How To Become A Top Bucket Analyst

Hey Everyone,

Heard a lot of people talking about bonuses and being a top bucket analyst. What does top bucket analyst exactly mean? Work the most? Do the best work? Any tips to become a top bucket analyst and get that PHAT bonus in the future?

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Comments (27)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 25, 2020 - 8:52am

Sounds simple but do what you're told without mistakes in a timely manner. If I were to redo my 1st year in IB, I would have slowed down which sounds counterintuitive, but truth is nothing is more annoying than adding turns to a deck. Think through to the final product, put yourself in your Associate or VPs shoes, and most importantly ask questions. All of these things will propel you ahead and shape you into a better analyst so once you get some reps in, you'll know what you're doing.

Oh and don't be a dick

Jun 25, 2020 - 9:18am

Useful insights above. I'll add some other tips below:

  • Always let your internal client (associate / VP / MD / etc.) know if you won't be able to meet a deadline - let them know when you will need more time to do the task and the reason behind it

  • When you find out a mistake, do it before others do, and speak up about it (always better to prevent than to remedy)

Array

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Jun 25, 2020 - 9:22am

don't make the mistakes as noted on the thread you're a bottom bucket analyst if

Array
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Jun 25, 2020 - 9:22am

Pro tip: under promise and over deliver every single time, and always be ready because if you keep doing this people will give you more work. A top bucket analyst will take on more and more responsibility while over delivering expectations; an average analyst will break, but a top bucket analyst will keep on chugging through.

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Jun 25, 2020 - 9:39am

Ask good question when necessary, do not ask it again.

Don't make mistake by any mean, but if you do, and get feedback, never make it happens again.

My personal story I have that I think helped me got good impression was, we could report if there's an error in one of the data sources we use. I found like 15 when I was summering and that certainley gave others an idea, "this kid really pays extra attention to details." OFC it's only to add another layer but if you do okay in other regular job, okay I mean above average, these kinds small things help a lot.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 25, 2020 - 2:39pm

Slightly off tangent but not being top bucket but the bucket right after is the sweet spot imo. I'm able to spend less hours cause I'm not getting crushed as much as top bucket but still respected enough to get on good deals and not shitty staffings. Also just find my health to be more important than to be top as I have a "weak" body to begin with.

I'd probably have to work a couple more hours of week (being proactive/checking my work closely) which as I'm already pulling in 70-80 hours a week would be a huge difference over the course of two years

If you can be top and really keep your sanity kudos to you, I couldn't and perfectly content with where I am. Its sort of like how not everyone wants to work in IB because of insane hours even if the $ is good. In that sense not everyone wants to be top bucket

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 25, 2020 - 3:46pm

In my opinion from someone who's gotten a top bucket review and is annoyed with bottom performers in my group:

  • Limit mistakes / quadruple check work - Most 1st years are eager to get everything done as quick as possible (better to be slow and right than doing tons of turns on a deck), not thinking about who's receiving the work, why am I doing this, how should this be formatted, is there anything else I can add that I've learned from digging through everything that could be helpful, etc., i.e. an ok analyst does what he's asked, a good analyst does what he's asked and more. Also check work as much as possible! You wouldn't believe how many people the instant they finish just send something off. Once you finish you should spell check, then re-read everything once on your computer and make edits, print out and mark up your deck as if you're giving yourself comments, flip your own comments highlighting things as you knock out the changes (same goes with comments from others), then I'll usually print out again and do the same process hopefully finding 0 to a few things I want to change, then either I'll send out or review one more time on my computer. Also, always double/triple check emails before sending (to, cc, subject, open up docs you attached and flip through quickly - can't tell you how many times I find something stupid just flipping through a pdf before I sent an email, double check spelling/grammar)
  • Print comments, highlight them as you go so you don't miss any (bankers hate when they receive an updated deck and you didn't change something they already asked you to)
  • Spend extra time reading articles/ER on your industry and client - never know what you might learn and be able to add to a discussion / deck, again ok analyst just spit out what was asked from, good analysts put their own analysis/thoughts regarding the situation and have an opinion
  • Hours - getting a better review will take more work than your peers, you'll work later really no way around it, the people who are cruising and get avg to below avg reviews sign off early and aren't responsive to emails, it's annoying to be the person in the group that will respond to emails quickly and work late but also will help with your review, people remember that kind of stuff
  • Be nice - no one wants the a-hole to get a big bonus, just be a normal, nice, decent human being
  • Don't make the same mistakes twice / ask questions once - Nothing more annoying when someone asks the same question repeatedly and never puts anything to memory especially simpler stuff, if you can't remember write it down, also as you work with the same sr people you'll learn how they like things formatted so once you get certain comments form certain bankers you'll be able to avoid those

Plenty of more things to add but just a few that come to mind

Jun 26, 2020 - 3:21am

Don't be a meanie and say that you're "annoyed" by bottom performers. Who are you anyways?

