by Brian DeChesare Comments (103)

What’s In Investment Banking Pitch Books?

Presentation and collaboration by business people in office

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, where you can get some samples, and how you can learn to make them.

So let’s get started:

Types of Pitch Books

People use the term “pitch book” for almost any type of PowerPoint presentation that you create in investment banking.

But this is too broad for our purposes, so I’m going to split “pitch books” into the 3 main types of presentations you create:

  1. Market Overviews / Bank Introductions – Introducing your bank and giving updates to potential clients.
  2. Deal Pitches – Sell-side M&A, buy-side M&A, IPOs, debt issuances, and so on.
  3. Management Presentations – Pitching a client to investors once you’ve actually won the client.

There are other types and sub-types, but 99% of your work in PowerPoint falls into one of these 3 categories.

Common Elements

These 3 main variants have a few common elements:

  1. Title Slide with the date, bank or client logo, and description of the presentation.
  2. Table of Contents listing the different sections right after the Title Slide.
  3. Slides with bulleted text and slides with graphs / diagrams.

There are no fancy transitions, animations, 3d effects, or anything else: pitch books are printed out 99% of the time, so none of that makes sense.

The length varies widely – some presentations might be 10 pages and others might be 150 pages depending on the category, where you’re working, and how much your MD wants you to suffer.

Market Overviews / Bank Introductions

This is the simplest type of pitch book – it’s usually around 10-20 slides that introduce your bank and give an overview of recent market activity to “prove” that your bank knows what it’s talking about.

Common elements:

1. Slides showing your bank’s organization, the different departments, and how “global” you are.

2. Several “tombstone” slides that show recent deals your bank has done in a particular sector. So if you’re presenting to Exxon Mobil, you might show recent energy M&A deals, IPOs, and debt offerings you have advised on.

Along with these, you might create “league table” slides that show how your bank ranks in different areas like tech M&A deals, equity issuances, and so on.

3. “Market overview” slides showing recent trends and deals in the market and data on how similar companies (“comps”) have been performing lately.

These types of pitch books are the least painful for investment banking analysts because you mostly just copy slides from elsewhere and update existing data.

Some banks don’t even use these types of presentations at all – they’re more common at smaller banks where you actually need to introduce yourself.

Sell-Side M&A Pitch Books

Here’s where the fun begins. These pitch books are the longest and most complex, and can sometimes be well over 100 slides.

You create these when a company says, “We want to sell, and we’re holding a bake-off to select a bank to represent us. You get to play – create a presentation and then pitch us on why we should choose you.”

The usual contents:

1. Bank Overview

This is similar to #1 and #2 above, but there’s more of an emphasis on cutting data in creative ways to make your bank look better than it actually is.

“We’re not #1 in energy deals over $1 billion? Try $1.5 billion… try North America only… try between $750 million and $1.5 billion!”

2. Situation / Positioning Overview

Here’s where you create a few textual slides on what makes the company attractive and how you would pitch it to potential buyers.

You might also create graphs showing how quickly the market is growing and how this company dominates the competition, even if it doesn’t.

3. Valuation Summary

This is where you exaggerate the company’s value and make bold promises so that your bank can win the deal.

You start off with a textual summary, then present the infamous “football field” graph showing the company’s valuation according to different methodologies.

Then you show individual methodologies such as public comps, precedent transactions, and a DCF.

Senior bankers usually know how much a company is worth, so they give you a number and you have to work backward to make the data support it.

Yet another reason why banking is not rocket science.

4. Potential Buyers

This is where you give an exhaustive list of everyone who could potentially buy this company.

You might split this into strategic acquirers (normal companies) and financial sponsors (PE firms and hedge funds), and you include a summary slide in the beginning followed by detailed descriptions (“company profiles”) afterward.

This can easily be the most painful section of the entire pitch book.

Imagine looking up a company’s business description, products, executives, and financial information and pasting all of that into PowerPoint… now repeat that 20 times.

5. Summary / Recommendations

You give advice and recommend how many buyers the company should approach, how long it will take, and what your bank is going to do in this section.

These are almost always templated slides taken from other presentations, so this part isn’t too painful.

6. Appendix

This contains all the data that no one reads.

You might paste more detailed models, backup data, and even lengthier lists of company profiles into this section.

Bankers like to make presentations as long as possible so thick appendices are very common.

