Houlihan Lokey Reviews | Glassdoor

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Houlihan Lokey Reviews

Updated January 11, 2018
111 reviews

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3.5
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Houlihan Lokey Co-CEO Scott Beiser
Scott Beiser
43 Ratings

111 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • wonderful culture and strong deal flow (in 16 reviews)

  • Decent work/life balance for iBanking (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours (although this goes without saying for the business) (in 17 reviews)

  • The work life balance can be poor, as is common in the industry (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Love the experience at HLHZ; not as fond of the senior/officer level management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Banking Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Investment Banking Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I worked at another investment bank, prior to working at Houlihan Lokey, and I found myself pleasantly surprised. The work culture at HLHZ was alot more collegial and friendly, then at my prior experience; also, the caliber of my peer group was significantly higher, just in terms of analytical adeptness and general understanding of finance. The projects were very interesting; HLHZ is a top shop, in terms of its restructuring and M&A client list, so I was able to work on exciting engagements. Also, deal teams are very lean. All things considered, I am very happy to have finished my analyst career at Houlihan Lokey.

    Cons

    Although my peer group was very impressive in caliber, I was very unimpressed with MDs and VPs, not so much in their attitude towards work, but with their intelligence and general ability to grasp deal points, manage expectations with clients, and get a quick understanding of an engagement. It almost seemed as if there was a disproportionate of both analysis and check placed on the Analysts and Associates on a given deal team. This made for a good experience, personally; however, deals were often executed in a sub-optimal fashion due to this senior level incompetence. I am not sure why this is; it is not an indication of everyone. Out of 5 MDs and 7 or 8 VPs I worked with on a regular basis, probably 2 MDs and 4 VPs fit this mold, of generally being just terribly inefficient and unable to keep up with the quantitative/analytical intricacies of a deal process. Also, the pay is not tied to bank performance, it is tied to street performance, although this is standard at the junior level.

    Advice to Management

    1) Review finance 101, 2) Review management 101; learn finance, and learn to manage clients. Or ask your analysts/associates to do it for you, they are by and large significantly better educated, and tend to be far more competent.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "My years with HLHZ"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Overall work culture is good (though things could vary across groups and locations!). Senior management is generally quite open to viewpoint of juniors. Proven capability leads to more responsibility.

    Cons

    Brand equity is not as high as of some other banks (Vault rankings not withstanding). Not being a full-service bank has its disadvantages. Limited international reach.

    Advice to Management

    Use the downturn to expand more aggressively.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "They don't pay well"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good for resume for middle mkt pe firms

    Cons

    Small deals, lots of fairness opiios, leadership lacks tru i-banking experience

    Advice to Management

    Replace mgmt with real i-bankers


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Good Pay but Long Hours"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good training ground for young people - you get to work with a large variety of companies and really be hands-on throughout the process

    Cons

    long hours with no regard to your personal life

    Advice to Management

    continue to pay above street, but be aware that your junior resources will leave after 2 - 3 years due to lifestyle


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Short Review of Houlihan"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Oppprtunities to make an impact but deal flow can be spotty. FRG really runs the firm. Always felt like my colleagues were among the brightest. Smaller firm means fewer politics or at least more transparent ones

    Cons

    Small, growing brand. Training is more of an on the job thing. Resources more limited compared to bulge bracket.

    Advice to Management

    None at this time. What is the latest on the Orix relationship?


  6. Helpful (2)

    "HL Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    HL is a nice place to work if you can't work for a bulge bracket and want good name recognition. Their alums are also willing to help each other out.

    Cons

    All of the men are extremely sexist. I hadn't realized how much it affected me until I was gone and was so relieve not to be ogled every day for being a pretty girl.

    Advice to Management

    Improve the work life balance, treat employees more like people rather than cattle. Provide more clarity into the way the organization is run.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to grow starting skills"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - A lot of responsibility to hone skill set
    - Young, fun workers
    - Good pay and benefits
    - Fair compensation across employee rankings

    Cons

    - Low turnover at higher levels; long time til promotion and limited promotion opportunity for below workers
    - Tough political culture, sometime ambiguous formula for success
    - Experiencing growing pains

    Advice to Management

    - Increase understanding and awareness of how to positively deal with cultural evolution
    - Ethical behavior in downturn; lay-offs less than one week before scheduled bonus, yet zero given to anyone regardless of performance

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to start a career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst

    Pros

    - Opportunity for advancement in the right industry group
    - More client interaction than at larger bulge bracket banks

    Cons

    - Lesser "brand" name and smaller deal sizes
    - Workplace politics at play
    - Deferred bonus


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Poor."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Small deal teams.
    Model experience for analyst, not just pitchbooks.
    No one really watching analyst intil it's too late.

    Cons

    "Expendible" attitude with analysts.
    Some teams only have one analyst so your always slammed with work.
    Low pay:work ratio.

    Advice to Management

    Beware of how Associates, Directors and VP's treat the Analysts. The team is only as strong as its weakest link.


  10. "Challenging yet educational experience."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Recommends

    Pros

    -Intense.
    -Junior staff involved in deals at highest feasible level.
    -Generally low bureaucracy.
    -Balanced model mitigates variance in deal flow.
    -Pay typically better than competitors.

    Cons

    -Intense
    -Vacation frowned upon.
    -Weekends out of office frowned upon.
    (though this is of course to be expected in banking)

    Advice to Management

    NA


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