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

Comments (153)

Apr 20, 2015

Made me laugh. My recommendation: don't just stop at the mini-bar's beer, hit the nips too...

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Apr 20, 2015

LOL, reminds me of a first year associate who would go tomato red and freak out at his desk when his analyst is unavailable.

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Apr 20, 2015

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.

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Apr 24, 2015

... 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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Apr 20, 2015

Great read. Please write more often.

Apr 20, 2015
kyc133enydc:

Great read. Please write more often.

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Apr 28, 2015
very.chipper:

"kyc133enydc" wrote:
Great read. Please write more often.

Stamp collecting has always been a means to an end for me.

Apr 21, 2015

Second this. Would love to hear from a higher up on the S&T side as well.

Best Response
Apr 20, 2015

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

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.

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Apr 20, 2015

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.

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Apr 20, 2015

Or he could have been in London and finished a City lunch (three martinis, three pints and a bottle of port) and completed this post (which I agree with by and large).

Apr 20, 2015

Not saying that they shouldn't be doing what they're doing, but how should they know that the a**holes are going to f**k them in reviews and you weren't going to? (reference to #2)

Apr 21, 2015

deleted

"There's nothing you can do if you're too scared to try." - Nickel Creek

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Apr 21, 2015

???

Jun 1, 2018

deleted

Go For Chambers

Apr 21, 2015

That's one of the things I learned the hard way, and try to teach my juniors. One of the toughest things for me, moving from a boutique with direct line of sight on everyone, to a Bulge Bracket, politics become almost as important as merit, and figuring out who to work for will massively impact your career.

Apr 21, 2015

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

Sounds like you have some shit analysts.

Apr 21, 2015

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

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?

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Apr 21, 2015

And how do you think the recruiting process could be improved?

What do you speculate to be the underlying cause of your new hires this year being much weaker?

Apr 21, 2015

Great read! +1

Apr 21, 2015

Fantastic read.

Apr 21, 2015

Recruitment methods for analysts needs to be improved. Some lack work ethic, which is a key principle.

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Apr 21, 2015

You need more silver bananas for writing so openly about this. Great read, haha!

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Apr 23, 2015

"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?

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Apr 21, 2015

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.

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Apr 21, 2015

Appreciate the response sir.

Hope the new class this summer throws a few good bones your way

Apr 21, 2015

Replying to multiple hits here:
A) I think we (banks) are trying to staff up, which means we are taking more people, and at the same time, there are more options for the top candidates, resulting in taking more bodies from a reduced pool

B) I've cut back my hazing since joining a bulge bracket, it's neither appreciated in the same manner, nor is it accepted behavior

C) Agentsmith, I'd bet my salary against yours that I know who you are

D) For anyone that wonders what I'm up to, I'm at a management presentation, which is basically spending 8 hours listening to people present slides we spent six weeks preparing

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Apr 21, 2015

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Give me 10 minutes while I get a guy who knows a guy to do his thing and I'll see if I know who you are.

If I do, you owe me a pint or four...ty.

Apr 21, 2015

I just have to figure out who you are calling at the office and get them to tell you I'm at my desk.

Apr 21, 2015

Terrible cell signal here so can't call.

I'll take a pint of Peroni though.

Apr 21, 2015

Peroni! You've got to be kidding me...

Apr 21, 2015

Do expand...

Apr 24, 2015
overpaid_overworked:

Replying to multiple hits here:

A) I think we (banks) are trying to staff up, which means we are taking more people, and at the same time, there are more options for the top candidates, resulting in taking more bodies from a reduced pool

Might give you an indication of where we are in the market/business cycle. I remember a lot of similar sentiments in my group around 2006.

Apr 21, 2015
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.

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Apr 21, 2015
Whiskey5:

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.

But some kids aren't cc'd, but still have the hustle and smarts to work it out.

Those who don't - well, I guess they have the excuse of "I wasn't cc'd" as they get left behind.

You can't cash in an excuse.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.

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Apr 21, 2015
SSits:
"Whiskey5" wrote:

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.

But some kids aren't cc'd, but still have the hustle and smarts to work it out.

Those who don't - well, I guess they have the excuse of "I wasn't cc'd" as they get left behind.

You can't cash in an excuse.

My former group actually implemented a policy where MD/D/VPs have to give Associate/Analyst post and pre-meeting briefings.

