I'm Tired

Burner account for venting purposes. I'm tired.

I'm tired of working at a bank that never wins M&A. I bet they don't feel this way at Lazard.

I'm tired of the umpteen thousandth pitch where footnotes and alignments are scrutinized when you, me, the guy next door, the MD and the client know that no business will result. There is a higher probability of me getting blown by Kate Upton on my subway ride home than you getting mandated after this shitty pitch. You add no value, sad little MD. They'll just go to Goldman.

I'm tired of having a good attitude. If you come up to me with one more negative value comment, I just might turn that smile upside down and tell you to go fuck yourself.

I'm tired of MDs peacocking all day and speaking large when we all know behind closed doors they're begging clients to return their calls. Just be honest with your team man - you really need to get this deal for your P&L so you're not clinging to the bank's teet for the 3rd year in a row. At least your team will respect you.

I'm tired of the intellectual dishonesty and bullshit artistry plaguing this business. For an industry that pontificates that hard work is the greatest virtue, there is an unbelievable amount of half-assing it and general lack of curiosity throughout. Analyses based on made up bullshit with a +/- 50% margin of error does not demonstrate any "insight" to the client, nor does you turning it 10 times impress me.

I'm tired of the expectations of being a processing machine who is not allowed to have an off day, not allowed to just coast through another meaningless internal committee memo. Nobody gives a shit about these things - why must you pretend that people do when you review them? Moreover, I'm tired of always being held accountable for my trivial oversights, but the ship is steered by MDs who know fuck-all about fuck-all. Clowns who know dick about what they're doing and couldn't identify a valuable insight or meaningful contribution to a client's business if it walked up and hit them in the head.

I'm tired of deluding myself and being around others who are deluded in thinking that we're somehow superior to used car salesmen because we sit in a pretty office atop a tall building punching at keys all day. Finance is not cool. This job does not make you a special person. You're still peddling trinkets. We're glorified private industry bureaucrats. The reason we get paid is because there's a 100% 3 year turnover. They need your body and soul at least for a little while.

This job is balls.

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Comments (67)

Most Helpful
Oct 10, 2018

**EDIT: Person's comments above me and below me were removed. ***

What a shitty comment.

I'm sorry you're unemployed, but your comment suggests a person that counts his blessings shouldn't occasionally vent.

That's like me telling you to count YOUR blessings. Yes you might be unemployed, but you have access to the internet while many people in the world don't.

OP provides an honest perspective of his frustrations, which is helpful for many WSO users, including myself.

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Oct 10, 2018

Your comment is just unnecessary af

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Oct 12, 2018

fucking talk
shit
man

Oct 13, 2018

popcorn

    • 2
Oct 9, 2018

I'm tired of how fucked up life is outside of work

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Oct 10, 2018

For what it's worth, a pretty well written rant.

Sounds like you're burnt out. If you can, try and take at least a little bit of vacation to de-stress and also think about what you want. Is it more a matter of the bank/group you're with is 2nd tier and that's the most frustrating thing? If so... maybe you can look at a lateral move. Or, if after a bit of break you've come to the conclusion you're done with banking (and not just at the analyst and associate levels, but also with the very idea of doing it as a career VP and up), then you can think about what are things that interest you and what roles have those components.

Might be good to chat with ex-bankers from multiple different new (current) jobs to get different perspectives.

Maybe you just wanted to rant. But figured I offer the above cause it's very relatable to be immensely frustrated in a role.

Oct 10, 2018

I like the money but hate everything else, and don't see anything else that pays.

I could potentially see myself enjoying this job if I was at a high profile group / bank that does cool M&A deals.

I would be getting smoked, but at least it wouldn't be on bullshit. Because no one has time for bullshit when you're getting smoked by deals.

Oct 10, 2018

If you are ranting to vent, you dont need to read further.

If you are ranting to get advice: quit while you are still sane. Who gives a fuck about money when you are completely empty and depressed. Get a job at a bar or something less stressful and stop thinking that you need IB in your life.

Atleast take some vacation and leave your phone and laptop in a closet. I just took a week off without laptop and phone and you will not believe how great you feel after such a small period with no stress.

