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From a guy who's never been in banking, but knows enough people that were and they STILL can't answer this question with anything that makes sense.

Okay, I don't know about you guys but I typically work from like 8 or 9am until like 6pm most days - no weekends usually other than maybe fielding phone calls and emails from home. Obviously I travel more than bankers but I rarely consider that work, it's more like vacation to be honest since I like to travel.

But when I hear about people coming in at 8am and not leaving until 2am every day, I'm wondering to myself - what the f*ck takes so much time that you have to be there that long? Are you just really slow as sh*t at stuff? I've never left work with something I didn't finish in a reasonable workday. It doesn't take that long to do anything unless you have epic ADD, no?

Now I understand the general arguments... you have to wait for your MD to get back to you on something, your VP was being an asshole and told you he needed you there at 9pm to revise something after a dinner. But all of this boils down to the same category: just waiting around. Is that why you're there so long? Modeling a company start to finish, including all of the research necessary, probably takes me two weeks. The research is the part that takes me 13 days though... building a model from scratch and finishing it takes me like a morning to get done, maybe 4 hours. I don't walk around, go bullshit with other analysts, go get coffee, eat, take a dump, stare at my screen, etc. so maybe that's why? Or is there something I'm missing here, because I'm not trying to sound ignorant I literally don't get it...

Monkeys I need your help! What exactly are you doing so late at the office from like 8pm into the wee hours of the night?!

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Comments (140)

  • SirBarney's picture

    I would assume it's probably this or this

    But yes I'm also curious.

  • ThunderRoad's picture

    A pretty common thing is you get a draft pitchbook full of comments faxed from your MD (yes, faxed so you can barely fucking read it), and you just re-do the whole thing. They want to change something in the model, reformat some pages, add some bullets, whatever. You do it while your associate sits there and surfs the web. Then your associate goes through it while you sit there and surf the web. Lots of wasted time. Repeat 2 or 3 times until it's ok, then both go through and tick and tie every god damn number in the 60 page book, make sure the colors are consistent, make sure there are no periods at the end of your bullet points, etc and send it back, then sit there and wait for another round of comments. I'm sorry you didn't get to experience the excitement of doing a pitch book.

    Occasionally, your MD is leaving for a meeting in the monring and gives you final comments at midnight that you have to furiously turn, check, and print (and then check to make sure the printers didn't fuck up, which they do sometimes) and have on their chair at 8 am before you go home, take a shower and come back. Or better yet, he's got a red eye and decides around 11pm that he wants to read about company x in the morning, so you have to sit there for a few hours pulling together all their filings, research, comps, anything else of interest and sending it all to the printer to be bound and then personally delivering it to his doorstep.

    If you're lucky enough to be working on an actual deal, maybe the client called you and asked you to dig through the data room and put together a historical breakdown of revenue by customer or something and for some reason your MD wants this to be sent at 3am rather than just waiting and sending it at lunch time tomorrow. That is some straight up Stanford Prison Experiment shit.

    I was seated right behind our staffer, who was a real dick, and if I flipped to ESPN.com for more than 5 minutes he would have some dumb shit project for me to do, like scrub 5 year old transaction comps, even if it was 9pm. I wish I was making this up.

    Needless to say I did not enjoy the whole banking thing.

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

  • kmzz's picture

    actual work

    i mean if you're there til 2am you better be there doing work and not facetime

  • jam011's picture

    *suscribe*

    would be interesting to read responses. If your waiting for an email reply, cant you go home and wait. Must be some tactics to save time

  • Cane0180's picture

    MM Summer Associate here.

    Generally speaking, management are in meetings for the early parts of the day into the afternoons. Once they return from meetings they will either drop shit on your desk at 5PM "to be done tomorrow," or they will mark up 100 revisions to work you've already completed. Much of the work is menial bullshit. About 80% (or more) of analyst/associate level work could be taught to anyone reading this in less than a days worth of time. So, to answer your question: You work late because management drops work on your desk at 5PM and wants 4-8 hours of work done by the time they get in in the mornings.

  • In reply to Cane0180
    Boreed's picture

    Cane0180:
    MM Summer Associate here.

