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Top Feeders to Wall Street

Updated June 2020

Teens aiming to one day work at a major bank or investment firm often wonder which undergraduate colleges and universities will best aid this professional quest. This is, after all, a field where the most reputable players often draw from a small pool of elite schools, and where tapping into one’s alumni network can prove critical to landing the most desired jobs. As expected, Penn, Columbia, and a few other “usual suspects” grant nearly unparalleled access to Wall Street; however, there are some surprising schools that send impressive numbers of grads to the top investment houses each year, including many smaller liberal arts schools.

To identify "top feeder" institutions into the banking sector, we relied on publicly available data from LinkedIn, a professional networking site featuring profiles of approximately 170 million workers across the United States. Specifically, we identified and analyzed the undergraduate backgrounds of approximately 8,500 entry-level Investment Banking Analysts across thirteen of the most reputable banking firms, including Goldman Sachs, Citi, JP Morgan, Bank of American Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Barclays, UBS, Evercore, Jefferies, Lazard, Moelis & Company, and Centerview Partners. We then constructed two lists. The first list looks at the raw number of alumni employed by these select companies. The second list looks at the top 30 producers when adjusted for undergraduate enrollment, which allows us to highlight schools that may be smaller in size, but still send a significant number of graduates directly into the halls of Goldman Sachs JP Morgan, etc.

Finally, we identified the two top employers for each “feeder” institution. The first top employer is the bank employing the most undergraduate alumni from a particular school. The second top employer is the bank with the highest share of employees from that undergraduate school. For example, Penn’s first top employer is Goldman Sachs, because more Penn (undergraduate) alumni work at Goldman Sachs than at any of the other twelve banking firms. Penn’s second top employer is Centerview Partners because its graduates comprise a larger share of all employees at Centerview than they do at any other bank in our analysis. If a school's first and second top employer are the same, we indicate the banking firm with the second highest share of employees instead. Measuring both total graduates employed and institutional share of an bank's employees allows us to identify schools offering the best pipelines to smaller yet highly prestigious firms, such as Centerview and Evercore, which may draw heavily from one particular institution but wouldn't otherwise make an institution's list of top employers because of their relatively small size.

Top Feeder Rankings (by total employed)

Rank (Total)Institution# EmployedTop Employer (Total)Top Employer (Share)
1University of Pennsylvania407Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
2New York University267CitiEvercore
3Columbia University248Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
4Harvard University233Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
5Cornell University203Goldman SachsLazard
6University of Chicago188Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
7University of Michigan185CitiMoelis & Company
8University of California, Berkeley174Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
9Yale University169Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
10Georgetown University136CitiLazard
11University of Southern California124BOA Merrill LynchCenterview Partners
12The University of Texas at Austin121Goldman SachsEvercore
13University of Virginia116JefferiesCredit Suisse
14Princeton University114Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
15Boston College107UBSCiti
16Duke University106Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley
17Stanford University100Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley
18University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill93BOA Merrill LynchJefferies
19Dartmouth College92Goldman SachsJefferies
20University of Notre Dame90JP MorganBOA Merrill Lynch
21Brown University87Goldman SachsBarclays
21Northwestern University87BOA Merrill LynchCenterview Partners
21University of California, Los Angeles87Credit SuisseBOA Merrill Lynch
24Vanderbilt University77JefferiesEvercore
25Southern Methodist University65Goldman SachsMoelis & Company
26Emory University51CitiLazard
27Middlebury College48JP MorganBarclays
28Washington University in St. Louis43JP MorganCenterview Partners
29Wake Forest University42BarclaysJefferies
30Rutgers University39CitiEvercore

 

Top Feeder Rankings (adjusted for undergraduate enrollment)

Rank (Adjusted)Institution# EmployedTop Employer (Total)Top Employer (Share)
1University of Pennsylvania407Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
2Columbia University248Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
3Harvard University233Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
4University of Chicago188Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
5Yale University169Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
6Claremont Mckenna College29CitiMoelis & Company
7Princeton University114Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
8Dartmouth College92Goldman SachsJefferies
9Middlebury College48JP MorganBarclays
10Georgetown University136CitiLazard
11Amherst College30JP MorganLazard
12Duke University106Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley
13Willams College32Goldman SachsBarclays
14Stanford University100Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley
15Cornell University203Goldman SachsLazard
16Washington and Lee University24JP MorganBOA Merrill Lynch
17Brown University87Goldman SachsBarclays
18Boston College107UBSCiti
19Vanderbilt University77JefferiesEvercore
20Colgate University32BOA Merrill LynchBarclays
21Northwestern University87BOA Merrill LynchCenterview Partners
22University of Notre Dame90JP MorganBOA Merrill Lynch
23Southern Methodist University65Goldman SachsMoelis & Company
24New York University267CitiEvercore
25Bowdoin College17Goldman SachsJefferies
26Massachusetts Inst. of Technology38Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley
27Wake Forest University42BarclaysJefferies
28Swarthmore College12CitiMoelis & Company
29Emory University51CitiLazard
30University of Virginia116JefferiesCredit Suisse

 

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