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In light of the recent death of an investment banking intern in London (who was apparently epileptic) and with all the misinformation and romanticized banking horror stories being peppered all over the place, I thought I'd (try to) settle this for once and for all and clear up all the bullshit.

Quote:

With respect to the people saying that it's "NEVER" expected to work 3 back to back all nighters, or that interns aren't expected to work all nighters--you guys might be too senior to notice it happening.

There is a team that sits near me at my shop that regularly has to pull back to back all nighters, because they have a terrible staffer and awful seniors to work for. They don't even go home for the shower anymore; they have a few sets of fresh clothes under the desk. Unsurprisingly, the majority quit post-bonus. HR is puzzled, but people are too afraid to tell the truth about how badly the workload for that team is managed.

This is just patently false. Its not at all like this in the industry.

This sounds more like one of the college kids that so frequently troll WSO and are for whatever reason turned on by the idea of working ridiculous (beyond the pale of reality) hours in banking.

The amount of misinformation about the banking lifestyle on WSO in fairly absurd. And it stems largely from these nerdy kids who think its a badge of honor to somehow work ridiculous hours. Its the same kids who when they first start working will stay in the office for absolutely no reason. Its the same kids who try to impress people by bragging about their ridiculous work schedules. Its the same kids that build a 16 tab model with 11 different scenarios and 8 sensitivity tables to run statistics on how many hours per week they are working.

You see this through levels in banking, these are the VPs that are in the office until midnight-1AM consistently. Its the directors and MDs in the office until 10 or 11. They are legitimately sad people, you feel sorry for them. To some degree banking is constantly forcing people to demonstrate their worth, and some people think that their worth is quantified by how many hours they spend in the office. What you start to see is that the 'face time' people initially starting putting in to demonstrate their worth to other people, starts becoming their own sense of self worth. Yeah, thats some deep Dr Phil shit.

Pulling 100 hour weeks is fairly intense. But even still its working from 9AM to 1AM during the week. And working from 10AM to 8PM on Saturday and Sunday. Its not really that bad. Its just horrific in comparison to working a normal job and going to happy hour after work, and brunch and college football on Saturdays and chilling at home all day on Sundays. Even in the banking 100 hour week, you're still averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep during the week, and as much sleep as you want during the weekend. Will there be weeks when you work more than that, yes. Will there be weeks when you work less, yes. The busier groups will work those weeks more often, and will have the absolutely ridiculous weeks come up a few more more times than the less busy groups. But if you're consistently working meaningfully more than that on a regular basis, its because you're not effective at your job.... and often times because you like the idea of always being in the office. Everyone who has actually worked in banking for a year or more knows exactly what I'm talking about.

The truth is the industry has its fair share of characters, but they are still within a few standard deviations of reasonable human beings. After you work a really long week and the deliverable are off the table, you can bounce early if you want. If you worked all weekend until 2 AM, worked until 4 Monday night and were in the office at 830AM to flip books on Tuesday, you can bounce early. Or come in late the next day. No one is driving slave ship. Meetings can get pushed if there is not enough man power. Analysts get shuffled around. Most banks have templates, canned presentations and pages from past books, presentation operators that turn changes, outsourced analysts abroad and graphics departments to create shit.

The real gruel of the banking lifestyle comes not from a lack of sleep... even though there may be instances where you're fairly sleep deprived when you're sprinting towards the finish line on a few projects... rather it comes from the fact that everything outside of work is always hanging on a string that may get snipped if the smallest thing requires your attention at work.

Comments (101)

  • Flake's picture

    Nice.

    Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

  • CRE's picture

    Marcus_Halberstram wrote:
    Pulling 100 hour weeks is fairly intense. But even still its working from 9AM to 1AM during the week. And working from 10AM to 8PM on Saturday and Sunday.

    Do you find that this "schedule" is more or less the norm or do you think you get more weekday time and less weekend time or whatever else?

    Marcus_Halberstram wrote:
    The busier groups will work those weeks more often, and will have the absolutely ridiculous weeks come up a few more more times than the less busy groups.

    Generally, which groups are busier and which aren't, or does this deviate too much from company to company to predict? Also, does being in a busier group bode well for your reviews or doesn't it matter?

