Investment Banking Holidays?

How do holidays work at most investment banks?

I'd assume analysts are working almost every holiday not named Christmas, Thanksgiving, or the 4th of July.

At what level if any would you be able to take off for President's Day?

Investment Banking Interview Course

  • 7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. Crowdsourced from over 500,000 members.
  • Technical, behavioral, networking, case videos, templates. All included.
  • Most comprehensive IB interview course in the world.

Comments (72)

Feb 19, 2018

Not sure Presidents Day is a thing in IB. I worked for about 5 hours on the 4th of July this past summer, so I'm sure half-days are the norm on holidays for most banks.

    • 1
Feb 19, 2018

Speaking form EB M&A experience, it's very group and deal dependent. At some point or another as an analyst I worked all of the holidays you just mentioned, but I also had other holidays off when things weren't too busy (e.g. Memorial Day).

    • 4
Feb 19, 2018

Does your bank usually let you know that most years, people are off on specific holidays, or do you have to request it?

Best Response
Feb 20, 2018

What's a holiday ?

    • 22
Feb 21, 2018

haha, Everyday is basically a Monday

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.

Feb 21, 2018

What Happened to Monday?

time is the coin of your life: be careful, lest others spend it for you - Carl Sagan

Feb 22, 2018

What are weekends?

Feb 22, 2018
exlurker:

What's a holiday ?

(+SB) I had a Holiday once, I was told that instead of spreading month to month financials for our client, I only had to do YTD. This saved me 30min, which I then used to work on a pitch book.

    • 4
Feb 22, 2018

Banks won't tell you this, but if you don't respond while on vacation there isn't any actual consequence. That's why they instill fear in you well before you even start thinking about taking time off. When you do take time off, you'll be too scared to not respond

Feb 20, 2018

This is too general of a question. As mentioned above, it would be extremely group-specific and situation-specific. If seniors at your group comes to work on holidays or expect you to come in even if they don't (more likely), then you'll have to come in. Or even if its a norm not to come to work, you'll have to come in if you are staffed on a deal that demands you to come in.

    • 1
Feb 20, 2018

Depends on group, MDs and circumstances. In my old team it was: if there's nothing pressing, you get the holiday, so long as you can finish what's on your plate by the agreed upon deadlines. But there was nothing preventing an MD emailing you on a holiday to get something done (if it's something last min urgent... or to their whims...).

And if you're on a live deal, all bets are off.

Feb 20, 2018

Jesus Christ... working on Christmas? What the fuck could be that important that you NEED to work that day? Client can't wait 1 extra day? That's just outright sad. No other way to put it. There are some sad people in IB (seniors that force a junior to work when it can wait)

    • 6
    • 1
Feb 20, 2018

It only happened once to me - on a sellside we had three bidders completing full DD to get to a final binding bid in early Jan. 3-4 DD advisors sent in updated question lists on Christmas Eve (intentionally I'm sure to avoid Christmas work) and Christmas for me was processing / drafting responses... but nothing like a little eggnog to keep the mind focused.

    • 1
Feb 20, 2018

God damn lol but still I mean it really couldn't wait one more day? That's what I question if I really want to get back into IB (I have an "easy" ish route to do so) at a MM for one of the regional banks.

I'm curious if it's more lax T the MM banks (particularly more debt focused regional bank shops I.e STRH, Citizens, BB&T) with regards to holidays. Cuz if I can't get Christmas off to see the fam I think I'll write that potential opportunity off for good

    • 1
Feb 20, 2018

It was definitely an extreme case, and as mentioned before, it's totally group dependent and role dependent. I had to work Christmas because my VP wanted it done, but if you either (i) work for a sane VP or (ii) are a VP, then you're very unlikely to work the holidays. Shit just flows downstream

    • 2
Feb 21, 2018

got it. thanks

Feb 21, 2018

More likely to have the holidays off at those shops, but group / deal flow dependent as always

Feb 27, 2018

You clearly don't work in banking...

