To all the shitty VPs

Another troll/shit post for all the poor fucks stuck with annoying ass VPs (and to an extent, Sr. Assoc).

VPs – this probably doesn't apply to most of you. Many of you are chill. But if you're consistently exhibiting the below behavior, your whole office probably hates you.

  • Stop being a sycophant

    • I've posted about this before, but the sheer lack of balls on some folks is shocking. How are you 30+ years old and still simping for the MD like he's gonna suck your dick? It is unacceptable if the only pushback on a clearly bs ask, deal, etc. is coming from the Associate, when the VP clearly knows this and doesn't have the EQ to find a way to explain why something doesn't make sense. At least suggest something else that aligns with what the Partner is actually looking for, so you don't look bad when I eventually bring up a logical, more efficient approach.
  • Stop monopolizing meetings for no reason

    • If on every single call, you say "sorry for being 10 minutes late, running late on another call…" as they say, if it smells like shit wherever you are, check your shoes bro. It's fine if you're a partner but you're not. One potential reason why you are routinely running over on calls is because you keep opening your mouth and speaking words that literally don't do anything – doesn't lead into actual issues, doesn't address concrete actions. Just "discussion," and you delivering a 10 minute monologue outlining every stupid little fucking detail and background for a very simple problem/topic that could be summarized in 5 minutes or less. Plus, you keep interrupting the CEO / executive to clarify something obvious every 15 seconds. Why don't you wait for 45 seconds (or for a pause), synthesize your thoughts, and then clarify? That would also reduce the amount of st-st-stuttering, "uhm, uhhhhs," "H-H-H-Hey [Mgt Person], sry 1 thing" due to your brain racing way past what you can articulate as you frantically add up random numbers from the CEO's mouth and realizing they don't tie to the model. Just shut the fuck up for a second?
    • Worst part is I inadvertently start adopting this embarrassing behavior and have to mentally slap myself out of doing it. If I'm speaking for more than a few minutes straight on a call where I don't have a designated speaking role, I already know I'm doing something wrong.
  • Stop "discussing" workstreams with me/deal team for hours

    • You ever called someone to "discuss" an ask, and have it take longer than it would have taken the Associate to actually do it, take a shit, and eat dinner? And every time they politely try to wrap up by summarizing each to-do and plan of attack, you respond by saying "I agree, and also……" proceeding to blabber on for another few minutes. You just love the sound of your voice.
  • Stop thinking so fucking much on stupid shit – it's not that serious

    • "Hey I think CFO mentioned off-hand we might be able to reduce this one cost by 0.5% - let's see what it looks like." First of all, nobody cares. Second of all, congratulations on 0.5 bps of IRR you just "created." Third of all, the dude said "he might be able to renegotiate," which is a pure hypothetical that he's probably gonna forget about. You really wanna underwrite this deal to perfection and then take the heat for when we miss budget (due to 15 of these "adjustments")? And also, don't come up to me 2 months later asking "hey why did we do this?" It's because you so desperately wanted to round up a few IRR bps but didn't have enough conviction in actual key drivers.
    • Also, stop changing small numerical shit at the very last minute because you neglected to look at any numbers until the night before a deadline because you were too focused on text edits. Why did you suddenly freak out and decide to adjust a whole bunch of assumptions in the model that actually didn't do anything material? And why are these adjustments saved in your own version of the model that you conveniently busted so I have to copy and paste each change into my own (and later realize you made changes you didn't tell me about that prevents me from tying out)?
  • Stop treating PortCo management teams like your Associate or DD consultants

    • This one just pisses me off personally. I get that if things aren't going so well (or if there's a quick workstream), you get stressed and might have to be a pain in the ass for management teams, following up on everything. That's fine, but for the love of god please prioritize what you're asking for before you dump a load of shit for the PortCo. PortCos aren't consultants, bankers, etc., and a lot of them are gonna be annoyed when they have to drop everything to do your bidding, especially if it's for 5 years straight.
    • I also get if shit starts flowing from the top and you need to push it forward. But maybe figure out the underlying thing that the Partner is actually looking for, and work with the team to figure out the most efficient way to get there. I see a lot of phrasing around "we need to push management to do this," and then it takes the form of essentially saying, "Do this" without much offering of resources, ideas, or guidance. Too little respect, in my opinion.

Comments (23)

Most Helpful
Feb 17, 2022 - 5:06pm
rabbit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

IMO, this is why the herd starts to thin at the VP level, both in banking and PE. You have to add real value and demonstrate tangible leadership, there is no modeling, deck/memo or bitch work to hide behind.

All of these shitty behaviors you list sound to me like someone who wants to "add value" but doesn't know how. This is either a new VP or someone who never got their head out of their ass. In my mind, these people need to get their shit straight ASAP and don't know that yet or accept they have hit their ceiling in industry.

Feb 18, 2022 - 8:27am
hedge, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Commenting as a VP.  I loathe garbage VPs and Directors -- they make my job worse.  Why?  Turnover and burning of resources.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing the no-value add director that crates throw-shit-at-a-wall pitchbooks with 50 turns over swapping logos and other BS, get-got and pushed out.

Feb 18, 2022 - 11:48am
wallstreetmemes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Literally the dumbest edits sometimes or the VP that makes you do a 50 page initial screen on something that should be ten pages. Refuse to work with them and told group head to not staff me with them. Life is too short to work with a shitty, lazy VP

Feb 18, 2022 - 11:55am
ZetaMale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As a former Banking VP, there are some good callouts by the OP here. 