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Oct 12, 2018

I worked at a group that does cool M&A deals. It's not any better, just a bit different. Banking is banking.

The MD that is freaking about the pitches, is now just up your ass about every detail of the execution, because it looks even worse than not winning at all if the deal falls apart.

If anything, the hours will only get worse. The three bullshit pitches that got turned 10 times each just turn into one massive board deck that gets turned like 100 times, every slide redone the day before the meeting, with you running to LaGuardia to give books to the MDs.

The analytical work is also no more accurtate, which is down right scary given that boards are actually listening to the advice. I've had MDs tell me to fuck with the numbers in a dishonest manner more than I can count (stuff like "just mess w/ working cap, we can always equivovate on estimation differences there and make some stuff up"), we once knowingly altered comps data to show a trend the MD had mistakenly talked about on a call, which is really fucking bad, and I can't even count the number of other bullshit and lies we have put into live deal board decks.

And if you think you get more respect, think again. You're still an analyst, and everyone will still treat you like shit. Sure, the senior bankers are a bit smarter and you should respect some of them more, but they'll still treat you as though you're a homeless guy begging them for quarters every day.

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Oct 12, 2018

Find something you like doing. I know, I know . . that's the same advice given to you by your high school guidance counseler, your college career office person, and probably your parents along with self-help gurus and other people who don't get you.

But I'm different from all those people, because I do get you. I read your rant, and it nicely summarized my own thoughts on IB. And like you, I also care about money. So I'm not one of those people telling you that "purpose" is bigger than money.

Instead I'll make a more practical observation: how many professions are there where the people at the top aren't rich? If you're the best at almost anything, you will do really well financially. Even the top non-profit people make good $ as CEOs of large non-profits.

I don't believe in high-paying industries and low-paying industries. I believe in successful people and unsuccessful people.

And needless to say, you're much more likely to succeed if you enjoy the work.

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Oct 14, 2018

Spot on..

There is money to be made in so many areas that you're just better off optimising for whichever one fits your abilities and interests the most.

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Oct 12, 2018

Good advice, but the vacation thing is tough. I used to try to take vacations when I was a banker and ended up working through most of the vacation, which significantly increased the frustration haha.

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Oct 12, 2018

Oh, absolutely that it's tough. I remember when I was in banking, I had last dibs on which period to take vacation (and there was a nice stretch of holidays in spring that we all wanted to take advantage of). I remember having to help pitch in for a couple people leaving on vacay, and then when I was on my week off I remember getting calls (while I was traveling) on re-running a model. I helped you so you can go on your vacay unbothered, you can't do the same shit for me - wtf?

So yeah, easier said than done. But reenergizing with even a short vacation gives you time to de stress and process things logically. It's so easy to let emotions impact judgment.

If you don't make time for yourself, and that pressure builds or you become frustrated because of it, it'll impact your work and your morale and interactions with others. People aren't all that observant of the good things, but they usually catch the negatives, and they won't piece the story together. It's not: "John has been moody lately because he's been pulling multiple all nighters and quarterbacking this deal, guy hasn't gone on vacation the whole year. Let's cut him slack.". No, it's "oh, John's being a dick... maybe he's not cut out to handle the hours." Taking the needed vacation and making sure you're 100% at work is also part of the job.

Oct 10, 2018

Was in the same situation. Feel free to PM me.

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Oct 10, 2018

Very well written rant.

Whenever I get annoyed with management above me, it helps me to take a look at things from their perspective. Your MD has spent X years of his life to get to this prestigious position, probably thinking that everything will finally fall his way at this point. He's transitioning to a prospecting role that is new to him and he knows that he doesn't have the brand recognition of Goldman or Lazard. He knows he's fucked when he walks in the door. He's uncomfortable, he's not succeeding for the first time in his life, and he has bosses above him expecting results. Should he take his frustrations out at the office.... no. But at least you can understand why he might.

