Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Banking Analyst Job Description

An important aspect of obtaining a job, namely one in investment banking, is knowing and understanding what your interviewers are looking for when they ask you a specific question. Many times you will interview with multiple people. Each interviewer is generally assigned a task, for example to test your finance knowledge, test your accounting, find out about your general personality, etc.... An important aspect to understand when interviewing is to know exactly what they are looking for so you can tailor your responses to address these issues.

Now ask yourself this question, "Could I give a detailed job description of what an analyst does and the skills they need to get the job done?". If the answer is 'NO' or 'MAYBE', then you definitely have a little more work cut out for you. Here are some job descriptions I have pulled from the web for investment banking analyst positions.

Use the following job descriptions to help you tailor your answers towards the qualifications they are requiring. Don't leave it to the interviewer to look back after the interview when they are filling out the questionnaire to decide whether or not you are analytical or quantitative. Tell and show them through your experiences and examples that you have the skill set they are looking for.

Bulge Bracket

To come later......

Middle Market

Middle Market Investment Bank - Summer Internship

Position Qualifications:

- Outstanding academic achievement
- GPA of 3.3 or higher
- Strong leadership and teamwork skills
- Superior work ethic
- Major in Finance, Accounting, Business or Economics
- Strong MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills


Middle Market Investment Bank (Looking to hire from Bulge Bracket)

Required Qualifications:

- Graduating senior
- Exceptional academic record, especially in finance and accounting related courses
- Excellent problem solving and analytic ability
- Strong work ethic and a drive for perfection
- Ability to perform under deadline pressure
- Team player, self-motivated and entrepreneurial
- Strong quantitative and technical / computer skills (e.g., Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
- Strong data management and research skills


Boutique Investment Bank with offices in MN and AZ

Analysts responsibilities include:

(i) prepare complex financial analyses and models
(ii) conduct due diligence investigations of client companies
(iii) support the preparation of detailed memoranda and presentations describing the key attributes of client companies
(iv) research potential buyers/investors and
(viii) participate in various marketing and recruiting activities of the firm.

Successful candidates will have an undergraduate degree from a leading university, with a major in finance or accounting. Relevant work experience as an analyst at another investment bank is preferred, but not essential. Successful candidates will be extremely smart, with particularly strong quantitative, writing and interpersonal skills. Successful candidates will be very comfortable working in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. We take a very team-oriented approach to investment banking, and therefore, also focus on team chemistry in our hiring process.


Boutique Investment Bank in Palo Alto, CA

Successful candidates will be given the opportunity to:

Generate unbiased, meaningful advice and dialog with a cross section of companies within the technology space.

Both originate and execute deals and cover all types of products including M&A, equity, equity-linked and debt and principal investing

Increase your knowledge of financing solutions, including structuring (both debt and equity), accounting and tax expertise, financial modeling and analysis.

Successful candidates will have the following credentials:

Strong academic record (or equivalent), with a demonstrably high degree of numerical, verbal and analytical competence

Relevant work experience within Investment Banking. You should be able to demonstrate solid quantitative skills and a good deal & pitch list. Your background will be in corporate finance or M&A and you will be able to demonstrate an enthusiasm & interest for working in the technology space.

Personable team player, with the ability to gain the confidence and trust of both colleagues and clients.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Investment Bank Comparison

Here are some links and videos about each investment bank. This should give you a quick and easy way to learn more about each bank and tailor your answer specifically to the interview question, 'Why our bank?'. Some links are videos and some are to the Careers page on their website. Definitely go through and check out the YouTube links. Deutsche Bank has some great multimedia presentations I recommend you check out on their website. Use this info to help you prepare for your interviews.

Watch out for links on the company website that say 'Why Our Bank' or something very similar. This is a question you will definitely get in the interview process. It can also be a very difficult question if you are not prepared. Don't try and reinvent the wheel, use the points they spent time and money putting together to your advantage by integrating them into your answer.

Allen C. Ewing & Co.

Bank of America


BMO Capital Markets
Day in the Life of Investment Banking Analyst

BNP Paribas

Brown Brothers Harriman



Cowen & Company LLC

Credit Suisse

D.A. Davidson & Co.

Deutsche Bank

Dresdner Kleinwort

Evercore Partners

FBR Capital Markets

Gleacher Partners

Goldman Sachs - Live presentation by Goldman employees at career fair - hard to hear but good stuff


Houlihan Lokey



JP Morgan

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods


Lehman Brothers

Macquarie Group

Merrill Lynch

Morgan Keegan

Morgan Stanley

Nomura Holdings


Perella Weinberg Partners

Piper Jaffray

Raymond James

RBC Capital Markets,,cid-16887_,00.html

Robert W. Baird & Co.


Societe Generale

The Bank of New York Mellon

The Blackstone Group

Thomas Weisel Partners



Wells Fargo

William Blair & Company

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Yahoo! Dilemna

The last poll I posted on this site was regarding our thoughts on whether Microsoft and Yahoo! were going to do a deal. As we all know (or as we all should know), a deal between the two companies did not happen. What did happen is a deal between Google and Yahoo!. I want to give some insight into this deal by posting from Fred Wilson's blog [], a venture capitalist in NYC. This is a great blog to follow on a regular basis as he discuss' some on the new and upcoming issues facing companies. You may or may not recognize, that these companies and issues are the up and coming deals that bankers are looking at in preparation for their next 'crop' of deals, whether they be M&A, IPO's, Secondary Offerings, etc... It's also a different perspective than that of what an investment banker might see, but just as fitting. For a banking interview tip, this could be an interesting conversation topic in your conversations as you network with bankers this summer in preparation for your Fall interviews. Read carefully and develop these ideas for yourself so you can speak to them freely.

