Top Feeders to Wall Street

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 more than 175 million workers across the United States. Specifically, we identified and analyzed the undergraduate backgrounds of nearly 10,000 entry-level Investment Banking Analysts across fifteen of the most reputable banking firms, including PJT Partners, Goldman Sachs, Citi, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Guggenheim Partners, Evercore, Greenhill, Lazard, Moelis & Company, Centerview Partners, and Perella Weinberg. 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.

Updated July 2022

Rank (Total)Institution# EmployedTop Employer (Total)Top Employer (Share)
1University of Pennsylvania486Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
2New York University302JP MorganGuggenheim Partners
3Cornell University248Goldman SachsGuggenheim Partners
4University of Michigan236CitiMoelis & Company
5Harvard University231Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
5Columbia University231Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley
7University of Chicago212Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
8University of California, Berkeley203Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
9University of Notre Dame191Bank of AmericaGreenhill & Co.
10Duke University157Morgan StanleyLazard
10University of Southern California157Morgan StanleyPerella Weinberg Partners
12University of Virginia154Bank of AmericaPJT Partners
13Yale University149Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
14University of Texas at Austin148EvercorePerella Weinberg Partners
15Georgetown University141Bank of AmericaBarclays
16Brown University111Goldman SachsPerella Weinberg Partners
17Princeton University105Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
18University of California, Los Angeles100Credit SuissePJT Partners
19Dartmouth College90Goldman SachsPJT Partners
20Northwestern University85Bank of AmericaGreenhill & Co.
21University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill79Bank of AmericaMorgan Stanley
22Stanford University77Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
22Vanderbilt University77Bank of AmericaBarclays
22Boston College77CitiBarclays
25Emory University74CitiGreenhill & Co.
26Middlebury College59Goldman SachsBarclays
27Southern Methodist University59Goldman SachsGuggenheim Partners
28Williams College52Guggenheim PartnersBarclays
29Boston University44JP MorganGuggenheim Partners
30Rutgers University41Goldman SachsPerella Weinberg Partners

Top Feeder Rankings (adjusted for undergraduate enrollment)

Rank (Adjusted)Institution# EmployedTop Employer (Total)Top Employer (Share)
1University of Pennsylvania479Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
2Harvard University231Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
3Columbia University231Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley
4Yale University149Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
5University of Chicago212Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
6Williams College52Guggenheim PartnersBarclays
7Duke University157Morgan StanleyLazard
8Claremont McKenna College29CitiPJT Partners
9Middlebury College59Goldman SachsBarclays
10Princeton University105Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
11Dartmouth College90Goldman SachsPJT Partners
12University of Notre Dame191Bank of AmericaGreenhill & Co.
13Georgetown University141Bank of AmericaBarclays
14Washington and Lee University34JP MorganGuggenheim Partners
15Cornell University248Goldman SachsGuggenheim Partners
16Amherst College29LazardCenterview Partners
17Brown University111Goldman SachsPerella Weinberg Partners
18Bowdoin College23BarclaysGreenhill & Co.
19Stanford University77Goldman SachsCenterview Partners
20Vanderbilt University84Bank of AmericaBarclays
21New York University297JP MorganGuggenheim Partners
22Emory University74CitiGreenhill & Co.
23Northwestern University85Bank of AmericaGreenhill & Co.
24Pomona College14Bank of AmericaJP Morgan
25Massachusetts Institute of Technology40Goldman SachsEvercore
26Swarthmore College13CitiEvercore
27University of Virginia154Bank of AmericaPJT Partners
28Southern Methodist University59Goldman SachsGuggenheim Partners
29Colgate University26BarclaysEvercore
30Boston College77CitiBarclays

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