Non-value-add VPs or those that just delegate/treat their Associates/Analysts like task-horses, are part of the reason attrition can show an uptick. Probably the worst offense, IMO, is giving a really vague & time-intensive ask to the execution team with no context. Obviously, just some top-of-mind thing or something a client/MD said in passing that ends up derailing the whole group. During my time as an Analyst & Associate, these kinds of 'asks'--if you can even call them that. Some may argue these asks are really 'verbal diarrhea'--not only killed my motivation but diluted what could have been good deal experience.

*Shameless Plug* I talked about being a VP here: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/qa-svp-with-15-yoe-bb-mm-mc-all-ma-a-long-strange-trip 

Feb 20, 2022 - 1:43pm
chihayafull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Haha "verbal diarrhea" is an excellent way to put it! Dudes will legitimately email "sorry for the dump/stream-of-consciousness, let me know if u need a call to clarify."

What is this half chode lazy bullshit? Either (1) discuss on a call first if you care about my input (which u don't), or (2) actually lay out what you want done. Cuz now I have to spend 30 min deciphering this literal shit, and waste another 30 min clarifying wtf ur talking about

  • VP in PE - LBOs
Feb 18, 2022 - 12:14pm

Great post. Personally I absolutely hated working for VPs with those traits. Some were literally willing to sacrifice analysts just so they feel they have an upper hand in a situation. To me that's not leadership. There are some shit I swore never to do once I got to VP. This is a nice reminder. 

  • NA in IB-M&A
Feb 18, 2022 - 2:54pm

Had a senior VP absolutely destroy my week preparing 40 pages for what turned out to be an internal meeting regarding a potential financing (deck was not even opened and was not asked for). Ever since then I actively ignore his requests unless I know an MD has actually asked for something through him.  

Feb 18, 2022 - 5:04pm
MidMarketMcLovin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Great post. What I never got is VPs who aren't efficient with time or requests. Time is a very limited resource, and requests which aren't well thought through ruin morale (also an important and limited resource) and add little value. Given these people are trusted to advise on allocation of capital, you think they'd have the common sense to allocate time and other resources effectively.

I had a VP who would call me as soon as I sent them a deliverable and ask me to run them through it. It was an utterly useless waste of 30-60 minutes of both our time as they hadn't reviewed it, so all their questions were on the spot and not thought through. Spent half of each call debating assumptions which aren't key drivers of returns. Review the materials before asking someone to take you through them, particularly if it's a model, and apply to 80/20 rule to assumptions to debate and diligence further.

Feb 18, 2022 - 7:08pm
falconeagle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Haha in my IB days I had a VP exactly like that. I get that sometimes if there have been particularly complex changes to a model etc it's easy to run through on the phone for 5-10 mins rather than sending a lengthy block of explanatory text by email. But just like your VP, this guy would ask for very simple stuff and then as soon as I sent it he'd call me up and we'd spend 30 minutes on a pointless call that could have been avoided if he'd just read my email/instant messages. Lol you could tell he hadn't read anything I'd sent as he would always ask me to explain specific points that I'd already clearly covered in my email.

Also frequently he'd shoehorn in questions about the specific client/sector which clearly showed he was clueless about certain aspects of the particular project, so I'd have to explain stuff at length because he hadn't bothered to keep up on emails or read the IM.

If you're an MD and do this, then fine - doesn't mean it's right but I fully expect it, and to be fair MDs are not supposed to be in the weeds/easily skip over emails given they're meeting clients and bringing in business etc. But a VP's entire job is pretty much being good at executing deals - which includes managing analysts efficiently. So there's frankly no excuse for them to not be on top of basic stuff about a deal or constantly miss emails.

Feb 18, 2022 - 6:22pm
justanothermonkey_, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agree 100%.

I feel like it is overlooked that these a-hole VPs (and sometimes associates) significantly contribute to the miserable analyst lifestyle too, and that not all of it comes from MDs / department heads. Now that I've been working for a few years and have a better perception of how things work, I get absolutely infuriated thinking back to some of the things the VPs did to me that could have been completely avoided altogether if they had even the slightest care for their underlings - things like saturday comments on decks that went out to them on Thursday, waiting three days to send feedback on a deliverable and then demanding it is turned that night, being asked to 'take a shot' at something without any guidance that they've worked on a million times before.. I used to think this was just 'banking' and that everyone was too busy all the time to maintain any semblance of order, but now i'm realizing that its more just a matter of people senior to me never wanting to do their job

Feb 20, 2022 - 1:50pm
chihayafull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Very true. Multiple VPs/principal-levels at my firm work for the same MD/Partner, and yet their tendency to fuck me in the ass is night and day.

Like, it's the same exact partner, on similar deals, with similar deliverables. Why is it that one VP is so excruciating to work with, and another will be phenomenal (prioritization, 80/20, recognition of what matters, appropriate timing expectations).

Sad thing is the bad one will probably be promoted at least once, as the seniors see that they are "actively doing stuff" and "committed," until they finally can't ignore the fact that every single junior hates them.

Feb 19, 2022 - 4:44am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The worst VPs are those who are terrible at managing up. As someone who is expected to guide and lead a process, many VPs have a rote inability to actually add input to processes (read: add value) and will often just become yes men to acquiesce seniors. As someone mentioned above, you see a lot of thinning at the VP level and I do believe it largely comes down to their ability to be an actual contributor vs an execution monkey.

  • 1
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 16, 2022 - 10:03pm

To me the worst VPs are those who are good at managing up, yet have 0 or negative infinity clue about how work is done whatsoever or have 0 respect for people and their time. 

Oh wait, sycophant. 

Mar 24, 2022 - 7:12am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Those tend to be the ones who will throw you under the bus due to their lack of knowledge or understanding of anything when it matters the most. Totally agree

  • Teller in Non-profit
Mar 13, 2022 - 12:53am

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