black dr marten boots My life as an investment banker
I was so sure I wanted to be a pilot.?/FONT>Nothing was going to change my mind.
My family disapproved. Totally. My grandfather, a fabulously rich octogenarian, was a chartered accountant. He ran his own firm along with my dad, and wanted the next generation to continue in his footsteps. He frowned incessantly whenever I mentioned my childhood dream.
A few months into the job, I was miserable. Iealised being a CA was the last thing I wanted to do. That’s when I saw Wall Street. A wild film on an ambitious young trader in the eighties in New York.
Boy, I loved that movie. ‘Greed is good’ is what Michael Douglas inculcated in me. I saw the swank apartment Charlie Sheen lived in with his perfect woman and I thought, that’s the life I want.
Forget the family inheritance, I decided. I don’t need it.
I got in touch with a family friend and asked him to help me get a job as an investment banker. After a dozen interviews, where I had close encounters with the inflated egos of other investment bankers, I managed to get myself a job.
I think my success at landing the job lay solely in my ability to look most interested as the guys interviewing me spoke blatantly about their lives and the deals they clinched.?
My new life had begun.
Investment banking: The hot new MBA destination
The good, the bad and the ugly
I soon discovered that I did not land myself aob but a 24/7 personality referred to as the investment banker. I was like a doctor on call.
My day would typically start by waking up early morning to chat with a client in Hong Kong.nd I endedhe day staying up reallyateo chat with the one from US.
In between, my life was interspersed with mundane tasks of presentations and photocopying, with miniscule doses of financial engineering and power games.
Let me explain.
Investment bankers are experts at calculating what a business is worth.
To arrive at this figure, they use something known ashe Discounted Cash Flow method. For the uninitiated, this is a valuation methodsed to estimate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity. It is such a sensitive tool that, by just changing a variable or assumption, you would be able to get a completely different figure. You could value a company at Rs 100 crore or Rs 1,000 crore.
It actually was up to me!?
This made me feel supremely important, despite the fact that I had to pore over coma inducing spread sheets. Getting a handshake from these guys and having them listen to my every word and detailed analysis would set mydrenaline soaring.
Our job also entailed raising capital (money) for companies. This was not much fun. had to dress up a company and then present it to private equity investors or venture capitalists and even the public, if we were floating Initial Public Offerings.
Basically, we had to sell a company, whether we truly believed in it or not. Often, I found myself pushing deals with clients that I knew would not work. I became a salesman to the core.?/FONT>
Investment bankers also exceln paperwork. Whether it was a prospectus for an IPO or whatever deal, we had to ensure thathe figures were accurate and the language legally perfect. We had to scrutinisevery word and then make hundreds of photocopies (alright, I am exaggerating, but only slightly).
And, if it was merger or acquisition that we were working on, the paperwork assumed such gigantic proportionshat a room had to be hired called the data room? whose sole purpose was to store the photocopies.?/FONT>
There were periods when I managed to catch just four hours of sleep daily.
Whoever said that investment banking is not about money but about the game of acquiring it (a popular saying among investment bankers) was lying through his teeth.