F*&King Analysts

So, apparently I haven't been on this site in while, and it'd be a shame to make a return to just complain, but I've emptied the beers from the minibar and it's still way too early to sleep, my body now evading anything approaching a circadian rhythm. Instead of sleeping, thought I'd throw in some comments on the industry, then as I started writing, I realised I only wanted to talk about one thing: F*&King Analysts:

1) Make sure you do what you've asked for:

As an associate, I spend my days in a bind between the MDs that want stuff done, and the analysts that either don't want to, or can't do it. My particular favourite is when analysts come and tell me they want more exposure to oil and gas deals, and ask me to get them into some books/deal. This is great, I love oil and gas, so I want everyone to love it too. However, what I didn't realise, is that said analyst has gone to every other team and begged for work too. Resulting in the poor bastard being too overstaffed to manage any of the work they owe me. This is infuriating and I will do everything I can with my limited remaining capacity to ruin your next review if you do this. Net effect, if you find someone who isn't burnt-out and cynical enough to help you out, then do the fucking work you've asked for, or they will hurt you worse than the people that don't care.

2) Only working hard for the scary people:

I try to be a pretty laid back kind of guy, I'm generally polite, and since I moved to a Bulge Bracket from a boutique, I've pretty much given up hazing. That said, I find that when the analysts, or even junior associates, have conflicting priorities, they opt to work for the person they are more afraid of, and my stuff gets dumped; resulting in me spending another all-nighter cranking on shit books. The net effect of this, is that I'm starting to reconsider my approach. Should I just be a massive prick to everyone in range of my wrath? Will that get things done as the analysts and interns flee for their very lives before my dreadful red pen? Probably not, I keep waiting for the juniors to figure this shit out, the asshole is always going to be an asshole, and that probably means during review as well. Whereas I... was going to be nice during review, now my only reply to the staffer is that you didn't manage your priorities.

3) Why don't you do it:

I've had two analysts and an an intern actually say this to me. Full context: I'm teaching the analyst to build a oil and gas model for a specific southern equatorial country's fiscal regime, and I've shown them how to model a section, they go away for two hours, come back with something that is wrong, and argue that it's right. At this time, I'm considering the fact that I spent 30 minutes showing them, and two hours waiting, for them to do something I can do in about 10 minutes. After I show them what is wrong, and why it's wrong, I encourage them to explain verbally what they need to do to fix it. To which they say "This is really a waste of time, why don't you just build the model, and then we can both go home earlier tonight" (oh also, it's midnight on Friday, and they've missed a date, so they're being huffy). My immediate response was, "a) I don't need to learn how to do this, I can already do it, and b) if I do it, what do we need you for". The next words I write are going to sound exceptionally self aggrandising, but if I'm in the office teaching you to model at midnight on a Friday, be fucking thankful, there are plenty of associates willing to throw you under the bus and go home at 10 or 11 while you wallow in analyst hell all night.

4) Saying "Yeah Yeah, I get it":

I've taken to stopping any analyst that cuts me off with a "yeah yeah, I get it", and ask them to explain back in their own words what they need to do, and sometimes I make them write it down too. Because 90% of the time when they explain it back, it's obvious they don't fucking get it, AND, 50% of the time, if they don't write it down, they won't remember to do it. See the story in number 3), and as annoying as it is when you analysts do something wrong, it's terrifying when something just doesn't get done. One of my analysts said that their homework was done and I could come in Monday, quick review and we show it to the Director. Instead, I spent 14 hours on Monday, well 6 hours fixing shit that was wrong, and 8 hours doing stuff that she apologised for just forgetting about.

5) Not reading the book:

It's amazing the number of times that I can read a paragraph that an analyst has processed comments on, and realise that while they processed the comments, they clearly didn't read the page. Sentences that don't make sense, double double words where they only deleted the words crossed out by the MD, and the MD clearly missed one. My personal favourite a paragraph that included a sentence [Change the sentence to include something about the company's YoY change relative to industry], square brackets and all. If you just read it, tried to understand it, and asked the question, 'does it make sense' you can move into the top 1/3rd of your class, it's just simple shit.

