Things Bankers say in emails


Investment Bankers have a secret way of communicating with one another. Whether it's a discreet nod or those matching Ferragamo shoes/ties, bankers have a fraternal pact with one another that everyone outside the industry just wouldn't understand.

However, you'll soon realize not only is there a lot of group think going on, but everyone likes to use the same jargon.

From MD's to Analysts, here we go:

"Let's add some color"
"Need more thought"
"Can we beef this up?"
"thank you for your hard work"
"thanks for pulling a late night"
"Guys, what's the timing on this?"
"Hey, how's it going?"
"How are we doing?"
"Let me opine on this"
"Let me give you some thoughts"
"Comments are coming shortly"
"increase the multiples"
"make sense?"
"will do"
"sounds good"
"need more"
" :)"
"can we make these boxes rounder?"
"i don't love it"
"i don't hate it"
"pls fix"

Mod Note (Andy): One of the posts of 2017 that have the most views .

Comments (152)

Best Response
Aug 8, 2017 - 3:51pm

It's a slow day at work, so let me me share some of my favorites:

  • thx
  • pls print 30 copies thx
  • print bind bring to house thx
  • wtf pls check
  • this cannot be right. alex the associate, pls check thx
  • [forwards me a request for a pitch on a Sunday] sorry meant to send on friday.....eta?
  • pitch went well thx
  • i'm in movement pls ask vp thx
  • [emails me ten minutes after the Intralinks alert went out] has this been uploaded yet? thx
  • pls swing by thx
  • buyer cannot log into vdr pls help thx
  • pls pdf and print 10 copies
  • [in response to above] nvm make that 20 thx
  • [in response to above] stet 10 thx
  • [in response to above] I wanted 20.....why did you only print 10?
  • [two seconds after emailing above] hello?
  • hate to crash your weekend but need asap thx.....eta?
Aug 8, 2017 - 4:13pm

When I was desperately trying to break into the industry, get coffee, land a phone call, make a friend, or talk to the guy so he could help me out, and gave him my cell so we could talk.

"Thanks for your interest. I've forwarded your email to our recruiting team."

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!
Aug 8, 2017 - 7:50pm

"Don't burn the midnight oil on this one, but could you please adjust per the comments in the attached?"

Received at 9 pm.

"Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman." -- George Soros
Aug 9, 2017 - 12:04pm

"pls show client resurgence in industry"
"get creative this isn't a science"
"wtf ER put a sell rating on our client"
"get that guy back from vacation"

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

Aug 11, 2017 - 6:14am

"Boarding in 5"

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Aug 11, 2017 - 3:05pm

Recovering VP (moved to buy side). A few additions:

"Make the trains run on time"
"Add some sizzle"
"Add some meat"
"This is a great first effort" or "I think we are there directionally" (after the poor analyst/associate has been slaving away for days)

Lawyer turned VC, turned banker, turned VC and never leaving again.
Aug 11, 2017 - 9:56pm

I had an MD that would forward first drafts of presentations to clients.

Me: "[MD], please see attached for first draft of the deck for Friday. Please let me know your comments"
[MD]: Forwards to CEO of client company "[CEO], here's our deck for Friday's meeting"

This would happen literally after I threw together a deck by myself in 2-3 days. I learned quickly to print and hand deliver drafts to the MD rather than sending him a pdf...

Aug 13, 2017 - 7:07am

Oh boy, reading these totally adds fuel to the fire for my recruiting journey out of banking. To those who moved on, how traumatic was the first email you received in PE/HF/VC/etc. that contained one of these gems.."thx"

(Subject line only) "Where are we on the CIM. Thx"

Not sure if its been picked up but the general false sense of urgency for EVERYTHING - especially when said pitch/call isn't for another week:
"can we pls send ASAP"
"would like to see a turn ASAP"
"can u pls run this to ground ASAP"

"pls chase. thx"
(after incessantly chasing MDs for 36 hours straight on comments/sign off - comes back 2 hrs before printing deadline)
"OK - can we pls see if we have [insert most obscure comp set known to man]"
"Just sent a few nits to [insert VP name].thx all" (DUDE Im the one turning these comments - send them to ME or REPLY ALL)

and lastly, the dreaded "back pocket" request (typically coming from a VP trying to "add value")
"lets have these few pages for [MD] just for back pocket purposes only'

Aug 13, 2017 - 8:18am

One of my favorites that happened recently - not so much a quote, but rather the small things that make you tick.

