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Moelis & Company


Vault’s Verdict

Moelis & Company is ideally looking for intellectually curious, well-rounded, persistent, intelligent self-starters with strong problem-solving skills, strong social skills, and a track record of excellence. The firm runs a valuable internship program for students, providing interns with a significant level of responsibility on a wide variety of live transactions. Interns have access to senior bankers who are willing to help as well as access to clients (some interns report getting to travel to client meetings). Meanwhile, Moelis’ full-time junior bankers have access to numerous career development opportunities, including excellent formal and on-the-job training, tons of live deal experience on a wide variety of transactions, the ability to move to other groups (including overseas) within the firm, and significant client exposure.

Although hours and workload depend on which group you work in, working for a firm like Moelis with very strong deal flow means that work hours can be long and unpredictable. However, Moelis has a “no facetime” culture, supports work/life balance with policies such as “protected weekends,” and encourages bankers to take advantage of their vacation time (and unplug on vacation as well). As for salaries and bonuses, they are well above the Street average. Indeed, Moelis is one of the highest paying banks on the Street. In addition, health care coverage and wellness benefits are generous and get rave reviews by insiders.

Diversity and inclusion is another strong suit. Moelis is committed to hiring and retaining diverse talent, its culture is inclusive, and it has active employee networks for racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, women, and military veterans. With respect to the firm’s business outlook, Moelis has a solid pipeline of deals and has been aggressively hiring talent and expanding geographically. Its leadership team is highly capable, smart, and driven, and employee morale is high.


Hiring Process

“Our interview process for post-MBA associates is logical and straightforward: coffee chat(s), an initial screener, a technical round, and then a Superday. Priority candidates typically hear back quickly, as we understand they are competing in the market for IB offers. Our ideal candidates are quick thinkers and curious and conversational people capable of balancing the intellectual and social demands (e.g., handling casual client interactions) of an investment banker.”

“Very typical. Meeting with the team, then vetted by more senior leadership. I think ideal candidates are resourceful, persistent, intelligent, likable, and enjoy being challenged in order to grow their professional skill set and career.”

“Well-defined interview timeline. Seeking candidates who understand and appreciate the Moelis approach to holistic client advisory services and desire to work on this specific platform vs. peer firms. The ideal candidate is intellectually curious, well-rounded with interests that extend beyond investment banking, and has demonstrated excellence in past pursuits.”

“The ideal candidate is a self-starter with strong problem-solving skills willing to analyze issues and state opinions even if those opinions are not what clients want to hear.”

Interview Questions

“Our technical interviews are far more probing and conceptual than those I encountered while recruiting, especially with larger firms. While there may be set lists of questions, interviewers have discretion to ask for a ‘double click’ on a particular topic to more fully assess a candidate’s fluency with a concept (to see if they merely understand the surface as provided by Breaking into Wall Street or do they really understand it). We also have a unique case study that I think provides an interesting break from the monotony of most Superday interviews, while also providing an additional opportunity to assess a candidate’s ability to think critically on the fly.”

“Standard interview format is half fit (why banking, why Moelis, experience overview) and half technical (detailed accounting and valuation concepts).”

“Complex valuation analyses which are designed to make candidates think through a problem (without just repeating memorized formulas).”

“Walk me through a DCF. How would you value this company? Why investment banking? Walk me through an LBO. M&A accretion/dilution math. Walk me through a change in depreciation and its effects across the three financial statements.”

Intern Experience

“I was able to work on a wide variety of transactions and other projects with multiple sector and product groups, gaining valuable experience and exposure to a diversity of smart people. I was also able to travel to a client meeting during the summer program.”

“Wonderful live deal experience, beyond that of any of my MBA peers who interned at other banks. Sat in on an in-person board meeting of a public-company discussing an M&A transaction. Worked on several live transactions and got great exposure that set me up tremendously for when I arrived full time. The class of interns was very close, and the intern program gave great opportunities to network.”

“I was given a significant level of responsibility on my projects as an intern and given the opportunity to rise to the occasion. It really helped acclimate me to the profession, my responsibilities, etc. I also got to go to client meetings and played an active part in the development of materials (both PowerPoint and Excel models) that were used in presentations with clients.”

