One bit of feedback I’ve received over time is that my “Day In The Life” features are among your favorites. Whether it’s my worst day or my best day, everyone’s interested in… what bankers actually do.
In the spirit of the famed investment banking lifestyle, this article kicks off a series on what’s it like to be an investment banker – for 1 week.
This time around we’ll cover Sunday and Monday (what, you thought we had weekends off?) and each subsequent article will address the next day of the week.
12 PM - Wake up late. Was up late the night before at a friend’s birthday (fun, but no models and bottles). Find food and get ready for the day.
1 PM – Head to gym. While there, run into another friend at a different bank and talk about plans for next year (one of the most popular discussion topics among analysts) and why neither of us is in the office currently.
3 PM – Relaxing near the pool post-workout when The Dreaded Email arrives. Client A, a sell-side M&A client, has reviewed a presentation we sent yesterday and has changes. I have to run to the office at 4 to discuss the changes and then revise the presentation.
4 PM – While on a call going over the changes, I get bored and begin internet surfing in the background. Most of the edits involve wording and font sizes on graphs through 100 or so slides. This is going to take some time to finish because of the sheer volume of changes.
10 PM - I finish up with the revisions and the associate sends it out to the client. Meanwhile, Client B, a public company being sold to a bigger public company, has sent over revised projections and we need to update our merger model.
A merger model (also called accretion / dilution model or combo model) is used to analyze the impact of an acquisition. The output, called the accretion / dilution, is the change in EPS (Earnings Per Share) and the most important inputs are purchase price, form of consideration (cash, stock, or debt), and the buyer and seller’s financial profiles.
11 PM – Finish the updates and head home.
This was a normal Sunday – some time for fun, some work, and being in the office for at least part of the day.
9 AM – Arrive at work and chaos is unfolding – a standard Monday morning.
We’re working on further revisions to the presentation for Client A, and the Director in charge of the deal is quite persistent with the “Are you done yet?” questions.
At the same time, we’re also multi-tasking between that and getting NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) executed for Client C, a large public company we are selling to several private equity firms.
Getting NDAs (also called Confidentiality Agreements (CAs), among other terms) executed involves sending the document back and forth between legal representatives of the buyer and seller until they reach agreement. It’s a joke because there’s no way to enforce an NDA, but both parties want protection for their trade secrets and employees if nothing comes of the discussions.
In this case the associate is handling most of the work.
2 PM – CFO of Client C (the private equity deal) sends updated financial statements and other information that we need to incorporate into our own models and into the materials we’re sending to the buyer(s). VP informs me this is needed “ASAP.”
5 PM – Finish up the updated model and send it to the VP, who sends it to Client C’s CFO so he can “sign off” on it. Just as I’m finishing, I learn that I’m being staffed on an upcoming Fairness Opinion for an M&A deal that is set to be announced soon.
A Fairness Opinion is an extremely rigorous valuation that is prepared by a bank for legal reasons (to “prove” that a deal price is “fair”). It’s a bit silly because no bank is ever going to say that a price is not fair, and they’ve become formalities that are required to counter shareholder lawsuits following a deal.
8 PM – Head to the conference room to eat dinner quickly with other analysts and then go back and try to wrap up an Offering Memorandum and presentation for Client A. The associate is side-tracked on other projects all night so I have to handle this work.
An Offering Memorandum (or Information Memorandum (IM) or Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM) ) is a long document with an overview of a company, including its products/services, customers, management, history, and financial profile that “sells” it to potential buyers. As an analyst or associate you spend a lot of time working on these.
12 AM – Head home.
This was a typical Monday – 15 or so hours of work, some chaos in the morning and a decent amount of actual work at night.
Series: A Week in the Life of an Investment Banker