Posts Tagged ‘what do investment bankers do’


Investment bankers provide financial and strategic advice to corporations, government agencies, and, in some groups, to local public entities. Morgan Stanley has both industry and product groups. (An example of an industry group is technology; a product group would be M&A.) Senior bankers cultivate strong relationships with top corporate management. Less experienced members (probably you, at least at first) do a lot of research and listening, so they can better understand a company’s strategic objectives, provide what they hope is innovative financing to meet those objectives, and of course begin cultivating relationships within the upper ranks.

Being an analyst is a good way to try investment banking for a few years, particularly since you’re not expected to know a great deal before you begin. You’ll be expected to learn quickly, write quickly, and swim in deep waters Wu corporate leaders, however. A good job for the self-directed, the analyst position is more difficult for those who need a less severe learning curve.

The associate position is the starting point for those who think they might have found their life’s calling in investment banking. Once you’re in, it’s pretty much an uphill climb until you join all the other exhausted managing directors struggling for breath at the top (or decide to abandon for greener pastures). At first, associates may perform similar to those of analysts, but as you gain experience, take on significant client responsibility and serve as the senior bankers’ right-hand man. (Women can apparently be right-hand men, too.)

Typical responsibilities for I-bankers include the following:

• Underwriting initial public offerings or secondary offerings of stock

• Debt issuance

 • Advisory work on mergers and acquisitions

 • Assisting in the solicitation and execution of assignments

• Preparing presentations to maintain ongoing client dialogue

• Conducting research and financial analysis

• Building spreadsheet models

• Drafting offering memorandums

• Assisting the deal team in managing the day-to-day logistics of an assignment

Duties specific to associates include the following:

  • Fostering client relationships
  • Producing market/risk analysis
  • Developing planning approaches
  • Developing and updating audit work documentation
  • Identifying key control descriptions

A Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst

  • 6:45 Stumble into shower after only 4 hours of sleep.
  • 7:45 Snooze on the subway for a few more fitful minutes.
  • 8:30 Arrive at work. Attend division meeting. Gulp coffee to prevent head bobs.
  • 9:00 Make corrections to an IPO roadshow slide presentation. Principal has decided there are too many words per page. He’s right, but all the words are critical.
  • 11:00 Finish making revisions and continue working on an M&A project. E-mail library to download proxies from similar deals.
  • 1:30 Conference call with IPO client to discuss revisions to the roadshow presentation. Principal promised the client CFO that the would be FedExed yesterday for approval, but forgot to tell anyone. Sneak out of the call to fax slides immediately.
  • 2:00 After the call, talk with principal about other issues that came up. Have to say he does have some good ideas for graphs that will make more compelling. Guess who has to come up with the new graphs.
  • 4:00 Stomach is growling ominously now. Take ten to pick up a pick-me-up—a smoothie and a super grande coffee. Back at desk, start to work on valuation model for new M&A spin-off deal.
  • 7:30 Those lucky enough to leave early tonight have left. Put in a new CD, adjust headphones, and crank a little harder on these numbers.
  • 9:00 While eating dinner and talking to a friend on the phone, accidentally bump the keyboard and get “#REF!” all over the spreadsheet. Think about maybe becoming a teacher instead.
  • 9:45 Find the error and get the model running. Calculate how many trips to Sun Valley the next bonus check could buy. Bag the teacher idea till after the next bonus.
  • 10:30 Begin working on additional “pictures” for road show. Principal wants to show pictures to client as possible alternatives to the current batch. They would be terrible alternatives, but they sure make the current ones look better. Grumble loudly and create lots of little straw men.
  • 1:30 Finish slides and have color copies printed for meeting tomorrow with IPO management. Stumble home in a daze. This IPO will be over soon.

Source: Morgan Stanley WetFeet Insider Guide