“We were given real work for the full 10 weeks. I appreciated the access to other bankers at all levels and felt they were legitimately interested in helping me learn. Friends of mine at other investment banking firms were only given special projects and nothing that they deemed important. Worst aspect was not being able to see some assignments through or deals closed due to the duration of the program.”

Career Development

“You work a lot at Moelis, but it's mostly on live, real deals. It’s not a bunch of high-level coverage work that (seems to) go nowhere, as my friends from other banks tell me. In a couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a variety of deals across media/entertainment and consumer, and given the extensive workload, I’ve been able to develop quickly and feel much more confident than I ever did before. I’m learning every day and am ready to take on new challenges as I work towards becoming a VP. From a worst standpoint, there doesn't seem to be a lot of formal training for associates (as there is for VP and up), but in my view that’s okay because I learn best from being thrown in the fire.”

“Great programs in place after promotion to help guide and mentor us on what this next chapter looks like. Recurring trainings/refreshers offered throughout the year, and most importantly the HR team has been good about taking our feedback into consideration for the programming.”

“Best aspects include: international opportunities (the firm encourages internal mobility and international opportunities; I’m currently on a one-year international assignment myself); quality of work (there’s a constant stream of interesting and stimulating work being brought in; I’ve worked on buy-side and sell-side M&A, restructuring, capital markets, and activism defense projects all during my short tenure at the firm); and training (the firm provides ample formal training opportunities, and senior bankers are always willing to take time out of their day to provide more informal training and mentoring).”

“People take a strong interest in your career development, which results in better on-the-job training and client exposure. Transparent feedback process helps set stage early in career for potential promotions. Moelis also provides extensive support in terms of continuing education to support ongoing development.”

Quality of Life

“The firm has grown large enough that there isn't an all-encompassing culture with respect to quality of life. Such matters are group-specific. My group has excellent quality of life, starting at the top with senior bankers who are respectful of major personal obligations and a degree of reciprocity amongst juniors and mid-levels. On the whole, Moelis tries to promote better quality of life through things like protected weekends, but the firm has an inherited culture of ‘sweatiness’ that sometimes rules the day (not that it is the fault of your team per se, but rather of demanding clients).”

“If you believe everything you read, you would call Moelis a sweat shop. In fact, it's no more demanding of your personal time than any other banking jobs. I often think the 'sweat shop' designation is really a proxy for the attention to detail that the firm demands, but once you learn what those expectations are and how they translate into the client facing work that you're involved in, it becomes much more manageable. Also, the firm does a great job at offering vacation time and granting personal time requests. They care about us as people which is a huge benefit in my opinion. Alongside that, they do a great job of organizing group/team-building outings and activities. It is a lot of hard work, but the rewards are a great incentive to work a long day.”

“Very team dependent on which MDs value protected time or efficiency of work. I have found the general consensus across the bank is when there is something to do it is all-hands on deck, no vacation/sleep, etc. However, we don’t have a face time culture, so if things slow down you are free to enjoy. Some teams are great with limited weekend work unless necessary, and others aren’t.”

“The downside of being on a lot of deals is that it can be hard to maintain good work/life balance, particularly if you are married or have children. It's difficult to plan Saturday day events given the uncertainty of the job which can be frustrating. That said, when I'm on vacation, my deal teams have done an excellent job in letting me unplug and not bothering me unless crucial. I pay it forward by doing my best to cover for my teammates when they take time off.”

Salary and Benefits

“I'm lucky to know that I’m paid among the best on the Street given I'm at Moelis and not at a bulge bracket or smaller boutique. That helps with my motivation! On the downside, some of the comp is via equity, which grants over several years (i.e., not fully cash-based, but I understand why).”

“We have a great benefits package, which includes not only medical/dental/vision coverage but also many resources for mental health support and so much more. I think we always shake out at top of the Street in terms of total compensation, even in the down market. Our bonuses are significant and reflect how hard we work, and support for growing our families is also significant. One thing they don't offer that might be nice is education reimbursement.”

“Moelis pays near the top of the market. My only complaint is that I would prefer to receive zero equity compensation (cash is king!), but even there, we tend to pay more cash (as a percentage of total compensation) than most publicly listed firms.”