6) Not getting it:

The cherry on this proverbial shit sundae, is when the little bastard that either didn't have time for your book, or screwed up your model comes back and asks you either 'to go for coffee to discuss their performance', or to send a review to the staffers. It's like they worked on a completely different process that I did, and brings me back to the idea that I need to shout and scream more. If you can't tell that you've done shit work without me shouting it, there's a whole level of your development missing, and that's going to prevent you from making it out of the analyst pits.

While I might sound like a bit of a prick, I've been identified in my team as 'excellent in development of junior talent', which from my bank's point of view is a critical skill. Unlike some of the associates that just crush the analysts, I, for whatever masochistic tendencies I have, am trying to help the bastards that would rather check their tinder then be better bankers. We'll see what the peanut gallery has to say about my complaints, if I keep travelling like this, maybe I'll empty out another mini-bar and tell some stories, or lessons about how to politic effectively, without your peers thinking you're a cnut.

Mod Note (Andy) - Throwback Thursday - this was originally posted April 2015

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Comments (153)

Apr 20, 2015 - 8:53pm

Haha. I love reading all the comments on this site from analysts stating that the associates above them don't know shit. Refreshing change of pace here.

Keep in mind that your VP probably has similar frustrations about all of his associates (including you), although admittedly about different things. And his MD has frustrations about his VPs and on and on. Cycle of life.

Funniest
Apr 24, 2015 - 2:43pm

... and the Group Head about his MDs and the Division Head about his Group Heads and the Firm President about his Division Heads and the Board about the President and the Shareholders about the Board and the Analysts about the Shareholders because "why do I have to do ANOTHER f#@king SHAREHOLDER ANALYSIS!!!

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Best Response
Apr 20, 2015 - 9:14pm

Of all the times to teach an analyst, what possibly possessed you to do it at 10pm on a Friday?
Shouldn't you at least be pretending to want a life outside the office, if nothing else but to blend in with the rest of the crowd?

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Apr 21, 2015 - 4:08am

Model was due Monday AM, between that and the outputs, probably 40 hours of work. Split with a decent analyst, not a horrible weekend load. I don't like coming in early on the weekend, so if I stayed late on Friday, the analyst would be able to get their part done on their own schedule, I could do the slides on my time, and we'd both avoid a complete write off of the weekend. Other option is I tell the analyst they have to come in early and all day Saturday.

Oct 15, 2018 - 11:24pm

Dude it be like that sometimes. I was a Sophomore SA at a regional boutique on the West Coast and we were working on DD for a French-based company. Every Friday the Assoc. and I were working on tying up a model to upload to the data room as the CFO quit the company once he found out the business was being sold. It was a fucked last 4 weeks of the internship but him and I got really close and showed me the ropes as a Summer. Needless to say there were many 10pm Thu/Fri Modeling sessions

Apr 20, 2015 - 10:40pm

I assume the associate in question (who I agree with by and large) is in Asia where after a long night in LKF or Sanlitun or Roppongi, he's unloading his entirely reasonable rants on what is as anyone with anyone perspective have to admit is a unuiquely mediocre analyst group (with rare exception, including several on my team). One of the key traits of a good banker is to type a coherent email after a long night of drink and the OP appears to have to done it well.

Apr 21, 2015 - 12:51am

deleted

"There's nothing you can do if you're too scared to try." - Nickel Creek
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Apr 21, 2015 - 12:17am

Refreshingly direct and appreciated perspective. Keep writing more.

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

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Apr 21, 2015 - 4:14am

Been talking to the associates/VPs in my office and the general concensus is that this year is a crap year for analysts, even the MBA hire associates are weak. Following that old saying 'you are likely the only link between all of your problems', I really evaluated if it's something I do or don't do, but I liked the kids we had last year, and nobody likes the ones we got this year.

Apr 21, 2015 - 8:13am

I'm about to enter my first year at a top MBA program, and will most likely be recruiting for IBD. What, in your opinion makes an associate stand out? Also, what can I do now to build the skills necessary to thrive as an associate?

