Name: Carmen Chan
Dept: Investment banking
It is always hard to describe a typical day at work because you never know when the markets or a transaction will take a sudden turn. That being said, I usually start my day around 7.30-8.00am from home. One of the first things I do is review my overnight emails on BlackBerry and deal with anything urgent. This often involves forwarding any overnight news or developments to the team and our core clients. I try to leave the house around 8.30am and clear my head with a 15-minute stroll along the Yarra River in Melbourne to work. I also go through media articles and the Australian Financial Review on BlackBerry to catch up on global and Australasian M&A and equity/debt market news.
As I get into work, I grab a morning coffee to kick start my day and jump on to a 9.00am conference call to discuss the latest list of bidders for a sell-side transaction. We find out that one of our bidders is flying in a team to attend a management presentation and site visits for the asset. I quickly send an email to my personal assistant, who will assist me on logistics, flights and accommodation. It looks like my team will be heading to Sydney to host this presentation, while I will be accompanying the bidder’s representatives on site visits. Everything will have to run like clockwork on that day and my mind starts to tick over the immense list of things to do.
As I hop off the conference call, I quickly grab some breakfast from the kitchen. I have just received an email alert for one of the public companies that I cover in my sector. There has been a significant profit downgrade. I start to draft an email to send to my team and clients who will be keeping a close eye on the situation. I wait until 10.00am when the ASX opens and sure enough, the stock price is down 10 per cent in the first 10 minutes of trading. We hold an emergency meeting and start brainstorming strategic ideas for the company. Not great timing though as my team tries to juggle this with all that is happening on our sell-side deal. I jump onto yet another conference call as the company holds a webcast with its CFO on the profit downgrade. A few heated moments ensue at the end when brokers grill management on this latest downgrade. I listen in, slightly bemused, but also glad that I am not on the receiving end of this call.
As I hop off the call, I hop into a taxi with my director for a lunchtime due diligence committee (DDC) meeting we are having with one of our clients, a private equity firm, and the board and management team from one of its portfolio companies. We pick up a couple of our ECM bankers on the way out. We are holding the DDC meeting with a group of lawyers and accountants as we help the company ready itself for an IPO. That goes on for a few hours, followed by a session on process with the ECM bankers. I then stay back for a prospectus drafting session, hoping that we progress enough so that we are on track and no one has to work on the public holiday coming up. Fingers crossed!
By the time I head back to the office it is 5.30pm. After an entire day of calls and meetings, I decide it’s time to clear my mind and I head to the gym for a quick run and a relaxing yoga session. After grabbing a bite to eat while partaking in a bit of team banter, I settle down in front of my computer and get started on updating my valuation models, and the management presentation. When I finally get into my taxi to go home, it is almost midnight and I have an early flight to Sydney in the morning. Just another day in the life of an analyst!
What is the one tip I would give students seeking a career in investment banking? Try to gain as much life experience as possible while you are still at university, whether that be through casual work, going on exchange, travelling, networking, running student societies or playing competitive sport. Investment banking offers young people an incredible opportunity to work with senior and experienced members of the corporate world. Hence, it is important for junior bankers to possess a diversity of experience and a certain sense of maturity and worldliness when dealing with clients.