Buy-Side M&A Pitch Books

These are similar to sell-side M&A pitch books, so I won’t repeat everything – the key differences:

  1. They’re shorter because not as much data is stuffed into the appendix.
  2. Rather than listing potential buyers, you list potential acquisition candidates – this list may be much longer and you may create more profiles for these companies.
  3. There’s not as much information on the company’s own valuation – you’re buying another company, not being sold.

Despite being shorter, buy-side pitch books may be more annoying because you have more time-consuming company profiles.

Debt Financing or IPO Pitch Books

These are both similar to the sell-side and buy-side pitch books above. The differences:

  1. There are no company profiles and no potential buyers / potential acquisitions sections.
  2. You include relevant financing models – for example, an IPO model showing what multiple a company might go public at and how much in proceeds it will receive.

With no company profiles, these presentations are somewhat less painful than M&A pitch books.

Management Presentations

These pitch books – created for real clients instead of prospective clients – are less quantitative and are more focused on the client’s strengths.

You’re pitching the company itself to investors (for debt / equity offerings) or to potential buyers (for sell-side M&A) so you use the client’s colors and presentation theme rather than your bank’s.

The structure depends on the client’s industry – a management presentation for a bank will look much different than a presentation for a tech company.

If we assume that the company is a “standard” one selling products or services to customers, a typical structure might be:

  1. Executive Summary / Company Highlights
  2. Market Overview
  3. Products & Services
  4. Sales & Marketing
  5. Customers
  6. Expansion Opportunities
  7. Org Chart
  8. Historical & Projected Financial Performance

You never use company profiles, information about your own bank, information on other companies (e.g. showing the comps), or valuation data in these presentations.

You still use a mix of bulleted text slides and graph/diagram slides, but it’s harder to generalize the exact slides you might see.

Common slide types: Bar graph showing the total addressable market each year; graphical display of all the company’s products; customers by geography, industry, and size; historical and projected income statements and the most recent balance sheet.

For asset-heavy industries like financial institutions and oil & gas, it doesn’t make sense to discuss “products” or “customers” so you would instead give more detail on their assets, proven and unproven reserves, and so on.

Management Presentations are less repetitive to create than other types of pitch books, but they also take more time to complete.

You might throw together a sell-side M&A pitch book in a few days, but management presentations often take weeks.

That’s not because they’re longer – most of the time they’re actually shorter, in the 30-50 slide range.

Instead, they take more time because you need to interact with the client, get their feedback, and go through more iterations.

Regional Variances

The US tends to have the lengthiest pitch books – bankers there like to do work for the sake of doing work.

In emerging markets, such as investment banking in Saudi Arabia, pitch books tend to be simpler and less focused on numbers.

English is the predominant language used in pitch books, but sometimes you see local languages depending on the market – the best example is Japan, where you pretty much need to know the language or you can’t do anything.

Other Types of Pitch Books

There are a couple other types of pitch books and sub-types of the ones described above:

1) Combo Pitch Book / Scenario Analysis

A company isn’t sure whether it wants to go public or sell – so you create a pitch book with both scenarios and show the tradeoffs.

You might also do this if you’re pitching a restructuring deal and you want to show what happens if the company sells vs. declares bankruptcy vs. restructures itself vs. refinances its debt.

2) “Targeted Deal” Pitch Book

A buyer has just approached your client with an acquisition offer and you want to show accretion / dilution under different scenarios.

In this case you would skip all the upfront materials about your bank and just get into business, showing mostly numbers from your analysis.

3) “Client Update” Presentations

You create these if you’re running an M&A deal and you want to update the client on your progress.

You would skip all the fluff and just create a few slides showing who you’ve contacted, what they’ve said, and a summary of any offers received so far.

4) Fairness Opinions

You do these right before a deal is officially announced – they consist of detailed valuations that prove the price your client is receiving (or paying) is “fair.”

Again, you skip all the fluff and get straight into business with a few slides that summarize the offer terms and then a whole lot of slides with valuation graphs and data.

Differences at Boutiques vs. Bulge Brackets

Pitch books are similar no matter what bank you’re at, but there can be a few differences:

  1. Bulge brackets tend to be more numbers-focused while smaller places may be more qualitative and market-focused.
  2. Bulge brackets often show more scenarios than boutiques and therefore have lengthier pitch books.