  • Marcus_Halberstram's picture

    CRE wrote:

    Marcus_Halberstram:

    Pulling 100 hour weeks is fairly intense. But even still its working from 9AM to 1AM during the week. And working from 10AM to 8PM on Saturday and Sunday.

    Do you find that this "schedule" is more or less the norm or do you think you get more weekday time and less weekend time or whatever else?

    Marcus_Halberstram:

    The busier groups will work those weeks more often, and will have the absolutely ridiculous weeks come up a few more more times than the less busy groups.

    Generally, which groups are busier and which aren't, or does this deviate too much from company to company to predict? Also, does being in a busier group bode well for your reviews or doesn't it matter?

    To answer both questions it dependent on a variety of factors.

    First and foremost your firm culture. BBs are know to have more intense expectations in terms of how available you are. Some boutiques are the complete opposite and you're actually viewed unfavorably if you're routinely working late and in the office all the time.

    Second is the group you're in, the type of work that group does and how much deal flow there is. Live deals are more pressing and are less flexible in terms of deliverables, so they usually result in a more intense schedule. Depending on the firm your in, specific industry or product groups have varying degrees of intensity.

    Third is the role you play in the group. Are you at the lowest rung and get all the work no one else wants to do? This might be counter intuitive, but that usually involved less late nights if you play it right. Thats because the bitch work... profiles, comps, pet projects, administrative group work is typically less time sensitive and has more visibility. Are you the favorite analyst of a particular MD? That means you'll work (sometimes) exclusively with him/her depending on your group dynamic. Their expectations can make or break your lifestyle. Some Senior Bankers are ridiculous low maintenance, if you get in close with one of them you'll be set.

    Generally execution groups are busier. Some firms run the lion's share of execution out of coverage groups. But typically M&A is generally fairly busy. As is LevFin in some instances (but is often more market hours)... and depending on the firm sponsors. I've noticed ECM groups are generally some of the more moderate groups in terms of lifestyle. But again, dependent on all of the above. And the level of supersedence really goes from the bottom of the my post upward.... your MD sets the tone, then your role in the group, then your group, then your firm culture.

    I wouldn't call the 100 hour week the norm. Its less frequent than people on here lead you to believe.

  • Sav's picture

    Most people I know work between 80-100 hours a week and exaggerate a couple hours here and there. But I'm not sure what you mean by "patently false". The guy didn't claim to make a statement about the whole industry - he merely told an anecdote of a group that's managed particularly poorly.

    I'm not going to comment on the veracity of the statement, but only that it does not surprise me. There are groups that honestly have horrendous working conditions and every hour after 120 starts becoming pretty terrible.

  • In reply to CRE
    CompBanker's picture

    CRE wrote:

    Marcus_Halberstram:

    Pulling 100 hour weeks is fairly intense. But even still its working from 9AM to 1AM during the week. And working from 10AM to 8PM on Saturday and Sunday.

    Do you find that this "schedule" is more or less the norm or do you think you get more weekday time and less weekend time or whatever else?

    Marcus_Halberstram:

    The busier groups will work those weeks more often, and will have the absolutely ridiculous weeks come up a few more more times than the less busy groups.

    Generally, which groups are busier and which aren't, or does this deviate too much from company to company to predict? Also, does being in a busier group bode well for your reviews or doesn't it matter?


    CRE -- my experience in regards to your questions:

    1 - Work seems heavily skewed towards weekdays. While it does happen, work never really needs to be done "first thing in the morning" on a Saturday or a Sunday morning. This means the big pushes to make sure absolutely everything is squared away tend to occur during the week. Weekends tend to be slower paced, with more breaks to go to the gym, take personal phone calls, etc.
    2 - It really is firm dependent. From my experience, healthcare has miserable hours almost everywhere. The rest varies by firm. Others may be better suited to comment here.

    CompBanker

  • rickyross's picture

    It happens more often in some groups than others (healthcare, TMT) due to the nature of of those industries, but it's rare that you will work 100 hours a week for six months. It's most likely 2-3 weeks up to a month or two at most, but as with anything there are exceptions.

    Whenever I've had a 100 hour week though, it tends to be heavier during the week (i.e. leaving between 2am - 4am). As a third year now, I've only stayed until 3am a handful of nights in the last six months. Most nights I'm out by midnight or earlier.