    Generally speaking, management are in meetings for the early parts of the day into the afternoons. Once they return from meetings they will either drop shit on your desk at 5PM "to be done tomorrow," or they will mark up 100 revisions to work you've already completed. Much of the work is menial bullshit. About 80% (or more) of analyst/associate level work could be taught to anyone reading this in less than a days worth of time. So, to answer your question: You work late because management drops work on your desk at 5PM and wants 4-8 hours of work done by the time they get in in the mornings.

    I always wondered, can't you just drop that shit onto an analyst's desk instead? If not, how do the associate and analyst roles actually differ?

  • In reply to Boreed
    Cane0180's picture

    Boreed:
    Cane0180:
    MM Summer Associate here.

    Generally speaking, management are in meetings for the early parts of the day into the afternoons. Once they return from meetings they will either drop shit on your desk at 5PM "to be done tomorrow," or they will mark up 100 revisions to work you've already completed. Much of the work is menial bullshit. About 80% (or more) of analyst/associate level work could be taught to anyone reading this in less than a days worth of time. So, to answer your question: You work late because management drops work on your desk at 5PM and wants 4-8 hours of work done by the time they get in in the mornings.

    I always wondered, can't you just drop that shit onto an analyst's desk instead? If not, how do the associate and analyst roles actually differ?

    The smaller the bank, the more the line is blurred between associate and analyst. To put another way, you have more defined roles at the BBs than boutiques. You don't drop shit onto an analyst's desks for a few reasons.

    -The analyst could be working at capacity on a different deal that an MD assigned, and if you assign something to an analyst without asking an MD first then you take the heat.

    -The analyst could be working with you on the same deal.

    -The MD could get pissed that you just passed it off to someone else when he asked you to do it.

    -It's a dick thing to do. Etc...

    An associate is a glorified analyst, but with slightly more clout and responsibility. At my bank if you're a senior associate they generally trust you to run deals with someone overseeing you. Associates will be called on to check analysts work before it is presented to someone above them.

  • BlackHat's picture

    ThunderRoad gets the SB for making me laugh and cry at the same time, but not the cry til you laugh kind of cry, the cry because you feel terrible that something terrible happened to someone cry. Already read Monkey Business like 11 times but it never stuck, except the part about pissing in the beer bottle. Plus I didn't believe it. Is it really that mundane? Anyone wanna hug it out?

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to Boreed
    ThunderRoad's picture

    Boreed:

    I always wondered, can't you just drop that shit onto an analyst's desk instead? If not, how do the associate and analyst roles actually differ?

    The key difference is the associate is actually responsible for the work product. I worked on some projects directly with an MD after I had established myself as an analyst who knew his shit, but only for a couple very low-profile clients. Normally there is going to be an associate involved in the process because they are expected to understand the project better, make some judgment calls and proof the final product. The analyst is just the bitch who works in excel and powerpoint.

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

  • Cane0180's picture

    ThunderRoad paints a 100% accurate picture of analyst life.

  • nyc123's picture

    Here's a fairly regular occurence and something that made me hate banking: It's a random Tuesday night at about 9pm. There's a pitch in the morning across the country. The MD gives you his "final" comments before he goes to sleep. You make the changes and then the associate checks it over. Regardless of whether you did everything 100% correctly or not, the associate will have comments of their own. You then make their changes. You give the book back to the associate, who prints the book and ticks and ties every number (and you do the same). It's now 11-11:30pm and you finally get the book ready to print. You send the book to "production" to print and bind the books for you. You give them a call and say, "how long til you think these can be done?" and they respond with, "3 hours, it's very backed up down here" and you say, "Damn, ok." And you sit at your desk from 11:30pm to 2:30am waiting for the damn books to print that you would gladly do yourself but you have to send it to production. Finally, 2:30-3:00am rolls around and you get a call or email saying your books are done. You go, pick the books up, flip through every page to make sure they didn't screw anything up (and your night just gets longer if they are missing a page or the binding is messed up, etc.). Once the books are flipped and checked, you call up a black car (or take a taxi yourself if the MD lives near you) and have them (or you) hand deliver the books to your MD's doorman or front step. Once you put the books into the car, you flag a taxi and head home. You can't go to bed yet because you have to wait for a confirmation phone call from the driver that the books were delivered. You're in bed by 4am and then get to wake up and start it all over again. How much of that time was actual work? Maybe 2-2.5 hours, but you went to bed at 4am. And the real fun occurs when each part of the process I mentioned takes a little longer than described and the MD is leaving for a flight at 6am.

