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The top universities for the 2016 analyst class at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley

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Talk to graduate recruiters at investment banks and you’ll soon see they don’t want to take a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to hiring. The ideal candidate – the theory goes – is a well-rounded individual with top grades studying English literature or History at a reputable university who has a range of interests and just hadn’t thought about going into investment banking. Financial theory can be taught, creativity cannot.

But, if the 2016 analyst class at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are anything to go by, finance and economics graduates with multiple internships still make up the bulk of recruits. What’s more, London School of Economics, Oxford University, Imperial College London and New York University – Stern are the happiest hunting grounds for banks’ graduate recruiters.

Based on analysis of 350 public profiles of analysts who started in front office roles in either IBD or markets at the three U.S. investment banks in June or July this year, we can draw some conclusions on what it takes to get in. Firstly, particularly in the U.S., banks do genuinely hire from a diverse range of universities. The LSE is by some distance the most prevalent college in the 2016 analyst class, but this is primarily because investment banks in London tend to fish from here. The University of Warwick is, perhaps, the surprise UK entry, but the reality is that the bulk of hires in London came from a select band of universities.

Getting a job on Wall Street, however, isn’t as obvious. Yes, the Ivy League provided the largest number of recruits this year, but there was a broader range. J.P. Morgan, for example, hired from 31 universities for its New York analyst class, but just 18 universities for its London operation.

Still, a range of universities doesn’t translate into a huge amount of diversity in terms of majors studied. Across both London and New York, Economics and Finance were the predominant subjects. For example, at Morgan Stanley, 54% of this year’s New York-based analysts studied and 46% of those in London studied Economics.

Predictably, the vast majority of recruits this year had completed internships at the bank they were eventually hired by.

William de Chatellus, who was hired in Morgan Stanley’s FIG M&A division this year, was a winter analyst at the bank in 2015 and went on to complete a summer internship too. Then he returned again in January this year for another winter internship in FIG before securing a full-time role. In total, he’d spent nine months working at Morgan Stanley as an intern. 

Benjamin Lacaille, by contrast, was hired by Goldman Sachs in London having completed a summer internships at Man Group, State Street and M&G Investments. He has a History degree from Oxford.

Juan Felipe Parra Martinez, who joined J.P. Morgan in New York, did intern with the investment bank last summer, but also has a range of noteworthy extra-curricular activities including founding his own art company and writing for the college newspaper.

Local universities also win out – banks in the UK largely recruited from UK colleges and those state-side hired from U.S institutions. Continental European universities do feature – notably Bocconi in Italy, where 5% of the class of 2016 came from – but students often came armed with a Masters in Finance qualification.

But Masters in Finance qualifications are far from ubiquitous in Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley or J.P. Morgan. Just 15% of the new hires we analysed possessed one.

Photo: Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

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  1. Unfortunately, your “specified key does not exist.”
    Cant see the data at all.

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