    People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.

  • In reply to Marcus_Halberstram
    CRE's picture

    Marcus_Halberstram wrote:
    Some BB's are know to have more intense expectations in terms of how available you are. Some boutiques are the complete opposite and you're actually viewed unfavorably if you're routinely working late and in the office all the time

    Interesting. Are there any specific stereotypes, i.e. "These places are sweatshops" and "These places are the opposite."

    What's a good way to get "in" with a senior banker, or does it generally depend on personality?

  • In reply to Marcus_Halberstram
    CRE's picture

    Marcus_Halberstram wrote:

    And CRE, getting in with a Senior is a combination of chemistry, luck (getting staffed repeatedly with him/her early on so you can develop a good working relationship) etc...

    Cool. That's what I expected, but you never know when something is going to come up that isn't intuitive.

  • sterre74's picture

    Just curious. If the "norm" is 100hrs, how come that those people have the time to be on WSO? I really hope that they at least earn enough to hire someone to clean their apartment, cook for them, wash their clothes. Or in case they have a wife (to do all this) and kids, do they have enough time to enjoy their wife and kids?

  • In reply to sterre74
    peyo212's picture

    sterre74 wrote:

    Just curious. If the "norm" is 100hrs, how come that those people have the time to be on WSO? I really hope that they at least earn enough to hire someone to clean their apartment, cook for them, wash their clothes. Or in case they have a wife (to do all this) and kids, do they have enough time to enjoy their wife and kids?

    They are not usually working that entire time. A lot of my friends in IBD tell me about how they don't usually get any work until mid-late afternoon but they have to go in during the day to be "available" in case there is work to do.

  • FrequentPoster's picture

    I am a frequent poster under another user name that has been on this site for several years. I am going to weigh in on this from an anonym. account as I do not want to reveal too much about who I am. If you want to discount what I say, feel free, but what I am listing is the 100% truth. Most of it backs up MH's comments....

    I spent a year and a half in a group in our firm's NYC office that has a reputation across the Street for being a sweatshop and then changed groups (and offices) to our firm's Houston O&G group, where I have been for about the same amount of time. I am an associate from a top 5 B-School who came from a non-finance background.

    1. "these nerdy kids who think its a badge of honor to somehow work ridiculous hours. Its the same kids who when they first start working will stay in the office for absolutely no reason. Its the same kids who try to impress people by bragging about their ridiculous work schedules. Its the same kids that build a 16 tab model with 11 different scenarios and 8 sensitivity tables to run statistics on how many hours per week they are working."

    - These folks absolutely exist and they bring down the entire culture of IB. Most of them will spend hours trying to calculate a WACC when the MD told them specifically "just use 10-12%." They will often drag their feet on getting things done, just to go home later and make a big deal on how many additional hours they worked than others. While they are much more common at the analyst level, you will see them at all ranks in IB. All of them have been in IB their whole careers (obviously true of the analysts, but I am speaking more about the senior folks here) and were finance majors in college. Coming from a STEM background, I can tell you that the finance required for IB is just not that hard. It's freakin' 8th grade math, at best. Building a rediculous model only impresses people who like building rediculous models. The client that you are building the model for does not care about your supposedly ingenious way of computing accretion/dilution. Simpler is usually better and if the client (or prospective client at a pitch) thinks your methods are overly esoteric, you are not going to get the mandate. They will think you are a pretentious douche and give the business to another bank.

    2. "You see this through levels in banking, these are the VPs that are in the office until midnight-1AM consistently. Its the directors and MDs in the office until 10 or 11. They are legitimately sad people, you feel sorry for them. To some degree banking is constantly forcing people to demonstrate their worth, and some people think that their worth is quantified by how many hours they spend in the office. What you start to see is that the 'face time' people initially starting putting in to demonstrate their worth to other people, starts becoming their own sense of self worth. Yeah, thats some deep Dr Phil shit."

    - 100% true. See my comments on 1, above. Most of these folks either will not make it to the next level, or if they do make it to MD are the ones who never do deals and the top-flight analysts and associates will not work for. At my group in NYC, one MD would only be able to get staffing from analysts who were new or first year associates. Once you were beyond that, junior folks would refuse to work for him. He has not done a deal or even won a bakeoff since he made MD. I doubt that will change and he will probably find himself looking for work in 2-3 years. I am sure the guy was the absolute rock star of his analyst class.

