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by Derek Loosvelt | October 07, 2009


This morning, prior to the Vault-sponsored forum “The Future of Banking: Salaries, Sectors and Uncle Sam,” at the New York Academy of Sciences, located on the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Center in Downtown Manhattan, Vault released its latest rankings of the 50 most prestigious banking employers in North America.

Just as the cloud cover began to lift on the horizon, echoing the future of the banking industry itself, Vault’s CEO Erik Sorensen revealed that although the top three most prestigious firms didn’t budge from their rankings a year ago, there was a lot of movement in the rest of the rankings—and reason to believe that those firms at the top could be facing some stiff competition next year.

For the 10th year in a row, Goldman Sachs ranked as the most prestigious North American banking employer. With a score of 8.519, the New York-based firm beat out The Blackstone Group, which retained the #2 spot, scoring 8.158. Morgan Stanley again ranked #3, with a score of 7.696, while J.P. Morgan Investment Bank jumped a spot to #4 (7.613), and Lazard moved up two places to #5. Absent from the top five this year was Lehman Brothers, which famously filed Chapter in September 2008.

Beyond the top five, many firms took big leaps in the rankings. Moelis & Company soared 29 places from #42 to #13, Nomura went from not cracking the top 50 a year ago to landing at #26, and Evercore Partners leaped 17 places to #8. Two other firms made double-digit jumps: Perella Weinberg Partners and Oppenheimer & Co. both rose 11 notches; Perella Weinberg took the #12 spot, and Oppenheimer ranked #24.

Here’s a breakdown of the major trends in this year’s prestige rankings:

*Goldman Sachs retained the top spot but its scored fell to 8.5 this year vs. 9.1 last year (a 6.7% fall)
*The top four firms this year all scored less than they did last year (their scores falling an average of 3.2%)
*Moelis & Company, which rose 29 spots in the rankings from #42 to #13, scored 5.9 this year vs. 4.15 last (a 42% rise in score)
*Evercore Partners, the second biggest riser among the top 50, scored 6.75 this year vs. 5.26 last (a 28% rise in score)
*Citi Consumer Bank, the biggest loser in rank among the top 50, scored 4.1 this year vs. 5.5 last (a 25% fall in score)
*This year’s top 25 firms rose, on average, 5.4 places in the rankings
*This year’s top 25 firms’ ranking scores rose an average of 3.5%

Along with rating other firms in terms of prestige, Vault’s Banking Survey asked respondents to rate their own firms in terms of several “quality of life” and diversity categories. Here’s a breakdown of the major trends in those rankings:

Best To Work For
*Last year, the top seven firms all scored over 9.0; this year, only the #1 firm, Centerview, scored above a 9.0
*Moelis & Company dropped from #2 to #12, while UBS dropped from #3 out of the top 15
*Goldman Sachs jumped from #4 to #2 (but its overall score fell by 0.3 points)

Overall Satisfaction
*Moelis & Company fell 10 places (and its score fell from 9.45 to 7.96)
*Baird was up 12 spots (and its score rose from 8.269 to 8.654)
*Last year, the top 15 all scored above 8.3; this year, only the top seven firms scored above 8.3

*UBS Investment Bank fell nine places in the rankings (its score falling 8.5 to 8.0), while Citi Institutional Clients Group jumped eight places (its score rising from 7.7 to 8.7)
*Last year the top score was 8.7 (Evercore); this year the top score was 9.17 (Houlihan Lokey)
*This year the top five firms all scored higher than last year’s #1, Evercore

*Centerview Partners was the new #1 during its first year in the guide
*Citi Institutional Clients jumped 12 spots in the rankings
*This year’s scores were similar, overall, to last year’s

*Moelis did not earn a ranking this year or last year
*J.P. Morgan Investment Bank jumped 14 spots (6.6 to 7.6); Goldman Sachs jumped six places (but its score fell from to 6.9 to 6.8)
*Last year the top 10 all scored higher than 7.0; this year only the top six scored higher than 7.0

Treatment by Managers
*Goldman Sachs rose 9 places (8.8 to 9.2)
*Moelis fell 13 spots (9.4 to 7.6)
*Last year the top 15 all scored above 8.5; this year only the top 6 scored above 8.5

*Baird rose 15 places in the rankings (its score falling from 6.3 to 7.3)
*UBS fell 8 places (its score slipping from 7.6 to 6.7)
*Scores were similar, on average, overall this year versus last

*Citi Institutional Clients Group rose 12 places (its score rising from 7.7 to 9.1)
*Moelis fell six places (its score falling from 8.7 to 7.5)
*Last year the top eight firms all scored over 8.7; this year only the top four firms scored above 8.7

*Moelis fell significantly in all three diversity categories (women, ethnic minority, LGBT)
*Cowen and Company rose significantly in all three categories
*Overall, scores fell slightly, on average, across all categories

For the complete rankings, follow this link.


Filed Under: Finance
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