“I was able to freeze my eggs this year due to our fertility benefits. This is something nearly no one I know has where nearly 100 percent of costs are covered. I wouldn't have been able to do it if Moelis didn't have this as a part of our benefits package. Also, having remote Fridays allows for the flexibility we had during COVID for one day a week, which feels much more productive than an unreliable schedule. At my former bank, you never knew when anyone would be in the office, which made going in a pain. Now, understanding the expectation of four days and having one flexible feels fair and a good model.”

Wellness Efforts

“Teladoc 24/7 for medical and behavioral health support; Family Building Assistance Program for fertility treatments, adoption, and surrogacy; commuter benefits; annual health fair, including on-site biometric screening and flu shots.”

“Have had some good programming throughout the year around mental health, which seems to be a big focus. Among other events and activities, experts are brought in around counseling, exercise, nutrition, etc.”

“Several different options for therapists/counseling, Great external speakers such as Arthur Brooks, on-site biometric screenings, health fairs, flu shots, etc.”

“Moelis does a lot to ensure that bankers have proper support, especially during the busiest times. Having been here through a few peaks and troughs in the M&A cycle, the protected time off policy was helpful in ensuring I could disconnect. Other benefits like the health insurance, Teladoc, and flexible spending are pretty comprehensive.”

Diversity and ESG Initiatives

“Great commitment to hiring and retaining diverse talent. Employee Networks do a great job of connecting employees globally, which helps retention. All of this helps with recruiting.”

“We have several pipelines for undergrad and MBA students who identify with underrepresented groups on Wall Street. I have participated in those pipeline programs both as a student and now as a banker. I feel like our efforts are better every year.”

“We have a diverse and inclusive culture here, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to the firm. Everyone is treated equally, and everyone is accepted as they are. They allow for diversity days so you could celebrate whatever is important to you, whether it be taking the day to go to a Pride parade or for a religious reason, etc.”

“Post-pandemic employee networks were established to foster community and ally-ship with respect to gender, race and ethnicity, LGBTQ+, and military veterans. Additional programs are offered firmwide throughout the year, especially during awareness months (such as Black History Month, etc.). In addition, Moelis has been taking ESG more seriously, a reflection of the fact that it's a household issue for a lot of clients now. The firm’s new Clean Tech group is one example of this, along with the hiring they have done in a bunch of sectors that are increasingly focused on energy transition, decarbonization, etc. The firm supports a number of charitable organizations, which are selected by the employees, and encourages participation in volunteerism and other community-related initiatives.”

Business Outlook

“Strong pipeline of deal flow, and we are constantly expanding, globally and otherwise, which allows for opportunities to travel, have new experiences, and meet new people. Employee morale always seems high, as we do things as a team and are encouraged to support each other.”

“Even though we may be at the bottom of the cycle in terms of deal flow, I have never felt better about Moelis’ future. By staffing up at a time when most other banks were cutting talent, Moelis now has a very strong roster of dealmakers. When the financing markets come back in force, Moelis will be ready to help their clients get deals over the line.”

“The firm was very aggressive and focused on hiring talent during the slower M&A market of 2023 when many other firms were implementing RIFs. We formed a Clean Tech platform, expanded capital markets capabilities, and doubled our tech presence (with SVB hires) over the last 12 months. Recent talent acquisition coupled with core existing private equity relationships and leading corporate/board access is likely to improve growth and market penetration."

“Ken Moelis leads from the front. He’s always upbeat and takes advantage of downturns in the market with strategic hires. Overall, our leaders are very capable, smart, and driven. I’m confident the firm will continue to thrive.”

Moelis & Company

399 Park Avenue
5th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 883-3800

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Public
Stock Symbol: MC
Stock Exchange: NYSE
CEO: Kenneth Moelis
Co-Presidents: Navid Mahmoodzadegan & Jeff Raich
2024 Employees (All Locations): 1,180

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA
Chicago, IL
Boston, MA
Houston, TX
London, United Kingdoms
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Beijing, China
Hong Kong, China
Paris, France
Frankfurt, Germany
Mumbai, India
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Major Departments & Practices

M&A and Strategic Advisory
Capital Structure Advisory
Capital Markets
Private Funds Advisory