by Brian DeChesare Comments (29)

A Week in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst: Tuesday

Tuesday Investment BankerMy week continues with an account of what happened on Tuesday – not quite as dreaded as Monday, but still far from the weekend.

9 AM – No fire drills today, so I get to the office at a normal time once again. The morning is fairly slow and I spend most of my time making further changes to the presentation/Offering Memorandum for Client A from yesterday.

I defined fire drill back in my article on investment banking lingo, but it’s an emergency where the analyst has to produce something under a very tight time constraint (usually less than an hour). Often it turns out to be unnecessary.

12 PM – Multiple requests from different MDs; one of them wants to see an analysis of deal-related documents that Client B (the public company being sold to a larger public company) and the buyer are exchanging. Another one is asking for some old presentation we put together.

Managing Directors don’t interact much with analysts, but there are always exceptions. Everyone has a different style and some of the MDs are more “hands-on” than others. Sometimes if it’s a simple request the MD will just ask the analyst directly rather than going through 2-3 other layers of people.

3 PM – Have to run a Premiums Analysis for a potential client. Dealing with them is often more painful than working with real clients.

A Premiums Analysis is one of those valuation methodologies you may not know about if your knowledge of finance is limited to the Vault Guide.

When a public company is acquired, the buyer has to pay a premium to the seller’s share price so that there’s an actual reason to sell the company. Why would you sell for $25.00 if your share price is currently $24.75?

A Premiums Analysis lists all public companies that have been acquired in a certain market (for example, Internet companies) in a certain deal size range (over $5 billion USD) in a given time period (the past 2 years) and establishes the median 1-day, 20-day, 30-day, 60-day (and sometimes even more) premiums paid to the seller’s share price.

The medians are usually in the 15-35% range, and sellers will rarely agree to anything under 10% unless there are unusual circumstances (e.g. a recent run-up in the stock price).

If you apply the median of the set to the company you’re looking at, you get an idea of the price to expect.

For example, if the median premium is 20% and the client’s share price is $50.00, then they might expect at least $60.00 if they sell the company.

You can learn all about the premiums analysis, valuation, and other interview topics in the investment banking interview guide.

6 PM – Analysis takes longer than expected since most of our data is wrong or missing (this happens a lot). Client C (the private equity deal) has sent a flood of information throughout the day and I make further changes to our models.

8 PM – Some of the other analysts go out to eat. I want to leave before 2 AM so I pass on this one.

10 PM – Finish up work for Client C and speak with associate on changes for Client A’s presentation.

This is how the investment banking workflow works: constant revisions of presentations and documents until they’re in passable form. 90% of your time is spent on everything after the initial version.

1 AM – Accomplish my goal of heading home before 2. Changes took longer than expected.

2 AM – Decide to go work out despite being tired. I don’t recommend this.

Note to incoming analysts (and associates): If you’re into fitness, find a 24-hour gym near your office. Plan on hitting the gym only at unusual hours.

3 AM – Arrive back home, even more tired. Pass out.

This was a standard Tuesday – there was probably less downtime than normal, with 16 hours of actual work.

Series: A Week in the Life of an Investment Banker

M&I - Brian

About the Author

Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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  1. Nothing relevant here (your article was by the way!), but I love the confusion of the introduction picture. This guy obviously isn’t surfing on M&I.

  2. Brian,

    I am now interning with an IB and meawhile I am preapring for the interviews coming this fall. I am a rising junior by the way. What kind of questions will the interviewer ask me regarding this internship? I am working for FIG right now, but haven’t done much of the modeling here. Will my interviewer ask me about sth specific to FIG? Bank valuation?

    Thank you!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      If you’re going to a FIG-specific interview, yes. Otherwise, they might brush on it, and may ask you how much you know about valuation.

  3. Hello thank you this very informative post. I would just like to know which department of investment banking is this?
    Thank you.

  4. I wonder how did you have time to make this website when you are too bust doing I banking

  5. Thank you for making this informative site! Definitely got me contemplating on whether I really want to go into ibanking.

    As for your schedule, do you and others eat or have time for lunches? How much time is allocated for that by the firm, if at all?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes analysts have time for lunch though they usually eat at their desks. It really depends on the team, the deal cycle (whether you are busy or not), and how you want to allocate your time. For instance if you have a project/pitch due tomorrow and you still want to go to the gym, you may want to use that one hour of lunch break to the gym rather than having a long lunch.