Mar 7, 2021 - 1:17am

When recruiting is based off networking, it'd be surprising that we'd get the best prospects.

While banking is a people business, this only really happens at the top, and anywhere below that there are a thousand skills more important than being able to strike a good convo with a stranger. The exaggerated importance we give to that usually means that we get a lot of tricksters who are great at nothing but pretending they are useful.

Apr 23, 2015 - 8:55am

"I, for whatever masochistic tendencies I have, am trying to help the bastards that would rather check their tinder then be better bankers."

A good balaclava + a predatory pursuit into a dark alley way + a swift hook to the right jaw causing him to fall left + a deep but convincing "you've been swiped left" will do the trick.

Is that kind of thing legal in your city?

This is a great read but it makes me wonder, and maybe you can answer this, how many ex interns come into the job as analysts and really forget the basics of what is expected of them? 1. Because they now have the job and couldnt give a shit or 2. Are some still under that intern mentality that they have to ask everyone for work to get exposure, improve their resume and then actually not realise that asking for work and doing it are two different things?

Lastly...these analysts don't seem to be doing themselves any favour. Will you find yourself gravitating towards only giving work to a select few who you don't eventually want to waterboard in the office when its quiet?

Apr 21, 2015 - 9:20am

I think the problem is that we become short sighted and only see tasks. Basically, process these mark-ups, find that number, build these comps, and we forget the why, or that these things are there to support a message. That's when you end up with some shit results. That said, I can work with these kids, just have to teach them to look up.

The ones that make me feel like their job is interfering with their lifestyle as a banker, those kids can fuck themselves.

Apr 21, 2015 - 11:51am

overpaid_overworked:

I think the problem is that we become short sighted and only see tasks. Basically, process these mark-ups, find that number, build these comps, and we forget the why, or that these things are there to support a message. That's when you end up with some shit results. That said, I can work with these kids, just have to teach them to look up.

The ones that make me feel like their job is interfering with their lifestyle as a banker, those kids can fuck themselves.

This may not be an issue at your boutique, but you can't really blame analysts for missing the "big picture" at a BB, especially when analysts are not even cc'd on 80% of the emails.

Apr 21, 2015 - 8:46am

On a different note, the title of this post made me think that I would be reading about something entirely different starting with "So it was late and I was alone in the office when newly recruited Joanna walked over to my desk......" This place throws a few surprises.

Apr 21, 2015 - 9:46am

Great post. +1 SB.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
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Apr 21, 2015 - 11:27am

Would love to see one from a top performing analyst on post-mba associates. Furthermore, I can totally relate to #2. It is difficult to come across as friendly and demanding at the same time.

Apr 21, 2015 - 11:38pm

This was actually quite upsetting to read. As someone trying to break in, it's frustrating to hear that those that made it in are behaving like that. It is especially disappointing how ungrateful they are when you are trying to train them. They are fortunate enough to be able to do real work and have someone to train them, but they don't take it seriously.

What really grinds my gears is that those same guys will probably be able to find another role because they have that bullet on their resume. In any case, good for you OP for investing your time/energy in your analysts.

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Apr 22, 2015 - 1:53pm

The hardest part is breaking in. The reality is, when we get a resume book with 250 candidates and have to pick 50 to call, we have to use something quantifiable to quickly draw the call/no-call line (usually school and GPA). There's no doubt in my mind that we've let quality candidates go just because they didn't go to an Ivy League school or have above a 3.5 GPA, and we've hired people with those stats who ended up being busts. Ideally, I'd take a hungry non-target over an entitled Ivy leaguer any day of the week, but we don't have the time or resources to hunt for the diamond in the rough in the resume book.

You've got to get folks on the line separately and get them to see why you should be in the interview room along with everyone else. Keep plugging away.

Apr 22, 2015 - 11:06pm

milehigh:

There's no doubt in my mind that we've let quality candidates go just because they didn't go to an Ivy League school or have above a 3.5 GPA, and we've hired people with those stats who ended up being busts. Ideally, I'd take a hungry non-target over an entitled Ivy leaguer any day of the week, but we don't have the time or resources to hunt for the diamond in the rough in the resume book.