--$$--

Feb 20, 2018

I do loads of valuation work over christmas. Family keeps removing the f**king price tags on my presents so I don't know what to sell them for.

    • 15
Feb 20, 2018

Thanks for all of the responses, from talking to bankers in the field it seems like there a whole gambit out there depending on
1) Where the deal process is at
2) The group
3) The culture

Feb 21, 2018

I'm sorry, but you guys give the impression like it's completely normal to work during Christmas or it's completely normal to not to be able take some time off. WHAT THE F*CK?

This exact thinking makes IB industry so f*cking broken and horrible. MDs are just bad managers, do not value juniors, do not value people's personal time and create tons of unecessary pressure. What could possibly happen if the model is sent out 2 days later? Would the deal fall apart? Would the client finish relationship? He probably wouldn't even fcking care, because it's Christmas and no one who is reasonable person works at this special time.

Get a grip. Life is not only about (and in case of IB usually meaningless) work. If I was told I cannot spend Christmas with my parents, because a piece of shit MD wants me to run another useless model update - I'd quit on the spot. This kind of bullshit is absolutely not worth it.

    • 16
Feb 21, 2018
hijackbanker:

I'm sorry, but you guys give the impression like it's completely normal to work during Christmas or it's completely normal to not to be able take some time off. WHAT THE F*CK?

This exact thinking makes IB industry so f*cking broken and horrible. MDs are just bad managers, do not value juniors, do not value people's personal time and create tons of unecessary pressure. What could possibly happen if the model is sent out 2 days later? Would the deal fall apart? Would the client finish relationship? He probably wouldn't even fcking care, because it's Christmas and no one who is reasonable person works at this special time.

Get a grip. Life is not only about (and in case of IB usually meaningless) work. If I was told I cannot spend Christmas with my parents, because a piece of shit MD wants me to run another useless model update - I'd quit on the spot. This kind of bullshit is absolutely not worth it.

Most people in the industry are extremely insecure and just take it in the ass, props to you if you would be able to tell your MD to politely fuck off.

    • 4
Feb 27, 2018

Yeah agreed. There's no way in hell I wouldn't tell my senior to get fucked if they tried making me work on Christmas. Frankly even anything more than a half day on Christmas Eve id probably go off.

    • 6
    • 10
Feb 22, 2018

Lol

    • 8
    • 2
Feb 21, 2018

It's called sucking it up for 2 years, paying your dues and then moving to the buy-side. Time is more flexible once you make the leap at least typically.

    • 6
Feb 21, 2018

No, this is an absolute bullshit, stop pushing this. This is what makes this industry so shitty work/life balance wise.

I understand this is not 9-5, you need to work a lot, you have client-focused role, etc, but I'm pretty sure LOTS of work is absolutely unecessary, avoidable, or can be done on a different day than a Christmas Eve. The whole industry is just the pure bad people management, that's it.

There are much more demanding sectors, with more demanding work than putting together excel spereadsheets - and they don't have those utterly stupid schedules.

    • 12
Feb 21, 2018

This, it's the fraternity mentality of "I did it so you have to" that drives this behavior along with textbook sociopath behavior.

    • 4
Feb 21, 2018

EXACTLY. The pussies that have no backbone and are afraid to stand up to their "holy seniors" are exactly why this shit doesn't change. Tell me I'm working Christmas and I'll flat out tell you I'm not LOL get fucked. News flash: Most of your seniors are losers

    • 1
Feb 26, 2018

Banking really isn't that bad and people shouldn't but weight in the garbage these clowns are spewing. They're just posturing on the internet about their brutal hours and their hard knocks life of sacrifice. Most MDs are reasonable human beings, and even my team, which is at a top bank in a group known on here for being a sweatshop, doesn't straight ram people for no reason. You get your time off, and if you end up working over a major holiday for a big deal then the staffer and seniors make it up to you when the deal's done by giving you a Friday or something.

