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This is mostly because New York has had an established reputation as the leading financial centre for the last 70 years, the fact that the US still is synonym with the "American dream" for most people, and also because working in the US tends to be so much more intense.Investment banking in the US tends to be a 24/7 job, literally.
The main reason is due to visa issues: for non-Americans, it is very difficult to obtain work visas or even visas for internships in the US.You will only know about the US financial system and regulations, and you will only know about the "American way", which will be extremely different from what is done internationally.Working in London, the majority of your deals will be cross border or outside the UK, you may work on IPOs in Russia, deals in Middle East, mergers with Chinese companies, etc.For Americans and many from Asia Pacific too, London is also attractive given the more comfortable lifestyle it offers, and opportunities to work on deals across multiple European countries. New York as financial centres - a brief history New Yorkers often imagine their city at the centre of the world. But after war engulfed Europe in 1914, Europe had to recover and the City lost its place in global finance to New York.Based on our experience of working in the US and in Europe, here are our thoughts on Investment Banking in New York vs. As the US was untouched by the war and the started to industrialise rapidly, it quickly filled the gap left by London and took the lead in financial innovation.London is also unique in that you can travel all over Europe very cheaply for weekend breaks.
So if you plan to party a lot, go to NY, and if you want a more "settled" lifestyle, go to London.
A significant downside of working in NY however is that working in New York will not give you a "global" perspective of the investment banking business.
For example, you won’t work on many cross-border transactions.
The US is a very large country, and therefore investment banks will mostly do domestic business (as well as South American business), and will not require bankers to speak many languages.
In Europe, speaking various languages, especially Europeans but also to some extend Asian languages, is highly valued.
Other cost are also about the same, except from transportation which is more expensive in London (but you'll use taxis to go back and forth to the office anyway). New York Salaries and bonuses at the junior level are pretty much in line between the two cities and this will remain the case so as not to have a massive exodus to one of the two cities.