The World's Most Global Bank
Being one of the “Big Four” banks in the US, Citi comes in at around the middle of the bulge bracket investment banks and is a top five “balance sheet bank” globally. Citi is a relatively familiar household name here, not just for aspiring bankers but even consumers, though we would think less so now after the sale of this division to NAB. Globally known for its strength in DCM, ECM and loans, it also took the crown home for #1 in SPACs last year (even though this is probably less relevant for us down under).
Given Citi’s widespread international presence, and its mantle as the “World’s Most Global Bank”, there will definitely be opportunities for you to travel and work if that is something high on your priority list. In fact, Citi training (e.g. for graduates and promotions) is held in NYC and so you can tick that one off your list if you’re applying within. Citi has the resources and training materials to provide excellent formal training and the bankers themselves aren’t too shabby either when it comes to on-the-job teaching.
Now culture, arguably Citi’s biggest drawcard? Whilst most investment banks have a reputation for being sweatshops, we have heard that Citi’s culture is relatively better. Friendlier colleagues, nicer bosses and a more down to earth vibe. Less people leave prematurely and bankers there are generally happy with their working environment.
But a good culture does not necessarily mean that the days are exactly short, with finishes on average at midnight (give or take 2 hours depending on your team). And that seems to be part and parcel of the quality and volume of work you will receive here at Citi. The reality is, though, if you are a deal junkie, good deals probably will not come across your desk as frequently as if you were, say, at a UBS or Macquarie. Specifically, we’ve heard that one of Citi’s clear strengths is in its DCM capabilities, so you will inevitably have access to great work in this line of the business if that is what you are hoping for a career in.
The pay at Citi is around on par with its other BB competitors but certainly does not match up to the more prestigious boutiques. The bonuses however fare a bit worse, and certainly we have heard that they were fairly underwhelming at the start of 2021 (especially considering the bumper season that the investment banks have been experiencing). Nevertheless, this may be acceptable for some if it means not needing to work in a completely toxic environment.
At the end of the day, Citi is a solid bulge bracket investment bank and will set you up for a flying career (whether it be staying there or exiting somewhere else). Where Citi falls short in pay, they seem to make back in their decent culture, solid deal flow and great international opportunities.