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Working like a dog makes a comeback

For quite a long time now there hasn’t been very much to do, particularly if you work in M&A. In the first half of the year, European M&A volumes were down 68% according to Mergermarket. In the past few weeks, however, things seem to have picked up.

Last Monday,
Viswas Raghavan, head of international capital markets at JPMorgan, made promising references to a, “wall of liquidity in every asset class,” in European capital markets, which he said could lead to more M&A later in the year.

Equally, Hernan Cristerna, JPMorgan’s EMEA head of M&A spoke of the pipeline gather “good momentum” over the previous six to eight weeks.

Less promisingly, the resumption of activity seems to be making itself felt in working hours. “It’s picked up a lot over the past two weeks,” says one M&A analyst. “By Thursday last week I’d already worked 70 hours. There’s always a rush in the summer as everyone tries to fit in meetings before they go on holiday.”

“In the first few months of the year people had a lot more flexibility,” says one recruiter specializing in analysts and associates. “People were leaving at half past six or seven, or coming in later if they worked late. Now they’re pushing it again.”

Relentless working conditions are nothing new, even for senior staff. Mike Marriot, former head of the structured products business at Credit Suisse, turned soft rocker, complained that he worked 38 days without a break.

Comments (21)

Comments
  1. Is working like a dog the new Goldman Sachs?

  2. 70 hours by Thursday for an analyst was very much standard in 05 – mid 08. Not noteworthy at all. It should get back like that – M&A is not that intellectually stimulating, the buzz comes from the lack of sleep and requirement to perform whilst not having been home for 2 days!

  3. Working 70 hours in 4 days. Such a retarded lifestyle.

  4. Yeah Bouba, and getting home 5.30pm to have ‘tea’ with your ugly family, watch Coronation Street then go to the pub like the rest of your idiot nation is a much better lifestyle!!!

  5. Henry-Better than being at work thinking you are important when the fact of the matter is no one would miss you if you werent there

  6. Ha, Henry has returned spouting his usual drivel and thinking he is above everyone else. What a pathetic character he is

  7. Bouba, I feel sorry for you if you don’t enjoy working. I love the thrill, the adrenaline, the pace of M&A, and it is an absolute pleasure to work 100 hour weeks. A very productive use of my time and something to look back on.

  8. Henry, what is the top cycle hourly wage of an average VP in M&A? Is it above 20 gross?

  9. M&A is for monkeys – again

  10. Bill, about 75 gross actually.

    And no, I don’t do M&A.

  11. M&A for monkeys? As opposed to, say, trading triple A rated dog turd without a clue as to what is going on….?

  12. Been in M&A for close to 5 years now (@ one of the major bulge brackets) – 70 hour weeks are not the norm, except in the first (and maybe second) year. Anybody who has to do this continuously is disorganised and inefficient! And don’t get me started on all nighters – only ever had to do 2 of them – in the first week after joining when i was still depending on some retard associate, who was utterly clueless and made me stay for the sake of it.
    I just want to make the point that this job is genuinely interesting, whilst the hours are manageable.

  13. 70 hours is nothing. In our firm we regularly put in over 120 hours per week. Private equity, strategic investing and advisory. You guys probably don’t even know how to make hard core valuation models…. probably takes you like 10 months to one on the road!

    Merchant Banker Reply
     
  14. If you factor in the total number of hours worked (100+ per week / 4800+ per year), then a 100 – 300k City salary looks less attractive. This works out at 20 – 60 per hour. That is not necessarily a great wage.

  15. Pah! 120 hours? I once put in 169 hours….
    We lived in shoebox in middle of motorway…
    ;-)
    sad folk

  16. Oh my goodness! People are actually boasting about how many hours they work. I think I’ve seen it all now! What a bunch of saddo’s!! Particularly as some of you are older than 22.

    Little lambs. You are but cogs in the wheels of commerce.

    So. As you scratch away your 120 hour week, skin grey and dry from the artificial light and air con, eyes red from the glare of some daft model which has about as much relevance to reality as the deranged ramblings of Gary down the boozer, try to step off your little hamster wheel for one nanosecond and use your brain!

    Yes, it may have been numbed senseless by your recent monotonous existence, but I’m sure you were once able to rely on it. Otherwise you would have never have been given the chance to find yourself in your current predicament.

    Working horrendous hours does NOT equal very clever.

    Think about who is really making the money from the fruits of your labour. Do you really think they are working 120 hours? I’d say 12 at the most.

    Silly boys. Now go get ya shoeshine!!!!

  17. Merchant Banker- give youself a pat on the back and while your at it get a freakin life!

    work life balance Reply
     
  18. hardcore valuation models, how exciting. I would question if any wage is worth 120 hours a week.

  19. what a surprise reading some of the comment above..didn’t know that work style of M&A professional is the same of E.R….do you also rescue human lives like Dr. Ross? mmmh..even your life?

  20. “By Thursday last week I’d already worked 70 hours”

    The day before he dies the guy will suddenly realize : “Man, i’ve lost my life working for others and now with all my money i’can’t even buy time to really live! Indeed i’ll be the richest of the cemetery but i’m such an idiot…”

  21. Henry, you’re so wrong. I work in IB in a client-facing role. Never stay in the office past 7pm. Have 5 weeks off per year and take all of them. Love my job precisely because it gives me the chance to do something I like without having to sacrifice my social life. Can eat out and/or go to cinema / theatre or opera house whenever I want. And I look so good that the last thing I need to do to get whoever I want is to brag about my IB job and income.

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