Analysts are hired to process materials. As along your work is right and done on-time, you will be a well-regarded analyst, so I'm not sure where getting left behind comes in. In my experience in banking, information flow is always one-way to the MD, rarely the other way around.

Apr 21, 2015

Whiskey5 agree on two points: information flows one way, and even with well meaning MDs you never hear anything unless you screwed something up. That said, even if you never talk to the MD, as an analyst you're being paid to be able to think, take a look and read the book. Lots of product teams are guilty of making pages that don't fit the deck, tragedy.

Also agree on the point that if your work is correct and fast, you will be well regarded, caveat, as a junior analyst. If all you can do is process comments, you're not much better than the documents team.

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Apr 21, 2015
overpaid_overworked:

Whiskey5 agree on two points: information flows one way, and even with well meaning MDs you never hear anything unless you screwed something up. That said, even if you never talk to the MD, as an analyst you're being paid to be able to think, take a look and read the book. Lots of product teams are guilty of making pages that don't fit the deck, tragedy.

Also agree on the point that if your work is correct and fast, you will be well regarded, caveat, as a junior analyst. If all you can do is process comments, you're not much better than the documents team.

100% agree with taking a look at the book, but it really helps if the VP/Sr. Associate explained to the analyst why they're being asked to do certain things. I was a coverage analyst, so can relate to product teams on sending pages that don't make sense (looking at you, ECM and LevFin).

Takes great culture and great people to actually let analysts express share their ideas. This is often not the case, but if you happen to be one of the Associates who would rather have a "discussion," or ask the analyst what he or she thinks rather than "telling" the analyst what to do, then that's great, banks need more Associates like you. More often than not, Associates will just say "here's a markup, please turn it by tomorrow morning."

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Apr 21, 2015

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.

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Apr 22, 2015

Geez... this isn't Lazard...

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Apr 21, 2015

why don't you pull some pranks on them? the remote mouse prank seemed to work pretty well for you.

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Apr 21, 2015

Great post. +1 SB.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.

    • 1
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Apr 21, 2015

Lets give this gentleman a round of applause, +1SB

Apr 21, 2015

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

+SB, Preach it

Apr 21, 2015

i love this post. you should do a webinar with us so you can vent (yell) over the phone :-)

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

Apr 21, 2015

I'd like to encourage anyone with input into the hiring decisions to consider hiring more top MSF students. We are more likely to have finance work experience, and you're also more likely to get candidates with (at least) decent modeling chops.

Apr 21, 2015

Are you a post-MBA associate?

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Apr 21, 2015

I think regarding 2, people work hard for people who they think have influence. A lot of the times influential members are also intimidating or "scary". Maybe reevaluate why people don't want to work hard for you

Apr 21, 2015
HarvardOrBust:

I think regarding 2, people work hard for people who they think have influence. A lot of the times influential members are also intimidating or "scary". Maybe reevaluate why people don't want to work hard for you

He did say he moved from boutique to BB, maybe he's new.

Apr 21, 2015

This is awesome. +1
Actually made me miss banking a tiny bit and I was definitely guilty of a lot of "yeah, yeah I get it"

Apr 21, 2015

did the intern who said "why don't you do it?" get an offer to return?

Apr 21, 2015

You sound like a complete dick, but I would work for you.

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Apr 21, 2015

wow, it was a good read

Apr 21, 2015

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

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.

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Apr 22, 2015
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.
Alpha male

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Apr 27, 2015
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?

Apr 27, 2015

It's a more reliable pool of applicants. If you want to do finance from an LAC it's a self-selecting group of people; not many go that route. It's also a prestige industry, Anyone can learn the finance at the end of the day--its just rules and formulas. Talking to senior alums from my school, at least 50% of the time, the history major will do a better job interpreting the data, telling the story, etc than the finance major in the long term. That's the whole 'sell' of the liberal arts experience.

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Apr 27, 2015
NESCAC:

It's a more reliable pool of applicants. If you want to do finance from an LAC it's a self-selecting group of people; not many go that route. It's also a prestige industry, Anyone can learn the finance at the end of the day--its just rules and formulas. Talking to senior alums from my school, at least 50% of the time, the history major will do a better job interpreting the data, telling the story, etc than the finance major in the long term. That's the whole 'sell' of the liberal arts experience.

