How would you have responded? Hypothetical Pitchbook Error Scenario

The following is a hypothetical scenario and I am curious to know what everyone's response would be:

You created a financial model for a pitchbook being presented tomorrow to a potential new client. While reviewing the final version of the presentation, you realize the results are incorrect. Write an email (include subject line) to your supervisor explaining the situation and your recommended solution.

Comments (25)

Jun 15, 2019

I Made Errors In The Pitchbook and I Am Currently Fixing The Flawed Pitchbook

Hello xxxx xxxx,

The results are incorrect for the financial model for the pitchbook being presented to xxxx tomorrow because I made several errors. I will stay at the office tonight and pull an all nighter in order to fix the errors I made in the flawed pitchbook.

The following are the factors which are leading to the incorrect results:
xxxx
xxxx

I take full responsibility for my negligence and I will fix this. Having stepped back and evaluated why this situation happened, it came down to the fact that I was too sloppy and focused on the quantity and not the quality of my work. I will take the proper steps to avoid this issue next time by making sure the quality is up to par with the team and the firm's standards. I will also slow down with my work and I will be putting in extra hours at the office for now on.

    • 29
Jun 15, 2019

I wouldn't admit the mistake so overtly, certainly I wouldn't admit I was negligent (even if it was true). You never want to sow a seed in your superior's mind that you are poor at your job. You can alert them to the fact there's an error in the model and that you will stay all night to fix it. That's all that needs to be said. Anything else is damaging to your personal brand.

    • 7
Jun 15, 2019

+1 The email puts your error on the spotlight too much. Just say there is an error and you'll fix it.

Also, do not mention that "you'll pull an all-nighter"...

    • 3
Jun 15, 2019

Cringe.

    • 1
Jun 17, 2019

Wow, no. This is cringeworthy.

Just mention that there is an error and it will be fixed before the meeting. End of story. Where do you work that that would be an appropriate email? Sounds like you are begging for forgiveness before the error has even impacted the business.

    • 4
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Jun 17, 2019

As others have said, absolutely not - admitting fault and makes you sound like a giant suck up / bitch.

    • 1
Jun 20, 2019

you sound very much like a sophomore intern

    • 1
Jun 23, 2019

Being an analyst is a lot like shooting free throws, yes it is expected that there is 100% accuracy, but everyone understands that will likely not be the case. Just acknowledge the error and move on. Obviously if this happens in a specific circumstance, i.e. a fairness opinion presented to the board, the reaction will be different.

BuildingModelsAndPoppinBottles:

I Made Errors In The Pitchbook and I Am Currently Fixing The Flawed Pitchbook

Hello xxxx xxxx,

The results are incorrect for the financial model for the pitchbook being presented to xxxx tomorrow because I made several errors. I will stay at the office tonight and pull an all nighter in order to fix the errors I made in the flawed pitchbook.

The following are the factors which are leading to the incorrect results:
xxxx
xxxx

I take full responsibility for my negligence and I will fix this. Having stepped back and evaluated why this situation happened, it came down to the fact that I was too sloppy and focused on the quantity and not the quality of my work. I will take the proper steps to avoid this issue next time by making sure the quality is up to par with the team and the firm's standards. I will also slow down with my work and I will be putting in extra hours at the office for now on.

    • 2
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Jun 15, 2019

Subject: _____ Pitch Error

Name,

Upon final review of the ____ pitch, I found an error in the projections. Working to fix this now and will send over revised version as soon as possible.

Thanks,
TaySandd

    • 14
Jun 17, 2019

IMO in my experience, it is better to also include the impact of the error. Always think of as 3 steps: Step 1 is identifying the problem. Step 2 is identifying the impact of that problem. Step 3 is offering the solution(s). Step 1 is easy, but people often forget about step 2 or 3.

Instead of going to your higher up and simply saying something is wrong with the model and you're working on fixing it, say something like: "I noticed [x] was wrong in the model. The impact is [abc] because [xyz] was affected. These are the solutions, let me know which option (or options) you think is best." Obviously if it's a right or wrong thing you might not have multiple solutions, but you get the point.

Edit: Above assumes this is a big error, like you're off by say, $50M, when valuing a $250M company. If it doesn't move the needle really but is still an error, simplified responses that are SB'd in rest of thread are probably better.

    • 3
Most Helpful
Jun 17, 2019

Subject: Pitchbook_Final 1.2

Rainmaker,

Made some adjustments in the financials and have updated the model for tomorrows pitch. I can walk you through the changes tomorrow if necessary.

Cheers,
Brad

Sent from my iPhone

    • 31
    • 1
Jun 17, 2019

Finally a verified user that I believe actually works in this industry

    • 2
Jun 17, 2019

For real, everyone's SBing this as funny but this is actually how it's done.

Jun 21, 2019

"Sent from my iPhone" implies MD Movez

Jun 21, 2019

+1

Jun 21, 2019

This is the way to go. Not sure why other replies are putting so much drama into it... the scenario assumes the pitchbook has not left the office... so it literally is not final.
I would only consider something final once it's presented to the client.

"Drill, Baby, Drill" - Sarah Palin

Jun 17, 2019

I had something similar happen where I left a parens out of a DCF calc. I only noticed it while tying it out by hand three hours before the deadline to send it to the potential client (only time I've ever seen a request to send a pitch ahead of the actual meeting).

I immediately called my VP and explained the situation and didn't want to send an email in the even it would be forwarded or held against me in the future. The call actually gave the VP more confidence the numbers were accurate (We had pulled two back-to-back all nighters so there was going to be a mistake somewhere).

Luckily, the mistake didn't move the needle much and it was a quick fix. I didn't have to go back and fix the football field or make any global changes. I don't believe the senior guys even knew about the mistake and no one would have noticed if I didn't catch it, but I gained some respect from the VP for calling it out.

Obviously it sucks, but you have to own up to it. In the grand scheme of things it's not that big of a deal. You're human and errors happen during crunch time and it's good you caught it. Just have to be very aware going forward.

    • 1
Jun 17, 2019
Doctor Mantis Toboggan MD:

I left a parens out of a DCF calc. I only noticed it while tying it out by hand three hours before the deadline

By hand? What kind of a pre-WW2 group are you in?

    • 3
Jun 17, 2019

Director was a psychopath and terrible at allocating resources.

Jun 18, 2019

Seppuku

    • 1
Jun 20, 2019

Id just go to sleep

    • 1
Jun 20, 2019
Comment
    • 1