Partners


Vault’s Verdict

Centerview is looking for highly intelligent, creative self-starters with strong quantitative skills, strong communication skills, a genuine interest in investment banking, and the ability and desire to take on a lot of responsibility. Centerview’s summer interns are staffed on live assignments, given the opportunity to take on a lot of responsibility, and given access to senior professionals. Interns essentially operate as first-year analysts. Meanwhile, Centerview’s full-time junior bankers receive access to nearly endless career development opportunities. There’s a fantastic analyst-to-associate promotion program, highly valuable formal training taught by Centerview bankers, and an apprenticeship culture where seniors are always willing to take time out of their days to offer support and assistance to juniors.

Although the firm doesn’t have a formal protected weekend program, teams aim to avoid giving juniors unnecessary weekend work. And in general, senior bankers respect junior’s time, and are very understanding of family and personal events. Still, due to the strong deal flow and complex, high-profile nature of the firm’s assignments, hours can be long and unpredictable.

Centerview's compensation is extremely generous, and has managed to stay at the top of the Street throughout all the ups and downs in the market. The firm’s meal and Uber policies are also best-in-class, and include free breakfast, lunch, and barista-staffed coffee in the office. As for its wellness offerings, Centerview recently built an excellent in-office gym and has numerous sports teams (soccer, softball, flag football, etc.) that compete in local leagues.

Centerview has made a huge effort when it comes to DEI and continues to make serious strides in diversity. It has created formal diversity affinity groups, and its culture is very welcoming. Recent analyst classes were about 50 percent women, several new associates served in the military, and efforts surrounding LGBTQ+ individuals are improving. However, there are still few women and minority bankers among senior leadership. As for the firm’s business outlook, insiders are extremely confident in the firm’s outlook and leadership for the foreseeable future. As an independent advisor, Centerview is well positioned to thrive in all market conditions, and employee morale is very strong.

Hiring Process

“Centerview runs a thorough interview process to make sure candidates really get to feel like they know the firm—and that the firm really gets to know them across a number of interviews. In addition to picking candidates who excel in quantitative reasoning and qualitative areas like communication and creativity, Centerview is also looking to bring in a group of colleagues who will enjoy each other's company and foster a friendly and collaborative workplace.”

“First-round interviews are generally on campus and spearheaded by alums. Super Days are allocated to a certain number of students per school and consist of five 30-minute interviews back-to-back covering behavioral, technical, fit, leadership, and brainteaser questions. Ideal candidate is well-rounded with an impressive academic track record and differentiated experiences and perspectives, and has a genuine interest in IB and good reasoning to back that interest up. It’s key to perform well during the interview process.”

“The recruiting process typically includes a first-round interview followed by the Super Day, but it can vary. I believe the ideal candidate is a creative thinker with some finance background and experience who can articulate why they want to have a career in investment banking and why they would be a good fit at Centerview in particular.”

“We have a robust interview process with six to seven interviews including the Super Day. The candidates we look for are generally very intelligent people with an inclination to pursue banking as a long-term career. Everyone has to be self-starting and able to handle a lot of responsibility.”

Interview Questions

“Tell me about yourself (and please DON'T say the words ‘banking’ or ‘finance’ when you do), market sizing/market data case study-type questions, brainteasers, classic technical/behavioral questions, plus offbeat questions like ‘If you could bring any modern item back in time to any place, what would you bring and to where?’ and ‘What would you do in a Zombie apocalypse?’”

“Very thorough behavioral and technical interview process. Candidates need to be prepared to think outside the box of the typical boiler plate questions and demonstrate and in depth understanding of many aspects of corporate finance.”

“Non-generic accounting, valuation, and strategic questions as well as questions to assess a candidate’s interests, personality, and creative-thinking abilities.”

“Walk me through a DCF. How does depreciation affect the cash flow statement? Brainteasers, market sizing questions, etc. General Vault Guide technicals and behaviorals. Just truly understanding the concepts in accounting and valuation will take you a long way.”

Intern Experience

“From day one, we were in real meetings with senior bankers and clients. There are no intern projects, just real work. This made for a good learning experience. The firm also did a lot to make sure our class was able to attend social events and lunch talks with partners.”