  • In reply to nyc123
    BlackHat's picture

    nyc123:
    Here's a fairly regular occurence and something that made me hate banking: It's a random Tuesday night at about 9pm. There's a pitch in the morning across the country. The MD gives you his "final" comments before he goes to sleep. You make the changes and then the associate checks it over. Regardless of whether you did everything 100% correctly or not, the associate will have comments of their own. You then make their changes. You give the book back to the associate, who prints the book and ticks and ties every number (and you do the same). It's now 11-11:30pm and you finally get the book ready to print. You send the book to "production" to print and bind the books for you. You give them a call and say, "how long til you think these can be done?" and they respond with, "3 hours, it's very backed up down here" and you say, "Damn, ok." And you sit at your desk from 11:30pm to 2:30am waiting for the damn books to print that you would gladly do yourself but you have to send it to production. Finally, 2:30-3:00am rolls around and you get a call or email saying your books are done. You go, pick the books up, flip through every page to make sure they didn't screw anything up (and your night just gets longer if they are missing a page or the binding is messed up, etc.). Once the books are flipped and checked, you call up a black car (or take a taxi yourself if the MD lives near you) and have them (or you) hand deliver the books to your MD's doorman or front step. Once you put the books into the car, you flag a taxi and head home. You can't go to bed yet because you have to wait for a confirmation phone call from the driver that the books were delivered. You're in bed by 4am and then get to wake up and start it all over again. How much of that time was actual work? Maybe 2-2.5 hours, but you went to bed at 4am. And the real fun occurs when each part of the process I mentioned takes a little longer than described and the MD is leaving for a flight at 6am.

    Forgive my ignorance, but is that not the most horribly inefficient thing in the world? How easy would it be to outsource half that shit? And if banks are hurting so hard for money shouldn't they kind of fix their horrible structure first before concluding the only way to cut costs is to lay off completely capable junior talent?

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • JeremyLinMVP's picture

    Reading about I-banking makes me think that people in my country that were taken by force to work in labour camps in Syberia by Stalin had a better time than an average analyst.

  • In reply to BlackHat
    ThunderRoad's picture

    BlackHat:
    Is it really that mundane?

    It really is. Especially for analysts. You are not being paid to think as an analyst. In fact they don't like it when you think. I read in a company's 10-k that they were really concerned about local economic stats, so pulled together some of our bank's relevant econ research, checked it with compliance, and put together a nice page for our appendix. The VP threw it out without even showing it to the MD and said "you won't be adding any pages just yet". Never mind whether it will add value for the client, or give us a reason to come back again next quarter, I was an analyst, and I didn't get to think thoughts. Yeah come to think of it a hug might be nice. This is bringing back some memories I had buried pretty deep.

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

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  • Cane0180's picture

    People go into banking for the exit opportunities, money, experience, whatever. Rarely, and I do mean rarely, do people go into banking because that is a long term career goal. It is a continuous cycle of frivolous bullshit. The analyst experience is not fun. I'm not complaining, it is what it is.

    On the other hand, if you do make it to a management-level position then it's probably not bad at all. Running deals and not doing any of the leg work is probably really engaging.

  • In reply to Cane0180
    ThunderRoad's picture

    Cane0180:
    People go into banking for the exit opportunities, money, experience, whatever. Rarely, and I do mean rarely, do people go into banking because that is a long term career goal. It is a continuous cycle of frivolous bullshit. The analyst experience is not fun. I'm not complaining, it is what it is.

    On the other hand, if you do make it to a management-level position then it's probably not bad at all. Running deals and not doing any of the leg work is probably really engaging.

    I'm not so sure about that. You're on the road like a door to door salesman 80% of the time. Maybe if you are known as the top banker in your industry and blue chip clients are beating down your door for counsel while you rake in $20MM per year it could be fun, but there are probably just a handful of guys like that in the world.