.

Problem identified. Unfortunately, as long as this keeps on going, expect weaker and weaker incoming people.

Winners bring a bigger bag than you do. I have a degree in meritocracy.
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Apr 27, 2015 - 5:15pm
milehigh:

The hardest part is breaking in. The reality is, when we get a resume book with 250 candidates and have to pick 50 to call, we have to use something quantifiable to quickly draw the call/no-call line (usually school and GPA). There's no doubt in my mind that we've let quality candidates go just because they didn't go to an Ivy League school or have above a 3.5 GPA, and we've hired people with those stats who ended up being busts. Ideally, I'd take a hungry non-target over an entitled Ivy leaguer any day of the week, but we don't have the time or resources to hunt for the diamond in the rough in the resume book.

You've got to get folks on the line separately and get them to see why you should be in the interview room along with everyone else. Keep plugging away.

I don't understand this position. A finance major at any well known state university who has a 3.8+ in-major GPA will have a very short learning curve. If your goal is to hire analysts with short learning curves who can make your life easy then call up the undergraduate business school of Penn State [or insert large, well known, well respected state university] and ask them for help in locating their 10 best finance students. You'll have absolutely sick analyst talent on your desk in 24 hours.

Why waste your time recruiting "prestigious" schools for liberal arts majors who have long learning curves?

Array

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Apr 22, 2015 - 3:14am

Loved this piece! Keep it coming.

I think most of the analysts really get to work and get to it seriously when they're held completely accountable for it. As long as they have the 'I'm just an analyst here, I'm still learning so I can get away with a few blunders' mentality, assisting them would be living a nightmare.

Apr 22, 2015 - 10:46am

Excellent read.

Progress is impossible without change...
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Apr 22, 2015 - 11:52am

I had horrible 1st year analysts and interns work under me and none of them were as bad as you describe or would ever talk back in that manner.

This is why you don't go from a BB to a boutique. You have no one to blame for the shit talent but yourself.

Apr 22, 2015 - 12:36pm

You know, perhaps all of this (in a less dickish way) would be better served as advice to the analysts, instead of bitching to us. We can't really do much more than laugh at your predicaments. I've always found that when someone above you wants a certain thing done a certain way, and shares how they succeeded in a relaxed but mature way, it really goes far. Fear can only motivate someone so far. At best, you'll just scare the type Bs into making more mistakes. And the Type As will hate you.

It always blows my mind how many people come on here (at all levels) and bitch and whine about everyone else is doing in the firm, how the analysts aren't doing this right or the VPs aren't doing that right. And yet nobody ever says any of this shit to the people they work with - they come on here, vent, and then go right back to work without saying any of this, still hating everyone.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."
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Apr 25, 2015 - 2:25pm

Guess what, your bosses always want their stuff done in a certain manner and are most of the time not happy with the execution. Most probably also my boss thinks like this. The real issue is, and it was very well pointed out in the article that: most people do not want to learn and they think that they are the kings - without any delivery!!!!

Apr 22, 2015 - 8:10pm

Any chance you can get some good room service up there? Some Gosling's Black Seal, perhaps?

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
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Apr 22, 2015 - 8:58pm

I would hit you up with a banana had I had any. Great read and in a way it does serve plenty of advice that monkeys can follow.

Bitch please, I love bananas! If you found my advice useful, hit me up with one.
Apr 22, 2015 - 10:02pm

This guy is the worst. It's probably the case that the experienced analysts try not to work with this clown so he gets stuck with the scrubbiest 1st-yrs, only making him grow more frustrated / cynical and further reducing the willingness of solid analysts to work with him. I've seen this scenario play out multiple times in my BB..

Apr 22, 2015 - 11:51pm

I'm only a 2nd year Analyst with far less work experience than you.

My 2 Cents: In the minority here, but as you admit yourself, you sound like a [email protected] prick that no Analyst wants to work for. Sure, if I worked for you, I'd learn a ton and will make a tremendous employee down the road, whether in finance or elsewhere. Sure, maybe you have crappy analysts, but doesn't mean you act like you are above them all and talk down on them with the shit attitude you have towards them. I could be wrong but I'm assuming you're a post-MBA associate. Excuse me for my poor grammar/spelling below as I'm writing back quickly.