    • 1
Feb 26, 2018

thanks for posting this, happy to hear a lot of this is just fresh college grads wacking off about how important their job is that they don't even have time to take a shit. I think I'll pursue my somewhat of an open path to getting into my firms IB division... was thinking about it hard but when I was seeing shit like "lol holidays? you work every Christmas and Thanksgiving, bro" I was really turned off cause that's a shitty life.

Feb 27, 2018

I don't see a lot of people mentioning how their staffers should be the ones keeping up with their workload. I would imagine, like you said, that staffers would notice if you got worked too hard recently and give you a break.

Feb 27, 2018

lol yeah that's because these kids are mostly not actually working so they don't fully understand how the staffing process works. Especially in larger banks and larger groups, the staffers are very aware of how much everyone is working and make a conscious effort to distribute work in a particular way. At most banks, about a third of the analysts get requested a lot and get a ton of serious deal work from seniors, a third get a significant amount of work from the staffer who thinks they're competent but don't get requested as often so the staffer controls their workload pretty directly, and a third are considered not worthy of quality deal work and just get bitch work. I've been in the first bucket, and the staffers essentially understand that I'm getting so much deal work directly from seniors that they don't give me bullshit anymore and my hours are very deal dependent. I get some time between deals and during lulls in the deal process where possible, and since I've got a pretty good relationship with my staffer, I've been able to tell him one or two times that I just don't have enough bandwidth, etc and he's been pretty understanding. As long as you're competent, doing quality work, and have shown everyone that you are committed, you get some latitude.

Feb 27, 2018
TrackBack:

I get some time between deals and during lulls in the deal process where possible

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "some time?"

Feb 27, 2018

Well obviously it's situationally dependent and banking is still very face-timey so it's not a ton of time, but a couple of weeks ago I just finished a three-week long sprint where I was pulling 100+ as the only junior on a <10bn takeover defense and on Thursday night my staffer saw me helping out with some stuff on an over-staffed deal and told me to go home and get some rest and that I could take Friday off and he would try to make sure I got the weekend off too. That was huge for my sleep. But last week I was pulled back onto a big live deal and got railed and end of this week I will also probably continue to get railed as we prep for a shareholder meeting next week.

Feb 28, 2018
TrackBack:

But last week I was pulled back onto a big live deal and got railed and end of this week I will also probably continue to get railed as we prep for a shareholder meeting next week.

Your team just wants you on all of the major deals. You can't catch a break because you're just too good.

Feb 28, 2018

This was my situation in banking. I don't think I was staffed on anything from the staffer more than five times during my second year - it was all legacy accounts or senior peeps requesting me directly. Certainly created some volatility when lots of things were acting up, but there were some weeks where I left at 6pm and didn't think twice about it.

Feb 28, 2018

When you said you left at 6pm, how did you know that people weren't looking for you? As in, how did you know that you were allowed to do that?

Mar 1, 2018

Email bro - if somebody was looking for me, chances are they would email me or call me.

Why wouldn't I be allowed to leave? I say this without trying to sound arrogant, but I knew what I was worth to the team. They knew how valuable I was to them. Nothing bad would happen to me if I was not in the office with nothing to do.

Feb 21, 2018
Banker4LIFO:

It's called sucking it up for 2 years, paying your dues and then moving to the buy-side. Time is more flexible once you make the leap at least typically.

beta af

    • 2
    • 1
Feb 21, 2018

"The Virgin Shitpost" vs "The CHAD KEYSTRIKE"

    • 1
Feb 22, 2018

What a horrible mentality to life.

Feb 23, 2018

They value juniors and their free time enough to pay them quite well on top of the value of the experience. Just my two cents, it's worth it for me.

Everyone has a different slope on that trade-off. I think I am being fairly compensated for my time.

    • 1
    • 2
Feb 22, 2018

They value juniors and their free time by making them work on Christmas? LOL you sad brain washed fuck. Dear lord.

Feb 22, 2018

You`re being paid over 120k your first year out of college... They do value analysts, just not their free time.

Feb 22, 2018

I think some of you look at the absolute number too much. You get taxed to death if you work in NYC, and NYC cost of living is redic.... I know, "exit oops". But that's not what we're talking about.

