Investment banking resources including books, websites, blogs, periodicals and training courses | IBankingFAQ

Investment banking resources including books, websites, blogs, periodicals and training courses  | IBankingFAQ

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Broadly speaking, there are two types of groups within a typical investment bank (or investment banking division): product groups and industry groups (also called sector groups or domains). The three most well known product groups are mergers and acquisitions (M&A), leveraged finance (lev fin) and restructuring. Bankers in product groups have product knowledge and tend to execute transactions (respectively, M&A transactions, leveraged buyouts (LBO’s) and restructuring transactions/bankruptcies). Bankers in industry groups cover specific industries and tend to do more marketing activity (pitching). Industry bankers tend also to have more of the relationships with companies’ senior management than do product bankers (though some senior product bankers have excellent relationships as well). Examples of common industry groups include FIG (Financial Institutions Group), Healthcare, Consumer/Retail, Industrials, Energy and Utilities, Natural Resources, TMT (Telecom, Media and Technology), Gaming and Lodging and Real Estate. Often subgroups exist within the broader group. For example, a Healthcare group may be segregated into biotechnology, medical devices, managed care, pharma, etc. Though not covering a specific industry, one other group that falls under the category of “industry” groups is Financial Sponsors. Bankers in a Financial Sponsors group cover (have relationships with and market their services to) private equity firms. Just about all investment banks have the same strict hierarchy or ladder of professionals. From junior to senior, the typical hierarchy is (1) Analyst, (2) Associate, (3) Vice President, (4) Senior Vice President/Director and (5) Managing Director. Some banks deviate from this hierarchy a bit, for example having the Senior Vice President and Director be separate positions. Other banks, especially non-U.S. banks, have the same hierarchy but with somewhat different names for each position (Associate Director for Associate, Director for Vice President and Executive Director for SVP). One exception for U.S. banks is that Bear Stearns calls the Senior Vice President/Director position a Managing Director, and calls Managing Directors, Senior Managing Directors. However, regardless of the names, the general job functions of each relative position tend to be consistent bank to bank. Analysts are typically men and women directly out of undergraduate institutions who join an investment bank for a two-year program. Top performing Analysts are often offered the chance to stay for a third year, and the most successful Analysts can be promoted after three years to the Associate level. As Analysts are the bottom rung on the investment banking ladder, they do the bulk of the work. Broadly speaking there are three types of work that Analysts do: presentations, analysis and administrative tasks. Presentation work involves the putting together and writing of various PowerPoint presentations including marketing documents (“Pitches” or “Pitchbooks”) and documents for live transactions (for example, a presentation to management or the Board of Directors). These PowerPoint presentations get printed in color and are bound with professional looking covers for meetings with clients and prospective clients. The second main task of an analyst is analytical work. Pretty much anything done in Excel is considered “analytical work.” Examples include entering historic company data from public documents, analyzing such data for valuation purposes and projecting a company’s financial statements (“modeling”). Administrative work, being the third type of task, involves things like scheduling and setting up conference calls and meetings, making travel arrangements and keeping a list of dealteam members up to date. While on live transactions, Analysts often refer to themselves as “glorified admins,” given all of the administrative work for which they are responsible. 

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