Best Closing Dinners

Bowser's picture
Rank: Orangutan | banana points 302

So I don't start my IB job until next month, but I've always been intrigued by the closing dinner references I've heard about on WSO and from friends.

I initially assumed it was just going out for a boring dinner to celebrate a deal, but last week a friend told me about a recent closing dinner where management and the deal team flew out to Vegas for an F1 driving experience and then went out on the Strip.

How common are cool outings like this?

What are some of the best closing dinners/closing events you've been on or heard about?

Comments (26)

Dec 11, 2012

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

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Dec 11, 2012
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Umm, are you hiring? That sounds like a movie.

Blue horseshoe loves Anacott Steel

Dec 11, 2012
Jamess1:
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Umm, are you hiring? That sounds like a movie.

About as fictional too. Seems odd you've been balling so hard since you posted 2 years ago about being a sophmore at University of Calgary, kalga.

Baffling.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars."

Dec 11, 2012
Independent Gestion:
Jamess1:
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Umm, are you hiring? That sounds like a movie.

About as fictional too. Seems odd you've been balling so hard since you posted 2 years ago about being a sophmore at University of Calgary, kalga.

Baffling.

Baffling indeed.

You must have caught the part where I said I went to all of those...oh wait...I could have also just said I went to the F1 one. Not your fault, you'll never learn if you don't keep trying.

RE other comments: the big ones aren't typical (usually just dinner/drinking), we had quite a good year and the MDs are using it as an opportunity to show their appreciation. A number of MDs also retired leaving more cash on the table for the remaining partners.

Dec 11, 2012
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Holy crap, those sound amazing.

Dec 11, 2012
Bowser:
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Holy crap, those sound amazing.

Lol don't get excited. This is the only time I've heard of that and it's only because it's a boutique and the MDs are choosing to reward their guys.

I can promise you with almost 100% certainty that there isn't a chance in hell you are flying to Monaco to watch the Grand Prix from a yacht for a closing dinner in banking as an analyst. It is very rare under the current conditions for analysts to go to the closing dinner. My associates rarely go to closing dinners, and more often than not, the closing dinners are in the home city of the management team and it's just a dinner at a ridiculously nice restaurant there.

The days of analysts attending closing dinners in Cabo and accompanying the management and deal teams on trips to Vegas for hookers and blow don't exist anymore. You'll be lucky if they even give you a lucite for the deal anymore. They have cut the fuck out of all the perks in this industry on top of cutting comp at the junior levels. Some banks have reduced seamless allotments, some have pushed back the minimum time worked to take a cab / car home, most have reduced the budget for closing costs for deals (lower budget per deal toys, fewer deal toys made, less cost for the closing dinner, and few attendees to closing dinners).

This is why morale is so low. Comp is down, perks are down, exit opps are down, and hours are up...

    • 1
Dec 11, 2012
rufiolove:
Bowser:
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Holy crap, those sound amazing.

Lol don't get excited. This is the only time I've heard of that and it's only because it's a boutique and the MDs are choosing to reward their guys.

I can promise you with almost 100% certainty that there isn't a chance in hell you are flying to Monaco to watch the Grand Prix from a yacht for a closing dinner in banking as an analyst. It is very rare under the current conditions for analysts to go to the closing dinner. My associates rarely go to closing dinners, and more often than not, the closing dinners are in the home city of the management team and it's just a dinner at a ridiculously nice restaurant there.

The days of analysts attending closing dinners in Cabo and accompanying the management and deal teams on trips to Vegas for hookers and blow don't exist anymore. You'll be lucky if they even give you a lucite for the deal anymore. They have cut the fuck out of all the perks in this industry on top of cutting comp at the junior levels. Some banks have reduced seamless allotments, some have pushed back the minimum time worked to take a cab / car home, most have reduced the budget for closing costs for deals (lower budget per deal toys, fewer deal toys made, less cost for the closing dinner, and few attendees to closing dinners).

This is why morale is so low. Comp is down, perks are down, exit opps are down, and hours are up...

Way to be a buzz kill!

Seems like many boutiques are doing quite well and still maintaining cool closing dinners. As I said in the original post, my friend (who works at a well-respected boutique outside NYC) went on this outing just last month, and mentioned it like it was not that crazy or unique.

Maybe this is more common for top boutiques and middle market banks that aren't struggling with the heavy job cuts, trading losses, and ridiculous overhead like the NYC-based BBs?

Dec 11, 2012
rufiolove:
Bowser:
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Holy crap, those sound amazing.

Lol don't get excited. This is the only time I've heard of that and it's only because it's a boutique and the MDs are choosing to reward their guys.

I can promise you with almost 100% certainty that there isn't a chance in hell you are flying to Monaco to watch the Grand Prix from a yacht for a closing dinner in banking as an analyst. It is very rare under the current conditions for analysts to go to the closing dinner. My associates rarely go to closing dinners, and more often than not, the closing dinners are in the home city of the management team and it's just a dinner at a ridiculously nice restaurant there.