1) Yeah this is the Analysts' fault, but maybe you should try to teach these guys that the attitude and enthusiasm is great but they need to tone it down. You, rather, want to ruin their lives/bonuses/promotion efforts by shitting them in their reviews. Is this what a good Associate does? You keep writing shitty reviews about your colleagues, even Analysts, and you won't go far in this business.

2) You keep claiming you are this nice chill guy who hustled in from a boutique to a bulge bracket. Maybe you need to step back and think about where you came from and who you are now - because it seems to me you've turned into a complete asshole in the time you've been at this bulge bracket and feel to need to act like the classic dickbag 'Banker' that you think you need to be. Maybe you need to stop complaining that your stuff gets "dumped"; learn to delegate properly and manage expectations with your Analyst. If push comes to shove, be the 'scary' person once in awhile. But stop claiming you're polite, given up on hazing, "[was going to be] nice" and then come here to shit on your Analysts.

3) You really think since you're the Associate, have more work experience, and maybe that shiny $200k MBA that you're always right and the Analyst is always wrong? Instead of wasting time arguing why you're right and he's wrong (same goes for him too), why don't you get another person's POV?

4) 5) 6) Perhaps you had the right to be angry here, but with Analysts constantly not being kept in the loop about the big picture and WTF is going on on these deals, it's hard to not just be a processor sometimes. Maybe you already do, but take the time to debrief them WTF is going on - cc them, invite them into conference calls, give them verbal updates, thank them for their hard work, etc.

I don't post often but felt like I had to say something, anything, back on behalf of the Analysts. Cheers

Apr 23, 2015 - 12:40am

Bravo. Love your rants (and your writing style too). I think your team identified you precisely right.

Fortes fortuna adiuvat.
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Apr 23, 2015 - 6:19pm

OP, you seem like someone who has the best-interest of your analysts in mind. However, and mentioned above by another poster, you should voice these concerns with your analyst, not bottle them up and vent them here. Excluding the analysts with an attitude problem(your BB should vet that better), your analyst class wants to do a good job. It is the nature of the people in IB--success is of the utmost concern and importance. Maybe you do need to be more direct(different that an asshole), but your analyst will learn the most from this.

Apr 23, 2015 - 8:34pm

This has been an interesting to read through the comments. I should have been clear, I've never yelled at any juniors, and I take time to show them what they've done wrong and how to fix it, I did mention, though it got missed by some commenters, that I've been singled out in my team as an excellent development resource for the analysts. So i get saddled with scrubs because they need development rather than because no one will work with me.

My approach when people really fuck up is more along the line of "I'm not mad, I'm disappointed, you're better than this", 'cause I know that if I shout, they're never going to want to work for me again. However, if they are good analysts, being told they disappointed me will make them work twice as hard next time. That said, the kids that don't care, don't get effected by the dissapointment talk.

Feb 23, 2017 - 1:07pm

overpaid_overworked correct me if I'm wrong but I take from your posts that your gripe is with Analyst's who should know better given they made this far but still gloss over simple stuff.

I can understand this because if you're someone who made it into IB at a BB or EB then finding errors in a sentence or interpreting comments and understanding what is being asked is simple stuff.

Although I'm not surprised either. I've met Harvard MBAs that understand the nuances behind strategy mapping and can speak eloquently in front of executives but turn around and can't understand simple step-by-step instructions in say pulling info from SAP.

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Apr 24, 2015 - 3:07pm

As a first year associate going into my second, I totally agree. I feel some of the other associates around here are real pieces of work, giving comments over the phone at 2-4am, expecting them to be turned by the time they're back in the morning etc. I really put in an effort to teach, mentor, and generally respect my analysts time. Even still, some seem completed entitled and spit in my face. Woe to you little one, please tell that recruiter I am a good reference so you can see the results of your ineptitude and overly inflated sense of self-worth.