Oct 10, 2018

Serious question: Does your firm (or group) generate fees / revenue from something (co-managed equity deals, DCM, etc.) or is it circling the drain in general?
If people are getting paid and keeping their jobs, chances are your position is no different from that of a lot of banks and bankers, which is that they do fine, but want to do better. That means trying like hell to get more book-manager mandates and more advisory work. The margins on that stuff are high, but that means competition, which means low hit rates.

Oct 10, 2018

We are very focused / concentrated on one product group and do reasonably well there. We generate enough fees to keep the lights on and for everyone to be content come year end. Its not a small bank or boutique. I think the issue is the platform is not aligned with my greater career ambitions.

To your point, my group's dynamic is probably the same for 95% of bankers out there. The rain-making, execution focused groups are the exception.

Problem is I don't see how anyone with a grip on reality can make a career as a banker where you get grinded day-in day-out on meaningless bullshit. Eventually that would drive 999/1000 people out the door, which I guess is why there's such high turnover at most places. The 1/1000 person that stays is probably not the type of person you want to put in front of clients anyway.

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Oct 11, 2018

You probably realize this already, but it sounds like you need to figure out what you want to do. On one hand you lament that you don't work at a place like Lazard, but on the other you write off banking entirely.
The EBs and most BBs work their people extremely hard. It's of course better to be killing yourself and getting deals done than killing yourself on pitches that go nowhere, but no one is coasting in M&A advisory.

Oct 10, 2018

I'll take your job bro

Funniest
Oct 10, 2018

You couldn't.

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Oct 11, 2018

.

    • 1
Oct 11, 2018

Really good post can relate to a lot of this.... What type of bank are you at out of curiosity? MM that does a lot of debt? BB?

Oct 11, 2018

Yeah IB is bs. Even the bigger banks don't provide value on deals. They sit there, awkwardly quiet during management presentations. They don't answer any financial questions (the CFO usually does). Their models, decks and CIMs constantly have errors. I've worked on so many middle market deals and I seriously don't remember the name of a single senior banker. But hey, at lest they get paid.

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Oct 12, 2018

Mind sharing why you say IB is bs? I am deciding between IB and Consulting as a career at business school next fall and unable to decide! Any details will be appreciated. Is it worth going to EB ? Thanks.

Oct 12, 2018

I just don't know what value they add in terms of the deal process. We completely ignore the forecasts put together by bankers. They're usually blatantly wrong. I mean at first glance you know the forecasts are wrong. To me, it's like their job is to (a) put up a data room, (b) put together decks that people don't really read and (c) try to cover up information that may adversely compromise the seller's asking price.

I was thinking about going into IB just for the pay day but I honestly just can't do it.

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Oct 12, 2018

Thanks for sharing. Yeah I mean I agree with what you say but think most people go for the money, prestige and whatever makes them happy. I am also one of those people. Any thoughts on whether going to EB is better than BB?

Oct 12, 2018

I work in the middle market space and so I can't really comment on BBs/EBs. The problem is that people in the industry are often not very honest about the industry. It's hard to get a no BS answer.

Oct 12, 2018

Ok no worries! Thanks!

Oct 12, 2018

I find the most bullshit from the mouth of consultants, particularly management consultants. Finance ppl at least have some numbers to back their claim up or some sort of data that you can verify.

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Oct 12, 2018

Well, consultants will often speak when not spoken to and often say things that aren't correct. There are good consultants and there are bad ones. Some provide value and others do not. My experience with bankers, however, is that they're mute. On calls mute. Management presentations mute. Just mute. The only communication I've seen from bankers is vial email and along the lines of "Management is very busy with Q3 reporting and can't jump on a call to explain why COGS have increased by 500% on their biggest product."

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Oct 13, 2018

Sounds like you're working with some crappy bankers. My MDs in banking were fairly charasmatic and always ran meetings, presentations, etc.

Oct 12, 2018

I can say the same about almost any corp dev group. It's awkward how little they know about deals and how much they rely on their bankers and outside counsel for working capital target negotiations, purchase agreement details, etc. And I'm not talking about one or two man shops.

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Oct 12, 2018

When we have working capital issues we typically engage big 4 M&A advisory groups. They've been much more helpful than banks in the past and we usually get a QoE analysis thrown in as part of the package as well.

