A Day in the Life: Investment Banking Research Associate

by Derek Loosvelt | March 10, 2009

Investment Banking Research Associate, Deutsche Bank Equity Research

6:30 a.m.: Wake up. ("Unfortunately, working in research, you have to get up pretty early.")

7:30: Arrive at work. ("First thing I do is check NewsEdge, CNN and CNBC, see what's going on, what's happening politically to affect my coverage. You can listen to the morning call, which starts everyday at 7:15 and lasts until 8, but I only listen if my boss will be on it, or if there's breaking news in our sector.")

8:00: Coffee with boss and group. ("We'll sit down and talk about the news, discuss the market and plan our day.")

9:00: Listen to earnings call (company you cover releases earnings, quarterly or annual), followed by Q&A with the firm that released the call. ("If you have crucial questions to ask a company, now you have to pose them in a public forum because of the regulatory concerns.")

11:00: Begin to write first call note (your firm's investment thesis on the company that released the call). Open up Excel and update financial model for note. U.S. sales force starts to call. ("Clients will call asking you what you think of the results of the call --Do you think estimates will rise? What's the stock going to do? Basically, we tell them what we think thus far --where the company's weaknesses and strengths are.") ("Quarterly earnings releases take 2-3 pages. If the investment thesis is new, we create new text. I f we stay with the same viewpoint, we still have to add new content to support that viewpoint. We aim to get the note out before the end of the trading day. If the call takes place during the day, and you're a good analyst, your note should be out at least by first thing in the morning.")

12:00 p.m.: Lunch. ("Almost everyday, we go out as a team: We usually grab a salad, bring it back and sit at my boss' desk to get caught up. And we don't just talk about business.")

1:00: Finalize marketing presentation for an investor meeting with a potential client (company you might cover). ("Put in detail behind the company's industry, our viewpoints, public trading performance, historical valuations, how they compare, snapshots. Put in a lot of elaborate charts and graphs. The thing is more a take home pack, rather than an outline for the meeting.")

2:00: Meeting out of office. ("At the meetings, associates are almost spectators. They only talk if somebody asks something like, 'Can I clarify what the percent of geographic sales is?' Meetings usually include a salesperson, an analyst and an associate on our side.")

4:00: Back in office. Continue on first call. ("After you update it, you show it to your analyst [your boss], who will ask you to add some things. This then gets sent out in hard copy format. It may take a while to move it through the necessary compliance channels and get it out the door.")

5:00: Boss leaves.

7:30: Leave for the day. ("The earliest I usually leave is 7:30 or 8. In the summer, though, I can leave earlier. And during earnings season, I usually leave later, because there's can be two or three earnings releases in one day, so you have to get that many first call notes out each day. It can get stressful: three notes, three models --and fielding clients from everywhere.")

Filed Under: Finance


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