My MD is emailing another group. Other group analyst requests a file from my MD.
MD emails me saying "plz forward to [other group analyst] - file attached"

....................................think about this for a second. In the time it took to find the file and email me, he could have just forwarded the damn thing to the analyst himself, but he added the extra step so show he has a slave in the corner ready to bend over at will.

A very rare one I get is "Good man"
God it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside

Aug 13, 2017 - 2:08pm

While we're on the topic of emails - do you guys have 1 or 2 MDs which absolutely refuse to acknowledge email chains or specific emails directed at them to comment / sign off?

You'll have an email thread with the entire deal team on it, clearly labeled with the client or Project Name, with like a near final version of the deck being shot around (presumably a "_v25" at this point) and the guy one-offs the VP with a subject line email "when can i see a draft of the deck?"......then this is always the same guy who you have to hound and follow up with like 5 times to review and sign off..

Dec 29, 2017 - 9:11am

From: Boss
To: me (first time seeing it)
Subject: "fwd: urgent matter deadline of (nearly a week ago at this point)"
Body: "did u fnsh ths?"

From: Boss
To: Boss's Boss
CC: (jk, there was no CC)
Subject: urgent matter deadline of (next day)
(me) will get it to you by EOD.
(me), please provide to (boss's boss) by EOD.

From: Boss's boss
To: Boss
Subject: urgent matter deadline of (next day)
Body: (extremely detailed request likely requiring several hours of work)

Dec 29, 2017 - 9:31am

There is one VP that has responded on multiple occasions "looks good", and the attachment wasn't even in the email.

Dec 29, 2017 - 11:32am

Didn’t see these above:

-“open the kimono”
-“really drill down on this”
-“let’s see the quick and dirty”
-“where are we on this??” (When the draft has been sitting with them for 24+ hours)

"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today." -Twain
Dec 30, 2017 - 10:08am

Yeah those ones are always weird. One of mine who loves those types expressions literally has portraits of himself hanging in his office, and they’re not even on the “visitor” side of his desk - I think he enjoys looking at his own portraits every day...

"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today." -Twain
Dec 30, 2017 - 12:35am

You forgot one of the most common (and annoying for analysts) - 'FYI'

New Friday 5pm staffing email from your associate? He forwards you and simply writes 'FYI'

Save down NDAs, update call logs? Forward you the email, 'FYI'

and others

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.
Jan 16, 2018 - 7:39pm

FYI, Rgds and Thx are the only things my MD ever says to me in emails haha

Ignore my Title and Industry - I can't seem to change it under 'Edit Profile' lol
Jan 22, 2018 - 11:17am

Bored, thought I'd echo some of these contributions. The more senior the person is, the worse the spelling / abbreviations are.

Pls fix
ETA pls?
Not bad
Pls take a crack at this
Needs more meat pls
Lets see what you can find
Pls fwd to (different) VP thx
Wtf why are numbers so shit?
Pls see attached (no file is attached)
Swing by my office and lets chat about this
Will be ok as a very rough draft for now, circulate to (bankers)
Good job, let's touch base tomorrow (tomorrow - wtf did you do here!?)

Ignore my Title and Industry - I can't seem to change it under 'Edit Profile' lol
Jan 23, 2018 - 8:21am
  • Edits are half finished thoughts that trail off...
  • Attaches the wrong file(s) to base work off of... only to receive it after it’s all done
  • MD provides details on pages he wants. VP changes it up, gets reamed by MD (what you had was what he wanted). VP apologizes with “we’re sorry, we’ll fix it”
Jan 23, 2018 - 6:52pm

tried searching for @shitwsosays to no avail... did you launch yet?

I started it yesterday, and confirmed the email. It should be live. Haven't tweeted anything yet. For some reason you have to search WSO as cap letters.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne
Jan 23, 2018 - 6:54pm
GS elevator guy wrote me back says he doesnt do any video or phone stuff to maintain his anonymity. makes sense.

Yes, esp. when he is posting what people say on the elevators lol.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne
Jan 23, 2018 - 6:55pm

Psssh you and him can write "the maintainence of his anonymity" into the contract and resultantly he funnels content for you to turn into funny co-branded videos and in return he talks about all the advantages of WSO... but whateves #shitwhitegirlssay

Get it!
Jan 23, 2018 - 6:59pm
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