Do bankers tend to over exaggerate hours?

For bankers at a BB or an EB, would you say you actually average the 80 hours to 100 hours, with 90 being the median?

Or would you say it's more realistic to say 68% of the time (normal curve), that your work weeks fall between 60 to 80 hours? With about 10% of the time only pushing to 90 and 100 hours. Also my weekend times were kinda variable, so it would be good to get some insight from you all.

My experience was more like come in at 9 or 10, leave at either 11/12 or 9/10. Of course there are times where I leave later, but it wasn't "average".

TLDR: Bankers (BB/EB), are hours over exaggerated? How much do you think you TRULY average? And how much do you typically work on weekends?

Comments (95)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
May 28, 2020

At a MM bank and would say I average ~80 hours, but it's much more common to have a 100+hr week than a sub-70hr week. Probably average 5-8hrs/day on weekends (highly variable) and have had less than 5 weekend days on which I haven't worked over the last 12 months.

    • 2
May 28, 2020

Thanks for this! Would you say then you were averaging about 12-14 hours Monday-Thursday?

In your experience on Friday, would you say it's more relaxed? Maybe 10 hours?

And then weekends, you rack up another 10-14 hours?

May 29, 2020

My Fridays always suck, everyone asking for stuff last minute

    • 2
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 28, 2020

That's awful -- out of 104 weekend days, you only had FIVE free?

Is this due to insane deal flow, or bad management skills by your VPs/MDs?

    • 3
May 28, 2020

Yeah, also bump on this.

I can see Sunday having to rack up some hours because of those Monday morning presentations, but even Saturday?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
May 28, 2020

No comment on the managerial efficacy of senior bankers or the usefulness of recurring weekend tasks.

    • 2
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 28, 2020

You're also in RX, which is notorious for long hours generally relative to other groups typically. At least in my experience.

May 28, 2020

At an MM too, same for me, especially the weekends. Even if its just an hour, it's rare for me to have entirely free days.

Jun 2, 2020

Hi all, please could you check my post on my current work situation and how it wrecked my relationship, I really need some help, it would be incredibly helpful! The post is titled: "Toxic boss in M&A boutique: Take bonus and run or leave immediately?"

Thanks man,
Alex

Jun 2, 2020

Hi yes, I have responded to your post. Thank youf

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

May 28, 2020

M: 9-1am
T: 9-1am
W: 9-1am
Th: 9-1am
F: 9-9pm
Sat: 1-8pm
Sun: 12-11pm

Total: 94 hours. This is normal. Some weeks can get crazier but as note above, much rarer to have less than these hours. We have to submit timesheets so if they notice hours are less than 80ish, then you will be staffed the day after

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    • 16
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

Is this FTP?

    • 2
May 28, 2020

Prefer not to say. These are normbal banking hours for most groups, no?

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

    • 3
May 28, 2020

Yes, FTP in SF.

Array

May 28, 2020

From my experience and my friends' experiences, 95+ hours a week is most definitely not "normal". You work at a complete sweatshop man

    • 7
May 28, 2020

Well, why don't you tell me your hours, man?

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    • 4
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

Lmao fuck that, sounds awful. This is either JPM tech coverage in SF or FTP

May 28, 2020

Or GS TMT SF / MS TMT SF

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    • 1
Most Helpful
  • VP in PE - LBOs
May 28, 2020

Yes absolutely. Analysts love inflating the number of hours they work.

Plus, even if you're in the office 100 hours per week, a good 40-50 of those are spent dicking around on the internet, online shopping, making memes of the other analysts, coffee runs, lunch runs, gym sessions, etc.

    • 60
May 28, 2020

Hmmm interesting! Thanks!

Do you think you could walk through a typical week in your analyst years?

May 28, 2020

What are you supposed to do while in your office waiting for comments? Go home? You have to count that towards hours worked as well. Are lunch breaks not counted when people say they work 9-5?

