Senior Associates SUCK

Mini-rant here.

At a BB, and I have to say working with senior associates absolutely blows.

All they seem to do is send pretty "process update" emails internally and suck up hard to VPs/MDs while doing very little actual work.

"Will do!" to the VP, removing him from the chain, then telling junior Associates / Analysts to do all the work. Rage fuel. 

Curious if anyone else has had a similar experience, or if it's just my bank.

Comments (16)

Sep 13, 2022 - 1:50pm
Evianstone, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm sure bad associates exist, but as a 3rd year, you really shouldn't be getting in the weeds on stuff and going in PPT / Excel too often unless to check. 

Seniors expect you to transition into more of a leadership role at that point, and making PPT slides isn't going to help with that. 

The good associates are doing a lot more in the background that you don't see.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Sep 13, 2022 - 2:11pm

I think this really depends. If it was 2am and my A1 or even intern still had a tonne of stuff to do I was always happy to split it with them. Sure if you're doing other stuff then totally get it you should leave them to it but I'd never kill someone's evening for personal comfort reasons, only if it made sense due to prioritisation of work. This attitude was actually instilled in me by a VP who even used to split comps with me when I was an intern, I ended up working better and harder for him than anyone else in the bank because I saw he was happy to graft too.

Sep 13, 2022 - 2:24pm
CharlesCheese, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I had the same thing instilled in me by a VP who always employed the divide and conquer mentality.  One of the few I really respected and worked my ass off for as a result.  During my associate years I tried never to hang the analysts out to dry.  The respect and camaraderie developed at our junior team level meant more than being able to dip out early.   

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 13, 2022 - 6:49pm

I am absolutely in the same boat.

My senior associate is phenomenal, always suggests splitting work and if she can't I know it's for a good reason. Makes me want to work harder for her for sure.

Good senior associates indeed exist

Sep 16, 2022 - 12:39am
Loser Banker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Evianstone

I'm sure bad associates exist, but as a 3rd year, you really shouldn't be getting in the weeds on stuff and going in PPT / Excel too often unless to check. 

Seniors expect you to transition into more of a leadership role at that point, and making PPT slides isn't going to help with that. 

The good associates are doing a lot more in the background that you don't see.

I think this isn't quite right or misleading 

I mean what are you really doing in investment banking other than laying out slides and doing diligence etc (depending on stage and type of deal)

As a senior analyst who has just done decks with senior associates barely doing anything,  have seen the entire work stream and it's not like they're doing all this "managing" behind the scenes. Yeah they get a call from the VP asking "where are the slides", but nothing beyond 

My best senior associates get in the deck when it's needed and often take the most complex / difficult slides. That's their value. If you're a senior associate just telling people to do work, do you really have value other than the nit once a day? 

Sep 19, 2022 - 12:27pm
Evianstone, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's certainly different by group. Im a senior associate at a EB and always get dinged for doing too much analyst work and helping out too much, so my response was through that lens. We are also pretty lean and often times without a VP on the team so I end up essentially QBing the deal a lot of the time. Of course an associate should frame out more complicated slides and dig in when others are busy.

  • Teller in VC
Sep 19, 2022 - 5:21am

This always kind of baffles me. These are people roughly 5 years out of uni. If they don't do the work then who with some semblance of experience or competence will? On a related note, and I know not everyone will agree, but in my opinion 'even' VPs are part of the junior working team although somehow they have seemed to elevate themselves to a generally accepted 'non-working' status

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 16, 2022 - 1:09am

I think that's how banking works. Very bureaucratic. Recently got A2A at a MM and I don't think I'm that different from an Analyst tho. 

Sep 19, 2022 - 11:35pm
breezy443, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Eh depends, as a senior associate you shouldn't be "doing" that much of the work anymore. It's more about managing up, shelling out the book, providing guidance to juniors, drafting some of the more big-picture stuff like commentary etc. If senior associates are doing their job right, they really shouldn't be spreading comps themselves, making charts, etc. they should be providing guidance and checking.

Of course, if my team is getting murdered I'll step in and do that stuff with them, but on a normal day I am not doing that.

Some analysts don't truly appreciate the responsibilities that associates bear. If something is wrong with the materials, it's on them. Associates can yell at you all they want, but at the end of the day the blame falls on them. I've personally been burned by this a few times where I "did" too much of the work myself at the expense of reviewing. Analysts probably pump out more volume, but I'd argue being a "good" associate is one of the most difficult roles in the hierarchy.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Sep 20, 2022 - 2:38am

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