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Derek Loosvelt

Derek Loosvelt is Vault's senior finance editor. Derek has a BS in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in creative writing from the New School. His writing has appeared in several online and print publications. Previously, he worked in investment banking as an M&A analyst and associate.


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All Posts by Derek Loosvelt

Do Ivy League Grads Have More Fun on Wall Street?

by Derek Loosvelt  |  September 10, 2014

If you went to undergrad at one of the so-called Ancient Eight and work on Wall Street, chances are you're having a much better time than your non-Ivy League-educated colleagues.  That's what data from Vault's latest Banking Survey suggests. Consider the below table, in which we compare the ratings that Ivy League-educated banking professionals gave their firms in various workplace categories with those that non-Ivy League grads gave their firms. We've also included the percent difference... Read More >

How to Survive an All-Nighter

by Derek Loosvelt  |  September 03, 2014

In college I used Mountain Dew and NoDoz. When I worked in investment banking, it was coffee and cigarettes. In grad school, I added black tea to the caffeine and nicotine mix. As it turns out, none of these concoctions is a particular healthy one to survive working an all-nighter. Which is what they were being used for. However, I wasn't too far off with at least one part of my homemade all-nighter survival remedy. In a recent BBC.com article entitled "What the sleep doctors won't tell... Read More >

Vault's 2015 Banking Rankings Are Live

by Derek Loosvelt  |  September 02, 2014

Earlier this year, Vault surveyed nearly 3,600 banking professionals at more than 85 of the top banking firms in North America. We asked these professionals to rate their peer firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige (they were unable to rate their own firm and were asked to only rate banks with which they were familiar). We also asked them to rate their own firm in terms of compensation, hours, firm culture, work-life balance, business outlook, overall satisfaction, and other quality... Read More >

Why Wall Street Loves Military Veterans

by Derek Loosvelt  |  August 28, 2014

Although work-life balance is getting better on Wall Street, entry-level investment banking positions are still incredibly grueling. Working 100 hours a week for several weeks in a row is not uncommon. Nor is feeling immense pressure to turn something around in a matter of hours that could cost your firm millions of dollars. And many senior bankers think nothing of screaming until their faces nearly fall off to get their points across. Indeed, working on Wall Street isn't for sissies. And... Read More >

An Open Letter to Wall Street Recruiters: What Junior Bankers Really Want

by Derek Loosvelt  |  August 27, 2014

Dear Wall Street Recruiters,  I would first like to say that I do very much applaud you for making an effort: those "protected weekend" policies were a nice touch (and the least you could do in light of what happened last summer) and the 20 percent salary hikes just announced will not go unappreciated. However, if you really are, like so many financial journalists and bloggers, including this one, have pointed out, attempting to compete for America's most excellent sheep with the Googles... Read More >

Have Wall Street’s Gay and Female Diversity Policies Gone Too Far or Not Far Enough?

by Derek Loosvelt  |  August 19, 2014

Although Wall Street is still considered, in some corner cubicles, to be an "old school," "Waspy," "predominantly Caucasian male-dominated" industry filled with "ex-Ivy Leaguers," it has slowly been growing more diverse with respect to gender, race, and sexual identity. In fact, in the past five years, the industry has gone from not wanting to even talk about diversity issues to downright blasting them over loudspeakers. And if Vault's latest Banking Survey results are any indication, Wall... Read More >

Goldman Sachs’ ‘Protected Saturday’ Policy Might Be Working After All

by Derek Loosvelt  |  August 14, 2014

Last fall, in the wake of Goldman Sachs' announcement of its new policy preventing young bankers from working on Saturdays (unless working on a live transaction), I wrote about Why Goldman Sachs' New Saturdays-Off Policy Won't Work. Now, some nine months later, after several other banks have followed Goldman's suit and enacted their own "Protected Saturday" policies, I'm happy to report that I might've spoken too soon. As the results of Vault's latest Banking Survey show, these new policies... Read More >

Are Boutiques Replacing the Bulge Bracket as Most Prestigious on the Street?

by Derek Loosvelt  |  July 23, 2014

Long before the subprime mortgage-backed securities hit the fan, a handful of relatively small investment banking firms, often referred to as boutiques, regularly competed with the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for talent. There was Stephen Schwarzman's Blackstone Group, perhaps best known for its private equity offerings, although for decades its advisory unit has been well known for winning big deals and recruiting top-tier talent from top-tier schools. There was Lazard, now... Read More >

Silicon Valley vs. Silicon Alley: Where Are Salaries Higher?

by Derek Loosvelt  |  July 15, 2014

The East Coast-West Coast rivalry continues.If you're looking for work in the so-called STEM sector and judge jobs by their salaries, Bloomberg has put together several nice charts that show you where tech compensation has grown fastest since 2008. But if you're not a visual person, here's what you need to know when it comes to cash: Seattle > San Francisco > Washington, D.C. > New York. Also, when it comes to salaries and the specific professions that make up STEM, Computer &... Read More >

22 Strange But True Interview Questions That Wall Street Firms Ask

by Derek Loosvelt  |  July 08, 2014

You've done your research on the firm you're applying to. You know your resume up and down. You're prepared to pepper your interviewer with your strengths, your weaknesses, an example of a time you led a team, an example of a time you had to overcome an obstacle, a detailed description of a DCF model, your view on the current state of the stock market, and your take on the Fed's current interest rate policy. Perhaps you've also prepared to speak about the recent financial crisis and the... Read More >

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