15 Things I Hate About Banking

Hello all. Figured I’d use quarantine to be productive and share some thoughts with the world. At the end of the day, thankful to still be employed (hopefully) and plugging away

Before we start a quick acknowledgement of the normal people who are just good at their jobs (the real MVPs) who make it all bearable.

Here we go. The list below generally fits within a framework I like to use: You’re either a work doer or a work creator. Be good or be be normal. If you’ve never been a good work doer (i.e. analyst or productive associate) chances are you’re not gonna be a good work creator (i.e. VP). If you’re not normal, you better be unbelievably smart otherwise you’re probably not gonna be good.

Anyway...the 15 things I hate about banking:

  1. People and people who make people work till 2am frequently only because that is what you do in banking

  2. Thinking that ‘running the math’ or working on the model makes you important. Any moron can run the numbers, if you can’t explain what they mean you’re useless.

What you think you’re doing: running a robust and complex analysis rooted in the fundamentals of corporate finance, but at such a sophisticated level that only those talented enough to work in banking or PE could understand (written meme: Zach Galafinakis Hangover scene). What you are actually doing: ‘Hey we backed into the answer that you want to see but have 12 pages of backup in the appendix so it looks like we did something.’

  1. Senior associates / VPs that don’t know anything but are senior associates / VPs

  2. Constant and never ending intellectual superiority contests. Like you don’t need to one up my opinion on the game last night. Not how people interact in the outside world. And no one cares about your exercise routine

  3. Similarly - when everyone needs to get their opinion in on the call or email chain. Congrats! Omg you’re so smart and not useless, thanks for that insight! Well now we have to address your comment which you made solely to sound smart, which creates more work and take us further from finishing the deck, which was the reason we had the call in the first place!

  4. When someone says absolutely nothing, but uses infinity industry buzzwords, all the finance lingo, and an arrogant cadence to compensate for their incompetence. If you can’t explain it in simple English you don’t know what you’re talking about!

  5. We get to use fancy words to make to make it seem like the work we did isn’t totally useless and made up. Pro forma (we added these two things together), illustrative analysis (ok guys let you in on a little secret, this one is made up, but it’s just illustrative so it can’t be wrong), leakage (take this number here and multiply it by the tax rate)

  6. Someone else already did all the work (i.e. research analyst) we just reformatted it in our banks colors and added a cute graphic with an arrow

  7. Call with 40 people: BEEP. Who just joined? DID SOMEBODY JUST JOIN!!?

  8. Arrogant interns

  9. Arrogant everybody else who thinks that they are better than everyone else because their email signature says investment banking. Btw there are a ton of people in less “prestigious” positions that could do circles around you

  10. People who can’t handle it or blame others when things don’t go there way. Awww, but this never happened at Deerfield or Princeton. Grow up. Little accountability

  11. Senior people that are a mess and get stuff done at bizarre hours and expect everyone to accommodate. Um hello, we could have finished this like civilized humans before 6pm on a weekday instead of Sunday night at 11:30

  12. People that don’t have any interests besides high finance, being rich and expensive wine. Cool bro

  13. People that don’t acknowledge the BS. Yea we get to work on real shit and get access to interesting processes / people, but let’s be real about the nonsense that goes into our jobs on a daily basis. Some people just take themselves and everything they do sooo seriously

Bonus 16. Prestige. Do what you want with people you like and respect. 1 - you’ll be better at and therefore more valuable to your clients and therefore can probably work at a more prestigious firm (LOL, but actually). 2 - who cares what the trolls think

At the end of the day we’re all used car salesmen/women. Some of us just wear more expensive suits

 

I'd add in abusive people (I would have said 'needlessly abusive') but I think there really is very rarely any time when abuse is warranted. Examples: I didn't book a flight yet, because I was waiting for the counterparty to confirm the meeting. We're still 4 days out and there's LOTS of seats. MD says "You're a fucking child. I fly more than you. Why haven't you fucking booked it?" "How much money have you raised? Fucking zero." (found out later the LPs didn't want to invest with a total prick, which they easily found out via due diligence calls.

 

Point 4 about the competition on everything is accurate and I actually find it quite lol. Sadly I am a victim of this.

