Our series continues with an account of Wednesday of the same week in my life as an analyst. This one is the closest to a “typical day” of anything in this series.
8 AM – Join a customer due diligence call for an upcoming IPO for Client D. No way I’m in the office this early so I take this one from home.
Bankers conduct customer due diligence calls as part of any IPO process to “vet” the company, make sure its customers are happy, and ensure that there are no major issues investors need to know about.
Sometimes with international customers, you get calls at 11 PM and 5 AM and such (another reason why bankers work so much: to stay awake for these calls…).
8:20 AM – In the midst of the call, a fire drill erupts and one of our potential clients needs information pulled on potential acquisitions before a 9 AM Board Meeting. I have not left my apartment yet so panic sets in and I start calling every other analyst in our office.
8:40 AM – I’m saved. The Star of our office gets back to me – as expected, he is there early to cover for me. He sends over the information.
9:30 AM – On my way to the office, my associate calls me to ask why I’m not there yet. He is about to call Client A (the one we’ve been working on the presentation and Offering Memorandum for) to discuss things. Explain that I will be there in 2 minutes.
10 AM – Call with Client A concludes and the associate and I review changes. This is revision #78 or so by now.
12 PM – Nothing immediate to do, so I run to Starbucks, the lifeblood of investment banking analysts everywhere. This is coffee #5 for the day, about par for the course. While I’m there, get Blackberry message that Client C (the private equity deal) has sent over further changes and materials for the buyers need to go out “today.”
3:30 PM – As I’m cranking through changes for Client C, a draft Purchase Agreement for Client B (the public company being acquired by a larger public company) arrives.
A Purchase Agreement (also called a Definitive Agreement or Stock Purchase Agreement, among other terms) defines the key terms of an acquisition. Beyond just the price the buyer is paying, other important terms are the representations and warranties (what the buyer/seller state is legally true about their businesses), the treatment of options (ignored, assumed, or cashed out) and the termination fee or break-up fee (how much the buyer or seller pays if either one cancels the deal after agreeing to it).
5 PM – Finish off work for Client C and go through the Purchase Agreement with the associate to summarize the major points. Sometimes analysts get no exposure to the legal side of deals, but I was fortunate enough to learn about it here.
6 PM – Finish our summary and have the presentations department print presentations for a meeting between Client A and a potential buyer the next day.
6:30 PM – Passing in and out of consciousness due to (relative) lack of sleep the night before. Associate for Client C has a few changes and I make them quickly.
8 PM – Things slow to a crawl. No requests and no fire drills, so I start looking online for new furniture to decorate my apartment. I’ve missed dinner with everyone else so I go outside to find something to eat.
8:55 PM – Contemplate “leaving early.” Decide it’s too risky.
9 PM – Good thing I didn’t leave early. Client A calls us and wants to change the wording in one slide of our presentation. The only problem: the Director in charge is already on his way to the airport, 20 copies in hand. His flight leaves at 10.
9:30 PM – Changes made and another 20 copies in hand, I rush to the airport to drop off the revised presentation. The Director wonders why I’m out of breath when he sees me.
10:30 PM – Flood of emails from Client C. They do not want us to send materials out yet, despite the VP wanting to send them “today.” Sure enough, they have… more changes.
12 AM – Send the revised version to the associate for inspection. Head home. Only bad TV re-runs are on so I fall asleep quickly.
As I wrote above, this is the closest example I have of a “typical day” in investment banking: periods of calm followed by periods of chaos. Despite all the work, I even had some downtime to shop online!
Series: A Week in the Life of an Investment Banker