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

    • 1
  • Retired in Other
May 28, 2020

Agreed!!! People tend to leave out the gym time they get at night.

    • 1
May 29, 2020

This, is true. The amount of dead time at analyst level is insane. It's why I think WFH should be viable for everyone 1-2 times a week.

  • Analyst 1 in Other
May 30, 2020

Which shows how inefficient this industry is sometimes...

May 28, 2020

M&A group here. I would say about 70% of the times, it's anywhere from 70-80 hours. 10% of the times, around 60-70 hours. 10% of the times 80-90 hours. 10% of the times, 90+ hours.

    • 5
May 28, 2020

Curious to see your daily breakdown...

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

May 28, 2020

Obviously a little different every week, but in general:

M: 10am - 1am
T: 10am - 1am
W: 10am - 1am
Th: 10am - 1am
F: 10am - 8pm
S: Usually none (protected Saturday is taken seriously by team unless it's actually urgent)
Su: 2pm - 8pm

Going home time on Monday - Thursdays fluctuate from 10pm to 3am, depending on the day. Go home before 10pm maybe once every other week, stay past 3am at around the same rate.

Edit: I forgot to mention that on the weekdays, a lot of the analysts and associates (even VPs if they plan on staying late) go to the gym around 6/7pm for around an hour

    • 6
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 28, 2020

EB (evr/cvp/pjt) my hours are on average 70-75 sometimes even 60 lol however there are weeks where its 100+ during live deals with deadlines approaching, pretty much no facetime and great culture

    • 2
May 28, 2020

Not sure if you know this, but do you know how the real estate groups work at these EBs? Are hours the same, and how are they perceived?

    • 1
May 28, 2020

This is in line with a lot of my friends at boutiques

May 28, 2020

I isee why many interns want to work here.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

May 28, 2020

this is definitely not PJT thooo....

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

sounds like EVR.

    • 2
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jun 3, 2020

Clearly not PJT

May 28, 2020

Bit of a sweatshop but I would say my week looks like this on average:

Mon: 09:00 - 02:00

Tues: 10:00 - 01:00

Wed: 10:00 - 00:00

Thurs: 10:00 - 03:00

Fri: 10:00 - 22:00

Sat: Usually a couple hours logged in from home

Sun: 4 - 8 hours on average

May 28, 2020

Complete sweatshop. 10 pm on a Friday. Yikes.

Funniest
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

Kid in my group regularly says he works 100+ hours a week, but logs off at like 8pm every night, so yes. It's an inferiority complex thing. He has the personality of soggy cardboard, but if he claims to crank every night he thinks people will respect him

    • 13
May 28, 2020

Major US bank in SF (tech coverage)
M-Th: ~13-14 hrs
F: ~10 hrs
Sat: ~5-6 hrs
Sun: ~6-7hrs

I'd say my average is 75 / week, has been as high as 95 when on multiple live deals and as low as 50 (week before christmas). You get used to it though - definitely feel like I have it better than friends at other banks with face time heavy cultures.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

Do you mind saying which tier bank?

    • 1
  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 28, 2020

sounds like the top of the upper mid or maybe the ultra super top? (RBC/GS/Q)

    • 6
May 28, 2020

I think a major key here is that even though we have breaks in the day, we also often have to log back in and do some serious hours in the evening (ex. 9am-3pm, few hours of not doing much till dinner, eat dinner, get further comments and random things pop up, clock out around midnight).

So if you isolate the actual working hours, it may not be in the 100hr range. But unfortunately its not like most are taking true breaks in the downtime throughout the day and getting gym sessions at 11am, getting time to read a book, go to rec sports league, etc. So that day above still feels like 9-midnight = 15hr day.

    • 1
May 28, 2020

Yes, I live in a different time zone internationally than my bank so I wake up at 1pm and then work until 3am and that's my schedule. Good thing is I am undisturbed basically from 3am to 1pm

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

    • 2
  • Analyst 3+ in PE - Other
May 28, 2020

I think bankers average around 70-90 hours a week.

