Deal Experience Question: Never Answered

Just realized this might be better to post here; posted a bit earlier the PE forum:

Perhaps it's because this falls under the category of "why would I want to help my competition" but every single time that this question has been asked, no one has ever given a clear answer on it, I have some idea of how I'd do this in an interview, it's just that I don't have any accessible mentors or trustworthy people to ask this of.

How do I walk through my deals when none of them have closed and they are all early stage pitches/pitches that have not made it into the RFP or "live-deal" part of the process?

One of my deals is a buy-side that closed recently but we never got signed by any of the clients and I really have no idea how to elaborate well/BS it when the interviewer will ask me, I just feel frustrated and confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Comments (4)

Most Helpful
Aug 13, 2022 - 4:10pm
SleazyBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Staffings are a luck of the draw type of thing that compound over time i.e if you were staffed on a high-profile transaction and did good work, seniors will seek you out next time a similar staffing comes along. With that being said, as a junior banker (and even as a VP), you have no impact on whether the transaction closes or not. If a deal doesn't materialize or even if it closes, chances are you had nothing to do with it. Many analysts do the work and fail to understand the strategic rationale behind the transaction or potential transaction in your case. That's what will come up during your interviews. Why was x company positioned this way? What KPIs would you look at when building the model? What's the state if the industry/ sub-industry? Why would a sponsor / strategic be a better fit? Why an asset purchase vs other alternatives… any significant NOLs?Those are the questions you need to start thinking through. And if you can elaborate and discuss intelligently, nobody will care whether the deal closed or not. Many analysts don't actually like working on live deals because it translates into more work and it's not as important for PE recruiting. However, this is an experience/knowledge industry and at the end of the day your experience is what makes you valuable. However, while having worked on multiple live deals will make your life easier once you make the jump to PE, it won't have much of an impact in terms of recruiting.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2022 - 4:23pm

I appreciate your response, it gave me more color on the importance of what I'm actually doing. But my question more focuses on this.

In an interview, how do talk about what I did on a staffing if the staffing is merely a pitch or just a few general discussions? For one of the "deals" on my resume, all we did was go in-depth on the asset, never got the CIM, never got to look "under the hood of the car", I just wrote it in because it's essentially all I've done. For context, I hit the desk less than 5 months ago, so there isn't much I've been staffed on that's actually material/important. How would you go about this, if you were in this position? Thank you

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Aug 13, 2022 - 4:33pm

You are still fresh, so the expectations aren't very high from a recruiting standpoint. Nobody will expect you to have closed 5 deals.

Discussion Materials:

What was the point of the exercise? Was your MD pitching a take-private. If so why? Did the company need liquidity and thought it could get rid of an attractive asset at a premium? There's always a rationale, you just have to find it. Or even better, ask your MD about it. Wth do you have me making slides, is there a point to this?


Broader view on this. How was the deal team positioning the company? Does your team have xyz expertise or a unique take that could secure the mandate? How do you plan to spin this? What's the story?

Look, this is a sales job. If you are working on a sales pitch and you don't know what you are pitching, that's an issue. Leverage those around you (senior members of the team) as they always have a reason (made up or otherwise) for doing things. If you can answer all these questions, you won't have an issue selling yourself

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2022 - 5:02pm

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