Vault's 2009 Top 50 Banking Employer Rankings

by Derek Loosvelt | August 08, 2008

Vault’s latest Top 50 Banking Employer Rankings are in, and though the top of the prestige rankings look a lot like last year’s, there was some significant movement—both up and down—the charts.

Vault’s No. 1 firm was New York-based Goldman Sachs, which again took the top spot, winning the moniker of the most prestigous banking employer in North America. Goldman handily beat out Blackstone, which held onto its No. 2 ranking. The remaining of the top five also looked exactly as it did last year, with Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and J.P. Morgan Investment Bank taking the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 spots, respectively.

Beyond the top five, though, there were some big winners, and perhaps the biggest was Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, which cracked the top 10 for the first time ever, leaping three spots to No. 9. Respondents to our banking survey (from which we determine our prestige rankings, along with our quality of life and diversity rankings) told us Deutsche has “made good strides in the U.S.,” is “up and coming globally” and currently has “great deal flow.”

Meanwhile, the biggest loser was perhaps Citi Institutional Clients Group (Citi’s investment banking unit), which fell four places—and out of the top 10 for the first time—to No. 11. Survey respondents told us that “poor management has destroyed” Citi, whose “massive layoffs spell problems.” (The most recent problem came last night, in fact, as Citi agreed to buy back $7 billon in auction-rate securities from its customers to settle civil fraud charges that it misrepresented its marketing and sales of these securities.)

Another big bank that’s been in trouble lately, Bank of America, also took a slide in the rankings, falling two spots to No. 17. Respondents told us that BofA’s “expansion into investment banking was a disaster,” and although the bank still has “excellent commercial abilities,” since it “didn't manage risk as well as others,” “a recession could be very difficult for them.”

Aside from Deutsche, the big moves up the charts this year belonged to a New York merger and acquisition master and two U.K.-based banks. Greenhill & Co., the “very prestigious M&A boutique” headquartered in Manhattan, rose three spots in the prestige rankings to take the No. 13 spot. Barclays Capital, the “sophisticated” “bond shop” based in London, also rose three spots, ranking No. 14. And “classic, white-shoe European boutique” Rothschild jumped four places to No. 15.

For all of the results of our latest Banking Survey, check out the rest of the prestige rankings, as well as our most recent quality of life and diversity rankings, which include the Best 25 Firms to Work for and Best 25 Firms for Diversity.

Filed Under: Finance


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