Apr 25, 2015 - 3:41am

I experience the same issues with my EDs and VPs..... but hey we are playing football and they should feel that.

Apr 25, 2015 - 9:27pm

some good points but you sound like a major tool; you say you are one of the more chill people but your writing suggests you are kind of a bitch. If i had to guess you are pissed off you didn't start where some of these kids are starting out so you are gauging yourself against them even though you have more experience

here's some advice:
1) get laid (preferably by a female, not sure if possible)
2) do a better job explaining and showing the younger ones how to do things, you sound like you just mouth off and claim to teach but don't really teach; also, it seems noone likes you
3) realize you are just an associate, you aren't a manager you aren't' shit, you are just an associate that is all

Apr 25, 2015 - 10:22pm

Either this guy has the misfortune of working at a bank with the worst analyst class ever or he's exaggerating for the sake of ranting. My guess is a combination of both but probably more of the latter.

Apr 26, 2015 - 12:45pm
mk1275:

Either this guy has the misfortune of working at a bank with the worst analyst class ever or he's exaggerating for the sake of ranting. My guess is a combination of both but probably more of the latter.

It's a rough transition to go from a leader on campus to the bottom of the totem pole. It also takes time to learn the process and how things work, particularly when you're not cc'd on most emails and are cut out of the higher level conversations.

Getting an analyst up to speed is a challenging, painful and thankless process, particularly if you're the only one doing it while simultaneously doing your own job.

I don't think it's fair to say they are bad analysts, even from the description. They just haven't yet been properly trained.

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Apr 25, 2015 - 11:10pm

I'm not sure if some of the people here can read or reason, but the OP said he doesn't bitch at his analysts, that he's trying to teach them and they're not listening and he's on a freaking anonymous message board bitching. Probably the place to vent. And maybe he's trying to give analysts a hint that this is what your direct superiors (put an associate down if that's what makes you feel good, but they're the folks right above analysts and can make your life hell) are thinking when you do X, Y or Z. Take it as advice rather than being defensive.

Or he was half way into his mini-bar. Most of us have been there.

Apr 26, 2015 - 5:17pm

A lot of this is just growing up...analysts are still effectively college students, and they don't fully know how to function in the real world. I was a pretty good analyst, but when I look back at some of the stuff I did it was just absolutely egregious and/or asinine. Though, I don't know that my banking associates were particularly much better...though definitely more mature (if mostly not that bright).

Apr 26, 2015 - 11:32pm

Excellent OP - I have the same issues (I am based in Asia, not sure whether relevant) and not only of my own staff but also my FAs, lawyers, auditors, valuers, etc.

xqtrack:

A lot of this is just growing up...analysts are still effectively college students, and they don't fully know how to function in the real world. I was a pretty good analyst, but when I look back at some of the stuff I did it was just absolutely egregious and/or asinine. Though, I don't know that my banking associates were particularly much better...though definitely more mature (if mostly not that bright).

Yes, but it isn't simply growing up - it's professional development. I've trained staff that were in their 30s to become hungry and thoughtful, from relying on only route and historical knowledge while ignoring context. These people are parents (and new parents) so it isn't as if they were immature - it was simply that 1) no one gave them appropriate feedback on their performances; 2) no one trained them; and 3) no one told them that these things matter.

That being said, I look back at communications from when I was in university and at my first job, and I laugh at how unpolished and forced my emails and memos were written. I was also a real asshat.

- V
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Apr 27, 2015 - 5:24pm

This may be biased, but you need to strongly consider hiring analysts who were finance majors with high in-major grades and relevant work experience. If you hire intelligent people from elite schools who were history or political science majors then there is going to be a massive learning curve, even though they're highly intelligent. Finance majors with high GPAs out of well respected state universities (Michigan, Indiana, Penn State, UNC, etc.) should have a very strong modeling/finance/numbers background. It'll make your life much easier.

I know it defies convention, but you're at a BB IB--you should be able to find plenty of great finance major talent with 1 year relevant post-graduation experience. There's NO reason whatsoever that a bulge bracket should have to hire greenhorns when they can get whoever the hell they want. If I'm an associate at, say, Morgan Stanley I'm hiring the finance major from the University of Maryland [generic state university] who has a 3.8 GPA and 1 year of experience at a boutique. As a manager of analysts that would radically transform my life.