In Other Areas of Finance

Sometimes you see similar types of presentations in private equity, hedge funds, and asset management.

But these presentations are shorter and have less fluff compared to investment banking pitch books.

Some buy-side firms like to make analysts and associates create “investment memos” that summarize everything for the Partners before they make an investment decision.

These look similar to the Management Presentations described above – whether or not you do them depends on your firm’s culture.

Why Do You Spend So Much Time On Them?

You never create pitch books from scratch – you’re always working off of templates and pasting in data from other sources.

So that raises the question – “If pitch books aren’t rocket science, why do you spend so much time on them?”

Much of this goes back to why bankers work so much – so let’s go through the reasons.

Attention to Detail

You will spend a lot of time making sure that everything is properly footnoted, that all your sentences end with periods, and that the employee counts for all 50 of your company profiles are 100% correct.

Conflicting Changes

If you’ve read Monkey Business, you already know about this one: yup, nothing has changed in 20+ years.

When you distribute your pitch book, the Associate will make one set of changes, the VP will make another, and the MD will make another – which results in conflicts on every single slide.

You will also spend a lot of time receiving marked-up pitch book faxes at 3 AM and then implementing all the changes.

Dozens of Revisions

It’s not uncommon to see “v73” and other large numbers at the end of each file name – sometimes you go through over 100 revisions of a single pitch book.

These have diminishing returns after the first few major changes, but bankers follow the 20/80 rule instead of the 80/20 rule.

You’ll also spend a lot of time trying to decipher what your VP meant when you can’t read anything he marked up in red pen on your latest draft.

Inefficiencies & Pride

It’s one thing if a senior banker wants to sketch out a new graph for you to create, but often they re-write the text of entire slides on the printouts of those slides.

That alone takes longer than re-typing it in the first place, but then it also costs you time because you have to read their markup, interpret it, and type it all over yourself.

Why? Because senior bankers are “above” editing PowerPoint files directly.

Irrational Obsessions

Finally, bankers have irrational obsessions: if you’re not murdering people in your bathtub, you’re changing minutiae in a pitch book instead.

When you’re pitching a company, relationships and the actual in-person pitch matter far more than the presentation – but rather than focusing on those, bankers like to spend time on tasks they feel more comfortable with, like changing font sizes in a presentation.

Where Can You Get Example Pitch Books?

They’re quite tough to come by – leaked pitch books are easy to trace back to whoever leaked them because they include bank logos and specific company names.

So, it’s far more difficult to get sample pitch books than it is to find sample Excel models.

Still, you can find a few if you scour the Internet:

Many of these are quite old, but bankers are creatures of habit, and pitch books barely change aside from the formatting and color schemes.

Another Option

If you’re looking for another way to learn, we also offer comprehensive PowerPoint training on Breaking Into Wall Street:


PowerPoint Pro

Master PowerPoint by creating a sell-side M&A / valuation pitch book for Jazz Pharmaceuticals - plus company/deal profiles and more.

learn more

These tutorials walk you through the process of creating a sell-side pitch book as well as company and deal profiles that you could use in assessment centers, case study-based interviews, and even on the job itself.

These aren’t 100% representative of what you’d see at a bank because they skip over the “bank introduction” section – but you don’t do much original work there as an analyst anyway.

What Do You Do With Them?

Before you start working in banking, you should get familiar with the layout of these different types of pitch books and try to learn some PowerPoint basics.

Don’t go crazy with it because a lot of the process depends on your bank, but it’s always good to know the structure and how to arrange slides, text, and objects before you start working.

More questions? Ask away.

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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Read below or Add a comment

  1. Joao Bastos

    Hi Brian,

    As a beginner in this area, I wonder if you can provide any tips on how to structure a brief buy-side advising pitch-book of an acquisition process that includes the “mandatory points”.

    Thank you so much.


  2. Hello Brian,
    Great article !
    I was wondering : what is the methodology to find potential buyers for a sell-side M&A pitchbook?

    1. Do a screen in Capital IQ based on industry and capital available and then narrow it based on each company’s strategic, acquisition proclivity, past deals, etc.

  3. Johanna doyle

    very interested in purchasing both Powerpoint Pro and Excel course, but I currenty use an 2007 version of MS excel/word/powerpoint. Do I need to upgrade my software first? many thanks Johanna

    1. You can potentially use 2007, but you should really upgrade to at least 2010, especially for PowerPoint. The current PowerPoint course is based on PowerPoint 2016, which is similar to 2013 and 2010 but quite different from 2007. With Excel, it’s less of an issue, but an upgrade would help as well.