A more reliable pool of applicants? You're telling me that an individual who is pulling a 3.8 in-major finance GPA at Indiana, Michigan, Penn State, UNC, etc. can't reliably be counted on to do monkey analyst work? That type of position comes from pure, unadulterated bias and nothing more. The top finance majors at the large, well respected stated universities are the ones who are going to do extremely well professionally without the help of their alma mater's prestige. I had a 2.5 GPA at a mediocre state university and I passed L1 of the CFA exam 15 days after graduation. The learning curve is much, much, much shorter for finance majors.

If you're an associate you aren't hiring for long-term prestige. You're hiring for short-term (1 to 2 years) effectiveness. In an 18-24-month stint knocking off 3 or 4 months of the learning curve is huge. You think the OP gives a sh*t if the analyst is going to make an effective managing director in 10 years because he or she did or didn't go to Harvard? No, the OP wants someone who knows what they hell they are doing so he doesn't have to spend his Friday night in the office.

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Apr 27, 2015

No, after 15 years of analysts, the Harvard, Princeton, Oxford and Cambridge are always the best, particularly the classics majors. Wharton was awesome as well.

Virginia Tech 4ever:

NESCAC wrote:It's a more reliable pool of applicants. If you want to do finance from an LAC it's a self-selecting group of people; not many go that route. It's also a prestige industry, Anyone can learn the finance at the end of the day--its just rules and formulas. Talking to senior alums from my school, at least 50% of the time, the history major will do a better job interpreting the data, telling the story, etc than the finance major in the long term. That's the whole 'sell' of the liberal arts experience.

A more reliable pool of applicants? You're telling me that an individual who is pulling a 3.8 in-major finance GPA at Indiana, Michigan, Penn State, UNC, etc. can't reliably be counted on to do monkey analyst work? That type of position comes from pure, unadulterated bias and nothing more. The top finance majors at the large, well respected stated universities are the ones who are going to do extremely well professionally without the help of their alma mater's prestige. I had a 2.5 GPA at a mediocre state university and I passed L1 of the CFA exam 15 days after graduation. The learning curve is much, much, much shorter for finance majors.

If you're an associate you aren't hiring for long-term prestige. You're hiring for short-term (1 to 2 years) effectiveness. In an 18-24-month stint knocking off 3 or 4 months of the learning curve is huge. You think the OP gives a sh*t if the analyst is going to make an effective managing director in 10 years because he or she did or didn't go to Harvard? No, the OP wants someone who knows what they hell they are doing so he doesn't have to spend his Friday night in the office.

Apr 30, 2015
Virginia Tech 4ever:

NESCAC wrote:It's a more reliable pool of applicants. If you want to do finance from an LAC it's a self-selecting group of people; not many go that route. It's also a prestige industry, Anyone can learn the finance at the end of the day--its just rules and formulas. Talking to senior alums from my school, at least 50% of the time, the history major will do a better job interpreting the data, telling the story, etc than the finance major in the long term. That's the whole 'sell' of the liberal arts experience.

A more reliable pool of applicants? You're telling me that an individual who is pulling a 3.8 in-major finance GPA at Indiana, Michigan, Penn State, UNC, etc. can't reliably be counted on to do monkey analyst work? That type of position comes from pure, unadulterated bias and nothing more. The top finance majors at the large, well respected stated universities are the ones who are going to do extremely well professionally without the help of their alma mater's prestige. I had a 2.5 GPA at a mediocre state university and I passed L1 of the CFA exam 15 days after graduation. The learning curve is much, much, much shorter for finance majors.

If you're an associate you aren't hiring for long-term prestige. You're hiring for short-term (1 to 2 years) effectiveness. In an 18-24-month stint knocking off 3 or 4 months of the learning curve is huge. You think the OP gives a sh*t if the analyst is going to make an effective managing director in 10 years because he or she did or didn't go to Harvard? No, the OP wants someone who knows what they hell they are doing so he doesn't have to spend his Friday night in the office.

I don't know why this thread devolved into an Ivy vs non-Ivy thread when it was so fun to start out with...

That being said, the OP isn't in charge of hiring. At a BB, there are usually at least a few interviews, including with at least one senior level person (usually an MD). That person generally cares about brand a lot.

Sep 25, 2017

Says the man with the username "NESCAC"

Apr 27, 2015
Virginia Tech 4ever:

milehigh wrote: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?

I would say this isn't about who has more finance knowledge vs. those who are not finance majors.
Analysts go through major training program prior to hitting the desk, and plus, what you learn in class vs. practice is quite different. I would argue the gap is actually quite small and I'd prefer a liberal non-finance major over someone who's memorized DCF formula any day, any time.

