- Penn is unsurprisingly the biggest alumni network within the biggest banks’ investment banking programs, according to data from Revel io Labs.
- Different banks have some variations though — Wells Fargo has hired from public schools more than its counterparts, while regional preferences, like JPMorgan’s for Baruch College, exist.
- Prestigious schools like Harvard and Stanford have slipped down the rankings over the last decade, data reveal, with one industry watcher speculating that tech has pulled some possible bankers away from the field.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
There’s the University of Pennsylvania — and its prestigious Wharton School of Business — and everybody else.
The top investment banks in the country are known to fight for the top talent coming out of elite schools every year, and the stats bear it out. Data from alternative data company Revelio Labs show how schools like Penn, Columbia University, New York University, and more have dozens of alumni hired every year by the likes of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and the other top banks.
The methodology used by Revelio comes from all available employment records — from LinkedIn to immigration filings. This data double counts people who attended one school in undergrad and attended another for an MBA or grad program (For instance, someone hired by Goldman in 2013 who went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for undergrad and Penn MBA would be counted as one for both MIT and Penn). The data is compiled from 2010 through 2019.
The data indicates what year someone with a certain educational background was hired by a certain bank’s investment banking division. While it does not always mean that the person was hired straight out of school, Ben Zweig, founder of Revelio, told Business Insider that more than 70% of people included in this data were hired straight out of school.
(Story continues below graphic)
Elite private schools dominate the list — and show how difficult it is to break into the top tier of investment banking. Last year, only three public schools — the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, and the University of California, Berkeley — were among the top ten, despite public schools’ student populations vastly outnumbering Ivy League universities’ student bodies. (Cornell University, a private Ivy League school, is considered such despite several of its schools affiliated with the public State University of New York system.)
While Wall Street has been publicly saying it needs to improve diversity for years, no historically black college or university appeared in the rankings.
Even among elite private schools, there has been movement up and down the totem pole over the last decade.
“You can see Wharton is pretty much at the top consistently, but beyond that, it’s a bit muddled,” said Zweig, CEO of Revelio, which pulls data from all available public employment sources, including LinkedIn, immigration documents like H1B, H2A, H2B visa filings, and permanent residency filings, and more.
“Harvard’s had a bit of a fall from grace,” he noted, looking at year-by-year data. “Stanford has fallen out of the top ten after 2016 altogether.” Harvard began the decade battling with Penn as the big banks’ favorite talent pool, but has not been in the top three since 2015.
Zweig speculated that the pull of Silicon Valley might be eating into some of the banks’ talent pool at those schools, a reality that hedge funds have had to face as well.
Despite Penn’s dominance in these rankings, none of the CEOs at the big six banks — Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citi, and Wells Fargo — attended the school. David Solomon of Goldman went to Hamilton College, a small school in New York, while James Gorman of Morgan Stanley went to school in his native Australia. JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon famously went to Harvard Business School with hedge-fund billionaires Stephen Mandel Jr. and Seth Klarman after getting his bachelor’s degree from Tufts College.
Citi’s Mike Corbat was a football player at Harvard, and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America went to Brown for undergrad and then to Notre Dame’s law school. Charles Scharf, Wells Fargo’s CEO, went to Johns Hopkins and then received his MBA from NYU.
Click on the different banks in the graphic below, to see which schools have had most alumni hired at each bank over the last 10 years. (Story continues below graphic)
Regional differences can be seen here. JPMorgan has a number of graduates from Baruch College, a City University of New York school, while Wells Fargo, with its large presence in Charlotte, has many North Carolina schools on its list, including Wake Forest University.
Goldman meanwhile, with its elite investment banking program that counts billionaire Citadel founder Ken Griffin among its fans, pulls heavily from private institutions. No public school was among the top four in any individual year over the past decade, but one international one was: The London School of Economics was fourth in 2018.
The banks mentioned in this piece either declined to comment on the record or did not respond to requests for comments; the top schools mentioned mostly declined to comment or did not respond to request for comments, though a few did.
The head of Columbia’s business school’s career management center, Regina Resnick, told Business Insider in a statement that “recruiters recognize the exceptional talent the school offers and thus view the school is a top destination.”
Cornell’s business school has become a “factory for highly-trained investment bankers” in part because of the school’s immersion program, which teaches MBA candidates how to be an investment banker for a semester before the start at an internship, according to Drew Pascarella, a longtime Citi banker who now runs that program.
Talia Schatz, the director of Georgetown’s business school’s career development center, told Business Insider in a statement that the students are “keenly interested” in investment banking, and the school has focused on building relationships with the biggest banks.