  4. You should mention another of the core reasons why bankers work so much:

    A lot of the extra time spent on tasks is to “impress” the client. You need to project this sort of “caliber” for your bank that is as high as possible.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Thanks for your input!

  5. Hi
    I’m currently interning at an IB. I wanted to know how long is too long to be working on a pitchbook? I feel like I’m much slower than I should be.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      It really depends on the pitch so we cannot say. I wouldn’t worry too much about it as long as you’re meet expectations.

  6. the ubs and bear stearns pitchbook are no longer available. does anyone has an updated link or could send me those documents? thx in advance

    1. We don’t have the links anymore, but we’re going to update this article soon with new examples.

  7. I don’t understand why people say you need experience in investment banking to get into private equity. I mean perhaps it is true just to appeal to the PE recruiters, but if you want to do your own deals, surely something more useful like restructuring or consulting would give you a better skill set?

    I’m just wondering what investment banking has to offer for those who wish to start their own funds or companies. It seems like IB is basically minutiae at worst and sales at best? Not complaining or ranting here, this is just what I got from this article and others.

    To summarize: is investment banking necessarily the best route to take if you want to build your own firm/company?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes if you’re looking to start your own fund/company, I don’t think IB is the best bet for you. Consulting maybe more useful.

  8. Hi,

    Just a quick question about Breaking into Wallstreet modelling courses…

    There are a few different packages/options to choose from, I was wanting to know which would suit a person who has no prior knowledge of modelling, wanting to work in London (would it be different from US?) and not certain yet of which group/industry to join?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      CK, thanks for your email and interest in our courses! Yes, our “Excel & Modeling Fundamentals” maybe best for you, especially if you have no prior knowledge in modeling and no particular interest in an industry. The course focuses on accounting and financial modeling along with valuation, including public comps/precedent transactions, DCF analysis, merger model, and LBO analysis. It covers all of the major items that would be required knowledge for an investment banking or equity research interview. Please let us know if you have other questions. For more details on the course, please visit We look forward to seeing you in our BIWS community!

      1. Brilliant!

        Thanks for the info Nicole… Sounds great, I’m going to look into it.

        1. M&I - Nicole

          You’re welcome!

  9. So, when a company is pitched to a buyer – is the valuation analysis included in the presentation for the buyer? I am guessing one pitches a company for a specific price and then the two sides negotiate over that.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes the analysis is included in it most of the time.

      1. That’s interesting because if I understand correctly, the valuation analysis would always give a range. In that case, wouldn’t it be hard to negotiate a a price when you give the buyer a range of valuation (since he’ll obviously try to push it towards the lower end).

        1. Sell side provides one number and it’s up to the buy side to argue for a lower value. Everybody understands that there is no ‘exact’ valuation. Negotiations then ensue.

  10. hi,
    sorry, off topic but i really need your advice on this
    I’m and undergraduate in my 2nd year in india ,
    I’m really keen on cracking the suumer analyst internship at ‘Goldmansachs India’ . I have 4 months from now to work on it . Please tell me some courses I can do or other things which gives me an edge over others. or maybe something which increases my chances . please guide me over this .

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d suggest you to check out You may find the Fundamentals course and Networking Toolkit useful for you. If you go to the site or sign up on our email list, you’ll see sample videos. Feel free to let us know if you have other questions!

  11. Do you have any thoughts on presentation management tools, which automate pushing of new data and slides to end users, manage the content, provide oversight/governance, etc? I’ve seen demos of Heartbeat Experts and Presentation Library, but there are others. Every use them and/or have feedback about them?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I have not used them nor used them so I can’t comment. Readers may have more suggestions!

  12. Can anyone recommend some good powerpoint training recommendations?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      You may find our course useful. Let us know if this is of interest to you!

  13. Do you do any financial modeling as part of buy-side pitches? For instance, DCF and accretion / dilution analysis for a proposed acquisition target?

    1. Yes, but mostly valuation if you do anything at all. Accretion / dilution is possible but most likely not until talks develop further.

