Vault.com releases its annual Banking 50, a ranking of the best investment banking firms to work for in North America. The ranking is based on a survey of 2,400 banking professions, who where asked to rate their firms in several categories, including compensation, culture, hours, training, and business outlook. They were also asked to rank firms other than their own in terms of prestige.

Here are some headlines:

Goldman Sachs’ unmatched prestige keeps the bank at No. 1. For the second straight year, Goldman is named the Best Banking Firm to Work For. Goldman also again ranks No. 1 in our Prestige Rankings, far outdistancing its peers. Our survey takers call Goldman “a finance machine,” “the gold standard,” and “the best in breed.”

Evercore rises two places to No. 2 in the Vault Banking 50. Evercore’s jump underscores the firm’s gains in market share and prestige, as well as its positive treatment of employees. Evercore’s overall score is so high that the firm nearly knocks Goldman out of the top spot. Evercore also ranks No. 1 in Formal Training and Informal Training.

Centerview Partners holds its No. 3 ranking in the Banking 50 while taking the top spot in nine workplace categories. Underling its gains in market share and its improving workplace offerings for employees, Centerview holds steady at No. 3 overall, while ranking No. 1 in Compensation, Culture, Job Satisfaction, and six other workplace categories.

Moelis & Company jumps four spots in the Banking 50 to No. 5. Moelis’s big jump follows its seven-spot leap last year. Its rise this year highlights the incredible efforts the bank has made when it comes to providing a great workplace for junior bankers, as well as its very strong deal flow. Moelis also ranks No. 1 in Benefits and No. 1 in Business Outlook.

Loop Capital Markets sweeps the Diversity Rankings. Minority-owned Loop Capital ranks No. 1 in all of our diversity categories, including Overall Diversity, Female Diversity, Minority Diversity, and LGBT Diversity.

Centerview Partners Dominates Banking Quality Of Life Rankings, Underscoring The Rise Of Banking Boutiques

New York, NY, (September 6, 2017) Vault.com releases its Banking 50 Rankings for 2018, with Goldman Sachs again ranking as the top investment banking firm to work for. Meanwhile, Evercore and Centerview Partners continue to rise in the rankings, underscoring the growth of the smaller banks. Evercore leaped two spots to take the No. 2 position, and Centerview held stead at No. 3 overall while topping numerous workplace categories, including Compensation and Culture. Loop Capital Markets, a minority-owned firm, swept the Diversity rankings, ranking No. 1 in Overall Diversity, Female Diversity, Minority Diversity, and LGBT Diversity.

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The results are derived from Vault’s annual Banking Survey. Conducted earlier this year, the survey asked 2,400 banking professional of all levels to assess their peer firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige (they were unable to rate their own firm and asked to rate only firms with which they were familiar). They were also asked to rate their own firm in various quality of life categories, including compensation, hours, firm culture, business outlook, training, and overall job satisfaction. A weighted formula was applied to this data to create the Banking 50.

Banking 50 - The 10 Best Investment Banks to Work For Based on Vault’s Annual Banking Survey are:

  1. Goldman Sachs
  2. Evercore
  3. Centerview Partners
  4. Morgan Stanley
  5. Moelis & Company
  6. Greenhill
  7. Lazard
  8. Perella Weinberg Partners
  9. Bank of America
  10. PJT Partners

Goldman Is “Still the Best”

Goldman Sachs continued its dominance in Vault’s Banking Prestige Rankings, again ranking No. 1. It also held onto the top stop in the Banking 50, highlighting the fact that its unmatched prestige coupled with its innovative workplace policies make it the “gold standard” of investment banking.

“There’s still no better name in banking than Goldman Sachs,” says Derek Loosvelt, Vault Senior Financer Editor. “Goldman provides professionals with excellent deal experience, the chance to work with the top bankers on Wall Street, and several great workplace benefits. It has protected-weekend-day policies for junior bankers, no-working-past-midnight polices for interns, fast-track promotions, and a modern performance review system. Our survey takers tell us that there’s not a better banking brand to have on your resume than Goldman’s.”

Here’s one Goldman Sachs banker speaking to us about the firm’s workplace policies: “The firm is extremely focused on improving work/life balance. In the time that I’ve been here, I’ve seen a tremendous difference, not only as a result of formal policies but also in the culture and mindset of those who work here.”

Other Goldman insiders note that the best things about working for the firm include “exposure to talented, thoughtful, respectful colleagues”; “the collaborative team-oriented environment”; and “the challenging, intellectually stimulating assignments.” Meanwhile, bankers at Goldman’s competitors call the firm “a finance machine,” “the gold standard,” “the best in breed,” and “still the best.”