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

  • ThunderRoad's picture

    I have ragged on banking a lot here so I will leave one positive- late night conference room dinners where the analysts pool their dinner allowances and get like 400 chicken nuggets or something equally awesome. The relationship you build with the other analysts on your is by far the highlight of the banking experience.

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

  • In reply to nyc123
    ThunderRoad's picture

    nyc123:
    Here's a fairly regular occurence and something that made me hate banking: It's a random Tuesday night at about 9pm. There's a pitch in the morning across the country. The MD gives you his "final" comments before he goes to sleep. You make the changes and then the associate checks it over. Regardless of whether you did everything 100% correctly or not, the associate will have comments of their own. You then make their changes. You give the book back to the associate, who prints the book and ticks and ties every number (and you do the same). It's now 11-11:30pm and you finally get the book ready to print. You send the book to "production" to print and bind the books for you. You give them a call and say, "how long til you think these can be done?" and they respond with, "3 hours, it's very backed up down here" and you say, "Damn, ok." And you sit at your desk from 11:30pm to 2:30am waiting for the damn books to print that you would gladly do yourself but you have to send it to production. Finally, 2:30-3:00am rolls around and you get a call or email saying your books are done. You go, pick the books up, flip through every page to make sure they didn't screw anything up (and your night just gets longer if they are missing a page or the binding is messed up, etc.). Once the books are flipped and checked, you call up a black car (or take a taxi yourself if the MD lives near you) and have them (or you) hand deliver the books to your MD's doorman or front step. Once you put the books into the car, you flag a taxi and head home. You can't go to bed yet because you have to wait for a confirmation phone call from the driver that the books were delivered. You're in bed by 4am and then get to wake up and start it all over again. How much of that time was actual work? Maybe 2-2.5 hours, but you went to bed at 4am. And the real fun occurs when each part of the process I mentioned takes a little longer than described and the MD is leaving for a flight at 6am.

    Hilarious man. This is perfect. Once I made the mistake of falling asleep after dropping off some books, and I woke up to about 16 emails of "WHERE ARE THE FUCKING PITCHBOOKS?!?!?". The dude's wife had just put them on the kitchen counter. My heart was pounding out of my chest for a minute though.

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

  • In reply to BlackHat
    ThunderRoad's picture

    BlackHat:
    Forgive my ignorance, but is that not the most horribly inefficient thing in the world? How easy would it be to outsource half that shit? And if banks are hurting so hard for money shouldn't they kind of fix their horrible structure first before concluding the only way to cut costs is to lay off completely capable junior talent?

    I don't think efficiency is even in the vocabulary of investment bankers. I once saw an analyst fly across the country to personally bring pitchbooks to a meeting because the MD wanted one more round of pointless comments turned after his flight left and he wasn't about to pick up books from a kinko's (they wouldn't have our marketing department approved logo engraved binding anyway).

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

  • Beretta's picture

    Interesting comments. It seems like you have to have some modeling knowledge to enter the door, but once you start working the majority of your time you're doing mindless work that doesn't require any thought (e.g. proofreading for commas). Does that sound about right?

  • In reply to Beretta
    Cane0180's picture

    Beretta:
    Interesting comments. It seems like you have to have some modeling knowledge to enter the door, but once you start working the majority of your time you're doing mindless work that doesn't require any thought (e.g. proofreading for commas). Does that sound about right?

    Modeling is an extremely small portion of the job. I'm talking less than 10% for me, and I'm in M&A. It depends on how you classify "modeling" though. Sometimes the most simple shit is referred to as "modeling," for example, compiling and formatting financials.

  • In reply to Cane0180
    browniepoints's picture

    Cane0180:
    Modeling is an extremely small portion of the job. I'm talking less than 10% for me, and I'm in M&A. It depends on how you classify "modeling" though. Sometimes the most simple shit is referred to as "modeling," for example, compiling and formatting financials.

    What's the other 90% Cane?

    I am going to call my kids Ctrl, Alt and Delete. That way if something is going wrong I can beat them all at once.

  • In reply to SirBarney
    JDimon's picture

    SirBarney:
    I would assume it's probably this or this

    But yes I'm also curious.

