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Guggenheim Securities
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Vault’s Verdict

Guggenheim Securities is looking for well-rounded, intelligent, intellectually-curious, inquisitive, humble candidates with strong technical skills. For students, the firm runs a highly rewarding internship program. Interns have access to extensive formal and informal training, valuable mentorship from senior bankers, and a lot of hands-on deal experience. Meanwhile, full-time junior bankers have access to numerous growth opportunities, including significant responsibility on live deals, a lot of client contact, formal training seminars, and excellent formal and informal mentoring.

Although strong deal flow means hours can be long and demanding at times, Guggenheim is highly supportive of work/life balance. The firm’s four-day in-office/one-day remote calendar helps a lot, and in general, seniors are very understanding of commitments outside of work. As long as your work is completed and you get someone to cover for you (which is easy given the firm’s highly collaborative culture), you’re able to make your personal commitments. As for compensation, Guggenheim pays its professionals at the upper end of the Street average—salaries and bonuses are both very generous. In addition, the firm’s benefits are plentiful, with insiders especially appreciating the casual dress policy, free food and snacks, free on-site gym, and free access to Headspace and Teladoc Health.

Guggenheim is very focused on cultivating a diverse workforce and inclusive culture, and has various effective diversity-related programs, foundations, and fellowships in place. As for the firm’s business outlook, it is extremely bright. Guggenheim has been attracting top senior talent in recent years and has a strong leadership team in place. In addition, the firm is very well positioned to succeed in any economic environment—its M&A and restructuring groups are both market leaders.

EMPLOYEE REVIEWS

Hiring Process

“Guggenheim goes through a robust process to select candidates for Superdays. Following completion of the Superday, all interviewers gather into a room to compare notes and make selections. Candidates are called immediately after the decisions are made (typically within an hour or two). Guggenheim is seeking candidates who would fit our culture and thrive in it. I would say the ideal candidate combines excellence, integrity, and humility. It is somebody who is highly confident in their abilities but doesn’t take themselves too seriously.”

“There is target school recruiting where we shortlist candidates from certain target schools. First rounds are conducted, followed by a Superday. Candidates generally find out if they’ve been accepted on the day of the Superday from a senior team member. The firm is obviously looking for someone who is a good cultural fit and technically competent. It’s also generally most helpful when someone can easily adapt to the learning curve and start meaningfully contributing to the teams early on.”

“Very structured and professional process. Seeking well-rounded, intelligent, intellectually curious, and dedicated people. Looking for inquisitive people, willing to work hard and learn. We hire many BBAs but also have a significant number of liberal arts majors. We provide significant training so you see a broad range of majors in our hiring.”

“Guggenheim’s interview and callback process is very transparent to all parties. I am familiar with the intern/analyst recruiting process out of school, and from my experience there were two rounds, with the first being a technical round and the second being two behavioral interviews. These interviews are conducted by all levels of the firm, and callback time is often same day (usually only a few hours, as was my case and several others I know—which is a really great feature so candidates are not falsely strung along). Guggenheim knows the candidates and members of the firm it wants—this includes genuinely nice, friendly, good people. There is a policy of not hiring the opposite of this. The firm looks for people who can have a genuinely good conversation and are not robotic. The firm looks for candidates who have high EQs and value similar values including teamwork, diversity, CSR, hard work, and respect. This is along with candidates with strong technical skills and the ability to learn and take feedback.”

Interview Questions

“Imagine that you are an associate/analyst at Guggenheim. You are busy on a number of projects and working at full capacity. An associate comes to you and asks you to perform a task that you believe may be a waste of time and will be quite time consuming. What do you do? What has been your biggest challenge (academically, professionally, or personally) and how did you handle it? Why was it challenging for you? How did you ultimately overcome this challenge? What did you learn from this experience? Beginning with revenue, how would you calculate a company’s EBITDA? Beginning with EBITDA, how would you calculate a company’s Net Income?”

“Walk me through your resume. Why Guggenheim? Why banking? What is an LBO and DCF? What are the features of a strong LBO candidate? How would you value an apple tree? What makes you a good fit for this firm?”

“Technical: accounting questions, walk an item through the financial statements, calculate equity/enterprise value, walk through a DCF, accretion/dilution, number problems. Behavioral: go more in depth on experiences on resume, your impact in those experiences, interests on resume, scenario questions (what would you do in x situation, etc.).”

“To succeed in the interview process, it is very important to know what makes you and the firm it a good match. Be able to demonstrate you have an idea of the culture at the firm, what groups and products the firm has, and why you should be hired at the firm.”