    I cannot tell you how many times someone would love to comment on how they were working on something till the wee hours and it was like they wanted me to get down on my knees and blow them for it. Who really cares?

    3. "Even in the banking 100 hour week, you're still averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep during the week, and as much sleep as you want during the weekend."

    - 100% true. I put in many 4 AM - 6 AM nights in NYC and I still got at least 4 hours of sleep and did not roll in till 10-10:30. Later than 4 AM on consecutive nights only happened a few times. Midnight to 1 AM M-Th was common, where I still did not arrive till 9:30-10 AM the next day. Even if I went out for a drink or watched TV at home, I still got some decent sleep.

    4. Most groups knock off by 8 PM on Fridays. If you are looking for a job with a particular shop, email one of your junior contacts there on Friday night and see if he is in the office. If he is, that should be a major warning sign. Most problems that cause what happened in London at BAML are the result of bad group or firm culture. If I remember, didn't dealbreaker have some commentary about people leaving BAML groups in droves?

    For the last year and a half, I have worked in a BB group in Houston. Not only do I find O&G to be a fascinating industry to cover, but the culture here is outstanding. Once, I had to come in and flip books on a Sunday and the MD actually showed up to help because he felt so bad about it. In my office, the MDs are almost never here. They are either at meetings/pitches or at home or playing golf. I have never seen a VP or Director here past 8 PM unless their was a huge pitch the next day and even that was not always the case. Overall, my hours are much less than NYC. I would say I am between 60-75 hours a week 95% of the time. I am never at the office past 5 on Fridays and while 10 PM on M-Th is very common, midnight or later is rare. If 6 PM rolls around and I have nothing to do, I leave. It is not looked down upon. It is expected. We have good deal flow and bring in a lot of fees. The reason we do not get crushed is due entirely to group culture and the total absense of the kind of folks MH and I mentioned. We ACTIVELY do not recruit people who will do what is mentioned above. My experience is proof that IB at the associate level truly can consistently be a 75 hour per week job.

    I have been at the top end of the bonus ladder each of the years I have been with the firm. At the end of the year, senior bankers (minus the ones metioned in 2.) only care about the quality of work you put out.

  • In reply to peyo212
    sterre74's picture

    Glad to hear that. It can't be healthy to work that many hours and that late.
    I do think that there is a difference if a boss expect you to work that many hours and working many hours because you really enjoy your work. It also would help if you could do some work from home. Although I still think that 100hrs are to many hours. There will be a time that your body will tell you too much is too much.

  • masterg's picture

    There are absolutely some groups that require analysts to pull regular all nighters. When I was an analyst at a BB in M&A I usually pulled 1 all nighter per month (if I had to guess an average). However, I once was forced to pull 2 all nighters in a row by a horrible, dumb associate.

  • In reply to FrequentPoster
    anonmonkey007's picture

    Also a frequent poster on this site, and also posting under a new account in order to protect identity.
    For the most part, I agree with everything you have to say. I am writing this to echo your sentiments in part, and in part to further highlight that the discrepancies between different groups' hours are purely a result of culture.

    I also work in a oil & gas group in Houston; we are considered one of the top coverage groups both in o&g and at our bank. I am a first year analyst and have not ever worked in NY, but my experience (as well as my associates') is slightly different than yours. The average for analysts in my group is probably around 85-90; but we hardly ever pull long hours on weekends. Usually Sat/Sun work is about 7 hours, maybe. Some people do all of their weekend work on Saturday, some do it all on Sunday. But we rarely ever have a deliverable on a Saturday morning or on a Sunday morning. Our senior guys respect our weekends, and this is only because my group's culture demands that. What the don't respect, however, is Mon-Thurs. Fridays are generally pretty good too, so this means past 3 or 4 am M-Th is not an oddity. on average its not that bad, but I have had 2 month streaks where I never went home earlier than 3 am M-Th, and I was always expected to be there by 9:30 the next morning. This all depends on what you are staffed on, but most importantly who you are staffed with.
    I have found that my long hours/weeks/month are a result of the VP I was working with. The assoc (depending on how good he is) will usually stick around to help at least until midnight, and most are fairly understanding/don't give out ridiculous work. There are a few VPs in my group though that have no regard or respect for our hours, act like going home every day at 3 or 4 am is no big deal, and in my opinion are straight up insane. These are the guys that will stay until 4 am themselves, therefore forcing everyone below them to hang around as well. As a summer, there were many nights where I had to hang around "in case someone needed me". That's an example of culture going wrong.

