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Weird stuff people write when they review the banks they work for

What is it actually like to work for a leading investment bank now? - Setting aside the persistent complaints over bureaucracy, working hours, Excel-induced boredom and the notion that a lot of time is somehow being wasted unnecessarily, what do juniors (because it is mostly juniors who write reviews) really think of the industry?

The answer is that it varies from bank to bank, but there are some pretty wild opinions and observations out there. None are substantiated and all are subjective, but if you're thinking of taking a job in finance (or a new job finance), this is a small sample of what's been going down recently on the outer reaches of company review pages on Wall Street Oasis and the Vault. 

The monitors are too old-school 

"Still using windows 7 and a monitor that was manufactured in 2006," complains one analyst in IBD at Goldman Sachs in New York.

It's like a corporate frat-house here

"Good atmosphere, almost like a frat with your coworkers," says another Goldman investment banking analyst in New York, before extolling the free food and free cars "most days."

Where are my free snacks?

"Free coffee (but not snacks)," says one JPMorgan intern in NYC, who says he had an, "amazing experience" even without them.

The new building and the new cafe are special, but the building work is ongoing and the vending machines are not the best 

Citi juniors had things to say about the bank's new global headquarters in Tribeca. Seems the new cafe and building are "amazing" but the "vending machines suck" and the "building is still under construction."

People are so polite that they stand to talk 

This might be Asian etiquette, but if you go to Citi in Hong Kong, you'll be treated with some deference. "People are really polite and stand up if you approach and talk to them," says one HK IBD junior.

Where is the free coffee?

If JPM gives free coffee but not free snacks it is at least more generous than BofA which apparently gives neither. "The firm can be kind of stingy (no free coffee in the office)," says one junior investment banker in NYC. Another, however, speaks of a "cool coffee shop that's subsidized." So even if the BofA coffee isn't free, it is at least cheap. 

Inside the bank is awesome, outside less so 

There's a lot of positivity from juniors at Deutsche Bank this summer. The people are "awesome" says one NY junior. "Incredibly friendly," says another - a "family-like environment." 

"The outward perception of the bank is concerning," he added. "You don't feel it inside 60 Wall, but once you step outside, it gets really annoying."

Sorry toilets 

Following all the excitement about the 5* toilets at Morgan Stanley in London, one junior at Evercore in New York was less excited about the facilities there. "The toilets could sometimes be left in a sorry state. But this was due to a large number of employees," he says. However, given that he also confesses to having been let go, this could be a little biased...

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • pb
    29 August 2019

    Try on bathroom stalls where the toilets are so low to the floor that toddlers could use them, so narrow you'd better not be too overweight! In a firm that claims to be proud that they never lay off anyone - yet in one major department turnover pushes 50% in the last year. Where office locations are chosen by the senior managers who want to eliminate their commute. Where the mediocre managers are often well protected, and good people are shoved out the door. And where compliance is talked up a lot - but ignored.

    I'm guessing that all of most of this is true in many firms. Certainly true in a top Far East major bank.

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