Resuming at an Investment Bank on the 1st February 2018 was a dream come true. On my first day, I was onboarded with an email titled Welcome. My welcome mail covered information regarding what I will learn in the firm and attached was information to read up on the industry and case studies to summarise.
The Role of an Investment Banker/Corporate Finance Advisor
Investment banks help companies and the government to raise capital through issuing shares or borrowings. They also act as advisers on mergers and acquisitions.
Who Needs Them
Investment bankers are hired by companies across different sectors to raise funds or advise on mergers and acquisitions. My first transaction was a manufacturing company looking to raise expansion capital. I worked on the business planning, financial projections and pitch book preparation. Some months later, I worked on the acquisition of a development finance institution and 2 cross border banks.
A typical morning starts at around 8:00am. We have a brief meeting with the team to discuss existing projects and status reports. The mornings are usually filled with emails, text messages, and office meetings. Messages may come from clients, co-workers, or senior Management team who want every status report and presentations.
Morning work is often slower and more methodical than afternoon work. From about 10:30a.m. until lunch, analysts work on company analyses and make adjustments requested by the team leads, who have spent the previous evening reviewing the previous day’s work.
Unless the day is very busy, lunch is leisurely an hour-long in the company kitchenette. These are usually spent with co-workers on the same level. The hierarchy tends to be rigid.
The team leads usually return to their desks to find updated models and presentations from the analysts. The team leads review these documents and make corrections or recommendations before sending them back to the analysts.
This is a stressful process for the analysts who desperately want to prove they can contribute to the deal, and team leads, who know what the managing director need and don’t have a ton of time for revisions.
The Live Deal
Afternoon work is focused intently on the active deal. Many investment banking teams are assigned one deal at a time, or the “live deal,” and team leads are meticulous about details. Capital raises and merger and acquisition (M&A) deals involve billions of naira, and the firm cannot afford to make mistakes.
The second half of the workday is divided into two segments: after lunch and after work hours.
The work after lunch is more scheduled and predictable, and team leads demand that the work of analysts be completed early enough so it can be reviewed again.
On a normal day, the first post-work hour task is reviewing the morning’s work. Team leads spent the past several hours going over material and creating “comments,” which sometimes require massive revisions.
Investment banking team leads and analysts work with many other professionals such as Account, legal and other operations team relevant to the project.
While I enjoyed my stay at the firm, it was short lived as I launched my first entry into entrepreneurship.