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Moelis & Company


Vault’s Verdict

Moelis & Company is ideally looking for intelligent, motivated, hardworking, goal-oriented candidates who actively seek responsibility. The firm’s internship program gets rave reviews, as interns get access to significant live deal experience, senior bankers and clients, and helpful trainings. The hours that interns work are said to be long but manageable. Meanwhile, full-time junior professionals receive numerous career development opportunities, including extensive e-learning and classroom-based training, and mentorship opportunities. Moelis is unique among its peers in that it places a strong emphasis on promoting from within, investing heavily on training and developing its junior bankers.

Moelis also places an emphasis on improving the quality of life of its professionals of all levels. Work/life initiatives include protected weekends, mandated vacation time, weekly social activities, and flexible work-from-home time. Still, hours can be long, depending on deal flow. As for compensation and benefits, they’re very generous and well above average compared to peer firms. Salaries and bonuses receive excellent reviews from insiders, as do the firm’s insurance benefits. In addition, wellness offerings are extensive, and include a wellness series with guest speakers, meditation and yoga sessions, health fairs, on-site massages, and gym discounts, as well as family-planning benefits.

Diversity and inclusion is a focus at Moelis. The firm regularly hosts D&I-related community discussions and social events, and has robust recruiting initiatives aiming to increase underrepresented group hiring. While efforts to hire more veterans have been fruitful, the firm still could improve when it comes to the hiring of women and underrepresented ethnic groups. As for the firm’s overall business outlook, it is very bright. The firm’s independent advisory model and long-term view toward talent and growth have positioned Moelis to withstand and succeed in down markets, and the firm has been playing offense in the current market. Moelis is growing, leadership is excited about opportunities in the coming year, and employees are proud to work at the firm.

Hiring Process

“At the analyst level, Moelis has generally a few coffee chats, a first-round virtual interview, then an in-person Super Day. At the analyst level, we are looking for candidates with a good attitude, an aptitude to learn, and a strong financial background.”

“I think we are looking for smart, motivated people who are interested in working hard. We definitely care about the technical portion of the interview.”

“We are looking for individuals who have mastered the basics and can go beyond purely processing to be a meaningful team contributor.”

“Our firm is looking for driven individuals who are intelligent and goal-oriented. Individuals who succeed are typically self-starters who are willing to take initiative and actively seek more responsibility.”

Interview Questions

“Behavioral questions (‘Tell me about a time ...’) and technical business/finance questions (calculating discounted cash flows, etc.).”

“Standard investment banking interview questions. Good balance between technical and fit. No ‘gotcha’ questions in my experience.”

“DCF, valuation, IPO, basic concepts, and a 30-minute case study, which is based on actual Moelis-led transactions.”

“For student hires, there’s a broad range of areas of focus covering both technical skills and experience and motivation. For experienced hires, these are usually discussions of previous deals and the industry, rather than the standard investment banking recitations.”

Intern Experience

“I enjoyed the exposure to live deals and how closely we worked with senior-level bankers. I also thought that the smaller deal teams left us with more contribution to projects and tasks. Sometimes the hours and turnaround for projects was intense, but it was manageable.”

“Lots of deal experience and deal flow. Great exposure to senior bankers. You’re treated as part of the team from day one and expected to contribute. Not a lot of cons. It was a lot of work, and I spent the entire summer in the office, but that was what I was signing up for.”

“I was given a tremendous amount of opportunity and ended up taking on responsibilities of a full-time analyst, including traveling to client meetings.”

“Real deal experience all summer long with no fluff. Great intern class with fun events. And the training program was very helpful in getting me acclimated to the firm and learning what would be expected of me. I also had the chance to meet almost every MD in the New York office during the summer. Access to senior-level bankers was easy.”