Oct 12, 2018

Exactly, you guys don't actually do anything. You are glorified project managers. All of the outside advisors do the work because they actually know how to do deals. It sounds like you just have a bank that either isn't legit or is too big for your company and is giving you the C team.

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Oct 13, 2018

Theres probably 2 distinct camps in Corp Dev - those who know nothing and rely on others, and those who know their stuff and delegate. Our team is more of the latter - we do our own modelling, we get advisors to DD but review their work and challenge them based on our own knowledge and experience of the industry and M&A process. We're all ex deal people from PE, IB and accounting firms.

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Oct 15, 2018
PE.CorpDev.Guy:

Theres probably 2 distinct camps in Corp Dev - those who know nothing and rely on others, and those who know their stuff and delegate. Our team is more of the latter - we do our own modelling, we get advisors to DD but review their work and challenge them based on our own knowledge and experience of the industry and M&A process. We're all ex deal people from PE, IB and accounting firms.

I will accept that argument. There are obviously some smart and talented CD guys.

However, they aren't "all deal people" because you can find many that have flipped to Corp Dev in their junior years (minimal exposure to purchase agreements, structuring, etc.), are groomed from within the organization or come from consulting (good for strategy, not for execution).

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Oct 17, 2018

My team only engages external consultants if it's a weakness for us in-house. Corp dev team at my shop sources deals, does diligence, all valuation modeling, term structuring, financing, etc. We're pretty frugal and our CEO is known as an M&A guy.

Oct 14, 2018

Someone pushed your buttons lol

Oct 14, 2018
Bullet-Tooth Tony:

I can say the same about almost any corp dev group. It's awkward how little they know about deals and how much they rely on their bankers and outside counsel for working capital target negotiations, purchase agreement details, etc. And I'm not talking about one or two man shops.

For every large deal that they hire M&A advisors, they probably have 2 or 3 smaller deals that aren't disclosed for which they don't hire M&A advisors.
If you're staffed on 4 deals going on at the same time and you have an investment bank on one, you're obviously going to push off as much work to the bank as possible.
Not only are the bankers generally paid the same fee, regardless of how much they actually contribute, but once you have the investment bank on the deal you have someone to blame if something goes wrong. You're going to focus a lot more on the deal that's just yours.

Oct 17, 2018

Man I have some stories for you about the shit I've seen from bankers. Unfortunately, my name isn't ambiguous enough on this forum and I have NDAs out the ass... but you wouldn't believe it.

Oct 14, 2018
Esuric:

Yeah IB is bs. Even the bigger banks don't provide value on deals. They sit there, awkwardly quiet during management presentations. They don't answer any financial questions (the CFO usually does). Their models, decks and CIMs constantly have errors. I've worked on so many middle market deals and I seriously don't remember the name of a single senior banker. But hey, at lest they get paid.

In these situations, are you on the buyside and the bankers are on the sell-side?
If so, one thing to keep in mind is that it's the bankers job to make the management team look as good as possible.
The CFO answers the financial questions, often not because the banker doesn't know the answer, but because the management team is part of what's being sold. You want to show that the management team knows their shit.
Same thing with mistakes. Usually, the issue is bad data provided to the banker. Again though, it's the banker's role to take the hit, regardless of who's fault it actually is.

In short, there's a lot going on behind the scenes that you don't see.

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Oct 14, 2018

Usually on the buyside but occasionally on the sellside. You make a fair point though.

Oct 11, 2018

Either your firm sucks, or you need to quit.

Seriously man, nothing is worth being as miserable as you come across in this post.

I am going on my 3rd year in this industry, and I still love every day. I love my team, I love my managers, some of the work is redundant, but unless you're a detective or CIA agent, I can't imagine many jobs not being somewhat redundant. I honestly wish I was busier at times. I enjoy everyone I work with, and when I need a day off to recover, I take it. Don't let the guy above you push you around to the extent you seemingly are.

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Oct 12, 2018

FWIW being a CIA agent is mostly managing redundancy.

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Oct 15, 2018

Okay, I've got to know what type of Bank are you at where you can take a day to reset?

