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Investment Banking - The Work Itself

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Investment Banking Hours: Will “Protected Weekends” Save You, or Will You Still Toil Away for 80-100 Hours per Week?

Tell anyone outside the finance industry that you work in investment banking, and they’ll ask you the same few questions each time: Why have you destroyed the economy multiple times? Why are you stealing money from poor people? Why are you not in jail? Oh, and why do you work so much?` For decades, investment […]
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Why Most M&A Deals Fail: Love and Marriage?

What’s the dumbest answer you’ve ever heard in an interview? I can think of 10-15 examples that might contend for first place. But if you asked me for the most ironic answer, it would be the average response to the “Why investment banking?” question. The most common line from career changers – consultants, lawyers, and […]
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Will Crowdfunding and Marketing Automation Disrupt the Traditional Investment Banking Business Model?

Will investment bankers still exist in 50 years? Ask a Bernie Sanders supporter, and his likely answer would be: “No! They’re all useless. I’ll kill them all myself and then burn Wall Street to the ground!” Back in the real world, though, bankers exist because of fundamental business needs: companies want to raise capital and […]
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What’s in a Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM)?

Do you need strong writing skills to succeed in finance? Not necessarily, but they certainly help. But you definitely need strong reading comprehension skills, or you’ll miss crucial information and make the wrong decisions as a result. Both of these skills intersect in the confidential information memorandum (CIM) that investment banks prepare for clients – […]
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How to Write the Equity Sales Team Memo: The Best Part of Working in ECM?

If you work in an equity capital markets team, one thing’s for certain: you will know how to raise capital like nobody else can. Writing memos, one might say, will be the ace up your sleeve. The good news is that these “equity sales team memos” are shorter than many of the documents you write […]
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The Definitive Agreement: Time for Bankers to Cross-Dress as Lawyers?

Lawyers get a lot of hate from bankers and financiers, but one fact often gets ignored amidst all that hate: in many cases, you’ll be pretending to be a lawyer no matter what your actual title is. One of those cases happens when an M&A deal is about to close, and both sides start circulating […]
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Private vs. Public M&A Deals: Got Divested Assets and a Stepped-Up Tax Basis?

When you start working in investment banking, you need to make a difficult decision that almost everyone overlooks… No, not what types of toys you should buy with your signing bonus. I’m talking about the types of companies you work with – not just the industries they’re in, or whether you work in an industry […]
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The Initial Public Offering (IPO) Process: Got Facebook Shares?

A long time ago, initial public offerings were the end game for many technology start-ups: you could go public, get acquired, or die a spectacular death. Or just muddle along and die a slower, more painful death. And then one company came along and changed all that. While everyone has been obsessing over Facebook’s IPO […]
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Why You Won’t Close a Single Deal in Your First Year of Banking – and What to Do About It

Everyone wants deals. And if you just started working in investment banking – or you’re going to soon – you’ve already done extensive research on how many deals your group does and the probability that you will get into Blackstone based on your expected deal experience. You need deal experience for buy-side interviews, for your […]
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Bottles and Bottles? How You Really Win Clients and Land Mega-Deals as an Investment Banker

Why does the mainstream media hate Wall Street so much? You can think of dozens of reasons, but one of the biggest is that they don’t understand what bankers really do to earn their fees. They see news of million-dollar bonuses and assume that financiers earn those bonuses by sitting around and playing Monopoly. But […]
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Investment Banking Fairness Opinions: Profitable and Prestigious, or Glamorless Gruntwork?

“Morgan Stanley is acting as financial advisor to the buyer and Credit Suisse is acting as financial advisor to the seller, with the fairness opinion provided by Houlihan Lokey.” So we’ve been over this “financial advisor to the buyer and seller” stuff before, but what about that fairness opinion bit? You always see sentences like […]
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What’s In Investment Banking Pitch Books?

If you’ve been reading this site awhile, you’ve seen a number of references to pitch books – whether they’re in day-in-the-life accounts, explanations of what bankers actually do, or even horror stories from other sources. But there hasn’t been much detail on what goes into pitch books, why you spend so much time on them, […]
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Do Investment Bankers Actually Add Value?

“With investment banking, you make a lot of money, and you get a distorted feeling of how wonderful you are. You’ll be flying around in corporate jets and you’ll be attending board meetings, but you don’t really add value.” -Guy Kawasaki, New York Times Interview And hey, it’s not just Guy – it’s a common […]
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What Do Investment Bankers Do?

I’ve seen many explanations of what investment bankers actually do, but they’ve all been either bad or boring. I can sum up what we do in 2 words and 1 picture: Ari Gold. Investment bankers are agents, just like Ari. We don’t create anything and we don’t buy anything; we just sell things that aren’t […]
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