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Communicating with Senior Bankers in Investment Banking

One of the tricky areas for a new joiner/first year analyst is to have impactful conversations with senior member like MD/Partners etc.

Let’s say that you (a junior analyst) are having a meeting with your MD on one of the mandates

The MD sifts through the deck and then asks you to explain the Football Field Chart on one of the slides

You start by looking at your excel printout and explaining the methods you used like DCF, Comps, Precedents along with adjustments you made to the EBITDA or EBIT to arrive at the adjust multiples

The MD loses interest, he stops you in the middle and asks you to get the shorter version instead

You then fumble through the prints again for a minute and then you give out 4 to 5 key points.

Then, your MD asks you how this potential mandate compares to the other recent transactions.

You did not anticipate this question or did not get time to research on this area, so you tell him you will get back to him shortly.

The meeting ends there. Much earlier then it should have!

A single meeting like this may not impact you significantly, but if this repeats regularly then a negative perception against you gets built which may impact you in your promotions, quality of deals you get staffed on etc.

Meetings with senior bankers (however small) are opportunities in themselves which cannot be taken lightly.

It would have been a good idea if

1)     Preparation: You are better prepared with the analysis so that you don’t have to refer to excels/notes during the interactions. This will improve your voice modulation, flow of logical conversation and above all your confidence levels

2)     Avoid the “Data Dump”: Do not “dump” or “overload” details if not asked in the first place. Start the meeting with a shorter version of the topic under discussion and then ask if any further details are needed

3)     Well Rounded Research: Topic of the meeting/discussion is like a “centre” of the circle. Be prepared on questions that can fall in the area of this circle. The urban legend in IB goes like this “Specialize in being a jack of all trades and a master of... well, maybe a few!"

4)     Learn by Osmosis: Observe how your reporting manager/senior engage in discussions with the MD/Partner etc. Note down the way the discussion goes, the body language, any fancy words they use etc. WhatsApp these notes to yourself and apply them next time you get such an opportunity

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