    Bahahaha everybody should click on those two links

  • In reply to ThunderRoad
    Going Concern's picture

    ThunderRoad:
    The VP threw it out without even showing it to the MD and said "you won't be adding any pages just yet". Never mind whether it will add value for the client, or give us a reason to come back again next quarter, I was an analyst, and I didn't get to think thoughts. Yeah come to think of it a hug might be nice. This is bringing back some memories I had buried pretty deep.

    This made me lol...which makes me wonder, do you feel you learned anything worthwile from this type of abuse?

  • In reply to BlackHat
    JDimon's picture

    BlackHat:
    nyc123:
    Here's a fairly regular occurence and something that made me hate banking: It's a random Tuesday night at about 9pm. There's a pitch in the morning across the country. The MD gives you his "final" comments before he goes to sleep. You make the changes and then the associate checks it over. Regardless of whether you did everything 100% correctly or not, the associate will have comments of their own. You then make their changes. You give the book back to the associate, who prints the book and ticks and ties every number (and you do the same). It's now 11-11:30pm and you finally get the book ready to print. You send the book to "production" to print and bind the books for you. You give them a call and say, "how long til you think these can be done?" and they respond with, "3 hours, it's very backed up down here" and you say, "Damn, ok." And you sit at your desk from 11:30pm to 2:30am waiting for the damn books to print that you would gladly do yourself but you have to send it to production. Finally, 2:30-3:00am rolls around and you get a call or email saying your books are done. You go, pick the books up, flip through every page to make sure they didn't screw anything up (and your night just gets longer if they are missing a page or the binding is messed up, etc.). Once the books are flipped and checked, you call up a black car (or take a taxi yourself if the MD lives near you) and have them (or you) hand deliver the books to your MD's doorman or front step. Once you put the books into the car, you flag a taxi and head home. You can't go to bed yet because you have to wait for a confirmation phone call from the driver that the books were delivered. You're in bed by 4am and then get to wake up and start it all over again. How much of that time was actual work? Maybe 2-2.5 hours, but you went to bed at 4am. And the real fun occurs when each part of the process I mentioned takes a little longer than described and the MD is leaving for a flight at 6am.

    Forgive my ignorance, but is that not the most horribly inefficient thing in the world? How easy would it be to outsource half that shit? And if banks are hurting so hard for money shouldn't they kind of fix their horrible structure first before concluding the only way to cut costs is to lay off completely capable junior talent?

    The important thing isn't for analysts time to be used efficiently. Analysts are only paid like $70k a year plus bonus - they're time is cheap to waste.

    What's really important is keeping MDs happy. They bring in ALL the IB division revenue. If you lose an MD to a different bank, now that's costly

  • In reply to browniepoints
    SHORTmyCDO's picture

    browniepoints:
    Cane0180:
    Modeling is an extremely small portion of the job. I'm talking less than 10% for me, and I'm in M&A. It depends on how you classify "modeling" though. Sometimes the most simple shit is referred to as "modeling," for example, compiling and formatting financials.

    What's the other 90% Cane?

    I work in both M&A and capital markets but in M&A it would be updateing buyer lists, potential buyer / target profiles, drafting CIM's / teasers, random buyside DD requests, uploading documents in the data room, reviewing the data room and acting as a liason between your VDR's customer service and the buyside since shit always seems to go wrong in the process, updating a contact log and marketing summary, board update presentations, commitee memos, working on management decks, etc. etc. Very little financial analysis and modeling in there. A lot of grunt work goes into getting a deal done and gets who gets to do it all.

  • In reply to SHORTmyCDO
    Cane0180's picture

    SHORTmyCDO:
    browniepoints:
    Cane0180:
    Modeling is an extremely small portion of the job. I'm talking less than 10% for me, and I'm in M&A. It depends on how you classify "modeling" though. Sometimes the most simple shit is referred to as "modeling," for example, compiling and formatting financials.

    What's the other 90% Cane?

    I work in both M&A and capital markets but in M&A it would be updateing buyer lists, potential buyer / target profiles, drafting CIM's / teasers, random buyside DD requests, uploading documents in the data room, reviewing the data room and acting as a liason between your VDR's customer service and the buyside since shit always seems to go wrong in the process, updating a contact log and marketing summary, board update presentations, commitee memos, working on management decks, etc. etc. Very little financial analysis and modeling in there. A lot of grunt work goes into getting a deal done and gets who gets to do it all.