  14. What is a Green Book?

    Does it have something to do with Client Management?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Readers can give you better insights

  15. Interned in PE this summer. does the analyst or the VP actually structure the ppt? IE, who comes up with the main points like growth strategy, etc? as an analyst I assume there is no creativity – its just the Sr. banker. right?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes senior levels usually structure the PPT though you can also add your inputs so there is some level of creativity. It depends on your firm too

  16. GrEat article!!

    What exactly is in a company profile?
    I understand they are usually prepared by interns and analysts, but what are senior bankers exactly looking for in a company profile?

    Do current market trends and recommendations/advice have to be incorporates?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      Generally: 1. Financial profile (rev/profits, market cap, cash, etc.) 2. Company description and products/services. 3. Customer base and geographies. 4. Key executives, management team, and Board.

      Market overview/recs are usually in pitch books

      1. Thanks!

        For financials do we have to include financial ratios?

        I have a company profile writing test which is 3 hours long, at a top boutique. I will be given a laptop and Internet access.

        Do you know what exactly they are looking for? Thanks!
        Appreciate any advice

        1. M&I - Nicole

          For most cases, I don’t think so though I may be wrong.

  17. Hi Brian,

    I really want to see some of the good pitchbooks. Do you have any advice on how to get some good sample pitchbooks?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      Network with bankers from top tier firms like GS, get them drunk and ask them to show you their pitch books ;)

      Pitch books are usually confidential…

  18. Hi Brian,

    Can you talk about what goes into the company profiles? how many pages? and any advice how to make it look good and insightful?

    1. Generally: 1. Financial profile (rev/profits, market cap, cash, etc.) 2. Company description and products/services. 3. Customer base and geographies. 4. Key executives, management team, and Board.

      I don’t think you can really make it look insightful – just make it look clean, polished, and well-formatted (quadrants are good).

      1. Thanks for your reply. For a broad buy-side pitchbook, when I am preparing the company profile, should I add something like an investment highlights? and any advice on make it look good?

        1. Keep it short, just include a company description but don’t include investment highlights unless you’re only focused on a few potential targets.

  19. Is it bad if i got a C in financial accounting but then an A in managerial? the C is freaking me out and scaring me into thinking I won’t be able to get an internship

    1. M&I - Nicole

      If your GPA is above 3.5 you should be fine as long as you can explain why you got a C in Accounting (or at least try not to bring that up in interviews)

  20. Which outline works best if I’m interested in presenting my company to individual investors for a joint venture?

    In my case, I’m looking to expand internationally and am looking for a foreign investment partner to set up a joint venture in a manufacturing enterprise.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      The article provided an outline of what pitch books are like – I think you could refer to that. Not sure if I could tell you which outline works best on this comment forum.

  21. Dear M&I,
    which books/tutorials/videos would you recommend to learn PowerPoint “enough” for IB? Of course except breaking into wallstreet mentioned in this amazing article.

    1. Have never found anything great, but maybe check out the PPT for Dummies book for a quick intro…

  22. Maybe you can do an article on Presentations Departments… and why they hate us even more than we hate them. Is this the same elsewhere? And why is this?

    1. Haha they get so many annoying requests, it’s no wonder they hate everyone.

      1. TheMightyPenfold

        I’m one of those evil PresOps. Some reasons why there might be conflict of sorts:

        1) Presentations is something of a dying job, at least in its present form. Most departments are now outsourced and many of the larger teams have a growing offshored presence in places like Mumbai and Pune. As such, getting a permanent job in Presentations is increasingly unlikely and the wage/salary has stagnated (for example, a daily hourly rate of £13 is common now, the same amount as eight years ago). Equivalent roles outside the financial sector tend to pay far less, so naturally, operators want to remain in Presentations, but job security has evaporated, particularly as so many PresOps are now employed on temporary contracts, no notice can be given before a job is terminated.

        2) The quality threshold has noticably declined in the last few years. In the old days, analysts would mark up a presentation/pitch book on paper and them submit it to Presentations who would produce the Powerpoint or Word file to exacting marketing, branding, stylistic and typographical standards set by the company. If the deadline was tight, the job would be split amongst a number of operators to fit the deadline. New recruits to Presentations would be trained in the template for 4-10 days and would be monitored closely for a set period after that to ensure that the work being produced was a consistently high standard. Now, analysts are expected to do the majority of pitch book/presentation work themselves and the PresTeam may receive difficult pages to work on or rapid turnover jobs. Because the only training in pitch books the analysts have received is an overview of how the various Excel/Powerpoint macros work, formatting standards are usually terrible and the PresOps have no time to overhaul the document. Therefore banks and similar companies have shifted from requiring ‘good’ presentations to ‘good enough’, because ultimately, it’s cheaper this way.

