I do have 2 years work experience in finance and I am targeting NC, primarily Charlotte, which is supposed to be the second biggest financial center in the states. I thought it would be a good match, lol.
In a market like Charlotte, your ties to the city are WAY WAY more important than your academic or work background. If you aren't from there, don't have family there, or don't have a wife from there, they will basically just write you off and move on.
I think most markets are like that. Even NYC, Chicago, LA, etc., want candidates to have ties to that city or region. It's more of a preference than a reqt for these cities, but of youre from TX or GA, I'd think a NY or Chicago firm would be more hesitant extending you an offer than they would someone from MI or NJ.