    Echoing this. I do the same. CIMs, Pitchbooks, Buyer list, Misc. stuff... 10% was a very liberal guess, it's prob less.

  • craigmcdermott's picture

    You are operating under the assumption that each analyst works on one pitch or model at a time. Last week, my time was split between drafting a CIM, a management presentation, uploading a dataroom, negotiating ~120 NDAs for a broad process sell-side, and a full pitch with positioning and valuation. With NDAs/contact log/drafts of documents, my 9-6 was spent essentially trying to stay above water and I could start to actually get work done once people left for the evening. I'd say that tends to be the case most weeks. If your group is any good, you'll simultaneously be on at least two deals at any given time and should be pitching on top of that.

  • In reply to BlackHat
    TechBanking's picture

    BlackHat:
    How easy would it be to outsource half that shit? And if banks are hurting so hard for money shouldn't they kind of fix their horrible structure first before concluding the only way to cut costs is to lay off completely capable junior talent?

    1. Several of the BBs tried to outsource the more mundane aspects of the analysts' work to "India Analysts" in the mid-2000's. Do these programs still exist? I'm guessing not because the work product was generally useless.

    2. There are a couple of aspects to this...first, analysts are there to churn and burn. You are a short term resource due to the defined time frame of the analyst program and the BBs don't have a long-term view on your career. Generally, analysts don't get hit that hard in layoffs; 2008/2009 was bad, 2001/2002 was worse. Most of the people cut in layoffs outside of catastrophic circumstances are Directors and VPs...they cost a lot and don't generate revenue.

  • dogboo's picture

    if banking is really mostly completing these menial tasks why do people talk about how steep the learning curve is in IB? And why are IB analyst so sought after for Buy-Side Jobs?

  • Oreos's picture

    NDAs, the bane of my existence, why isn't there a true market standard already!!

    .

  • In reply to dogboo
    TechBanking's picture

    dogboo:
    if banking is really mostly completing these menial tasks why do people talk about how steep the learning curve is in IB? And why are IB analyst so sought after for Buy-Side Jobs?

    Because one of the best ways to learn is through repetition. You build up a lot of experience really fast through working 2.5x full time jobs. You are also (ideally) exposed to either a bunch of transaction types (industry group) or industries (product group).

    Coming out of college, even the best Wharton grad, who imo are the best prepared of any college grads, can barely build a model, let alone one that is client ready. Beyond that, even top college grads' writing and presentation skills aren't up to par. These skills all need to be refined, and the best way is through repetition and replication of existing decent work. It is mind-numbing, but you actually do learn a lot.

    I would hire a former banking analyst over almost any other mid-20's candidate where polish and well-rounded skills are needed.

  • TonyPerkis's picture

    AM > IB

    I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

  • hungaroe's picture

    A humble contribution to your question.

    My worst nights while doing M&A (as Associate/VP based in europe) where when we had cross-border transactions with US colleagues involved. So our team worked through the morning, started reviewing and sending stuff (analyses, mark-ups, presentations, whatever) on the afternoon, exchanging comments on those, then discussing on eeeteeeernal conference calls in the evening (say at 11pm or 1am) with decision makers or MDs, just to start working on the next steps right after the call. Finalise and send to the US colleagues for them to continue spinning the wheel... just to find your inbox exploiting when you return at 8am.

    I was lucky though not to have face-time and substatial number of real transactions, which made it more bearable (particularly when you see your team is not the only one toiling -eg. lawyers, accountants etc). However it is a empty and many times pointless a proposition and tasks.

    You are right, there is room for improvement, it needs though to be ingrained from above. Problem, as mentioned, for most companies analysts/associates are just a cheap resource that costs only money

    There are exceptions though, teams/MDs that care about the team, their morale and try to keep the team to the limit or even remain around to give their feedback timely. We all understand the business we are in and should be willing to take the hit if you want to achieve, but it is nice to receive encouragement and that people value your work and time.