        3) The composition of a Presentations Team may be quite unlike the rest of the bank, with a hodgepodge of different backgrounds, interests, hobbies, previous jobs/careers, political viewpoints — often quite a contrast to the more homogenous composition (in my view)of the rest of the bank. Also, a PresTeam may be paid quite differently from anyone else, with hourly pay for the temporary staff and different rates depending on the shift worked (standard for days, an increased rate for evenings and a premium rate for night/graveyard shift and weekends). Presentations is often the only part of a bank where overtime is paid. Permenent staff may qualify for an end-of-year bonus, which here in the UK may be anything from £250-£2500, depending on hours/shifts worked, seniority and years of employment. All of this can — and often does — mean the PresTeam regards itself as different to the rest of the bank, or even as outsiders.

        4) As more analysts spend more time working on pitch books, the respect certain analysts (and higher-ups) had for Presentations has eroded. Instead of being seen as a skilled department, these people see Presentations as little more than a mopping-up service, to use when they really cannot spend the time required on putting together that damnable presentation. This is all very good for the Print Team, though, as analysts still love those binding skills.

        5) And of course those stupid requests… many PresTeams feel under utilised, because many of us do know how a good presentation or pitch book should look. Ask our opinion and listen to us when we point out that a world map with 250 annotated points of many colours will look terrible squeezed into a quarter of a page (hint: it looks terrible on a whole page too) and will take us many hours to do. Better to have a table instead — much less time for us to complete; much more informative for your clients and/or supervisors. You really don’t need to shoehorn 800 words, three pie charts, a waterfall chart and a timeline into one page. There is not a war on white space. Joseph never called for his table of many colours. Charts really don’t need assorted corporate logos scattered everywhere. And you definitely do not require that computer-generated oil field map you found in a client’s annual report to be recreated in company colours in Powerpoint. Think KISS. And if you work with us, we might –just might — be able to reduce your workload.

        In short, love your PresTeam. And me might just tolerate you. And we are unlikely to be around for too long as we are not seen as ‘wealth creators’ — in ten years, your ‘Presentations Team’ will be a couple of out-of-schoolers on minimum wage… and a cage full of dollar-a-day Chinese slaves.

        1. Thanks, awesome contribution! Will see if we can run something on that soon.

          1. TheMightyPenfold

            An interesting observation is that Presentations was, back in the day, spun out of secretarial/administration and it looks like that’s where Presentations will eventually return. Separate Presentations Departments (even offshored ones) are seen as too costly and (theoretically) irrelevant, but it makes little economic sense to bog down analysts with formatting tasks. And bankers’ don’t think of their secretaries and PAs as a cost…

        2. Hi, I need a pitchbook prepared for a fund raising round – anyone with experienced interested to work on this? Must have loads of existing experience and as always, it’s urgent.

  23. Nice article!!

    A question….So who actuually makes the presentations? the VP/MD I’m guessing? How does that happen….is there some formal way, any time limits etc?

    It might be pretty scary to give a presentation to the top management of a company. I guess thats why the MDs are paid so well? I guess the MD should be in a position to field any questions as well?

  24. Mistake in page 3 of UBS pitch book: “Proctor” should be “Procter”…
    Keeping with the “attention to detail” theme.

  25. I’m a software developer working for an Investment banking firm. I have developed a sophisticated PowerPoint addin used by hundreds of analysts and financial officers for automating pitch book creation process , which has significantly increased their productivity.
    As far as I know there is no any comparable product out there because unlike Excel very few developers are familiar or work on PP object model ,so I was wondering if any Investment banking is interested in this product or you guys can give me some suggestions for marking this product.

    1. Not sure about that one – might want to ask on WallStreetOasis as my contacts in banking aren’t that great anymore with most friends having moved onto the buy-side

    2. I could sure use a PP addin like that! Send it along…

    3. Hi Edward,

      I am an IT manager at an investment bank and I am looking for exactly this kind of software. Where can I find more info about it?

    4. hey edward. would you be able to speak sometime about the addin? would love to see what it is.

      thank you!

