Worst week in banking

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What was your worst week/few days in banking? I just got done reading Discussion Materials and had a fairly easy time during my first year (no all nighters but a few 4am days) so I'm curious.

 

Comments (82)

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Aug 31, 2020 - 12:23am

been on the desk 3 months, worst week was so far was a backtobacktoback 4am+ stretch followed by an all nighter a few days later, probably touched right at a hundo that week. Week after only worked like  40 hours tho which was sick. Doesn't suck all that bad until its a 14 hour work day on a saturday and all the fellas are slamming beers on the course, that shits deflating.

 
Sep 4, 2020 - 1:09pm

That used to get to me too. Sunday nights my friends would go out for some fine dining where I lived and there were tons of great restaurants. Meanwhile I'm at the frickin' Minneapolis airport waiting for my connecting flight so I can see a client on Monday morning, staring down at my airport TGI Fridays (or whatever) crappy meal :(

 
Aug 31, 2020 - 12:26am

Worked on a multi-billion dollar bankruptcy in my first year. Essentially just thrown into the deep end with the expectation that I had to pick everything up extremely quickly; it was a pretty industry-specific bankruptcy so the amount of terminologies + jargon that I had to pick up in the first two weeks were insane. Then had to proceed to understand their entire business model + build the operating model, before feeding that into cash flows / post-exit capital structure possibilities. MDs wanted dozens of turns as we iterated through term sheets. Ended up pulling multiple 100+ hour weeks for about four months before things started to come down -- it came to the point where my associate and I were literally sleeping in the office during the weekend as it was just quicker than taking the uber back home. Never again

 
Sep 1, 2020 - 4:51pm

Restructuring is probably the most interesting product (to me at least) and the most modeling heavy but the downside is you scenario model until you are blue in the face. Then you have to update the deck - but fortunately most of the updating the deck is just pasting over exhibits vs endless text like in normal banking decks. Nowadays there are short cuts where once you make the change in excel the table is auto refreshed in PPT, which saves a lot of time. 

On one deal had to put together like 100 different data table one night so senior guys can evaluate every which scenario and come with the the right proposal for our client. Was ridiculous. Does the 100 iterations of analysis matter at the end of the day? No . . .

 
Aug 31, 2020 - 2:58am

7 days of 8am to between 4am-7am. Worked on a sell-side from 8am to around 10pm then an international buy-side from 10am to between 4am-7am. The buyer's corp dev team called the shots on the model and the materials so had to be up when they were available to provide comments and my associate was interviewing so he was completely checked out. It was also my birthday that week, which was on a Saturday on a long-holiday weekend, worked till 7am that morning and most of the day. The silver-lining is the acquisition was agreed to on the following Monday, so there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Ended up at about 130 hours that week on top of the 115-120 hours the 3 previous weeks. It almost broke me. I lateraled 4 months later and haven't looked back. 

 
  • Associate 1 in IB - Ind
Aug 31, 2020 - 7:30pm

When I was a 1st year analyst I was in a very niche coverage group where the M&A team didn't really know how to model any of the assets properly. Was working on 2 live deals at the time and the VP was on her bank mandated vacation because it was near the end of the year and she was forced to take it for regulatory purposes. 

On one deal, the client made alot of adjustments to the sell-side model and f'ed alot of things up so alot of time was spent trying to figure out their logic to ensure it wasn't a total f-up or if it was something unique to their tax structure as the client was based in Asia while we were working in NA and we hadn't engaged a tax advisor yet. We would have 8pm calls with the client then have to turn around the presentation by midnight hopefully and if that wasn't done then would have to try to get the model outputs/analysis done by 5-6am so my MD could review/send to the client.

Then I would sleep a bit/spend my morning's/afternoons working on the other live deal with final bids due at the end of the week. It was so bad that when I had my end of the year review in the same week I was honestly so dazed out and just wanted to gtfo of that room so quickly that I didn't even respond to my stub bonus being handed out (just accepted it and said I appreciate the support of the group and the MDs just said we'll let you get back to work now and avoided all of the typical performance related discussions). 

That week I probably worked over 130 hrs between rebuilding the sell-side model, figuring out the consequences of various loans and tax structures, working through the contract to figure out how to get around sharing any potential refinancing profits from the offtaker and trying to present this in a format where it wasn't just copying and pasting parts of the contract for the client meanwhile working on submitting the final bid for another client by running last minute scenarios. 

Generally was an awful experience and tainted my impression of the M&A team from that point forward.

 
  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Sep 1, 2020 - 6:03am

First month in RX i didn't sleep on my 2nd and 3rd day of work. Literally was thrown into 3 live deals each in a very niche and specific sub-industry (Aviation MRO, EPCC, and Military-focused Shipyard). I think i almost collapsed on my 45th hour of work, was told to "go nap in the meeting room, but be back after 30 mins). I can't remember much of what i done during that time but i can tell you its lots of modelling, deck prep, reading up bankruptcy and tax laws. MD was ruthless and has a zero ounce of humanity in him regarding hours. He saw one of the associate literally fell asleep on his desk, pulled his chair almost making him fell to the floor and telling him to "wake the fuck up, or you can sleep in your house forever.". I actually have to go to the doctor because after sleeping on the 4th day, i was having shortness of breath and my chest hurts.