Intern Experience

“The internship was an incredible opportunity to learn more about investment banking and connect with people at the firm. It was a very accurate picture of the work environment at the firm and amazing time to meet junior and senior bankers.”

“Prior to starting, interns are paired with peer mentors to help prep for internship success and then additional mentors once the program starts. Additionally, the program follows a generalist staffing model, allowing interns exposure to a number of different product and industry groups.”

“Best experiences: 1) Recruitment-sponsored networking events. As interns, we were constantly encouraged to attend group-specific and firmwide recruitment events and met a lot of great people at the firm. 2) Summer advisory project. As interns, we had to come up with strategic alternatives for a real client of Guggenheim and present in front of senior level bankers—this was a really worthwhile learning experience.”

“Got exposure to multiple verticals and deal types. Had a lot of interaction with senior deal team members and received a lot of mentorship. Got a lot of on-the-job training in tandem with a more separate, formal program. Experience was primarily deal-related, which is great.”

“The best aspect of the internship experience was the live hands-on transaction experience. I felt very a valued member of the deal team even as a summer intern, working on a multi-billion-dollar deal. The team really appreciated my contributions and gave me a deal toy when the transaction closed so that it was waiting for me when I returned full time. The worst aspect of the internship experience was the long hours, but I went into the internship expecting this.”

Career Development

“Guggenheim is very focused on talent management and development. The firm’s goal is to build a multi-generational franchise, and we are investing in our people across the firm. Junior bankers are given significant growth opportunities, including actively participating in client meetings and internal discussions, as well as taking leadership roles on developing analyses and perspectives in support of transactions. While the firm is continuing to offer more formal training seminars, Guggenheim has been very supportive of an informal mentoring as well as providing specific training and feedback where it can be helpful (for example, getting a private coach to develop presentation skills).”

“Guggenheim has always invested heavily in its people, from analyst through the most senior bankers. The firm clearly communicates its philosophy that in a human capital business, the investment to develop talent produces the highest ROI. We have multiple programs in place for training of new hires as well as remedial training for those who are identified as being behind the curve. The firm also recently made a number of hires exclusively focused on talent development. I’ve observed a massive improvement in the way feedback and performance review feedback is being collected and delivered to employees.”

“When trading notes with my peers at every other competing firms, I’ve found that employees at Guggenheim have a better overall value proposition than our competitors. The resources and opportunities are there. The senior leadership listens to employee feedback and gives opportunities to influence outcomes. The biggest drawbacks as it pertains to career development opportunities have more to do with being a young, primarily domestic-focused boutique, not the development up the ladder. International presence is limited and switching roles happens but is not as common as at bulge bracket banks, for obvious reasons.”

“Guggenheim Securities is uniquely positioned for career development, given our highly talented senior managing directors who have long-tenured, successful careers on Wall Street and are very focused on development and training. In addition, Guggenheim has a very collaborative culture ultra-focused on providing our clients with thoughtful and differentiated advice. Lastly, the mid-level vice presidents are self-starters, independent, and invested in the opportunity at Guggenheim so are very focused on effectively mentoring junior colleagues.”

Quality of Life

“Guggenheim is a highly-collaborative, team-oriented firm, where we strive to partner well and win as a team. The culture is flat, and there is significant whitespace. The people are down-to-earth, and there is regular interaction between senior and junior bankers, as well as administrative staff. Guggenheim is highly supportive of quality of life, including a four-day in-office/one-day remote calendar.”

“We work very hard, but every member of the team takes time out of the office (at least one protected day a week) and vacations are largely quiet. We have incredibly talented deal teams who work to pick up the slack when teammates are out so they can decompress and will do the same when it’s the other teammates' vacations.”

“Quality of life, and a desire to promote quality of life, is where I think Guggenheim differentiates. The entire premise of our team is centered on being highly successful, but achieving that in a way that doesn’t resemble traditional banking or cultural norms in terms of work/life balance. I’ve had several situations in my personal life that required unexpected time away, and I could not have been better supported or encouraged to take the time necessary and focus on what's important.”

“I think teams are pretty understanding if you have personal events. As long as you manage your workload and get sufficient coverage, you are able to still have a personal life. They’ll try their best to avoid late nights, which are inevitable sometimes. People overall try their best to ensure people have some semblance of a work/life balance.”

Salary and Benefits

“Guggenheim compensates its professionals at the upper end of Wall Street, at all levels. The bonus compensation includes a high portion in cash pay, and the deferred portion is paid out in cash after it vests. The downside is that the deferred portion is phantom equity, is paid out a year after it vests, and is not something we can defer for longer periods in order to take advantage of additional compounding.”