But effective hours are much lower because most of the time are not focused on your task.

The task is so mind numbing that it is very difficult to put 10 hours straight. Also sometimes work come in late in the day and your schedule is interrupted.

For example, sometimes you are on a slow day with most work done at 4pm. You are browsing the internet waiting to go home at 7pm. On your way home at 8pm, your boss gave you some BS comments that will take 3+ hours. You finished at 12. Are you going to count the day as 14 hours (10am to 12 midnight) or 10 hours (10am to 4pm, 8pm to 12 midnight)? These random hours have basically taken most of your free time because they aren't really free.

These days I am used to these random hours and mind-numbing tasks. So I don't have plans during holiday or weekends. Working slow and read some news during the day. Then hours are longer.

Others can comment if this is also your case.

    • 3
May 28, 2020

So I always encounter this issue of having nothing to do for at least 2-3 hours every day. I live right across the street from my bank (I know, crazy). So what I do is as soon as I realize I'm going to be taking an extended break, I walk over to my house and just chill on my bed. When the dreaded email comes, then I get up and cross the street. Really kills my motivation though cuz I treat every day like it's a holiday since I can just sit at home for a couple hours and get an email telling me to work. Made me realize how much I hate banking...

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

    • 2
    • 9
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 29, 2020

When is this guy gonna get banned for spam? He just posted consecutive comments in the same thread, one saying he lives in a different time zone than his bank, and the other saying he lives across the street.

    • 5
    • 1
Jun 2, 2020

Just curious, do your associates or VPs look down on you briefly going home? Has there been any backlash or snarky comments?

May 29, 2020

I interned at a MM shop and we logged our hours for the staffer to see how we spend our time and after my 16 weeks, I averaged 93.7 hrs/wk

Array

May 29, 2020

We have to write on a sheet how much time we spend on each project and how much we are expected to do on it next week as well. I hate putting my estimated hours and stuff.

If you fell below 80, you were staffed on something new....

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

    • 1
  • Associate 2 in Consulting
May 29, 2020

Here's what I can tell you from people I know:
- Friend 1 @ Top BB Consumer & Retail Group in London: 80h average
- Friend 2 @ Top BB FIG Group in London: 80h average
- Friend 3 @ Mid BB FIG Group in London: 70h average

I assume 30-40% of the time is spent dicking around though

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 2, 2020

I didnt realize anyone here was asking about London.

    • 1
May 29, 2020

Only a prospect but from what I understand the most difficult part about the hours is the unpredictability of the hours which is worse than the hours itself.

Array

    • 2
May 29, 2020

Hello world.

Have been a silent monkey for a while and by now I'm used to see US and London-based bankers talk about how they put in +90hours per week.

Just a little context, I'm a level 3 analyst at a boutique in Lisbon, Portugal, having my hands pretty much on everything going on here. Real-life example: (i) currently doing a valuation (new business only not VIF) for a life insurer, (ii) responsible for an entire +100 page IM (except business plan section) of a payments company and (iii) reviewing a financial model of a RE development company whose marketing process we are about to launch. I'm also being constantly staffed for pitches, small company research and I'm currently responsible for hiring an intern.

Basically, I'm working like crazy for a while (luckily I'm WFH since March 13, saving important time in commuting) and don't know the amount of work you guys working in London or in the US have but I can definitely affirmed that there is SIMPLY NO WAY someone who needs 20/20 attention to detail to work +80 hours week after week.

At my shop I don't have +30 analysts/associates to share/delegate work and I definitely don't work that insane amount of time, at least by default. Reading monkeys saying that had 4/104 days of the weekend 100% free is unreal.

No human can survive like that and you guys want others to believe that you are able to review models/prepare presentations/handle DD Q&A sessions etc like that?

You are definitely inflating your hours with at least 40% BS time at the office. Working and being sat at your desk are two completely different things - because if you are talking about being sat your desk I can believe those +80/90 hours a week.

