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Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst

Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding A Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst

Last Updated April 19, 2024

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Time to get to that merger model

Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst: 1st Year M&A Group

In a prior post, we posted an actual pitchbook so you can see exactly what they look like.

Here, a new investment banking analyst in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) group describes a typical day in his own words.

Sample Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst

  • 9:30am – Arrive at work and check email and voicemail
  • 10am – Continue working on a buy-side client presentation (“pitchbook”) from yesterday.  Since you already finished with the “Public Market Overview” pages last night, you now begin inserting a graphical representation of possible exchange ratios.
  • 11:25am – An associate calls to tell you that you have been staffed on another deal and you’ll need to put together a PIB (public information book) about the target.
  • 12pm – You finish putting together the PIB and get back to work on the original pitch.
  • 1pm – You grab lunch with your friends at the cafeteria.
  • 1:45pm – Back at your desk, you open up a merger model you need to finish for another deal team by the end of the night.  Since you pretty much finished the model last night, you’re now checking your work for bugs, mistakes, formatting, and analyzing various accretion/dilution results based on different scenarios (sensitivity analysis).
  • 3:45pm – Your associate from the buy-side pitch calls and tells you that the VP wants to meet in a conference room to look at what you’ve got so far and discuss how to move forward.
  • 4pm – You meet with the VP and your associate.  The MD is traveling on another pitch so he’s conferenced in.  Basically, since 40% of the target company is owned by an investment company, their consent is vital for the success of the acquisition.  As such, you need to put in a few pages on this investment company into the pitch so the client (the potential acquirer) understands what he’s up against.
  • 5pm – Back at your desk, you incorporate some of the changes into the pitchbook.  You include a profile on the investment company and a page on stock ownership.
  • 7pm – You order dinner with your friends from a giant book full of menus that everyone uses on the floor. You eat in an empty conference room.
  • 8pm – Around 8:00pm, things start to settle down and you can begin to catch up on all the work you were distracted from during the day.
  • 10pm – Off to the gym for a quick workout.
  • 11pm – Back in the office, you pull up your merger model that was interrupted by your afternoon meeting. You put the finishing touches on it and email your associate to let him know it’s ready.
  • 2am – You call a car and head home

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Paaro Devdas
November 5, 2019 7:04 am

what is the difference between scenario analysis and sensitivity analysis? In plain language

Jeff Schmidt
November 6, 2019 11:34 pm
Reply to  Paaro Devdas

Paaro: Scenario analysis is seeing what a company’s metrics look like under a Best, Base or Weak Case scenario. Sensitivity analysis is seeing what happens to a specific metric while changing multiple scenarios at the same time. We cover this more in our Excel and Financial Statement modeling curriculums. Best,… Read more »

March 16, 2017 11:08 pm

Is this a typical day in Indian IB firm?
Or USA or London ?

Haseeb Chowdhry
November 14, 2016 2:49 pm
Reply to  Aakash

Rizaan – please reach out to [email protected] – thanks!

Rizaan Samuels
November 1, 2016 9:15 am

Hi all Sincere thank you for all your help and comments. Please can I get some help with a website that has advanced LBO and merger models I could look at and work through? All these packages are priced in USD and being from SA that is way too expense… Read more »

Haseeb Chowdhry
November 24, 2015 10:50 am
Reply to  Rizaan Samuels

An M&A analyst is a type of investment banker – the other investment bankers focus on specific industries where they would look at capital raising and M&A activity within their given sectors, and then they would work internally with the product-specific team (equity capital markets, debt capital markets, M&A) to… Read more »

Aayush Kaushal
November 24, 2015 2:32 am

This is a nice article, but can you do other jobs like investment banker and financial analyst?

Haseeb Chowdhry
November 14, 2017 9:28 pm
Reply to  Aayush Kaushal

TJ, The best way to get there is to obtain an MBA, CFA, or get a Master’s in Finance, but I won’t say your path is impossible. It depends on your level of networking, how much “deal” oriented work you’ve been exposed to on the corporate side, and of course… Read more »

September 27, 2015 7:45 am

Hi, can you do a ‘first year junior’ version for this article?

Haseeb Chowdhry
September 29, 2015 9:31 am
Reply to  Steven

Steven – can’t guarantee it will come out soon but we’ll keep it on radar – thanks for the suggestion!

November 13, 2017 7:32 pm

Is it possible to get into an associate position having not been an analyst and say worked at a Corporation that was not an investment bank?

Haseeb Chowdhry
March 18, 2017 8:22 pm
Reply to  TJ

Aakash – I would probably say this is typical of NYC / London – thanks!

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