    The MD work is oftentimes not better, just different. Either you are a positioned M&A strategist (seasoned very experienced MD), and you get to actually provide strategic counsel to clients; or you are just a common MD, ptiching, selling, networking, selling, pitching, travelling and believeing you are a big guy and that you actually made it. We are all just a small wheels in the machine, no doubt. This can also be a demoralising and empty road. Many also miss the thrill from involvement in the real deal, as they need to spend time in originating and can only catch up with deliverables/calls/presentations.

    Make sure you find a purpose to what you are doing, no matter if analyst or MD/Partner.

  • In reply to Oreos
    ThaVanBurenBoyz's picture

    Oreos:
    NDAs, the bane of my existence, why isn't there a true market standard already!!

    Also the bane of my existence. Can't stand it when bankers only send a PDF of the NDA/CA. You know I'm going to mark it up! Much easier for everyone if I can do it in Word with Track Changes turned on than busting out my red pen, neatly cramming my edits into the margins of every page.

  • In reply to ThaVanBurenBoyz
    Oreos's picture

    ThaVanBurenBoyz:
    Oreos:
    NDAs, the bane of my existence, why isn't there a true market standard already!!

    Also the bane of my existence. Can't stand it when bankers only send a PDF of the NDA/CA. You know I'm going to mark it up! Much easier for everyone if I can do it in Word with Track Changes turned on than busting out my red pen, neatly cramming my edits into the margins of every page.

    Just go back and ask them for Word version and for them to stop being so asinine. My play now is just get the lawyers on the phone to each other as quickly as possible. We've also started signing blanket NDAs to cover us against all info from banks so we don't have to go back and forth....until someone tries to get us to sign something under different underlying docs such as in the form of ISDA rather than credit docs (e.g. an SFA) for a total return swap or CDS and we have to start all over again. Yawwwn.

    .

  • In reply to Going Concern
    ThunderRoad's picture

    Going Concern:
    This made me lol...which makes me wonder, do you feel you learned anything worthwile from this type of abuse?

    I learned how to use Excel and Powerpoint 2003 (now useless). I became a proficient modeler and I learned how to read financial statements, credit agreements, etc. I got a pretty good knowledge of the industry I covered. Most importantly I got an exit into PE and MBA. Your call as to whether you think that's worth it.

    If I had to give advice to people entering investment banking, it would be to use the sell day to figure out which teams are [i]respectful[/i] of their junior resources. You're not going to avoid working long hours, but it can make a big difference when you feel like you're on the team rather than just a bitch being bossed around and constantly demeaned. Ask analysts questions like which MDs do they like working with and why, and try to read between the lines to get an idea what their group will be like. Do MD's really try to teach them the business, are they thoughtful about giving you projects late at night, or do they just drop a shitload of tedious work on your desk on friday and tell you to call them on Sunday night to go over it. Are they going to listen if you tell them you're at capacity or just tell you to fuck off and get it done? It can make the difference between a brutal but bearable learning experience and just being trapped in a gulag for two years of your life.

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

  • In reply to ThunderRoad
    rufiolove's picture

    ThunderRoad:
    I have ragged on banking a lot here so I will leave one positive- late night conference room dinners where the analysts pool their dinner allowances and get like 400 chicken nuggets or something equally awesome. The relationship you build with the other analysts on your is by far the highlight of the banking experience.

    Couldn't agree more. I've seen some of the absolute funniest / best times in my life during this ride and have also had some of my most frustrating / worst as well. One thing is for sure, you definitely get a lot of the weakness beaten out of you and you accumulate a ton of hilarious stories.

  • BlackHat's picture

    If you want to learn an industry and understand financial statements, I definitely suggest ER wayyyyy before I'd suggest banking. Wouldn't say the same for credit agreements or whatever all that other stuff was though.

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to ThunderRoad
    Going Concern's picture

    ThunderRoad:
    Going Concern:
    This made me lol...which makes me wonder, do you feel you learned anything worthwile from this type of abuse?

    I learned how to use Excel and Powerpoint 2003 (now useless). I became a proficient modeler and I learned how to read financial statements, credit agreements, etc. I got a pretty good knowledge of the industry I covered. Most importantly I got an exit into PE and MBA. Your call as to whether you think that's worth it.

