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As someone who often works with investment bankers, the descriptions about how business is sold and delivered should be tempered a bit. This book describes pretty much every investment banker as shoddy, shallow, and manipulative. That has not been my typical experience. There are terrifically smart, talented, ethical and humane investment bankers. For example, one of my favorites never used a pitch book during his first meeting with a client. Pitch book preparation is one of the banes of the young investment banker's existence. But like all professions, investment bankers vary a lot. There are certainly some less capable ones, and I have seen their work too. I would describe it much like the authors do.
In terms of the working conditions, they are mostly a reflection of weak management in the industry. Investment banks reward doing deals, not being good managers of the deals. A fellow I know became CEO of a major investment bank, and made much less money after that than when he was just a deal-maker. He found little interest on the part of his colleagues in improving management, so it was pretty frustrating. It just doesn't pay to work on making life better for the investment bankers in training, compared to producing more business.Read more ›
Anyone thinking about becoming a lawyer should turn to page 182: "As junior bankers, whenever we were feeling low, we'd watch the junior lawyers and start feeling better . . ."
Clients of investment banks should read this book too. Exactly why do US banks get 7% commission on new equity issues? Pierpont Morgan and the other robber barons of the 1920s must be laughing their socks off in their graves. I hope companies don't pay that much here in Europe.