The days of analysts attending closing dinners in Cabo and accompanying the management and deal teams on trips to Vegas for hookers and blow don't exist anymore. You'll be lucky if they even give you a lucite for the deal anymore. They have cut the fuck out of all the perks in this industry on top of cutting comp at the junior levels. Some banks have reduced seamless allotments, some have pushed back the minimum time worked to take a cab / car home, most have reduced the budget for closing costs for deals (lower budget per deal toys, fewer deal toys made, less cost for the closing dinner, and few attendees to closing dinners).

This is why morale is so low. Comp is down, perks are down, exit opps are down, and hours are up...

Wow you just took a massive shit on that party haha

Dec 11, 2012
HFFBALLfan123:
rufiolove:
Bowser:
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Holy crap, those sound amazing.

Lol don't get excited. This is the only time I've heard of that and it's only because it's a boutique and the MDs are choosing to reward their guys.

I can promise you with almost 100% certainty that there isn't a chance in hell you are flying to Monaco to watch the Grand Prix from a yacht for a closing dinner in banking as an analyst. It is very rare under the current conditions for analysts to go to the closing dinner. My associates rarely go to closing dinners, and more often than not, the closing dinners are in the home city of the management team and it's just a dinner at a ridiculously nice restaurant there.

The days of analysts attending closing dinners in Cabo and accompanying the management and deal teams on trips to Vegas for hookers and blow don't exist anymore. You'll be lucky if they even give you a lucite for the deal anymore. They have cut the fuck out of all the perks in this industry on top of cutting comp at the junior levels. Some banks have reduced seamless allotments, some have pushed back the minimum time worked to take a cab / car home, most have reduced the budget for closing costs for deals (lower budget per deal toys, fewer deal toys made, less cost for the closing dinner, and few attendees to closing dinners).

This is why morale is so low. Comp is down, perks are down, exit opps are down, and hours are up...

Wow you just took a massive shit on that party haha

Yeah sorry about that... that was a little douchey... I just got dumped on and am going to be here all night, and the thought of being on a yacht in Monaco was simply more than I could bear.

To amend the above, at BBs, these scenarios are highly unlikely. I know my bank tries to limit analyst travel wherever possible, and all the comments on expenses and perks hold true. However, the situation may be different at elite boutiques, and presently that seems to be the way to go.

After a while this all sort of wears on you and I just got my night ruined so my perspective is likely overly pessimistic. With that being said, I would just keep a healthy level of skepticism, that way if you are given the privilege to go to some of these types of things you will be totally floored... I just wouldn't expect them...

Dec 12, 2012
rufiolove:
Bowser:
kalga:

Did the F1 thing. Other good ones in recent memory were dune buggies in Baja, deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and my favourite, watching the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht.

In terms of how common, it depends on how big the deal was and how much money was made. I'm at a boutique so the entire fee is money in the bank = MDs on the deal team feeling more generous.

Holy crap, those sound amazing.

I can promise you with almost 100% certainty that there isn't a chance in hell you are flying to Monaco to watch the Grand Prix from a yacht for a closing dinner in banking as an analyst.

I know an analyst at a BB in Europe who had a closing dinner/party on a yacht in Monaco. No Formula 1 grand prix though ;)

I have the feeling that closing dinners are much more common in consulting

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Dec 11, 2012

They're always pretty drunken affairs as well (client bonding), but I think analysts are rarely allowed to go unless its local (i.e. NYC) given the economic downturn and such.

Dec 11, 2012

Ouch, owned.

At a BB you'll go to pretty good expensive closing dinners but nothing too crazy. I doubt you'll travel anywhere outside of the city you work in for most dinners. Most of the time you're going back to work that night so I doubt anyone would be flying you anywhere since they want you to work on other deals.

Plus most banks are extremely stingy these days. A friend at an elite boutique said they couldn't even afford good deal toys because their expense account for closing dinners and lucites were so low. My BB was extremely stingy too and didn't even offer open bar at some events (only dinner/food).

Again this is a BB but I have friends at Lazard/Evercore who have very similar experiences.

Dec 12, 2012

My experience of a closing dinner at a top boutique would be my MD giving a few bottles of greygoose (for 8 interns) and telling us not to drink it until we were done our models for the next pitch.

Dec 12, 2012

Need some help with those comps, Rufio?

Dec 12, 2012

Analysts used to occasionally get bumped back in the good times as well. I was set to go to a closing dinner in Seoul that involved a sailing trip. It was for a deal that I worked on for over a year. The head of our Tokyo office somehow heard about it and bumped me off two days before to take my spot. The sailing trip had a limited number of seats. The guy did not do a single thing for the deal, and, in fact, refused to work us on a couple of introductions when he was asked to help. I was so pissed off. I spent most of that year on 2am conference calls for the client.

When the client, the head of a major Asian PE fund, found out he was pissed and chewed out our group head. On the plus side, he sent me a Tumi bag as a consolation prize. Good guy...

I did get to go to some pretty cool closing dinners, including one in the storage caves of a vineyard in Champagne.

