FAQ: Common terms used on WSO

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Wall Street Oasis, and Wall Street, has a number of terms that it would benefit you to know while perusing this site. The list below is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good way to give yourself an idea of what people are talking about!

Boutique: A boutique is generally a smaller firm, and most boutiques specialize in a specific niche/industry. Some boutiques are referred to as "elite boutiques" as they compete with bulge bracket and other large firms for business

Buy-side: The buy-side usually refers to private equity, mutual funds, hedge funds, and similar firms which buy companies or portions of companies

Comps: This is a method for valuing a company by using a sample of ratios from comparable peer groups, it is also known as Trading Comparables (comparing from publicly traded companies) / Transaction Comparables (comparing transactions for similar companies)

LevFin (Leveraged Finance): Generally refers to the financial sponsors group, this group generally deals with private equity or other financial sponsors groups

Pitch: The pitch is generally when a finance professional puts on their Sales hat. A pitch is the presentation that is given to a potential investor or company executives to try and obtain or retain their business. Oftentimes, there is a negative connotation associated with "pitching" or pitch books because they often involve numerous long, painful, sleepless nights to prepare (at the junior levels) and can result in no revenue for the firm if the engagement is not won

Pitchbook: Usually a PowerPoint presentation created for use during a pitch (see above)

RoadShow: Where a team of Investment Bankers or finance professionals travel to multiple meetings in multiple destinations to try and sell their services (often accompanied by a beautifully-bound pitch book)

Sell-side: This refers to the "side" of finance where the selling is done, generally this means the investment banks who are trying to sell companies (although many of the bulge brackets and larger firms have buy-side groups)

super day: This is generally the second or final round of interviews for an SA or FT position

tombstone: A small graphic (usually shaped like a tombstone or box) used to highlight different engagements an investment bank has worked on. Tombstones are usually incorporated as part of the pitch book as part of the attempt to show that they are the BEST option to work on any given transaction

Related: Common acronyms used on WSO

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