    If I had to give advice to people entering investment banking, it would be to use the sell day to figure out which teams are [i]respectful[/i] of their junior resources. You're not going to avoid working long hours, but it can make a big difference when you feel like you're on the team rather than just a bitch being bossed around and constantly demeaned. Ask analysts questions like which MDs do they like working with and why, and try to read between the lines to get an idea what their group will be like. Do MD's really try to teach them the business, are they thoughtful about giving you projects late at night, or do they just drop a shitload of tedious work on your desk on friday and tell you to call them on Sunday night to go over it. Are they going to listen if you tell them you're at capacity or just tell you to fuck off and get it done? It can make the difference between a brutal but bearable learning experience and just being trapped in a gulag for two years of your life.

    Sounds like pretty solid advice for prospectives. Were you in Leveraged Finance? Do you have any advice for someone that wasn't in Lev Fin banking but wants to become better at going through credit agreements?

  • In reply to Going Concern
    ThunderRoad's picture

    Going Concern:
    Sounds like pretty solid advice for prospectives. Were you in Leveraged Finance? Do you have any advice for someone that wasn't in Lev Fin banking but wants to become better at going through credit agreements?

    I was in an industry group, but at different banks and even different industries within the same bank you're going to get different levels of involvement from different groups. We did a lot of the work that lev fin or M&A might do at other banks. It just depends.

    As far as learning a credit agreement, just read a couple and you'll get a feel for where the important info is. That's basically how it happens on the job.

    I am wise because I know that I know nothing -Socrates

  • In reply to ThaVanBurenBoyz
    brandon st randy's picture

    ThaVanBurenBoyz:
    Oreos:
    NDAs, the bane of my existence, why isn't there a true market standard already!!

    Also the bane of my existence. Can't stand it when bankers only send a PDF of the NDA/CA. You know I'm going to mark it up! Much easier for everyone if I can do it in Word with Track Changes turned on than busting out my red pen, neatly cramming my edits into the margins of every page.

    Do you actually mark up the NDAs as an analyst? At firms I worked with it is usually the legal counsels that write the comments.

    Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.

  • In reply to brandon st randy
    ThaVanBurenBoyz's picture

    brandon st randy:

    Do you actually mark up the NDAs as an analyst? At firms I worked with it is usually the legal counsels that write the comments.

    Sure, we have internal guidelines for them, so we mark them up ourselves (usually the junior guys). You want to get the CIM or whatever ASAP, so sending it legal seems inefficient and unnecessary. I've never heard of a PE firm doing that.

  • In reply to TechBanking
    PetEng's picture

    TechBanking:
    dogboo:
    if banking is really mostly completing these menial tasks why do people talk about how steep the learning curve is in IB? And why are IB analyst so sought after for Buy-Side Jobs?

    Because one of the best ways to learn is through repetition. You build up a lot of experience really fast through working 2.5x full time jobs. You are also (ideally) exposed to either a bunch of transaction types (industry group) or industries (product group).

    Coming out of college, even the best Wharton grad, who imo are the best prepared of any college grads, can barely build a model, let alone one that is client ready. Beyond that, even top college grads' writing and presentation skills aren't up to par. These skills all need to be refined, and the best way is through repetition and replication of existing decent work. It is mind-numbing, but you actually do learn a lot.

    I would hire a former banking analyst over almost any other mid-20's candidate where polish and well-rounded skills are needed.

    Good post, SB. This really breaks it down for outsiders on *why* IB is worth the trouble.

  • In reply to ThaVanBurenBoyz
    brandon st randy's picture

    ThaVanBurenBoyz:
    brandon st randy:

    Do you actually mark up the NDAs as an analyst? At firms I worked with it is usually the legal counsels that write the comments.

    Sure, we have internal guidelines for them, so we mark them up ourselves (usually the junior guys). You want to get the CIM or whatever ASAP, so sending it legal seems inefficient and unnecessary. I've never heard of a PE firm doing that.

    Bain, Farrallon, Blackstone and a number of PE firms I have worked with all have legal counsels review the NDAs. At least that is the case with their Asian divisions. Some firms refer to their own internal legal team while others use outside law firms. There is usually quite a bit of back and forth going on over specific languages on the NDA (re exclusivity, what constitutes privileged information etc. ) that is better dealt with by lawyers.

    Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.

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