Love this blogue but have serious issues in understanding why the man working the longest is the best... should be the exact opposite...

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 29, 2020

say blogue again papi

    • 1
Jun 2, 2020
    • 1
May 29, 2020

The short answer to this never ending and ridiculously pointless debate is, "yes, bankers inflate their hours". How else would we get girls at the bar?

The long answer is "eh kinda sorta maybe on a case by case ish basis depending on deals and teams and diff bosses and days and how quickly you work and if u include commuting and dinner and the gym and blah blah blah".

    • 4
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
May 29, 2020

Top 3 BB in NY:

  • Really depends for me, I'd say ~70 hours is the norm, really depends on weekend activity. Lately it's been closer to ~80-90 due to live dealflow.

Can't tell there's a big difference between Mon and Thur, start at 10am until ~12-1am on average. Usually 7-8pm on Fridays and weekends really depend (usually some work but everything from 2-30 hours).

Overall I'd say it has not been as bad as I thought it would.

    • 2
May 30, 2020

Totally true that bankers like to exaggerate about their hours to fulfill a sense of self-importance. I think that's just plain sad.

Array

    • 1
May 30, 2020

We're working harder than most people on average so it's only natural for some people to increase that slightly more if not moderatly more.

The fact that it's unpredictable that we could have 100+ hour weeks or not makes us more inclined to say we regularly work 100+ hours. You feel me?

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

    • 1
May 31, 2020

Say that to my neighbor who is working constantly as a surgeon. She has a much more strenuous job than we do, and she is away for work most of the time.

Array

May 31, 2020

3rd year associate at an EB - I track my hours each week for my own reference

In the last year my average was 66 hours a week - hours were pretty consistent with I'd say 2/3 falling between 60 and 75 hours. 20% were 80+. Mostly live execution, though predominantly sellsides, which tend to result in less of the 100 hour hell weeks since timelines are known in advance. Many of the 80+ have been lately with all the restructuring work we are doing

Jun 2, 2020

60-75 seems like a pretty sizeable range, though.

Like, a 60 hour week could mean you legitimately have Friday evenings and Saturdays off, while only putting in a handful of hours on Sunday. 75 hours pretty much means you're working throughout the weekend, probably Fridays nights as well.

Jun 2, 2020
Klavin:

60-75 seems like a pretty sizeable range, though.

Like, a 60 hour week could mean you legitimately have Friday evenings and Saturdays off, while only putting in a handful of hours on Sunday. 75 hours pretty much means you're working throughout the weekend, probably Fridays nights as well.

It's a fair point and agreed. Here's what the 'average' week looks like (mix and match end times on the Mon-Thurs days)

M: 9:30am - 8:00pm
T: 10:00am - 12:00am
W: 10:00am - 10:00pm
T: 9:30am - 2:00am
F: 9:30am - 6:30pm
S: Off
Su: 7:00pm - 11:00pm

This is 66 hours (if I did my math right...). But generally have one "early" (8pm) night, a late night (2am+), and a two mid-late nights (10pm and midnight). Pretty consistently leave on Friday by 6/7. You can imagine these flexing up or down based on workload (add a 12 hr day Satuday, add 6 hours on Sunday, the 10pm becomes 2am, etc. and suddenly you're up to 90+)

    • 1
Jun 2, 2020

Hi all, please could you check my post on my current work situation and how it wrecked my relationship, I really need some help, it would be incredibly helpful! The post is titled: "Toxic boss in M&A boutique: Take bonus and run or leave immediately?"

Thanks man,
Alex

Jun 2, 2020

Hi yes, I see you again. Please stop posting everywhere. we will come tyo you

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

    • 1
  • Analyst 1 in Other
Jun 2, 2020

This sounds miserable

Jun 2, 2020

You must not work in Ib....

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

  • Analyst 1 in Other
Jun 2, 2020
Comment
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 3, 2020
Jun 3, 2020
Comment

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.