“No strings attached cash bonuses for junior bankers. No vesting, no clawbacks, no strings. Above-Street total comp (especially when comparing what you can walk away with the day after bonus day).”

“The best is even during harder economic times Guggenheim is consistently at or above Street. No forced buckets, so there can be as many people getting highest bucket that deserve it. In order to be at or above Street, Guggenheim pays out bonuses later than other firms (analysts late August/early September and associates and above in March).”

“Compensation is always extremely competitive here, and I think people generally feel very well compensated. The firm has great benefits, a great casual dress policy, flexible hours, and free food and snacks, which is not something that many other firms have. I do think more could be done in areas of remote work and child-care options. As remote work flexibility becomes less available, I find people get more frustrated. With that said, we still can work from home on Fridays, which makes a huge difference for people.”

Wellness Efforts

“Counseling, meditation, nutrition, on-site gym, and ability to take time to use it whenever convenient. The firm treats us like competent, ambitious adults. In many cases, when people have needed breaks due to burnout, our senior team has been very supportive of giving these people the time they needed to take a break without putting pressure on them to return until they were ready.”

“The firm offers free on-site gym access to all employees, free access to Headspace and Teladoc Health for counseling and other healthcare needs. The firm provides many volunteering events for individuals, and sometimes people will get together to form groups and do fun activities such as playing sports or group outings.”

“The firm offers the wide array of wellness initiatives and offerings that you would expect from an elite investment banking firm. Difference here is the culture is much more oriented around encouraging team members to take advantage of the offerings vs. simply making them available.”

“Guggenheim's on-site gym with trainers who help craft individualized diet plans is something that has helped me as well as many other employees tremendously. Guggenheim very much cares about employee wellness and does their best to help employees maintain healthy and active lifestyles.”

Diversity and ESG Initiatives

“Guggenheim is very focused on fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. For example, Guggenheim has a very strong military veterans program, attracting a good number each summer. Guggenheim also puts in a lot of effort through its diversity recruiting program, which seeks to give offers to qualified diversity candidates on an accelerated basis.”

“I am directly involved with our recruiting efforts, and we take a very open, inclusive, and pointed effort towards improving and enhancing diversity within the firm. It takes a conscious effort, and from my vantage point, we are moving in the right direction and it’s supported and encouraged by leadership.”

“The firm is very focused on diversity and inclusion. It’s a core part of the firm’s values and driven from the top down. And the firm does an amazing job investing in diversity through engaging programs like Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) and Forte Foundation, along with supporting its new hires through MBA and undergraduate diversity fellowships. In addition to these initiatives, Guggenheim has several others that further highlight its concerted effort to promote diversity within the firm.”

“As someone with a disability, Guggenheim has gone out their way to accommodate me and make me feel welcome as a valued member of the team. Furthermore, working with a diverse group of colleagues that includes multiple military veterans and members of the LGBTQ+ community has helped create an environment of tolerance and respect.”

Business Outlook

“Guggenheim has been investing across the entire platform, attracting top senior bankers in each of the firm’s key sectors. Our bankers have significant relationships, experience, and intellectual property, which our clients appreciate greatly. Guggenheim is also well-positioned in case of a potential downturn in the economy, with a world-class liability management franchise as a nice complement to our top M&A advisory practice.”

“Outlook is fantastic. The firm continues to attract top senior talent from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and other top firms because of the significant opportunity and positioning of the platform. The firm has led and continues to lead some of the most complex and industry-defining transactions across industry groups. Employee morale is incredibly positive; enthusiasm is drawn from the incredible opportunity in front of us.”

“The firm as a whole is positioned to be successful in any market environment. In a high interest rate environment, M&A obviously slows a bit, but the restructuring group is very high quality and able to supplement the lower revenue from the other groups. Leadership overall has also done a great job using down markets to build stronger client connections and take market share from other banks.”

“Senior leadership is unmatched. They are truly electric personalities, huge motivators, very strategic around where and how we grow, and major culture carriers. They lead from the top. Everyone is encouraged to speak up, empower each other and win together.”

Guggenheim Securities

330 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 312-827-0100

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Partnership
CEO: Mark Van Lith
Co-Chairmen: Alan Schwartz & Jim Millstein

Major Office Locations

National
London, UK and Dublin, Ireland

Major Departments & Practices

Advisory
Financing
Sales & Trading
Research
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