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Apr 28, 2015 - 3:46pm

Alot of these comments are valid. Over the years, analysts have become more entitled (there are plenty of good ones but they all leave to go to the promised land of PE and then burn out and go to b school while others make it and become clients haha).

The junior associate is somewhat the worst breed becasue they think they know everything but they don't. Having done this in the past for 7+ years - i can relate to alot of what was written above but what are you going to do - its banking

Apr 28, 2015 - 5:01pm

although what you read was true, and happens, and happens to all of us, i can only imagine that you have worked with some really bad analysts. i really don't know what i would say if i got staffed with someone that said "why don't you do it". i think i would punch them.

May 1, 2015 - 2:34am

Every time I hear "Why don't you do it" I want to grab him/her by the hair and pluck em all out.

Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.
Jun 25, 2015 - 11:50pm

SB'ed. I always like a good read with my beer.

Make Idaho a Semi-Target Again 2016 Not an alumnus of Idaho
Jun 26, 2015 - 9:45am

Great post overpaid_overworked! I completely relate to what you're saying.

In my opinion, the main problem is that banks have definitely lowered their recruitment standards.

I started out in Paris, where the job market is excessively tough for graduates:
- There are many highly qualified candidates, with great education (all top students go through prep school and take very selective entrance exams) and at least two 6-month internships (they all take gap years)
- There are very few positions available, and most of them being in M&A, since most banks handle most of their business from London (BB only have small offices in Paris, leaders are BNPP, SocGen, RTH and LZD)

Hence, new analysts have come through 2 years of prep school, a selective entrance exam, a comprehensive degree in finance, off-cycle internships in related fields, and have been selected among hundreds of candidates to get in (mostly after they've demonstrated their value during their final year internship). Therefore, they're pretty good technically, they know their stuff, and they are definitely hungry for more.

Afterwards, I moved to London (I'm a BB associate now), as it is the place to be in Europe if you have ambitions in Finance. Thing is, some of the candidates aren't just up for the task... A lot of UK grads apply in banking without even holding a degree in finance, nor knowing what it's all about! And since there are a lot of spots available due to all of the world's banks' presence, they actually get in... They get recruited after having done meaningless work during their summer internships for only 8 weeks! That's ridiculous...

How are you supposed to show your true value by doing Powerpoint formatting for two months, without even touching a model and previous education in finance? That's how you end up with dysfunctional analysts, who aren't good enough technically, and have only experienced banking for two months and decide they're gonna do it for a living. They just don't realize what they're going for...

Two months ago I was interviewing during assessment centers. I could easily eliminate at least half of the interviewees just by asking "Do you include cost of debt in your DCF valuation and why?"... Is it that hard to prepare for the basics of the job you're applying to?!

But, just like the OP said, the worst part comes later on, when an analyst tells you the now famous "Why don't you do it yourself?" FUCK!!! Happened to me too just last night! Do you have any kind of ambition? Work ethics? When I got in banking, my fist VP had a saying: "I don't care how you do it, when you do it, just get shit done." The guy didn't mind me leaving the office at 6PM on a Friday if I had provided him with what he required. But likewise, he also didn't mind asking me to come back on Saturday night to finish what was required.

Banking is a highly expensive service. Clients pay millions for a state-of-the-art advisory work/structuring/whatever. They are entitled to get what they asked for in due time. In return, bankers who work crazy hours to deliver this service are entitled to a more than decent compensation and great opportunities in the future.

Maybe it's because nowadays, the best go for Google, McKinsey or LVMH, but lately I've felt like the new generation just didn't share the same values as mine had. Banking used to be the most elitist sector for graduates, and therefore it had the most dedicated and intelligent people going in. I just hope it will come back.

Thanks overpaid_overworked, I enjoyed your post, and it got me into writing on this forum to get some stuff off my chest.

Jun 30, 2015 - 6:09pm

The French are the worst.

Half a dozen years of university, 4-5 internships, but mostly insufferable.