I'd actually think the first years are the ones who will spend more time checking and making sure the deck is good to go before sending. Funny to see this is not the case in your opnion. I never understood this whole check your work, print it out, check it again, etc. By the time I finish my slides, the associate has already sent a "How's this coming along" type email and I feel obligated to send a draft sooner rather than later. Whenever I actually do do what you are suggesting, I get a "This shouldn't have taken you that long to do..." You got to strike a balance

Your reading comment I think is the true differentiator. It's extremely tough to be reading something about the open banking software space and COVID's impact on it when you get done with work around 4am every night. It's very hard to be higher level and take on the job of an associate and an analyst when you are the sole analyst on a lot of things. This might be some advice for more senior analysts who can boss a first year around. Reading industry reports is the real difference between whether you actually love what you are doing and the sector you are in and whether you are just in this job for the money. I realized I am in the job for the money as I don't give two shits about my sector and feel like we are just BSing most of the content in the slides we come up with anywyas. If your BSing skills are top notch, you could get away with not knowing shit.

Regardless, as a top bucket analyst myself, as much as it sucks, it's the best feeling in the world when you're getting your review and all the seniors are praising you like you're the best analyst in the world. It's the one time where you actually feel like all of that hard work was worth it. Of course, that only lasts for 15 minutes, but it's been the best 15 minutes of my banking career.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 26, 2020 - 12:24pm

Lol not sure why it's mean to be annoyed with bottom performers. Could see how this affects people differently depending on the size of the group. My group is small, so just a couple analysts who don't take it seriously and cruise make my life much more difficult. If we all pulled our weight, it would mean I could work less so I guess that's where it's frustrating. I could see this being less of a problem in a larger group with more analysts but I couldn't speak to that since it's not my experience.

I agree that we are busy but we aren't working nonstop all day. There's definitely down time to read during the day while waiting for comments.

Balancing accuracy and speed are definitely tough. My best advice there is to under promise and over deliver. It took me about 1.5 years to get an idea of how to manage expectations. One of my problems when someone asked when I could get something done was giving them too early of a timeline and then eventually when I didn't have something done because I didn't give myself enough time is when people got upset. Do yourself a favor and under promise, then when something is done ahead of schedule people will be happy. With that said, pretty much no matter what you're going to get the associate/VP sending you "where are we on this?/need to get this done ASAP shouldn't take this long..." even if it's completely unreasonable timeline to get that certain project in that amount of time. As a more sr analyst I find it easier to give some push back, but gotten so many of those emails at this point they don't really bother me.

Banking is all about BSing. The best sr bankers are amazing BSers. Sr bankers are salesmen, it's a sales job at that level and salesmen are sleazy BSers haha when I first started out I thought the sr bankers were geniuses but you come to realize that's not true (they just have a lot of reps). Same intelligence as any other smart person.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 3, 2020 - 8:40pm

Richard you've been on this site for less than 2 months and you've made nearly 1,400 comments in those ~2 months. I'm fairly certain you're not a banker.

If anyone wants me to do the math, he's been posting for a month + 3 weeks. He's at about 1360 comments. When you dig deeper, that's about 26 comments per day. Anyone who's legitimately in the industry will have better things to do with their life than post this much.

I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just fairly certain that you're a charlatan and I wouldn't trust anything you post. Well over 1/2 of the stuff you post is just spam, and it's degrading the quality of this website for students like me who are actually trying to break into the industry.

If you are really a banker, get WSO certified. Otherwise, quit wasting everyone's time.

Jun 25, 2020 - 6:04pm

-Be someone who gets it

-Be the first one in and the last one out on your deal team

-Thoroughly check all work and formulas numerous times

-Get to know your shortcuts and customize the quick access toolbar in excel and PPT

-Stay hyper organized

-Study the deals you work on; know their rev, ebitda, ev, etc.

-Over communicate

-be a problem solver, try to answer your own questions before asking a higher up

-always be positive, just not overbearing

-Meditate, eat healthy (salads for lunch), exercise everyday (it can only be 15 min if need be), have the "getting better everyday" mindset

Jun 25, 2020 - 8:02pm

bump

"Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes." -U.S. Navy General Farragut
Jun 27, 2020 - 5:43pm

Just don't underpromise too much.

Have a bad habit of saying oh this will take six hours and then the person replies: It's just moving logos...funny thing is I proimse six hours but give it back in six minutes! HA!How To Become A Top Bucket Analyst

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
Jul 3, 2020 - 6:45pm

can someone explain the pros of being top bucket? Assuming you get a PE job in your first year before bonus season, it doesn't really impact recruiting at all. So what is it? Just the extra $10-15k so u might get $180 instead of $165 bonsu? really? really worth sacrificing life and health?

Cons as the above top bucket posters have said are brutal staffings that they reserve for the top performers and often crush life, also, imagine not getting top bucket after actually aiming for it...

Jul 3, 2020 - 6:55pm

Peopel come into this job because of prestige and money. Being top bucket is just the extreme form of this, man. Think about it.

Also, my wifi connection to this website sucks. MIght accelerate my leaving this website for good.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
Jul 6, 2020 - 10:58am

so basically there's no real reason to shoot for top bucket is what you're saying? Just for pride and an extra $5000k after-taxes? No way seems worth it...

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