Apr 27, 2015
Whiskey5:

"Virginia Tech 4ever" wrote:milehigh wrote: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?

I would say this isn't about who has more finance knowledge vs. those who are not finance majors.
Analysts go through major training program prior to hitting the desk, and plus, what you learn in class vs. practice is quite different. I would argue the gap is actually quite small and I'd prefer a liberal non-finance major over someone who's memorized DCF formula any day, any time.

Well, I've been in the business for 8 years, including an analyst stint in investment banking. I'd say the modeling part is remarkably similar to class experience. According to the OP, the analysts don't know what the hell they are doing, so obviously there is a major learning curve and the analysts aren't getting it.

Let me guess, you went to an elite undergraduate school and were a liberal arts major? Of course. That's kind of my point--you hire liberal arts majors out of [prestigious school] and complain that they aren't motivated and don't know how to model and you repeat it on down throughout the years because that's how it's done. You'd prefer a liberal arts major from [prestigious school] because they are like you and you assume that that's just how it's done.

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Apr 27, 2015
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Whiskey5 wrote:"Virginia Tech 4ever" wrote:milehigh wrote: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?
I would say this isn't about who has more finance knowledge vs. those who are not finance majors.
Analysts go through major training program prior to hitting the desk, and plus, what you learn in class vs. practice is quite different. I would argue the gap is actually quite small and I'd prefer a liberal non-finance major over someone who's memorized DCF formula any day, any time.

Well, I've been in the business for 8 years, including an analyst stint in investment banking. I'd say the modeling part is remarkably similar to class experience. According to the OP, the analysts don't know what the hell they are doing, so obviously there is a major learning curve and the analysts aren't getting it.

Let me guess, you went to an elite undergraduate school and were a liberal arts major? Of course. That's kind of my point--you hire liberal arts majors out of [prestigious school] and complain that they aren't motivated and don't know how to model and you repeat it on down throughout the years because that's how it's done. You'd prefer a liberal arts major from [prestigious school] because they are like you and you assume that that's just how it's done.

Actually... I went to non-target, poli sci major.
Classroom modeling sessions aside, both non-finance and finance majors will get classroom exposure during training. Again, I just think the knowledge gap is much smaller than people make it out to be.

Apr 28, 2015

I think that you make a somewhat valid point, but it is definitely not valid enough to make anyone change their ways. Not to say that there aren't state school kids who will do a better job than an Ivy kid; that will definitely happen (and most likely more than most people think). The problem is that there is not a sign on that state school kid for everyone to identify them to recruiters.

Just by simple statistics, the kids from state schools present a much higher risk to the hiring firms. Yes, the kid could knock it out of the park, but it is more likely that he is not as competent as the Princeton kid. For one, the Princeton kid got into Princeton. For two, there is much less of a chance that the Princeton kid took BS classes. For three, the quality of teaching at Princeton is much better than that of [state school] (regardless of whether it is Finance or not).

In summary, firms hire Ivy kids over state school kids because they pretty much know what they're going to get (less deviation and higher average). They are as willing to take the risk that the state school kid ends up being a schmuck who can't cut it.

Full disclosure: I am currently still in school, but have had discussions with people about this specific topic because my school gets overlooked for people from Ivy's.

Apr 28, 2015
very.chipper:

Just by simple statistics, the kids from state schools present a much higher risk to the hiring firms.

What simple statistics are you using...I feel comfortable saying that hiring the top 10 kids from a good public vs. the top 10 kids from some Ivy are not going to be that different performance-wise for IBD.

If you were assembling a PUTNAM/Physics olympiad team, sure I'll take the Harvard/MIT kids. But IBD isn't rocket science.

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Apr 28, 2015

I'm just saying that the average Ivy kid is better than the average state school kid. Additionally the deviations among the Ivy kids are much smaller than at other schools. This means that when hiring a state school kid you have less of an idea of what you will get (i.e. more risk).

I will add that in my experiences, the Finance majors have trouble extrapolating what they learn in a classroom to real life situations. That concept of critical thinking and real life application are exactly what the liberal arts majors at the Ivy's are taught to do.

Apr 29, 2015

I'm not sure about all liberal arts majors but isn't their goal to pursue general knowledge and research and NOT real-life applications?

Either way, it's been proven time and time again that your majors don't matter that much, how can anyone make a 100% justifiable conclusion on what's the ideal IBD major?

