J.P. Morgan Investment Bank


The Vault Review

Uppers

  • “Social, team-oriented culture”
  • “Good deal experience and lots of client exposure”
  • “Strong exit opportunities”

Downers

  • “Bureaucracy”
  • “The work/life balance leaves much to be desired”
  • “Trying to maintain the No. 1 spot is sometimes less fun than being the underdog bank”

The Buzz

  • “Continues to be a leader among the bulge brackets”
  • “That trading loss hurt their reputation”
  • “Well respected; draws great junior talent”
  • “Diluted by retail banking and ATMs”

Survey Says

Vault Verdict:  Ranked No. 2 in Vault's Prestige Rankings and No. 3 in the Vault Banking 50, J.P. Morgan is one of the top investment banking firms to work for in the world. J.P. Morgan runs an efficient interview process in which candidates are interviewed by both junior and senior professionals. Among junior candidates, the firm looks for leadership ability, intelligence, motivation, and the desire to specifically work for J.P. Morgan. Interns at the firm are given a great amount of live deal experience and the ability to network and learn about all areas of the investment bank. From day one, interns are given the same amount of responsibility as full-time employees; they will also, depending on department log just as many hours as full-time employees. With respect to its full-time employees, the firm is very focused on developing junior talent, and provides numerous career development opportunities, including the ability to move between departments and locations, as well as top-notch training. Indeed, the firm is focused on promoting from within (but also provides great exit opportunities). The culture is said to be extremely teamwork-oriented and social. Work/life balance can be achieved, but it can also be very difficult to achieve within certain groups, and vacation time is not always easy to take. Salary and bonuses are very competitive with the industry, and perks and benefits also receive good marks from insiders. Diversity is another strong suit of the firm, and the firm's business outlook remains very bright. The firm seems to have put last year's London Whale controversy behind it. Employee morale is high. Employees have a lot of confidence in J.P. Morgan's leadership (especially CEO Jamie Dimon). And the firm continues to rank at the top or near the top in all of the important investment banking league tables.

Hiring Process 

"J.P. Morgan generally looks for associates who have strong long-term potential (as opposed to someone who will make a great first-year associate). In other words, attractive candidates bring a combination of analytical skills, communication skills, and confidence. They demonstrate an ability to work well with others and have significant managerial experience. Attractive candidates demonstrate strong judgment/maturity and are expected to play a significant role in deal teams from day one."

"J.P. Morgan is very good at getting back to candidates on a timely basis. We seek individuals who work well on teams, are hard working, have an ability to work on multiple projects at once, pay attention to detail, are smart, and have a positive attitude."

"For on-campus recruiting at my school, the firm stood out by offering Super Days in their NYC offices that included desk visits and various informational presentations."

"The firm prides itself on its extensive training program, so the ideal candidate is someone who has shown that they are able to learn quickly, inject themselves into situations effectively, and ask the correct questions."

Interview Questions

"Why Finance? Why Investment Banking? Walk me through a DCF. How do you calculate aspects involved in the DCF (e.g., WACC)? What are some multiples that firms trade on? Why would one multiple be better than the other?"

"Interview questions tend to be 75 percent fit questions and 25 percent technical. It depends on your interviewer, but many interviews start with an overview of the candidate's resume-questions around extracurricular involvement, leadership, diversity and ability to work on a team. Technical questions tend to be centered around financial statements and valuation."

"Pitch me a stock. Why do you want to work at J.P. Morgan? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?"

"Individual interviewers have a lot of flexibility in the types of questions they ask, so some are more technical and some are more personality fit depending on the interviewer. I think this leads to less cookie cutter questions that interviewees have prepped for, and more toward an interactive dialogue with candidates."

Intern Experience

"Great deal experience. Great care put into making sure I became a productive deal team member as quickly as possible. Fantastic firm support throughout my internship. Excellent training program." 

"Best parts were the high level of responsibility, quality of work from the start, and excellent networking opportunities. Worst part was the program was not rotational." 

"Best parts: realistic experience, many social events to meet other interns, good training. Worst part: tough hours." 

"Best part was getting client exposure at a very young age. Worst part was the amount of 'grunt work' that I had to do."