Evercore Leaps to No. 2, Closing In on Goldman

Evercore jumped two places from No. 4 to No. 2 this year in the Banking 50, underscoring its rise in terms of prestige and market share, as well as its focus on creating a healthy working environment for its employees. This year, Evercore’s raw score in the Banking 50 was 8.311 vs. Goldman’s 8.380. That’s much closer than the No. 1 and No. 2 firms last year (when Goldman ranked No. 1 and Morgan Stanley ranked No. 2). This means that Evercore is seen as nearly as strong as Goldman when it comes to places to pursue a banking career.

Here’s one Evercore insider speaking about the quality of life at the firm: “We have an outstanding, very teamwork-oriented, and collaborative culture. The firm is filled with very intelligent people treating each other with respect and working together to give clients the best advice possible. The atmosphere is very positive—lots of high fives on wins and no dressing-down calls if you miss a piece of business. We try to help people balance their lives as best we can, but we have so much deal flow that it can be tough.”

Evercore also ranked No. 1 in two workplace categories: Formal Training and Informal Training.

Banking Boutiques Keep Rising

Moelis and Centerview, so-called “investment banking boutiques,” were also big winners in this year’s rankings. Moelis rose four places to No. 5 in the Vault Banking 50 and rose two places in the Prestige Rankings to No. 8. Its insiders noted that the firm has a “great culture” and “smart and dedicated people,” and offers “significant deal experience to junior bankers.” They also lauded their firm for its benefit offerings and deal flow, as Moelis ranked No. 1 in Benefits and No. 1 in Business Outlook. Bankers at peer firms called Moelis “highly respected,” “an elite boutique,” and “a firm on the rise.”

Meanwhile, although Centerview stayed at No. 3 in the Banking 50 and at No. 6 in the Prestige Rankings, the firm saw a healthy rise in its raw scores in both categories, signifying that it could be contending for the top spot with Goldman and Evercore in the Banking 50 next year. In fact, its overall score in the Banking 50 was 8.308, just 0.003 less than Evercore’s. This year, Centerview insiders told us that “deal opportunities are unparalleled at the firm—you get to work on the largest, most interesting, challenging projects for large-cap clients.” They also noted that the firm is filled with “extremely talented, smart, and thoughtful senior bankers who care about your development,” and that the “comp is incredible—way above the Street average.”

This year, Centerview ranked No. 1 in nine workplace categories: Ability to Challenge, Compensation, Culture, Firm Leadership, Hiring Process, Internal Mobility, Promotion Policies, Relationships with Managers, and Overall Job Satisfaction.

In other news from boutique firms at the top of the Banking 50, Greenhill rose one spot to No. 6 (and also ranked No. 1 in Hours and No. 1 in Work/Life Balance), Lazard ranked No. 7, Perella Weinberg Partners held steady at No. 8, and PJT Partners stayed at No. 10.

According to Loosvelt, “This year’s rankings show that although no one’s catching Goldman anytime soon when it comes to prestige, boutiques like Evercore, Centerview, and Moelis are making big names for themselves on Wall Street while making huge strides when it comes to creating healthier work environments for employees. They’re also seen as having a much better business outlook than Goldman and other top banking firms. Moelis, Centerview, and Evercore ranked No. 1, 2, and 3, respectively, in our Business Outlook category this year. The gap between big banks and boutiques, as far as being a top employer, is getting narrower every year.”

Loop Capital, Goldman, and Evercore Lead the Way in Diversity

In its second year in the rankings, Loop Capital Markets—a minority-owned full-service investment banking firm that serves clients across the globe—swept the Diversity Rankings. The firm came in at No. 1 in Overall Diversity, Minority Diversity, Female Diversity, and LGBT Diversity. Loop Capital insiders noted that the firm is “highly diverse and inclusive,” “the culture is all about diversity,” and “women hold four of the top five leadership positions that report to the CEO.”

Other big winners in the Diversity Rankings this year included Goldman Sachs and Evercore. Goldman ranked among the top 3 in Overall Diversity, Minority Diversity, and LGBT Diversity. And Evercore ranked No. 2 in Overall Diversity, Female Diversity, and Minority Diversity.”

View the entire Vault Banking 50 Rankings (this year's rankings, our "2018 Rankings," will go live on September 6).

About Vault

Vault is the most comprehensive resource for employer, university, and internship rankings, ratings, and insights. Vault’s influential rankings and reviews are sourced from directed surveys of professionals and students. These rankings and reviews evaluate companies, schools, and internships in terms of prestige, diversity, quality of life, compensation, and other categories. Vault provides users with in-depth information on employers, industries, interviews, and available jobs and internships. In addition, Vault partners with employers to help build their brands and assist with recruiting efforts, and with universities to help their students with employment placement and career selection.