by Brian DeChesare Comments (20)

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

Friday Investment Banker

Back when I wrote that Friday at 4 PM is the worst time to be an investment banker, I wasn’t joking. Mondays and Fridays tend to be the worst because of all the last-minute surprises – though in this case my “Friday surprise” arrived earlier than 4 PM.

7:30 AM – Wake up late for an 8:30 AM meeting with Client A. The associate is calling to ask where I am.

8:15 AM – Arrive and the Director running the deal looks upset. Luckily, he already has all the presentations so he has nothing specific to be upset at, other than me arriving 15 minutes in advance of the meeting rather than 30.

8:29 AM – As I’m about to join the meeting for Client A, I get interrupted and the Managing Director in charge of Client C (the company being sold to a group of private equity firms) wants us to speak with our Leveraged Finance team and figure out how much debt the company can take on and what the terms would be.

The Leveraged Finance group at an investment bank is responsible for debt issuances and works on all debt-related deals. Often the work on a Leveraged Buyout deal is split between the M&A group (us) and Leveraged Finance and they will do more of the debt modeling work.

Click here to learn all about Leveraged Finance.

I speak with the Leveraged Finance analyst and figure out what materials they need from us, and then get started working on a brief memo that they need by the end of the day.

11 AM – Miss a call with the lawyers to review the Purchase Agreement for Client B (public company being sold to larger public company); VP needs me to swap some files on a USB drive quickly before a potential client leaves. Luckily the associate for Client B covers for me.

12 PM – At long last, we’re almost done with the materials we’re sending out for Client C. We hold a call with them to go over everything one last time.

1 PM – Leveraged Finance calls to yell at me for not sending over enough information. There’s often a fair amount of friction between different groups in a bank.

3 PM – The associate for Client C finally sends out the finished materials. I run to Starbucks with a few other analysts to celebrate the Friday afternoon. We discuss plans for the weekend.

One of the best parts of the investment banking analyst job that few people ever mention is the camaraderie you develop with your fellow analysts (and sometimes associates and senior bankers as well). It’s almost like being in college again, except you’re making a lot more money.

6 PM – Finish off the materials the Leveraged Finance analyst needs and send them over. Almost everyone else has left the office for Happy Hour; I show up briefly but I’m really tired so I head home shortly thereafter.

7 PM – Pass out.

10:30 PM – Wake up. Meet up with some friends and head out for the night. We mostly discuss plans for next year; some already have private equity jobs lined up, while others are still looking and some just want to retire to Thailand.

3 AM – Head back to my apartment and go to sleep.

Even though it’s 3 AM on a Friday night, it’s not the end of the workweek for investment bankers. The workweek never ends, and immediately after passing out on Friday you wake up to do it all over again on Saturday.

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. Brian,

    I’ve heard from bankers themselves that there are stretches where they do NOTHING for like 10 out of 13-15 hrs in a day.

    Is that true? How prevalent really is this? The way they described it makes sense… things need to move up and down a hierarchy and people take time to get back to you / staff you on something else, resulting in hours of doing “nothing.”

    Or does it really just occur at banks with dried up deal-flow?

    1. It is true, but it depends on how busy the markets are and what deal activity is like… not as common to see that when a lot of deals are happening, though there are always patches of downtime.

  2. Am smiling while reading your article about what a typical Ibankers have daily. I was like seeing myself via other person’s glasses. I work in IB dept for a regional house in Indonesia. I think what u have is way more demanding than what we have here. Anyway, keep writing bro!

    Ps: i cant stop to click every cross link in your article. Love it.

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      Thanks a lot for your support. Yes IB life varies a/c to the team and geography!

  3. Just wondering, what college did you go to before becoming a analyst, and what was your major/majors. I am really interested in being an ib. Also, what’s the starting salary of an analyst?

  4. Hello,

    Great article, I love the “day in the life” stories. I was wondering if it is imperative to get an apartment in the NY when working in IB or if it is possible to live outside the city, does one generally have to be in the office at a minute’s notice?

    1. Avatar
      M&I - Nicole

      One generally has to be in the office in short notice so I’d suggest living close to your office.

  5. Avatar
    dont want to be tom boy

    “One of the best parts of the investment banking analyst job that few people ever mention is the camaraderie you develop with your fellow Analysts (and sometimes Associates and up). It’s almost like being in college again, except you’re making a lot more money.”

    Seriously? I heard the atmosphere is aggressive, competitive and people are cut-throat. One analyst once said that he asked a peer about a modeling question and that dude answered “We are competitors, so I am not gonna tell you.” It really scares me………….

    1. It varies by bank / group… some people are cool, others are anal retentive losers.

  6. Wow, I always wanted to become an Investment Banker and well this blog really encourages me to press on.

  7. Avatar
    Will Leary

    I noticed you get out of the office at 6 am on this friday. Is it common to get out of work relatively “early” on a friday? (ie. with time to go out to bars later in the night)

    1. Unless something major is going on, then yes it’s common to get out early.

  8. i would be interested in reading a saturday post too… and in general what can an analyst expect to do on saturday? are you usually in the office all day and is watching football out of the question?

    1. Seems like there is a lot of interest in this one so I’ll post a typical Saturday on Friday this week…

  9. Cool thanks man.

  10. I was just wondering what happened to saturday in the life of an investment banking analyst series? Did you need to work?


    1. I had to do a bit of work but I thought it would be too depressing to write about working on a Saturday so I kept it out. :) My records from weekends are also a bit less reliable than my weekday accounts.

      If you’re interested I can look into getting something up for this coming Saturday.

  11. I appreciate the responses to my e-mails and just wanted to thank you for your time.

    Keep it up, your doing a fine job at Mergers & Inquisitions.

    1. Sure thing, let me know if anything else comes up.

      Hopefully this upcoming online course will be able to answer a lot of your questions as well.

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