Dec 12, 2012
TechBanking:

Analysts used to occasionally get bumped back in the good times as well. I was set to go to a closing dinner in Seoul that involved a sailing trip. It was for a deal that I worked on for over a year. The head of our Tokyo office somehow heard about it and bumped me off two days before to take my spot. The sailing trip had a limited number of seats. The guy did not do a single thing for the deal, and, in fact, refused to work us on a couple of introductions when he was asked to help. I was so pissed off. I spent most of that year on 2am conference calls for the client.

When the client, the head of a major Asian PE fund, found out he was pissed and chewed out our group head. On the plus side, he sent me a Tumi bag as a consolation prize. Good guy...

I did get to go to some pretty cool closing dinners, including one in the storage caves of a vineyard in Champagne.

So crazy how things have changed, TB. I remember being snubbed on an invite (as the only analyst on the deal) to the luncheon for a notes kick-off here in NYC (I think it was at the St. Regis if I remember correctly). The deal had been 10 months in making and the financing pocketed the bank ~$30-35MM. Wouldn't have even cost them money if I had gone, and the next day I got an email from one of the management guys asking why I hadn't come out to the lunch because they wanted to put a face to the name who had made all their presentations. Turns out that the lunch was only half attended and there was an abundance of space...

I can't imagine having had the opportunity to fly to some of these closing dinners. I have probably done ~10 or so capital markets transactions that were not even linked to massive M&A whose fees were probably $1MM - $4MM a piece and I have never once been allowed to attend a closing dinner in some shitty place like Tulsa.

Guess that just goes to show how much things have changed...

Dec 12, 2012
rufiolove:

So crazy how things have changed, TB. I remember being snubbed on an invite (as the only analyst on the deal) to the luncheon for a notes kick-off here in NYC (I think it was at the St. Regis if I remember correctly). The deal had been 10 months in making and the financing pocketed the bank ~$30-35MM. Wouldn't have even cost them money if I had gone, and the next day I got an email from one of the management guys asking why I hadn't come out to the lunch because they wanted to put a face to the name who had made all their presentations. Turns out that the lunch was only half attended and there was an abundance of space...

I can't imagine having had the opportunity to fly to some of these closing dinners. I have probably done ~10 or so capital markets transactions that were not even linked to massive M&A whose fees were probably $1MM - $4MM a piece and I have never once been allowed to attend a closing dinner in some shitty place like Tulsa.

Guess that just goes to show how much things have changed...

Was actually snubbed on a closing dinner this month. It was a 4 person deal team, and all three other members went, and took their wives/girlfriends for good measure (can't say they were being mindful of cost). Was pretty pissed about it, especially considering I never got to meet the client once over the entire 18 month process.

Gotta love analyst life; most work, least pay/recognition. C'est la vie.

Dec 12, 2012

Yeah I think most on here realize a) Analysts rarely go on the cool events, and b) times are tough so Analysts are going to cool events much less frequently than in the past.

That said, I really just wanted to hear about some of the fun closing events that current monkeys have heard about, even if only Associates and up have attended. Remember, not everyone on here is an Analyst, and it can be encouraging just to hear about potential events you could attend once you move up the food chain.

kalga's examples were great. Any more out there?

Dec 12, 2012

You can't really blame the banks either, there's really no point to sending an analyst to a closing dinner who will likely not even work at the bank within just a year or two. I might be more pissed if I were at a boutique where most analysts stayed on, but at a BB most analysts had SIGNED buyside/other offers before their first closing dinner. No point for the bank to send an analyst to schmooze when they were already looking to leave.

I was actually forced to go to a closing dinner (long story) and after a few drinks the clients were asking me about my job and I told them I hated it and can't wait for my next job. Yeah, it was a bad idea for them to send me to that dinner.

Of course nowadays the budgets are so low your closing dinner is no better than an average dinner with your SO on valentine's day. Not a bad perk but nothing to jizz over.

Dec 12, 2012

I worked at a PE firm years ago that held closing celebrations in places like Cabo, Vegas and Vail. It wasn't uncommon for assistants or analysts to go in order to handle anything that came up.

Dec 12, 2012

In public finance, you're lucky if your MD takes you out to lunch after closing a deal... no deal toys, no closing dinners, nothing... in fact, there isn't even client entertaining allowed...

Somebody please remind me why the hell I do this again?

Dec 13, 2012

Analysts invited to closing dinner of Sanofi Genzyme at Versailles! How's the for extravagant. Elite boutique on the deal allowed analysts to take a guest.

Dec 13, 2012

My banking days were long ago, but... the deal (client) paid for everything.

I worked at a boutique and we included closing dinner, lucites, etc. in our final bill of reimbursables along with travel, hotels, meals on the road.

So it was really more about what the client was willing to pay for in terms of lavish closing parties (I attended most of ours, which weren't many, and none were more than a nice dinner). I think the decline then would be more tied to what the client is willing to spring for.

Maybe with BBs / larger deals you are only getting a 1% advisory fee, and the bank has to cover T&E out of their pocket? I'd kind of doubt it though.

Dec 13, 2012

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Dec 13, 2012