☰ Menu eFinancialCareers

The best universities for jobs in trading, M&A and risk

London School of Economics: nursery to bankers

London School of Economics: nursery to bankers

Which university should you attend if you want to work for an investment bank in the City of London? And, more to the point, which European university will best prepare you for a job in trading, risk management, or M&A in banking? Based upon detailed analysis of thousands of CVs in the public domain, we have some answers.

The method

We cross-referenced banking CVs which are publicly available on the internet with our own list of the universities in Europe that banks most like to hire from.  This list was derived from the European universities banks targeted for student visits during the recent 2012 milkround.

We then searched for the number of publicly available CVs for individuals working in banking in the City of London who graduated from each of the universities on our list. And then we looked at how many of them said they were working in risk, trading, or mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

The results are listed below.The percentage figures refer to the proportion of individuals in each sample who said they graduated from that university.

There are some interesting conclusions to be drawn from the rankings. Firstly: if you want to work in banking in the City of London, you’re clearly better off attending the London School of Economics, Imperial College or Cass than you are attending Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Secondly: the Italian university Bocconi punches above its weight in London banking circles. Thirdly: both Birmingham and Loughborough Universities are unexpectedly big sources of London bankers.However, while Birmingham is great for risk jobs it’s very unlikely to land you a job in the front office in M&A or trading. Loughborough University seemingly funnels plenty of people into trading, but this should be taken with a pinch of salt – we suspect that many of the Loughborough graduates are actually going into trade support roles.

The best universities for jobs in trading

1. The London School of Economics (20%)

2. Imperial College (19%)

3. Cass (22%)

4. Loughborough University (7%)

5. Bocconi (5%)

6. HEC (4%)

7. Oxford University (3%)

8. Cambridge University (3%)

9. Durham University (=2%)

10. Esade (=2%)

11. Trinity College Dublin (=2%)

12. ESCP EAP (=2%)

The best universities for jobs in M&A

1. The London School of Economics (26%)

2. Imperial College (10%)

3. Bocconi (10%)

4. HEC (9%)

5. Cass (13%)

6. ESCP-EAP (7%)

7. Cambridge University (5%)

8. Oxford University (4%)

9. Essec (4%)

10. Esade (=2%)

11. Durham (=2%)

The best universities for jobs in risk

1. Cass (20%)

2. London School of Economics (19%)

3. Imperial College (15%)

4. Birmingham University (8%)

5. Loughborough University (7%)

6. Bocconi (5%)

7. HEC (4%)

8. Oxford (=3%)

9. Cambridge (=3%)

10. Durham (2%)

11. Essec (=2%)

Comments (4)

  1. How come London Business School does not appear on the list… ?

  2. Hi Preet
    London Business School isn’t on the list because it’ a postgraduate institution. The list only covers universities offering bachelors courses.

  3. Perhaps the Loughborough result comes from them recruiting students who have exceptional talent in a range of sports?. Kids who learn to make smart decisions under pressure and who are well equipped to handle the trading floor as a consequence

  4. Hi Sarah and Preet,

    More to the point, London Business School does not appear because they predominantly offer MBA or MSc Finance for experienced professionals, therefore their students are getting hired for Associate level and above. Far fewer of their graduates will be working in the City than the above mentioned institutions because they are producing few analyst hires. In sum, if you are looking to do a BSc or pre-experience MSc to get into the City, then London Business School is not the institution of you. But if you have 3+ years’ work experience and are looking to do an MBA to get a job in banking, then you can’t look past it.

The comment is under moderation. It will appear shortly.


Screen Name


Consult our community guidelines here