“The internship experience was great. After a short week of training, we were immediately staffed on live assignments the firm was working on, including live M&A, strategic advisory, core account advisory, activist defense, etc. I was given the opportunity to take on a lot of responsibility and make an impact on some accounts, and overall it gave a great view into the full-time job.”

“Received real deal experience and actually did work that mattered in the long run. Because the teams are so lean, you definitely get thrown into the fire and have some pretty long nights.”

“You're given a lot of responsibility as an intern—by the end of the summer, you're effectively operating as the first-year analyst on your accounts. It can be stressful at times when you're asked to do ‘real work,’ but I think everyone on my teams was very willing to explain everything in detail to make sure I knew what I was doing and sit down with me and go through my mistakes together.”

Career Development

“Clear path to promotion, fantastic analyst-to-associate promotion perks (and it is very encouraged), and everything you do in your first three years as an analyst is suited to prepare you as best as possible for continuing as an associate. Also, if you want to work in London office, they will let you.”

“Centerview continues to make career development a priority. The three-year analyst and associate programs are built around a commitment to develop an overall business skill set, not just a narrow functionality in finance. A Centerview banker understands the full strategic, operational, and financial suite of issues—which is a huge boost relative to peers in banking or PE as your career progresses.”

“Centerview provides a platform where junior employees are able to learn from the best M&A professionals in the industry. As the firm is built around developing talent from within, the focus on training and career opportunities is front and center. Employees are encouraged to ‘play up’ and stretch their limits—starting on Day 1. More limited hierarchy compared to other firms creates a better development opportunity for those who are ambitious and motivated.”

“Centerview goes above and beyond with career development. The formal training is entirely in-house, taught by Centerview bankers from the get-go. From then on, the informal training/career development is exceptional. Everyone is willing to take time out of their busy days to offer support and assistance, making the learning experience much more collaborative. And since the firm wants all analysts to consider long-term careers within Centerview, the firm invests a lot more time and resources into mentoring and developing junior bankers than most other firms who expect analysts to leave ASAP. This has a very beneficial impact on not only career development but also overall firm culture. However, for analysts who want to recruit for private equity and hedge fund roles, the focus on developing career bankers can be a negative since the firm expects all analysts to stay three years rather than two.”

Quality of Life

“As the world has emerged into endemic Covid, the senior leadership firm spent a lot of time with all bankers discussing the career and social benefits of collaborating in office. While significant flexibility remains (people are treated like adults and not watched over), the quality of life in-office, together at the global firm offsite, and at firm-sponsored outside activities is tremendous. The small- firm feel still remains, and the office is a warm and inviting place to be—on most days it feels like going to work with friends.”

“We don't have a strict vacation policy (there is no policy at all), which has pros and cons—you might be able to take more aggregate vacation in a year than if we had a policy, but the vacations might be less protected (especially weekend vacations that aren't weddings). We don't have a protected Saturday program, but most teams try to avoid unnecessary Saturday/weekend work (this can be a bit of a function of who you are working with). In general, I think work/life balance varies pretty widely by analyst, depending on how you have been staffed, but overall, it feels in line with the industry.”

“I moved from a platform that had protected Saturdays, which I thought was great. When I came here, and observed how senior people actively try to avoid having people work on weekends unnecessarily, I realized the protected Saturday thing is not necessary—you just need the right mindset/cultural framework.”

“The firm is really focused on work/life balance and practices what it preaches. No ‘mandatory weekends off,’ which never seems to work, but rather a concerted effort to minimize wasted work and manage teams to allow members to attend important events. Everyone is very reasonable when something comes up, and vacations are usually respected. It’s relatively easy to take time off as long as your team is alright with it. People are very understanding of family and personal events as well. The worst aspect would just be that there is no formal rule on vacation/leave, so people do tend to underspend their vacation days rather than stretch it. Depends on their personalities, though.”

Salary and Benefits

“Centerview's compensation has managed to stay top of Street throughout all the ups and downs in the market over the years, and I have every expectation that this will continue.”