    Now, I think my group has a great culture and I agree that Houston overall has better work/life balance (from what I have heard), but this does not mean there are not insane people above you that ruin it for everyone.
    I am surprised that banks work there interns so hard though (London guy?). We would never (and same with most groups in Houston) expect a summer to pull more than 1 all nighter their entire 10 weeks - and that's also rare.

    Hours at different groups is dependent on how much pitching/live deal exposure you have, your group's deal flow, but most of all your group's culture. For those going through recruiting, I urge you to reach out to juniors and get candid opinions. Talk to every bank and see what the general consensus is. There are definitely worse groups in Houston that I could have worked with, but I'm certain there are definitely groups that have a less skewed perception of "good hours" too.

  • CRE's picture

    Are hours at Barclays a lot different? A friend of mine is a 3rd year analyst there (not entirely sure what group) and she says she works 9 to 5 some days even and at most 12 hour days. She also can't just be a slacker or something since she's a 3rd year and she survived all of the recent layoffs and I know she recently took a vacation on top of that.

  • In reply to FrequentPoster
    CRE's picture

    FrequentPoster wrote:

    In Houston?

    Nah, NYC.

    Edit: Since I called her to "talk to her about the industry" there is a chance, I suppose, that she is completely bullshitting me to not "scare me off" but I don't think she would necessarily do that

  • eccentric's picture

    Woah, woah, woah. Thanks for selectively quoting from one of my posts to make it seem like I'm one of those "college kids that so frequently troll WSO and are for whatever reason turned on by the idea of working ridiculous (beyond the pale of reality) hours in banking."

    The unfortunate culture of the team I was citing is not representative of banking as a whole, and I did not claim it to be such. My group is nothing like that (hallelujah, hallelujah) and the rest of the floor regards the working hours of that particular group with a mix of of incomprehension, horror and pity. I put that particular team forward as a singular example to counter someone's blanket statement that back to back all nighters "never" happen. My point was that work benders can and do happen, but the main reason for such aberrations is not because "OMG BANKING IS SOOOOO HARDCORE" but for the much less glamorous reason that some teams are just badly managed. Boring, but true.

    If you had read the rest of my post (it's long, so I don't blame you if you skipped), you'd have gone on to see that I absolutely do not encourage pulling all nighters, and instead stress the importance of knowing when to say no and learning to communicate with your staffer to manage your workload.

    As an analyst, I've pulled a few all nighters when absolutely necessary, but never because I want to. Yeah, about that--thanks for assuming that I enjoy spending more time at the office than I have to. I'm okay with pulling an all-nighter if I know it's for urgent/unavoidable reasons, and it's the only way that something will get done. I'm not okay with it when an associate/VP is power tripping and demanding that something is done by the next morning for unreasonable/illogical reasons. That has happened to me once and only once. I genuinely thought that I had accidentally offended this guy and that he was paying me back for something, until I found out the next morning that he was widely regarded as an asshole for his random acts of irrational staffing. Again, this only happened once. Again, the importance of communication--if I'd told someone else what was going on, I would have understood what was happening and I wouldn't have had to pull that stupid all-nighter.

    (NB: It is totally acceptable, with my group at least, to go home in the afternoon/early evening once you've finished whatever unholy task required you to pull that all-nighter. It's understood that you're not going to be effective anymore, anyway, so finish what kept you there, then get the hell home and get some sleep.)

    Anyway, the point of my post was the opposite of what you assume. I wasn't trying to glorify working hours in IBD. Why would I do that? Nobody enjoys living at their desk. I just was trying to explain why prolonged shitty hours can sometimes happen, and give some tips to anyone in the unfortunate position of having to deal with the prospect of being overstaffed. Take a deep breath, relax. I was trying to be helpful, and I think you are as well. There's no need to bite the head off someone bearing another perspective.