Some of these I don't even know when and how I've became a subscribed competitor and we never admit it to each other we are even keeping tabs, but here are some examples for a some fellow competitors to have a laugh about:
Low key competition in how many Barry's people complete a week, how many absurd ski stories we have where we break some part of the body, who is training ultramarathon and iron man, how many semi professional highest peaks people have scaled/summited, extreme variation of dieting/fasting/vegan convert based on xyz latest research to extend lifespan, hitting high score on sleep pattern and REM minutes, how many Michelin star restaurant visited... the list goes on

This is basically like RPG game where you are collecting raw materials, rock and trees etc and building an empire by the end. Oh and how addictive this is ... hahahah

 
Most Helpful
  1. Being a Ppt monkey. I was a STEM major, and now I spend my days finetuning powerpoint objects and resizing logos. A moron, with proper training, could do 80%+ of my job

  2. VPs who are afraid to ask reasonable questions of MDs (what do you want to see) and instead burn hours of analyst / associate time in an effort to "show everything"

 
Funniest

stanleyIII - for your first complaint, logointern.com should make that a bit easier.

Your second point is easily my least favorite part of banking. MDs already waste enough of our time. VPs make it so much worse by having no spine

 

I've got a few:

  1. MDs that are so fucking vague with everything that they ask you to do that you want to punch a hole through your monitor. "can you pls fix deck and run numbers back pls" Which deck buddy I'm on multiple live deals with you wTF?

  2. MDs that make you feel like a complete moron when you ask them to provide a little guidance behind wtf "running numbers back" means

  3. MDs that frantically ask you at 5:54pm to send around an unplanned conference call invite for 6:00pm that same day to 15 people at three different firms because he wants to have a call whenever the fuck

  4. MDs that ask you to pull up two of the most obscure files to find on your company's hard drive and ask you to run complicated formulas on both of them while 15 people are waiting for you to answer because your MD decided to not give you any heads up that he wanted to mention these random numbers that have zero value-add to the conversation and on the deal in general, and then 10 seconds later asks you "whats the hold up here?" TF??

 

The entitlement in this post is pathetic. You all are making 150k out of undergrad while so many people on this country are struggling to make ends meet. Quit complaining.

 

Interesting comment. Are you saying that nobody should be able to complain about certain aspects of their job whilst there is a (rising) existence of unemployment? I assume the individual (and quite a lot of bankers) holistically either enjoy or appreciate the experience, development and opportunity, and are grateful to have a job these days.

My view is that if we fail to mention the parts of our job we don't appreciate (especially on an online forum), we can't reflect upon what we would do in a higher-up position in order to help our analysts and associates have a positive experience. We also can help individuals who are considering IB to truly think about whether these aspects are right for them.

 

For starters a lot of these are common in any industry that pays well. But that's not the point. We are literally in the middle of a national pandemic where small businesses are absolutely getting slammed. So many people in my cohort have had their internships cancelled. And what do I see here? Some entitled analyst crying about how his VP is incompetent and his coworkers are arrogant. Give me a break. This is all OP has to whine about in the middle of national crisis. He seriously (a) needs to be grateful he is still alive and healthy and (b) grateful he has a very well paying job still.

stanleyIII Did you expect to be doing contour integration in a sales business? You picked this industry for the money, now deal with it. Tech was an alternative that you chose against. Be grateful you are paid 150k to use PPT. There are a lot of jobs that use PPT and Excel that get paid peanuts compared to what you guys make.

I used to never believe it when people said there were people in this thread who have never faced adversity. That has changed due to people like the OP and stanleyIII

 

The excessive competitiveness and the culture of "Kill or be killed" are the worst imo.

Dude we literally are on a same f'kin deal, you don't need to talk behind my back to our VP/MD because i'm not familiar with some industry-specific lingo/terms so you could gain smartass points in front of their faces. Almost everyone working in banking for at least 2 years has encountered this kind of toxic person/people. It brings down the team, politicize our workflow/decisions, and unnecessarily waste everyone time and energy.

 

My favorite phenomenon is MDs inability to understand their inboxes or calendars, but have told junior staff not to clog their inboxes with emails. Classic scenario: Client wants to move working session and the analyst moves calendar invite to new time with a note on the update message that says "moving to new time due to conflict". MD proceeds to shit down analyst's throat for not sending a separate email that says "this meeting has been rescheduled".

Analyst jumps out window

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