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Funny (and not so Funny) stories in Investment Banking

During my banking career, I had many stories personally and also heard many stories. Just sharing them here so you could get a sense what to expect if a banking career is what you are after.

Non-Deal Roadshows (NDRs) are an integral part of the business. This is where companies engage banks to arrange meetings with investors overseas. It usually involves the analysts travelling with the management and is a great way to build rapport especially during the non work hours such as dinner or sometimes over the weekend.

It is during one of these trips the company management and my boss, the analyst, decided to take a hike in the forest in Scandinavia somewhere. All the logistics were well planned before and I made sure everything was ok before I left to watch a movie with my girlfriend then and wife now.

You will find that a lot of the research analysts’ are not very technical but there is a variety of things to do well including planning trips like a high end tourism company. This includes details such as making sure the management has toothbrush in the bathroom.

At about 10pm in the middle of the movie, I got a call from my boss and my heart sunk.

During the 10 years of my banking career, I was always conscious that my phone had to have reception wherever I go even though it was the weekend or when I was on vacation.

I heard so many stories about associates having tens of missed calls and messages from their bosses when they had reception again or switched the phone back on. It was worse than a hard breakup.

(Have a guess when there is a good excuse for not having reception and we can finally relax a bit…)

Anyway, so I picked up the phone and my boss was almost screaming even though it was not my fault. Yes, be ready to be responsible for things you are not responsible for and don’t answer back.

They are stuck in the middle of the forest somewhere in Scandinavia and they couldn’t find the driver that took them there.

Great, so how am I going to solve this problem from thousands of miles apart? Yes, be prepared to be a problem solver!

So I immediately find the number of the driver and started calling myself. Without success, I started calling my corporate access colleagues both locally and overseas. In between, I have to keep trying to calm my boss as his screaming gets louder. Sometimes depending on the client or management he is with, he gets more anxious such as if he is with a more demanding client or management.

After many phone calls, we found out that their driver went out for a coffee and forgot to bring his phone. He didn’t expect them to come back earlier. 🤷‍♂️

By the time I resolved this, it was almost 12am, movie finished long ago and my girlfriend standing next to me for almost a couple of hours watching me go frenzy.

That’s the other thing, a banking career takes a lot out of you and your family. You have to be prepared to invest a lot of youth into it.

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