“Centerview remains private, which enables us to both pay bankers without disclosures, in cash, with discretion, and generally high end of the Street.”

“Our meal and Uber policies are by far the best in the industry. There is free breakfast, lunch, and barista-staffed coffee in the office. There is also no cap on dinner (unspoken $50 cap), and they do not enforce any Uber restrictions regarding the time you leave the office. We are also encouraged to go on mentorship lunches and dinners where we have the entire meal reimbursed, and where most people choose to go to Michelin-rated restaurants.”

“Compensation is excellent. Perhaps the strongest compensation package for junior bankers on the Street: generous cash compensation, comprehensive healthcare, great free breakfast/lunch/snack spread at the office, large dinner stipends, and Ubers home from the office. Only annoying things are the no 401(K) match and the 401(k) plans we can choose from have high fees.”

Wellness Benefits

“Centerview just finished building an in-office gym that is very convenient—to be able to duck away from the desk for a workout is very helpful for me from a mental health perspective.”

“Centerview places the wellness of our bankers as a high priority. We encourage vacation and downtime, have a gym in the office, support flexible work arrangements if needed, and generally have a supportive culture.”

“The firm is very committed to wellness—starting with a robust Covid testing process that made us all feel safe being back in office. The new floor has added a seriously sweet gym—Pelotons, free weights, and a locker and showers—that colleagues are encouraged to use any time during the day. Additionally, the staffers work to build genuine rapport with their bankers and watch out for signs of overwork or burnout, intervening well before the needle hits red.”

“The firm provides consistently healthy meals in the office as well as a gym. Additionally, the firm has numerous amateur sports teams (soccer, softball, flag football, etc.) that compete in local leagues.”

Diversity and ESG Initiatives

“Centerview continues to make serious strides on diversity. The culture is very welcoming, and DEI remains a top priority from the founders on down. Beyond recruiting diversity, the firm is focused on allyship and sponsorship, with strong support for a number of very active employee resource groups.”

“The key testament to effectiveness here is the retention. Retention of diverse talent here is the best I’ve seen across the Street. It shows how diverse bankers feel at home here.”

“The firm has made a huge effort to create formal diversity affinity groups. I am a member of one (military veterans), and we have an email distribution list. The firm is great about allowing us to regularly meet for fellowship over a nice meal, professional development through connecting with senior bankers, and speaking about the transition from the military to corporate America. This program has been extremely helpful in my transition from the military. I am very grateful to Centerview for this program.”

“Recent analyst classes are about 50 percent women. A big focus on hiring veterans as well—several of the new associates served in the military. Diversity efforts surrounding LGBTQ+ are improving. However, there are still very few women and minority bankers among senior leadership. In a conference with senior bankers, there were 100+ bankers and about five women.”

“With recent hire Mark Tercek, formerly CEO of The Nature Conservancy, Centerview not only has a proven practitioner focused on its internal ESG efforts but also has been working to help our clients better focus and apply their ESG efforts.”

Business Outlook

“There's no question the markets are taking a long overdue pause/tumble/breather (pick your word). But as a firm that knows how to provide real advice in challenging situations, we are busier than ever. Past experiences (like the global financial crisis) have shown us that this period of relationship-building pays off down the line, with increased deal activity and revenue. In the meantime, the work is interesting, and there’s a tremendous opportunity to develop business acumen.”

“Could not be more confident in the firm’s outlook and leadership moving forward. As an independent advisor, Centerview is positioned to continually thrive despite broader market conditions, and they continue to focus more and more on employee morale post-Covid.”

“Distinguished perception on the Street. Differentiated and engaging approach to investment banking advisory when compared to other firms. Competent and experienced leadership across industry groups and among firm management. High morale despite the difficult year for M&A.”

“Unparalleled deal flow, extremely competent and experienced management, and ability to win large mandates means Centerview is always in a position to do well in any environment.”

Centerview Partners

31 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 380-2650

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Co-Founding Partners: B. Effron, J. Kilts, R. Pruzan
2023 Employees (All Locations): 450

Major Office Locations

Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
New York, NY
London, United Kingdom
Paris, France