As we reported yesterday, a new guide to the best Wall Street banks to work for has been released by Vault. Blackstone comes out top, even though - as has been pointed out - it's actually spinning out its investment bank and combining it with the boutique founded by Paul J. Taubman. Goldman Sachs comes second. Morgan Stanley comes third. J.P. Morgan has sunk to eighth.
The rankings aren't the only reason to look at the Vault, however. The site has also accumulated testimonials from people working for each firm suggesting what makes them good employers, or not.
We've extracted some of these below. The reality is that most bankers love and hate their employers for the same reasons: wherever you work, you'll like your colleagues, you'll hate the hours.
Why people love working for Goldman Sachs
1. Your colleagues are great: "smart, ambitious, talented people," and, "You are surrounded by individuals who are very passionate about what they do. The bench strength at GS is second to none."
2. Everyone works together: "Culture of teamwork that drives us to continually improve and find better ways of doing things.”
3. You're on this exciting journey: "So many opportunities to expand and grow within the firm.”
4. The work is interesting: "I’m never bored and I am always challenged."
Why people do not love working for Goldman Sachs
1. You're exploited: "“Overworked and underpaid,” and, "Continually increasing workload, with fewer and fewer resources to execute."
2. You're exhausted: ”Long hours and early meetings.”
3. It's bureaucratic: "Plethora of processes that sometimes stifles innovation.”
4. Other people don't like you: "Incorrect external opinions of culture and values."
Why people love working for J.P. Morgan
1. The people are really exceptional: “Great culture and colleagues—working with very smart, driven, motivated people.”
2. You're reaching for the stars: “Career development opportunities are truly unlimited.”
3. The training programs are pretty good: "I know that the firm is hugely focused on developing junior talent and is constantly looking for opportunities to improve the analyst/associate programs."
4. You get paid a lot: "Competitive compensation.”
Why people do not love working for J.P. Morgan
1. You spend all your time at work: "Stress, high expectations, work life balance."
2. It's not lean and mean: "Sometimes the processes to accomplish projects can be slow because it’s a big company.”
3. You can never kick back and just be mediocre: “High expectations - the work is demanding.”
4. Unless you're 'passionate', it sucks: "If you aren't passionate about what you are doing every day at work, you may lose interest and burn out."
Why people love working for Morgan Stanley
1. The people are just great: "The smart, genuine people and culture of collaboration and teamwork,” and, "Top quality people doing top quality work."
2. You feel special and work with clients who are special too: "Very prestigious firm with great clients.”
3. The work is interesting and meaningful: "Interesting, challenging, impactful work.”
4. Morgan Stanley will not expect you to be an automaton: "Respect for the individual, focus on ideas/creativity."
Why people do not love working for Morgan Stanley
1. You're doing that creative impactful work a lot of the time: “Long hours.”
2. You don't get paid much for it: "Compensation."
3. It'll be like the civil service: "Bureaucracy."
4. There aren't many females to look up to: "Not enough women in senior management roles."
Photo credit: Kerr Photography