  • In reply to justin88
    SonnyZH's picture

    justin88 wrote:

    "Pulling 100 hour weeks is fairly intense. But even still its working from 9AM to 1AM during the week. And working from 10AM to 8PM on Saturday and Sunday. Its not really that bad."

    Wow, just wow. Banking has melted your brain to the point that you are 100% out of touch.

    Agree.

    Quote:
    The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.

  • rufiolove's picture

    You should probably take a look at the old DLJ memo (linked below) that was circulated there and then recirculated at UBS LA if you have doubts that some groups absolutely do have horrendous cultures and the hours can be as ungodly as you have heard. It is by no means an industry norm, but to make the blanket statement that it is "patently false" is also inaccurate. I know of a few friends who have been in such groups and the egregiousness of hours got so out of control that very senior leadership at the respective firms had to step in to mitigate the issues because burnout, turnover, and potential liability risks were so high that the perpetuation of the status quo was no longer viable.

    http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/files/DLJ%20Too%20B...

  • In reply to SonnyZH
    OkComputer's picture

    SonnyZH wrote:

    justin88:

    "Pulling 100 hour weeks is fairly intense. But even still its working from 9AM to 1AM during the week. And working from 10AM to 8PM on Saturday and Sunday. Its not really that bad."

    Wow, just wow. Banking has melted your brain to the point that you are 100% out of touch.

    Agree.

    I thought I was the only one who cringed a little reading that.

    There was a thread earlier where one guy recorded either his intern or analyst hours and said the average came out between 75-80 hrs a week. Has anyone done anything similar?

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." --Abraham Lincoln

  • In reply to OkComputer
    duffmt6's picture

    I'm at a lower MM M&A boutique - 80 hours would be a bad week for me.

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • In reply to rufiolove
    Marcus_Halberstram's picture

    rufiolove wrote:

    You should probably take a look at the old DLJ memo (linked below) that was circulated there and then recirculated at LA if you have doubts that some groups absolutely do have horrendous cultures and the hours can be as ungodly as you have heard. It is by no means an industry norm, but to make the blanket statement that it is "patently false" is also inaccurate.

    Rufio, so you find the claim of analysts in a group routinely being forced to live out of the office without going home to shower or change clothes for multiple days plausible? Tell me you've had friends that have had to do this and you think its absolutely possible. In my experience I've never heard of anything even close to this... it sound like the wet dream of a Wharton M&T student? Maybe I just haven't been talking to the right people. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Also, the 100 hour week I posted is not too far off from the DLJ memo... i.e., 16 hour days during the week, and 20 hours on the weekend.

  • In reply to mongoose
    anonmonkey007's picture

    I think it depends. If you look at the top 3 groups in houston, I would say 90 is probably average but some groups have later weekdays and some do more weekend work. The biggest dicks from my office all came from NY or a diff office though, Texas guys are generally more chill. With that said though, it is most definitely still IBD and people will still be complete assholes for no reason.

  • Dunkin Donuts Banker's picture

    Agree with everyone on the culture aspect - I worked in a MM firm with a very good office culture and never pulled an "all-nighter" (i.e. staying at work until the start of next day's work, I've had many 3-4 AM nights). It was also an environment where if you worked until 3-4AM, you can roll in relatively late. To echo what everyone has said, it is pretty easy to tell during the interview process which firm has a good culture - people seem happier, seem to get along with their colleagues and consistently mention office culture & camaraderie as the drawing point of the group/office. If you went through 5 rounds of interviews and all they asked you were how to calculate WACC and nothing about who you are, well, that shows what their culture is like... I had this exp with Moelis couple years back, for instance.

  • In reply to adapt or die
    duffmt6's picture

    adapt or die wrote:

    duffmt6:

    I'm at a lower MM M&A boutique - 80 hours would be a bad week for me.

    I'm at a the same type of firm and 80 hours would be a very bad week. My avg is prob about 60-65.

    65 is probably about my average as well.