As others have mentioned on this thread. a good chunk of those hours are totally unnecessary and "face time" IS NOT RESPECTING YOUR TIME / VALUING YOU.

The industry could be greatly improved. But it's people like you guys that maintain that "pay your dues for 2 years" mentality that keeps allowing these seniors to continue unnecessary FaceTime. I think that's what I hated most was FaceTime. Look, if there's work that needs to be done I get It's not a 9-5, but half the time it's just sociopaths that enjoy putting juniors through hell, again like others have mentioned.

Get a backbone and refuse to put in FaceTime IF YOU'RE DONE WITH YOUR WORK

    • 4
    • 1
Feb 22, 2018

Not in IB, but before going back to college I worked as a project manager un a completely unrelated field. Hours were ridiculous as our main client was a 24/7 business, holiday or not. Didn't even pay as much as IB but still a great salary. Having never worked in IB, it's hard for me to understand the point of facetime, but I do understand that it must suck.

Hopefully if I do have to go into IB my group won't suck so much that I have to work on Christmas.

Feb 28, 2018

@BBDreamin Who hurt you

    • 1
Feb 22, 2018

I think the people complaining are the "brainwashed" ones if they believe their free time is so valuable that they should be paid even more, or paid the same for less work, than is already industry standard. I guess that's what happens when you get told how special you are every day for two decades. If it's too "sad" for you, don't do it.

    • 1
    • 1
Feb 22, 2018

Wrong. The industry is changing due to generational shifts.

Kids right out of college today are absolutely willing to work just as hard, work just as long hours, do just as shitty work as previous generations, etc.

BUT the new generation does not put up with the bullshit that is mentioned in this thread as much as previous generations did ("hazing" ie the "I did it now you have to also" mentality that contributes NOTHING to a company's bottom line and only creates misery for junior employees). The new generation understands that doing things for the sake of doing them or because this is how it was always done....does NOT work.

Your entire reasoning is flawed.

CEOs are paid 5x (after accounting for inflation) what they were paid 30 years ago for the same job (CEO of the same company), effectively getting paid more for the same work. So your comment on getting paid the same for less work? Irrelevant. Plenty of jobs today are getting paid the same for less work due to automation...why shouldn't banking???

Software engineers (and the things they work on today) were not even a JOB 30 years ago.

This is a new economy that demands new types of economic thinking. Who cares what was done in the past, even if it worked....today is a new day that demands new practices, results and expectations.

    • 6
Feb 22, 2018

Based on the sentiment here, you're right about the demands for change. I guess I'm just surprised at how strongly people feel about their days off.

    • 1
Feb 22, 2018

Value of the experience?

This is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.

Being a CEO/Managing Partner/etc. is the best "experience" you could possibly get in the business world. But they don't pay these people LESS because they are getting great "experience"

Your time and effort is your time and effort

You get paid for it

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.

Feb 21, 2018

Analyst in my group worked on Christmas and Thanksgiving. However, sometimes you can work from home if you are going home for the holidays etc. But again - really depends.

Feb 27, 2018

Make sure the shop has a good way to work remotely. As an analyst/associate, I would regularly work from the Caribbean over Xmas/Thanksgiving. Running data room uploads or updating a model over frozen drinks for an hour a day on vacation really ain't bad. You will realize everyone at a higher level works on vacation, it's the way the world works.

--$$--

Mar 2, 2018

Holidays? What sort of blasphemy is this?

Mar 2, 2018

There ain't none.

Its 11 o'clock on a Sunday night and I'm at work. I've worked past midnight on my last 2 birthdays, I worked all day last Christmas eve and worked from home on Christmas with VPs/MDs e-mailing/calling/faxing all throughout. News Years was saved, primarily because the client decided they no longer needed to close before year end (after ruining everyone's xmas, mind you).

Its not that you won't have any holidays, its just that if something comes up, nothing is off limits.

Mar 2, 2018
Marcus_Halberstram:

There ain't none.

