December 1, 2023

Investment Banking

Let Your Investment Banking Do The Walking

Inside Citadel’s Associate Internship Program for Aspiring Investors

Hey there! Dan DeFrancesco in a dreary NYC, but I’ve got some good news! Turns out not all layoffs are bad, as a hacker group reportedly had to let go of some of its call-center operators. 

On tap, we’ve got stories on the top investors backing Hollywood, some book recommendations from ChatGPT, and what the oldest restaurant in your state is.    

But first, do you mind if I cut the line?

If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider’s app here.

the internship

20th Century Fox

1. The fast track to the buy side.

Investment banks, you’ve been put on notice: The buy side is coming for your young talent. 

Insider’s Emmalyse Brownstein has a full rundown on an undergrad internship at hedge fund Citadel for aspiring fund managers.

The Citadel Associate Program (CAP) is a tough nut to crack, with an acceptance rate of only 1%. But those who make the cut don’t have to worry about toiling away at an investment bank before making the jump to the buy side. And a six-figure base salary after completion of the program doesn’t hurt either. 

In fact, that’s partly how the firm is pitching it to candidates.

“Our graduates will hopefully be well on their way to their first promotion before peers in investment banking have even finished their first two-year stints,” Christa Short, head of junior talent strategy and associate business development in Citadel’s equities business, told Insider.

I’ve written extensively about how broken Wall Street’s pipeline for young talent is. It was only a matter of time before hedge funds and private-equity firms stopped relying on investment banks and went straight to college campuses to source the talent themselves.

To be sure, Citadel’s associate program is tiny (10 to 12 students per class) compared to undergrad programs at investment banks that typically number in the hundreds. And Citadel even acknowledged that it will continue to recruit from the big banks.

But it’s not hard to imagine a world where the success of CAP means relying on the big banks less and less. Citadel already runs another internship program — which we’ve written about before — that is much larger.

I know I’ve been critical of investment banking’s analyst programs, but it’s not entirely their fault.

Years ago, it made sense for buy side firms to let big banks handle teaching college grads the basics of finance before hiring them a couple years down the road. But these days, those same funds have gotten much larger and more complex, making them difficult to prepare analysts for. 

Click here learn more about Citadel’s ultra-exclusive associate program, along with tips to get ahead during the application process.

In other news:


Columbia Pictures

2. The top Wall Streeters focused on Hollywood. Investment firms like Blackstone, Bain, and Silver Lake are investing billions in production studios. We identified 12 of the top investors in the market, along with what they are focused on. 

3. Wall Street’s elite investors aren’t as optimistic about the market as the rest of us. Insider’s Linette Lopez reports that just because we’ve had a strong start to the year doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. Why there could be more pain to come.

4. Here’s everything you want to know about the two people who helped bail Sam Bankman-Fried out of jail. Both have ties to Stanford, with at least one telling Insider about how SBF’s own parents helped him in his time of need. Get the full rundown on both of them here. Meanwhile, we’ve compiled all the deets on Gary Wang, the secretive FTX cofounder who is cooperating with authorities.

5. Read this and get smarter about the markets, according to our new robot overlord. ChatGPT has some suggestions on books about investing. Turns out the AI has a real soft spot for Warren Buffett. Here are the five books it recommends you read.

6. “Radical transparency,” except if it’s related to all the money I want before I retire. This report from The New York Times details the messy back-and-forth that preceded Ray Dalio officially stepping down from the hedge fund he launched, Bridgewater Associates. And if you’re wondering who is left leading the world’s largest hedge fund, look no further than our list of the fund’s top 11 executives.

7. Carta’s CEO and cofounder Henry Ward has been named in several lawsuits against the $7 billion fintech. Allegations made in legal filings paint Ward as the type of executive to retaliate against criticism. More on the legal issues facing the fintech and its leader.

8. Every penny helps us build up our $34 billion investment portfolio. Turns out the Mormon Church was hush-hush about its gigantic investment arm because it was nervous people would stop donating if they knew about it. More here.

9. If you’re rich and want a second citizenship, here’s where you can do it. Applications for so-called golden passports were on the rise among Americans last year. These are the 11 countries where you can still buy your citizenship.

10. Oldies but goodies. We’ve got a list of the oldest restaurants in every state. Check out all 50 here.

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email [email protected], tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.