I graduated from Imperial College London with a first in mathematics and then went on to complete a master’s at Cambridge in Theoretical Physics. After I finished my master’s I interned in a variety of financial institutions ranging from commercial banks to research institutions, including a summer internship at Goldman Sachs in investment banking. I joined Rothschild through the graduate programme into the Global Financial Advisory (GFA) division and after two months training I then started work straight into the Mining team at Rothschild.
FIVE DAYS IN THE LIFE OF AN INVESTMENT BANKING ANALYST
Day 1 – Live transaction
On this day you will most likely be working on several projects at once, of which one or two will be live transactions. A large amount of time will be spent liaising with lawyers, accountants, other advisors and clients; investment banks take the lead on deals and so clear communication between all the involved parties is important. Most of the day will also be spent in internal meetings, where the deal team will discuss next steps and priorities. Live transaction days tend to be the most exciting and will definitely keep you on your toes throughout the day.
- Carry a note pad with you everywhere and make sure you write down every task, no matter how small the task seems you do not want to miss anything.
- Keep calm and keep your deal team informed of your progress, it is important to flag potential difficulties early on.
- Even though there will be time pressure make sure anything that gets sent to the client has been triple checked; it is better to be five minutes late than wrong.
Day 2 – Valuation, financial analysis and creating presentations
This is the day when you will develop the skills necessary for an analyst; it is your day to do financial modelling, valuation and presentation creation. This is also the day when you should ask as many questions as possible and try to develop your analytical skills. Financial analysis and valuation will vary depending on the type of deal and client you have, for example in the Mining team you will work with asset models rather than an LBO model.
- Stay organised, this applies to prioritising tasks as well as keeping your excels and folder structures clean.
- Stay focused on the task, you want to avoid mistakes that could be time consuming later on.
- Make sure you understand all the outputs, if necessary you should be able to explain where every number has come from.
- Ask questions, your Associate or AD will always be willing to help.
- Before creating a presentation from scratch make sure you have asked around and looked around the main drive for a template or a precedent presentation, it will definitely save you a lot of time.
Day 3 – Pre-presentation day
This is the day and night before a client meeting and it is usually for a management presentation or a pitch. Most of the day is spent collating feedback and sticking to tight deadlines. Throughout the day you will have to process comments and circulate drafts to the team.
- This is usually the most manic day so keep calm and ask for help from your team if required.
- Keep on top of deadlines; if necessary politely chase for feedback on presentations.
- Try to process mark-ups and comments as quickly as possible so you keep the momentum going on the presentation.
- As you go along save multiple versions of the presentation throughout the day as you may need to revert to an earlier version at any point.
- Book a printing slot.
- Triple check the final presentation, pre and post printing.
Day 4 – Client meetings
Before the client meeting there are likely to be multiple internal team meetings so that everyone is on the same page. During the day you will be taking notes, answering questions and providing admin support to the rest of the team. I find client meeting days to be the most exciting as you meet a huge range of clients and most of the time you are meeting the key decision makers in the company, it provides strong exposure early on in your career.
- Before the meeting send the team and yourself a clean email with only the final presentation attached; it is important that everyone in the team is on the same page before any client meeting.
- Be confident and rest assured that your team will back you up if you forget something or if you do not know the answer to a question the client asks.
- This is the day that understanding all the outputs will come in handy; different clients focus on different things so you could end up discussing one number for half an hour.
- Following on from the above make sure you are mentally prepared to answer questions.
- As an admin point make sure you take notes and always carry a spare hard copy of the presentation.
Day 5 – Quiet day
There are days when your deals are quiet and I would recommend making the most of these days.
- Organise your diary and emails, if you have a quiet day use it to sort out admin tasks.
- Use the day to focus on development, for example if you know you’re going to have a quiet day book yourself in for training courses.
- Try to organise coffees or lunches on the quiet days, that way you keep in contact with your graduate class and you can develop your network.
- Take the chance to go home on time, there will always be a hectic day around the corner so make the most of your downtime.