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • In reply to Marcus_Halberstram
    rufiolove's picture

    I think you're putting words in people's mouths here. My point was that I know both through firsthand experience (in isolated stretches) and through a couple of friends (who encountered it on a recurring basis which translated closer to a state of normalcy than to random outliers) that certain deal teams and groups can reflect a lifestyle that is absolutely antithetical to the one you are describing, and these scenarios are not in fact "patently false" but are simply the way it is. In reference to the specific poster's comments you are referencing (regarding being unable to return home to shower anymore / keeping lots of clothes at the desk) I believe that the statement viewed in isolation and taken out of context is reflective of slight hyperbole / focus being placed on the absolute worst stretches. But the overall sentiment does not strike me as unfeasible. Back-to-back all-nighters can happen "regularly" in certain deal teams within sweat shop groups. I guess the term "regularly" would likely need to be refined, but I know friends who were pulling 24-30 hour stretches a minimum of 5 times per month when involved with particularly taxing deals and it certainly starts to feel like a regular occurrence when the nights that aren't all-nighters are still midnight plus.

    I think the gist of what he was getting at was that he had witnessed a stretch where kids in another group at his firm were not rarely sleeping and full all-nighters, in which the kids were unable to leave the office to go home and change or grab a quick hour long nap were prevalent.

    I just think it's inaccurate to make the blanket statement that such circumstances do not exist anywhere in the industry. I certainly agree with you that they are nowhere near the norm and that exaggeration is rampant, but I also know there are certain places where such cultures are alive and well.

  • OkComputer's picture

    So I guess we can add BAML London to the next WSO thread asking for well-known sweatshops.

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." --Abraham Lincoln

  • NorthSider's picture

    +1 to this.

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • Marcus_Halberstram's picture

    These stupid squables aside, the reason there is so much misinformation is because someone hears of a particularly brutal 2 or 3 day stretch someone had to pull and then they represent that to be a regular course of business type of lifestyle.

    The other misconception is that an all-nighter = working until 730 in the morning. If you're in the office past 430, for all intents and purposes thats an all-nighter... even though you may go home and get 3 or 4 hours of sleep before heading back in. Again people turning a 430 AM night with 4 hours of sleep into leaving the office at 730, and going home just to shower. There is a mountain of a difference between those two scenarios, and those of you that have worked each of those will attest to that.

    The main point of this post is to present what banking hours are generally like. And the fact that DLJ and UBS LA are known -- even now -- 10+ years after they've been history to have had the most brutal hours Wall Street has seen... and the MD is saying that when you're working 100 hours, thats when you're fully tapped, should inform you guys as to the validity of the monkeys on here claiming that anything more than that is fairly common. Not to mention that by virtue of him having to send that e-mail suggests that his analysts aren't working at that pace, despite his expectations.

  • NorthSider's picture

    Most of the elite boutiques other than LAZ have pretty reasonable hours compared to BBs.

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • In reply to Marcus_Halberstram
    eccentric's picture

    Okay Marcus. You win. Despite the fact that the point of my post was the opposite of what you choose to believe, and that I have replied to this thread clarifying that the team in question is not the norm, and that I certainly do not work those hours, I am totally guilty of spreading misinformation. By virtue of the fact that you have more internet points than me, and your apparent ability to ignore responses that don't suit you, you must be correct when you speculate that I am a university student with "wet dreams" about working long hours. Yep. Those are some super sexy dreams. I can't wait till I'm livin' those dreams for real. What was I thinking, trying to contribute in some kind of helpful manner to a discussion? Did I really expect reasonable exchange...on an internet forum? I'm so ashamed. I'm going to go take a time out in my dorm room (while jacking off to American Psycho, obviously, because I have a fictional and glamourised version of IB in my head). It's only 59 minutes past midnight right now--I'm going to stay up for fun while staring at Excel so I can pretend to be one of those super cool bankers who work craaaaaaaaazy hours because they work hard and play hard, amirite?

    Aaaaand that'll teach me to try and participate in this forum, instead of lurking on it for downtime entertainment.

  • brooksbrotha's picture

    I think the the biggest and most common misconception is one that has been stated a ton on this website: Investment Banking is not just M&A. I dont know of anyone in S&T that works back to back all nighters. At most, international equity guys work 12 hours and can be called on mobiles when they leave buy 12 hour days never come on a consistent basis. As for M&A, I dont think you should be or would be looked down on for stopping when you reach your limit. I'm sure my bank isn't the only one where MDs would rather have employees with energy able to focus than walking zombies.

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