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?!