Career Development

“The firm places a great emphasis on recurring training opportunities and invests heavily in growing talent from within. Contrary to other boutique advisory firms, Moelis & Co. focuses on growing talent from within and therefore has an extensive e-learning and classroom-based training program that occurs year-round, along with more opportunities for formal training as individuals are promoted.”

“Moelis allows driven individuals the opportunity and support to pursue the path they would like and to build out a business franchise internally, including the flexibility of adjusting coverage areas and geographic locations. Coupled with mentors with 30+ years of time in the industry, the result is an unparalleled and accelerated experience. In my time with the firm, it is difficult to find a downside, as both peers and superiors have been supportive and collaborative.”

“I don't think any other bank on the Street can compete with the training and development programs that Moelis offers, and the firm invests a ton in making sure its employees at all levels are adequately trained. For bankers, that means live deal exposure, a culture that encourages collaboration so that you never feel pigeonholed into a single deal team, and staffer trainings. Moelis also has more formal programs for mentorship as well as the Moelis@Wharton leadership program for promotes, the Moelis Compass skill-based and networking program with cohorts for women, and a new library of digital training resources called Moelis Academy. In addition, Moelis flexes its strong client relationships to regularly bring in top-notch executives that can share their experience and wisdom, usually gained over long careers, with employees.”

“Moelis is the only independent investment bank structured to develop talent internally and promote partners from within. We have promoted approximately 50 percent of our partners from the junior ranks at Moelis.”

Quality of Life

“It depends on deal flow—some weeks are definitely worse than others, especially when working on inter-continental mandates. Designated protected weekends and doubling down on hiring efforts so teams are larger have alleviated some of the challenges.”

“While we work hard and long, the firm supports us with regular team events and in-office gatherings such as bagels on Mondays, and happy hours on Thursday. We are remote one day a week, there is increased intra-day flexibility, and there are many wellness programs offered. Our 20 weeks of paid maternity leave is one of the best in the industry.”

“Moelis has created protected time and enforces that policy strongly, which makes weekends very pleasant and rarely worked. Frequently, though, I need to stay plugged into my computer during the workweek throughout the evening. As a junior person, Moelis offers as much client and senior banker interaction as you can handle.”

“The firm has made great efforts to improve quality of life for all level of employees. Initiatives include protected weekends, mandated vacation time, social activities, and flexible work-from-home time.”

Salary and Benefits

“Moelis benefits are excellent. They provide options for pre-tax savings for commuting expenses. Healthcare coverage is very competitive, and includes medical, dental, and vision coverage. Salary levels and bonuses are also excellent. They distributed bonuses to all employees in 2021 to recognize the outstanding performance of the firm.”

“Moelis generally leads the NYC IB firms in compensation (usually the top two or three). Moelis has always had pretty comprehensive benefits. One new benefit added this year is family-building assistance, which is an important addition for anyone who needs fertility treatments or is building a family via adoption/surrogacy.”

“High total comp relative to peers. High cash component in 2021 (very little stock relative to prior years), but generally a large portion is paid in stock.”

“Moelis has a history of better compensating its employees than most other banks on Wall Street, and benefits seem to be comprehensive and more generous than other firms. The firm is open to new ideas on how to expand our benefits package.”

Wellness Efforts

“Senior leadership actively encourages people to take time off, and there’s an enforced protected time policy, which works great. In addition, we have a wellness series with guest speakers on various health and wellness topics, flexible work arrangements that allow for people to work around their lives, and a robust employee assistance program with counseling, therapy and treatments for a variety of life challenges.”

“The firm has released a number of sessions on meditation, yoga, and mental health. In response to an industry suicide a few years ago, the firm held a speaker talk on it. And when attacks on Asian-Americans were happening in NYC, our Asian & Allies network hosted open conversations on the topic. These are things you wouldn't think a small bank would do. It feels like they really care. To me, that's a pretty strong wellness effort—allowing people outlets to check in on things that impact their lives, outside of just their jobs. I think Moelis has done a great job recognizing how dynamic the world is and how it’s changing, and is addressing critical issues timely.”