Career Development 

"I honestly believe the opportunities that J.P. Morgan offers in terms of both training and mobility (group, line of business, and geographic) are second to none. In addition to the extensive new hire training for both summer interns and full-time analysts and associates, the firm offers an extensive IB University curriculum with mandatory training requirements. Each group also offers group-specific training, and there are numerous other training resources that many firms can't match. Lastly, few firms can compete with the lead managed deal volume that J.P. Morgan offers-that's where you really learn how to be a banker. In terms of mobility, both geographic and LOB mobility have become an integral part of the firm's culture that is highly visible at the senior levels, but is extremely common and pervasive at the junior levels. It's hard to imagine someone new to the firm not having an international experience should they want one. Unlike most firms, J.P. Morgan is very focused on developing its junior bankers into well-rounded senior bankers."

"I've decided to move within J.P. Morgan, and was able to do so. I've been very open with my superiors about what I think I want out of my career, and they have been extremely helpful with providing names of people to contact to explore various areas as well as connections to specific interviews aligned with my career goals." 

"J.P. Morgan has made it possible for me to rise from summer analyst all the way to managing director, and now it is my responsibility to help new junior bankers to have a similar career development path. Having been part of MD discussions, I don't believe anybody will be promoted to MD at JPM without having demonstrated a real commitment to junior banker career development." 

"Promotions are based on merit; if analysts perform well, they will be promoted. If there is not an open associate spot in their current group, the firm will find a place for them somewhere else, but there is a big focus on not losing talented individuals. Mobility is a huge focus, with many formal and informal ways to pursue it."

Quality of Life

"While coverage and product groups vary to a degree, the firm generally places very little value on face time and invests highly in resources/technology that allow for working remotely. There is also a high level of importance placed on important personal events (weddings, children, vacations), and J.P. Morgan's resource managers spend a great amount of time trying to ensure personal commitments are respected and that project teams receive an additional resource to address any issues. Resource managers are also evaluated on their ability to understand the scope of a project and minimize Friday staffings to the extent possible in order to allow junior resources to plan their weekends with a greater sense of confidence." 

"Too many hours, too much volatility, but is it the industry not the firm. My group does as much as possible to keep us sane: work from home, lots of communication, treats us well, respectful comments at all time."

 "The staffers are highly aware of the workload and ensure that if you have had weeks where you have worked very long hours, there is a noticeable effort to reduce the workload to prevent burnout. The teams are also incredibly respectful of vacation and work as hard as possible to prevent work on holidays."

 "Long hours are the nature of the job, but remote capabilities have improved work/life balance immensely. Instead of having to come into the office on a weekend, it is frequently the case that I can work from the comfort of my own home. While hours can sometimes be erratic, and planning can be challenging at times, this is what I signed up for. Despite sometimes challenging hours, the work put in is very fulfilling."

Salary and Benefits 

"Salary and bonus are commensurate with the Street and a function of the market. I've never felt as though I was paid less than what the Street was receiving. While hours are long, remote connect allows for flexible hours, particularly on the weekends. Vacation time can sometimes be challenging to take, but my experience has been that if you take it at certain seasonally slow times, you are able to use it more than what the public perception out there really is." 

"Best: Salary and bonus are competitive with the Street. Worst: Gym and other personal benefits are limited." 

"Downward pressure on compensation has been the trend across the sector, and J.P. Morgan is not immune. But overall package is compelling and highly competitive." 

 "We pay on par with the Street. But, consistent with our teamwork culture, we do not have significant outliers in terms of pay (at least in my area). A star performer only gets somewhat more than a good performer."

Diversity, Philanthropy, and Green Initiatives

"Tremendous focus on diversity in all its forms. This is one of the best parts about the firm." 

"J.P. Morgan has a strong focus on diversity. They host special programs to attract women, minorities, and gay individuals. In addition to special conferences, there are webcast seminars for recruiting and special groups within J.P. Morgan that receive funding to host events and foster a welcoming and supportive environment." 

"Strong commitment to military veterans. We've also made some real progress on attracting more senior women, although we can still improve in this category." 

"The firm converted 270 Park to a green building. Also, there are some good programs to link up employees with volunteer opportunities in their communities." 

Business Outlook

"Financial services is becoming increasingly regulated. It's starting to feel like the utility sector. But we have the best leader in the sector in Jamie Dimon and that gives the employees great confidence." 

"It's true, we really do have a lot of confidence in Jamie Dimon. The guy is a rock star." 

"There is high employee morale, and J.P. Morgan is consistently on the largest deals currently being done. Strong in all groups, J.P. Morgan is able to leverage relationships across industries to continue to win deals that provide an incredible learning experience for analysts." 

"I see no indications of business slowing, outside of global trends. We're either competitive or have an edge in every deal I've been a part of. Employee morale is relatively high. I haven't heard any complaints."

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