Also, while even getting into an ivy league school is an achievement, also realize that it's probably more so a reflection of your parents' wealth. I've seen many smart kids opt for state schools because of the money they could save or just couldn't afford Ivies, and most of them for really good jobs, even in IBD.

Lastly, networking makes all the difference. A state school kid who takes the time to build a strong network is going to have a heel of a better shot breaking in than some ivy league of applying blindly though the school's OCR.

Bottom line is that the gap between target and non target schools isn't as pronounced nowadays as one might expect, and based on what most of my IBD friends say, that gap is probably getting smaller.

Also, as a side note: would the Ivy League schools still be considered target schools if they weren't physically located close to NYC?

Jun 16, 2018

Ivy League schools do not offer undergraduate degrees in anything other than liberal arts, social sciences and engineering. You cannot get a bachelor's degree in finance at any of the Ivy League schools other than Penn. Part of the basis for Ivy League schools offering exceptional education historically has been producing "well-rounded" graduates with a broad body of knowledge. The expectation is that you are smart enough to learn on the job after college and that if you want to pursue a "vocational" degree like finance or accounting, you will do that in graduate school.

Apr 22, 2015

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

Net effect, exceptional post.

Apr 22, 2015

Excellent read.

Progress is impossible without change...

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Apr 22, 2015

good read

GTAA via CEFs - Mistmaker

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Apr 22, 2015

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.

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Apr 22, 2015

Hey badass, he said he moved from a boutique to a BB, not the other way around. Sometimes you get a bad analyst class, and it's very different when you're an associate vs. a 2nd year analyst.

Apr 22, 2015

Maybe learn how to read before blasting people

Apr 22, 2015

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

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

This is GOLD. And I'm an A to A promote so I remember when I did the type of shit that drives me nuts as a first year.

Apr 22, 2015

This reminds me how messed up and miserable investment banking is as a job, and why I'm glad I didn't do it

But nevertheless, good post. I'm sure it is very helpful to those who are in IB

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Apr 22, 2015

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

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

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..

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Apr 23, 2015

Relax. There's a million posts on analysts bitching about post-MBA IBD associates. When one associate rants about his shitty analysts, not all the IBD analysts need to come of the woodwork and defend themselves.

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Apr 22, 2015

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

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

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Apr 27, 2015

Would be great to hear your perspective on fellow Analysts, the different types that go into IB, also, the slippery slope of post-mba associates versus promoted ones. If you don't mind, what was your path?

Apr 23, 2015

posts like these almost make me miss banking. There's just so much more drama...

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Apr 23, 2015

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

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

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.

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Feb 23, 2017

@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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Feb 28, 2017

There's a lot to get frustrated about, the two most difficult are:
1) Well meaning analysts that try hard, and just don't seem to ever put the pieces together (consistently making the same mistakes),
2) Really talented analysts that just don't care (either rushing to work on something else or take off for the night)

You really want the people in camp 1 to turn the corner and can spend a ton of time working with them, which is frustrating, because you wonder if it's your fault for not teaching in a way they can get it. You also want the people in camp 2 to stop glossing through life, I typically assume that they've always been talented and everything has come easy, so they don't work that hard.

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Feb 28, 2017

I'm telling you, this is why you hire the analyst out of [generic state university] with a 3.8 GPA and a finance degree who has a year of work experience under his/her belt. Intelligent, informed, motivated. The perfect analyst for the MD/VP/associate who cares about making his own life easier and is not worried about bringing on someone from his alma mater or fraternity house.

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Feb 28, 2017

I really wish more people thought this way. I wonder how much of it comes from HR standards vs what the actual team you are applying for would like.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.

Apr 23, 2015

Nice summary. Unfortunately this resonates too much. Sometimes I can't tell if an analyst is incompetent or just doesn't give a sh!t.

Apr 24, 2015

LMAO!!! Brings back "fond" memories.

Apr 24, 2015

This is a great Read for someone like me who is starting at a top 5 MBA this fall. IBD it is

Apr 24, 2015

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 24, 2015

Ill gladly take one of your analyst jobs to get out of my corporate finance gig!

Apr 25, 2015

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

Apr 25, 2015

Classic. I'm laughing and nodding in agreement as I read. I've muttered those words soooo many times - fucking analysts....

Apr 25, 2015

nice post. typical from an associate. with your head so far up your ass its actually impressive.

as a rule kids - associates < analyst. there's a reason they're associates.

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Apr 25, 2015

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

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Apr 25, 2015

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
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.

Apr 25, 2015

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