“In addition to protected time off and work/life balance programs that have been in existence for a while (employee assistance program, mental health app, wellness speakers, etc.), over the past year Moelis has used the 'return to office' to double down on social activities and events that used to happen regularly—things like Bagel Mondays, ‘Pizza and Frosties’ (a standing pizza party every Thursday afternoon), regular team outings, etc.—to make sure employees aren't always stuck at their desks during regular working hours. The firm is also pretty accepting of flexibility. So, even though we are primarily back in the office Monday through Thursday every week, most of us work from home on Fridays and can adjust our schedules as needed if something comes up—like having to skip out a little early for a parent-teacher conference, or taking an early call from home before commuting in, or popping out in the middle of the day for a doctor's appointment. It makes juggling home and work much easier.”

“We have yearly health fairs, on-site massages, heathy lunches, gym discounts, flu shot clinics, and on-site biometrics screening. We also have a Moelis wellness series, and access to mental well-being support services and counseling.”

Diversity and ESG Initiatives

“Diversity is at the forefront. We’re always hosting work events to further D&I efforts—from talks to community works to social events. Veteran efforts are quite strong here. Many bankers I work with are all vets, which is great to see. Great to also see each D&I month get celebrated. However, as with all banking firms, we could still increase our diversity hiring.”

“Although progress has been very slow, we have robust recruiting initiatives to advance diversity efforts and increase minorities and underrepresented groups, including women, veterans, ethnic minorities, and parents transitioning back to work. As for ESG, our inaugural ESG report was published in 2022. The core of our business is people and relationships, hence the report focuses on those aspects but also highlights new policies and initiatives for governance. We also have formal programs supporting local communities in all the areas where we have an office, and our Employee Networks each have budgets to spend in community programs/charities. Our annual corporate sponsorship with Red Cross went into supporting humanitarian efforts in the Ukraine.”

“The firm offers employee networks where members of underrepresented groups can join and share ideas. The firm sponsors events for these networks. Significant cultural days are recognized firmwide. From a recruiting perspective, there are many programs that provide students from underrepresented groups an opportunity to come into our offices for internships, learning opportunities, meet-and-greets, etc. I believe we also offer some scholarships.”

“I was hired through a D&I pipeline at Moelis called YLDP (Young Leaders Diversity Program), now called LDP. Since I was hired five years ago, there have been several other pipelines to complement LDP, known as the Moelis Experience Programs. I now participate in these programs as a presenter and interviewer.”

Business Outlook

“We are built for tougher cycles and are playing offense in the current market. The firm had strong growth capitalizing on the 2008 financial crisis and again at the advent of Covid. We have hired eight new MDs since in 2022 and will be promoting new MDs as well. We expect to use the current market to grow share and build our platform even further.”

“As an independent investment bank with the ambition and capital to grow via hiring, we are well positioned to weather low deal volume for an extended period of time. Throughout the firm, a longer-term view is taken than is seen at many competitor firms—our business cycle is measured in years rather than months or quarters. The goal of the firm from Ken down is to have a strong position with deeply experienced employees ready to capitalize on market opportunities.”

“Sometimes it's easy to forget how insulated Moelis is relative to the bulge brackets. I'm glad that the firm takes a long-term view toward talent and growth, because when financing markets clam up or deals slow down, I don't worry about losing my job.”

“Despite the challenges and uncertainty of a global pandemic and rapidly changing markets, the past two years have proven the resiliency of our business and our teams. Our strength is in our collaborative spirit, a culture of respect and inclusion, and fearlessly taking on the most challenging mandates. The firm is growing, and leadership is excited about opportunities over the next 12 months. Employees are proud to work at Moelis, and as we celebrate our 15th year in business, we are looking forward to strengthening our global relationships and exceptional outcomes for our clients.”

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
2023 Employees (All Locations): 1,100