Its 11 o'clock on a Sunday night and I'm at work. I've worked past midnight on my last 2 birthdays, I worked all day last Christmas eve and worked from home on Christmas with VPs/MDs e-mailing/calling/faxing all throughout. News Years was saved, primarily because the client decided they no longer needed to close before year end (after ruining everyone's xmas, mind you).

Its not that you won't have any holidays, its just that if something comes up, nothing is off limits.

Marcus, have you ever considered the possibility that no vacations are awarded to you because you can hardly speak English and it's your first language?

Mar 2, 2018
Marcus_Halberstram:

There ain't none.

Its 11 o'clock on a Sunday night and I'm at work. I've worked past midnight on my last 2 birthdays, I worked all day last Christmas eve and worked from home on Christmas with VPs/MDs e-mailing/calling/faxing all throughout. News Years was saved, primarily because the client decided they no longer needed to close before year end (after ruining everyone's xmas, mind you).

Its not that you won't have any holidays, its just that if something comes up, nothing is off limits.

Agreed with Marcus, nothing is scared. They'll blow you up at 10am Christmas morning, at your mom's funeral or any other time, and not even show a hint of remorse. I know a guy who ended up working nearly his entire honeymoon from his hotel in Aruba.

Also, zalley, you're an asshole.

  • Capt K
Mar 2, 2018

Zalley, good point.

In this industry, the more highly valued you are, the more your MDs and VPs will give you days off... make sure you bring this up when negotiating your offer.

Mar 2, 2018

Zalley, what a back officey thing to say. Go back to back office where the hours are 9-5pm. You might even get Columbus day off.

Mar 2, 2018

Usually the major holidays are recognized. But a good analyst is a busy analyst. I knew guys who experienced exactly what Marcus did and knew guys who were able to take every holiday off and then some.

I'm making it up as I go along.

I'm making it up as I go along.

Mar 2, 2018
Cornelius:

Usually the major holidays are recognized. But a good analyst is a busy analyst. I knew guys who experienced exactly what Marcus did and knew guys who were able to take every holiday off and then some.

I would probably guess, in fact, that there's a link between holidays-in-the-office and end-of-year bonus; indirect of course, but still there.

And zalley, good luck keeping your DB IBD job with that attitude.

Mar 2, 2018
dacarez:
Cornelius:

Usually the major holidays are recognized. But a good analyst is a busy analyst. I knew guys who experienced exactly what Marcus did and knew guys who were able to take every holiday off and then some.

I would probably guess, in fact, that there's a link between holidays-in-the-office and end-of-year bonus; indirect of course, but still there.

This has been the case in my opinion. Bottom line, no matter how busy/not-busy you are, when someone needs to pull in a helping hand, if people think you're useless, they'll either do the added work themselves or drop it on someone else, even if you've got ample time. At a time when everyone in the office is here late nights and every weekend, there are a few fuckers slipping out of here at relatively decent times. And for the most part its because no one wants them working on their deal team.

Plus, if you're typically the person who always comes through in the clutch, when people find themselves in a jam, they tend to turn to you to save the day... as luck would have it, people typically find themselves in a jam on tight deadlines/holidays/under-staffed periods etc...

Mar 2, 2018

Really weird this topic was brought up, I was planning on posting the same thing today

Mar 2, 2018

So, even though you don't get to take them. The days you technically have off are the NYSE trading holidays. Look them up on wiki or google.

You don't get them off usually, but there they are.

Mar 2, 2018

Any takes on this?

Mar 2, 2018

Any info on Thomas Weisel Partners & Robert Baird?

Do you get any holidays, or its pretty much the same as BB's, you might get lucky or might not. I know Robert Baird is known for its 'work life balance' & Weisel on its website mentions "generous vacation policy"...not sure how much of this applies to analysts in investment banking

Mar 2, 2018

Does this mean you can't get out of town on weekends off or for vacations because you will have to be available all the time even though you're off?

Mar 2, 2018
Mar 2, 2018
Mar 2, 2018