A “Bulge Bracket Investment Bank” refers to the group of investment banks which are considered the best in the world.
Bulge Bracket banks usually represent the toughest investment banking jobs you can get: interviews are very structured and quite intense. All the bulge bracket banks have a presence in the world’s major regions: Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific.
Banks that are currently considered Bulge Bracket:
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Merrill Lynch, acquired by Bank of America in 2008)
- Barclays Capital (Barclays acquired the North American Lehman operations in 2008)
- Citi Group (Salomon Brothers, acquired by Travelers Group and eventually Citigroup in 1998)
- Credit Suisse (First Boston, acquired by Credit Suisse in 1988)
- Deutsche Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- JPMorgan Chase
- Morgan Stanley
These investment banks typically have the hardest interview cycle but have the highest payouts. There has been a tremendous amount of consolidation and changes to the bulge bracket list since 2007, investment banks that have fallen off the list include: Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch.
Goldman Sachs is generally regarded as the toughest bulge bracket investment bank to break into. They usually dominate high profile M&A deals and historically have been the top of league tables.
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