Life of an Analyst

Role of a Banking Analyst

An investment bank provides advisory services and helps clients raise capital. It is one of the most desirable jobs on Wall Street. While the job is highly sought after, it is also very stressful. However, when the job is executed properly, it leads to great financial reward. Before rising to that level of success, one must start at the bottom as a banking analyst. An analyst typically deals with the analytical work that needs to be done for the firm with the final result of a presentation. Generally, an analyst work stream follows three steps: conducting research, analyzing financial models and creating a pitch deck. The primary step of research allows the analyst to learn more about the company and how it became successful. Then with financial modeling and analysis, an analyst will work on discounted cash flow analysis, comparable companies and comparable transactions and LBO models. The final creation of a pitch book combines the research and analysis that will be shown to potential clients. This final step not only involves a lot of work in PowerPoint, but also requires close attention to detail and creativity. As one can imagine, this process requires a lot of time, so analysts tend to work upwards of 80 hours a week.

Morning Schedule

Analysts’ jobs begin as soon as they wake up. They must check their phones to see if coworkers responded to their messages from the night before or to see if any new updates occurred overnight. Analysts typically arrive to work between the hours of 8 and 9 AM, where they continue to check their emails and eat breakfast at their desks. The mornings consist of administrative tasks such as responding to emails and making phone calls. These messages come from clients, coworkers, and senior bankers involving status reports, presentations and calculations. During this time, analysts may have conference calls with other teams and lawyers to discuss what the next steps are on a deal.

The morning work of analysts is more methodical than afternoon and evening work. The primary workload in the morning consist of making adjustments from senior staff, who spent their evenings reading over the presentation work the analysts did the day before. While some mornings might be busier than others, analysts rarely receive a break to check sports scores or use social media while on the job.

Lunch Time

Generally, a lunch break will begin between the hours of 12:30 PM — 2:00 PM. Lunch for analysts is generally a 45-minute period where they can go to the cafeteria or find a quick restaurant near the firm. Analysts sit together, which is a nice way to meet and get to know their coworkers. This is a time to take a break from the daunting tasks of work and talk about interests and hobbies.

Afternoon Routine

The afternoons are not any easier than the mornings as analysts must continue to balance a variety of tasks. During the afternoon, analysts remain focused on the active deal that the group is hoping to close. Deals involve millions or billions of dollars, so it is important that analysts are very detailed oriented because one calculation mistake can make a huge difference. Moving on, an analyst will also continue working on pitch book A from the day before or start a new one. They will then send a revised version or updated Excel model to an associate for editing. While working on Pitch book A, a managing director who is traveling to a client may ask an analyst to send Pitch book B to them. However, one cannot just send the book via mail so the analyst must create a pdf version and send the book immediately. After doing this, the analyst receives the revised pitch book A from the associate who asks for more revisions to be completed and delivered back to them in 2 hours, so another revision can be made for the morning. This process is repeated throughout the entire afternoon and an analyst may work on multiple pitch books each afternoon as exampled by pitch book A and B.

Dinner Time

Analysts work so hard that there is no time to stop for dinner but they can order food to eat at their desk.

Post Dinner Work

After dinner, an analyst continues the process of creating and editing pitch books and models. They give the books to associates who return them with comments and feedback. Once a pitch book receives no critiques, it is time for printing. It is now 11 PM. Before leaving the office, the analyst must execute the side tasks that they did not get to do such as scheduling conference calls, responding to emails, and creating meetings. At 1 AM, an analyst calls a cab and goes home. Before going to sleep at 2 AM, analysts must check their emails to make sure they completed all tasks for the day.

Final Evaluation about the Day of an Analyst

The job of an analyst is busy but exciting. An analyst has the opportunity to work with seniors in the company and gain exposure to a lot of new information. They develop important skills immediately as they work and perform tasks directly for the company. It is a very long day that appears to never stop. Although the job is hard, it is very rewarding as an analyst does a lot of the work that is shown to clients.