  6. Hi, your posts really helped me to better understand the world of I-banking. I am currently an undergraduate doing a degree in business admin (major in finance). I have just finished my first year of study, and was offered a double degree together with law. I am contemplating to take up the offer. Will law give me an added advantage over other applicants for I-banking? Thanks.

    1. Not unless you’re in Australia where it’s common to do law + commerce to get in http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/degrees-certifications/

  7. This is actually the best website there is right now for me. I just graduated in financial economics and I’ve been thinking of how to get into the investment banking sector.
    I have one question, although I graduated with a degree in financial economics, I have been offered a job as a personal banker in Barclays. I know this isnt on comparable grounds to an I-Banker but is it possible to go from a P-Banker ( small scale clients ) to an I-Banker?

    1. Honestly don’t know about that think it would be pretty darn difficult to move over as a personal banker.

  8. Hello, I`m fifteen and I want to be an investment banker one day and I just wanted to know from an expert what I should do to here on out to be a successful banker? Also if I get my Bachelors degree in finance would it be easy for me to get a job as an analyst immediately after graduation?

    1. Stop thinking about investment banking…

  9. […] Investment Banking Lifestyle: A Day in the Life – Worst Day and Best Day, How to Stay Fit, Investment Banking Lingo Part 1 and Part 2, A Week in the Life (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday) […]

  10. This has to be the best website/blog in the history of www’s!
    Thanks for the share!

  11. So working from 8 a.m. and maybe even earlier, to 2 a.m. and maybe even later, how do you have time to do anything else. These times still doesn’t seem realistic to me. It’s like work all day then get 3-5 hours of sleep work some more and little rest. You even get called in on the weekends. So how do you have time for family, church(if applied), etc.(car maintenance, all other things in life that takes up time). How do you manage to find time?

    1. You don’t!

      It’s not ALWAYS this bad (look at the rest of the series) but in general you have almost no time for a personal life. Often you have to hire housekeepers and just pay other people to do everything for you.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. If I not that great on grammar and English, can I still succeed in the IB field? I am great at working hard, math, multitasking, and still working on the people skills. So can I still make it?

        1. Language/communication skills are actually MORE important than technical/quantitative ones because you’re constantly emailing and calling people in finance. Some people get in without those, but I would strongly suggest working on your “soft” skills as well.

  12. Arun Mantena

    Superb read…

    I always wanted to know what “EXACTLY” an I-banker does. The entire set of articles has a very insightful information describing alomst each hour of the week in an I-banker’s life.

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed

  13. excellent post.

    as someone who just finished MBA, and who is trying to get into equity research but has found the blow up of the sell side research model to be despiriting (and riskier i.e — will the research job still be there in 5 years? Research does not generate revenue per se, banking does…also, a lot of research is outsourced these days), I have recently started interviewing for i banking roles……

    This site has really helped me get a better idea of what happens out there, so thanks.

    1. Thanks, glad you like the site.

      I think research will still be around in 5 years, but it may become more of a buy-side job… it’s hard to make money with it in a post-Spitzer world.

  14. This isn’t directly related to your post, but do people break into I-banking after they get their MBAs? Let’s consider they didn’t work in consulting or i-banking prior to their MBA.

    1. Kevin: Yes, that’s actually extremely common. A lot of career changers get an MBA and then get into finance/management type fields.

  15. Shane Bokhari

    Great post.

    I’m relatively new to the website but I’ve been instantly hooked. All your articles are extremely helpful in one way or another. However, when you mention things like the Premiums Analysis among several others, it really makes a difference as readers like me get a true sense of what sort of work an analyst actually does.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Shane, glad you enjoyed it!

  16. nice, tortuous stuff you were getting huh

    what’s interesting is also what you didnt write.. how do you keep yourself awake through the hours from morning till late? how many cans/cups of redbulls/coffee do you drink? do you consume them at intervals? perhaps meditate a little bit? do you procrastinate at all even while knowing you have tons to do?

    1. I drink (or used to drink) a ton of coffee every day. Probably in the range of 10-15 cups.

      I also had some red bull occasionally and if things got really tough I would switch to yerba mate (really strong tea/stimulant from South America).

      I would try to space things out but sometimes I gave in and drank around 5 cups in the span of 15 minutes…

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