I knew right then and there that the job is like a well-paid gulag where you constantly challenging yourself physically and mentally while getting absolutely worked like a horse.

But my VP is highly supportive and she could tell that i would not last a year in the firm after such a insane first week of RX. She referred me to one of the firm's longstanding client and i took the role in PC after only 1,5 months or so in RX.

 
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Sep 1, 2020 - 11:21am

Also in RX.  Worst week was 8am-4-6am Monday-Friday then 10am-12-1am on Saturday and Sunday.  Combination of a an absurd ask w/ even more absurd timing expectations from the CFO of a company we were engaged w/ (guy was truly a douchebag, too) and a highly involved fire drill deck over the weekend.  The deck was the worst part because it was managed so poorly by the MDs.  Sent them a first turn mid-afternoon on Thursday and didn't hear a word back until late morning on Saturday.  Then, after what we all thought was the final turn on Sunday around 9pm, one of the MDs asked for credit doc summaries and DIP comps (pitch was Monday morning).  I had to take 30-45 minutes Friday afternoon because I literally could not see straight when I was reading. 

 
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Sep 1, 2020 - 11:29am

I don't think that a lot of M&A analysts are getting thrown onto RX deals, since every bank I know of w/ an RX practice has it's own RX team (i.e., doesn't farm out work to the M&A side).  We wouldn't ask an M&A analyst to do anything RX specific at my bank, would be super inefficient since they wouldn't know wtf they were doing.  Same reason M&A guys don't ask us to build merger models for them. 

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 1, 2020 - 3:41pm

lol bro reading discussion materials made me straight up shiver in fear especially when he wrote about his all nighter

 
Sep 1, 2020 - 5:17pm

Had a week with two all-nighters in it, and every other day including the weekend and start of the next week I was in until at least 2am, most days later. Def sucked.

Dayman?
 
Sep 1, 2020 - 10:20pm

I'm sorry, but... why do you guys do it? Some stories here are absolutely badshit crazy.
I did my fair time in M&A, granted fortunately never had these crazy 100h+ stories, because my group was great and I was just lucky, but if I ever had to pull through shit like this... I'd just quit.

There is so much great stuff out there, interesting, motivating work with really caring people - why spending time in a hostile, borderline insane environment? 

It's beyond me how broken this industry is (was?). 

 
Sep 2, 2020 - 7:15am

But it's delusional, isn't it? Only prestige you get is fake, you can do much more stimulating and prestigious things in other industries.
Money aspect is good, fair enough. But really worth the sacrifice? If someone told me I gotta pull an all-nighter during Christmas or sth, I'd fxkcing laugh at his face and quit. It's just pathetic what this industry became. 

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Sep 2, 2020 - 12:41am

Was on a pitch as a summer analyst and easily pulled +200 hours over two weeks. Each week was about 8am-3:30am. Weekends were almost nonexistent.

 
Sep 2, 2020 - 12:58pm

Worked on a buyside for a large Australian sovereign - would've been fine except half their team was spread across multiple offices in Australia, other half in New York, so you'd finish all the stuff for the New York guys, but then Aussie guys would wake up and you'd field all their requests, then they'd go to bed and the New York guys would wake up (I was in the Midwest, so slightly behind being in Central timezone). That made it so it felt like you never had a break, but at least everyone on the other side was pretty nice / chill, especially the junior guys + it was an interesting deal.

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 3, 2020 - 1:23pm

8:30-1/2am on Monday and Tuesday, which is pretty standard. Got comments on a pitch deck late on Wednesday which kept me at the office until around 4:30. Next day I'm told at lunch I need to get stuff to fly to client site, work from plane / hotel until around 2am, do client meeting, come back to office around 7pm on Friday and work until midnight, then in the office for 12ish hours a piece on Saturday and Sunday, not the worst but probably my only true 100+ hour week. 

 
Sep 3, 2020 - 1:57pm

Seems like the current week is always the worst week, until the next week starts. 

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done

 
Sep 4, 2020 - 12:54pm

Worst was easily the 3rd week of my summer internship (London):

Monday 9am to Tuesday 5am - Cab home, shower, back to office

Tuesday 7am to Wednesday 5am - Cab home, shower, back to office

Wednesday 7am to 9pm - Cab home, sleep till 8am Thursday

So 60ish hours straight.

 
Sep 4, 2020 - 4:23pm

My group had 1 week to get fully-committed sole financing for +$1bn to support transformational acquisition deal. Between Monday and Sunday morning, I worked 118 hours on model, credit docs, industry work, and putting together a package for my bank's board (needed board approval due to size/speed/risk of transaction).

We ended losing deal to a sponsor. My biggest regret was not having more to do on Sunday, as it was my only chance to hit over 130 hours.

 
Sep 15, 2020 - 11:25am
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