  26. Two Questions:
    1. Do you think its possible that the people who hate the work the most are privileged kids who are used to a certain way of life and think the work is in a way “beneath them”? I ask because I think despite all of the horror stories I would still be glad to work as an investment banker partly because I didn’t exactly grow up rich.
    2. For someone like me with very limited financial experience, do you think it would be easy for me to go in as I am now and still be able to do the job effectively (like, will training prepare me for everything I need to know)?

    1. 1. Not really, everyone gets tired of fixing printers at 3 AM and never sleeping at some point.

      2. Yes, as long as you can learn quickly.

  27. M&I.

    I’m in the middle of my summer internship in the IBD of a boutique..
    Entering my 3rd week of my internship, and I haven’t been involved in any live deals…!

    Been doing a lot of grunt works (PPT slides, formatting etc).

    My supervisor (an associate) promises me to put me into a bond issuance deal though. Although I think my role in the deal will be very minimum too..

    Is this normal?

    1. That is actually quite normal. A lot of interns don’t do much real work, I would try to get what experience you can but don’t panic over it.

      1. I saw in one of your posts that the best kind of works that an intern can get is working in real deals.

        Just wondering, why would the full timers put interns in live deals? And what kind of role do the interns play there?

        1. You would be put on live deals if they were short on headcount or they liked / trusted you and wanted you to contribute. You would just support the full-time analysts by finding data, updating models, and that sort of work though there are always exceptions.

  28. I feel that IB attracks only people with now cultural capital, from the lowest social classes (because having no life can only be attractive to those who already have no life).

    Am i right? Could you please describe the type of people (their backgrouds, etc) whodo work / want to work in IB? What do u think?

    1. I don’t think that’s true necessarily. It attracts ambitious people who want to do well financially and will work non-stop to do that.

      I stay away from describing specific ethnicities / backgrounds etc. because it tends to offend people, so I’ll leave it at that.

      1. The types of ppl that work in banking are generally middle-upper class, men. Tend to go to a top 25 school, and are composed of maybe 70% white, and the rest a minority (mostly asian, and indian).

        If anything, it is somewhat discriminatory towards middle, middle-lower class, not the opposite.

  29. M&I, I just finished my 3rd year and interning at local boutique i-bank as a summer analyst.

    I plan to apply to BB after my college, but I will at a disadvantage compared to people who have done their internship at BB after their 3rd year.

    I will not have time to do an internship during school year as a 4th year, since I have some GPA catching to do, so this will further the gap.

    Is networking the only way to go? I find it bit hard and awkward to just ask alumni and say look I go to your school, can you please hire me. Have any suggestion to turn this into warm, more stand out networking?

    My school does not have any recruiters, database in Career Services, and very few alumni who broke into finance (they tend to drop the school name out of their resume and lives once graduated)

    Thank you so much for you help

    1. There isn’t much more you can really do – you don’t necessarily need to ask the alumni for a job right away, so maybe just ask for a 10-minute chat at first and get to know them, then when recruiting comes around in the fall you actually make your ask after you’ve spoken to them at least once.

  30. M&A Analyst

    I have a question, perhaps not relevant to this blog, but much so to your blogs; do Analysts work 80-100 hours/week every week? If no, how many weeks would you classify as 80-100 and how many as less than 80? How about an article which doesn’t peek in to one week/day but perhaps the 2 years of an Analysts life??

    1. You don’t necessarily work 80-100 hours/week every single week, but I would say 90% of the time you do work at least that much. It slows down a bit in August and near the holidays, but other than that it’s non-stop. Hard to document 2 entire years because no one has records that detailed.

  31. Hi,

    Can you please give any thoughts/recommendations re. how analysts are selected for promotion to associates?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. There are a lot of factors but it depends mostly on your group, their demand / deal flow, and how well you’ve performed (plus whether or not you actually want to stay). It tends to be a very political / random process because bankers very rarely have a view of how good you are vs. everyone else… they just know how much you’ve helped them personally. It’s more common to see a lot of direct promotes when the market is good. Also more common at smaller banks, at bulge brackets they mostly just assume you will move on after 2 years.

  32. mefinancier

    trust me. if 2.9 gpa public kid can pull it off to goldman, you certainly fucking can.

    1. HK Intern

      Wow, did you get into GS with that GPA? That’s awesome!

      You must of had some killer networks right?