My Thinking on YHOO

Mike Arrington calls Yahoo!'s decision to partner with Google and finally walk from Microsoft a "Massive Destruction Of Shareholder Value, Employee Morale and Internet Balance Of Power" I don't agree with that view and have stated my opinion about this deal on this blog since the day Microsoft started it's hostile attempt to buy Yahoo! [YHOO]

Here's my comment to Mike's post:

Mike add me to that list of Jerry, Sue, and Tim [O'Reilly]

I’ve been rooting for this outcome since Microsoft first started their effort to acquire Yahoo! It’s worth noting that at today’s closing price, Yahoo! stock is trading about where it was a year ago and above where it was at the start of the year.

The Microsoft hostile move backfired on Microsoft and pushed Yahoo! closer to Google. Yahoo! finally woke up and did what they should have done years ago, cede search monetization to Google who simply does it better and will always do this era of search better than anyone else.

Now Yahoo! will do what it needs to do. Clean house, get lean, get out of businesses it shouldn’t be in. Focus on what it’s good at. And start making money and growing again.

They may need new leadership to do that. But selling this asset to Microsoft just because they had the wrong leadership and probably still have the wrong leadership is a mistake.

Imagine what the right CEO could do with Yahoo!

To get another perspective on this story, visit the New York Times: Deal Book to gain a historical view on how this deal played out. All bankers should know and understand what happened here in this deal and have an opinion about what was done correctly and incorrectly. Remember, investment bankers are hired to provide strategic advice, so understanding a deal as large as this should be something you know.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Things You Must Do This Summer To Prepare For Fall Interviews

So you want to be an investment banking analyst when you graduate. You tried to to get a summer internship at an investment bank, but it didn't work out. Here is a short and dirty list of the things you need to complete this summer to be prepared for your interviews this Fall. I am focusing this list specifically towards students attending 'non-core' universities.

To Do List:
  1. Summer Work Experience: Get some type of related work experience over the summer vacation. All of the students you are competing with did, so you better as well. If you can't find something paid, then email someone (If you know them great, if not, doesn't matter) at a local company, venture fund, private equity fund, commercial bank, etc.... and explain your goals, work ethic, situation, and offer to work for free. It will most likely only be a part time position, so if you need another job you will have plenty of time do get one. If you can't find another part-time job that fits with your schedule be entrepreneurial and make your own job - mow your neighbor's lawn, wash windows, detail cars, complete their unfinished projects, be resourceful!

  2. Practice telling your initial story: How are you going to differentiate yourself from the other candidates. Make your story interesting and relevant to the job. Explain how you tried to get a summer internship, but didn't (Bankers know they are difficult to get) and how you emailed some random company, offered to work for free and got the job. Then explain your experience and how it's related to banking and how you are prepared to get the job done and live the lifestyle of an investment banking analyst in NYC. This is the most important part of the interview process and also the most difficult to get done. Find other students that are interested in banking or consulting and get together on a regular basis to practice.

  3. Know the basics: After telling your initial story, you are going to get drilled on basic finance and accounting. You have to know the basics because that is the standard set for any candidate to be considered for this job. So you might be asking yourself, 'What are the basics?'. My blog discusses in detail these questions and more in great detail throughout the site, so you will be prepared for all of your interviews. Here are the basics:

        1. Why banking??
        2. Why our bank??
        3. Different ways to value a company?
        4. Be able to walk through, in detail, all of the different valuations.
        5. Know the pros and cons of each valuation.
        6. Know the 3 main accounting statements
        7. How do they flow together?

  4. Network, network, network!! If you are coming from a non-core school, or even if you are not, you need to find people on the inside to help you get you interviews and to 'push' you through the process. When it comes down to you and some other guy/gal, you need to have people inside the company saying that they want to work with you. There are lots of ways to network; with alumni, local business leaders, different groups or organizations, friends or family, etc... Find people who know people! Everyone who gets a job in banking knows how difficult it is and are usually willing to refer you along to the recruiters or to others they know in the different banks.

  5. Refer to my Google Calendar: I have created a Google Calendar with the general dates you should prepare for (ie. When you should fly out to NYC? When you should start emailing people, etc..) These dates are in no means exact and you should always follow the advice of the people you know in the company, especially the recruiters.
Complete these tasks and you will find yourself much more prepared and well positioned to get the job. The job market, especially in finance, is very competitive and will continue to stay that way during the coming recruiting season. You need to bring your "A Game" if you are even going to have a chance at these jobs!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Life of a Summer Intern

Life of a Summer Intern

Here is the link to a blog put together by a summer intern at a bulge bracket investment bank in NYC. This is a great way to get some insight into the life of a summer intern. I would read through it and take note of the lifestyle aspects of the work. This way when you interview in the fall for a banking internship or full-time position you understand the lifestyle a little better.