Oct 15, 2018

BB, coverage team, top 3 in our industry.

Just need to push back when you're getting buried.

Nov 3, 2018

Push back ?

Oct 12, 2018

+1 for quitting while you still have the good sense to realize its all stupid shit and you don't like it.

I have only ever been in commercial banking, but I was in a similar position and hated, just HATED, going into the office every day except to get together with my collegues and complain about how stupid everyone was and what a waste of time it all was. It was toxic and every single thing I did - literally, every single thing - went unappreciated or outright stolen and used by someone else to promote themselves and giving me no credit. The wrong people got to give opinions and management didn't give two shits about employee satisfaction, turnover, or anything. So despite essentially adding 10 years to my working life by walking away from the golden handcuffs, I quit and took 9 months off. Wish I could do it again every 10 years.

You have enough confidence in your abilities and knowledge to write a rant like this (and eloquently so) - you have transferable skills. Quit. Take some time off. Then get back in the game and find something you enjoy doing. Do it well and doors will open. It's tired and trite advice but its nevertheless true. Don't let your employer poison your soul.

BTDT, man. Not worth it. The way out is not through.

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Oct 18, 2018

Interested in how you got back into work after taking that long break. I'm currently taking a break from IB and not sure what my next steps will be.

Oct 18, 2018

I actually had planned to take 12-14 months off but got recruited at a very opportune time in my travels/adventures and couldn't say no to the opportunity.

Stay engaged with your network and make sure you know what you want to do (and why) and what you dont want to do (and why).

Oct 12, 2018

Whoooooaaa this shit was deep. +10

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Oct 12, 2018

This resonate with me to my core.....4.5 years in a boutique group (not IB but similar financial function) doing acquisitions with a strike rate of ~5%. It was fine when I was just churning models as an analyst, because at least I felt like I was learning and progress was visible. Got bumped to Associate and that's where it started to turn south, day in and day out of mindlessly repetitive tasks meant for rejection. Finally had a break-down and long story short after quitting in a huff, I re-negotiated my position to be part time while I figured some stuff out. I went about it in a weird way but I highly suggest talking to your MD about it before you quit. In hindsight I should have been more upfront about how I was feeling in the role but in a competitive office it can be hard to assume that they will be heard with impunity. I know why a lot of people might think that's counter intuitive, but in this economy, people who are already trained/know the system are in shorter supply so you have a little leverage. Shoot me a PM if you are interested in talking

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Oct 12, 2018

Amen brother!

Just keep your head down, get your ~2 years, bounce, and then look back at it and laugh.

Oct 12, 2018

Mizuho, bet the house.

Oct 12, 2018

Don't blame you and understand the burner acct. Although not the exact experience as yours, I chose to make a career change at ~ 50 to be a Financial Advisor.

I was a 20-yr Engineer/engineering manager who just wanted to do something that would not require constant travel and stress.

Well, after getting all the required certifications, I was "given ammo to go out and hunt". What that really meant was: Now you are fully certified to hit friends and colleagues up for biz, but try not to spend too much going after them as clients because you don't get a Biz Development Acct once you have $10M + in AUM.

It's a good ol' boys club still and if you are not in you are out

Oct 12, 2018

Comment section is confusing me. Is OP venting to rant or ranting to vent?

Need more clarification.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Oct 12, 2018

fedor emelienko

you to your MD

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

    • 1
Oct 15, 2018

...but like 30 seconds after this amazing slam Fedor submitted Randleman with an armbar.

Oct 15, 2018

exactly

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

Oct 13, 2018

Damn, sorry to hear that you work at DB. Hey, least you're not getting fired over your slutty Seamless. Keep your head high

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Oct 13, 2018

I really like how poetic your rant sounds. You are really good at writing.

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Oct 13, 2018

Quit. I left my trading position a while back

Oct 13, 2018

Sorry to bother you, you left Trading rather than IB. I assume the reasons are different given how different the jobs are, may I know why?

Oct 14, 2018
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Feb 8, 2019
Oct 14, 2018

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

Oct 15, 2018