  33. Ah fuck. I got a C+ in Finance 101 (Corp FInance). How screwed am I? It’s not that I was bad at it, but it was at 9am and I missed half of the quizzes…fml

    1. You’ll live. And more to the point, what can you actually do about it? Nothing, so you have to accept it and focus on other things you can control.

  34. Off-topic, but I’m referring to the 80/20 rule..
    Do recruiters look at transcripts (ie. individual grades) or just GPA?
    I’m talking about top target (HYPW).We need to submit an inofficial transcript for OCR but I’m just wondering if people actually look at it, assuming you have a 3.5?

    1. They may glance at it but usually don’t pay much attention unless you have unusually low grades in key classes e.g. getting a C in Accounting.

  35. Another great article.

    Off topic, but would you consider doing an article about the different personalities required to be able to thrive i Sales/Trading vs. IBD? To me, those are totally different worlds and not only in the sense that the people working there never interact with one another (due to the Chinese Wall), but also in what kind of people that do actually work in each department. Myself worked part-time while studying, assisting traders and absolutely hated that and felt that being a trader would be a punishment worse than death. Breaking into IBD, however, was exactly how I pictured it and even though I shall never get a good night’s sleep again, I enjoy the work and the people immensely more.

    My reason for asking this is that people seeking to break into banking often do not realize that IBD and Sales/Trading are completely different professions with no interaction and very different requirements. Thus, it is my belief that this point could use some further illumination.

  36. Hey quick question, will you ever go over exactly what bankers within industry coverage do on a day to day basis. For example, what would the day to day responsibilities include for a coverage banker within an FIG Group? Thanks.

    1. Trying to get an interview on this topic now – there probably won’t be one for each different industry group but you should be able to get a sense of what they do just from reading a few accounts.

      1. Thanks. I greatly appreciate it. Your doing an incredible job on this site.

  37. How many analysts are typically staffed on one deal?

    1. Usually just 1 for accountability reasons (if there are 2, no one takes responsibility for mistakes etc.). Sometimes on very large deals (over $10 or $20 billion) 2 analysts are staffed. And usually when a bank issues a Fairness Opinion a different analyst will help out with that for 1-2 weeks.

  38. What do you do as an analyst when you are receiving conflicting revisions from your MD/VP/Assoc.? Do you always follow the MD’s corrections, and when asked by the other senior management, do you tell them that this is what the MD’s corrections included? Sounds tricky, definitely worth some advice on.

    1. Always follow the highest-ranking banker’s changes in case of a conflict. If asked, just say everyone suggested different text / different changes on one part and you followed what the MD wanted. Banking is very rigid so no one will question this.

  39. Hey Brian,

    I was wondering if you make this slides all by yourself normally, because I heard at BB you have a “presentations” team? Could you elaborate on this?

    I hope btw that CS and UBS now use other colours because these coulour schemes are pretty ugly to be honest!

    1. For graphical / diagram slides normally you just make a quick sketch and then tell the presentations people to make it look pretty. At smaller banks sometimes you have to do more of this yourself.

      A lot of banks actually have ugly color schemes, especially since they focus on numbers over aesthetics.

  40. MidnightSun

    What would be a typical timeline for finding potential buyers and executing the deal (what you mentioned in point 5)? How much is this spun in the pitch books?

    How do you decide which possible financial sponsors to include for potential buyers (point 4) and, for the buy side, potential targets?

    1. Usually for a sell-side M&A deal you say something like 4 weeks to contact buyers and then another 8 or so weeks to actually execute the deal. In reality almost no deals happen in only 3 months – usually it takes at least 6 months to 1 year.

      For financial sponsors to include you look at what kinds of investments they’ve made before, whether they have complementary portfolio companies, an so on.

      For potential targets you base it off the market the company is in an what they’re interested in expanding into – so if you’re pitching a cell phone company you might show potential targets in the smartphone, software, and internet / web 2.0 markets.

      1. MidnightSun

        Thanks — much appreciated. Awesome site in general.

  41. Thanks, man — always wondered how these things were structured. Knowledge is power.

  42. i love it how it says ‘strictly confidential’ on the top right hand corner

    1. Everything is confidential until someone leaks it on the interwebs…

      1. Well fortunately (or I suppose unfortunately given the smaller job market) I don’t see Bear Stearns giving anyone any trouble.

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