In the UK, it's true, people do often enter finance without the academic background of students from Europe. Within 12 months, the difference is minimal. You learn your trade on the job.

During those times that I'm in the airport waiting room or on the train with our bankers, I pray that they've got more interesting chat than just the deal or M&A.

Good bankers regardless of position are well-rounded and knowledgeable about more than their finance textbooks...

Dec 28, 2015 - 11:53pm

Need more people speaking their minds like this. Putting on a face never helped anyone improve. Brutal honesty makes the bad times worse and the good times better, and you ACTUALLY know what to work on to improve.

Shaanan Domschine BSFM, Financial Management
Dec 30, 2015 - 10:46am

Great post. Definitely I will learn from this. As a junior in audit BIG4 I can relate to this so much.

Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny
Sep 23, 2016 - 8:41pm

Posts like this push me to work hard so I can end up in the buyside.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.
Jan 13, 2017 - 6:34am

Refreshing read--and honestly, based on the stories you included I'm not surprised you're as frustrated as you are
I'm guessing, though I could be wrong, that that's why most associates stopped caring earlier on.
Not that I'm saying you should do that but it kinda makes sense.

Mar 1, 2017 - 9:55am

Flip slide:

1) Kid is enthusiastic, finds himself with downtime and pings emails to 3 or 4 people asking for work. 3 people reply with requests..shit luck but kid learns and if he sat there for more than 6 hours with nothing to do he would be screamed at.

2) Dude your an associate,,,,,if analyst also has a VP shouting for stuff from them VP is gonna win. Nothing to do with being a prick!

3) It's midnight on a Friday night and you are trying to prove a point on principal. Just get shit done and get out ASAP. Shit like this makes banking unbearable for people. Midnight on a Friday is not the time to be learning new shit (but agree analyst should not say that)

4) 90% of the time educated hard working grads don't get what your saying? Maybe you are not great at explaining things?

5) Agree that is annoying but when someone is reviewing a doc at 3am in the morning after getting a combined 6 hours of sleep over the last three days I think you have to have realistic expectations.

6) Missing level of development? They are 1 -2 years out of college, they barely have any development yet. I'm assuming if a guy is asking for feedback 1. he gives a shit and 2. they don't know where they are going wrong. Why not give them the benefit and help them out.

Mar 5, 2017 - 12:44pm

As a semi-target school graduate who made tremendous effort to break into IB, I find it hard to believe the story in point 3. Would a BB intern really say that to an Associate?

Apr 12, 2018 - 5:22pm

"After I show them what is wrong, and why it's wrong, I encourage them to explain verbally what they need to do to fix it. To which they say "This is really a waste of time, why don't you just build the model, and then we can both go home earlier tonight" (oh also, it's midnight on Friday, and they've missed a date, so they're being huffy)."

balls to admit that ive done this. my hot date was waiting for nearly an hour outside the building b/c my associate told me i'd be getting out early tonight. he was a dirty liar and working for the illuminati.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

  • 3
Apr 12, 2018 - 5:35pm

I think a lot has to do with the mindset of newer generations. These days, people want to make easy money fast without actually putting in the effort to get things done correctly.

I am not by any means taking away from the fact that analysts work hard - I hear every day about the grueling experiences of the incoming position.

However, at the same time, I think there is a shortage of individuals (in any industry, not just banking) that really want to learn the material, understand how to do things properly, and not just do a half-assed job.

Unfortunately, as I stated in my opening paragraph, all people care about is making easy money and moving up the ladder without actually putting in the time and committing to doing things correctly and to a high standard.

"Love doesn't exist, that's what I'm trying to tell you guys. And I'm not picking on love, 'cause I don't think friendship exists either" - Owen Wilson

  • 2
Apr 12, 2018 - 10:34pm

I agree with the hours needing to be put in.

Want that big money? Better spend the time learning how to hunt.

No pain no game.

Apr 13, 2018 - 12:48pm

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"Love doesn't exist, that's what I'm trying to tell you guys. And I'm not picking on love, 'cause I don't think friendship exists either" - Owen Wilson

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